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AMBEDKAR TIMES GROUP REMEMBERS
SAHIB SHRI KANSHI RAM ON HIS DEATTH ANNIVERSARY

Sahib Kanshi Ram
and Dalit Emancipation

Prem K. Chumber
Editor-In-Chief: www.ambedkartimes.com  & www.deshdoaba.com

Sahib Kanshi Ram devoted his life for the eradication of caste from the domestic structures of Indian socio-religious realm. The sole aim his life-long struggle was to facilitate the Bahujan Samaj to acquire power through the medium of ballot. He was a firm believer in the nonviolent power of democracy that he inherited from the teachings of Babasaheb Dr B.R Ambedkar. A chance reading of one of the numerous valuable writings of Dr. Ambedkar transformed his vision and he did not only prefer to live unmarried but also renounced his family life once for all. After he plunged into social struggle for the acquisition of political power for his people he did not look back at all toward his home in village Khauspur in Rupnagar district of Punjab. He did all this for helping his people to stand on their own feet to get rid of centuries' old slavery and blind faith in the chaturvarna system of social hierarchy, which deny them their bare minimum human rights. He ingrained among his people that the political power is the only key to Dalit emancipation and empowerment in the real sense of the term. 

Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji was an innovative thinker and a charismatic mass leader who coined new political vocabulary for the mobilization of downtrodden. The slogans he chiseled adroitly caught the imagination of all and sundry throughout the length and breadth of India. He told his people unless and until they formed their own social and political organizations, no upper caste political party will allow them to come to rule India. And he was confident that given the 85 percent strength of Bahujan, if the latter joined hands no one in the world can stop them reach Delhi. His untiring efforts and firm faith in his people brought success though in some parts of the country. But as far as awareness among the Bahujan is concerned his was a great success. Ambedkar Times and Desh Doaba weekly newspaper pays sincere tributes to Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram Ji on his 11th death anniversary and solemnly resolve to continue struggling following into his footsteps.  Posted at www.ambedkartimes.com on October 9, 2017

Long live Indian Democracy
Prem K. Chumber 
Editor-in-Chief: Ambedkar Times & Desh Doaba

Freedom of expression is the soul of democracy. Any country which fails to protect and guarantee freedom of press and unrestricted expression of the opinions of its citizens fails to claims any credibility on account of its being a democratic governance system. It is known to all students of Indian freedom struggle that its central concern to begin with the emergence of Bengal renaissance was the demand for freedom of the press. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the father of modern Indian political thought, was perhaps the first one to raise this demand for the freedom of India. In independent India, the freedom of the press and free expression was denied during the emergency. For that the Indian National Congress had to pay very heavily. Since then no Indian government could dare to gag the freedom of the press. But over the last few years, some partisan groups for reasons best known to them have been indulging in extreme form of violence to stifle the rational and anti-communal stance of some of the pro-democracy journalists who were courageously challenging the fundamentalist and obscurantalist forces that are hell went on destroying the multicultural texture of one of the oldest and largest democracies in the world - India. Dabholkar, Pansare, Kulburgi and now Gauri all of them who used to articulate boldly the rational and secular contents of the rich democratic and multicultural values across the religions, regions and languages of the vast socio-religious and culturally variegated Indian democracy, were brutally killed by fascists and communally rabid fundamentalist forces for never to be achieved their ugly goal of Saffron India. The real identity of India lies in its inclusive social order where the persecuted ethnic groups from different parts of the world, as reiterated by Swami Vivekananda Ji on 9/11, 1893 in the United States of America, were not only welcomed happily but also allowed to flourish as they wish to.

Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's brilliant articulations on social democracy giving life to equality, liberty, fraternity sum up the essence of the theory and praxis of democracy. He often referred to the need of inculcating the values and principles of social cohesiveness among the diverse sections of the Indian society. One who will try to put an end to such a rich and deeply cultivated culture of multicultural and communitarian tradition would face the combined might of all the egalitarian and democratic forces of the all-inclusive Indian society. Long live the multicultural and communitarian social tradition of the rich social democratic set up of India and its illustrious record of continuous electoral processes since independence. Down with anti-Indian democratic and communal-facists forces.
Prem K. Chumber 
Editor-in-Chief: Ambedkar Times & Desh Doaba

Posted at www.ambedkartimes.com on September 11, 2017

United States
of America: 

