Kanshi Ram Birth Anniversary: The leader who changed the face of Dalit politics, slogans used to create ruckus on the stage
Kanshi Ram Birthday: Kanshi Ram gave a new direction to Dalit politics in the country. His slogans given on the stage used to create ruckus. Opponents were also convinced of his political skills.
Kanshi Ram Birthday: There were two big Dalit leaders in the active politics of the country. One was Babu Jagjivan Ram and the other was Kanshi Ram, whom his loved ones called Manyavar. Jagjivan Ram was a big Dalit face of politics, while Kanshi Ram was such a leader who changed the face of Dalit politics. Kanshi Ram created such an equation of politics which gave UP its first Dalit CM only a decade after the formation of the party. Along with this, the slogans of Kanshi Ram were also discussed a lot. There was a lot of uproar regarding these slogans. In the initial days, when he used to raise these slogans on the stage, he used to say before that if someone belongs to upper caste, he should get up and leave.
Kanshi Ram was born on March 15, 1934 in a Dalit family in Ropar, Punjab. However, after his birth the family had converted and became Sikhs. Due to this, he did not have to face discrimination in childhood like others, but the pursuit of caste did not go away. In 1956, Kanshi Ram completed his B.Sc. In the same year he got his first job in Survey of India, but he did not join.
Started first job in Pune
After this, he got a job in DRDO’s ammunition factory located in Kirki, Pune. Here he joined the lab as a research assistant. Here he had to face caste discrimination. After coming to Pune, Kanshiram came in contact with the writings of Jyotiba Phule and Bhimrao Ambedkar. Meanwhile, he was upset with the discrimination against Dalits and in 1964 he resigned from the job. After this he dedicated his life for Dalits.
‘Everyone else is DS-4’
In order to unite Dalits, Kanshi Ram started raising questions related to Dalits by visiting different parts of the country. In 1973, on the birthday of Baba Saheb Ambedkar, he formed an organization named All India Backward Minority Communities Employees Federation. It came to be known as BAMCEF. Under the banner of this organization, he kept uniting the oppressed society. By the time of 1981, he felt the need for change in the organization. He renamed it Dalit Shoshit Samaj Sangharsh Samiti. In short it was called DS-4. The attitude of this organization was very fast. A slogan used to run with this organization – “Thakur, Brahmin, Baniya Chhor, baki sab hain DS-4.”
Slogans made a different identity
Slogans gave a different identity to Kanshi Ram, who entered politics for the rights of Dalits. One of his slogans became very famous – Tilak, Tarazu and Talwar, kill them with four shoes. When this slogan first appeared in the 90s, there was an uproar. It is said that when Kanshi Ram used to come on the stage, he used to ask the upper castes to get up and leave beforehand. However, later the Bahujan Samaj Party distanced itself from it.
Kanshiram’s slogan politics had put his attitude in front of everyone. A large number of Dalit youths started joining them. their main slogans were
Our vote, your rule, will not work, will not work
Whose number is heavy, that is his share
CM/PM will be taken by vote, SP/DM will be taken by reservation
Formation of BSP and support of Mayawati
In 1984, Kanshi Ram realized that if something has to be changed, it can be done only by staying in power. In the same year he formed the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). He found Uttar Pradesh to be the best place for Dalit politics. In western Uttar Pradesh, he started working to strengthen the party by roaming around. During this he met Mayawati. Together with Mayawati, Kanshi Ram left a different mark in the politics of Uttar Pradesh and Mayawati became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1995, only a decade after the formation of the party. This was the first time in the largest state in terms of population and Lok Sabha seats that a Dalit had become the CM.
To lose the first election
The formulas of politics given by Kanshiram became very popular. He gave one such formula regarding elections. In the initial days, when the BSP was not a political force, questions were asked about the elections. He used to say that the first election is to be lost. The second is to defeat and the third is to win. Mayawati won the first election on this formula. After the formation of BSP, there were three by-elections in UP. In all the three, Kanshi Ram fielded Mayawati. Mayawati lost the first election from Bijnor and the second from Haridwar, but in the 1989 general elections, Mayawati reached the Lok Sabha by winning the Bijnor seat. This was the beginning of the BSP becoming a political force, which later achieved the status of a national party.
Courtesy: ABP News
Note: This news piece was originally published in abpnews.com and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights.
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