Early Life of Anand Sharma
Anand Sharma was born on January 5, 1953, in Shimla in the state of Himachal Pradesh to Late Shri P. A. Sharma and Shrimati Prabha Rani Sharma. His early life was spent in Himachal Pradesh. In the year 1984, at the age of 31, Sharma was elected to Parliament.
Political Career of Anand Sharma
Anand Sharma has been an important leader of the Student and Youth Movement in India and is known as one of the founders of NSUI, the student section of the Indian National Congress. In addition to these, Sharma was also the President of the Youth Congress at the time when NSUI took active participation in removing the apartheid in South Africa. Later, he served as the President of the Indian Youth Congress since 1985. Before that he remained the state President for Himachal Pradesh and National General Secretary. Being a common and important face in Indian politics, particularly in Indian National Congress, Anand Sharma chaired as the Chief Spokesman of National Congress for 6 years.
During his tenure of President Ship of Indian Youth Congress, Anand Sharma played an active role in organising an International Youth Conference against Apartheid in New Delhi. His aim was to venerate the 75th anniversary of the African National Congress. Apart from these, he was also involved in moderating the World Youth Action against Apartheid. In the year1994, the Commonwealth Secretary General appointed Sharma as an observer of the South African Transition Process and Elections.
Anand Sharma was also actively involved in organising the International Conference on the 100th anniversary of Satyagraha movement. This conference was held at New Delhi in January 2007. During this time he acted as the Secretary General at the conference. Leadership delegates from 91 countries and almost 122 organisations attended the Conference. It was at this conference that he proposed to observe 2nd October (birthday of Mahatma Gandhi) as International Day of Non-violence to the UN General Assembly. UNGA adopted the resolution.
During his political career, Anand Sharma also worked with late Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi. Later in January 2006, Sharma was lifted to the Union Council of Ministers. During this time, he was given the responsibility to look after Foreign Affairs. In October 2008, he was also given the charge of Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting. On 29th May 2009, he was given the responsibility in the Union Cabinet of India as Minister for Commerce and Industry and, thus, Sharma presumed the charge as Minister. He was given the portfolio for Ministry of Textiles on July 12, 2011 after Dayanidhi Maran. Sharma is also deeply involved in work relating to autism and disabilities. He also has keen interest in sports and has been a member of the Sports Authority of India.
Anand Sharma as an Author
Anand Sharma is the Editor of the Book 'Gandhian Way', capturing the epic saga of Satyagraha of Mahatma Gandhi. He has also authored the book 'Journey of a Nation: Indian National Congress' - a commemorative publication to mark 125 years of foundation of the Indian National Congress. He was Convenor of the Editorial Board of the 5th Volume of 'A Centenary History of the Indian National Congress'.
Achievements of Anand Sharma
Anand Sharma won several awards in his political career. In November10, 2008, he was bestowed the top Ghanaian civilian award, The Order of the Companion of Volta by President J. A. Koufour in respect of his commitment to South-South Cooperation. Later, on 14th January 2009, Sharma received the honour of Commander of the National Order of Merit. He also received Special Award honouring his efforts in strengthening India-South Africa relations, presented by South African President Jacob Zuma. The award was conferred on the occasion of 150 Years of the First Arrival of Indians in South Africa.
Personal Life of Anand Sharma
Anand Sharma is married to Dr. Zenobia Sharma since 23 February 1987 and the couple has two children. Apart from being a political figure, he is also indulged in hiking, cricket, travelling, listening to music, reading books on philosophy and history etc.
Positions Held by Anand Sharma