'Indebted' Nation Remembers Kanshiram

The 90th birth anniversary of the Bahujan messiah brought his followers from all over the state to the Kanshiram Smarak Sthal.
Manywar Kanshiram
Manywar Kanshiram

Lucknow: Kanshiram would be remembered for his contribution in giving a political identity to the most marginalized sections of the society. His steadfast determination to make deprived sections of the society still motivates many.

His followers remembered him on his 90th birth anniversary. Thousands of people from across the state descended upon the Kanshiram Smarak Sthal at Lucknow to offer their tributes to messiah of the socially outcastes.

The Mooknayak met Pramod Gautam, who was beating the Dafli (a percussion instrument), while singing the songs dedicated to Manyavar Kanshiram - Hai aaj janamdin unka kanshiram naam hai jinka (today is the birthday of the person known as Kanshiram). He thanks Dina Bhana for introducing Kanshiram to Ambedkarism. His songs carry the anguish of the downtrodden and are replete with aspirational vigour.

Gautam belongs to a village near Lakhimpur Khiri, 150 kilometeres from the state capital. “I spread awareness about the Bahujan Mission” he said when asked about the work he does for living.

He says that he has been a tireless worker of the Bahujan Mission.

Most of the people assembled at the Kanshiram Smarak Sthal seem to be BSP supporters and functionaries. Slogans like Vote Humara Raaj Tumhara Nahi Chalega Nahi Chalega  were vociferously chanted by the people.

Suraj Lal Baudh, who came from a village in Raebareilly, said, “Kanshiram ignited the flame of Ambedkarism in the country. Before him, people were not aware about Ambedkar, but today his views and mission appear to have wavered a bit but people like us and the BSP are working to sensitise the masses about the mission of Kanshiram.

Kanshiram: The Man Who Ignited Ambedkarism

At the time when a large section of the Dalit community is mired in superstition and is being cajoled into the folds of Hinduism, the relevance of Kanshiram cannot be ignored.

R.K Saurabh, a real estate agent, opines, “Manyavar Kanshiram illuminated the darkness, which was in the society with his torch of Ambedkarism.”

Citing his own example, he said, "Earlier, I used to be a great believer and worship fictional gods and goddesses. I was involved in Jagrata and Kirtans but after I was introduced to the thoughts of Manyavar Kanshiram, I gave up all this and began to believe in justice and equality."

It is not easy for everyone to take out time to come to Kanshiram Smarak Sthal to offer tributes, R. K. Kanaujia, a private sector employee from Kanpur, says, “I had to forego my daily wage of Rs 800 as my office would not grant me leave for attending Kanshiram Jayanti."

He added that he also had to spend Rs 500 more on the fare to reach the venue.

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Bela Kaushal, a prominent BSP leader and a former coordinator, said, "The thoughts of Kanshiram are relevant today, and will remain so forever. As the awareness in the society grows, his thoughts will become more relevant and will be implemented in the country."

Explaining further, she pointed out that Kanshiram gave the slogan of 'Jiski jitni sankhya bhari, uski itni hissedari (share in population will determine share in resources) 40 years back, but the other parties are abiding by it today.

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