BSP founder Kanshi Ram
BSP founder Kanshi Ram

Born on March 15, 1934 in Rupnagar district, Punjab, Kanshi Ram was a charismatic leader who green lit the Bahujan Revolution. He started Dalit politics through his employee organization named BAMCEF with the aim to unite the Dalits in one thread.

Ram graduated in 1956 with a BSc degree from Government College Ropar. He later joined the offices of the Explosive Research and Development Laboratory in Pune.

His fight for the oppressed community started after he joined the struggle against the abolition of Dr BR Ambedkar’s birthday as a holiday, in 1965. He was greatly inspired by Dr Ambedkar and wanted to follow his footsteps to help the oppressed class rise from the ditches of poverty.

Finally in 1971 Kanshi Ram quit his job and together with his colleagues established the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward classes and Minorities Employees Welfare Association. He went on to find another social organisation known as Dalit Shoshit Samaj Sangharsh Samiti.

In 1986, he declared his transition from a social worker to a politician and decided to dedicate himself completely to BSP. Under Ram’s leadership, the BSP won 14 parliamentary seats in the 1999 federal elections.

Kanshi Ram was elected to Lok Sabha from Etawah in Uttar Pradesh. In 2001 the leader openly announced Mayawati as his successor who later went on to become the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Kanshi Ram was a powerful leader who openly expressed his stance. In 1982, he wrote a book known as ‘The Chamcha Age (an Era of the Stooges)’ in which he criticized the Dalit leaders who worked for parties like the Congress. The renowned leader breathed his last on October 9, 2006.

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