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Pay tribute to Kanshi Ram
October 09, 2006
Kanshi Ram, founder of the Bahujan Samaj Party, passed away early Monday morning. He was 72 and had been suffering from multiple ailments for some years now. He was bed-ridden over the last few months, and his last public appearance was in March this year, on the occasion of his 72nd birthday.
Kanshi Ram, who remained a bachelor, was an enigma in Indian politics, and some consider him to be the true inheritor to B R Ambedkar's political legacy. Kanshi Ram empowered the Dalits, arguing that their overwhelming numbers make them a potent force in a democracy, which is rule by the majority. However, he was unable to translate his vision into reality. His BSP, founded in 1984, could only come to power in Uttar Pradesh in 1995, that too as part of a political arrangement with the Bharatiya Janata Party, and in states like Madhya Pradesh, the party remained a spoiler, never a achiever.
What cannot be argued, however, is that Kanshi Ram made a difference to Indian politics, and brought the issue of Dalit empowerment to the table.