Ramchandra Katiyar: Ramswaroop Verma and Jagdeo Prasad’s efforts won’t be in vain

‘People are now realizing that casteism and communalism are evils. They now accept that the path shown by Jagdeo Babu and Ramswaroop Verma is the right one. They are coming back. Our caravan is moving forward,’ says Ramchandra Katiyar, the newly elected president of Shoshit Samaj Dal

Ramswaroop Verma and Jagdeo Prasad were the co-founders of Shoshit Samaj Dal. It was a political outfit. Arjak Sangh was another joint initiative of theirs through which they challenged the hegemony of the upper castes. Arjak Sangh and Shoshit Samaj Dal are still in existence but their influence and reach has waned considerably following the demise of Verma and Prasad. Recently, Ramchandra Katiyar was elected the new national president of Shoshit Samaj Dal. He succeeded Raghuram Shastri, who passed away on 23 April 2021. Katiyar has been a close associate of Ramswaroop Verma. Forward Press Hindi Editor Nawal Kishore Kumar interviewed Katiyar over the phone:

When did you first come in contact with Ramswaroop Verma?

Ramswaroop Verma hailed from a village neighbouring mine. During his political tours, he used to visit our place. Verma’s village was called Gaurikaran and mine was called Tutai Chaal. Both were in the Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh. My father was the village “pradhan”. I first met Verma ji on one of his visits to our place. After I had completed my education, he told me that serving the nation was the best thing one could do and asked me to join him. That was around 1970. After Jagdeo Babu’s murder in Bihar, it was a difficult time. A national convention was to be held. Verma gave me the responsibility of organizing the convention. The three-day convention was held under the banner of Shoshit Samaj Dal (SSD) in Pukhrayan (Kanpur Dehat, UP) in June 1975. It was a big success. Lakhs of people attended. This was followed by my appointment as general secretary of the SSD’s UP unit. I began working as a full-time worker for the party.

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