Ram Nath Kovind denied us favours, said work hard, said nephew

While BJP chief Amit Shah Monday said Kovind was “born in a poor Dalit family”, Pyarelal claimed their father Maikulal was the “Chaudhary of Paraukh village”.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Kanpur Dehat | Updated: June 20, 2017 11:20 am
Ram Nath Kovind, NDA, presidential candidate, narendra modi, NDA presidential candidate, india news, indian express news At Kovind’s Kanpur Dehat home, Monday. Vishal Srivastav

At Jhinjhak Nagar Palika in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur Dehat district, 76-year old Pyarelal awaits a formal confirmation from his younger brother Ram Nath Kovind that he has been picked as NDA’s presidential candidate. Pyarelal’s son Deepak has called Patna’s Raj Bhavan twice since they heard the news. “But we are yet to get a call back. Ram Nath would be busy in Delhi. It is a big day for him and for all of us. There is a mood of celebration in our ancestral village, Paraukh,” said Pyarelal, who lives with his family in Jhinjhak and runs a garment shop.

Kovind was a “bright student” who moved to Kanpur city to pursue Commerce and Law from Kanpur University, after finishing Class XII from Khanpur town of Kanpur Dehat, said Pyarelal. “He was preparing for Civil Services examination in Delhi when he came in contact with Jana Sangh leader from Ujjain Hukum Chand. He had worked with former Prime Minister Morarji Desai before that. But he became active in politics when BJP decided to give him a Lok Sabha ticket from Ghatampur in 1991. He lost. He also contested an assembly election from Bhognipur and lost again. He is a dedicated BJP leader,” said Pyarelal, adding that the family never thought one of them would reach this stature. “We are proud of him,” he said.

While BJP chief Amit Shah Monday said Kovind was “born in a poor Dalit family”, Pyarelal claimed their father Maikulal was the “Chaudhary of Paraukh village”. Maikulal, he said, was also a “vaidh (practitioner of ayurveda)” who ran grocery and garment shops in the village. “We led a normal life in a middle-class family. There was no crisis. All five brothers and two sisters got an education. One brother retired as an accounts officer in Madhya Pradesh while another was a government school teacher. Ram Nath become a lawyer while some others did business,” said Pyarelal, who remembers spending a month at Raj Bhawan when he was undergoing knee treatment.

Pyarelal said the surname ‘Kovind’ was added to the family name by Ram Nath. “I don’t know why he did so. But when he added the surname after entering politics, other brothers accepted it and added the name as well,” he said.
Kovind last visited Jhinjhak and Paraukh in December, 2016. His family said that when he was a Rajya Sabha member for two terms from UP, he worked to improve roads in Jhinjhak. “He also converted our parental home in Paraukh into a Milan Kendra and dedicated that to villagers to provide accommodation to baratis during marriage functions,” said Anil Kumar, Kovind’s cousin who takes care of the Milan Kendra.

Paraukh has nearly 4,500 voters — majority of them Thakurs and Brahmins. There are only four Dalit families in the village. “You can see celebrations with drums are going on outside the adjoining house, which belongs to a Thakur. Everyone is happy that a person from our village is set to be the President,” Kumar said. BJP district president Rahul Agnihotri and several BJP MLAs and leaders from the district visited the village through the day, distributing sweets to residents.

Kovind’s nephew Deepak, who works as a government school teacher, said, “Ram Nath uncle had four brothers and three sisters. They have 27 children in total. Some asked for favours from Ram Nath chacha for a better job several times. But he denied it, saying, ‘Maine jaise swayam safalta paayi, vaise tum log bhi mehnat karo (Just like I achieved success on my own, all of you should work hard too)’.”

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  1. A
    Ajay Gupta
    Jun 20, 2017 at 9:25 pm
    No words now. Feeling proud for my hometown Jhinjhak. All the best wishes :)
    1. D
      Deeptanshu Verma
      Jun 20, 2017 at 9:29 am
      Last line is the best one. Happy to see such an upright person be the President.
      1. B
        Jun 20, 2017 at 11:49 am
        Very difficult to see an upright person like Mr. Kovind in RSS. Good luck and best wishes to the next President of India. Jai Bharath
      2. V
        Vasudevan Venugopal
        Jun 20, 2017 at 8:19 am
        "Maine jaise swayam safalta paayi, vaise tum log bhi mehnat karo". What an upright stand by our future President Shri Ram Nath Kovind!! I can add two more upright leaders I knew. One was selfless Shri P. Kakkan, a Dalit Minister during 1960s in the Congress government of then Madras State. Another was Shri K. Kamaraj, the then Chief Minister .
        1. G
          George Cruz
          Jun 20, 2017 at 6:40 am
          The BJP's motto is and has been to select honest, hardworking, and qualified candidates irrespective of religion/caste and this Dalit leader Ram Nath Kovind is one amongst them. When asked by other Dalits for handouts and favors Ram Nath Kovind told "Just like I achieved success on my own, all of you should work hard too". The true facts are that the Dalits have been exploited by the opposition parties like the congress, the communists, the SP, and the BSP's Dalit Supremo Mayawati for their self interests and to use them as vote bank. The Communists/Christians/Dalits have shown crocodile tears towards the Dalits just to demonize the BJP and the patriotic organizations like the RSS/Hindutva but without providing any meaningful support.
          1. D
            Devisahai Meena
            Jun 20, 2017 at 9:23 am
            Perhaps you were Yudhishthir ( blind /with no sight) when pre-independence era particularly Raajshahi/Samantishaahi (autocratic, Monarchical/ age ) took these dalit/farmers/downtrodden as their slaves under the garb of 4-Varna system and still they bearing the same brunt in hindu ( hindu) society in their own country . And it was INC who took care of these oppressed castes and allowed them education and access to temples , village water storage/wells and freedom of expression . And after 2014 oppressors have raised their heads to crush these oppressed . Its not a certificate for saffrons/BJP that fielding Koli saheb for the post of Prez , makes them dalit-friendly . Modi-led GoI is corporate friendly and thru ABVP all set to deter poor/dalit students to enter govt.-run elite ins utions . History is being distorted . G father was taught Akbar was great and G -sons are told Pratap is ( is ) great . Although there is no reference that Bhils of Mewar saved Pratap
            1. V
              Vasudevan Venugopal
              Jun 20, 2017 at 10:40 am
              Devisahai Meena I agree with some of the points in your comment: (1) The so called Shudras, Dalits, Adivasis and other downtrodden communities were made slaves by the varna/caste system. (2) Congress did take care of these oppressed classes to some extent and made efforts to free them from the shackles and gave them access to education. (3) Fielding Shri Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit, is not necessarily a certificate for BJP. (4) Bhils of Mewar did save Rana Pratap. A factual comment. Kudos.
              1. G
                George Cruz
                Jun 20, 2017 at 12:19 pm
                The Indian National Congress (INC) formed after the independence was a great party with sincere politicians who loved the country, democratic, inclusive, sincere with the goal of developing India. But for the last 2 decades, the current congress party has become a party of scams, corruption, political vendetta, used Dalits/Christians/Muslims used as vote bank, the dynastic leaders think that India is their ancestral property without any regards to larger Hindu population, and congress party today is like a ship sailing without compass and drifting in the high seas.