Opinion: Will more Kanshi Ram’s from the Bahujan community please stand up?

Written by Vidya Bhushan Rawat | Published on: March 15, 2019

At a 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 with the spirit of friendship, bhai-bahin chara; and defeat those parochial Manuwadis who want to enslave the vast Bahujan masses by all means including money, media and mafia.

 
Kanshi ram
 
Salute to Kanshi Ram Saheb on his birth anniversary. In today's polity, people miss him, his acumen and his understanding of issues. In today's times, he would have been encouraging the young dedicated Ambedkarites to take the plunge into politics. The one thing which makes him an absolutely different person than his contemporaries is that he did not care about what others said 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 he could to strengthen his party. Many of his actions might have looked controversial but remember one thing, nobody could ever accuse him of sacrificing the interest of the Bahujan Samaj. It is essential for our politicians to not only be seen beyond corruption but also beyond doubtful integrity.
 
Kanshi Ramji's contribution can also be understood in terms of creating a whole new team of leadership in diverse communities. He nurtured Mayawati and converted BSP into a powerful national force. Unfortunately, he did not have the cooperation and support of many of his colleagues. Health was not on his side. The issue of support is important in understanding as to why the party could not grow as powerfully after his demise; particularly in the states of Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh where it had a sizable presence.
 
Kanshi Ramji did not get anything on a platter. Everything was hard earned. His life was full of struggle yet his head was always high. He was an assertive Ambedkarite. He provided millions of people with a reason to fight and stand up with their head held high.
 
Bahujan Samaj Party has a legacy of Ambedkarite political movements launched by Kanshi Ram Saheb. But he could not have succeeded if he had not launched the socio-cultural movement for the emancipation of the community. The fact is, he always considered the cultural movement a very essential part of the Ambedkarite assertion, which at a later stage, helped BSP and its rise to power in Uttar Pradesh.
 
Kanshi Ram Saheb’s life 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 a part of the power structure. People may have differences with BSP but it needs strengthening and vibrancy. Don’t dream of eliminating a party which has been responsible for wider political changes in India as far as Dalits and Bahujan Samaj are concerned. 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. The 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 margins and remain so for centuries. It is important we reach them, give them a sense of hope and space as Manyawar Kanshi Ram did when he provided space to them in power structure and who had 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 a 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 with the spirit of friendship, bhai-bahin chara; and defeat those parochial Manuwadis who want to enslave the vast Bahujan masses by all means including money, media and mafia.
 
Kanshi Ram's life is his mission that once the Bahujan Samaj is united and has understood Dr. Ambedkar's vision and ideals, no one can make ever make them a slave, in fact, those who were always ruled became the rulers. He gave people big dreams and hopes and it is time for all of us to work towards achieving them.