India’s New-Age Gandhi On A Detox Diet
Fighting corruption has its downside, as India’s new-age Gandhi, Anna Hazare, is discovering. After being seriously involved in the fight against corruption in the country, for the past more than one year, Anna is facing the consequences of hectic struggle and prolonged fasting. To get rid of these symptoms, he is currently putting up at the Jindal Nature Cure Institute in Bengaluru, where he has been put up on a detox diet menu.
Anna’s Frugal Diet
The septuagenarian was a freedom fighter and after quitting his job with the Army, he settled in his native village, Ralegaon Siddhi. Here, Badambai is the woman who cooks his daily meals, which he eats only once a day. Surprised? Well, it is this frugal dietary regime that has kept Anna safe during his fasting on the issue of corruption, although, this is not the first time he has gone on a fast. He regularly attempts fasting as a non-violent symbol of protest against issues he doesn’t agree with. That is perhaps the reason why he slipped easily into the detox regime, which saw him being fed on natural foods, that cleanse the body.
Roti, Dal & Vegetables
That is all Anna has been eating, once every day, for the past more than three decades. He prefers to eat just one jowar bhakri (a thick roti made of jowar flour), vegetables, and a bowl of dal (lentils). During his fasting days, he usually sips on coconut water with honey mixed in, to keep his body fluids going. In fact, the doctors who keep a check on him during his fasting, consider his strengt a miracle. Noted cardiologist of the country, Dr. Naresh Trehan, who monitored his health during his latest fast-cum-agitation, has this to say, “He has some power in him, which helped him regulate his fluids, and he was able to maintain his balance.” The woman, who has cooked for him since 1979, is least concerned about the hullabaloo surrounding Anna’s diet. She asks, “What’s the fuss about Anna’s fitness. He will obviously be very, very strong. It’s his discipline. He eats just once a day, in the afternoon. He has simple, vegetarian food. At times, even that afternoon plate remains untouched as he is busy meeting people. On such days, he simply survives on water.”
His Public Life
Anna was first admitted to the Institute in February this year, when he was suffering from high Blood Pressure. His condition was probably the consequence of his involvement in the public movement against corruption in public life. Apart from traveling the length and breadth of the country, Anna also went on a 12-day long fast, which saw him lose 8kg of weight. All this, coupled with the fact that he is a frugal eater, for past many years, saw him making this trip to seek natural methods to cleanse his body of toxins accumulated over a period of time.
Going to the Nature Cure Institute for the second time, Anna only complained of acidity and headache. Doctors at the institute attribute his better condition to the fact that he follows a strict regime of yoga and naturopathy. On his second visit, Anna is being fed a detox diet of salad and fruits, basically foods that detox naturally. His usual diet is also not much to talk about, since he has been eating, more or less, the same stuff everyday for the past 32 years.
The only thing he allows himself to indulge in is “Maswadi”, a sweet preparation, made with a mixture of coconut and peanuts, encased in gramflour pastry. So, you see, it is not food, but patriotism that gets Anna going.