Forward Press

Memories of Ramswaroop Verma

I met Ramswaroop Verma for the first time in 1974, although I had known him for three years by then. I remember having come across a booklet, sometime in 1971. It was an election manifesto released by Hindustani Shoshit Samaj Dal. The efforts of Jagdev Jagdev Prasad, a combative leader from Bihar, had resulted in the political party Shoshit Dal. It became Hindustani Shoshit Dal and, after some time, was again renamed Shoshit Samaj Dal. The manifesto failed to impress me. It emphasized an agricultural revolution. The foundation of agricultural reform was laid at the government level during the premiership of Lal Bahadur Shastri. Various political parties had been demanding it for a while. It was the year 1971. I was studying for an intermediate degree, but I was not a political novice. I was keen to learn. Having read Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto I was certain that the best way to know the customs and policies of any political party was to study its election manifesto. I read the manifesto from that point of view. I was told that Ramswaroop Verma, who was a well-known leader in Uttar Pradesh,