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Ghulam Mohammad Jaula, Among Tallest Farmer Leaders in West UP, Passes Away

Ravi Kaushal |
Jaula is credited with coining the slogan ‘Allah-Hoo-Akbar Har Har Mahadev’ for Hindu-Muslim unity in the region, especially after the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
Ghulam Mohammad Jaula, Among Tallest Farmer Leaders in West UP, Passes Away

Image Courtesy: Telegraph India

New Delhi: Ghulam Mohammad Jaula, a veteran farmer leader from Western Uttar Pradesh, passed away on Monday after a major cardiac arrest. He was 84. Jaula is survived by his son, Sajid Munna.

Born in a rich peasant family in Budhana’s Jaula village, the farmer leader is credited for spearheading successful farmers’ agitations in the region along with Mahendra Singh Tikait after reorganisation of Bharatiya Kisan Union in 1986.

More importantly, Jaula is known for uniting agrarian communities on the religious front and had coined the slogan of “Allah-Hoo-Akbar Har Har Mahadev”.

In an old interview with NewsClick, Jaula had recalled that slogan was raised simultaneously in 1987 when their agitation witnessed the death of two protesters from Hindu and Muslim communities. The 1987 agitation centred around the lowering of power tariffs in which BKU leaders demanded parity with neighbouring states, Haryana and Punjab:

Read Also: Four Years After Horrific Riots, Efforts for Peace Between Muslim, Jats in Muzaffarnagar

Jaula parted ways with BKU after the Tikait brothers allegedly lent their support to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the 2013 Muzaffarnagar communal violence which claimed the lives of 62 persons and uprooted 20,000 Muslim families from their native villages.

Interestingly, Jaula came to rescue of Mahendra Tikat’s son, Rakesh Tikait, in the wake of farmers’ protests against contentious three farm laws previous year when BJP MLA Nand Kishore Gurjar threatened to uproot the tents of the protesters. In the historic mahapanchayat in the government inter college ground in Muzaffarnagar, Jaula assured BKU leaders of enough support to build the movement in Western Uttar Pradesh.

Read Aslo: Farmers’ Protests Bridge Gaps in Riot-Affected Muzaffarnagar but Long Road Ahead

Recalling Jaula’s contribution, Yudhveer Singh, National President, BKU (Tikait) told NewsClick over phone that the farmers’ movement in Western Uttar Pradesh had lost its strongest pillar who played a big role in bring the Muslim and Jat communities together.

“Jaula Sahab was a founder member of BKU who led crucial struggles in initial days of organisation. He was vocal in raising farmers’ causes and was a vibrant example of diversity in the region. Importantly, he was more relevant in contemporary difficult times when talking of secularism and communal harmony is considered bad”, he said.

Singh said it “is leaders like him (Jaula) who taught us that hostilities and competing fundamentalisms always harm and our country cannot progress with these thoughts. It is indeed a personal loss to the family but a greater loss to our society. He ventured on a long, tedious path to restore communal harmony. People are not realising the danger of fundamentalism. He cautioned us against this divisive politics.”

Recounting his personal encounters with Jaula, Singh said his presence in the Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat ensured that communal politics could not grip the region. “We had numerous intimate encounters when Jaula Sahab shared his wisdom and far-sightedness. The latest was the Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat when he raised the slogan 'Allah-Hoo-Akbar Har Mahadev'. It ensured that no political party could run their campaign on divisive agendas. They had to talk about farmers and their issues,” he said.

Speaking of the tense times those days, Manoj Rajhad, a political activist from Rashtriya Lok Dal told NewsClick that the bitterness in mutual relations could be gauged from the fact that Hindu and Muslim agricultural workers declined to work in each other’s farms. In the long run, it became clear that both could not survive because their relations were intricately entwined with each other on the basis of their professions.

“After the riots, Jaula snapped ties with the Tikait brothers and floated his own organisation. Still, he talked about peasantry. It is unbelievable that he was paying his tributes to Mahendra Tikait in Sisauli yesterday (Sunday) and today he is no more!” he added.

Mohd Salim, who had been helping communal riot victims through his organisation Danga Peedit Sangharsh Samiti told NewsClick that Jaula faced the onerous task of convincing people to compromise as “tensions were unsustainable for society.”

 “It became clear that the riots were sponsored and conducted by political parties and had caused much pain and despair. In this situation, Jaula went from one panchayat to another to convince people  to reach a compromise and withdraw cases because it would drain their resources. When some of the accused in riots cases were roaming scot-free, he came along with us to stage demonstrations outside police station Shahpur and ensured they were arrested,” he added.

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