Longest single-man protest enters 22nd year
In his quest for justice, ‘Master’ Vijay Singh, then a school teacher, started a dharna at the Muzaffarnagar collectorate compound to release the ‘gram sabha’ land from grabbersUpdated: Feb 27, 2017 15:18 IST
Anti-corruption crusader Vijay Singh’s protest has earned him a place in record books but has done little to bring him the result he desired. On February 26, his protest entered its 22nd year and yet Singh is nowhere near achieving his target of freeing about 4,000 bighas of public land in his village that has been in the possession of illegal grabbers since 1996.
In his quest for justice, ‘Master’ Vijay Singh, then a school teacher, started a dharna at the Muzaffarnagar collectorate compound to release the ‘gram sabha’ land from the grabbers. The land in question is located at village Chausana, now in district Shamli.
Speaking about administrative and government apathy, Singh said, “In 1996, the then commissioner of Meerut zone, HL Virdi, found all my allegations to be true but no proper action was initiated in the matter. Then, in 2002, the then ADM, CP Singh, initiated a probe, and in 2007, ADM Ajay Deep Singh also found my claims to be correct. Despite all that and the many assurances I got at the district administration level, no action was ever taken.”
In 2012, Singh also went to meet the newly elected chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav. For this, he undertook a 610km march from Muzaffarnagar to Lucknow. He said the CM assured him that a high level committee would be formed to probe the matter. “But nothing happened even after the CM’s promise,” he said.
In the meantime, Vijay Singh’s long protest got him a place in different record books - Limca book of records, India book of records, Asia Book of records, Unique world records and more. “Even after that, nothing happened in this case,” he said.
So, for how long will he continue with his protest? To this question, the former school teacher has no answer.
“The irony is that in the current scenario (of UP assembly elections), all prominent political parties have talked about a corruption-free society and good governance in their manifestos. However, after my experience, I find it difficult to believe in any of these promises,” said Singh.
First Published: Feb 27, 2017 15:18 IST