Sunday, June 18, 2017

ACHHUTANAND SWAMI JI 1879 tO-1933) His 84 th Death Anniversary falls on 20th July 2017 ( Corrected and updated.


Image result for swami achhutanandWith the dawn of nineteenth century the clouds of suppression and ignorance on Indian Dalits started receding. This gave way to emergence of untouchable consciousness and a feeble political voice to these millions of soul covering skeletons. The polite challenge put to Hindu religion laws of scriptures by the Bhagti Movement Saints like Namdev, Guru Ravidas, Kabir Sahib, Guru Nanak Chokhamela started  spouting now into clear resistance by their Dalit followers. This gave way to uprising by Dalits under the guidance of new religious and political leaders. Emergence on the scene of the leaders like Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Swami Achhutanand 'Harihar', and Narayana Guru, Guru Ghasidas Ji Maharaj, Vitthal Ramji Shinde Dr. Ambedkar and others gave directions to the upturning masses. The roll player in this uprising by Swami Achhutanand 'Harihar', was marvelous.
Besides being a poet, dramatist, historian and propagandist Swami Achhutanand founded the Adi Hindu Mahasabha , an organization of the Depressed Classes. Swami Achhutanand also founded the news paper Adi- Hindu. There was similarity in the opinions of Swami Achhutanand and Bharat Ratna Baba Saheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar about Dalit literature and Dalit empowerment. Both worked for the cooperative partnership in associations and agitations that took up the causes of the Dalits. Both worked for the empowerment of Dalits believing that Dalit problem  struggle was not only for equality of political, economic status but social, cultural, educational  partnership in state finance affairs besides providing them dignified employment opportunities.
Swami Achhutanand, a chamar( leather crafts man) by caste, was born on 6th May, 1879 at his maternal grandfather's village Saurikh Tehsil Chhibramau District Farukhabad (U.P.) Swami Ji’s father revered Shri Moti Ram and mother Shrimati Ram Piari. Hira Lal was his childhood name. His parents and uncle had left the village due to some quarrel with the Brahmins on caste basis before the mutiny of 1857. They migrated to village Umari Tehsil Sirsaganj of District Mainpuri, situated to the north-east of Agra (U.P). Swami Ji's father and uncle went to Denali and joined the army. His elder brother Baant Lal was subedar in army and his uncle Kaluram  too was in army. Hira Lal’s  father passed away when he was still young and needed fatherly care. However his uncle Mathura Prasad shouldered this responsibility. Later Mathura Prasad got elevated to the position of Subedar in the army. Subedar Mathura Parsad helped Hira Lal, in his education at Nasirabad, Ajmer (Rajasthan).
Hira Lal was very brilliant at school. But he discontinued his education when he was just 14 years of age due to financial distress. Till then he was well versed with working knowledge of eight Indian languages- Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, Marathi, Bangla and Punjabi etc. He also studied deeply  religious philosophy.
Hira Lal got married to Smt. Hira Bai some sources name her Durgabai and they were blessed with four daughters (Sushila Bai, Vidyawati, Shanti Bai, name of 4th could not be traced). His one daughter got married to Sh. Mangal Singh Jatav of Tikonia, Murar District Gwalior (MP). Mr. Jatav rose to the rank of parliamentary secretary in MP government.
Swami Ji was a true feminist rightist. His life was solely dedicated to the cause of  upliftment of women and untouchables. Swami Ji also changed his name to "Achhutanand" derived from Achhut or untouchable". Swami Ji lived in the hearts of illiterate, literate,  poor and rich untouchables.
After leaving school, he joined a group of sadhus (hermits) and left for a pilgrimage with them. He was in their company for about ten years. Thereafter, he came under the influence of swami Sachitanand ji of Arya Samaj and Hira Lal joined him. After joining the Arya Samaj, his name Hiralal was changed to Swami Hariharanand.  During his associations with Arya Samaji’s and their thought process Swami Hariharanand was convinced that Arya Samaj was meant to save Hinduism nay Dalits by introducing certain minor reforms in the Hindu Society but failed to change the society radically, his ultimate goal of life. Their reforms in the Hindu religion were aimed at blocking conversion of Dalits to other religions like Islam, Christianity, Sikhism , Buddhism . So he lost love and  faith in Arya Samaj philosophy. Swami Hariharanand  wanted to work towards the annihilation of Hindu Caste system which supports untouchbility among  the Hindus. When he was convinced that his goal cannot be achieved by mere lip sympathy, he left Arya Samaj and started Adi-Hindu movement for upliftment of the depressed Classes. Adi- means original inhabitants of India now also called  Dalit,Mulnivasi etc. In a Shastrarth (philosophical debate) arranged on 22 October 1921 at Delhi, he defeated Pandit Akhilanandji an arya samaji. He rightly came to the conclusion that unless the untouchables secured political rights, there would be no salvation for them. His name Swami Hariharanand was again changed to Swami Achhutanand. Now he was with the other stalwarts of Adi-Hindu Movement namely Gopal Baba Warangalkar (Maharashtra), Bhagaya Reddy verma (1888-1939) and B. Shayam Sunder both from AP and a Punjabi Chamar strategist Babu Mangoo Ram Magowalia  (1886 –1980).
Swami Achhutanand a socio-religious revolutionary founded the Adi-Hindu Movement in unison with others to achieve equality, liberty, fraternity and justice for the under privilege untouchable Indian citizens. Indian government recognized the Adi-Hindu Movement in 1923. He also proclaimed his 7 main commands of the Adi-Hindu Movement and explained them as:
1.     There is one God, who is non- attributor (loosely meaning universal creator , no worldly means can    attract  or influence  Him or He cannot be attained by observing worldly religious rituals , dogmas, austerities ).
