Moneycontrol
Last Updated : Feb 11, 2019 08:47 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Meet Lt Col (retd) Kirori Singh Bainsla, the man behind Rajasthan's Gujjar agitation

Bainsla formed the Gujjar Aarakshan Sanghursh Samiti (GASS) with a one-point programme: Inclusion of the community within the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category

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From serving as an officer of the Indian Army to forming an army of his own, Lt Colonel (retd) Kirori Singh Bainsla has had quite a journey.

The face of the Gujjar agitation for reservation, here are a few things you didn't know about the man:

> Bainsla fought during the 1962 war against China and the 1965 war against Pakistan. He was taken as a prisoner of war (POW) during the latter.

> The Gujjar leader's father served in the British Indian Army, and two of his three sons now serve in the Indian Army. Reports have indicated it was courtesy Bainsla's Army background that he could organise the Gujjar protests with precision and planning.

> The former Lt Colonel is fluent in English and famous for his one-liners. During the Gujjar protests in 2007, for instance, Bainsla had said: "Only a bullet or a letter (granting demands of the community) can remove me from here."

> Bainsla came under criticism from within his community after he agreed for a three-member panel to look into the demands of Gujjar rather than press ahead with protests in 2007. By the time Bainsla agreed to the proposal by then Vasundhara Raje-led Rajasthan government, around 20 people had died agitating.

> Bainsla had formed the Gujjar Aarakshan Sanghursh Samiti (GASS) with a one-point programme: Inclusion of the community within the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category. Bainsla had said then, in another of his famous one-liners, that since his family is now settled, he can focus on his "greater family".

> The retired Lt Colonel has advocated a "Social Emergency" for 15 years, during which society should focus on good health and education.
First Published on Feb 11, 2019 08:47 pm
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