Dr. Udit Raj is an Indian Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, representing the North-west Delhi constituency. Dr. Raj is also the National Chairman of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations. He is an influential leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party as well as nationally as a social activist for Dalits. Udit Raj is a member to the BJP National Executive.
He was born in Ramnagar, Uttar Pradesh into a Scheduled Caste Hindu Khatik family, and studied for BA at Allahabad University. He took admission at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 1980. He was selected for the prestigious 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.
He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on 23 February 2014 in the presence of senior political leaders of the party. In the past he had opposed BJP, but now regards BJP to sympathetic to the Dalits and tribals.
Early Life and Education
Dr. Udit Raj was born in Ram Nagar village of Allahabad district, Uttar Pradesh to Shri Kallan Singh and Smt. Sukh Dei. Mother was uneducated and father was ex army man and left job quite early . It was a small land holding and was not sufficient for family subsistence. He had elder brother who lives at native place and younger brother Kalicharan- ex MLA settled in Lucknow . Has two younger sisters . The village in which he was born was not connected with roads and electricity and in way it was still a sort of primitive village . Dr uditraj earlier named Ram Raj, had very scant opportunities and youth will be astounded to know that he could watch film when pursuing his 10 +2 . He was average in academics but was known for his honesty and inquisitive mind. Called ferocious and no-nonsense person by his contemporaries from village, they say that no one could dare to confront him as he always stood for the truth. His parents were pained at times when Dr Udit Raj used to intervene in others disputes and mostly used to stand with those students who were weak and subject to bully and discrimination. Parents used to comment about him that he loves to invite quarrels and ruckus. On being asked Dr Uditraj used to have no answer why he used to invite problems for himself and family. Now he explains it that it was sense of justice in mind without conceptual clarity. He used to fight with his father whenever he tried to dominate his mother. On being asked for what would he risk his life? he recollects the past and says that it used to be a very spontaneous reaction whenever he witnessed injustice happening.
After completing his intermediate studies at his native place- Lala Ral Lal Agarwal College Sirasa , Allahabad he took admission at Allahabad University and could not continue as he got involved in labourers and cultivator cause . These social activities did not allow him to attend the university and then he was advised to go to Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi in 1980. He got enrolled in German language studies in five years integrated course and here also he couldn’t abstain from getting involved in full time politics becoming part of Student Federation of India which then ruled the roost on campus . Right from his college days, he has been actively involved in many socio-political activities, which affected his studies. Due to financial constraints, he was forced to divert his attention from social activities. There used to be a time when proper meal was not available and use to go hungry. Winter clothes were second hand and inadequate. As there was no place to live, day used to be spent in JNU library and late at night seeking shelter to sleep at a friend’s place only to again to get up early and rush to library. Such were the compulsions to prepare for civil services. He used to provide tuition for livelihood. He cleared Civil Services examination of 1988 batch and was selected for coveted Indian Revenue Services (IRS). His first posting was at Ghaziabad as Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax in the year 1990. He was transferred to Delhi in 1995 where he served at the reputed posts of Deputy Commissioner, Joint Commissioner and Additional Commissioner of Income Tax. He resigned from the service in the year 2003.
Besides the M.A and L.L.B degrees, he has been awarded a Doctorate Degree for his contribution in reforming the society and fight against caste prejudices. His intellectual acumen is recognized not only in India but at the global level. He has been participating and holding dialogues at Human Rights Council, the body of UN and other fora and other philanthropist and business organizations. He is a facilitator of Commerce and Trade between India and many other countries. He is also a prolific writer and till now, hundreds of articles have been published in various newspapers and magazines. There was no organization for the alumni of the Jawahar Lal Nehru University, he was one of the founder members of the organization.
During his training at the National Academy of Direct Taxes, he happened to meet Ms Seema Bahl. Apart from being batch mates, they shared similar ideology and perspective towards life. Whenever he is asked what made him fall in love with his wife, he simply replies that her simplicity was the most attractive quality. She is the most gorgeous person and her heart is even better, he says. During the infatuation and emotional days he used to talk to her a lot and a repeated question was about the caste system and she would plead ignorance about it. Such a pure mind and thoughts were rare, says Dr Udit Raj. They married in 1990. Mrs. Seema Raj is presently serving as the Commissioner of Income Tax. They have a son, Abhiraj and a daughter Saveri.