2.          The religion of Saints is the true religion of India.
4.          All human beings are equal. To treat someone as high and another as low is wrong.
 5.    All the Gods enunciated by Brahmanism are untrue. They ought be discarded.
6. The so-called untouchables are the original inhabitants of Bharat i.e. India.
7.  People should be free from all passions, greed, pride and malice.
8.  Their (aboriginal  inhabitants’) human rihts, glorious culture and civilization should be restored and developed.
The main centre of the Adi-Hindu movement was at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and from here he propagated the principles of Adi-Hindu movement in India. Sensing trouble for the Caste Hindus and their political party Congress from the Adi-Hindu movement, Mahatma Gandhi's son Dev Dass Gandhi called a meeting in the house of his( Gandhi’s) confidant at Kanpur where he called Swami Ji and asked him to stop his movement in the interests of Caste Hindus and Congress party. Dev Dass proposed to Swami Ji certain financial allurements as well. On this Soami Ji took out a dried loaf of bread from his pocket saying "It is worth more than, what Mr. Gandhi, you propose. I will not compromise with the interests of my brethren". Shri Dev Dass Gandhi then started calling Soami Ji as "Juta (Shoe) Nand Soami" This story has resemblance to Guru Nanak Dev's refusal of rich food offered by one Dewan Malik Bhago and instead took dried poor quality flour bread of poor carpenter Bhai Lalo.  
Swami Achhutanand was a great rationalist of his times. He viewed any principle and policy from utility point of view. He tried to eradicate irrationalism, sub-casteism and superstitions from among the Depressed Classes. He advised Dalits that the caste system had been purposely supported by the foreign invaders and rulers on India therefore it should be given up. The depressed Classes should not accept such an ugly system, which differentiates man from man. He felt that the main objective of the untouchables


was to attain emancipation from caste based oppression, which could be possible only by their involvement in gainful politics. They should be free from the yoke of Manu made Caste system. Dalits ( Castes falling under present day SCs, STs and OBCs  catagories ) should put a united struggle for achieving their human rights. In order to abolish sub-castes among the Dalits, he invariably used to take every alternate meal with a man of different caste. He exhorted them to abolish sub-castes by inter sub-caste marriages. He used to tell his people to seek help from Christians or Muslims if needed. They should take the help of Christian missionaries to educate their children.
Previously, his own near one's had been reluctant to accept his thoughts. When he was in Agra for the purpose of his mission, he was driven out by the men of his own community. But later seeing his work he became very popular among the depressed classes and attracted many people towards his movement.

When the Prince of Wales was to visit India in October 1921-March 1922, the Congress Party decided to boycott him. However, Swami Achchutanand and his followers decided to accord a grand welcome to him on the occasion of his visit to Delhi. Therefore, a huge rally was arranged at Delhi on 17th February 1922. Swami Ji submitted written memorandum having seventeen demands of Dalits for the sympathetic consideration of the British Crown. The memorandum contained the following demands:-

1.          The Adi-Hindus must be given separate electorate and separate representations.
For the progress of the untouchables, government must open schools and colleges and give admission  in them to untouchables.
2.          There must be a strict law to annihilate the untouchbility.
3.          The educated untouchables must be absorbed in the Government jobs.
5.          There should be nomination of untouchables in the municipal committees. district boards, village Panchayat, town areas and notified areas committees  .
6.          Untouchables should be granted liberty to do business  and shop keeping.
7.          There must be ban on forced labour.
8.          There must be equal rights for untouchables as compared to the "swarnas or Upper caste" Hindus.
9.          There must be untouchables' representation in government and non-government committees in proportionate to their population.
10.         There must be stipends for the untouchable students.
11.         There must be exclusive  colleges for the untouchables where theirs population is in majority.
12.         There must be recruitment for untouchables in the police and army.
13.         There should be increase in the labour rate.
14.         The  chowkidars  of the  villages  should be  untouchables.
15.         Untouchables must be allotted land on lease.
16.         There should be representation of untouchables in the state assemblies.
17.         The above demands should be implemented in the princely states also.
In reply the Prince said that, "I thank you very warmly for the very kind and enthusiastic welcome which you have given me on two occasions at Delhi. I much value your good wishes; I wish  the communities whom you represent all prosperity and well being". (Walker David, The Prince of India 1923, P.289). As the Prince used word Sawraj( self rule) in his address so  Swami Achhutanand  spoke about  his contemplated full Swaraj (Self Rule) or freedom to all and not just a few castes. Soami Ji's Sawaraj was different and more practical than as it was visualized by Bal Ganga Dhar Tilk and congress party. Swami Achhutanand thought that the communities so far deprived of human rights were really the claimants of Swaraj. Swaraj in which the untouchables had no place, was meaningless.
He was against landlordism. He criticized the government for its policy of conferring honors on landlords who exploit the untouchables, kill their kith and kins and attack the chastity of their womenfolk. He stressed for stopping such honour to those who  practiced in human treatment to untouchables.
A special session of the Depressed Classes representatives from all over India was convened at New Delhi in December 1927 to discuss the question of reforms in view of the arrival of the Simon Commission. Swami Achhutanand was Chairman of the Reception Committee of the convention and Sh. M. C. Rajah presided over the convention. The convention, demanded separate electorate and increased seats in the legislatures for the Depressed Classes.
