Call it an impact of the social engineering effected by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) or just plain coincidence, dalits are showing an eagerness to learn - as much from the Manusmriti as they do from the Sacchi Ramayan.
On Wednesday, on the occasion of the Ambedkar Jayanti, both the books sold like hot cakes at the temporary book stalls put up at the Ambedkar Memorial premises.
The owner of the bookstall Ravi Kumar Mehta said within few hours the copies of Manusmriti and Sacchi Ramayan vanished from the stall. Mehta is in the business of dalit literature for over a decade says “since years Sacchi Ramayan was among the top dalit literature on the popularity chart. The demand for Manusrimiti started only two years back”, he said.
“Orders of Manusmriti have been placed by dalit as well as upper caste readers he said and added the high rate of the book ( Rs 150) was no bar on its popularity”, he said.
Shiv Kumar, a resident of Ranipur village near Bakshi-ka-Talab said the dalits hated Manusmriti since it was considered the text of oppressors. The political empowerment has led to spread of the education among dalits, these days there was eagerness among the community especially the youths to read the book.
Not only Sacchi Ramayan and Manusmiriti but also Chamcha Yug penned by Kanshi Ram, Bhagwan Buddha aur Dhamma written by Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Buddha Charitra Chandroday by Vineet Vikar Baudh, Main Bhangi Hun by Bhagwan Das, 1857- role of dalits by Satnam Singh, Dalit Dastaweg by MR Vidrohi were in demand at the fair.
Another bookseller Moti Lal (60) said “I joined BSP on the call of Kanshi Ram in 1985. A resident of Shiyadih village located in Allahabad district, Lal started dalit literature business in 1992. Along with the books the CD of Chief Minister Mayawati carrying her message and public meetings is in high demand”.
The road located adjacent to the Ambedkar Memorial had virtually converted into a dalit mela. Unmindful of the sweltering heat (42 degree Celsius ) hundred of BSP workers along with the family members converged on the road and enjoyed the edible, ice cream and nimu paani.
Large crowd was seen at the stalls selling the posters and stickers of Ambedkar, Kanshi Ram and Gautam Buddha. Its celebration time for us said Akshya Lal a BSP worker the nation was observing the 119 birth anniversary of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar who had shaken the consciousness of the dalits and paved way for their empowerment.