A Vision of
Freedom
and
Dream of
Prosperity


Prem K. Chumber
Editor-In-Chief:
Ambedkartimes.com

4th of July embodies a vision of freedom and dream of prosperity. Every person in the world irrespective of her/his religion, class, creed and faith aspires to make the USA his home! S/he feels embolden while getting associated with this great nation - an abode of liberty, equality fraternity - of opportunities and dignity.  The USA instills faith and courage to come forward to live and let live with love and peace with one- self and the rest of the humanities. Since the end of World War II, it has not looked back to reconstruct peaceful order in the world and help attain freedom of thought, liberty and equality everywhere on the globe. Name any continent, region or a country where the USA has not left its mark of encouragement and initiatives for realizing ones dream and aspirations. One of the largest and oldest democratic countries in the world, the USA has always shown its greatest interest in allowing free flow of ideas and letting people live the way they want to be. It has remained first in all fields of human activities, be it science, technology, art, and sports. What led it to achieve all this is perhaps the freedom of thought and action guaranteed by its constitution and effective governance system. Ambedkartimes.com takes a lot of pride on this auspicious day of freedom and independence.
Posted at www.ambedkartimes.com on July 4, 2017

Eminent Writer & Dalit Crusader Sh. C.L. Chumber’s
Bhog ceremony will be held on 14th February 2016

Sh. C.L. Chumber noted social activist breathed his last on 6th February 2016. Hailing from Village Hussain Abad (Jalandhar), Sh. Chumber was widely well known for his contribution to the upliftment of the Dalit community.
Sh. Chumber started his career as a District Welfare Officer, but soon quit the job to serve the larger interests of the marginalized sections of the society. He was the founding father and editor-in-chief of Kaumi Udarian – a fortnightly magazine highlighting the social issues of the time.  He was also editor/publisher/owner of historic souvenir of Babu Mangu Ram Muggowalia.
Sh. C. L. Chumber contested the Punjab Legislative Assembly Jalandhar north seat in 1992 election for BSP.  A close aide of Late Sahib Sh. Kanshi Ram Ji, he was the spokesperson for ‘Kanshi Ram Bachao Sangharsh Committee’.  He also served as the President of ‘Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Academy’ and worked as Resident Editor on ‘Bahujan Samaj Bulletin” - the mouthpiece of BSP in 1997. He was widely covered by print and electronic media for his progressive and insightful thoughts on a host of concurrent issues, including universal access to education, social stigmas, rampant corruption, and oppressive caste system. Sh. C. L. Chumber had a personal library with a collection of very valueable & rare books over 10,000 titles.
Sh. C. L. Chumber leaves behind his mother Mrs. Bishan Kaur Chumber, wife Mrs. Santosh Chumber, daughters Mrs. Ravjot and Mrs. Amandeep, and sons Mr. Kumar Jiv Chumber and Mr. Jan Sangram Chumber.
His younger beloved brothers Prem Kumar Chumber Editor-In-Chief: Ambedkar Times & Desh Doaba weekly newspapers in the USA and Mr. Tarsem Lal Chumber in Jalandhar City with their families.
The Bhog ceremony will be held on 14th February 2016 at 1 pm at Shri Guru Ravidass Gurdwara Sahib, Urban Estate Phase-2, Jalandhar City (Punjab). Chumber Family Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com February 8, 2016

NEW BEGINNING IN A NEW YEAR

We live in a time that can be called modern/post-modern. All the ‘isms’ of hope, advancement and prosperity have lost their sheen in the contemporary world. If somehow, we still find an ‘ism’ floating somewhere around us that is of Neo-Liberalism. All ‘isms’ were formed at different intervals of the long history of mankind civilization. What runs common in all the ‘isms’ is the emancipation of humanity from scarcity of resources and development of enough infrastructures for providing the basic necessities of mankind. Fabian ism, Socialism, Liberalism, Capitalism, Communism all failed to keep the promise! Now Neo-liberalism is darting the shots. It hardly bothers about what is called equality and fraternity. It only aimed at ‘sterling’ liberty, which aimed at pursuing profit without fear of consequences for the fellow travelers. It defines wealth in terms of possessions and friendship in terms of capacity to further its interests. But how this ultra-modern ‘ism’ will serve the cause of humanity is a common concern for all of us.

Twenty first century is fast approaching its first 20th year shortly. Nano-technology, cyber-networking and finance-capital have been the hall marks of our contemporary times. We know that what we achieved in terms of science, technology and mastery over the nature in the last fifty years is beyond comparison with what we gained over the centuries. But one thing which we need not to forget is that what we have achieved over the centuries is not only to be measured in terms of technological advancements but also morality, liberty, equality, fraternity and humanity. If we have survived over all these centuries, it is not only due to strides in technological advancements but also human values. Let us begin our New Year 2016 with a resolve that the blind pursuit for profit should not leave behind human values - the savior of mankind!