Dr Ambedkar and Soami Ji were working for the upliftment of Dalits and both shared views on the Dalit problems and their solution. Both these Dalit emancipators met for the first time some time in Bombay in 1928 in Adi Hindu Samelan. There after both continued liaison and Swami Achhutanand Ji participated in the Jatav (Chamars) Sammelan in 1922 at Delhi  and gave some revolutionary suggestions. In 1925, he migrated and settled at Benajhabar, Idgah, Kanpur (UP) where Mr. Girdhari Bhagat donated him the residential plot. He also launched the Adi-Hindu Hindi paper.
The strength of the Adi-Hindu Movement can be gauged from the facts that in its procession in Allahabad on 26th December, 1925 over 25,000 dedicated participants took part. This procession was led by Swami Ji himself with G A. Gavai (Nagpur) on monocycles followed by a sea of Dalit humanity. On 27th-28th December 1927, a public meeting was held, where more than 350 delegates from Punjab attended. The Pandal was represented by delegates from, Bihar, Rajasthan, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Poona, Hyderabad, Bombay and other states.
In 1927 at Kanpur, Swami Ji said in a public conference," We Dalits also demand a complete Independence as the Hindus and the Muslims demand. We are the rightful owner of independence." Swami Achhutanand met the Simon Commission on 30th Nov 1930 at Lucknow. His comrades who accompanied Swami Ji were Tilak Chander Kuril, Girdhari Lal Bhagat, Laxman Parsad, Karorhi Mall Khatik and others. Dr. Ambedkar also met the Simon Commission with his comrades as he was then President of Bahashkrit Hitkarini Sabha and submitted as exhaustive memorandum listing grievances and demands of the Depressed Classes. Sri 108 Swami Achhuta Nand Smark Smiti, the memorial committee of U.P published a copy of Dr. Ambedkar's hand written letter dated 3rd Feb. 1932 to Swami Ji, in which Dr. Ambedkar accepted him as his Guru. Swami Ji also met the Lothian committee in 1928 at Lucknow. In 1930, Swami ji sent a telegram in support of Dr. Ambedkar and Rai Bahadur Srinivasan, the two untouchables invited to the Round Table conferences at London (UK). He also raised voice for the "Achhutstan" or separate country for Scheduled Castes. Swami Ji was also a signatory of the Pune Pact signed on 24th September 1932 to ink the agreement reached between Dr. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi to solve the dead lock arisen due to Communal Award and Mahatma Gandhi's fast unto death.
Swami Achhutanand supported the demand of separate electorate made by Dr. Ambedkar in the Round Table Conferences. Swami ji was against the Rajah-Moonje Pact (MC Rajah then leader of Gandhi s Harijan Sewa Sang signed a pact with Dr. BS Moonje, leader of All India Hindu Mahasabha opposing the demand of separate electorate for the Dalit communalities') .Soami Ji moved from place to place and propagated against the pact. He strongly opposed the nomenclature of Harijan given to Dalits by Mahatma Gandhi. When Mahatma Gandhi was claiming to be the sole representatives of Dalits of India against the right demand of Dr. Ambedkar, Swami Ji arranged a demonstration of over 5000 Dalits at Kanpur in support Dr. Ambedkar and for separate electorates' to Dalits.
In order to bring a new awareness among the Depressed Classes, in 1922 he started a monthly paper "Achhut", from Delhi. But circumstances forced it to be closed soon. However, he again started a monthly magazine in 1922 "Prachin (ancient) Hindu". This too continued for a short period of one and a half year. Thereupon "The Adi-Hindu Journal" was started from Kanpur in 1924 which continued up to 1932. He was a philosopher-poet and a playwright. He wrote six books in Hindi —
1.                  Shambuk Balidan (Drama) exposing Hindu Lord Vishnu Avtara, Rama for killing innocent pious Dalit
Saint Shambuk.
2.          Achhut Pukar (Voice of the untouchables)-Religious  songs
3.          Mayanand Balidan (biography)
4.          Pakhand Khandani (Heterodoxy refuted).
5.          Adi- Vansh Ka Danka (Drum of the aboriginal people)-  poetry

Swami ji was  also a singer. He used to sing his own poems or songs of new spirit which were very impressive.Swami Ji worked extremely hard... He fell sick for 23 days and Swami Achhutanand ji left his mortal frame breathing his last on 20th  July 1933 at Kanpur at the ripe age of 54. He was given “Samadhi” by burying him opposite PS Nazirabad Nai Zamin, Lajpat Nagar, in Kanpur (UP).
