By Lalit Garg
The death of Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, the top leader of Indian Dalit politics and Union Minister of Food Supply, who has done wonders in the politics of Bihar, is an irreparable loss of Indian politics. He founded the Lok Jan Shakti Party in the year 2000 and his politics journey started with the United Socialist Party. He was the only political personality who got the opportunity to work with many Prime Ministers and was also the leader of the house in the Lok Sabha twice. He created a unique history by winning elections in 1977 from Hajipur by a record vote. He always fought for the rights and betterment of tribal caste. Ramvilasji, who started his political journey since 1969, played an active role in the JP movement and emerged as a firebrand socialist. He was a public servant voicing the disadvantaged sections and constantly struggling for the marginalized. We can call his death in politics not only as the great hero of Dalits but also the end of an era of high character and moral values.
Paswanji was born in the village of Sharabbani in Aloli block of Khagaria district of Bihar. He was born on July 5, 1946. His father Jamunji Paswan and mother Siadevi were from a Scheduled Caste family. He first married Rajkumari Devi in the 1960s, which divorced in 1981. Usha and Asha have two daughters from his first wife Rajkumari. In 1983, he married to Punjabi Hindu Reena Sharma, an airhostess from Amritsar. He has a son and daughter. His son Chirag Paswan is an actor-turned-politician, currently the national president of the LJP and is currently playing an active role in the Bihar Legislative Assembly.
The political life of Paswanji is a collection of many characteristics. He has contested 11 elections in the last 32 years and won nine of them. This time he did not contest elections, but this time in the seventeenth Lok Sabha, he was sworn in as the Minister of Consumer Affairs once again in the Modi government. Never able to become a big power in Bihar, Paswan kept himself a force in Delhi politics and remained the need of various Prime Ministers of the country for three decades. Viswanath Pratap Singh, HD Deve Gowda, IK Gujral, Atal Bihari Bajpayee, Manmohan Singh and now also held important positions in Narendra Modi’s governments. This combative and lively leader of Indian politics lived like a karmayogi in politics. It is true that he was from Bihar; it is also true that he belonged to LJP but even more true is that he belonged to the nation, was a national leader. He was a rare and sensitive personality in the current politics of the country.
This single politician who became the voice of the poor, the underprivileged, the Dalits had many characteristics of personality and gratitude. He has so much sarcasm, so much closeness to folk life, so much simplicity, so much religion and culture and so much truth that his personality is very and appreciable. He continued to serve the country and the downtrodden till the last breath. His demise is the end of the politics of a nationalist thinking and the “Messiah Mahaneta” of the proletariat. He was a symbol of a series of individuals living on principles and ideals. His death can be understood as the end of purity in political life, of values, of culture, of Dalit politics, of the struggle for the proletariat, not to bend or compromise on the principles.
Ram Vilas Ji did active politics for five decades, held many positions, but he always remained different from others. He was always fearless in thoughts, stagnant in breaking values and dismissed in a crowd that broke through the circle. Legislative perception and realistic thinking associated with his life were such powerful weapons whose blows never went away. For Bihar, he was really ‘Rama’ and loved by all. As a young leader, he presented his independent political thinking and approach, strongly and effectively opposing atrocities and attacks on democracy during the Emergency.
Helping the needy, forging new political faces, smiling and affectionate to the younger ones, and the life of Ramvilas Paswan, the jovial and laughable junk of us, will be considered inspiring and unique the sense that he touched all the concerns of life. As a politician, he raised his voice for the downtrodden, cared for the proletariat, fought for their rights. His approach was broad and committed to Dalit interests. He was also the architect of Dalit agitators and political developments. He was always associated with the concerns of revolutionaries and senior freedom fighters. Despite being a big and busy politician, there was a wide range of aspects of his life – spontaneous participation in various religions and cultural activities.
In the tribal areas of Baroda-Chhota Udaipur, Gujarat, he got full support in the activities led by Ganji Rajendra Vijayji and conducted by the Sukhi Parivar Foundation. Jain Tirthankaras had a big plan in mind about the welfare land in Bihar. There is hardly any aspect related to the concerns, culture and history of the Jain Tirthankaras of Bihar that is not beating in their hearts. He was among the tallest leaders associated with the soil of Bihar and had good relations with all the parties.
Ram Vilas Paswanji was a very militant leader; his creative attitude towards everyone was always creative, which always made him different from others. His suggestions were so serious that it caught everyone’s attention. He suggested moving towards development one step ahead of politics. He was not only an ally of the NDA alliance, but the main architect of its success. He was an important character of coalition politics. They tried to provide justice to the underprivileged section of society and respect its rights.
Ram Vilas Paswan gave a new direction to politics with his coordination policy and simplicity. He was one of the distinguished leaders to bring alive the cultural heritage of Bihar and raised his voice and fight for the Jain-Buddhist culture of Bihar. He was a heritage for the NDA alliance. He worked hard for the overall development of Bihar. He was always accessible to the people of his region. He came into public life at a young age and served the society with a lot of dedication and service. He was a politician walking barefoot and ruling the hearts of the people, he used to live like an ordinary worker anywhere.
Bihar and its people lived in their hearts and minds all the time. He overcame the darkness of despair, inaction, failure and apathy with his confident.
Ram Vilas Paswan, who was active in student politics, left Bihar Police job and entered the field of active politics. He established his independent and strong identity as a strong leader of the Dalits of Bihar even during the popularity of Kashi Ram and Mayawati. He was a gem of Indian politics. He played a key role in implementing the dream project of One Nation-One Ration. During the lockdown of the Corona epidemic, he made extensive efforts to provide food and ration to the poor for free. He always worked for a good cause, not for a compliment. He lived life to express himself, not to please others. His life tried not to make people feel that he was there, but he did the work in such a way that people remember when they are not in their midst. In this way, he gave a new dimension to his life and dominated the hearts of the people. His personality is such an ideal political personality that can be called the renewable dictionary of proletarian development, culture, service and reformism.
(Lalit Garg is a Writer, Journalist, Columnist)
By Lalit Garg