Friday, April 13, 2012

Selected  Excerpts of Panegyric Statements For Dr. Ambedkar
(Respectfully remembering Dr Ambedkar on his 121st Janam Divas falling on 14 th April 2012)

Bharat Ratana Baba Saheb  Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar  was born on 14 th April 1891 at Mhow to revered Subedar Ramji Sakhpal & Mata Bhimabai of Mahar Community. It is said that Mahars were the rulers of Maharashtra ( Mahar + Rashtra ) but because of  Hindu agony  & caste based  values, they were reduced to the level of Untouchables, Sudras, Ati sudra, whose only shadow was considered enough to pollute an upper caste Hindu. Ambedkar worked over 18 hours a day & at times sky was his roof & the earth his floor, so due to handwork of duo father & son. Bhimrao was married to Ramabai at the tender age of 17 years when his wife was only of 9 years. Mata Ramabai stood like a rock by her Saheb in the later life  till her death on May 27,  1935.  Bhimrao earned world’s Highest academic  Degrees of ( London ); PhD & LL.D  (Columbia ); M.A ; D. Lit ( Osmania )  Bar –at- Law (London ) . Dr Ambedkar knew seven languages. Dr Ambedkar also served  on highly prestigious positions  as Labor member of Viceroy’s Executive Council (1942-46 ) ; First Law Minister Of Independent India & earned the distinction of selection as Chairman Of the Constitution Drafting  Committee to draft Constitution for free India & is so called “ father Of Indian constitution.” Some called him Mother of Indian Constitution as well. He proved an emancipator for Dalits, a torch bearer for the liberation of slaves’ world over & an insurmountable rock for his opponents. A recent extensive survey based list of one hundred most intelligent personalities of world prepared  by London based university depicted Dr Ambedkar at serial number one. He contributed for the freedom of India, but more for the Dalits, who were slaves to the slaves of British India.  He was highly praised by those who understood his odious cause for the liberation of his Dalit community persons, but also abused as traitor by those who never appreciated his mission of life & wanted to maintain status-quo in social, political, economic & religious spheres even after independence. Many people from different shades of life have expressed their views on the working, personality, handwork, knowledge, experience, contributions, commitment to his mission of Dr Ambedkar to eulogized Doctor’s services to different fields. Dr. Ambedkar passed away in his sleep at 26 Alipore roads New Delhi on 6th of December 1956 and was cremated at Dadar Hindu Crematorium Bombay. Over five lac devotees witnessed the last rites and majority of them embraced Buddhism. The pyre was lit by his only son Yashwantrao Ambedkar at 7.30 pm. A memorial “Chintaya Bhumi” in the loving memory Dr. Ambedkar stands erected there.

 A few selected panegyric statements, which illustrate the contribution made in social, education, law, economic, political fields of the maker of the Constitution for free & Independent India are given here under.

R. A. Seligman, Dr. Ambedkar‘s teacher while on commenting  The thesis “Evolution of Provincial Finances in British India,” which earned PhD to Ambedkar remarked “Nowhere to my knowledge, has such a detailed study of the underlying principles been made.”

His Highness, Chhaterpati Sahuji Maharaj of Kohlapur State, Remarked, while addressing the conference of untouchables, Presided over by Dr, Ambedkar on 21 st March, 1920 “you have found your savior in Ambedkar. I am confident he will break your sickles. Not only that, a time will come when, so whispers my conscience, Ambedkar will shine as a front rank leader of all India fame & appeal,”

His highness Gakward,  the Maharaja of Bikaner (Who  gave scholarship to Ambedkar for getting education in USA )  after listening Dr. Ambedkar’s speech in Ist Round Table Conference said to his queen “Their efforts & money they had spent on the speaker of the day ( Ambedkar ) were all realized. It was an achievement, a glorious success The Maharaja was full of admiration, satisfaction and high appreciations with tears of joy in his eyes for Dr. Ambedkar. The Maharaja hosted a special dinner to Honor Dr Ambedkar .
 The Free Press Journal of Bombay ( London representative ) while eulogizing the services of Dr Ambedkar  said “ Ambedkar was a fearless, independent  and patriotic minded leader, whose fearlessness was unbearable to both  Hindus & Muslims, and that his opening speech at the  first session of the first round Table Conference was the best speech in the whole proceedings of the conference .”

Mahatama Gandhi in a speech   (Outside II R Table Conference) said “I have the highest regards for Dr. Ambedkar. he has every right to be bitter. That he does not break our heads is an act of self- restraint on his part. He is today so much saturated with suspicion that he cannot see anything else. He sees in every Hindu a determined opponent of the Untouchables and it is quite natural. The same thing happened to my in my early days in South Africa ….. It is quite natural for him to vent his wrath …..”

On Dr. Ambedkar‘s nomination to the Federal Structural Committee The Indian Daily Mail said, “He is patriot and is vitally interested in securing self Government. In the future discussions, which will centre on the franchise of the Senate and the Federal assembly, this brilliant representative of the depressed classes is certain to play a most important role.”

Nine days celebrations  were held to celebrate 50th birthday of Dr Ambedkar in which besides I. L. Party  45 other public institutions participated  While addressing a large gathering  N.M.Joshi , School  teacher of Ambedkar said “  I feel proud  that my pupil , to whom I taught in  standard IV attained such  eminence. Ambedkar was bright & forward student.”

THE TIMES OF India Bombay April 21st 1941 wrote “with out political & economic power, the Harijans will find it hard to attain social equality, and Dr. Ambedkar has done well in realizing this fact.”

The Maharashtrian of Nagpur wrote” Ambedkar was one of the few Maharashtrian leaders, who came to fore front in Indian politics by shear force of their personality, struggle, sacrifice & scholarship.” It further added that the Depressed Classes owned their present political status to his ceaseless struggle.

The Prabhat Bombay, a Marathi Daily, hailed Ambedkar, as a revolutionary leader of modern India & added that without meaning any disrespect to Dayanand, Gandhi, Savarkar , Ambedkar’s services to the untouchables ranked higher .

Veer Savarkar, a sworn enemy of the British, a political and social revolutionary said ‘Ambedkar’s personality, erudition & capacity to lead & organize would have by themselves marked him out as an outstanding asset to our nation.”

B.G. Horniman, the Editor of Bombay Sentinel said “Ambedkar’s great intellectual qualities and his service to the country & his community has put him in the fore rank of great men of India.”
 When Ambedkar announced his decision to denounce politics & devote his life for revival of Buddhism, The Shankar’s Weekly in a sarcastic tone wrote, that Ambedkar was nothing more than an Indian to whom renunciation appealed more than jobs & power.            
The Times Of India ,  Bombay, said  that those  whom knew the economic and social views of the erudite scholar and doughty fighter were under no delusion that he would don politician mantle and take the lead in forming a progressive party ,and it  attributed his new bent to the disgust of politics .

Dr. Ambedkar was made the Chairman Of the Constitution Drafting Committee  and he piloted this historic document through The constituent Assembly  and so became  the Principal Architect or  “Father ,”of the Constitution for Free India . The amount of lab our put by Dr. Ambedkar in framing the Constitution was commented & commended by many eminent National & International personalities

Shri T.T. Krishanamachari, a colleague of his in the Drafting Committee said “The House is perhaps aware that of the seven members nominated by you, one had resigned from the House and was never replaced One had died & wasn’t replaced. One was away in America & his place was not filled up, and another person was engaged in state affairs, & there was a void to that extent.  One or two people were far away from Delhi and perhaps reasons of health did not permit them to attend. So it happened ultimately that the burden of drafting this Constitution fell upon Dr. Ambedkar and I have no doubt that we are grateful to him for having achieved this task in a manner which is undoubtedly commendable.”

Dr. Rajindra Prasad, the President of Indian Union said “In spite of his indifferent health. He added luster to his work.”

Shri Muniswami  Pillay  ( Madras General ) said “ Coming as I do from a community that has produced Dr. Ambedkar, I feel proud that his capacity has now been recognized not only by the Harijans but by all communities that  inhabit India.” While continuing his speech he termed Dr. Ambedkar as a great philosopher whose name & fame is not only known throughout the length and breadth of India but of the whole world.  He further added that to the galaxy of great men of Harijans is now added the name of Dr. Ambedkar, who as a man has been able to show to the world that the Scheduled castes are no less important but they can rise to the heights and give to the world their great services.      