           Swami Achchutanand Harihar was convinced that the untouchables continue to suffer social, political and economic subjugation as long as they are Hindu. Therefore, he launched Adi-Dharma (a religion for original race of Bharat-Native Indians) an alternative religion for untouchables to uplift them socially, culturally, religiously and economically. He challenged every customs and laws which placed untouchables as lower castes in the society. While opposing Manusmiriti the following couplet is from Swami’s composition
 “Manusmriti Hamko Jala Rahi Hai” (“Manusmriti is Burning Us”):
Day in and day out, this Manusmriti is burning us, burning us, Not letting us climb up, it is degrading us, degrading us,
 While Brahmins and Kshatriyas are allowed to rise and rise, “Wear your old clothes,” for us is the advice.                                        (The Hindu dated Sunday, Aug 03, 2008)

Er.H.R.Phonsa Jammu
Author can be reached by hrphonsa@gmail.com or 09419134060
Words:2839

Dated 18-06-2017

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Mahatama Jyotirao Gobindrao Phule (Tribute on the eve of his 190th birthday falling on 11th APRIL 2017)

By:-   Er. H. R. Phonsa ( hrphonsa@gmail.com   Contact 9419134060  )


Image result  Ever since the Caste system was invented it has brought only  hate related miseries to the  the people of the  fourth Hindu Verna. They were/are addressed as Untouchable,Shudras, Ati Shudras present day called Mulnivasies, aboriginals, Dalits(Scheduled Castes(SCs), Scheduled Tribes( STs), Other Backward Classes( OBCs) etc). They were degraded even below the level of animals. They were denied all decent ways of life. They were  not only debarred to entre Schools, drinking water sources, temples, barber shops but their cremations  places were also separated. Their rights to progress, social, economical, educational, property rights including cultural were denied for them. Religious law codes like Manusmriti were written and  given divine sanctions ..  Divisions among Hindu castes were made permanent.  Untouchable were divided in as many as  6743 Castes, sub castes, Gotras etc. to ensure that they never get united and create any problem for the  Brahmins and Brahminical thinking . Hindu way of life was not only to divide work but workers. This also gave birth to caste war. The Hindus offered milk to snakes; rice with sugar to ants; worshipped tress like Tulsi, Pipal, and animals like cows but got polluted by the very shadow of a Dalit. Dalits are non-else but the creation of the Omnipresent Almighty God. Although for God  realization Hindus observe extreme austere   like living in lonely forests, undertake long journeys to 68 places of pilgrimage, observing fasts, celibacy  etc.. How could such external acts be divine when these cause division among humen?  It is said when excesses cross all limits the Divinity  sends messengers of  humanity.  These men of vision, convictions and strength show the masses the just path of love for all and hate to none. Lord Budha, Lord Mahaveera, Mohammad Sahib, Jesus Christ, Kabir, Guru Nanak ,Guru Ravidas,Chokhamela, Narayana Guru  and many more who  rose above pretty  caste prejudices.  After  2390 years of Mahatama Budha’s birth another friend to Deprived Section of Indians was born. He was Mahatama Phule. Mahatma Phule, a contemporary of KARL MARX(1818-1883), of the Indian social revolution and the first leader of peasants. In his time there was a conflict between the rationalist and the orthodox. His period can, therefore, be a aptly described as the dawn of revolution in the history not only of Maharashtra but of the country as a whole. This brought revolutionary changes in the social, economic, Education, Caste Systems, Agriculture, Women and widow upliftment , Human Rights, Untouchbility ,Social Equality.
           Mahatama Jyotirao Gobindrao Phule was born  on 11th April,1827 to revered couple Gobindrao and Chimnabai in village Khanbari of Poona. He earned the title of Mahatma and title of Bukar T.Washington (American President and a great leader against acts of slavery & apartheid).Since Gobindarao and his two brothers served as florists under the last Pashwas, so they were called Phules. Chimnabai died when Jyotiba was 9 months old.  So his childhood was not very pleasant. He was brought up in the care of Sagunabai Khersagar ( Daughter of Gondabai maternal aunt ,Moussi  of Jyotirao). Gobindrao wanted his son to get a higher education so as to spread the Gyan Jyoti for the humanity at large and Dalits in particular. But all relatives of Gobindrao were against the education of Jyotiba pleading that his son would get spoiled by studying English and could lend no help to him in his job as florist.  So  Jyotiba was taken out of school after he passed his primary school at the age of 9 years. Despite this Jyotiba continued working in fields during day and reading at night. Good hearted Goffar Beig Munshi ( A Muslim )and Latiz Sahib(A Christian) had good influence on Gobindarao. They insisted Gobindrao to get his son readmitted in school to complete his education .On their persuasion Gobindrao  got re- admitted his son in Scottish Mission High School at Poona in  January, 1841. It was in this school that he met Sadashiv Ballal Govande, a Brahmin, who remained a close friend throughout his life. Both Jotirao and Govande were greatly influenced by Thomas Paine's ideas and they read with great interest Paine's famous book ' The Rights of Man' Jyotirao alias Jyotiba  completed his secondary education in 1847 and decided not to accept any government job but work for the upliftment of downtrodden and deprived section of society by spread of education to all with special emphasis for women and untouchables. 
 Jyotiro was convinced and often proclaimed “ Lack of education leads to lack of wisdom, which leads to lack of morals, which further  leads to lack of progress  which leads to lack of money, which leads to the oppression of the lower classes”. See what state of society one lack of education can cause!
 Jyotiba got spine shivering experience of caste hate, when he was invited by his Brahmin friend to join Barat( Marriage party procession) of his brother. But in the Barat Jyotiba although wearing good  ress was noticed by the other Brahmin Baratis.  Jyotiba was abused, insulted and finally turned out of the party for his low caste. Jyotiba discussed this with his father who advised his son to avoid such invitations in future as the high caste Hindus shall not compromise on their religious superiority complex.
This incident changed the life concept  of  Jyotiba, who made up his mind to defy the caste system and decided to serve the shudras and women who were deprived of all of their human rights due to  the caste system. Jyotiba met at Ahmadnagar Miss  Farar,a teacher  in Girls Missionary School. Miss Farar explained Jyotiba and his friend Sahashiv Govande the importance of women education. Jyotiba was greatly impressed by advice of the Missionary teacher. He decided to work for women upliftment by spread of their education and other social welfare measures.
Jyotiba was married in 1840 to Savitribai.Savitribai Phule.She worked as the true disciple and co-missionary of her husband. They changed the Indin history by opening a school on 1-1-1848 for girls in Poona where Savitirbai was admitted as first Student along with four Brahmin girls, one Maratha girl and sixth a shepherd family girl.  Jyotirao Phule continued this school despite opposition form orthodox Hindus, who considered this act against their religion, as Hindu scriptures considered educating girls & Dalits as a great sin. Savitirbai received more education at home from his husband, and was appointed as Headmistress of one of his schools by Jyotiba. Even parents of Jyotiba did not co-operated & they turned him along with Savitribai out of their parental house. It was said by Brahmin priests that by by educating women and Dalits,a sin, forty generations of sinner shall be put into  Narak (hell) fire. But Phule  couple remained steadfast on their chosen path. They opened 18 such schools including some having co-education.
          Feeling pity on the condition of orphans Jyotiba Phule opened   orphanage, perhaps first such
 Institution by a Hindu. Jyotiba Phule gave protection to widows & assured them that orphanage shall take care of their children.  It was in this orphanage that a Brahmin widow  Kashbai gave birth to a male child in1873 and Jyotirao Phule adopted him as his son naming him Jaswant Phule & educated him to become a qualified doctor.
To earn his livelihood & to run his schools & other institutions he worked as contractor in PWD. Some of the structures including  a bridge are still standing in Pune and in its surrounding.  He termed PWD department as hotbed of corruption. He also supplied building materials required for the construction of the first masonry dam in India at Khadakwasla near Pune in the 1870s. One of Phule's businesses in 1863, was to supply metal-casting equipment. Jyotirao owned 60 acres of farmland at Manjri near Pune. In 1882 memorial, he styled himself as a merchant, cultivator and Municipal Contractor.
                      He published his book “Slavery,” in 1873, in which he declared his manifesto that he was willing to dine with all irrespective of their caste, creed, or country of origin. This book was also temed as  controversial The opening words of Slavery  are” Since the advent of rule of Brahmins for centuries( In India), the Shudras and Ati Shudras are suffering hardships and are leading miserable lives.------ Shudras  should think over their misfortune and they should eventually set themselves free from this tyranny of Bhats( Brahmins)”. Jotirao dedicated this book 'to the good people of the Unites States as a token of admiration for their sublime, disinterested and self-sacrificing devotion in the cause of Negro Slavery'. The book is written in the form of a dialogue.
 Jyotirao Phule  formed “ Satya Shodhak Samaj(Society of Seekers of Truth)  on 24 th September 1873 with Jotirao as its first president and treasurer. In 1876 this Samaj had 316 members. The main objectives of this organization were to liberate the Shudras, Ati Shudras & to prevent their exploitation by the Upper caste Hindus. He refused to regard Vedas as sacrosanct & denounced Chaturverna & instead published his book “Satya Dharma Pustak in 1891.  According to him all men & women were equal & entitled to enjoy equal rights & it was a sin to discriminate between human beings on the basis of sex or caste or creed . Widow bearning( Sati) was common those days. Widow remarriages were banned and child marriage was very common among the Hindus Society Jyotirao opposed these all social ills & worked for the benefits of sufferers. He  got re married one Shayani caste widow on 8th march 1890 against  strong protests. From the beginning of the year 1879 Krishnarao Bhalekar, one of his colleagues, edited a weekly called Deenbandhu which was the organ of the Satya Shodhak Samaj. The weekly articulated the grievances of the peasants sand workers. Deenbandhu defended Jotirao when Vishnushastri Chiplunkar, a powerful spokesman of the conservative nationalists, attacked Jotirao's writing in the most vitriolic style. Bosom  Friends Lokhande, Bhalekar and  Jyotirao addressed the meetings of the textile workers in Bombay and tried to organise the peasants and the workers. No such attempt was made by any organization  earlier to redress their grievances. This move infused a sense of awakening towards their rights, in the peasants and the workers.
Mahatama Phule opposed the evil customs so on the death of his father he did not call his caste people for meal instead he distributed meals in beggars, distributed pencils, writing wooden planks ( Patties )  & books to children which became annual function to remember his father.  He opposed the tyranny of landlords & money lenders , so he organized a protest Dharna in Poona District where  farmers joined in large number & burnt the records of the money lenders. He got a marriage ceremonised on 25 th December 1873 without the participation ob any Prohit. In the marriage feast the was only Pan & Supary nothing else. He edited  a weekly news paper “ DEEN BANDU ,” from 1st January 1877. Jyotirao Phule helper getting released in1881 from jail Lok Manaiya Ganga Dhar Tilk & Goda Adkar who were sentenced for writing in their papers “ The Kesri & the  Maratha ,”  against the policies of the British Govt.
On 2nd March, 1888,  Rao  Bahadur Hari Raoji Chiplunkar( 1842-1896) an Honorary Magistrate and President of the Association of Landlords has arranged a banquet in the honour of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught. Hari Raoji Chiplunkar  was also a friend of Jotirao and had invited Jotirao too. Jotirao dressed like an Indian peasant, attended the function and made a speech. He commented on the rich invitees who displayed their wealth by wearing diamond-studded jewellery and warned the visiting dignitaries that the people who had gathered there did not represent India. If the Duke of Connaught was really interested in finding out the condition of the Indian subjects of Her Majesty the Queen of England, Jotirao suggested that he ought to visit some nearby villages as well as the  areas in the city occupied by the untouchables. He requested the Duke of Connaught who was a grandson of Queen Victoria to convey his message to her and made a strong plea to provide education to the poor people. Jotirao's speech created quite a stir( Wikipedia).
               For the life long service to the Dalits & other deprived section of the society Jyotirao Phule was awarded the Title Of MAHATAMA.  On 19 th May 1888. The function was attended by dignitaries like Justice Ranade, Dr. Bhandarkar , Tukaram Tatiya , Lokhande, Dholey & Bharkar besides . Jyotirao Phule was addressed by  Saya Ji Rao Gaikwardas Bukar T Washington in his letter to the president of the function.
