– By Abhay Madhukar Dongre
Born on March 15, 1934 in a humble Raidasi Sikh (dalit) family in Khawaspur village of Ropar district in Punjab , Kanshi Ram earned his B Sc degree and joined the Explosive Research and Development Laboratory at Kirkee near Pune. He protested on the Job because the Management refused to grant “Holiday” on Ambedkar Jayanti. His contention was when there is a declared holiday on each and every small festival, Gandhi Jayanti, Tilak’s Birthday etc etc why not on the birth anniversary of the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. He took a vow on that day that “Jab tak main is desh se chutti dene walon ki chuttin nahi kar deta, main chain se nahin baithunga”. He never rested afterwards.
He worked initially with the RPI but was disillusioned by its working. He founded ‘BAMCEF’, the All India Backwards and Minority communities Employees Federation on dec-06, 1973 , with the aim of organizing the backward and minority government employees for he knew that a mere small percentage of scheduled castes cannot make the difference. He also knew that any movement needs resources like time, money and brain and the government employees could provide it all. He organized them with an appeal to “pay back to the society” and many plunged into the movement with missionary zeal which spread throughout the country within short period of time. Incidentally many among them were Maharashtrian Ambedkarites from areas nearby Nagpur who supported KanshiRam right from the beginning of his Movement.
The creative genius of KanshiRam can be seen by the names he coined to the various organizations like ‘BAMCEF’, DS-4( Dalit Shoshit Samaj Sangharsh Samiti) or the catchy slogans like ” Jiski Jitni Sankhya Bhari Uski utni Bahagidari”. His idea of Bahujan, a effective and well thought strategy to organize around 6000 castes in India dominated by the evil effects of Brahminism since thousands of years can be attributed as one of the most Pioneering and Novel idea of the millennium.
Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji
He set an example of selflessness, sacrifice, simplicity and devotion in public life.He took a oath to remain a bachelor and to never visit his village until his mission to free the oppressed and marginalized India from the clutches of ruling class is fulfilled. He formed DS-4 in 1981 and within three years transformed it into a full fledged political party ” BSP” -Bahujan Samaj Party with Elephant as symbol, on 14th April i.e. Ambedkar’s Birthday with a slogan ” Vote Hamara Raj Tumhara-Nahin Chalega Nahin Chalega”
Starting with a very few seats in UP Assembly and Loksabha the BSP formed its government in Uttar Pradesh, for the fourth time. The most populous state of India, almost equal to six European nations, the state which has given maximum Number of Prime Ministers to this country and about which is said that the road to Parliament i.e. New Delhi passes through the state of UP has the political heir of KanshiRam, the Iron Lady-Mayawati as the chief Minister. He spread the awareness about the evil effects of “Pune Pact” which gave rise to the ” Chamcha Yug”.
The master strategist himself KanshiRam was the most sought politician in India even when he openly accused the two mainstream political parties, the congress and BJP as Sapnath and Nagnath. His extraordinary organizational capabilities and one man command safeguarded the party from internal splits and also insulated it from outsider horse trading. Still if somebody left the party his reaction was “Jis kisine BSP chodin hain ya BSP ke sath Gaddari ki hain, usne kabhin dubara sansad ya vidhansabha ka muh nahin dekha hain”.
While Dr Ambedkar wrote ” Who were the shudras”, “What congress and Gandhi have done to the untouchables” ” Annihilation of Castes” and volumes of books, KanshiRam translated Ambedkarism into workable philosophy through appropriate strategies and tactics and built the powerful ‘BSP’ the third largest national political party in India. If KanshiRam was not born Ambedkarism would have been rotting in the Bookshelves of so called Ambedkarite Literates, dalit poets, scholars and bunch of high class babus who after taking the benefit of reservation given by Ambedkar feel shy of even disclosing their identity of being a scheduled caste. While the Ambedkarites in Maharashtra stored, read and wrote tonnes of books on Ambedkar, KanshiRam effectively spread the idea of Ambedkarism throughout India.