Seth Govind Das( C.P. & Berar General ) said “ I would at first like to congratulate Dr. Ambedkar who has laboured hard to put this Constitution into proper shape…… I can say that Dr. Ambedkar was quite equal to the task of Constitution making that had been entrusted to him.”

Shri B.A. Mandloi( C.P. & BerarGeneral)said“This House appreciates the  services of the Drafting Committee and I congratulate Dr Ambedkar, Chairman of the  Committee for successfully piloting the Constitution of free and Independent India .”

Pt. Thakar Das Bhargava ( East Punjab ) while addressing the chair, said “I don’t know , Sir,    the terms in which I should thank the Drafting Committee, particularly words fail to convey  the gratitude that all of us feel for the acumen, the untiring industry, the consummate skill and the firmness, tempered with moderation, with which the  Chainman Of the Drafting  Committee has piloted this Constitution through this House and has solved all the knotty questions arising  in connection with it .” Dr Ambedkar wasn’t in the house then.

Shri T. Prakasam (Madras: General) said “Dr Ambedkar is a great lawyer, is a very able man. He has shown by the work he has done here, who could be  competent to be a King’s  council of great Britain, to be perhaps competent to sit  on the Woolsack only ;but…….”

Shri H.J. Khandekar( C.P. & Berar General ) said “ … now today we are enacting a law of Independent India under the genius of Dr Ambedkar, the President of the Drafting Committee. If I may so. Sir, I call this Constitution the MAHAR LAW. Because Dr Ambedkar is a Mahar and now when we inaugurate this Constitution on The 26 of January 1950, we see the law of Manu replaced by the Law of Mahar and I hope that unlike, the law of Manu under which there was never prosperity in the country the Mahar law will make India virtually a paradise…”

Mr  Mahbhoob Ali Baig Sahib ( Madras – Muslim ) said “Dr Ambedkar was unique in his clarity of expression and thought, and his mastry over the Constitutional problems including those of finance has been marvelous, unique, singular and complete….”

Sardar Hukam singh (East Punjab- Sikh) said” I join my other friends in congratulating the drafting Committee and particularly its leader (Dr Ambedkar) for cheerfully carrying through this heavy strai during these months. It was a gigantic task and they must be feeling relieved after it…….”

Shri S. Nagappa (Madras: General) said “Well, Sir, this has proved to what heights Dr Ambedkar though he is a member of the scheduled Castes, if given an opportunity, can rise. He has proved by his efficiency and the able way in which he has drafted and piloted this Constitution. Now I think this stigma of inefficiency attached to the scheduled Castes will be washed away and will not be attached here after. Only, if, opportuni\ties are given, they will prove better than anybody else.”      

Shri J.R. Kapoor (United Province: General) said “ I had started with a prejudice against Dr Ambedkar … The great work  that he has done during these three years has washed away that particular sin or any other sin which he may have committed. I have developed an admiration and also affection for Dr Ambedkar for the very the very useful work and the very patriotic work which he has done. I consider him to be one  the best patriotic of this country.”

Shri Syamanandan Sahaya said “   Dr. Ambedkar, Sir,  deserves the gratitude  of not only this Assembly but of the  Nation………The mastery way in which they prepared the Draft and the mastery way in which Dr Ambedkar piloted it will ever be remembered not only by us but by the posterity with gratitude.”

Shri Gopal Narain ( united Province : General ) said “ At the outset I congratulate Dr, Ambedkar, the chairman of the Drafting Committee and the members  thereof for producing such a voluminous constitution in which nothing has been left out. Even price control has been included in it ,…… a word more for Dr Ambedkar, Sir. He is lucidity and clarity personified. He has made a name for himself ….”

Shri S.V. Krishanamoorty Rao ( Mysore State ) said “…..and I stand before you to add my humble meed of praise to the Chairman and members of the Drafting Committee for making  an excellent job of the work that was entrusted to them….”

Shri Ari Bahadur Gurung (w. Bengal: general) said, “I associate myself with my colleagues in congratulating the Chairman of the Drafting Committee for having brought this stupendous task to a successful conclusion…”

Giani Gurmukh singh Musaffir (East Punjab: Sikh) said, “… In preparing the draft Dr. Ambedkar and members of Drafting Committee have worked very hard. They deserve our congratulations…”

Shri R.V. Dhulekar( united Province : General ) said “…. Dr Ambedkar has performed a very great work. I will not say Herculean because that is a very small word. . He has performed a task worthy of the great Pandava Bhim and worthy of the name he has Bhimrao Ambedkar. . We are very grateful to him  ...”

Shri Alladi Krishanaswami Ayyar (Madras: General & Member of Constitution Drafting committee) said, “… I will be failing in my duty ,if, I do not express my high appreciation of the skill and ability wioth which my friend the Honourable Dr Ambedkar has piloted this constitution and his untiring work as  the chairman of the drafting committee…..”

Shri Dharanidhar Basu Matari (Assam: General) said “…..Adding my tributes to Dr Ambedkar and the Drafting committee for the great achievement in producing this constitution…”

Shri Manikya Lal Verma( United State of Rajasthan ) said ,“ Mr President , first of all I take this opportunity to offer my thanks to the Honourable Dr Ambedkar and the members of this House…’

Shri K.M. Jedhe (Bombay: General) said, “…...Sir, I stand here to congratulate Dr. Ambedkar & his colleagues for having taken great pains in framing India’s new constitution……Ii remember he burnt Manu Smiriti in a large meeting of the untouchables at Mahad in1929. He is the great leader of the Harijans and is greatly extolled by them as their champion and is worshiped as an idol. They are very proud of him . They call him Bhim and make it known to the public that he has framed Bhim Smiriti. I also call it Bhim Smiriti…….. Dr Ambedkar is a great lawyer and a man of great ability and intellect, nobody will doubt that….. Dr Ambedkar was very keen and earnest in safeguarding the interests of the Harijans. All Harijans must be grateful to him…”

Shri Jaipal singh ( Bihar: General ) said “……and add my own tributes, unqualified tributes, for the tremendous work Dr Ambedkar and his hard working team has put in making of the new Constitution……”

Shri L.S.Bhatkar (CP & Berar )  Said  “ Mr. President, I congratulate Dr Ambedkar and other members of the Drafting Committee for preparing this draft Constitution with so much labour and industry after our country had achieved its freedom……”
Mr. Frank Anthony( CP & Berar )  Said “  I would like to pay a particular tribute to my  Honourable Friend, who is sitting on my right , Dr Ambedkar. I do not believe that any one of us can really gauge the volume of work and the intensity of concentration that must have been involved in the production of this voluminous document…..”

Shri Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya said “….Dr Ambedkar has gone away, else I should have liked to tell him what a steam –roller intellect he brought to bear upon this magnificent  and tremendous task; irresistible, indomitable, unconquerable, leveling, down tall palms and short poppies: whatever he felt to be right he stood by ,regardless of consequences….”

Shri Mahavir Tyagi said”… Dr Ambedkar, who was the main artist has laid aside his brush and unveiled the picture for the public to see and comment upon.. “

Shri Suresh Chandra Mujumdar said “….In conclusion, may I offer my respectful congratulations to
Dr Ambedkar to my elders and colleagues in this house on successful performance of a great arduous and historic task…”
When Dr. Ambedkar resigned as the union Law Minister of India the Times of India wrote “Dr. Ambedkar is also a foeman worthy of one’s steel. The last few years have seen him harnessing his outstanding ability to constructive purposes and both the country and his community stand to gain, if, he continues in that path,”

The National Standard, Bombay observed “There are few men in a country as well equipped as Dr. Ambedkar to take charge of Planning or of Finance or of Commerce & Industry. What the Govt losses the country hopes to gain,”

Dr. Ambedkar received Honorary Degree of Doctorate of Law on 5th June 1952 and the university (Columbia USA ) hailed him “as a framer of the constitution, Member of the cabinet and of the council of states, one of the leading citizens ,a great social reformer & a valiant upholder of the human rights .”