Ambedkar Times & Desh Doaba wish a very Happy New Year 2016 on January 1st, 2016 to all its contributors, readers and well-wishers .

Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor-In-Chief
www.ambedkartimes.com 
www.ambedkartimes.org
www.deshdoaba.com

EDUCATION, SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
AND EMPOWERMENT

Prem K. Chumber
Editor-In-Chief: Ambedkar Times

Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar laid stress on ‘Educate, Agitate, Organize’ for the liberation of the Scheduled Castes (SCs) of India. He knew very well that education could not only stir the notion of self-respect among the downtrodden but also encourage them to locate viable solutions to the age-old evil of caste system and Untouchability in India. Educated SCs would challenge their tormentors and refuse to accept oppressive social structures around them. In fact, it was education that imbibed the glaring spirit in him of getting rid of caste system (annihilating caste) from Indian society; the most sought after goal of his life time mission.
Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was confident that once the downtrodden get educated they would never sit idly. They would definitely agitate against the system of social injustice around them and eventually organise themselves to put an end to the same. He himself set the example through his life-long struggle for the annihilation of caste. His philosophy was simple that an educated Dalit would agitate against the all-round system of injustice around him and indulge in a struggle to overcome it. It is his self-agitation against the blind system Untouchability that would force him and his fellow-beings to get organise to commence a struggle. The central thesis of his philosophy was to know the system first so that it can empower the downtrodden to challenge social injustice rationally then to set the pace for a long struggle to put an end to age-old social evil of caste system and Untouchability.
After almost sixty eight years of India’s independence, is there available a viable system of education to SCs in India? Government rural school system has come to standstill. They have turned dysfunctional long ago. Those who can afford costly private school education have abandoned them, thus rendering them just into ‘Dalit schools’. This is an open fact that in Government rural schools majority of the students are from the SCs community. There are, of course, some other students belonging to OBC and upper caste communities but they too belonged to poor families. There is no denying a fact, however, that that majority of the SCs families belong to the poor and most poor strata of the society.
Given the dysfunctional status of Government rural schools, the basic factor of education to change the system of Untouchability as advocated by    Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar has been pushed to side-line. It is not only depriving SCs of genuine education but also blocking their way to social transformation. So there is an urgent need to revamp the Government rural schools so that proper and useful education could be imparted to SCs students along with others who want to join such schools. In addition an effort should be made to introduce an intensive multi language course work to enable the students to understand the available material in different languages. Along with the existing subjects provisions should also be made prepare them for job oriented courses in higher education.  

 (Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com) December 6, 2015 

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM
CONGRATULATES THE FABO TEAM

Ambedkartimes.com congratulates the entire FABO team, especially Ms. Santosh Dass, Mr. Arun Kumar and Mr. Gautam Chakravarty, for completing all the formalities to buy Dr. Ambedkar House in London.

The contracts was exchanged on August 26, 2015 by Mr Raj Kumar Badole, Minister for Social Justice and Special Assistance at Government of Maharashtra (India), via the High Commission of India in London (10 King Henry’s Road, NW3). This House, located near Primrose Hill in north London, was the one where Dr. Ambedkar stayed during 1921-22. It was in this very house that Dr. Ambedkar enriched his academic studies and strengthened his resolve to challenge the impact of the Caste System and British Rule in India. 

www.ambedkartimes.com takes great pride in sharing its happiness with all the Ambedkarites the world over for this great act of converting the stay house of our Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar into a heritage center.

Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor-In-Chief
www.ambedkartimes.com
www.deshdoaba.com
Ambedkar Times (Weekly Newspaper in English)
Desh Doaba (Weekly Newspaper in Punjabi)
Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com , September 2, 2015

Editor's mail:
Wrongly written
Educate Agitate Organise

Dear Sir,

I was searching some content on Manusmriti and by chance, I visited your website ambedkartimes.com. There i saw message of Baba Saheb which is wrongly written Educate Agitate Organise. In my opinion, it should be written as Educate Organise Agitate. Hope you will respond to my mail very soon.

Regards
Kaushal Gautam
Dated June 7, 2015

Educate Agitate Organize
Editor’s Response

Dear Gautam Ji,

Jai Bhim!


