“The Oppressed Indian”, a monthly journal was started by Saheb Kanshi Ram in April 1979, after the relaunch BAMCEF in 1978, which in his own words was “a vigilant and up to date news service armed and operated by the oppressed Indians themselves creating proper public opinion.” Kanshi Ram himself used to write the editorials. For the editorial of the inaugural issue he wrote
~ “All these people of the backward and minority communities, who form about 85% of India’s population, have little share in the news service of the nation. News regarding them or pertaining to their pressing problems appear in the press in a casual manner. Youth, students, farmers, workers, educated employees, and even leaders of these communities keep groping in the dark and struggling without being fully informed…The caste Hindu monopoly of the press gives only sketchy news about the outrages and the atrocities committed on the oppressed Indians. The aftermath and the actions taken, if any, are not given publicity by the caste Hindu press….Baba Saheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar realized the importance of our own news service to ventilate the grievances of our people and to create public opinion in favour of speedy redress. He realized this some 60 years ago when there were no literate persons amongst the untouchables….”
Saheb Kanshi Ram, following the Phule Ambedkarite organisational philosophy understood the need of parallel media for Bahujan Mass Movement. Before “The Oppressed Indian” he had published ‘The Untouchable India’ in 1972. In 1984, He started “Bahujan Times”, a daily in Marathi, Hindi and English. Then there were more monthlies like Bahujan Sahitya, Economic Upsurge, Arthik Utthan, Shramik Sahitya etc and weeklies like Bahujan Sangathak, Bahujan Nayak. In the same inaugural issue of “The Oppressed Indian”, Kansi Ram concluded the editorial with saying “Publication of the Oppressed Indian, a monthly news magazine is just beginning. The task ahead is challenging!”
Today on the occasion of the Bahujan Nayak’s 83rd birth anniversary, sharing some images of the front covers of “The Oppressed Indian” issues, featuring the formation of Dalit Shoshit Samaj Sangharsh Samiti (DS 4), it’s political engagements, Issue on Phoolan Devi, significance of Independence for the oppressed Indians etc. Mr Shashikant Humane, renowned Dalit writer and activist from Maharashtra, was subscriber of the journal. I am grateful to him for exposing me to these old issues from his archive. Thanks to my friend Abhiyan Humane.
Source – Pinak Banik Facebook post