Danajay Keer a biographer of Dr. Ambedkar wrote “To visit Dr.Ambedkar, was to visit a speaking museum.”

Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru the first prime Minister of India used to introduce Dr. Ambedkar as  the jewel of his cabinet .

On the death of Dr. Ambedkar While requesting the Lok Sabha to adjourn for the day   Pt. Nehru said “Dr. Ambedkar would be remembered mostly as a symbol of revolt against all the oppressing features of Hindu Society. His virtual opposition to these oppressive features had kept people’s mind awake. Although he was a highly controversial figure, he played a very constructive & very important role in the Government activities. He revolted against something which every body should revolt against.”

Veer Savarkas said “India has lost in Dr. Ambedkar a true great man.”

Dr Rajindra Prasad the President of India said “Ambedkar was the Architect of our Constitution and his services in various capacities, particularly for the upliftment of the Depressed Classes, could not be exaggerated.”

C. Rajagopalachari while describing personality of Dr Ambedkar said “-  ... -Ambedkar was a thoroughly upright person and a man with keen jurist sense, a proud and irreconcilable heart, a great learning and when approached in the right spirit, a full of friendliness. Such a one has found peace after life’s fit full work.”  
The Times Of India “He was an able, gifted and versatile man who in different circumstances might have rendered even greater service to his country & community. “

The Free Press Journal said “The country would long remember him as one who righteously revolted against wrongs.”

The Amrit Bazar Patrika, while  described Dr. Ambedkar  as a militant spirit bent upon the destruction of the old order which was based on injustice and denial of human rights- - - and made him the worthy son of this continent.
The New York Times said “Ambedkar was known and honored throughout the world chiefly as champion of the Untouchables…..”

The Times of London said that his name would figure prominently in any history of the socio- political evolution of India in the closing years of the British India …………

U. Nu. The Primer of Burma said “Dr. Ambedkar was without dispute one of the illustrious figures that played a historic part in the annals of the great country India, at a time when changing trends and Conditions were making significant impression on the life & social structure of the nation. He was one of those who helped accelerated process of the social change in the country, a process in the case of which hundreds of thousands, even millions had been enabled to look forward to a better life and a happier life.”

Shri R. Venkataraman, the former President Of India Said”Dr.Ambedkar anticipated every conceivable requirement of the new polity.”

Shri K. R. Narayanan former President of India said “Dr. Ambedkar had faith in the Constitution that he helped to fashion for India. His visualized democracy as the Golden Means.”

Sri Sharad Pawar Former chief Minister of Maharashtra, now Union Minister said” Dr. Ambedkar and Constitution have become synonymous.”

In the end I may quote from the saying of Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s views on Economic Progress and a word of guidance /  warning to his community & countrymen:-
                "The good things of this earth do not fall from heaven. Every progress has it bill of costs and only those who pay for it will have that progress"

1      Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Writing & Speeches ( Vol 9 & 13 ) Published by   Education Department Govt of Maharashtra
2 Ambedkar & Social Justice ( vol II ) published  By GOI  Ministry of I& B N Delhi 01
3 Dr Ambedkar Life & Mision By Dhananjay Keer Published by  Popular Prakashan Bombay
4 Gandhi Ambedkar Dispute By AK Vakil & Published by Ashish Publishing house Punjabi 8/81, Bagh New Delhi

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mata Rama Bai Ambedkar

It is rightly said, “There is a lady at the back of very successful man”.it was so in the case of Goswami Tulsidass, Shatrarpati Shiva Ji Maharaj, Tilak, Gandhi Veer Savarkar, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Baba Sahib B R Ambedkar and may other personalities, who made history of sorts. The success of Dr. Ambedkar had incalculable contribution of his noble wife Smt.Rama Bhai Ambedkar, She was intelligent, kind, poise, obedient, chaste, religious, possessing high character, besides having simplicity of style and taste. This saintly lady although lived in extreme poverty but without a whisper of complaint on her face. Always turning her eyes towards God for the safety and prosperity of her husband. She was gentle by temperament, sober in manners, weak in constitution but modest in speech. Revered Ramabhai a sober and good girl came of a good but poor family. She was the second daughter of Bhiku Walandkar, a resident of Walang village near Dapoli in Konkan in central India. He worked as porter at Dopli. He used to carry fish loads on his head from sea side to the bazaar. His earning was so meager that he could hardly make both ends meet. Dapoli is a place where child Bhim was admitted in his first school, when he was 5 years. Old, as his father Subedar Ramji Sakpal had migrated after his retirement. Rama bhai was born in 1898. her childhood name was Ramibhai and she has two sisters Gorabhai and Meerabhai and one brother named Shanker Dhutrey. Shanker Dhutrey also called Shanker Walangkar worked in a press. These unfortunate children lost first their mother & after some time their father too in childhood so were brought up by their maternal and parental uncle in Bombay (now Mumbai). Bhiva later called Bhimrao Ramji Dass Ambedkar and Ramibhai (later Ramabhai) were married when they were 16 years and 9 years old respectively: The marriage was ceremonised shortly after Bhim had passed his matriculation examination. The marriage pandal was an open shed of the Byculla Fish market in Bombay, after the days market was over. At night the bridegroom and his relatives were lodged in one spacious corner of the open shed and that of with her relatives in another corner. The small stone plate forms in the market served as benches, where a small gutter of dirty water flowed underneath their feet. The marriage place was vacated in the early morning before sunrise to enable the merchants to carry their daily business. The marriage was ceremonies with religious rites and jollity. Ramibhai was renamed Ramabhai after marriage and later earned the distinction of being called Mata Ramabhai Ambedker.

Rambhai Ambedker was illiterate at the time of her marriage but her husband later taught here simple reading and writing. Educationally there was world of difference between the two but they loved and respected each other from the core of their heats. Love, faith, sincerity, sacrifice and understanding links, between the two persons formed unbreakable chain to live happily, despite  both being ducationally poles aparts. Bhim used to call his wife affectionately as “Ramu” and she called him “Sahib”. She was deeply proud of her husband and Bhim respected here immensely. As Dr.Ambedkar was always busy in reading & could devote very little time for house hold affairs. At times she used to press here sahib’s feet in the evening, when he was reading & slept on the floor under his feet. But Ramabhai ensured that nobody disturbed him during this study or working. She cared for the health and welfare of her husband by all means.

When Ambedkar was in America, she lived a life of destitute but without any regret. It is rare historical example of courage & conviction of a wife (Ramabhai) who used to make  cowdung cakes and carry bthe same on her head, to use them as cheap household fuel, despite tauntingremarks from neighbouring women folk, when her husband (Dr B R Ambedkar), also in acute financial crisis was struggling to obtain world’s highest Academic degrees including Doctorate of Science in foreign lands. Despite financial crisis for studies and at home. . Dr Ambedkar became Barrister reinforced by a London Doctorate of Science, an American Doctorate in Philosophy and Studies of Bonn University, which reflected immense sacrifices of his wife. When Ambedkar was preparing to go to America for higher studies, the neighbouring women advised Ramabhai to stop her husband from going abroad, as he may marry a Mem (English lady) and desert her. But Ramabhai had unflinching faith on her sahib and replied to those ladies that’ she knew her husband well and he cannot do so”.

Despite Ramabhai‘s little education she was an expert housewife and knew well to run her house hold affairs. On getting money for monthly household expenses from Ambedkar she used to divide the money into 30 parts keeping  each part separately. Daily she opened one part and used it, so as not to run penniless on last dates of the month. Her economical habits and faith in her  husband, enabled the couple to get constructed their palatial house namely, Rajgrih in Bombay. But even after moving into Rajgrih, it did not affect her simple habits.

