LUCKNOW: Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad set up the student wing of his organisation named as Bhim Army Students Federation (BASF) here on Sunday. With this Chandrashekhar, the upcoming feisty leader of dalits with acknowledgeable traction in the dalit dominated pockets of western UP, has sought to consolidate his bearing among youths and students belonging to deprived and downtrodden sections of the society.
Chandashekhar claimed that the idea behind launching BASF was to empower Dalit students with the organisational support of his outfit as they had to face multiple issue on various campuses and institutions of higher education across the country.
“Our aim is to make the students belonging to SC, ST, OBC and religious minorities aware of their rights and also the duties as the responsible citizens of this country,” said the Bhim Army chief.
He added that the newly-launched outfit would prepare the Bahujan students to lead the society by instilling a sense of confidence and responsibility towards the nation among them.
“My next destination is Pune. After UP, I will launch BASF in Maharashtra in order to expand its networks along the length and breadth of the country,” said Chandrashekhar.
Likely to take a political plunge in 2022 during state assembly elections in UP, the Bhim Army chief claimed that his current challenge was to create a Dalit leadership among students who could not be lured by the lucre. “I expect the members of BASF to set a redefined political discourse in the country with a
well carved out space for themselves,” he said.
Taking a veiled jibe at BSP chief Mayawati who is seen as the only Dalit leader of recognition in the country, the Bhim Army chief said that it was of utmost importance to be among the people on the ground to gauge their mood and know the challenges they faced. “Politics can no longer be done while sitting within one's cosy air-conditioned confines anymore,” he said.
The youth will not just lead the society, but will also break the nexus between the businessman and the politician, he added.
The Bhim Army, which gained popularity among the youth from Dalit and backward communities, has been steadily expanding its support base in the state, particularly in the western region. Within two years of its formation, the Bhim Army has expanded the base by focusing on education of Dalits in the region.
Though there is no concrete data available, sources said there are around 300 study circles being run by the Bhim Army. The organization has also been active in directly intervening and confronting cases of atrocities against Dalits.