ON WEDNESDAY when Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati lands in the city with the urn containing ashes of Kanshi Ram she will have to confront several claimants to the Kanshi Ram’s legacy.
Bahujan Samaj Party leaders are aware of the fact that there will be a tussle between the Dalit leaders over who will be the real torchbearer of his ideology. Several Dalit leaders, who worked with Kanshi Ram and played an important role in establishing the organisations like BAMSEF, DS-4 and BSP, claim that they are the one who are continuing his mission even though Mayawati pushed them out of the BSP.
National president of BS-4 and an ardent follower of Kanshi Ram, RK Chaudhary says that ultimately the people will decide who is following the mission of Kanshi Ram and who has drifted away from his ideology.
“While establishing the BSP and other organisations Kanshi Ram had said that it would be the party of the scheduled and backward caste”, he said.
“She has now started inducting Brahmins into the BSP, which is an antithesis of the Dalit movement. Addressing a meeting of BAMSEF at Faizabad in 1985, Kanshi Ram had clearly said that except Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Baniyas all were welcome into the Bahujan Samaj Party. But for the sake of power Mayawati has blunted the Dalit movement and so cannot not lay claim to Kanshi Ram’s legacy”, he said.
Bharatiya Samaj Party president Om Prakash Rajbhar says, “Kanshi Ram has played an important role in bringing ‘Dalits’ to the centre-stage of the Indian politics. Mayawati is mere beneficiary of that movement. She is not concerned about the mission of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar or Kanshi Ram or else she would not have diluted the ideology of the party for the sake of power. Instead of Mayawati, the Dalit leaders who are following the ideals set by Kanshi Ram are his real successor.”
Chairman of Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe Commission Deenanath Bhaskar says, “Neither Bhim Rao Ambedkar nor Kanshi Ram has announced their successors. Both have clearly said that their life struggle was the mission of the followers. Kanshi Ram picked up from where Dr Ambedkar left and worked for the establishment of an egalitarian society.”
“Before his death Kanshi Ram handed over the charge of the BSP to Mayawati but the one who would continue his mission further would be his real successor”, Bhaskar said.
National president of the Indian Justice Party Udit Raj says, “Mayawati has not sacrificed for the cause of Dalit movement and could never claim to be the successor of Kanshi Ram. Though she has control over the BSP but in the comings days the Dalits would decide who is working for their welfare”, he said.