Tribute to Kanshiram Saheb

Salute to Kanshiram Saheb on his birth anniversary. In Today’s polity, people miss him, his acumen and his understanding of the issue. In Today’s times, he would have been encouraging the young dedicated Ambedkarite to take plunge into politics. The one thing which makes him an absolutely different person than his contemporaries that he did not care what other speak about him and his party. Rarely, did he go to get ‘certified’ by the brahmanical parties and media. Of course, once in mainstream politics he did everything which could strengthen his party. Many of his action might have looked controversial but remember one thing, nobody could ever charge him for sacrificing the interest of the Bahujan Samaj. It is essential for our politicians to not only be seen beyond corruption but beyond doubtful integrity.

Kanshiram ji’s contribution can also be understood in terms of creating a whole new team of leadership of diverse communities. He nurture Ms Mayawati and converted BSP into a powerful national force. Unfortunately, he did not have the cooperation and support of many of the colleagues. The health was not on his side. The issue of support is important in understanding as why party could not grow powerfully after his demise particularly in the states of Punjab, Chhattishgarh and Madhya Pradesh where it had a sizable presence.

Kanshiram ji did not get thing on platter. Everything was hard earned for him. His life was full of struggle yet his head was always high. He was an assertive Ambedkarite. He provided millions of people a reason to fight and stand up with their head high.

Bahujan Samaj Party has a legacy of Ambedkarite political movement launched by Kanshiram Saheb. But he could not have succeeded if he had not launched the social cultural movement for the emancipation of the community. The fact is he always considered cultural movement a very essential part of Ambedkarite assertion which in later stage helped BSP and its rise to power in Uttar Pradesh.

Life of Kanshiram Saheb is an example for all of us. He created powerful leaders but many of them compromised with the high ideals and forgot the community. Some of them became part of power structure. I want to emphasise here clearly that people might have differences with BSP but please strengthen it, make it more vibrant. Dont dream of eliminating a party which has been responsible for wider political changes in India as far as Dalits and Bahujan Samaj are concern. In today’s polity, we need to preserve it as it is the hope for millions who remain unrepresented and are always called to be governed. It is the duty of the leadership to develop the dynamic young leadership. In polity there are lots of adjustments and even compromises given the nature of money and muscle power in it and a will to survive, we feel that Bahujan movement must strengthen the legacy of Dr Ambedkar and take it further towards those communities where it has not reached. The class discourse in the Bahujan movement means that it must provide space to those communities who are on the edge and remained so for centuries. It is important we reach them, give them a sense of hope and space as Manywar Kanshiram did when he provided space to those in power structure who never got an opportunity to be part of it. Politics might give us many disappointing things but let the powerful legacy of Ambedkarism guide the Bahujan polity and strengthen it further. At the time, when brahmanical capitalist agenda of the ruling party has been unleashed on the country, an Ambedkarite vision of secular socialist democratic and inclusive India is the only option for all of us to live together in dignity and spirit of friendship- bhai-bahin chara and defeat those parochial manuwadis who want to enslave the vast Bahujan masses through all the means including money, media and mafia. Kanshiram’s Life is his mission that once the Bahujan Samaj is united and has understood Dr Ambeddkar’s vision and ideals, none can make ever make them slave, in fact, those who were always ruled became the rulers. He gave people big dreams and big hopes and it is time for all of us to work towards achieving them.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat

March 15th, 2019