Remembering D.K. Khaparde: The Man Who Ambedkarised Kanshiram

"The Brahmin wouldn't want to destroy the present social system which is maintaining his hegemony, which is maintaining his superiority, and which is giving him existence from which they are deriving benefits. - D K Khaparde
The Mooknayak pays tribute to D.K Khaparde, co-founder of BAMCEF and an ally of Manyawar Kanshiram (13 May 1939- 29 February 2000)
The Mooknayak pays tribute to D.K Khaparde, co-founder of BAMCEF and an ally of Manyawar Kanshiram (13 May 1939- 29 February 2000)

Lucknow— BAMCEF ( The All India Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation) is the only effective organization of the Marginalized, which has been successful in moving the needle in the favor of the oppressed castes. Though, primarily an employee organization, it has been the ideological wellspring of the Bahujan Movement in India.

D.K KHAPARDE was an Indian activist and a co-founder of the BAMCEF. Born on 13th May 1939 as Devidas Khaparde in Nagpur (Maharashtra, India). Khaparde graduated in science and joined DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) in Pune, where he met the Saheb Kanshiram. it was Khaparde, who engendered Ambedkarism in Kanshiram, a Dalit youth from Punjab having little knowledge about Ambedkar. Khaparde always analysed the works of Baba Saheb Ambedkar and it is believed that it was he who insisted Kanshiram to read The Annihalation of Caste. While Kanshiram resigned from his job, Khaparde continued with it.

Christopher Jaffrelot writes in his book ‘India’s Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Castes in North India’, all the more so as Kanshi Ram was largely initiated into ‘Ambedkarism’ by one of his colleagues, a Mahar Buddhist, D. K. Khaparde.”

The Event Which Galvanized Ambedkarites

The watershed event of Kanshiram life was when the officials in DRDO scrapped the holiday of Ambedkar Jayanti, which mobilized the supporters of Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar. Khaparde, Dina Bhana and Kanshiram waged a long battle. After an argument with an officer, Kanshiram was suspended while Khaparde was transferred but they were successful in reinstating the holiday.

Making of BAMCEF

The trio of Kanshiram, Khaparde and Dina Bhana realized that there should be an organization which raises the issues of the employees of the marginalized communities. In 1973, the contours of BAMCEF were fleshed out by the three but the actual organization was yet to take place. In 1978 BAMCEF was founded on December 6th. Later Kanshiram founded organisations like DS4 and BSP ( Bahujan Samaj Party) in 1984.

Taking the reins of BAMCEF

Later after 1984, after the formation of BSP . Kanshiram and Khaparde decided to handle separate responsibilities as Kanshiram was finding it difficult to manage the BAMCEF and Bahujan Samaj Party simultaneously. Finally in 1986, Khaparde resigned from his service (with atleast 13 years remaining in his service) to work full-fledgedly to expand BAMCEF in parallel to its political wing i.e. BSP. After taking over the reins of BAMCEF in his hands, he got it registered in 1987.

He believed in the social polarisation and SC/ST/OBC and for this he wanted to wean away people of these sections from the Hindutva, communist and socialist ideologies. He travelled across india to strengthen the ideology of Ambedkarism. He said that there are two- aspects of an organisation- ideological and functional. He emphasised on training for expanding and running an organisation because he was a firm believer that without change in thoughts there can be no change in ideology.

In December 1999, he attended his last BAMCEF convention in Patna, Bihar. During the convention he was not feeling well. And in January 2000, he was admitted to hospital, where he was diagnosed with abdomen cancer. He succumbed to his illness on 29th February, 2000.


Over the years, BAMCEF splintered into various factions. The only registered faction is headed by Waman Meshram and has its own political wing- the Bahujan Mukti party. While the faction considered to be pro-BSP has divided the organisation into district units and there is no one at the national level. Jor Singh a veteran of BAMCEF says “ Being an employee organisation people found it easier to confine themselves to zones and later districts as they were restricted by their government jobs.” says Jor Singh a BAMCEF veteran and now retired employee. There are at least a dozen other factions also and all of them claim to be working for the rights of the marginalised people and swear by the ideals of Dr B.R. Ambedkar and Kanshiram.

However, the only registered faction of BAMCEF, which is headed by Waman Meshram is the most active one and has its presence all over India.

Khaparde: Remembered by supporters

His supporters established a trust in his name- D.K. Khaparde Memorial Trust in the year 2001, headquartered in Mumbai. D K Khaparde Memorial Trust has established Rashtrapita Jyotiba Phooley Institute of Social Revolution, at Ranbodi, Amaravati Road in 25 acres land. In this center, there is a residential training Center for 50 activists at a time to train them.

The Mooknayak pays tribute to D.K Khaparde, co-founder of BAMCEF and an ally of Manyawar Kanshiram (13 May 1939- 29 February 2000)
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