A prominent Indian political leader and the former chief of the Janata Dal (United) party, Sharad Yadav, had not been keeping well for some time.
Yadav, who had been suffering from poor health in recent months, passed away on Friday evening at a hospital in New Delhi. He had been a member of the Indian parliament for several decades and had held various positions of leadership within his party, including serving as the national president of the Janata Dal (United) from 2016 to 2018.
Sharad Yadav was born in a small village in the Indian state of Bihar in 1947. He completed his education in Bihar and later went on to earn a law degree from the University of Delhi. He began his political career in the 1970s as a member of the Lok Dal party and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament, in 1984.
Throughout his political career, Yadav was known for his strong stance on social justice and his commitment to fighting for the rights of marginalized communities. He was a vocal advocate for the rights of Dalits and tribals, and was instrumental in pushing for the inclusion of a special provision for the reservation of seats for these communities in the Indian constitution.
Sharad Yadav also played a key role in the formation of several regional parties in India, including the Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal. He served as the president of the Janata Dal (United) for several years, and played a key role in shaping the party’s policies and ideology.
In recent years, Yadav had been a vocal critic of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and their policies, particularly with regards to their handling of the Indian economy and their treatment of marginalized communities. Despite his criticisms, however, he was respected by many across the political spectrum for his integrity and his commitment to serving the people of India.
Tributes have poured in from political leaders across the country, with many expressing their condolences to his family and praising his contributions to Indian politics. President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Home Minister Amit Shah are among those who have expressed their sorrow over his passing.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Prime Minister Modi said, “Pained by the passing away of Shri Sharad Yadav Ji. In his long years in public life, he distinguished himself as MP and Minister. He was greatly inspired by Dr. Lohia’s ideals. I will always cherish our interactions. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”
The Janata Dal (United) party has announced that it will observe a three-day period of mourning in honor of Yadav and that flags will be flown at half-mast at all party offices across the country.
The Rise of Sharad Yadav
The entry of Sharad Yadav into politics was a dramatic one. It was 1974, during the JP movement, when the anti-Indira Gandhi movement gained traction. During this time, the reigning Congress MP from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh passed away. Jayaprakash Narayan (JP) chose a young student to be the joint opposition candidate to take on the powerful Congress in bye-elections.
It was the making of history as the 27-year-old Shard Yadav won the election, after which there was no turning back for him. In the next five decades, he became the champion of socialist and backward politics, with relationships across the political spectrum.
Sharad Yadav’s death is a loss for the nation and for the political fraternity, and he will be remembered for his contributions to the country and for his steadfast commitment to fighting for the rights of marginalized communities. His legacy will live on through his work and the many lives he touched during his long and illustrious career.