INDIA: The latest episode of Transcontinental Times’ 360° Live Talk Show featured Kalam Sheikh. His multi-faceted demeanor embodies his identity as a social activist, politician, farmer, and, most importantly, a magnificent human being. If that wasn’t enough, he combined his youth days with the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and the ABVP (Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad) to create a cultural odyssey. Belonging to Tumsar, Maharashtra, his work left a significant impression on the people around him.
From working at RSS to becoming a farmer, Kalam’s life encompasses a rollercoaster of vocations
Narrating his origin, Kalam reveals, “Annaji Kulkarni was a really generous and loving man. While my friend and I were playing on the ground, he guided us. We had no awareness of ideology or views at such a young age. I didn’t behave any differently when I first joined RSS, but as my time at Shaka grew, I became a part of people’s grief and joy.”
When asked about his RSS days, Kalam recalls his upbringing, adding, “When I was at Swayamsevak camp, I worked as an expander at Salekasa, a Naxalite-dominated area, in 1985. Following that, I switched from RSS to BJP because the Sangh was like a family to me. Since then, I have led the ABVP and other Sangh branches, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. “
“During the Ram Janam Bhoomi, Ayodhya Temple dispute we were practicing Sheela pooja in the various household, I participated in all of these events and learned a lot.” Sangh provided me with a well cultural upbringing. I saw it as an ideal that would help me in society. I didn’t want to say if Sangh is good or terrible. “Any wonderful things I could gain from there, I absorbed and used in my life,” he remarked.
Kalam debunks the polarising issues by quoting, “In Sangh, we have been taught that Hindu is not a religion, it’s a culture. While living in Hindustan, I have a linkage with my cultural context, and my culture is Hindu.” We all practice different religions and have different ways of expressing our beliefs, but one thing we all have in common is that our culture is Hindu. Every person living in Hindustan, including myself, is a follower of Hindu culture. “
Farmers’ issues are a hot topic in all parties’ referendums
Kalam’s life journey followed a thrill ride of ideologies. After considering all of the circumstances, he is now one of those who feed the nation and may also be described as a portion of the rural area that serves as India’s soul. He is, in fact, a farmer. He displays his joy throughout his work, and his words also attach importance to the farmer’s hardships.
“I am currently employed as a farmer and am truly happy with my job. There’s a new level of joy when we eventually get a richly cultivated harvest after all the hard labor in the field. There are several political parties that come and go, and everyone talks about farmers. But, in truth, no government, regardless of political affiliation, has done anything to help farmers,” he continued.
“At the moment, I am operating as a political activist at Congress. Many parties claim that we’ve doubled or tripled farmer income, but I believe that the same difficulties with farmers exist now as they did in the past,” he added further.
Kalam shares his concern over the Farm Bills as a farmer, describing them as “three black laws.” He illustrates that in a democracy, the opposition’s responsibility is to confront defective proposals, and he also points out the government’s dualism when it comes to farmer protests. While dissecting each issue, he elucidates the diplomacy that encircles the farmer and ultimately leads to their eventual downfall.
“But why did the government take back those bills if the bill was in favor of farmers? On the one hand, the government portrayed it as a boon to farmers, but why did it take the government nine months to reverse the measures after the farmers’ protest? It was the responsibility of the government to alter the bill’s comity with farmers and remove the troublesome elements,” he de-briefed.
When it comes to the farmer issue in India, Kalam characterizes it as a game of politics with little substance. “During the curriculum of Manmohan Singh Ji our respected Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji came to Yavatmal, he discussed the farmer’s issues and suggested that the current government should double the farmer’s income,” he states clearly, referring to Vidarbha as the hub for the highest number of farmer suicides.
In a briefing about his political journey, Kalam spreads light on the reason behind his leaving the BJP. He outlines his working motive for the BJP since he was not eligible to vote. “We’ve dreamt of fixing agricultural concerns, unemployment, women’s safety, and the Kashmir issue, he says, highlighting all the subjects he speaks about in his heart. The BJP came to power by emphasizing all of these issues, but how many of them have been resolved now? “
Watch the whole interview here: