Lucknow- Kanshiram has been among the very few leaders in the country who have left their footprints on the landscape of the Indian political movement. Kanshiram, who hailed from Ropar in Punjab, left his secure job at DRDO to launch a social movement to awaken the deprived masses of the country. He also formed the BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party), a party that, at its peak, formed a government with a full majority in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh.
The death anniversary of Kanshiram, the founder of the BSP and various other social movements, was observed in Lucknow on Monday, 9th October. People from various parts of Uttar Pradesh congregated at the Kanshiram Eco Garden, a memorial devoted to him. People from various organizations and parties assembled to pay their tributes.
BSP supremo Mayawati paid tributes to BSP founder Kanshiram at the state headquarters of the BSP in Lucknow on Monday. On this occasion, she addressed the party workers and said “ BSP will fulfil the mission of Manyawar Kanshiram one day.
She took veiled swipes at the Samajwadi Party by saying that even those people who did not observe even a day of mourning in Uttar Pradesh on his death are scrambling to pay tributes to him.
Jaswant Singh, a teacher at a Government Inter college in Barabanki, said that he had taken a day off to come to Lucknow from Barabanki, which is 50 kilometers from the state capital. “Kanshiram ji did a lot of work for people belonging to the weaker section and told us that without political power, you cannot do anything,” he said.
Rekha Arya, who is associated with Lakshya, a Bahujan women’s organization, says that our team offered tributes to Manyawar Kanshiram; he did a lot for women, and our organization is working on the theme of Kanshiram's ideals and is led by women.
Manju Gautam, a young Buddhism propagator associated with the BSP, came all the way from Auraiya, 150 kilometers from Lucknow, to offer her tributes to Kanshiram. She said that the BSP is suffering because of betrayal from some leaders. “Had Kanshiram ji been alive, things would have been quite different for the BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party).”
BSP MLC Bhim Rao Ambedkar also paid tributes to Kanshiram along with his supporters.
People who could not come to the Kanshiram Eco Garden in Lucknow also remembered Kanshiram at their place. “Had it not been for Kanshiram, the name of Baba Saheb would not have been known.”
Various student organizations also observed the death anniversary of Kanshiram. Manav Rawat, a student leader associated with BAPSA (Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association) at LU (Lucknow University), said, “Had it not been for Kanshiram, the name of Baba Saheb Ambedkar would not have been known in different places in India. The name of Kanshiram inspires us when we fight for the rights of students at Lucknow University.” Other students at the university, like Ashutosh, also paid their tributes.
“Kanshiram took the views of Babasaheb to the masses,” Vinay Kanaujiya, an advocate with the Allahabad High Court in Uttar Pradesh, remembered Kanshiram from his home in Maharajganj. “Kanshiramji worked on the vision of Baba Saheb Ambedkar. After Babasaheb died in 1956, he was completely forgotten by the 1980s. His views were unknown, but the arrival of Kanshiram changed the scene; he took Babasaheb and his views to the masses, and because of his efforts, Babasaheb received the Bharat Ratna Award. He also played an instrumental role in getting the Mandal Commission recommendations implemented by organizing rallies in support of the movement. Kanshiram ji founded organizations like DS-4 and a party like BSP, which went on to become a national party and formed a government four times in Uttar Pradesh."