               Jyotirao Phule’s  his right hand got  incapacitated in an illness, so he stated writing with his left hand & wrote a book titled as “ SARIVJANIK SATYA DHARAM , “ After ceaselessly working for over 63 years Jyotirao Phule passed away on 28 th November 1890 about 138 days before the birth  of Dr. BR Ambedkar another Dalit Maharashtrian  luminary, Father of free India’s Constitution , who also lifelong worked for the emancipation of Dalits , depressed, weak  & women. Jyotirao Phule shall be remembered for the centuries to come for the  good work he did for the Dalits & Depressed peoples of society including women.
 Words 2196
  Dated 07-04-2017                                          Er. H. R. Phonsa ( Jammu)
                                                               hrphonsa@gmail.com
                                                               Contact:-9419134060


Saturday, March 18, 2017

SAHIB SHRI KANSHIRAM’S –A great Mass Mobilizer (Revised and enlarged)


                                     ( Remembering  Sahib Ji on His 86th birthday fall  on 15th March, 2017)
Image result for Kanshiram  Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram came on the Indian political scene in mid Eighties  of Twentieth century nearly two decades after the sad demise of Baba Sahib Bhim Rao Ambedkar, the Father of Indian Constitution and a great democrat  the oppressed world have ever produced.  The most important factors providing field for Kanshi Ram were P.V. Narasimha  Rao’s go ahead orders to Dr.Manmohan Singh his Finance Minister to initiate the new economic order coupled with Sang Parivar’s assault on the secular order. These along with ignoring Constitutional and human rights of Minorities provided enough grounds to take the cause of the majority population, consisting of poverty ridden Mulnivasi Dalits and minorities, who were eager to find solution to their hard ships. Had Kanshi Ram not provided resistance against the politically motivated policies of Congress and BJP the Secular Democratic fibber of Indian Constitution might have been damaged beyond repairs? Kanshi Ram met these challenges by pure democratic means.  He carved a space in the Indian polity purely by dint of his hard labour, clear vision by becoming one with the common man. Since Kanshi Ram had personally experienced poverty and religious hatred , so he wanted to apply solacing balm on Dalit wounds of inhuman treatments to ignored population on Indian soil. Kanshi Ram was convinced that existing status quo was against Dalits empowerment   and the best way to smash it was democratic means as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. For this ,political enlightenment of the Dalit masses was needed in a big way.  So he  used Democratic tools provided in the Indian Constitution by Baba Sahib Ambedkar for empowerment of Dalit masses including poverty ridden Indian population.          
          Kanshi Ram knew well that the struggle for equality of status & opportunity for the Shudra, Ati Shudra, and Untouchables is as old as the history of Hinduism, claimed to be one of the oldest religions of the world.  He was convinced that the inter religious, inter country and inter society domination struggle & hate   is seen world over. But hate with in a religion for their own religion people is practiced only in Hindus. The Hindus were divided into four segments under the Hindu Religious laws each having no meeting point, despite the facts that they belonged to the same religion. The Hindus laid claims to possess most ancient knowledge books of the world, but show no mercy towards their religious downtrodden brethren. The fourth segment of the Hindus named Untouchables were forbidden to mix with other upper segments called Brahmins (Learned), Khatriyas (warriors) and Vaishs ( Business, farming persons).  Each set of segregated peoples belonging to Hindus were governed by different set of rules having strict religious sanctions under Hindu Religious code “ Manu Smiriti”, proclaimed to have Devine sanction. In these codes& stories devised from time to time to suit needs of Upper castes, untouchables were degraded to standards even below than that of animals. The dogs, the cats, the snakes, the crows the crows could enter houses of the Upper Caste Hindus but not Untouchables. Birds and animals could take water from the village tanks and bathe there but not the untouchables humans. This continued for centuries and all Merciful Hindu Gods & Goddesses equipped with all types of dreaded weapons did not come to the rescue of the helpless and weak Untouchables, although untouchables too worshiped them with full devotion. The Hindus show lip service to all humanity but practically worked for the welfare of the dominating upper castes only. If any body raised any alarm against this in- human treatment to their fellow men, he is not tolrated. He  was convinced that solution to these problems lay in Democracy and not in religion based  reforms organizations. As the religion based organizations strengthen religion fiber which works against the democratic spirit. Dr. Ambedkar the father of Indian Constitution has said  that for  the success of democracy in India religious demon will have to be tamedfirst. The Constitution Of India granted right of Adult Franchise i.e. right to vote irrespective of religion, race, caste, creed, sex.  This mantra of “One vote, One adult Individual” To every Indian adult was found by Kanshi Ram as a missile to achieve his goals of equality and fraternity.
          Revered Kanshi Ram belonged to Hindu untouchable caste named Chamar. Chamars the  who worship and follow ideals of Sri Guru Ravidas  follow the Principle of  “ Hath Carr Vall tey Dil Yaar Vall” meaning  remain  attending your duty or work while your attention is attached to God Almighty.  So no body from Chamar caste has been seen as a beggar . Non Schedule languages in India  has CHAMARI Language .In India the chamras had nearly 1156 sub castes in 1891AD who were spread all over India. As per the 1911 Indian censes the population of Brahmins stood at number one & Chamars at number two, where as Rajputs stood at number three.  Chamars are largest in number in all Scheduled Castes. They live  in all parts of India. As per estimates Chamars are nearly 17 crores in India.    
