A Jalandhar based social and community activist, Chiranji Lal
C.L. Chumber was the son of Panjab Rai who was perhaps the first educated fellow of a remote village Hussainabad in Jalandhar with a coveted degree of MA in Economics. Chumber was a graduate of DAV college Nakodar and from his college days itself he was a student activist for the causes of dalit empowerment. He was a thinker and an excellent orator. Keeping with his interest in journalism, he was the founder editor of Quomi Udarian, a Punjabi paper, editor of Bahujan Samaj Bulletin, a periodical started on the behest of Babu Kanshi Ram of BSP. Chumber Sahib brought out a well documented souvenir on Babu Mangu Ram of Ad-dharam Mandal. I had the honour of releasing a special issue of the Quomi
Udarian at a function to
celebrate the Gurupurab of Guru Ravidassji at Bootan Mandi, Jalandhar long back
in the late 1980s. C.L. Chumber’s younger brother, Prem Chumber also inherited
these intellectual traits and flare. He is the Editor-in-Chief of two
periodical publications in California (USA), the Ambedkar Times and the Desh
Doaba. Prem Chumber, paying tributes to his brother, said that C.L. Chumber was
instrumental in motivating him to start these two, by now well established
publications and was a friend, philosopher and guide in this venture.
|Ambassador Ramesh Chander with C.L. Chumber|
The Antim Ardas of C.L. Chumber was held on February 14 in which I was in attendance along with my brother Paramjit. It was a well attended congregation by the cross sections of the society particularly by the intelligentsia and social activists. Some of the prominent speakers, inter alia, were Dr. Ronki Ram, Dean of Arts Faculty of Panjab University, Chief Editor of Nawan Zamana Shri Jatinder Pannu, Editor of Ambedkar Times and the Desh Doaba Prem Chumber, Dr. Ram Lal Jassi, a community activist and a politician, Comrade Mangat Ram Pasla of the Communist Party, Shri Harmesh Jassal of Malind Publications paid glowing tributes to C.L. Chumber. Representatives of Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall and Gurudwara 6th Patshahi also spoke and highlighted the various traits of the personality of the departed soul. I also paid my humble homage to C.L. Chumber and recognized his tireless efforts in the pursuit of his dreams and ideals as depicted in a poetic expression:
अपना मुकद्दर आप बनाते हैं एहले दिल;
हम वह नहीं जिन्हें ज़माना बना गया !
C.L. Chumber will remain in our memories for years to come. Thanking the congregation, wife of Chumber Sahib, Santosh Kumari, an intelligent and homely lady, said that she was touched by the words of the speakers about her beloved husband. She added in a choked voice that sometimes she did not take Chumber Sahib seriously for his idiosyncratic activities but today by listening to the speeches by his friends and associates, she had realised how much loved and respected he was among them. Santosh re-dedicated herself to the legacy of her dear husband, C.L. Chumber.
जिस धज से कोई मक़्तल में गया, वह शान सलामत रहती है;
यह जान तो आनी जानी है, इस जान की कोई बात नहीं !