Hardik Patel and His Road to Activism
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Politicians and politics, both refine with age. But Patel, leader of Patidar Agitation in Gujarat, has defied all odds and has become one of the most famous faces giving way to counter cultures and pluralism in the Indian society. “Old people can provide us with their wisdom and traditions. But the ultimate execution, struggle and activism has to be done by the youth of the country,” says Patel.
The journey of Patel’s activism could be traced far back in 2013-14 when his sister, who was among the district level toppers, was given a meager scholarship which did not do justice to her academic performance. However, with an altogether different political leaning in his family, his struggle to provide reservation to the Patel community is all the more intriguing. On being asked about it, the jovial activist chuckles, “If everybody is doing something wrong in the family, it’s my duty to rectify it.”
But it’s not just activism that Patel yearns for. Patel has scored on cricket field as well. He has been on and off the field and has played at a district level under-19 category. “I played for my district, for my state and still people call me anti-national,” laughs the activist.
The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti has been in the news since 2015 and so is the young leader that initiated it. Patidars represent 12.3 per cent population of Gujarat, approximately 7.7 million of the total 62.7 million.