Every city, town or village in India has an ‘adda’ where people hang out in their free time. In Etawah, this ‘adda’ is this tea shop, which goes by the name of ‘Ghoda chai’. Yes, you read that right. This shop is undoubtedly the best and the most famous in Etawah.
Situated near the railway station, it is always flooded with customers. In the evening, students, friends, elderly people come to this shop to spend their time and chat with each other over a cup (and often cups too) of tea.
Everybody knows about this shop, but only a few people know about the ‘unique’ owner of this shop. Anil Kumar Gupta, who calls himself Anil Bharatiya, is not an ordinary ‘chaiwala’. He never attended school or college diligently but was always passionate about reading and writing. He has authored three books and was also the founder of a political party in 2009.
“My books are reflective of my thought on injustice and poverty. In my life, I have faced a lot of injustice, so I want to work towards making a just society. On several instances, I have even fought with police for torturing the poor people,” he said.
Not just an author, this man is also an environmentalist. “I purchased extra land outside my home where I plant trees. Trees are not only important for our environment but also for the birds. I believe that one should not only live for himself. I’ve also planted trees in nearby regions of Etawah,” Kumar said.
Talking about the unique name of this chai shop, Gupta says: “Horse is known for its quality and you need to spend a lot on him. Similarly, I use the best materials for the tea that we make at this shop. This is the reason we sell it at a higher price in comparison to others in the area.”
It was with this vision to eradicate poverty and stop tax evasion that he had launched his own party in 2009. “I formed the party to injustice. India is not a poor nation, and corruption is the biggest obstacle. To fight this menace, I had formed a party.
But he feels these assembly elections mean nothing. “The ultimate power is the Centre. State government can never do what the Centre can do. The state leaders just promise free items during elections,” he said.
His journey in politics started way before 2009. He was one of those who even went to jail during the Emergency. “I belong to the Sangh Parivar. I got self-inspired to raise my voice against the Emergency. I even used to distribute a newspaper to raise awareness among people. Three cases were filed against me. I’ve also lived with Mulayam Singh Yadav in jail for 14 months. I used to live in barrack number 12 and Mulayam was in 11. I don’t even get the pension as people have tagged me as a Sanghi,” he recalls.
But is he still keen on joining politics? I am not a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party but I feel I should join it just because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is honest but apart from him, nobody can listen to my views. Hence, not thinking of joining the party.