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Religion: 
Hinduism
Nationality: 
India
Gender: 
Male

Location of Activities

Country: 
India
Regions: 
South Asia
Organization(s): 
World Council of Arya Samaj
Email: 
Website/link: 
President Emeritus, World Council of Arya Samaj

Chairperson, Bonded Labour Liberation Front
Founder and Coordinator, Parliament of All Faiths

Swami Agnivesh, an activist based in New Delhi, India, is a leader of Arya Samaj, and Former Board member of KAICIID (King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue). He was awarded the Right Livelihood award, known as the Alternative Nobel, in 2004, for his work for social justice. He is called a cyclonic swami, reflecting his dynamism and the diversity of his activism. He was born as Vepa Shyam Rao in 1939, the grandson of the Diwan (Chief Minister) of a princely state called Shakti, now in Chattisgarh, and part of an Orthodox Hindu family. Later on he obtained Law and Business Management degrees, became a lecturer in Calcutta and practiced law. In 1968 he became a full-time worker of the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reformist movement, and two years later became a sanyasi, renouncing worldly possessions and becoming, in the process, Swami Agnivesh. He has worked on many social issues, including child and bonded labor, inclusion of "untouchables" in Indian religious society, women's rights, and religious tolerance and reconciliation. He is a strong advocate of interfaith action for social justice.

Main Publications: 

1.)  Swami Agnivesh. Religion, Spirituality and Social Action. New Delhi: Dharma Pratishthan.

2.) Swami Agnivesh. Applied Spirituality. New Delhi: Harper Collins Publishers India Ltd.

3. ) Swami Agnivesh: Hinduism in the New Age. New Delhi: Dharma Pratishthan.

 4. Swami Agnivesh: Vaidic Samajwaad in Hindi. New Delhi: Dharma Pratishthan.

5.) Swami Agnivesh (ed.). Swami Dayanand: Man, Message & Mission..

Areas of Actions: 
Freedom of Religion or BeliefInterreligious Dialogue
Forms of Actions: 
Educational ProgrammesInformation DistributionDiplomacyCapacity Building and EmpowermentSocial Work and Community Service