Yashpal Malik was a relatively unknown name until 2010 when the Jat community launched a stir in Haryana. His plank was simple and remains the same now: Reservation for Jats across the country in central list of other backward classes (OBCs).
As the national chief of the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS), Malik is trying to position himself as a consolidating entity for Jats across the country.
Hailing from Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Malik dabbled in the real estate business in Ghaziabad and Noida before taking up the Jat cause in the past few years.
In the last week, the Jat demand has escalated violence in Haryana, leading to three deaths, curfew and shoot-at-sight orders.
Friday’s violence and arson in Haryana notwithstanding, the AIJASS has decided to intensify its agitation in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi on Saturday. “We are holding peaceful dharnas in 15 districts of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. The Muzzafarnagar-Budhana road has been blocked. These are symbolic dharnas to send a message to the Central government as well as Haryana government,” Malik, who was heading to his hometown, told Hindustan Times. He said a dharna will also be held at the Narela-Singhu border on National Highway 1 and at the Delhi University campus.
The Jat protests aside, Malik had his 15 minutes of fame on national television when he took on actor Aamir Khan for the way khaps panchayats were portrayed on the actor’s popular TV show, Satyamev Jayate.
“Aap zabardasti khapon ko muuda bana kar apna business chalana chahte hain. Jo khap ka charitra aap dikha rahe hain woh nahi hai, (You are deliberately trying to make khaps an issue to run your business. Your portrayal of khaps is not how it is),” he told the Bollywood star during a televised debate on a news channel.