Hardik Patel

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Hardik Patel
Native name Hardik Patel
Born (1993-07-20) 20 July 1993 (age 25)[1]
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India[2]
Nationality Indian
Known for Patidar reservation agitation
Website hardikpatel.club

Hardik Patel (born 20 July 1993) is a self proclaimed Indian social political activist who participated and led the Patidar reservation agitation for the inclusion of the Patidar caste in a separate category in order to qualify for reserved quotas in education and government jobs.

Early life[edit]

Hardik Patel was born on 20 July 1993 in a Gujarati Patel family to Bharat and Usha Patel. In 2004 his parents moved to Viramgam, a town 11 km away, to give their children a better education. Hardik studied from Class VI to Class VIII at Divya Jyot School in Viramgam, before moving to K B Shah Vinay Mandir, where he studied until Class XII. He was an average student and a cricket enthusiast.[3]

After completing Class XII, Hardik started helping his father, Bharat, to run a small business of fixing submersible pumps in underground water wells. Bharat, a former BJP worker, met then Chief Minister of Gujarat and herself a member of the Patidar caste, Anandiben Patel, when she held the Mandal assembly seat, in which Viramgam falls.[4]

In 2010, Patel joined Sahajanand College, Ahmedabad and earned a Bachelor of Commerce (B. Com.) degree. He ran for the post of general secretary of the college students' union and was elected unopposed.[2] While still in college, Patel opened a potable water stand at the Viramgam Bus Stand as an act of social service.[2] In 2013, he graduated from college, after two attempts, with less than 50% marks.[5][6]

Social and political activism[edit]

Sardar Patel Group[edit]

On 31 October 2012 Hardik Patel joined the Sardar Patel Group (SPG), a Patidar youth body, and within less than a month, became president of its Viramgam unit.[4][7] Interaction with its 50,000 strong membership revealed that Patidar youth faced challenges while securing private sector jobs because of a slow economy, while they were shut out of government jobs because of reservation quotas and the expectation of bribes.[8] He found that some Patidar farmers saw their agriculture land acquired for urbanization and industrialization, while Patidar businessmen faced failure of their traditional businesses due to competition from online retailers.[dubious ][9] He discovered that the diamond industry, a traditional source of wealth and employment for the Patidars, was in limbo. More than 20,000 small firms had shut down and thousands of unemployed Patel diamond cutters and polishers had returned to their villages.[10]

In 2015, Hardik Patel was ousted from his post with the SPG after a conflict with its leader, Lalji Patel.[4]

Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS)[edit]

In July 2015 Patel's sister, Monica, failed to qualify for a state government scholarship. Patel was upset when a friend of Monica's qualified for the same scholarship through the Other Backward Class (OBC) quota even though she had scored lower marks.[6] Recognizing that affirmative policies were benefiting other castes but not Patidars, Patel formed the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) which claim itself as an apolitical organization[11] that aims to get Patidars included in the OBC quota.[12]

Patidar reservation agitation[edit]

Using social media to spread his message and gather supporters,[13] Patel addressed his first rally in Visnagar, Gujarat on 6 July 2015.[14] Since then, he has organized several rallies across Gujarat, drawing millions of people through his oratorical skills.[6][14][15][16][17]

On 25 August 2015, a large number of Patidars from all over Gujarat gathered at GMDC ground, Ahmedabad for a rally. Patel declared the day as Patidar Kranti Diwas (Patidar Revolution Day). That evening, he was briefly arrested by Ahmedabad City Police when he went on fast after a rally held earlier in the day had dispersed. He was charged under section 151 of Indian Penal Code for 'knowingly joining or continuing in assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse'.[18] Violent protests broke out in response, forcing the Gujarat state government to impose a curfew and call in the Indian Army.[19]

On 31 August 2015, he addressed a gathering of Gujjar and Kurmi communities from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.[20] On 23 September 2015, Patel surfaced after a brief disappearance, claiming that had been "abducted" by people with weapons.[21]

On 9 September 2015 Patel, launched Patel Navnirman Sena (PNS) and announced a major stir across India. PNS was established with the aim to bring Patels (Patidars) and affiliated communities such as Kurmis and Gujjars under one platform to press for their demand for reservation in government jobs and education under the OBC category.[22]

On 18 October 2015, Patel was booked for insulting the Tiranga, the National Flag of India, in a case registered in Rajkot. He was briefly detained for trying to disrupt the one-day international (ODI) cricket match between India and South Africa.[23] On 19 October 2015, Patel was booked in Surat under the charges of sedition over alleged remarks about 'killing cops'. Subsequently he was imprisoned.[24] On 15 July 2016, Patel was granted bail on the condition that he would stay out of the state for six months and out of Mehsana for nine months. He moved to Udaipur for this period.[25]

Politics[edit]

In February 2017, it was announced that Patel would lead the Shiv Sena's campaign in Gujarat.[26] However, he later chose not to align with the Sena and instead backed the Indian National Congress.[27]

Controversy[edit]

Patel's close aid Chirag Patel and Ketan Patel have alleged him of misusing Patidar community's fund for living a luxurious life. It is also alleged that he secretly meet with Indian National Congress then Vice President Rahul Gandhi.[28][29][30][31][32] Both parties denied that this meeting happened. News of this meeting also sparked agitation within Patidar community and raised questions about his intentions and political ambitions