The wedlock of this ideal couple was blessed with four sons and one daughter, Out of his four sons namely, Ramesh, Gangadhar, yashwant and Rajratna and one daughter Indu only one son namely Yashwant Ambedkar (Father of Sh Parkash Abmedkar MP) survived, others died mostly in fancy. This gave the couple great pains and sorrows. On the death of his youngest son Rajratan on Ist July 1926, Dr Ambedkar wrote on 16th August to one of his friends, “There is no use pretending that I and my wife have recovered from the shock of our Son’s death and I don’t think that we ever shall. - - - - - - - with the loss of our kids the salt of our life is gone - - - - “ After a long period of mourning & on the insistence of his well wishers, Dr Ambedkar settled down on the work for emancipation of down trodden but Ramabhai Continued in grief. This acted upon here health badly and she fell gravely ill. She being highly religious even during illness, she continued observing fasts on Saturdays, took only water and black gram, worshipped God for His blessing on her husband. Her thoughts, mind and eyes were devoted to the service of her Sahib. At this she would say,’Sahib what is there in having so many Degrees, cannot we live happily with lesser education perhaps she did not know that the emancipation of million of untouchables was possible only with knowledge of order which Dr Ambedkar acquired before plunging into the war to breake the age old chains of slavery of his brethren.

On Ramabhai’s insistence and life long Dr Ambedkar took Ramabhai to Pandharpur for pilgrimage of Bithal Ji Maharaj, in whom she had lot of faith. But being untouchables they were not allowed to go near the temple, so they had to stand at a distance from the temple idol to offer prayers. It irritated the self-respecting Dr Ambedkar and he said “What of that Pandherpur, which prevents its devotees from seeing the image of God, by our own virtuous life, selfless service and spotless sacrifice in the cause of downtrodden humanity, we shall create another Pandharpur. Another Pandharpur ! He kept his promise by leaving Hindu religion and embracing Buddhism and re-establishing Buddha in His motherland after centuries. Illness at last over power the weak body physique of Rama Bai Ambedkar. She was even taken to Dharwal Bai Dr.Ambedkar for change, but this to did not help in improving her health. No medicine could give her relief and at last on 27th May 1935 unfortunate happen. She passed away at her residence.

Thus came the end of the nobility of mind and purity of heart. But fortunately Dr Ambedkar was by the side of her death bed. About 10,000 people rich and poor, educated and illiterate, important and common attended here funeral procession. Her son Yashwant Ambedkar preformed all Hindus ritees at the bidding of a Maha priest Sambhoo More, who was Baba Sahib’s colleague since their school days. After the death of Ramabhai, Baba Sahib was a completely broken person. Over a week he kept weeping like a child and it was difficult to console him. He put on a dress of a hermit and got his head tonsured. The saintly saffron robe indicated a hermit with world negating attitude. On the repeated requests & advice of his trusted friend and well – wishers he again took in his hand  the oar to sail across his suffering fellowmen and to cut their age old chains of slavery.

 1. Dr Ambedkar & His Mission By Danajay Keer
 2. Shoshit Samaj Ke Krantikari Pravertak ( Hindi) by C.S. Bhandari Publishars: Samyak Prakashan  32/3 Club Road Pashim Puri N Delhi 


The first women known in the Indian history which lived and died for the social upliftment of down trodden was born on 3rd of January 1831 in Naya Ganj , Tehsil Khandala ,District Satara of Maharashtra. Her name was Savitribai. Her father’s name was Khado Ji Nevse Patil.  At the time of her birth , no body could realize that the small ray of light which had descended on the earth in the form of Savitribai shall become a torch bearer for many, who were suppressed, illiterate, ill fed , ill clothed and a lightening for suppressors and oppressors inflicting tyranny in the name of caste and sex, on millions belonging to their own country and religion .

At the tender age of 9 years in 1840, she was married to a great social revolutionary Jyotirao Phule, who was then 13 years old. The union of two small lights later emerged as a big Light House for millions of their fellow countrymen and pulled them out of their ignorance, illiteracy and ill treatment meted out to them by upper caste Hindus. They jointly fought for   the down trodden people of India to live with dignity keeping spine erect. Jyotirao Phule, later affectionately  called  Mahatma Jyotirao Phule proclaimed that illiteracy the ill of all ills causes lack of intellect which in turn causes lack of moral which results in stagnation, promoting   further  loss of riches  and fortune which caused fall of Shudras. So ban of education to Shudras in Brahminical literature caused their all round degradation, so he gave preference to impart education to Shudras for their over all upliftment.

The Education to Savitribhai was imparted at home by her husband, who had passed his Secondary Education Examination in 1847 from Scottish Mission High School Poona and  had decided not to accept any job under the government.  On reading Paine’s famous book “The Rights of Man” revolutionized the young mind of Jyotirao Phule and he in turn influenced the tender mind of Savitribhai, who also took oath to help her husband for Social Revolution even at the cost of her life and comforts.

They jointly opened the very first Girl’s School in 1848 against the vicious campaign launched by orthodox upper caste Hindus for such an act of the Phule couple, as education to girls was coded as unlawful in the laws of orthodox Hindus, although they claimed to possess the most knowledgeable books called “VEDAS” but practically treating Shudras & women worse than animals. No upper caste Hindu teacher came forward to teach in this newly opened Girl’s School in which untouchables girls , besides Hindu Girl’s were admitted. Therefore, Savitribai was appointed as Headmistress of this school on I st January 1848 by Jyotirao Phule. This school was run from the house of a Brahmin in Budhwara Peth, with majority of Brahmin girl students. The orthodox Brahmins raised a great hue & cry against carrying on women education including those of Shudra girls, which stood banned by the Hindu scripture. As soon as Savitribai came out from her house to go to school, people would throw on her cow dung and mud spoiling here dress, which she washed at the school and at her residence. But ill treatment meted out to her by upper caste Hindus did not deter her from her strong convictions and she carried on with the noble cause for the social change. She, instead , opened another school on 15th May 1848 in untouchable’s colony and it was run by her widowed sister –in-law (husband  ‘s sister) Smt. Suganabai. On this again the reactionaries, raised objections and threatened Govinda Rao (Jyotirao ’s father) with dire consequences, if, he failed to dissociate himself from the activities of his son & daughter-in-law.So he asked the couple to leave his home as both of them refused to give up their missionary  endeavor. Both shifted to a Muslim Mian  Usman Sheikh’s house. Smt. Fatima Sister of Mian Sheikh known as first Muslim women teacher of 18th century, started educating Dalit children in this school opened by a Dalit couple. This was an extremely difficult task during those days of Brahmin domination in government and social circles, but Savitribai did it by dint of her courage, determination, intelligence and her commitment to the cause of Dalit upliftment through spread of Education the only road to their empowerment.

Jyotirao Phule blamed the British Government for spending profusely a large portion of the state revenue on the education of the higher castes, which resulted in monopoly of all higher offices under the Government by the Brahmins. The dedicated couple wanted to break this monopoly so as to prepare the down trodden masses for struggle of having equal rights as human beings in their own motherland. Jyotirao Phule for the first time , made strong demand in memorandum submitted to Hunter Commission in 1882  for free & compulsory education to all. This plea was accepted on the instance of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and incorporated in the Constitution of Free India in 1950.  

Widow re-marriage was banned then and the child marriages were very common among the Hindus including Brahmins. Many Hindu widows resorted to Sati (burning of the bride with the dead body of their husbands) in full public view.  Many women got windowed in their young age and not all of them could live in a manner in which orthodox people expected them to live. Some of the helpless widows resorted to abortion or left their illegitimate children to their fate by leaving them on the streets. Out of pity for them Jyotirao Phule established on orphanage, possibly first such Institution founded and funded by a Hindu. The Phule couple gave protection to pregnant widows and assured them that this orphanage would take care of their children and Savitribai Phule Shouldered the responsibility of managing the orphanage. It was in  this orphanage where a Brahmin widow named Kashi Bai gave birth to a boy in 1873 and the Phule couple adopted new born as their son and heir giving him name as
 Yashuwant, who was given education to become a qualified doctor. During 1876-77 famine she feed and cared about 200 children with the help of her doctor son free of cost. She was a great source of strength to her husband.

Savitribai was not only an educationist but a great philanthropist, social revolutionary, writer and poet. Perhaps she was the first Indian woman revolutionary who worked against all odds for the emancipation of week and downtrodden women & children. Her poetry book first published in 1854 was titled as “KABYE PHULE” In one of her poems she makes out that the British succeeded in establising their rule in India due to denial of Educational opportunities by the Aryans to the original inhabitants of India. During various invasions the 85% of the population were made mute spectators when their  motherland was occupied forcibly by   the foreign invaders, for which nobody else but Brahmins and caste system  were responsible. When she was told by her brother to follow the path shown by Bhats (Brahmins) she rebuked him by telling that she was following the just path being followed by her husband and she could not be blind follower of Brahmins like her brother. She also tauntingly said to him, “Go and love the cow and the goat and offer milk to snakes on Nagpanchmi,, even then the Brahmins shall turn you out of Puja Sathal branding you as untouchables. This shows her strong conviction and  will power, when actually she was very poised lady having her heart filled with love for all.

