Why Amra Ram Gujar is his community’s new poster-boy

In the heat of the Gurjjar agitation in Rajasthan, Amra Ram Gujar (31) is a reason to smile for his community, agitating for days for inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe category in Rajasthan.

In Pilupura, Bayana, where hundreds of the community are protesting on the railway tracks, young Gurjjars often quote his name with pride even if the rhetoric is mostly about the "backwardness" of the community.

Gujar, who until recently was just one of the community members lost in daily struggles, rose as a symbol of empowerment in the Gurjjar conscience last month when he cleared the examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for appointment to the Civil Services. And, as it turns out, Gujar, who appeared for the exams as an OBC candidate, is on his way to becoming the first-ever Gurjjar from Rajasthan to join the Indian Administrative Services with an All India Rank of 140. "People at the UPSC have told me that I am going to get IAS rank," he said as he came out of the UPSC building in New Delhi where he went to submit his school certificates on Monday.

The success, Gujar admitted, is a big leap, both for his family and the community, while carefully avoiding questions on the ongoing Gurjjar agitation. "I did not expect to make it to the IAS. At best, I had hoped to make it to the allied services," he added.

Gujar did exceed his own expectations, though. From a government school in Dhunda Lambori village to a college in Rajasthan's Pali district, Gujar didn't let his determination to study further waver even as men from his community carried on with their animal husbandry business. "My father was into tending animals and moving from village to village in search of livelihood," he said.

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