I wrote about the Social Awareness Forum in my blog: diplomatictitbits before also. It is an organization of educated, mostly dalits, experienced and well placed people in and around Phagwara, an industrial town in Punjab. The members of the Forum are retired professionals and serving officers in government and public sector undertakings. Some of them belong to business circles in the private sector also. The Social Awareness Forum is as such a well knit organization of awakened volunteers dedicated to the cause of the community and the society at large.
The Forum invited me again this year to speak at their Annual General meeting on April 26 on the theme “Life & Mission of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar”. It was a pleasure to speak at the well organized event and to the well meaning and educated audience. Taking the sense of the audience, I spoke to them not as a speaker from the podium but as one of them and interacted with them in an informal way. I think they appreciated it. I underlined the fact that Babasaheb Ambedkar is as relevant today as he was before and will remain so in the years to come. We must learn from the legacy of Dr. Ambedkar and to gear up ourselves to transform the political democracy of India into a social and economic democracy. The weaker sections of the society particularly the dalits should protect themselves from getting divided, as the vested interests wanted, and stay united. Babasaheb wished to make the dalits and weaker sections of the society to be the rulers of the country. We should ponder over this and act as to how it could be done. I benefited considerably from my interaction at the Forum.
The other highlight of the event was an excellent dinner hosted by Shri Darshan Singh Lehal, Senior Vice President of the Social Awareness Forum. I take this opportunity to thank Shri B.S. Bagla, President and my friends Dr. Balkar Ram and Shri Jagdish Virdi and the members of the Social Awareness Forum for inviting to the meeting. I wish them further success in the years to come.