After the death of her husband in November 1890, she successfully managed for seven years the affairs of “SATYA SHODAK-SAMAJ” established by her husband to look after the needs of unfortunate children.

During the spread of Cholera in Maharashtra in 1897 she opened a number of helping centers for all sufferers in rural and urban areas. She used to carry patients personally to the clinic of her son Yashuwant, who cured hundreds of them free of cost.

While carrying personally a cholera ridden Mahar boy to the clinic of her son and to get him admitted there, she got infected from the Mahar boy and she died of cholera on the 10th of March 1897.

We salute the iron lady who struck hard  to break the shackles of religious progeny, caste and dynasty to establish social order of Universal Brotherhood. She was first Indian women leader, who worked for the upliftment & dignity of women & children and was a staunch opponent of orthodox laws including Untouchability. She was mother to helpless orphans, a teacher to illiterates and solace to ill and suffering masses. She deserved to be honored as “Mother of Women Education in India

She is even now a source of inspiration for establishing a rule based on equality, justice and fraternity. Let us draw inspiration from her life& works and re-dedicate ourselves for the service of down trodden and Dalits besides those sections of society who are deprived of equal opportunities of life.

1. The Nagmay Sanskriti     Ujjain (MP) Dated 8-7-1997.
2. Slavery By Mahatma Jyotiba Phule (Vol I) Translated by Prof.P.G. Patil, Education Deptt.   Govt of Maharastra Bombay 1991
3. Jyotiba Phule (Hindi) By Durga Prasad Shukal NCERT April 1991
4. Dr Ambedkar & His Mission - by Danajay Keer
5. Shoshit Samaj Ke Krantikari Pravertak ( Hindi) by C.S. Bhandari Publishars: Samyak Prakashan  32/3 Club Road Pashim Puri N Delhi 

KANSHIRAM - Dalit Empowerment Hero

It is a foregone conclusion that after Baba Sahib Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram was tallest personality on Indian political scene, who kept the flame  of Dalit Empowerment burning for  over four decades with the same motto, strength ,vision and dedication. Dr B.R. Ambedkar uprooted the centuries old orders and created ways and means for the Indian Dalits to achieve heights in all spheres of life. He fired constitutionally the priestly class man made obstacles created in their social, political, religious, economic, educational spheres. He restored to the Dalits what was snatched away by deceit from them.  Baba Sahib’s early death marooned his cherished dreams to see once again the original habitants of India to rule the state and gain their lost  prestige and privileges. Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram watered this idea with is life long sacrifices and gained much of the lost grounds. He made the Dalits conscious of the privileges enjoyed by Rulers and subjects. On 14 th April 1965, he took the oath “ I will complete the unfinished mission of Baba Sahib Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. I shall look after the welfare of my samaj”. He declared Dalit Samaj his family, all Dalit women his sisters & all Dalit men his brothers, he vowed to remain bachelor through out his life & not to acquire any property in his name. He said good bye to his family, family life, family comforts for the sake of cutting slavery chains of his fellow brethren. This he kept as a Buddhist Monk’s word. He got converted to Buddhism To achieve the goal of making Dalit masses a united electoral force to acquire political power and  to educate them  Sahib Kanshi Ram traveled through out the length & breath of India on his bi- cycle along with his trusted lieutenants.

The ground so prepared through life long suffering of Baba sahib would have become again barren, had Kanshi Ram not ploughed  it with full vigor, sown seeds of politico-socio-economic revolution, watered it with his sweating toil and  guarded it with day & night  bi- cycling. He challenged socio-cultural values of religion dominated order & gave Dalits Samaj a vision to get rid of false religious dogmas, discriminatory religious books & even false man made gods. Kanshi Ram was a great public mobilizer; he understood values of self-respect &   collective wisdom of communities to gain political power to use it to their advantage.

Shri Kanshi Ram worked to educate the  85%  Indian  population comprising of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Back ward Classes and  religious minorities to gain their  rights to ruleover India. While arousing the inner conscious of Dalits   Shri Kanshi Ram coined value based slogans from time to time to give directions to Dalit masses; one such was “Jiski Jitni Sankhaya Bhari, uski utni Bhagidari”. He was perhaps one leader, who kept his promise, proved true to his words. He lived & died as a leader, with out any immovable or moveable property, any bank account, house, land plot or flat in his name. To achieve his set goals, he lived as an ordinary Dalit, took meals in small hutments, wayside dhabas( rural road side eat houses), slept on floor. Once he was seen  sleeping night long on stone mettle kept for road paving.He used to keep awake for days & nights to equip him with literary knowledge, assimilate it into practical thoughts & to devise ways to use it for the advantage of his peoples, many of whom were ill fed, ill dressed, naked, illiterate, exploited and miss guided.   Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram emerged on Indian political horizon as most luminous star, when Dalits were feeling leaderless & direction less, after the untimely death of revered Baba Sahib Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar. Baba Sahib by dint of his hard labour, scholarly research and political vision prepared ground for Dalit liberation from the yoke of upper caste domination, challenging hate culture of superstitious upper caste Hindus against their Hindu religious brethren, so called Shuders & Ati- Shuders.

Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram was born on 15th March, 1934, in Ramdasia or Chamar Sikh family, an untouchable caste of Brahminical caste division. He was one of the seven children of his father Shri Hari Singh & mother Shrimati Bishan Kour. He was born at village Khawaspur in Ropar District of Punjab State. In his family, he was the only graduate. He joined service in Poona city of Maharashtra State in Ministry Of Defence, the Explosive Research and Development Laboratory ( ERDL). Here he came in contact with one Dheema Vana, a suspended class IV Dalit employee of his office. Late shri Dheema Vana demanded Holiday on  Dr .Ambedkar & Budha Jyanties. Then the ERDL had ordered cancellation of the holidays on account of Birthday of Baba Sahib and Budha Yyanti and replaced it with the Tilak Jyonti  besides declaring a holiday of Dewali. Later Shri  Dhemma Vana’s both these demands were acceded to and he was reinstated.  Shri Dheema Vana’s heart was filled with faith & love for Dr. Ambedkar. After getting inspiration from Dheema, Kanshi Ram studied literature on & by Dr. Ambedkar. It is said he read “Annihilation Of Caste” several times in single night. He then resigned from service to carry forward, the mission of uniting millions of Dalits, bond them  through brotherhood bonds  reminding them of their centuries old  slavery &  sufferings.  He shook them to wake from their deep slumber so as to consolidate them into a force to be reckoned with. He single handedly awakened in Dalits a sense of empowerment.       

Those close to him tell how hard he worked to built up his first social & educative organization of  employees of all SC’s, ST’s, OBC’s & minorities named BAMSEF  on 6th Dec. 1978  & then prepared them to launch   their Youth’s sangarash Simiti ( Agitational forum) “ DS-4” on 6th Dec. 1981.  

To prepare solid ground to get right share in political power, he launched his Bahujan Samaj Party on14th April, 1984.Kashi Ram shook the conscious of those who are under represented in our Parliamentary system and were craving for a change. There by he consolidated masses to work for their own political organization BSP,  many voluntaried to work for BSP as  “Mission Ka Kaam” His message was so inspiring for his peoples, that once a BSP volunteer  was always so.  Due to Kanshi Ram’s political vision soon BSP became a National Party & attained third position, leaving far behind many political parties, who were formed decades earlier.  Sahib Kashi Ram himself won twice ( 1991 & 1996) for  Lok Sabha. But in 1998 he promised not to contest for any political  office till he gains strength to win from at least 100 Lok Sabha  constituencies .  The election winning spree flourished  and  in UP assembly it won66 seats out of 162 it contested in 1993. Kanshi Ram’s political maneuverability made Behan Mayawati chief Minister of UP thrice in coalition with other parties, but  he did not yield to undue pressure from them even at the cost of loosing CM’s. Gadi 

The graph of winning seats in Lok Sabha elections also rose dramatically :

Seats                       Lok Sabha

zero                          8th 
04                             9th
03                             10th 
11                             11th 
05                             12th
15                            13th & 14th 

Lok Sabha His continuous efforts in  this direction  bore fruits  of winning clear majority in 2007 in UP  Assembly elections with 208 seats, standing Second on 111 seats& loosing other 60 seats with a margin of less than 5000 votes. Behan Mayawati, now National President BSP was sworn in as Chief Minister of UP State with clear majority.  But alas Sahib was not lucky to see the day of farming his BSP government in Uttar Pradesh on its own strength.                       

