Comrade Manju has been elected village Pradhan of Ramgarh under Dadri subdivision of district Gautam Budh Nagar in UP. Comrade Shyamveer has been elected for the post of BDC member. This victory brought tears of joy in the eyes of dozens of families who had fought a very difficult struggle for their dignity, equality and for land in this village. The smile they saw on Tinku’s face doubled the joy of rest of dalit villagers.
It is the same Ramgarh where a young B.Ed. student Tinku Ram was forcibly put on railway tracks four years back on 15 July, 2012. He lost both his legs under the wheels of the running train. The reason was that some dalit youth of this village dared to assert for the possession over the lands allocated to dalits but were under the unauthorised possession of the dominant Gujjar landlords who are backed by the Samajwadi Party. Ever since Brahm Jatav, husband of Manju, submitted an application in January of 2012 to the SDM of Dadri demanding distribution of village land allocated to the dalit community, all the families are in a continuous state of battle for life and survival in the face of attacks by the goons led by former village Pradhan Kuldeep Bhati. Members of Dalits families (man and women both) were brutally attacked with swords and axes in broad day light in March 2012 when nearly 30 people were seriously injured. They have been facing, and valiantly resisting regular attacks and false criminal charges forged with the help of the administration by the attackers. Many of the dalit youth who were at the forefront were sent to jail and time and again, they have been threatened for their life. Many families have lost their all money in the court cases and to the police, many of them have come under severe debt, the lands belonged to them remained occupied by the goons of the dominant castes. Their complaints never got attention from administration as well by the police and their cases are still pending in the court.
Tinku Ram lost his legs but he and his people continued their struggle. It is because of their struggle and indomitable spirit that won the hearts of many, leading to the victory of comrades Manju and Shyamveer on 31 May, 2016 in the Panchayat Elections. This is certainly a big and inspiring victory for the protracted struggle of dalits of Ramgarh. Tears of joy and happiness on their faces were an inspiration for those who witnessed this long journey. The gram panchayat results were declared between 1-3 AM in the morning amidst loud revolutionary slogans outside the counting center (Mihir Bhoj Inter College, Dadri). A victory rally was held in the village and their joyous slogans of ‘ Baba Saheb Ambedkar Zindabad, Bhagat Singh Zindabad, CPI(ML) Zindabad, Inqalab Zindabad’ resonated throughout the morning.
- Aslam Khan