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Modi Government 3.0 | Ramdas Athawale: The poet, painter, activist, minister, actor 

The 64-year-old is one of the most popular ministers of the previous edition of the Narendra Modi government having handled the Social Justice and Empowerment portfolio as a junior minister.
Last Updated : 09 June 2024, 18:59 IST
Last Updated : 09 June 2024, 18:59 IST

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Mumbai: If you are a reel-lover and fond of memes - you would come across Ramdas Athawale. 

His one-liners send peels of laughter. 

In March 2020, a video of Athawale chanting 'Go Corona…Corona Go…!’ went viral on social media platforms.

The 64-year-old is one of the most popular ministers of the previous edition of the Narendra Modi government having handled the Social Justice and Empowerment portfolio as a junior minister. 

He has been sworn as Minister of State.

Born in a Buddhist-Ambedkariate family on 25 December 1959, he hails from Agalgaon in Sangli district and completed his education in Mumbai.

In the seventies, he joined the Dalit Panthers’ movement. 

Now he heads the Republican Party of India (Athawale), a faction that has been named after him.

From 1990-96, he was an MLC and had been the Minister of Social Welfare and Transport, Employment Guarantee Scheme and Prohibition Propaganda.

He also represented Mumbai North Central in 12th Lok Sabha during 1998-99, 2004-09. He played a key role in Marathwada Vidyapeeth Namantar, a Dalit movement for renaming the Marathwada University after Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.

In 1999, he played a crucial role in bringing Congress and NCP together to form the Democratic Front government 

Athawale lost in the Shirdi Lok Sabha constituency election in 2009

In 2013-14, he formally came with BJP and Shiv Sena to form the Shiv Shakti-Bhim Shakti alliance - the call for which was given in the nineties by Balasaheb Thackeray. 

Currently he is a Rajya Sabha member. 

Besides his involvement in Dalit affairs, Athawale has also advocated reservation for economically disadvantaged upper caste communities. 

Athawale has been editor of a weekly magazine called Bhumika and is a founder member of Parivartan Sahitya Mahamandal. He has served as president of Parivartan Kala Mahasangha, the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Foundation and the Bauddha Kalawant Academy  and was founder president of Bauddha Dhamma Parishad (Buddhism conference). 

He played roles in Marathi films, Anyayacha Pratikar and Joshi ki Kamble, as well as roles in Marathi dramas such as Ekach Pyala.

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Published 09 June 2024, 18:59 IST

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