With the demise of Sahib Kanshi Ram vested interests have found ways to penetrate in BSP, the brain child of Sahib Ji who nourished  it with his Daily blood dose. The glaring example can be quoted of J&K State, where once it won four seats in the State Assembly and now has been reduced to zero. The oft repeated Chamcha Raj by Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram is gaining grounds day by day for getting his sacrifices.  During the period of 24 years since the formation of BSP, the INC Govt programs of multinationalisim & New Economic order under late Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, or Rath Yatra Of Sh. LK Advani culminating in demolishing of Babri Masjid on 6th Dec 1992, could not  sway away Dalits from Kanshi Ram’s Programme of gaining political power to have share in running the affairs of union of India.  Credit goes to Kanshi Ram that Dalits having over 85 % Indian  population forming SC’s, ST’s, OBC’s or other minorities, have not challenged the Constitutional arrangements, avoided violence against the  state or other ethnic groups. Kanshi Ram’s formula that numbers, not violence work in democratic India is no mean achievement for which we all  bow to Kanshi Ram.

Like every one else, he had to leave the mortal frame of body, although it is painful for those who are left behind to bear the shock. So happened with Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram Ji. He was not keeping good health for quite some time, but the brain stroke he suffered in Hydrabad during a meeting on 15th March, 2003 proved fetal. He was shifted to New Delhi Batra Hospital and remained under expert treatment for over three years. The unfortunate end came on Monday the 9th October, 2006 at 12. 20 at 11, Hanuman Road New Delhi, the official residence of Behan Mayawati. National Personalities like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha L.K. Advani. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Lalu Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan and other paid their homage to the Messiah of Dalits. His funeral was attended by lacs and he was cremated at Nigam Bodh Ghat New Delhi on 9-10-2006. He left behind his wish that his mortal remains be not immersed in any river but kept in BSP Party HQ at Delhi & Lukhnow. He qualified his birth and  death as per the hymn of Kabir Sahib, a great Mystic “Jab Ham Aye Jagat Main, Jag Hansa Hum Roay, Aisi Karni Kar Chaloo, Hum Hansain, Jag Roay” (On child’s birth, child cries but locality celebrates birth with joy, One must work for the good of the society, so that at the time of death the locality mourns but the person dieing feels joyous )    

Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram prior to death made Behan Mayawati as his heir & National President of BSP on 18-09-2003. Let us see how far she is able to see the masses united, as many fights have stared appearing in the BSP, and to plug these loop holes. Labour and suffering of Kanshi Ram needs to be kept in mind & his tested formulae of unity followed. If his comrades slip from his ideals, it shall be a sad commentary & bad luck for his now united masses. Sycophancy or Chamchagiri should be kept away from the Dalit affairs. Behan Mayawati shall have to strengthen the party with the same  dedication as  of Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram pulling it  out of present day mess of Chamchagiri or sycophancy.   

Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram shall be long remembered for his visionary saying “NUMBERS, NOT VIOLENCE WORK IN DEMOCRATIC INDIA” Dalits should win race to New Delhi Gadi by democratic means only, leaving no space for violence against any ethnic group. Let us encourage the anti- status -quo forces to gain National unity.                                  

Babu Milkhi Ram (1926-1989)

Babu Milkhi Ram Ji was an uncompromising crusader for social justice. Despite heavy odds in his personal and social life, he carried on his campaign of mass awakening and building up pressure on the Government of granting the Dalits their rights to reservation in services, allotment of land with  ownership rights to the landless poor. He declined the tempting offers of the berth of a Finance Minister in the State Cabinet of the J&K State under Prime Minister ( As was then designated), Bhakshi Gulam Mohammad, so preferring  a life of poverty and suffering , sharing the joys and sorrows of the milieu he  spouted from. He fought a relentless fight, both within and outside the legislature, against the discrimination meted out to the Dalits especially in the affairs of the State administration, imparting them quality free education

As Baba Sahib, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Babu Milkhi Ram too did not enjoy very big personnel successes in the literary sense of the term, but the mark made by him on the people’s  psyche is indelible, indeed. People, old and young, and socio-political leaders, irrespective of their political leanings, remember him with a sense of reverence.

Born on 14 June, 1926 in a family of a cobbler or  shoe maker Shri Rohlu Ram of Jammu, young Milkhi Ram was physically strong and mentally alert. He played football and Kabaddi and was also very found of wrestling and kiting. He was a great lover of sweets and pakoras ( A black gram flour Fried with  vegetables dish). A sense of purpose and firm conviction were reflected in his thought, action and speech.

He passed his Matriculation Examination in 1944. He married to a Middle Standard (8th Class) pass lady, Smt. Ishri Devi, in 1947 at the age of21 years. Shri Rohlu Ram was ditched by business associates/ partners at Jammu, so he migrated to Kashmir leaving young Milkhi Ram and otheer family members  under his care back home. Shri Rohlu Ram never returned back and breathed his last in Kashmir. Milkhi Ram bravely shouldered the entire responsibility to run the family as an undergraduate, by carrying on tuitions and working in shoe making shop.. To eke out a living and meet his educational expenses, Milkhi Ram Ji  worked as a shoeshine boy and made rubber chapels from worn out Tyres which were then  popular among the poor hilly people of J&K.

Influenced by the teachings of Swami Jai Gopal Gir Maharaj of Palouta Sahib (Ramgarh, Samba tehsil of then Distt. Jammu ) , a Dalit  saint  and  a staunch follower of Sant Guru  Ravi Dass. Palouta area has   a large population of Chamars also called as Ravidasias . Shri Milkhi Ram chose the path of service of poor, the downtrodden and rid them of the curse of social discrimination meted out to them in various walks of life. Despite heavy odds throughout his life, he did not budge from his set goal of “Service to masses is service to God” . The life and mission of Baba Saheb, Dr. B.R. Ambedker influenced Babu Ji to whom Babu Ji met in Punjab sometime in 1951-52. Their meeting changed still further the life’s motto of Babu Milkhi Ram, so he dedicated his whole life for the just cause of the deprived, depressed, neglected, illiterate half fed peoples of J&K State. In  later years Babu Milkhi Ram was greatly influenced by the working & teaching of Babau Jagjivan Ram and both used to have close contacts & intimate interactions on all matters pertaining to welfare of the Depressed classes peoples.

On the advice of Mr. William, then Principal of a private school,  Babu Ji served as a teacher for a while as Babu Milkhi Ram was a trained teacher as he  had already passed the B.T. (Bachelor of Teaching) Exam. After a considerable gap of time , he felt the necessity of providing legal assistance to the penniless people from the villages so he perused his Law studies at Delhi and earned LL. B Degree in 1964. He practiced as lawyer at Jammu, which helped the poor peoples to get justice. But he charged very very nominal fee at times even free of costs.

In 1950, he founded Harijan Mandal (Central) in contradiction with the already existing organization of the similar name, viz. Harijan Mandal (founded in 1940 by the Harijan elite after dissolving a single caste organization called Megh Mandal) whose protagonists were pro-establishment. After completion of his graduation, he contested the first Assemble election in 1952 which lost. He, however, won the 1957 Assembly poll but found him self alone as a Dalit leader amongst the opposition.

Thereafter, he contested almost all Assembly elections till 1987 but lost with a lower vote percentage in each successive poll. But, paradoxically, his popularity, both among the masses and in the political and Government circles, rose day by day. That was, perhaps, due to the extraordinary qualities of leadership he possessed. Undeterred by his election failures, Babu Milkhi Ram ji continued to hold high the flag of the Dalit Movement in the Jammu region of J&K. He offered resistance, led demonstrations and organized rallies and strikes in protest against the discriminatory behavior of the establishment towards the Dalits.