Kindly refer to Baba Sahib Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s own words: "My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side, I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual.......” Dhananjay Keer, Dr. Ambedkar: Life and Mission, Third Edition, 1971, Page 351). Kindly see also: Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches Vol. 1 (Education Department, Govt. of Maharashtra, 1979,) Specially the Chapter on Communal Deadlock and a way to solve it.
Thank you so much for visiting www.ambedkartimes.com. I am so happy that you read the website carefully and I respect your comments towards the site. Please keep in touch.
With regards,
Prem Kumar Chumber
Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com Dated June 8, 2015

Thus the real sequence of the slogan is:
Educate, Agitate and Organize

Prem Kumar Chumber (Editor-In-Chief) chumbermedia@yahoo.com
www.ambedkartimes.com , www.ambedkartimes.org, www.deshdoaba.com

Educate, Organize and Agitate is the most misquoted slogan of Baba Sahib Dr. Ambedkar. Its true version is: Educate Agitate and Organize. Baba Sahib uttered these precious words at the end of his historic speech delivered at the All-India Depressed Classes Conference (July 18-19, 1942 at Nagpur), convened to create an All-India organization with distinct aims and purposes in co-operation with all the inter-provincial forces. It was at this very conference that a declaration was made about the formation of the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation. Below are given the exact words of the concluding part of this historic speech of Baba Sahib, as cited in his ‘fascinating biography’ authored by Dhananjay Keer:

“My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side, I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle, not for wealth or for power. It is a battle for freedom. It is a battle for the reclamation of human personality” (Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 3rd ed. 1971, p: 351, emphasis added).

Baba Sahib’ struggle for the uplift of the socially excluded was precisely spiritual in the sense that it intends to restore their lost dignity and make them equal with all the other sections of the rest of the society. For that the method he chooses was democratic-constitutional. Being educated in the oldest democracies in the world, Dr. Ambedkar imbibed the true spirit of democracy and constitutionalism. He wanted his fellow –beings and his countrymen to follow democratic ways for the peaceful resolution of all one problems including the most fatal one – the Untouchability.

In his democratic scheme of conflict resolution, education figures at the very beginning of the social struggle. Hence “educate” comes first in his three stepped slogan of educate, agitate and organize. By education Baba Sahib did not mean merely certificates and degrees. For him to educate means to become aware of ones real life conditions; to be conscious of ones surroundings; to raise objection to the inhuman existence in the society; and to ask for change for the better. “Tell the slaves he is a slave and he will revolt”, that is the real meaning of education.

It is such education that will stir agitation within, leading to what Baba Sahib called “agitate”. To “agitate” does not mean to organize guerrilla warfare, to do murda bad – murda bab. On the contrary, it means to become aware about ones social conditions and to seek viable steps for the eradications of the causes of the problems. Baba Sahib told us that only real and true education could only make us to “agitate”.

And it is this agitation, which is within, that would ultimately help us to “organize”. The true example of which is Baba Sahib himself, who after obtaining critical and rational sense through his education felt toofan within and consequently organized three political parties (Independent Labor Party, Scheduled Caste Federation and Republican Party of India) to secure Dalit human rights.

Thus the real sequence of the slogan is: Educate Agitate and Organize.  (Mobile: USA 916-947-8920)

“Ambedkar Times”
Group takes pride in wishing
all its
 contributors, readers
and viewers a very Happy
Independence Day of India

Ambedkar Times & Desh Doaba
congratulate to everyone
on Happy Birth Anniversary of
Great Revolutionary E.V.R. Periyar

Prem Chumber
www.ambedkartimes.com

 

REMEMBERING DALIT SAVIOURS

Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, E.V. Ramasamy Naicker (Periyar), Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Narayan Swami Guru, Achutananda, Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia are among the forerunners of Dalit saviours who devoted their entire lives for the emancipation and empowerment of the downtrodden. During their life-times they had to struggle very hard to articulate as well as build a ‘counter public’ for reclaiming the long lost Dalit space. Braving untold sufferings and persistent opposition from all the possible quarters, they remained steadfast in their mission to prepare a solid base for grooming the cause of the community. Despite the innumerable hardships, they succeeded in their bold endeavours to pave the way for Dalit liberation leading to ‘equality, liberty, fraternity’. Of late their struggle as well as vision/philosophy started getting recognition even in the political circles of their opponents. Almost all of them now feel proud of owning/appropriating them as and when they deem so fit.  The recent praises showered on Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar by almost all the mainstream political forces in India is a case in point. Year-long preparation by the ruling as well as opposition parties for the celebration of  his 125th Birth anniversary are being reported in almost all the national newspapers.

