Sunday, October 9, 2011

REMEMBERING BABU KANSHI RAM




Today ( October 9 ) is the 5th Parinirvan Diwas (death anniversary of Babu Kanshi Ram ( March 1937 - October 2006 ). Babu Kanshi Ram was the champion of the rights and empowerment of the dalits as the true disciple of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. He could accomplish the agenda of his torch bearers like Joytiba Phule, Sahu Maharaj, Dr. Ambedkar, up to some extent, to bring about socio-economic change in the society. Babu Kanshi Ram was of the view that due share to the dalits in the political power alone could change their plight. He was the harbinger of change as against the supporters of status quo and said ' To my mind, all the political parties represent the forces of status quo. For us, politics is the politics of transformation.'

Babu Kanshi Ram belonged to poor and ordinary family of Ropar in Punjab. He was a scientist by education and profession to earn his bread and butter in the formative years of his life. Later he came under the influence of the mission and philosophy of Dr. Ambedkar and started dabbling in politics and became a political tactician and visionary in the political landscape of India. He was an ordinary man but an organiser par excellence. He sacrificed the comforts of life. Babu Kanshi Ram did not marry. He did not visit his family back home. He did not create any property for himself. He did not save any money in his accounts.. Though, I understand, he did not like Mahatmas, yet he was a real Mahatma in the murky politics of India. His only lofty mission and struggle was to create a due and rightful space for the dalits and have-nots of India through political empowerment. Babu Kanshi Ram started from the platform of the Republican Party started by Dr. Ambedkar. But soon got frustrated and started to something on his own through the process of evolution. He formed on December 6, 1978, BAMCEF, an outfit of mainly the schedule caste and other backwards and minority community employees as he believed in pan-India Bahujan Samaj. The ideas of Babu Kanshi Ram became concrete and meaningful in due course. The BAMCEF gave way to Dalit Shoshit Samaj Sangharsh Samiti ( DS4 ). With this Babu Kanshi Ram arrived on the political scene with a clear message to the political bigwigs of India that he meant business for the upliftment of the poor, downtrodden and dalits. He reached firmly on the scene with the establishment of Bahujan Smaj Party (BSP) on April 14, 1984 which is by now is one of the recognised national political parties of India with an impressive representation in both the Houses of the Parliament and BSP Government in UP led by by his ardent follower and political heir Kumari Maywati . Babu Kanshi Ram became MP a couple of times representing various constituencies. Babu Kanshi Ram stood for social change and political empowerment of the poor and oppressed people of India. It is to be seen that his followers and the BSP prove themselves and carry forward the mission of Babu Kanshi Ram to bring about a caste less and samta ( equality ) samaj. It will be a true and befitting tribute to the memory of Babu Kanshi Ram.

On a personal note, I feel that Babu Kanshi Ram was a Pubjabi. He tried his best to organise and lead the poors and dalits of Punjab and rightly so as Punjab has the about 30% dalit polpulation. They should have a good space and share in the powers structures of the state. But unfortunately, dalits of Punjab failed and could not come upto the expectations of Babu Kanshi Ram.

हजारों साल नर्गिस अपनी बेनूरी पे रोती है,
बड़ी मुश्किल से होता है चमन में दीदावर पैदा !


( PS: The blog was to posted yesterday but the internet failed me as the people of Punjab failed Babu Kanshi Ram )

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