He provided leadership to the Dalits agitation in Marhin and Chhann Rodian in Kathua Distt in 1956. Unfortunately, meeting at both these places were disrupted by a Dalit Patwari who, obviously, was misled by certain unscrupulous elements from amongst the non-Dalits who didn't approve of the Dalits’ Unity and restoration to them their legitimate rights.

Following this, on 26 July 1956 a team of eleven volunteers went on a hunger strike which continued fro five days, till the Prime Minister Bakshi Ghulam Mohd. Came thee and assured of justice to the Dalits in J&K. He commended Babu Milkhi Ram as a true leader and offered him he berth of Finance Minister in his Cabinet provided he merged his Harijan Mandal with National Conference. Later, on 15 November, 1956 a rally was organized at Karan Park Jammu, where the same conditional offer was repeated by the Prime Minister. But he declined the offer both in favour of betraying the movement he had started in 1950, although many that he could have served the Dalits more effectively, had he joined the J&K Govt. as Finance Minister.

Consequent upon bowing down by the Government to the demands of the strikers, many of the miscreants were who had stone pelted the meetings were put behind bars. A couple of them went underground and became Sadhus to avoid detection. 165 pounds of the strikers’ blood lost thus bore fruit in the form of Babu ji’s entry into the J&K legislative Assembly in 1957 and many others became officers and ministers in the later years. He continued raising the reservation and farmers’ tenancy rights issues-with the result the Government of J&K issued an order of reservation for SCs in public services in 1971.
As a precursor to his joining National Conference under the leadership of Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah, in 1975, he participated in the meeting of Democratic Socialist Forum organized by the latter on 2 December,1974. In 1979 he joined Mirza Afzal Beigh’s Revolutionary National Conference and was nominated its provincial president (Jammu).

Irrespective of his political affiliations, Babu ji pursued the Programme of forging and strength the SC- BC unity rather relentlessly.  As a step in that direction, he started a news-paper SUBH-E-Jammu in 1980 and presented a 25 point charter of demands to the Government. In 1982 he was nominated as Vice Chairman of the J&K State Scheduled Castes Advisory Board. But, on the fall of Dr.Farooq Abdullah’s Government in 1984 he resigned it and preferred to return home walking instead of using the official car. Thereafter, he founded the SC-BC Federation and became its President.

Once a confidant of Babu ji told him that the people considered him a fool, as he worked for those who worked against him. His reply was, “if you are not satisfied with my way of working, you may also abandon me, but I will continue working for them irrespective of their being my friends or foes”. Such was the greatness of that saintly figure of the Dalit Movement in J&K.

Babu ji breathed his last on 7 May, 1989. Although he is no more with us, physically, but Dalits still cherish his memory. He will be remembered for his straight forwardness, righteousness and his concern for the poor and the meek. He will continue to serve as a beacon for us for centuries to come.


Although the above accounts, based on a write up from one of the close relatives of Late Babu ji, is supposed to be most authentic and comprehensive’ still, as there is always a scope for improvement, readers and his contemporaries and devotees may send more entries on the missed out important points, if any, for publication as supplements to the above articles in the next issue of Samatavadi Bharat. In addition to English, such entries received in other local languages shall be adapted to Hindi or English.

More such entries from other parts of India are invited for publication in the series “Unsung Heroes of the Dalit Movement in India” in the future issues of Samatavadi Bharat.

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule

Ever since the Hindu religion got divided into castes rigidities and society got divided into low and upper castes, it has increases the miseries of the low caste people termed as untouchables or Dalits.All doors of progress, social, economical, educational, cultural were closed for the Dalits.They were denied the normal human dignities by their own brothers and sisters, who always looked towards them for all comforts of life but denied them the same. The Hindus offered milk to snakes; rice with sugar to ants; worshipped tress like Tulsi, Pipal, and animals like cows but got polluted by the shadow of a Dalit, who are non-else but the creation of the same God for whose realization Hindus observe extreme austere like living in lonely forests, undertake long journeys to 68 places of pilgrimage, observe fasts etc..But God is great and it sends its messages from time to time to show the masses the just path of love for all and hate to none.

A similar personality took birth on 11-4-1827 to revered couple Govindarao and Chimnabai in village Khanbari of Poona, who was named Jyotiba. He earned the title of Mahatma and title of Bukar T.Washington (American President and a great leader against acts of slavery & apartheid).Since
 Gobindarao and his two brothers served as florists under the Pashwas, so they were called Phules.Chimnabai died when Jyotiba was 9 months old..Gobindrao wanted his son to get a higher education so as to spread the Gyan Jyoti for the humanity at large and Dalits in particular. But all relatives of Gobindarao were against the education of Jyotiba and so Jyotiba was taken out of school after he passed his primary school at the age of 9 years. Despite this Jyotiba continued working in fields during day and reading at night by lighting kerosene lamp. On the insistence of Goffar Beig Munshi ( A Muslim )and Latiz Sahib(AChristian) as both had great influence on Gobindarao who  got admitted his son in Scottish Mission High School at Poona in 1891.Jyotirao completed his secondary education in 1847 and decided not to accept any government job but work for the upliftment of downtrodden and deprived section of society and to spread education among them.

One day when Jyotibrao accompanied the Barat of his Brahmin friend, but was insulted and abused by relatives of his friend as how a Dalit dared to take part in Barat( Marriage Party ) of a Brahmin. After this incident Jyotiba made up his mind to defy the caste system and decided to serve the shudras and women who were deprived of all of their human rights under the caste system.Jyotiba was married in 1840 to Savitribai.Savitribai Phule worked as the true disciple and co-missionary of her husband. They changed the history by opening a school on 1-1-1848 for girls in Poona where Savitirbai was admitted as first Student along with four Brahmin girls, one Maratha girl and sixth a shepherd family girl.Jyotirao Phule continued this school despite opposition from orthodox Hindus, who considered this act against their religion, as Hindu scriptures considered educating girls & Dalits as a great sin. Savitirbai received more education at home from his husband, who appointed her Headmistress of one of his schools. Even parents of Jyotiba did not co-operated & they turned him along with Savitribai out of their parental house, when the couple did not agree to desist from their chosen path. They opened 18 such schools including some having co-education.

Feeling pity on the condition of orphans Jyotiba Phule opened   orphanage, perhaps first such institution by a Hindu. Jyotiba Phule gave protection to widows & assured them that orphanage shall take care of their children.  It was in this orphanage that a Brahmin widow gave birth to a male child in1873 and Jyotirao Phule adopted him as his son naming him Jaswantrao Phule & educated him to become a qualified doctor. To earn his livelihood & to run his schools & other institutions he worked as contractor in PWD.  He termed this department as hotbed of corruption.

He published his controversial book “Slavery,” in 1873 ,in which he declared  his manifesto  that he was  willing to dine with all irrespective of  their caste, creed, or country of origin Jyotirao Phule  formed “ Satya Shodhak Samaj on 24 th September 1873 & in 1876 it had 316 members. The main objectives of this organization were to liberate the Shudras, Ati Shudras & to prevent their exploitation by the Upper caste Hindus. He refused to regard Vedas as sacrosanct & denounced Chaturverna & instead published his book “Satya Dharma Pustak in 1891.  According to him all men & women were equal & entitled to enjoy equal rights & it was a sin to discriminate between human beings on the basis of sex or caste & creed Wodow remarriages werw banned and child marriage was very common amongthe Hindus Society Jyotirao opposed both & worked to benefit them and  got re married one Shayani caste widow on 8th march 1890 against  strong protests

He opposed the evil customs so on the death of his father he did not call his caste people for meal instead he distributed meals in beggars, distributed pencils, writing wooden planks ( Patties )  & books to children which became annual function to remember his father.  He opposed the tyranny of landlords & money lenders , so he organized a protest Dharna in Poona District where  farmers joined in large number 7 burnt the recorde of the money lenders. He got a marriage  ceremonised on 25 th December 1873 without the participation ob any Prohit. In the marriage feast the was only Pan & Supary nothing else. He edited  a weekly news paper “ DEEN BANDU ,” from 1st January 1877. This became a very popular paper & Jyotirao Phule varied through it his mission of guiding his fellow persons against the evils of the society Jyotirao Phule helper getting released in1881 from jail Lok Manaiya Ganga Dhar Tilk &Goda Adkar who were sentenced for writing in their papers “ The Kesri & the  Maratha ,”  against the policies of the British Govt.

