I call it the end of an era for Indian Politics with the untimely demise of Union Cabinet Minister and LJP Founder Shri Ramvilas Paswan.
He breathed his last at New Delhi’s Fortis Hospital last evening after battling multiple health complications. I remember how Paswan had created history by winning twice from Hajipur constituency in 1977 and 1980. Paswan had the distinction of working with six Prime Ministers. He was also referred to as the political weatherman by most of the political analysts, observers and commentators, a distinction with which he often used to persuade the subaltern caste and community politics in Bihar.
He was a leader who, along with Laloo Yadav, Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar, actively took part in the JP movement nurturing and nourishing their skill sets and capacities as a political activist, worker and later as supremos of their regional outfits. Paswan had the approach and ability to transcend the ideological dilemmas which have become a part and parcel of performing and presenting one’s political outlook and orientation.
For him, identifying with the point and purpose of doing politics was more important than anything, pioneering from the strength and support of the Dusadh (Paswan) community forming 16% Schedule Caste population in Bihar. Ramvilas Paswan effectively mobilised and organised the population rewarding them with political representation and responsibility. Otherwise, these communities would never have banked upon him.
He worked in close cooperation and coordination with Laloo Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar in Bihar. Governance for him symbolised giving a fair sense of participation to those seeking articulation of their grievances. In his capacity, he introduced and inaugurated social schemes and legislations for ameliorating the lives and livelihoods of the oppressed and dispossessed. Paswan lived up to his politics by switching alliances and coalitions by staying relevant and being always accessible for his people.
Ramvilas Paswan will always be revered, adored and admired for his invaluable contributions in his capacity to the concerns to the everyday politics of people.
For now, I can only lend my prayers for the departed soul as his demise has brought an era to end. It marks the closure of the golden period of Indian politics. Om Shanti.