Wednesday, February 17, 2016

C.L. Chumber – An Obituary

A Jalandhar based social and community activist, Chiranji Lal
C.L. Chumber
Chumber (1958-2016) passed away after a brief illness on February 6, 2016. Chumber Sahib was a close friend and associate of my younger brother Paramjit and as I had many opportunities to meet him and discuss matters of mutual interest and concern particularly with reference to Babasaheb Ambedkar,  Ad-dharam Movement, Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia, Babu Kanshi Ram, inter alia, other issues pertaining to dalit communities. I found C.L. Chumber a very knowledgeable person with a great sense of history. He was totally dedicated, may be up to a fault and ignoring his own and family interests, to the community causes for the benefit of common people. He was a fearless and outspoken person, the habit which put him to difficulties many a times but he was not bothered at all. His keen interest in journalism and literature was evident from the shelves, tables, boxes at his house, as told and confirmed by many of his friends and co-workers.

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
Ambassador Ramesh Chander with C.L. Chumber
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.

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 !


  1. very goood
    i salute you dad

    jan sangram chumber
    son of shiri c.l chumber

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. We miss you everyday n every moment uncle ji.... INDIA needs you....
    May your soul Rest in Peace...

    (Friend of Jan Sangram Chumber)
    e-mail :

  4. I am very sorry to know about the sudden demise of Mr. CL Chumbar. He had paid us a visit at Lucknow. I knew him very well.I was in constant touch with him through face book. I found him very fond of books. A few months back he rang me up to send books published by us (Dalit Today Prakashan).I found him strongly attached to the memory of Kanshi Ram but very critical of Mayawati.He was very critical of Dr. Ambedkar for signing Poona Pact. I had to explain a lot about the circumstances which compelled Dr. Ambedkar to sign Poona Pact. He was a strong votary of Ad-Dharm and quite critical of Buddhism. I think his departure is a big loss to the society. I extend my heartfelt sorrow to the bereaved family.

  5. His was one of person who criticize Hindu Gods and goddess !! May Load vishnu take care of his should rest in piece