Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad aka Ravan said Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology cannot achieve anything in today’s India. Speaking to a newspaper, he said he went on an eight-day hunger strike in Saharanpur district jail, where he was lodged for some 15 months, only because he was called a violent man and thought he would give the Mahatma’s satyagraha shot. But he said Gandhi’s ideology won’t help in the India of here and now. Chandrashekhar, who was released from jail early on Friday morning, said he will keep his distance from politics because he feared it would corrupt him. He further said he will support a suitable candidate if required.

Chandrashekhar Azad aka Ravan led the agitation against attacks on Dalits which plagued Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He had been booked under the stringent National Security Act provisions after clashes broke out between Dalits and upper-caste Thakurs in the district, which left one Thakur dead, and many injured. Many Dalit homes were torched in the conflict.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Azad in a sharp attack at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government said, “Voton se main inki nasbandi kar dunga (I will vasectomise the BJP with votes.)” He attacked PM Modi’s Dalit outreach saying he only says that he is a Dalit well-wisher. Ravan said the Dalits’ biggest enemy is the (caste) system that continues to enslave them. Society has been taken astray in the guise of religion if Dalits were not trapped in the narrative of religion, he said, they could have realised their worth.

On asking of his views on a non-BJP alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, which is less than a year away, he said only a grand alliance can uproot the ruling party.

He underlines that no single party can do it and said the Samajwadi Party and the Congress together cannot defeat the BJP either. Chandrashekhar said he will get people together and tell them to get their politics away from the grip of communal interests.

When asked about the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and its leader Mayawati, he said the BSP has done good work with its mentor Kanshi Ram and Mayawati, who he addressed as Bua (aunt) and that they should continue in electoral politics.

As the decision to release Azad came on Friday, after more than 1 year, he was asked why did the government release him, to this he said the ruling party released him because it knew he would be released by the Supreme Court. He further said the top court would have rebuked the state as the latter did not have any concrete case against me. 

He said both he and the BSP chief have the same blood and even if she has issues with him, he has no differences with her. Referring to the BSP’s attempt to increase its appeal among voters by playing the sarvjan card, he said the BSP can continue to use the sarvjan plank but maintained he will only keep his politics on the Bahujan path.

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