“I will never get married, I will never acquire any property, I will never visit my home, I will devote and dedicate the rest of my life to achieve the goals of Phule -Ambedkar movement”
These pledges remind the work of Manyawar Kanshi Ram Sahib who is remembered in the history of India as a True leader of Bahujan Samaj . The journey of Manyawar Kanshi Ram Saheb and his movement of socio-cultural revolution and economic emancipation of Bahujan Samaj started way back in 1964. Kanshi Ram, the eldest son of Mr. Hari Singh, resident of Khawas Pur village of Punjab ‘s Roper district, was born on 15 th March, 1934 , in a Sikh family belonging to the Ramdassia Community.
He completed B.Sc. and joined as an assistant Scientist in DRDO in Kirki Pune Maharashtra in 1957 where he was exposed to the bad breath of Hindu social order i.e. atrocious caste system. In the ordinance factory, where Kanshi Ram was working, the management cancelled the holidays of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti and Buddha Jayanti and instead granted Tilak Jayanti holiday and an additional holiday during Diwali festival. As a reaction to this, not the Ambedkarites from Maharashtra but a Scheduled Caste Mr. Dina Bhana, from Rajasthan, protested against the cancellation of these two holidays. Dina Bhana’s protest resulted in his suspension. By this atrocious act, agitated Kanshi Ram fought the legal battle for Dina Bhana.
As a result, not only was Dina Bhana reinstated but the holidays were also restored. The unjust and casteist act on the part of management resulted in a new awakening in Kanshi Ram, as he did not properly realize the casteist divisions in his youth in Punjab . Thereafter Kanshi Ram studied the literature of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, the biggest destroyer of Brahmanism after Buddha, Jyotiba Phule and Periyar. Kanshi Ram Ji read “Annihilation of Castes” three times in one night which created not only an impact on Kanshi Ram, but shaped his thinking and future course of actions. Beside Dr. Ambedkar’s writings, Mr. Kanshi Ram found the path of further movement in Dr. Ambedkar’s plan for political action. Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji quit the job in 1964 and decided that he will never marry and devote his life for social transformation.
On 24 th September 1944 , at Madras , Dr. Babasaheb declared the political goal of his struggle. Dr Ambedkar said, “Understand our ultimate goal. Our ultimate goal is to become the rulers of this country. Write this goal on the walls of your houses so that you will never forget. Our struggle is not for the few jobs and concessions but we have a larger goal to achieve. That goal is to become the rulers of the land.” On 4 th October, 1945 , in the Working Committee meeting of All India Scheduled Castes Federation again he elaborately stressed on the political power and said , “Politics should be the life-blood of the Scheduled Castes.” Since politics of Congress party, the mouthpiece of the dominant castes was detrimental to the very existence and interests of backward class people, Babasaheb tried to form a broad – base movement of all the victims of Brahmanism.
On 18 th March, 1956 in a public meeting at Ram Leela ground, Agra , he said that the highly qualified people belonging to SCs have betrayed us. They are occupying the key posts in government and doing nothing for their poor, oppressed brothers and sisters.
It was a great loss for the movement when Dr. Babasaheb unexpectedly died on 6 th December, 1956 .
After the death of DR Ambedkar, the Republican Party of India (R P I) as visualized by Dr. Ambedkar was formed on 3 rd October, 1957 . But from 1958 the party began to split up under various leaders. The biggest set-back to the party was that, it became a party of Maharashtra and the Mahars (later converted to Buddhism after 1956) and the other sub-castes remained the supporters of Congress and others. The clash of personalities and personal political ambitions took the caravan in a reverse direction rather taking ahead.
Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji noticed the dynamism of Dr Ambedkar’s movement. He started working with Republican Party of India. After near about eight years of working with Republican Party of India, he became disillusioned with its functioning. His dream of Ambedkarite movement was completely shattered when Dadasaheb Gaikwad joined the hands with Mohan Dhariya from Congress for a petty one Lok-Sabha reserved seat and few lakh rupees. He observed that supporters of RPI were celebrating the pact of RPI and Congress where RPI got just one seat and rest of seats were given to Congress. This event was the beginning of his dissociation from Republican Party.
Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji decided that he will develop a society which will work to spread the thoughts of Dr Ambedkar and other social reformers and will never sell themselves for a small gain. He independently started organizing the employees of Scheduled castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes mainly from Pune, Bombay , Nasik , Nagpur and Delhi .
He traveled all over the India along with his few activists to know why Caravan of Dr Ambedkar was brought back rather than taking ahead. During these days he never bothered about his health, food, transport and worked tirelessly to awaken the educated employees. Organization of employees of Backward Class and Religious Minorities, after doing a necessary preparatory work within a period of five years decided to float an organisation in 1973. As a result of it, and as per the vision of Dr. Ambedkar, Kanshi Ramji’s started his first organization on 6 th December 1978 in Delhi , called as BAMCEF. Subsequently, he formed Buddhist Research Center (BRC), DS-4 and BSP.