During the 1920s, a large number of Adi movements took roots in different parts of India. Ad Dharm movement of Punjab is one of them. It born in the background of series of political developments in the region. It was founded and led by Gadarite Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia, who wanted that his people should have their own separate identity and the wherewithal to lead dignified life. He was convinced of the fact that the only way through which his people can live with dignity and self-respect was to form their own exclusive Dalit identity, political party and religion. He succeeded on all these crucial accounts. He got recognition from the British Government in 1931 for a separate religion for the lower castes of Punjab (Ad Dharm), contested provincial assembly elections and pleaded meticulously for the rights of his people at all the plat forums available during his struggle.

Now when all the major political parties in India are promising to follow and implement the thinking of Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, it would be in fitness of things that the Punjab government should rename one of the coming up institutes of higher education in the state after the name of Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia who was among the pioneers of the Dalit freedom fighters, founders of Dalit movement in Punjab, visionaries and educationists in the state on the occasion of 89th anniversary of first annual convention of the Ad Dharm movement held on  June 11-12, 1926.

Prem K. Chumber
Editor-in-Chief:
www.ambedkartimes.com
Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com June 12, 2015
AMBEDKARTIMES GROUP REMEMBERS
SAHIB SHRI KANSHI RAM JI
ON HIS BIRTH ANNIVERSARY

Prem Kumar Chumber (Editor-In-Chief)

Please read special issue of Ambedkar Times
on Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji's birth anniversary
Please click here

Ambedkarties.com successfully enters into seventh year of it continuity. This humble initiative began on   March 12, 2009 with the support of sympathizers of the Dalit cause. “Ambedkartimes” was formally released at Shri Guru Ravidass Temple, Fresno on March 15, 2009, and the birthday of Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji - founder President of BAMCEF, DS4 and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). It was also dedicated to him and his mission for the emancipation and empowerment of Dalits. While delivering a key-note address at the opening session of the 1st World Dalit Convention ‘A new vision towards a casteless society’ at the Kuala Lumpur Mines Resort city, Malaysia (October 10-11, 1998), Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji, reiterated that DALITS SHOULD BECOME RULERS INSTEAD OF BEING RULED. It is long we have been ruled. It is long we have been taking. Now it is time we change the destiny to rule and give. The 1st World Dalit Convention was well attended by more than 700 delegates throughout the world including famous politicians noted leaders from Dalit movement, champions of down-trodden, social reformers, renowned economists, famous educationists and great scholars.

The main source of strength behind the organization of this world Dalit Convention and preparing its extensive report was Senator and Chairman President IPF late Mr. M. G. Pandithan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We also thank him on this occasion from the bottom of our hearts for this noble cause that he initiated valorously. During this historic convention Dr. Ambedkar International Award was also instituted by him and was given to the President of India, Mr. K. R. Narayanan. Dr. Ambedkar International Award was instituted to be given every three years to prominent leaders who work for the welfare of the downtrodden people. Since the 1st World Dalit Convention, many more World Dalit Conventions were held in different parts of the world.

Let me put on record, at this occasion of celebration of the successful journey of “Ambedkartimes”, that we are grateful to all our supporters, sympathizers, contributors and esteemed readers for showing faith in us and our small and humble endeavor for serving our community through the pages of this paper.  We hope to continuously receive your support liberally in future too. We also promise to do our best to serve the cause of equality, liberty and fraternity as envisioned by Bodhi Sativa Bharat Ratan Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. It is also a great occasion to share with all our supporters, sympathizers, contributors and esteemed readers that this media forum for the promotion of the cause of the community has expanded into weekly vernacular and English papers of the already successful monthly endeavor!
https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif
Regards,
Prem K. Chumber
Editor-In-Chief: 
AMBEDKAR TIMES

REMEMBERING
BABU MANGU RAM MUGOWALIA
ON HIS 36TH DEATH ANNIVERSARY

Prem Chumber Editor-in-Chief

Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia was the founder of the glorious Ad Dharm movement in Punjab. The Ad Dharm movement was the only movement of its kind in the Northwestern region of the country that aimed at securing a respectable place for the scheduled castes through cultural transformation and political assertion rather than seeking patronage from above. Another important feature of this movement was that it intended to bring social transformation and spiritual regeneration in the lives of the downtrodden. Although, this movement ceased to exist in its vehement form after the first general election in independent India, its emphasis on social transformation and political assertion against structures of social inequality and oppression continues to attract the Ad-Dharmis and other scheduled castes of Punjab even today.

Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia set a clear agenda for the emancipation of the Dalits and their upliftment. The agenda aimed at restoring their lost indigenous religion and provide them with a sense of self-respect and dignity. The method to achieve this agenda was based on cultural transformation and spiritual regeneration of the indigenous people contemptuously known as Ati-Shudras. Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia was not in favour of embracing any other existing religion. He was in favour of strengthening the Adi (the original) religion of the indigenous people of this country. His views on Hindu religion were very clear. He was of the opinion that since Dalits were not born Hindu where is the need for them to leave that religion and to embrace some other one. Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia thought it appropriate to empower Dalits by carving out a separate Dalit identity on the basis of their indigenous religious strength (Ad Dharm). In one of his interviews to Professor Mark Juergensmeyer, a reputed scholar of Ad Dharm movement, Babu Mangu Ram said proudly “we helped give them [Ad Dharmis] a better life and made them into a Qaum. We gave Gurus to believe in and something to hope for”. Thus the real contribution of Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia and the Ad Dharm movement was in forging a separate and independent Dalit identity in Punjab, which helped them reclaim their long lost original Adi religion and their forgotten heroes and gurus. All Ad Dharmis are indeed proud of for what Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia did for them and are sincerely indebted to him. We all remember him reverently on his 36th death anniversary.

April 22, 2015

GREETINGS ON
DR. AMBEDKAR'S 124TH JAYANTI
 
Ambedkartimes Group congratulates all its worthy writers, readers and
well-wishers on Bharat Rattan Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar's
124th Jayanti and wishes you all happy, healthy and peaceful life.


Prem Kumar Chumber
www.ambedkartimes.com 

DR. AMBEDKAR’S
124TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS

Shri Guru Raviadss Sabha Sacramento (California) & The United Awarenes committee of Ravidassia Community (California) will celebrate Dr. Ambedkar’s 124th birth anniversary on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at Shri Guru Ravidass Temple Rio Linda in Sacramento (California). Please join us with your families & friends.

For more information, please contact:
Gurughar 916-992-1710 OR
H. R. Kajla 916-479-0421 Rakesh Chander 916-698-3808
Tawinder Kazla 916-300-5398 Kewal Bolina 916-548-8902

CONGRATULATIONS ON 638th
THE BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF SAHIB
SHRI SATGURU RAVIDASS JI
MAHARAJ


Prem Kumar Chumber

(Editor: www.ambedkartimes.com)

Guru Ravidass Ji Maharaj, whose 638th birth anniversary is being celebrated throughout the world, was a great saint/Guru of medieval Bhakti movement of North India. He belonged to the lowest of the low castes in India whose touch used to be considered polluting to the Savarnas. He opened a frontal attack against the system of Untouchability. He rejected the tradition of Brahmin mediator to reach the Supreme Being. He also said that one need not to hide his caste or leave his low profession to reach God. He became a model for his fellow beings to overcome the hierarchical barriers of Brahminical Social Order and to establish Begumpura - a state without fear and sorrows. Guru Ravidass elevated the status of the labour by emphasizing on the fact that honest labour is empowering. He completely rejected the concept of living on charity or miraculous wealth obtained by Paras.

      By defeating the famous Kashi Pundits in a formally organized Shastrartha, Guru Ravidass proved that merit is not the fiefdom of so called upper castes alone. Every body is capable of worshipping Him. The fourfold division of Hindu society is a big lie and a trick to make and keep a large section of the Indian society under the cruelty and control of the few in the name of purity-pollution principle made by the so-called Brahmins. It is against this very system of religiously sanctified social differentiation that Guru Ravidass envisioned establishing a state where there would be no place for untouchability and social oppression.

      For the social transformation of the society, Guru Ravidass laid emphasis on labour, compassion, virtue, prohibition of alcohol and all bad deeds. He also reiterated on the urgent need of remembering the formless God whom he addressed by varied names. Some scholars are of the view that Guru Ravidass did not form an organization nor he launched any consistent and systematic agitation against the system of untouchability. This is true. But to raise a loud voice at his times was no less than a clarion call to dismantle the unjust system of Brahminical social order. It is also true that the path told by him has become the beacon light for the Dalit movement in the country and abroad.

