Gusai Singh Dafouti, who always remained the choice of the conflicts, was born on 6th June 1954, Nayaldafot village in Bageshwar district. Despite a struggling life in village, Dafouti Ji, after completing his high school, completed his MA and LLB. Instead of leading a comfortable life, after completing his LLB, Gusaii Singh Dafouti, chose the path of public welfare and stood up for the problems of public.
Bageshwar District Movement
In view of the difficulties faced by the remote people, as Almora district was very large, and the people had to travel 150 to 200 km to go to the district headquarters, in 1982, Gusai Singh Dafouti began inspiring and mobilizing the people, in lieu of demand to separate Bageshwar District from Almora. Initially, there was a reluctance among the people whether Besheshwar would become a district or not? the Uttar Pradesh government will hear their voice? But people Dafouti's strong will succeeded in mobilizing people and later Bageshwar District-struggle committee was formed. This movement continued steadily from 1981-1997. Under this movement, Dafouti fasted the 12-day hunger strike till death in 1989. During the hunger strike, the police arrested him and he was locked in Almora jail for 45 days. In 1991, he spent another 28 days in prison. The movement again caught up in 1992, when Daphauti tried to self-destruction during the agitation, and this time, he was sent to jail by putting more than a dozen serious streams as per the law.
Gusai Singh Dafouti started his hunger strike in Almora jail. The administration tried to break his fast but did not succeeded. During this time people used to go to Almora jail every day to meet him in large numbers. Disturbed by this, the Almora district administration sent him to Central Jail in Bareilly. The police wished to break the morale of Gusai Singh Dafouti by torturing in many ways, but they failed to do so. This time he has to spend seven months in jail. Meanwhile, in 1994, the Uttarakhand movement once again became energized, Dafouti again jumped into it, and was arrested and sent to Almora jail for three days. Even after being released from jail, his active participation in the Uttarakhand Movement and Bageshwar District Movement continued as before. In 1997, for the Bageshwar district movement, he again took the road to hunger strike. When in 1997, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati announced Bageshwar as a separate district, the Bageshwar District Movement of Gusai Singh Dafouti came to an end.
Tanakpur-Bageshwar Railway Line Movement
Bageshwar also became a separate district and Uttarakhand also emerged as a separate state, then the agitators inside Gusai Singh Dafouti did not remain silent and since 2004, he started the movement to construct a railway line from Tanakpur to Bageshwar. Since then, he has been continuously campaigning for dharna and continuous hunger strike for the demand of construction of this railway route. All were familiar with his strength as an agitator, thus he got the people's support in the Bageshwar-Tanakpur railway line movement like the previous movements. Dafouti has also organised many movements in lieu of the government’s policy of getting the revenue by drowning the mountain in liquor. For this he also worked hard to spread awareness among the people. Dafouti used to say that the white people left us, but now the brown people have made us slaves.
Gusai Singh Dafouti made sure his active participation in Uttarakhand State Movement, Bageshwar movement and other mass movements, and identified himself as an agitator, after a prolonged illness, finally died on September 27, 2014. Dafouti was suffering from kidney disease, and was 62 years old when he breathed his last breath in Haldwani Medical College.
The state government completely forgot Gusaii Singh Dafouti, the one who gave his entire life for mass struggle, in the last days of his life. Even after being declared a state agitator on behalf of the government, his kidney disease was not properly treated. The government showed no efforts to send Daf0uti to AIIMS or other profound hospitals for his proper treatment. The unfortunate thing is that the state government was fully aware of the financially devastating illness, even then no appropriate action was taken by the government. His wife Neema Dafouti says, "If the state government had helped him in his treatment, then a militant agitator would be among us today."
Now the question arises, why are our own governments becoming so insensitive towards their people?
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