Rakesh Tikait is a farmers’ leader, politician, and the national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisna Union (BKU). He is a son of late Mahendra Singh Tikait, one of the most influential farmer leader in the history of independent India. In 2020, Rakesh Tikait came to the limelight after spearheading the Farmers’ agitation against the three farms laws that were passed by the Parliament of India in September 2020.
Rakesh Tikait was born on Wednesday, 4 June 1969 (age 51 years; as of 2020) in Sisauli village, located in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. He went to D.A.V. Inter College High School, Sisauli, Muzaffarnagar and then completed high schooling from Kisan Inter College Lalu Kheri, Muzaffarnagar in 1986. He completed secondary schooling from Board of High School and Intermediate Education Uttar Pradesh in 1988. Thereafter, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Meerut University in 1993.
Height (approx): 5′ 10″
Hair Color: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Caste
Rakesh Tikait belongs to Jaat community. Patrika
Parents & Siblings
Rakesh Tikait is the younger son of the renowned farmer leader, Mahendra Singh Tikait, who spent his entire life fighting for the interest of farmers. Mahendra was revered by the farmers as their second messiah, after the fifth Prime Minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh. Mahendra Singh Tikait passed away of bone cancer at the age of 76 on 15 May 2011.
Takait’s elder brother, Naresh Takait, is the president of Bharatiya Kisna Union (BKU).
Apart from Naresh, Rakesh has four other siblings; two younger brothers, Surendra Tikait, (manager at a sugar mill in Meerut) and Narendra Tikait (farmer), and two sisters.
Wife & Children
Rakesh Tikait is married to Sunita Devi. The couple has one son, Charan Singh (named after the former Indian PM Charan Singh), and two daughters, Seema and Jyoti. All three children of Rakesh Tikait are married.
As a Police Personnel
Rakesh Tikait has worked as a constable in the Delhi Police for a brief period. He had resigned from the Delhi Police’s job during the 1992-93 farmers protest, which was led by his father, Mahendra Singh Tikait, to join the then ongoing movement. Aaj Tak
Rakesh Tikait has twice fought in two different elections. The first was in 2007 Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly election when Rakesh contested from Muzaffarnagar’s Khatauli assembly seat as an independent candidate. He could only garner 9,095 votes in that election. Result University On 14 March 2014, Rakesh Tikait joined the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), a political party founded by Chaudhary Charan Singh’s son, Ajit Singh. His decision to join RLD came as a surprise to people, as he had previously been critical of RLD and had supported the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Talking about the reason behind his decision to join RLD, Tikait stated,
I had to choose between RLD and others. I found RLD better. It is the party that has taken up the issue of farmers.”
Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha Election, RLD fielded Rakesh Tikait as its candidate from the Amroha Lok Sabha constituency. Rakesh had to face a defeat again, receiving 9,539 votes, that were only 0.62% percent of the total votes polled. Result University
Rakesh Tikait was elected as the national spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union back in 1997. Since then, he has led several massive protests in the interest of farmers.
Reportedly, Rakesh Tikait had also once demanded the Rajasthan government to increase the price of millet procurement from the farmers. Later, he had also demonstrated a protest against the government after it refused to accept the demand. Consequently, the Rajasthan government had increased the price of millet for farmers. Rakesh was also arrested and sent to Jaipur jail amid the protest.
2020-21 Indian Farmers’ Protest
In September 2020, the Government of India passed three farm bills in the Indian parliament. Soon after the acts were introduced, many farmer unions, including the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), held protests against the introduction of the laws and subsequently demanded to repeal them. Rakesh Tikait became a prominent face of the movement.
He is also a part of the core group of farmers’ representatives who are constantly taking part in the talks with the government to resolve the dispute.
According to his affidavit filed with the Election Commission of India in 2014, Rakesh Tikait’s net worth is assessed to be Rs. 4.1 crore. My Neta
- The hereditary title of “Tikait,” carried by Rakesh and the male members of the Tikait family, was the title conferred to the head of Baliyan Khap by Raja Harshavardhana, the Jat ruler of Thanesar, in the 7th century. Since then, it is being used by every head of the Baliyan Khap and his male family members as their surname. Rakesh Tikait’s brother, Naresh Tikait, is the incumbent head of the Baliyan Khap, who took over the position after the demise of his father, Mahendra Singh Tikait in 2011.
- According to media reports, Rakesh Tikait has gone to jail for more than forty times while protesting in the favour of farmers’ interest. Aaj Tak He has three pending criminal cases registered against him. My Neta
- Mahendra Singh Tikait also was arrested by the police several times. The latest and most dramatic event took place in 2008 when a contingent of around 10,000 policemen laid siege to Sisauli village to arrest Mahendra Singh Tikait. This happened after Mahendra had allegedly made a derogatory casteist remark against the then CM of UP, Mayawati, during his speech at a farmers’ rally in Bijnor district. Thousands of Mahendra Singh’s supporters became a shield and prevented the police from entering the village. Later, Mahendra surrendered himself before the police and was released after he issued an apology.
- The veteran farmer leader Mahendra Singh Tikait was also known for his simplicity. He used to sit and eat food among the farmers. Even during the protests, he used to sit among the farmers instead of the stage.