For the life long service to the Dalits & other deprived section of the society Jyotirao Phule was awarded the Title Of MAHATAMA.  On 19 th May 1888. The function was attended  by degneties like Justice Ranade, Dr. Bhandarkar , Tukaram Tatiya , Lokhande, Dholey & Bharkar besides . Jyotirao Phule was  addressed by  Saya Ji Rao Gaikwardas Bukar T Washington in his letter to the president of the function.

Jyotirao Phule got his right hand incapacitated in an illness, so he stated writing with his left hand & wrote a book titled as “ SARIVJANIK SATYA DHARAM , “ After ceaselessly working for over 63 years Jyotirao Phule passed away on 28 th November 1890 about 138 days before the birth  of Dr. BR Ambedkar another luminary, Father of free India’s Constitution , & worked lifelong for the emancipation of Dalits , depressed, week  & women Jyotirao Phule shall be remembered for the centuries to come for the  good work he did for the Dalits & Depressed peoples of society.

The life size statue of Jyotirao Phule was installed in the compound of Indian Parliament on 3rd of December 2003, near the Statue of Baba Sahib Bhimrao Ambedkar 

Jyotirao Phule said illiteracy the ill of all ills that lack of education causes lack of intellect which in turn  causes lack of moral resulting in stagnation promoting   further  loss of riches  and fortune which caused fall of Shudras. So ban of education to Shudras caused their all round degradation



Rajarshi Chhatrapati ShahuJi Maharaj was king of the Indian princely State of Kolhapur  known to be a great social reformer of his time. Shahu Ji  was a staunch follower of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and great admirer of Dr B.R. Ambedkar. Shahu Ji belonged to Oil presser “Teli” caste but devoted his life for the upliftment of the  Dalit society. He challenge the Brahmanical supremacy in administration and on 26th July 1902 by sanctioning 50% Reservation for the backward Classes in Kohlapur StateServices  This was  against the tough opposition from upper caste  Brahmin Ministers who numbered
 over 98% in administration against 3% share in population of Brahmins in the state.  He assertedhis full authority over his kingdom and took a number of welfare schemes for the depressed class peoples   As per his renowned biographer Shri A.B. Latthe “He was greatest Maharaja that ever sat on the thrown of Kohlapur and one of the powerful men that the nation ever produced in its long& Brilliant history”. Chhatarpati Sahu Ji Maharaj’s concern for good administration can be judged from his statement “Although I am on the throne of Kohlapur, I feel proud to call myself as solider, farmer or labourer . while addressing  meeting in Madras he said “ I am here not as king but friend to those whose pitiable condition  shall melt even a stone hearted person . He passed laws to allow training of non-Brahmin men as temple priests along with declaring religious places properties as Kohlapur State properties. He ordered that the appointment of Shankaachariyas in future shall be with Kohlapur State authority.  He abolished Kulkarni system and appointed Kshatra Jagadguru ringing a bell of reasons and secularism for  His subjects. He approved conducting of marriages with out a Brahmin priest.  He promoted inter caste marriages among his subjects. However it created ill will towards Maharaja by irrational thinking superstitious Brahmins who were supported by Lokmanya Tilak and some others. While opposing right of higher Education to Bachward Classes, Tilak is on record to have said in one of his speech dated 11November,1917( Javatmal Maharathtra) “ would the tailors use sewing machine, the peasants their plough and the merchants the scale of balance in the council”  Tilak & congress party  was for the Bachward classes peopled to follow their ancestral trades, where only elementary education needed. Determined to implement his egalitarian thoughts  so was prepared to face all his adversaries opposing them. On 15 April,1920 Chhatarpati  Sahu Ji Maharaj replied thus to Tilak, “ Tilak would have been ashamed of expressing  such thoughts in his speech Brahmin V/s Brahmantra. Tilak advised untouchables not to take secondary education after primary educatioin. He wanted them to learn them to learn the crafts of their castes, thus he believed in constitution of the caste profession for the untouchables and not in giving them the higher education to them “However Maharaja was not against Brahmins but Brahmanism and Brahmanical ways and their half hearted reforms. so many good hearted Brahmins   like V.D. Topkhane, Gopal Krishan Gokhale, Rajaram Shastri supported the progressive efforts.

Shahu Ji was born on 26 July in the year 1874 as Yeshwantrao Ghatge. He was the eldest son of Narayan Dinkarrao Ghatke also called Appasaheb Ghatge and his wife Radhabai,. Narayan Dinkarrao Ghatke was the head of Kagal and his wife was the daughter of the Raja of Mudhol that's in today's Karnataka state.. Narayan Dinkarrao Ghatke was Regent to Kohlapur State, so lived in Laxminivas Palace in Kohlapur where Yeshwantrao Ghatge was born.

Sahu Ji Maharaj lost his father at the age of 12 years and his mother when he was only three years. Shahu received his earlier education under the care of his father. As luck would have it Yeshwantrao Ghatge when a child of only 10 years, he was adopted by Anandibai, the widow of Chhatarpati Maharaja Shivaji IV (  Narayanarao) of Kolhapur on March 17th, 1884.  He ascended to the throne of Kohlapur Chhatrapati and was given the name as  Chhatar Pati Sahu Ji Maharaj.  Grown up Sahu Ji Maharaj was over five feet and nine inches in height and bore majestic appearance of a real Maratha king. Wrestling was one of the favorite sports of Chhatrapati

Shahu Ji Maharaj was married to Laxshmibaisaheba on 1st, April1891 then only  11 years old bride. She was daughter of a Maratha nobleman Shri Meharban Gunajirao Khanvilkar from Baroda having blood relation with Chhatrapati of Satara .Sahu couple was blessed with four children.

The Maharaj  came in cotact with Dr B.R. Ambedkar when they were introduced by Dattoba Pawar and Dittoba Dalvi  (artist) and their association lost till the sudden end of shahu Ji Maharaj in 1922. Sahu Ji was greatly impressed by his revolutionary ideas. Maharaj Ji   always lent helping hands by all means to any body from untouchables found in distress. He met Dr B.R. Ambedkar a number of times during 1917-1921. When Dr Ambedkar expressed his desire to start a fortnightly newspaper to bring about an awakening among Dalits Sahu Ji Maharaj denoted Rs2,500.00 for this noble cause. Dr Ambedkar started “ Mooknayak” (Leader of the  Dumb) on 31st January ,1920. Also when Dr Ambedkar faced financial problems in completion of his for studies in September 1921. Sahu Ji sent Rs750.00 with assurance to Dr Ambedkar that he can write for any such help to him any time. Again Sahu Ji Maharaj sent a cheque worth Rs1500.00 to Dr Ambedkar at his London address on 5th October 1921. When Mooknayak landed in financial distressed Shahu Ji Maharaj pulled it out by donating Rs750.00 in January 1921and Rs1000.00  on 21st Febuary,1921.  The first conference of untouchables was organized under leadership of Shahu Ji Maharaj (21-22 March) 1920 at Mangaon Kohlapur , Dr Ambedkar was Chairman. The Maharaja told the gathering that they had found a leader in Dr Ambedkar who will work for their amelioration.

Shahu Ji Maharaj’s qualities of head and heart earned him honorary LLD from Cambridge University and ; G.C.S.I; G.C.V.O; G.C.I.E; titles from Queen Victoria,  Duke of Co naught & Empiral Darbar Respectively. As per the law of the nature who so ever has born is to die. Some people live for others and they are remembered ages after their demise. Satarpati Ji Maharaj suddenly passed away on 6th May, 1922 at a prime age of 48 years.  He has left indelible mark in the history of India. He worked with dedication, strength, intelligent and exerted his authority despite many hurdles. He shall go in the history of Indian Dalit empowerment