 Saints like Guru Ravidas,  Guru Maluk Das,Guru Ghasidas  Chokhamela,  brave martyrs of Sikh History like Bhai Jiwan Singh Rangreta, ,Bhai Sant Singh Bhai Dharam Das Amar Shaheed Udham Singh, great politicians like Babu Jagjivan Lal Behan Mayawati,Seth Kishan Das<Choudhari Devi Lal,S Devi Singh,L.R.Bali and many more belong to Chamars. In J&K State Babu Milkhi Ram, Babu Parmanand, Jagjivan Lal, Tilak Raj Atri, Chaman Lal Banal, B.R. Kundal IAS  are prominent among many eminent doctors, engineers, social, political & administrative peers  are born as Chamars. In Indian Parliament &State Vidhan Sabhas Chamars are present in large number even now. Present day saints from Chamar communities Baba Ji  Soami Gurdeep Giri of Patahankot, Baba Narinjan Das of Ballan( Jalander).  have large followings Many Chamar have spread all over world countries proving their worth of head& heart.             
Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram was born on 15th March, 1934, to revered Shri Hari Singh & mother Shrimati Bishan Kour of village Khawaspur in Ropar District of Punjab State. He was one of the seven children of his parents. In his family, he was the only graduate. He joined service in Poona Defense Lab. Maharashtra. Here he came in contact with one Dheema Vana ( Now deceased), a suspended class IV Dalit employee of his office, who demanded Holiday on the birth anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar. Dheema Vana had a stanch faith & love for Dr. Ambedkar. After getting inspiration from Dheema  , Kanshi Ram studied literature on & by Dr. Ambedkar It is said he read “Annihilation Of Caste” several times in single night. Here he came in contact with great Dalit luminary D.K.Khaparday (1939-2000) who was also serving in the Defence establishment . Sh. Kanshiram then resigned from service to carry forward, the mission of uniting millions of Dalits, bond them  through brotherhood bonds  reminding them of their centuries old  slavery &  suffering  He shook them to wake  from their deep slumber so as  to consolidate them into a force to be reckon with. He along with D.K.Khaparday  and Dheema Vana awakened in Dalits a sense of empowerment .After resigning from service Kanshiram declared Dalit Samaj his family, all Dalit women his sisters & all Dalit men his brothers, he vowed to remain  bachelor through out his life & not to acquire any property in his name For pay back to society he  bade   good bye to his family, family life, family comforts for the sake of cutting slavery chains of his fellow brethren. This he kept as a Buddhist Monk’s word. He got converted to Buddhism to achieve the goal of making Dalit masses a united electoral force to acquire political power, he traveled through out the length &width of India on his bi- cycle along with his trusted lieutenants.
       Kanshi Ram was a great political, social mobilizer; he understood values of self-respect &   collective wisdom of Dalit communities to gain political power to use it to their advantage. During record breaking Bahujan Rally in Brigade ground Kolkata, the Bahujan participants were beaten mercilessly by the West Bengal Police under the command of Jyoti Basu then Chief Minister. Sahib instructed on telephone at 2 in the morning to his workers of different state to stop all trains marching towards Kolkata. Soon trains were reported stopped at different stations in different States by Bahujan volunteers, many trains reached Kolkata late by hours. Mr. Jyoti Basu telephoned Sahib in the evening at Delhi, where Sahib had returned after the rally, and begged pardon for the brutal incident, in which several Karyakartas were injured, some seriously. There after Mr Jyoti Basu  arranged special trains for the Bahujan Rally participants for their return journey.
            He coined value based slogans from time to time to give directions to Dalit masses; one such was “Jiski Jitni Sankhaya Bhari, uski utni Bhagidari”. Once he was asked to explain ,why he devised the slogan of “Tilak ( Mark on fore head used by Brahmins), Traju ( weighing scale used by business community) aur Talwar ( sword, used by Rajputs ,warriors), enko maro jutey char ( Give then four shoe beating)|” He explained that elite class which spreads hatred, ignorance for their personnel ends, business persons ,who indulge in undue profiting, adulteration, less weighting and warrior who  use force against weak and helpless need be treated with shoe beating not the one who work for the welfare of the society.  He explained to his fellow men to be strong and courageous as “Only lambs are made sacrificial animals not lions”
         When Kanshi Ram observed that falsehood and corruption are eating up  the democratic fiber of India ,he vowed to keep his image free of it. He lived and died as a commoner.   He was perhaps one leader, who kept his promise, proved true to his words. He lived & died as a leader, with out any immoveable or moveable property, any bank account, house, land plot or flat in his name. To achieve his set goals, he lived as an ordinary Dalit, took meals in small hutments, wayside tabhas (  paid community kitchens), slept on floor.  On the night of 3rd & 4th April 1984, he was found sleeping uncovered broken stone metal at Nagpur, where he had gone to inaugurate the Marathi daily newspaper “Bahujan Times” his dream project. Sh. Kanshi Ram was convinced that to capture  Delhi’s political crown the seat of power, much has to done to strengthen the 85% Bahujan Samaj   To achieve this they should own a strong media, as present vested interest median can only suppress and confuse his downtrodden masses. He used to keep awake for days & nights to equip him with literary knowledge, assimilate it into practical thoughts & to devise ways to use it for the advantage of his peoples, many of whom were ill fed, ill dressed, naked, illiterate, exploited and miss guided. Many vested persons and politicians leveled him as a leader of a small section of people, but Kanshi Ram worked for the well being of all. Since his tools for change lay in the downtrodden masses, so he had to organize them in a big way.