Happy Republic Day (January 26, 2015)
Freedom, Caste and Nation
Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor-In-Chief: Ambedkar Times & Desh Doaba

Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar said that “He who is not a slave of circumstances and is always ready and striving to change them in his favour, I call him free. One who is not a slave of usage, customs, of meaningless rituals and ceremonies, of superstitions and traditions; whose flame of reason has not been extinguished, I call him a free man.” On the freedom of India while expressing his joy he said “Independence is no doubt a matter of joy. But let us not forget that this independence has thrown on us greater responsibilities. By independence, we have lost the excuse of blaming the British for anything going wrong. If hereafter things go wrong, we will have nobody to blame except ourselves. There is a greater danger of things going wrong. Times are fast changing.” The evil of caste system continues to stay with us even after sixty-eight years of India’s Independence! We have to blame ourselves for this bad deed. But the first question is who are these ‘ourselves’? Why they did not put the caste to an end? On the contrary, caste seems to be rather getting further strengthened given the distribution of tickets for elections to the state assemblies and the national legislature. Even grassroots electoral bodies are not spared. Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar views that “There is no nation of Indians in the real sense of the world; it is yet to be created. In believing we are a nation, we are cherishing a great delusion. How can people divided into thousands of castes be a nation? The sooner we realize that we are not yet a nation, in a social and psychological sense of the world, the better for us”, sound perfect with the current ground realities in India.

To tackle the menace of caste and to put an end to it, Babasaheb struggled with full determination and courage. He did whatever possible within his reach to root out the caste system from the social soils of India. One of his seminal contributions in that regard is the drafting of the constitution of Independent India. In his own words, “I feel that the constitution is workable, it is flexible and it is strong enough to hold the country together both in peacetime and in wartime. Indeed, if I may say so, if things go wrong under the new Constitution, the reason will not be that we had a bad Constitution. What we will have to say is that Man was vile.” He further said “On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics, we will have equality and in social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of democracy which this Constituent Assembly has so laboriously built up.”
Let us take a lesson from the warning of Babasaheb and join our hand to annihilate caste from India and usher in a new era of social democracy which facilitates the fulfillment of his dreams India: free from the evil of caste and vibrant with social justice and peace all around.
Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com January 26, 2015

66TH REPUBLIC DAY RECEPTION
AT THE INDIA COMMUNITY CENTER, MILPITAS, CALIFORNIA

Milpitas (Prem Kumar Chumber): The Consulate General of India in San Francisco hosted a reception on January 26, 2015 on the occasion of 66th Republic Day at the India Community Center, Milpitas, California (USA). The reception was attended by various dignitaries including Mayor of Milpitas Jose Esteves, several elected municipal leaders, senior government officials including police chiefs, local dignitaries, academics, businessmen, media representatives and prominent Indian Americans in the region as well as members of the Consular Corps. Around 450 guests participated in the event. In his speech, Consul General Venkatesan Ashok highlighted the multi-faceted relations between India & the US and the tremendous contribution of the Indian Americans towards improving relations between the US and India and building bridges, referring in particular to the successful State Visit of President Obama to India as Chief Guest at Republic Day. Elected representatives of the US spoke fondly about India-US ties and the need to foster the relations in all fields. Scintillating cultural performances including Bharatanatyam and Bhangra dance were performed. Ustad Habib Khan mesmerized the esteemed audience with his celestial performance.

A separate event was held in the morning at the Ghadar Memorial in San Francisco where the national flag was hoisted and the President's address to the nation was ready out by CG Venkatesan Ashok.

Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com January 27, 2015

PURCHASE OF DR. AMBEDKAR'S FORMER RESIDENCE IN LONDON

It is our pleasure to inform our worthy contributors, readers & well-wishers that the Maharashtra Government has given a go ahead to buy Bharat Rattan Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar house in London where he stayed during his studies in London. It has been confirmed by the Education Minister, Govt. of Maharashtra. The legal procedure to buy the house has already begun. This is a biggest tribute to the Father of the Indian Constitution on the Republic Day of India.

Brother Mr. Arun Kumar, General Secretary, Federation of Ambedkarite & Buddhist Organizations UK sent us this information with great pleasure to publish in Ambedkar Times group of websites & newspapers. We will publish his special press note soon and thank him, for his regular and timely contribution.

Following week, we are going to publish more details in “Ambedkar Times” and “Desh Doaba” newspapers. If anyone has information or want to write something regarding this good news, please contact @ 001-916-947-8920 OR email us at chumbermedia@gmail.com by this Sunday.

