Amid controversies involving his close aides, Anna Hazare on Sunday began an indefinite 'maun vrat' or vow of silence in his village, on health grounds.
"Hazare began his 'maun vrat' at his house this morning. He will undertake his daily chores and shall communicate in writing if required," an aide who did not wish to be named told IANS.
"He will not speak or communicate with anybody for an indefinite period," the aide said.
Hazare observes periodic 'maun vrat'.
"(He does this) on regular intervals but there is no specific routine to it. Whenever he feels like it, he observes 'maun vrat' for as many days as feasible," the aide said.
During the period, the 74-year-old former soldier will not travel outside Ralegan-Siddhi in Ahmednagar district, around 280 km from Mumbai.
He has already postponed his five-state tour till after the winter session of parliament.
Hazare had announced a visit to Pakistan last month. It is not known if and when the trip will take place.
The 'maun vrat' comes at a time when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written to him promising to take steps to enact a strong anti-corruption law and bring about electoral reforms.
Hazare, however, continues to face the heat of Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, who accused him of collusion with the RSS. Hazare denied the charge.
And for the first time, Hazare has publicly criticised two of his closest aides -- Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal.
He pulled up Supreme Court lawyer Bhushan for his comments on Jammu and Kashmir that led to a violent attack on Bhushan in New Delhi Oct 12.
Hazare has also said that it was wrong on the part of Kejriwal to say that he (Hazare) was above parliament.
Amid all this, his former aide Swami Agnivesh has begun to criticise the social activist publicly.