Udit Raj (born Ram Raj on 1 January 1958) was born in Ramnagar, Uttar Pradesh into a low caste Khatik Hindu family, and studied for BA at Allahabad University. He was selected for the Indian Revenue Service in 1988 and served as the Dy, Commissioner, Joint Commissioner and Addl. Commissioner of Income Tax at New Delhi. On 24 November 2003 he declared his resignation from the Indian government service and formed a political party namely Indian Justice Party. He is a prominent activist working on behalf of India's Dalits. After his conversion to Buddhism on November 4, 2001, he changed his name from Ram Raj to Udit Raj.
He formed Indian Justice Party, The All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations on 2 October 1997 and in 1996 founded the Lord Buddha Club.
He is a strong advocate of increased Reservation in India for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. Raj has formed partnerships with Christian organizations including the Indian Social Institute and the All India Christian Council. Raj has worked with prominent Christian leaders such as John Dayal and Ambrose Pinto and with Muslim leaders such as Maulana Mahmood Madani, general secretary of the Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Hind. His Personal Secretary is C. L. Maurya. Besides, he is also a member of National Integretion Council (of the Indian Government).
On October 27, 2002 Udit Raj organized a controversial conversion ceremony in which Dalits 'converted' to Buddhism. He has organized other conversion events including one at Chennai on December 6, 2002. These conversion activities have been criticized by some journalists as "deceptive", "violent" and a "exercise in self-promotion" on the part of Udit Raj. Adding that no matter where Dalits converted, they were still dalit, but of other religion now. Giriraj Kishore, senior vice president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, has been quoted as saying:
The only purpose of the rally is to establish Ram Raj politically, but he will not be able to gain political mileage. The BJP vote bank is not threatened by this political drama.
In particular, when he mocked Hindu deities during his conversion speech, as a gesture of how he did not appreciate the religion, his audience was not amused and reacted with hostility. Raj has worked with Christian groups to proselytize Christianity and convert away from Hinduism. Sometimes these prosetylizations are considered illegitimate. Critics have also pointed out that he is usually not coherent in his response to questions as to how conversion will help alleviate the status of the converted.
He has organized other conversion events including one at Chennai on December 6, 2002. These conversion ceremonies aroused the ire of Hindu nationalist groups like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Raj has replied, accusing of Togadia and other Hindu Nationalists fomenting violence against Dalits. He reiterated:
The Jhajjar conversions were a direct reaction to the lynching of Dalits in the region and the confederation will wage a concerted battle against the forces of communalism, especially the VHP.