In November 2017, the alleged sex tapes of Patel was released on social media and went viral. Patel claimed that he was a victim of dirty politics and the video only proved that he isn't impotent.[33][34][35][36]

Conviction[edit]

On 25th of July, 2018 Patel along with two of his aides - Lalji Patel and AK Patel - were found guilty of rioting, arson, damage to property and unlawful assembly. The three were fined Rs. 50,000 apart from the two-year imprisonment, but were granted bail soon after the verdict.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Meghdoot Sharon (24 August 2015). "Meet 22 year-old Hardik Patel, the face of Patel agitation in Gujarat". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Parimal Dabhi (30 August 2015). "Sunday Story: The Angry Young Patel". Indian Express. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Roxy Gagdekar (27 August 2015). "A budding cricketer who changed his line". Mumbai Mirror. Times of India. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Well-funded, organized and massive: Who's behind Hardik Patel's war machine?". Times of India. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Who is Hardik Patel". Times of India. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c David Barstow and Suhasini Raj (27 August 2015). "Caste Quotas in India Come Under Attack". New York Times. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  7. ^ Leena Misra, Parimal Dabhi (2 September 2015). "Lalji Patel: 'I let Hardik run social media, he made it seem he was the leader'". Indian Express. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  8. ^ Rajeev Deshpande & Vishwa Mohan (31 August 2015). "No political force but force of Patidar society behind stir: Hardik Patel". Times of India. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  9. ^ Sandipan Sharma (31 August 2015). "'Kitne haath tode maine, maloom?' Meet Hardik Patel, Patidar poster boy and man without a plan". FirstPost. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Rohini Mohan (1 September 2015). "Indifferent to facts, but Hardik Patel knows how to play reservation-victim role like no other". Economic Times. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  11. ^ Saubhadra Chatterji & Mallica Joshi (31 August 2015). "Hardik Patel wants his protest to go India-wide". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Patel quota protest: Rally in Madhya Pradesh today, Hardik Patel lays out pan-India agitation plan". Indian Express. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  13. ^ Mahesh Langa (28 August 2015). "Get rid of quota or make all its slave, says leader of Patel group". The Hindu. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Geeta Pandey (26 August 2015). "Hardik Patel: Face of Gujarat caste protests". BBC. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  15. ^ Ghanshyam Shah (28 August 2015). "The shrinking, the rage". Indian Express. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  16. ^ Rahul Kanwal (30 August 2015). "I am the next Sardar Patel, says Hardik Patel". India Today. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  17. ^ Rupam Jain Nair (31 August 2015). "Sword-wielding Hardik Patel threatens Modi's "model" in India". Reuters. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Patidar rally youth leader Hardik Patel arrested in Ahmedabad". Business Standard. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  19. ^ Rishi Iyengar (26 August 2015). "Riots Break Out in India Over a Dominant Caste's Attempt to Gain 'Backward' Status". Time Magazine. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  20. ^ Pritha Chatterjee (31 August 2015). "In Delhi, Hardik Patel rallies other Patel groups, tells them to draw swords". Indian Express. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  21. ^ Hardik Patel surfaces after ‘mysterious disappearance’. The Hindu (23 September 2015). Retrieved on 17 December 2016.
  22. ^ "'Patel Navnirman Sena (PNS)' remarks: Launches Patel Navnirman Sena (PNS)". Daily News and Analysis(DNA). 9 September 2015. 
  23. ^ "'Tricolour in a case' remarks: Hardik Patel booked for sedition". NDTV. 18 October 2015. 
  24. ^ "'Kill cops' remarks: Hardik Patel booked for sedition". Timesofindia. 19 October 2015. 
  25. ^ "Patidar leader Hardik Patel gets conditional bail in rioting case". The Indian Express. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016. 
  26. ^ "Hardik Patel Is Shiv Sena's New Weapon Against Estranged Ally BJP". NDTV. 7 February 2017. 
  27. ^ https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/politics/buzz-in-delhi-hardik-and-sena-share-common-goals
  28. ^ IndiaTV. "Hardik Patel secretly meet Rahul Gandhi". 
  29. ^ "Aides turn against Hardik Patel, accuse him of misusing community's money". The Times of India. 23 August 2016. 
  30. ^ "Hardik Patel misused Quota Stir to become "Crorepati" – MahaPunjab". MahaPunjab. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  31. ^ "Hardik Patel became crorepati within a year of launching Patidar quota stir: Former associates – Firstpost". Firstpost. 23 August 2016. 
  32. ^ "Hardik Patel used quota stir to become leader, amass wealth: Ex-aides". Hindustan Times. 23 August 2016. 
  33. ^ http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/hardik-patel-sex-cd-dirty-politics-gujarat-assembly-election/1/1088480.html
  34. ^ "Days after Hardik Patel's premonition, alleged sex tape of Patel agitation leader surfaces". dna. 2017-11-13. Retrieved 2017-11-13. 
  35. ^ "Hardik Patel's alleged sex tape goes viral, Patel quota leader says BJP playing dirty politics". Zee News. 2017-11-13. Retrieved 2017-11-13. 
  36. ^ "Hardik Patel's Alleged Sex Tape Rocks Patidar Movement in Gujarat". The Quint. Retrieved 2017-11-13. 
  37. ^ "Hardik Patel Gets Bail Soon After Conviction In 2015 Gujarat Rioting Case". NDTV.com. Retrieved 2018-07-25.