        Those close to him tell how hard he worked to built up his first social & educative organization of  employees of all SC’s, ST’s, OBC’s & minorities named BAMSEF  on 6th Dec. 1976  along with D.K. Khaparday and Dheema Vana  But  later Kanshiram brokeaway from the other two .He got registered BAMCEF on 6th Dec. 1978 & then prepared to launch   His Youth’s Sangarash SimitiDS-4” on 6th Dec. 1981.   To prepare solid ground to get rightful share in political power, he launched his Bahujan Samaj Party on14th April, 1984.Kashi Ram shook the conscious of those who are under represented in our Parliamentary system and were craving for a change. There by he consolidated masses to work for their own political organization BSP,  many volunteered to work for BSP as  “Mission Ka Kaam” His message was so inspiring to his peoples, that once a BSP volunteer  was always so.  Due to Kanshi Ram’s political vision soon BSP became a National Party & attained third position, leaving far behind many political parties, who were formed decades earlier.  The election winning spree flourished & in UP assembly it won 66 seats out of 162 it contested in 1993. Kanshi Ram’s political maneuverability made Behan Mayawati Chief Minister of UP thrice in coalition with other parties, but he did not yield to undue pressure from other coalition partners even at the cost of loosing CM’s. Gadi  The graph of winning seats in Lok Saba elections also rose dramatically from zero in ( 8th  ) to 04 ( in 9th); 03 (in 10th ); 11( in 11th ); 05 ( in 12th) 15nos( in 13th & 14th ) Lok Saba His continuous efforts in  this direction  bore fruits  of winning clear majority in 2007in UP  Assembly elections with 208,in remaining 10 seats, standing Second and out of lost 111 seats 60 seats with a margin of less than 5000 votes. Behan Mayawati, now National President BSP was sworn in as Chief Minister of UP State with clear majority, but alas after the sad demise of Sahib.
          During the period of 22 years of BSP under Kanshiram, the INC Govt programs of multinationals & New Economic order under late Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, or Rath Yatra Of Sh. LK Advani culminating in demolishing of Babri Masjid on 6th Dec 1992, could not sway away Dalits from Kanshi Ram’s Programme of gaining political power to have share in running the affairs of union of India.  Credit goes to Kanshi Ram that Dalits having over 80 % Indian  population forming SC’s, ST’s, OBC’s and other Minorities, did not challenged the Constitutional arrangements, avoided violence against the  state or other ethnic groups. Kanshi Ram’s formula that numbers, not violence work in democratic India is a great Nationilst’s doctrine for which Kanshi Ram shall be long remembered.
        Sahib Kanshi Ram’s  love for the Nation is reflected in his love for the deprived section of the society which constitute over 85% of Indian population. He was not against any caste or class but against “ism” which spreads ill will among persons by their ill conceived techniques. Sahib was simple but unpredictable personality, he could go to any length to safeguard the interests of his Bahujan Samaj.
      Like every one else, he had to leave the mortal frame of body, although it is painful for those who were left behind to bear the unbearable shock . Destiny player the same with Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram Ji . He was not keeping good health for quite some time, but the brain stroke he suffered in Hyderabad during a meeting on 15th March, 2003 proved fetal. He was shifted to New Delhi Batra Hospital and remained under expert treatment for over three years. Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram declared Behan Mayawati as his political heir & National President of BSP on 18-09-2003
          The unfortunate end of Sahib’s worldly journey came on Monday the 9th October, 2006 at 12. 20 at 11, Hanuman Road New Delhi, the official residence of Behan Mayawati. National Personalities like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, leader of opposition in the  Lok Sabha L.K. Advani. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Lalu Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan and other paid their homage to the Messiah of Dalits. His funeral was attended by lacs and he was cremated at Nigam Bodh Ghat New Delhi on 9-10-2006. He left behind his wish that his mortal remains be not immersed in any river but kept in BSP Party HQ’s at Delhi & Lukhnow.
            He qualified his death as per the hymn of Kabir Sahib “Jab Ham Aye Jagat Main, Jag Hansa Hum Roay, Asi Karni Kar Chaloo, Hum Hansain, Jag Roay” (On child’s birth, child cries but locality celebrates birth with joy, One must work for the good of the society, so that at the time of death the locality mourns but the person dieing feels joyous so sayeth Kabir.)      
      But by loosing UP miserably in the just concluded2017  Vidhan Sabha Elections and making no political  headway else where  the  BSP political comrades who claimed heir- ship of Kanshi Ram  have miserably failed  to keep the Dalit masses united. They have failed to realize the dreams of sahib who achieved it with lifelong labour of sufferings. Sycophancy or Chamchagiri  most  disliked by Sahib Kanshiram have entrenched his comrades in a big way. Politics of Chamchagiri shall bring ruins to the Dalit cause, so said Sahib. In a span of 10 years  after the death of Sahib Kanshiram BSP has lost its National Character,  due egoistic behavior of those who claimed to be the sole   saver of the ideology of Kanshi Ram
         Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram shall be long remembered for his visionary saying “ NUMBERS, NOT VOILANCE SHOULD RULE IN DEMOCRATIC INDIA” Dalits should win race to New Delhi Gadi by democratic means only, leaving no space for violence against any political or ethnic group. Dalits should live with spine up, so were the dreams of Sahib. As per the doctrine proclaimed by Guru Ravidas,Guru Kabir Sahib Shri  Kanshi Ram qualified as  a practical  Darwesh,  Sanyasi Gyanashwer, Tyagi, Yogi, Pundit ,a crusader for peaceful political ,social change and above all a human.
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Dated 14-03-2017
 Jammu                                                       Er. H.R.Phonsa
                                                           Retd. Executive Engineer