This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Ronak Aazad. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Are Tikait Brothers In Search Of Political Clout?

More from Ronak Aazad

Legacy is created by the forefathers, but it is up to the future generations to keep it intact. This responsibility becomes even more so when political clout is inherited. It would not be an exaggeration to say that India is a son-dominated country.

New Delhi: Bharatiya Kisan Union Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait having his meal at Ghazipur border during farmers’ ongoing protest against the new farm laws, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (PTI Photo/Vijay Verma)(PTI02_02_2021_000070B)

The son considers the father’s authority as the birthright, and this system keeps on going from generation to generation. It is obvious that legacy is never decided based on merit but birth. This is especially prevalent in rural India, where the father’s turban is tied to the son’s head.

In 1986, Chaudhary Charan Singh started falling ill, Chaudhary Mahendra Singh Tikait, the chief of the Baliyan Khap Panchayat, emerged as the new messiah of the farmers after the departure of farmer leader Chaudhary Charan Singh. Tikait had defeated Ajit Singh in the battle of supremacy, and millions of farmers of the country had expressed faith in Tikait. However, on the ground politics, Ajit Singh continued to get the support of Tikait.

Chaudhary Mahendra Singh Tikait wanted to remain a farmer leader while staying away from active politics. In the same year, he also founded the Indian Farmers Union. After 1986, Chaudhary Tikait played a role in almost every major peasant movement. But after 2000, along with him, his influence also started to loosen.

Mahendra Singh Tikait died in May 2011, and the turban of Baliyan Khap Panchayat was tied to his elder son Naresh Tikait. Naresh Tikait was also appointed President of the Indian Farmers Union. Naresh Tikait’s younger brother Rakesh was made the national spokesperson of BKU. Rakesh Tikait had tried his hand in politics, but the hand lines did not support him. Both the brothers were well aware that the father’s influence had left with the father.

Then came the opportunity, which the Tikait brothers had been looking for years. The Modi government passed the agriculture reform bill at the centre, and there were voices of protest from Haryana and Punjab. The movement had grown in Punjab and Haryana’s womb under the leadership of leaders like Darshan Pal Singh, Yogendra Yadav and Rajewal.

The Tikait brothers raised hopes of gaining the father’s legacy through the movement and quickly joined the movement. If the elder brother lived in the background, the younger would speak fiercely against the government in his typical native style. The movement in western Uttar Pradesh did not seem to have much effect, but the Tikait brothers were getting media coverage.

But the picture suddenly changed when tears came out of Rakesh Tikait’s eyes on 28 January. He had become the hero of the movement overnight, where on one side the Samyukt Kisan Morcha was keeping a distance from politicians, on the other hand, Manish Sisodia, Raghav Chaddha and Jayant Chaudhary had reached in the next morning at Ghazipur border.

In 2017, Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election, the Baliyan Khap Panchayat gave its support to Sanjeev Balyan of the BJP and not Ajit Singh, which means that the Tikait brothers sought to distance themselves from the RLD and tried to explore their future in the Bharatiya Janata Party. But in the BJP they did not get any particular benefit, then the Tikait brothers had gone out searching for a new future in the peasant movement.

RLD also took advantage of this opportunity, Chaudhary Ajit Singh knows that he needs Tikait brothers and Tikait brothers to need him. On 29 January, there was a Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar in which Naresh Tikait’s old partner Ghulam Mohammad Jola also supported the Tikait brothers and reminded the mistake of 2017. Naresh Tikait also accepted the mistake and said that we had made a big mistake by not supporting Chaudhary Ajit Singh.

It is not at all justified to admit political error in a Mahapanchayat called for a non-political movement. After this, the Tikait brothers organized Mahapanchayats from UP to Haryana and demonstrated their power everywhere. The Tikait brothers were well aware that the movement to gain political ground cannot be kept as non-political. While politicizing the movement, Rakesh Tikait has become the strongest, and currently, Samyukt Kisan morcha needs him. While on the one hand, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha was trying to keep the movement non-political, on the other hand, the Tikait brothers brought big leaders of big parties at Ghazipur border.

There is no doubt that Rakesh Tikait has become the biggest face of the movement, but there is no doubt that he is avoiding making the Samyukt Kisan Morcha a partner in his decisions. On 6 February, Rakesh Tikait, deciding on his own of the chakkajaam across the country, showed that he is moving ahead of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha to pursue his political interests.

In his typical native and rustic style, Tikait has taken a large crowd with him and is seen to be walking based on his strategy. Every movement in the country has produced small and prominent leaders, be it the JP movement or the Anna movement. In such a situation, it can be said that the stars of the Tikait brothers are in the sky. But it is not morally correct to divert any movement of personal interest. In such a situation, the Tikait brothers have to understand that their success is in the farmers’ success. Politicizing a non-political movement is the same as a black ink stain on a white shirt.

You must be to comment.

More from Ronak Aazad

Similar Posts

By Ritwik Trivedi

By Anonymous Writer

By Naveen Prasad

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below