" Democracy was
also a great narrative and not merely a monolithic kind of democratic participation."
 
 
 
 

GURU PRASAD MADAN

Guru Prasad Madan was born on 5th July 1942 in village Ajuha Bazar, District Allahabad. Now it lies in the newly created district, Kausambhi. His father Bhikhu lal was a highly respectable man of his village who was devoted to various social activities for the uplift of the marginalized communities. He was also a well known poet. For his livelihood he was engaged in his traditional occupation of leather work and vegetable trade. His mother, Jankidevi was a housewife who looked after her family. There is an interesting incident behind his name. Once Guru Prasad’s father met the great social reformer, Swami Achutanand, founder of the Adi Hindu movement in Uttar Pradesh, who asked his father that on the birth of his son he should name him Guru Prasad Madan. And so when he was born, his father named him Guru Prasad Madan. He considers himself very fortunate to be named by no less a personality than Achutanand.

Guru Prasad Madan’s education began in his native village. He was fortunate to escape the humiliation of caste discrimination in his school days due to his father’s respectable position in the village. After completing his primary education, he sought admission in a Zila Parishad Middle School, and passed his High School in 1959. In 1961 he passed his Intermediete from SAV (Subhash Anglo Vedic) Inter College, Sirathu, in Allahabad. He graduated from Allahabad University in 1964 and obtained masters’ degree in Ancient History in 1966. He was the first Graduate and Post Graduate Dalit from his village. He had diploma of two years in Bengali language. He obtained his law degree from Lucknow University in 1968. His father, although excited over his son’s educational achievements, took him under a promise that he would never seek any job directly or through any kind of competitive examination and that he would devote his time to transmitting to society what he learnt in his lifetime. His father further said, “I have given you my voice, and I feel that your voice has splendour. If you succeed in bringing even a single man under the ideological umbrella of Baba Saheb Ambedkar and Swami Achutanand, I will feel contented that we have paid back to the society what we had borrowed”. Madan promised his father that he would never undertake a job, and that after completing his Law he would start his own private practice.

In Sirathu, while studying in the Inter College, he encountered an unforgettable incident of his life. In the college, the untouchable castes were prohibited from drinking water from the pot with their hands, and the peon, a Brahmin, was deployed to provide water to these children from a distance without polluting the jug. Unconsciously, one day he took the water himself, and the peon lodged a complaint with the principal. Madan was summoned by him. With bubbling confidence, Madan put a question to the principal, “If you look at the colour of the blood, you will find similarity. Then, why such discrimination among people.” He requested the principal to either allow everyone to have water himself, or let everyone take water from the peon. The principal agreed. He ordered that every student will have water from the peon irrespective of his caste.

He began social work among the Dalit communities at an early age. Being an excellent orator, like his father, he began articulating his ideas on public platforms. The first speech that he delivered on the stage was at the age of three in an Arya Samaj Vedi. Due to his excellent oratorial skill, he became a member of the Student Council when he was only a student of class ninth. When he was in class 11th he became its Vice President and President in class 12th. His first writing was published in his school’s magazine when he was only in class 7th. In those days, he also used to write essays that became quite popular, especially among the youth. His essay named ’Gandgi ki Zar Cinema aur Loudspeaker’ was published in the school magazine was widely praised. He won the first prize in the school. His enthusiastic involvement in the Dalit revolution saw him rise to the level of General Secretary of the Scheduled Caste Federation of India. He has been instrumental in organising various processions, meetings and protest marches. Once he led a procession to the Governor’s residence. He participated actively in the ‘Bhumi Aandolan’ of Lucknow in the year 1964, in which more than four Lakh people took part. He started devoting himself to the writing of popular booklets, taking it as a mission for arousing people’s consciousness. He focussed upon issues concerning the lives of the Dalit communities. He got inspiration for writing from his own family, particularly from his father as his house was full of books written by his father, and other historical collections related to the Dalit literature. His father’s archives had some most valuable collections e.g the first print of Achutanand’s newspaper, the first newspaper devoted entirely to the Dalit issues. Besides these, he was also inspired by the writings of swami Achutanand, Jigyasu Jee, Ramchandra Banoudha and Rut Ram B.A., etc. He also wrote pamphlets to be distributed among the masses. It was in this series that he got two of his pamphlets published entitled ‘Ambedkar ka Chitra Kyon’ and ‘Sone Wale Jag Utho’. During his student life, his poems and articles were published in Journals like Prashant, Utthan, Madhyamarg, Aashram Sandesh, Mool Bharati Jagran and Urai etc. Some of his major published booklets include Dr. Ambedkar ka Chitra Kyon, Sone Walon Jag Utho, Dr. Ambedkar aur Loktantra, Jhuthi Aazadi, Ambedkar ek Parichay, Toofani Tarane, Dharmantar Maut ya Zindagi and Baudh Dharma Deepika. He has also written a few booklets, such as Jatiwaad ka Janaja, Hindu Ekta, Jamin ka Jagrit Sipahi and Baudh Charita, Chandrodai ka Bhashya. His future booklets include, Swami Achutaand, Jeevan Aur Krittavya, Aage ki Ore, Kohram, a collection of poems. He has also published a book on the life of Buddhist Saints.

Under the influence of Swami Achutanand, Baba Saheb Ambedkar and Kabir, he is carrying forward their legacy by writing inspirational booklets to uplift the cultural status of the marginalized communities. For accomplishing this he has to put aside the wishes and aspirations of family, as he always remains in financial crises on account of bearing the cost of printing these booklets. Nevertheless, he moves on for fulfilling his social responsibilities. He is committed to his efforts for giving a new direction to the Dalit cause for the establishment of an egalitarian social system.

He has received several honours, prominent among them are Certificate of Honour, given to him twice by Bhartiya Dalit Sahitya Academy, Madhya Pradesh, which got three of his poems published and distributed in thousands. Bhartiya Dalit Sahitya Academy, New Delhi honoured him with Dr. Ambedkar Fellowship- 2005. He has also been hounoured in Uttar Pradesh several times. He was also chosen ‘Man of the Year’ by an American Institute.

Guru Prasad Madan, true to his commitment, continues zealously to work for bringing about social transformation where everyone would be treated as equal irrespective of his caste, class and creed. Neither financial crisis, nor family affairs, have distracted him from his dedication to the cause of social equality of those thrown at the margin of society, a space marked by deprivation and drudgery.

 

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