Wednesday, June 6, 2012


A leading Indian TV channel CNN-IBN has undertaken an opinin poll on the Greatest Indian in Independent India after Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation. A high power and eminent jury has short listed 50 Indian personalities from various walks of life like politics, business, art, culture, education etc. for the purpose. Out of these 50, the opinion poll would zero on on 10 personalities in the final run. It is a good exercise.

It is a matter of satisfaction that out of the 50 short listed personalities two are known dalits ( as far as I know). Obviously, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar figures in the short list and rightly so. The CNN- IBN has , with a view to educate the public, written the following about Dr. Ambedkar:
The Chief Architect of India's Constitution. He challenged the untouchability in a democratic manner and was the most powerful and credible voice against its practice.

As Independent India's first Law and Justice Minister he made progressive, modern laws. He was a great scholar, an electrifying orator, a barrister of international repute and firmly believed that only a true social justice and equal opportunities can hold this vast nation together.

He is as relevant today as he was 60 years ago. He is THE man who made all the differences to the lives of hundreds of millions of Dalits and other exploited communities. His immortal words, ‘They alone rise who strive.

Some of you nurse the wrong notion that you will not rise in this world. But remember that the age of helplessness has ended. A new epoch has set in’ still inspires millions of oppressed.

The second personality is Babu Kanshi Ram. I must congratulate the jury for this thoughtfulness in doing the job. It is a fullsome recognition of his immense contribution to the process of  empowerment of dalits. The Channel has said the following in its citation about Babu Kanshi Ram.

From a little known Dalit organisation, he created a pan India political party that rose to rule the most populous state of India- Uttar Pradesh, a state that still determines the power equations at the Centre.

He turned Dalit anger into votes and directed all his energies to launch a monotone assault on political power through political mobilisation among the Dalits and others under the broader sweep of what he called, after Jotiba Phule, the “Bahujan Samaj. Kanshi Ram created, for the first time in history, a resurgence of the Dalit community in UP where little or no social reform movements have taken place.

His BSP has taken Ambedkar from seminar halls and universities to all over the country and especially where it matters the most - the voting machine. He stands in poor contrast to other great Dalit social reformers including Ambedkar.

His legacy is flawed in many ways and it consists of a one - woman Mayawati dominated BSP. But, one can’t overlook the importance of being Kanshi Ram. Because he created a massive Dalit vote bank by the Dalits, of the Dalits and for the Dalits. The process of political assertion of Dalits which he pioneered looks irreversible.

The purpose of writing this is to inform and enlighten the followers of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Babu Kanshi Ram and the society at large to consider and vote for these dalit and national icons. The salvation of India lies in establishing casteless society and empoerment of the dalits and the weaker sections of the society. Due recognition of the dalit icons would contribute positively towards that end. Let us vote for Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Babu Kanshi Ram in the CNN-IBN Poll as the Greatest Indians. They shall figure in the top 10. One may register ones voteon-line at the or by making a missed call on phone: 08082891006 for Babu Kanshi Ram and 08082891002 for Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

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

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