Prime Minister Narendra Modi always projected the country’s youth as his strength. According to him, the talented youth can develop the country and put India at par with the developed nations.
However, some of these young men have challenged the established leadership and have shook the country’s political equations.
1. Jignesh Mewani
The protests against brutal thrashing of Dalits in Una, Gujarat in the name of cow protection has received support from all over the country.
Gujarat’s Jignesh Mewani, who is an advocate and social activist, is at the forefront of the movement.
Dalit Movement’s New Face
During Azadi Kooch movement in response to the Una incident which started on 5 August, under his leadership 20,000 Dalits took a pledge to no longer dispose of dead cattle.
Jignesh’s peaceful Dalit movement gave a huge blow to those in power. There was an unmatched level of Dalit-Muslim unity seen during the movement.
2. Hardik Patel
Gujarat’s Patel-Patidar community has been demanding 10 percent reservation in colleges and state government jobs . Hardik Patel has been the face of the movement since it started in 2015.
5 Million Gathered for the Movement
Hardik’s rally on 25 August, 2015 at GMDC ground in Ahmedabad changed Gujarat. More than 5 million people came out on the streets. Hardik used social media to strengthen the movement, a trick he said he learned from PM Modi. It was 31 years ago that Gujarat witnessed protests on such a massive scale.
3. Kanhaiya Kumar
JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar came into the limelight after he was arrested for sedition.
Kanhaiya was arrested on charges of allegedly raising slogans at an event to commemorate the hanging of Afzal Guru. The issue ultimately backfired and put the BJP government in the backfoot.
Kanhaiya was arrested by the Delhi Police and released on interim bail on 2 March 2016. His rousing speech upon his return to JNU campus won him a legion of admirers and he has been using the stardom to regularly criticise Modi and the BJP government.
Alpesh Thakor emerged as a leader of “Gujarat Kshatriya Thakur Sena”, which opposed Hardik Patel’s Patidar movement.
The young OBC leader has also targeted the BJP government in the state.
‘Threatened’ Gujarat Government
Alpesh tried convincing Patel community to support OBC reservation. About 10,000 people turned up for his protest rally.
In the rally he threatened to overthrow the BJP government if the government gives into the demands of the Patel comminity.
The OBC integration platform had 38 conveners and aim to unify the community against the demands of the Patidars.
(Translated from Hindi by Shambhavi Prakash.)