Chedi Lal Sathi: Bahujans’ ideological warrior

Dr Chedi Lal Sathi was the chairman of the first Uttar Pradesh Backward Classes Commission. After the passing of Bodhanand and Shivdayal Chauraria, he emerged as the most tenacious fighter for the rights of the Bahujans. Kanwal Bharti remembers his life and works

Chedi Lal Sathi is remembered, first, as the chairman of the first Backward Classes Commission constituted by the Uttar Pradesh government and, second, as the one who succeeded Bodhanand and Shivdayal Chaurasia as the most tenacious fighter for the rights of the Bahujans.

I first heard about him in my hometown Rampur from poet Raghuveersharan Diwakar Rahi. He had mentioned Sathi in his book Ateet Ki Batein. One of Diwakar Rahi’s couplets, used in the film Sharabi, had become very famous: “Aaj to utnee bhi mayassar nahi maykhane mein, jitne hum chhod diya karte the paimane mein.” At the time (1994-98), I used to live in a house on the premises of the government hostel in Roshan Bagh, just behind his palatial home, in Rampur. I would meet him often. On Sundays, he usually came to my place, while on other days, I used to visit him. One day, when I went to meet him, I saw a wheatish-complexioned lean man sitting beside him. The stranger was wearing thick glasses with a black frame. Diwakar was also a well-known lawyer and he often had visitors. As everyone in his house knew me, I used to walk into his drawing room without asking anyone.

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