In the year 1997, five anti-reservation orders were issued by the government leading to a tumultuous situation in the country. From all over the country various government departments, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) organizations including social activists and Ambedkarites joined hands together to float All India Confederation of SC/ST organization. He was unanimously selected as its National Chairman. Under his leadership, various campaigns were initiated and demonstrations were held all over the country against anti-reservation orders. Various national level rallies were organized in Delhi during 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000. 11th December 2000 was a turning point of the struggle due to presence of hundreds of thousands of supporters and activists in Ram Lila Maidan New Delhi and important National Leaders like Ex. PM V P Singh, Harkishan Singh Surjit, Chandrajit Yadav, Buta Singh participated and seeing the size of rally they predicted to Dr. Udit Raj as future Prime Minister. At that time Dr. Udit Raj was known as Ram Raj. On November 4, 2001 he became Buddhist with hundreds of thousands and changed the name to Udit Raj. Udit means “Rise”, Raj was already suffixed and it was not only his own decision but support of millions.
It was due to his efforts that the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government passed the 81st, 82nd and 85th Constitutional amendments, which in turn led to the retrieval of reservation benefits. Following in the footsteps of Dr. Ambedkar, Dr. Udit Raj has been assiduously working for a casteless society, free from all discrimination and divisive system of the Hindu caste hierarchy. In the year 2003, he resigned from the post of Additional Commissioner of Income Tax to devote himself completely for socio-political causes. After achieving cancellation of anti-reservation orders and Buddhist Deeksha , he began fighting for reservation in private sector and due his struggle , which waged a nation wide struggle later.
In 2003, he floated political party – Indian justice party oblivious and innocent about the role of money in politics. He was straight forward to give call to annihilate caste and achieve an egalitarian society and formed this as the ideology on which the party had to contest. This was due to his naïve understanding of the complex political setup and deep rooted caste system. The biggest demerit of his directness is that he speaks his mind when it is politically unwise. In 2007 he fielded more than 100 candidates for UP assembly elections and BSP supreme Mayawati felt threatened and would criticize him. He has been rated one of three top dalit leaders in the country after Mayawati and Ram Vilas Paswan.
Dr. Udit Raj joined the Bhartiya Janta Party after he was convinced of its sincere interest in the inclusive growth of all sections of the society including the welfare of the SC/ST and backward sections, besides upholding the integrity and unity of the nation. He became Member of Parliament from North West Parliamentary Constituency New Delhi in 2014. As member of parliament he openly contests that he is accessible to all and there isn’t a single person who couldn’t meet him if made efforts for it. He holds janata darbar from Monday to Friday between 10 AM to 2 PM and stretches it till the time there is a single person left with a grievance. He does this at the cost of missing his lunch and personal health. He urges people to repeatedly approach him in case the work is not concluded. He has raised the maximum questions in parliament. Many private members bills are introduced in the parliament and amongst them is the one about reservation in private sector.
Crusader For Justice
Dr. Udit Raj has been raising issues of the downtrodden and deprived people at United Nations Organization, Geneva. He also acts as the Chairman of the Buddha Education Foundation and Dalit International Foundation. He is also an editor of a bi-lingual fortnightly magazine captioned ‘Voice of Buddha’. In 1997, he raised the issues faced by lakhs of underprivileged people and resolved many of them. He launched a campaign in 2006 for seeking reservation for backward sections in the institutions of higher education. Again in 2006, when Samajwadi Party acquired land from the farmers and allotted it to Reliance Company, a campaign was started under the leadership of former Prime Minister Shree V.P. Singh for the return of this land. Dr. Udit Raj played a stellar role in this movement, courting arrest against its implementation.
He also launched a struggle against the criticized four-year degree course (FYUP) syllabus which was later scrapped as it would have been detrimental to the cause of education. Dr. Udit Raj has held prestigious positions in some important committees of the Government of India-
1. He was member of National Integration Council, Government of India.
2. He was member of National Monitoring committee for education of SC/ST and PWD, HRD Ministry, Government of India.
3. He is the Chairman of Buddha Education Foundation and Dalit International Foundation.
4. He is the Chairman of All India Confederation of SC and ST.
5. He is a member of Standing Committee for Social Justice, Government of India.
6. He is a member of Advisory Committee of Finance and Corporate Affairs.
7. He is a member of Land Acquisition Committee.
Crusader Against Gender Separation
To make the country great and a global power two major issues of Gender Separation and Caste Discrimination are to be addressed first and that will pave way for a great nation. The Indian Constitution should regulate life and not discriminatory and dogmatic customs and usages. If chastity is important for women then why don’t the same yardsticks apply to men. No country can become great without ensuring the participation of women in all walks of life. Alienating substantial population of SC/ST and backwards from important pursuits of life, be it economy, education, industries, market, art and culture, politics, it is not possible to develop the nation and create harmony and happiness. Without opportunity, one cannot prove one’s ability. No one is born fool or genius and it’s a matter of opportunity which determines the ability and merit.