Lucknow- In a nation where the constitution stands as a beacon of hope and democracy, Ashok Kumar Baudh, a 58-year-old resident of Lucknow, pursues a unique mission. Despite his livelihood as a wall painter, Ashok has taken it upon himself to enlighten his fellow citizens about the principles, values, and rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
His vehicle, a curious contraption he lovingly calls 'Rath,' carries within its modest frame a model of the constitution. Adorned with portraits of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Kanshiram, the founder of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Ashok's Rath now proudly boasts an announcement about the forthcoming Samvidhan Yatra on November 26, in celebration of Constitution Day. Join us as we delve into the remarkable journey of Ashok Kumar Baudh, an unsung hero of our constitutional legacy, and his tireless dedication to upholding the values that underpin our democracy.
When the Mooknayak visited the home of Painter Ashok Kumar Baudh in Lucknow, his contraption-attached vehicle was parked outside. Baudh noticed that the tire had been punctured by someone in the vicinity. He said this was not the first time; some people cannot digest the constitution. Although he had encountered only two individuals who directly abused Babasaheb, there were others who didn't express their opposition directly.
Apart from the decked motorcycle, Ashok always wears the Ashok Chakra throughout the day. Speaking about the inspiration behind his zeal to propagate the Constitution, he said, "Even after growing up, I didn't know about the constitution. But when I heard the poetic rendition of the constitution sung by Singer Shiv Sagar and composed by IPS Sunil Kumar Gautam and his wife Kiran Gautam, I felt the need to spread awareness."
"People often stop me and ask about what this is all about. I explain that it's because of the constitution that we (Dalits) have gained the right to walk on the road, to build houses, and it's not because of any god or goddess. I tell them about the poetic rendition of the Constitution video on YouTube." Baudh claims that he doesn't get anything in return for promoting the video.
When asked about the articles and parts of the Constitution, he emphasized Part 3 of the Constitution, which encompasses fundamental rights, reeling off the provisions.
The Mooknayak also spoke to Bhaskar Baudh, the son of Ashok Kumar Baudh. "Before independence, the Dalits of the country didn't have rights. But Babasaheb ensured those rights in the constitution, and my father conveys this message in his unique style. I believe everyone should know about their basic rights," he said.
The Mooknayak followed Ashok to his work; he was scheduled to work in a place near the Mohanlal Ganj area of the city. Several curious onlookers on the road stopped him, inquiring about his contraption. At the site, Baudh was painting an advertisement for someone, still wearing the Ashok Chakra. "I only remove it when I sleep," he revealed. However, this habit seemed to have a taxing effect on his body, as he struggled to move his right hand for painting. "I'm receiving treatment from a physiotherapist at the Unani center, and hopefully, I'll be able to fix it in a few days," said the 58-year-old. He stated that those who have benefitted from Babasaheb's constitution should contribute to its propagation.
"Babasaheb said that people in government services should contribute 1-2% to society, but not all of them do. If they did, there would be more awareness about the constitution in society. Daily wage earners lack the money and time to spread awareness, while people in jobs have both. Retired individuals have even more time," he opined.
After completing his assigned work, the Samvidhan Pracharak found a clean wall and decided to use his skill and paintbrush to advertise the video of the poetic rendition of the constitution.
In November, the painter has an additional task at hand—preparing for Constitution Day on November 26. "We have planned a Samvidhan Yatra—a bike rally on Constitution Day. We will have a DJ playing songs of Babasaheb and the Constitution; it will be a big program."
The Mooknayak extends its heartfelt salute to these dedicated individuals who, through their selfless commitment, have upheld the very essence of our Constitution. They have done so in an era where the prevailing perception is that the "Constitution is facing challenges.