Kanshi Ramji decided to take the Caravan of Dr Ambedkar ahead and he considers it as his responsibility to fulfill the same. Then he started working among educated employees and awakens them to work for the upliftment of the downtrodden. In this process he was successful to a large extent in awakening, realizing and transforming the expectations of Dr Ambedkar from educated class. After the necessary ground work and positive response from some employees in Poona , Nagpur , Delhi and other places Kanshi Ramji decided to launch an organization for pay-back to society. Thus, the idea of BAMCEF was conceived on 6 th December, 1973 . After ceaseless field work throughout the country for near about five years the birth of BAMCEF took place on the lawn of Boat Club in New Delhi , on 6 th December 1978 . During this time, he conducted several cadre camps, meetings, seminars in different parts of the country to awaken the employees. The basic aim of BAMCEF was to develop genuine and capable leadership among the oppressed. Basically it has been the organization aimed to build up the non-political roots for the success of Dr. Ambedkar’s political vision and action. BAMCEF’s typical feature was that it was an organization of the employees, by the employees but not for the welfare of the employees. The first concept given by Kanshi Ram Ji was “people who should succeed politically must have strong non-political roots”
He witnessed the failure of Ambedkarite movement in Maharashtra ,
Kanshi Ramji had realized that the people whose non-political roots were not strong were bound to fail politically. They can have their political party, but they cannot succeed politically. Therefore, in order to strengthen the non-political roots of backward class people, he began BAMCEF experiment and spent 10-11 years in organizing the educated employees of SC/ST/OBCs and Minorities, who were benefited by the policy of reservation. BAMCEF created a new missionary political conscience among the backward caste educated employees and also established a national network for further Kanshi Ram’s movement.
Kanshi Ram Ji did not project himself a leader but worked silently as organizer and hence he did not mind to invite Ram Vilas Paswan, Karpoori Thakur to address 3 rd National Convention of BAMCEF which was held at Chandigarh on 14 th -18 th October 1983 .
After spending 20 yrs of his young age Kanshi Ramji realized that merely organizing employees would not be enough to fulfill the dreams of Dr Ambedkar. Unless they get power and cannot become rulers. Therefore he created another concept, i.e . ‘Power will be the product of struggle’. He realized that Employees cannot do struggle hence he stared DS-4 Dalit Shoshit Samaj Sangharsh Samiti. According to him, “not that our people were not struggling. They were struggling, but not for themselves. They were not struggling for their own cause. They were and are struggling for somebody else as stooges. Because we are passing through the Chamcha Age, the era of stooges, and as stooges we are struggling.”
Kanshi Ram in his historical book, “THE CHAMCHA AGE”, (an Era of the Stooges) published on 24 th September, 1982 , on the occasion of 50 th anniversary of the Poona -Pact, has vividly exclusively dealt with the disadvantages of the Chamcha Age.
A) Caste and Community-wise Chamchas.
1 ) The scheduled Castes – Reluctant Chamchas.
2) The Scheduled Tribes – Initiated Chamchas
3) The Other Backward Castes – aspiring Chamchas
4) The Minorities – Helpless Chamchas.
B) Party – Wise Chamchas.
C) Ignorant Chamchas.
D) Enlightened Chamchas or Ambedkarite Chamchas
E) Chamchas of the Chamchas.
F) Chamchas Abroad.
It will be apt to say that, Kanshi Ram has been the only leader who has understood the damage caused by the Poona Pact and applied the necessary measures as it was expected by Dr. Babasaheb. His only book deals with the Chamcha Age phenomenon in detail.
Kanshi Ram has been very crystal clear in understanding the Poona Pact and therefore he said, “Babasaheb Ambedkar wanted to take the downtrodden people from Dark Age to bright age. But Gandhi intervened in this process of change. Hence we entered into a different age then onwards, which I have named as the age of Chamchas-the Chamcha Age-the era of stooges”.
Thus, from the day of launching D -S4, an agitational and awakening wing of BAMCEF, till the formation of Bahujan Samaj Party, on 14 th April, 1984 , Kanshi Ram conducted several experiments of social action countrywide successfully. The programmes created sufficient awareness in the Bahujan Samaj about their socio – political, economic and cultural status. Hence, D-S4 proved as a milestone preparation for the long battle of political action, social transformation and economic emancipation.
Up to 1976, Kanshi Ram, being in Pune – the center of Maharashtra witnessed the down-fall of Ambedkarite movement. In his scientific analysis of the Chamcha Age, he has focused on the fall of Ambedkarism from the first general election i.e. 1951 till 1980. By 1971 alliance between R P I and Congress, his all hopes of Ambedkarite movement dashed into dustbin. Therefore, following the advice of Dr. Ambedkar i.e. ‘political power is the key to all social progress,’ he felt absolutely essential for the members of all oppressed and exploited communities to prepare themselves for agitational and political action.
Most of the politicians, Researchers failed to understand the vision of Kanshi Ram Ji and hence could not understand the Role of BSP in Indian Democracy. Today in India there are 7 national political parties which are lead by so called upper caste Hindus. They control all the affairs of their parties to establish the rule of Hindu upper castes and exploit the 85% Bahujan Samaj.
Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji refined the rules of Indian politics. He developed a concept that the unstable government at center is beneficial for Bahujan Samaj as you can derive maximum advantages to deprived sections. Therefore he used say frequently,” I want Mazboor (weak) government at centre and not Majboot (strong) till we reach to the Centre”. Kanshi Ram Ji articulated positively the Bahujan ideology from Buddha to Ambedkar. Kanshi Ram Ji always acknowledged the contribution of Ex-Mahars now Buddhists for supporting Dr Ambedkar in his war against Manuvadi system. He said,” I have learnt two things from them one how to learn the movement I leant from Dr Ambedkar and second how not to run the movement from his followers in Maharashtra .