A month after the Jat protests in Haryana for reservation in jobs and education, Rajputs from western Uttar Pradesh have decided to launch a nationwide agitation if their demands for reservation are not met.
The agitation is set to begin from Noida on March 27 and will take place in Rajasthan, UP, Haryana, Bihar and other states by October.
“We have been peacefully demanding inclusion of Rajputs in the Other Backward Castes (OBC) category for many years. Since 2011, we had held many peaceful meetings in various district headquarters in west UP and written letters to the state chief minister and the Prime Minister too. Now we want to create chaos like the Jats did in Haryana to get the government’s attention,” said Surendra Singh, 49, general secretary of Kshatriya Sena, a Rajput body leading the campaign for reservation.
Members of the outfit, formed in 2011 by young Rajputs from different states, claim to have massive support from Rajputs in several states.
“Community members from around 50 villages in Noida and Greater Noida will take part in Sunday’s meeting and chalk out a strategy to garner support for this agitation. Sunday onwards, we will organise weekly meetings in different parts of the country so that we can stage a bigger protest in Delhi by October this year,” said Sanjay Chauhan, 38, a Kshatriya Sena member.
“We will organise a car and motorbike rally on April 28 with around 5,000 vehicles. The rally will begin from Noida and end at Greater Noida,” said Singh.
“Nobody (successive governments) thought of us because we were silent. Now it’s time to be heard. There is a saying that even a mother does not feed a child until it cries. To get our demands met, we need to protest like the Jats did in Haryana and Gujjars in Rajasthan,” added Chauhan.
According to Sena members, Rajputs form 7% of UP’s population, but their economic and social status is in a bad state because government jobs go to members of castes who have reservations. Other members of community claim that all parties, including the Congress and the BJP, have misled them for years.
“The BSP is working for the Dalits, the SP is working for Yadavs and Muslims. Who will look after the interests of Rajputs?” said Deepak Singh Thakur, a member of the Kshatriya Sena.