Bharatiya Kisan Union
Mahendra Singh Tikait
Bharatiya Kisan Union is an organization working for protecting the interests of farmers. Ch. Mahendra
Singh Tikait is President of Bharatiya Kisan Union.
Mahendra Singh Tikait is a popular leader of farmers from Uttar Pradesh in India. He is a Jat of Raghuvansi gotra. He is Choudhary of Baliyan Khap. He is resident of village Sisauli of Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. Tikait was a "Title" conferred to Head of Baliyan Khap by ruler of Thanesar, Raja Harshavardhana, in 7th century. From the time of Raja Harshavardhana the title 'Tikait' is being used by the Choudhary of Balyan Khap, alongwith his name, way down to generations.
Introduction of Balyan Khap
Mahendra Singh Tikait, the BKU Chaudhary ('Headman') was born in 1935 at village Sisauli in Muzaffarnagar
of Uttar Pradesh. Ch. Mahendra Singh Tiakait inherited the Chaudharyship of the Khap Baliyan at the age
of eight when his father Ch.Chauhal Singh died in 1943. The Chaudharyship of the Baliyan khap had been
vesting in his family for the last thirteen centuries. The chaudharyship of a khap panchayat is a
hereditary position. The Chaudahry enjoys administrative, adjudicative and executive powers over the
khap villages. The chaudhary is held in high esteem and his decisions are binding on his people.
panchayat meeting of the khap Baliyan held at Sisauli on May 12,1941, a resolution was passed which
" We will work with our body, hear and soul under the leadership of our Chaudhary for the good
of our Khap. Towards this end the Chaudhary of a khap has the right even to demand our lives.
" Thus the Chaudahry of a khap panchayat enjoys supreme powers.
Messiah of kisans
After the death of former Prime Minsiter late Ch. Charan Singh, Ch. Mahendra Singh Tikait was de facto
'messiah' of kisans in western Uttar Pradesh On 17th October,1986 he formed a non-political orgarnisation
named 'Bhartiya Kisan Union' to protect the interests of all the farmers of India. In this way, he headed
so many movements and as a result of these agitations,many times, he was arrested and sent to jail,
yet he is on the way to protect the interest of all the kisans of India.
Major kisan movements
Some major movements started by Ch. Mahendra Singh Tikait are listed below:
- The Karmukhera Power House Gherao in January 1987 to pressurise the State Government ot concede to its 11-point charter of demands.
- The famour Meerut March in February 1988, forcing the State Government to concede the 35-point charter of demands.
- The 110-day long Rajabpur Satyagraha in March-June 1988 when there was police firing on kisans during Rail Roko/ Rasto Roko Andolan.
- The week-long Delhi Boat Club Panchayat to project farmers' demands as approved by the Inter-State Coordination/ Committee of Farmers Organisation.
- Naiyma Lao Movement at Bhopa village in August-September 1989 (Naiyma, a Muslim girl was abducted and killed and the Police Station was gheraoed by the Union).
- Lucknow Panchayat of July 1990 to protest against the Janata Dal Government in UP State as it failed to meet genuine demands of kisans.
- Second Lucknow Panchayat of January 1992 to protest against the enhanced rate of fertilizers and hike in electricity rates, sugarcane supplies to mills and allied issues relating to sugarcane crop and TELCO land acquisition compensation issue.
- Delhi Fertilizer Subsidy Panchayat of 2 October 1991.
- The month-long Lucknow Panchayat of June 1992 for 7-point charter of demands including implementation of writing-off of Govt. loans of Rs. 10,000.
- Ghaziabad Kisan Land Compensation Movement (June-August 1992) to demand adequate compensation for farmers whose lands had been acquired in 1962, employment in government jobs for depandants of farmers and early disposal of compensations.
- The Chinhat Kathauta Panchayat of June 1993 to demand adequate compensation for Chinhat-Kathauta farmers for their acquired lands.
- Cattle Satyagraha of Sept.-October 1993 - the 7-point charter of demands, relief of Ramkola kisans, payment of sugarcane dues and writting off of loans upto Rs. 10,000 in Uttar Pradesh.
- The Dunkel Dunk or Beej Satyagraha of 1993, urging Government not to allow the Multi National Corporation enter the agriculture sector in the country.
During his farmers' movements, Ch. Tikait was arrested several times, the latest being in February 2000 in Muradabad while on his way to hold a panchayat in Lucknow. He was also arrested (and then released in bail) in 2008 on the orders of Chief Minister Mayawati who alleged that Kisan leader used some derogatory language against her. In fact, a large battallion of police was sent to arrest him and Sisauli and other neighboring villages were sieged by police.