Regards,
Prem Chumber
Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com January 24, 2015

Special on his birth anniversary
BABU MANGU RAM MUGGOWALIA 
AND DALIT IDENTITY IN PUNJAB

Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor-In-Chief: Ambedkar Times & Desh Doaba

Babu Mangu Ram Muggowalia founded Ad Dharm movement for the emancipation and empowerment of his people. He organized all the ex-untouchable castes falling under the then category of the Depressed Classes in Punjab and reminded them of their rich heritage. He told them how they were reduced into worse than slaves in their own land by the alien Aryans who brought with them their sick social system called caste and oppressed them with the whip of untouchability. He told his people that for them the real battle is the battle against the Chaturvarna system of Brahminical Hinduism. He reiterated that Scheduled Castes are neither Hindu nor Sikh. They are also neither Muslim nor Christian. They are the original inhabitants of this ancient land called Bharat (he called it Hind). Their real religion (Ad Dharm) was much older than Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism. All these religion are born after Ad Dharm, the real religion of the original inhabitants of India. He said that the Hindus did not only subjugate them but also made their religion oblivious; and thus made the ex-untouchables their slaves. He said that real freedom for the indigenous people will be to liberate themselves not only from the British rulers but also from Brahmanism.

He struggled hard to convince British rulers to include Ad Dharm in the Census list of 1931 as a separate religion of the Depressed Classes in Punjab in 1931. A great victory of the Dalits indeed! Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia became the pioneer of seeking political power as a key to all the problems of the community. In 1937, his Ad Dharm won 7 out of all the 8 reserved seats in Punjab. He also stood like a rock with Dr. Ambedkar in his tirade against caste annihilation at the national level. During Dr. Ambedkar's fight with Gandhi at the Roundtable Conferences in London (1930-32), Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia sent telegrams in support of the former as the leader of the untouchables in India against Gandhi. In 1946, Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly from Hoshiarpur.

Through his consistent efforts, people of Punjab became aware of their rights. They started recognizing their true position in the given circumstances which helped them shape their identity in a distinct way. Ad Dharm gave them their true Gurus, cultural symbols, prayers, organizations and religion, which they are very proud of. On the day, January 14, 2014, Ambedkartimes.comAmbedkartimes.org,Deshdoaba.com and Ambedkar Times & Desh Doaba newspapers fondly remember Babu Mangu Ram Ji Muggowalia Ji, the architect of distinct Punjabi Dalit identity.

Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com January 14, 2014

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM PAYS ITS GLOWING TRIBUTE TO
Bharat Rattan Babasaheb DR. AMBEDKAR
ON HIS 58th PRINIRVAN DIVAS DEC. 6TH, 2014

EDUCATION, SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
AND EMPOWERMENT
Read more

AMBEDKAR TIMES GROUP
wishes very very Happy New Year 2015
to all its contributors, readers and well-
wishers and eagerly sought their continuous
support to widen and improve the quality of
the soft and print copies of our newspapers:
Ambedkar Times
(English & Punjabi)
Desh Doaba (Punjabi).
Prem Kumar Chumber
(Editor-In-Chief)

AMBEDKAR TIMES CONGRATULATES TO ALL
ON BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF SAVITRI BAI PHULE

AMBEDKAR TIMES PAYS FLORAL TRIBUTE TO OUR FOREFATHERS
WHO COURAGEOUSLY FOUGHT THE BATTLE OF BHĪMA KOREGAON

REMEMBERING KOMAGATA MARU

Komagata Maru reminds us of the great sacrifices made by Punjabis for the honour of our motherland and to seek freedom in order to live with self-respect and dignity. Komagata Maru incident also reminds us of the draconian exclusionary laws brought into practice to keep out immigrants from the colonies of the British Raj. The first of such laws was passed on January 8, 1908, which debarred all those persons from entering into Canada who did not “come from the country of their birth or citizenship by a continuous journey and or through tickets purchased before leaving their country of their birth or nationality.” In fact, this or any such type of law was enacted to preclude immigration from India. Given the long distance between India and Canada, unbroken or continuous voyage from India was next to impossible then. Generally, such a long distance voyage required some halt in Japan or Hawaii that activated the exclusionary clauses of the
above-mentioned laws.
A total number of 376 passengers from Punjab boarded the Komagata Maru, a Japanese steamship hired by Baba Gurdit Singh Sandhu, who publicly espoused the Ghadarite cause during his sojourn in Hong Kong. Baba Gurdit Singh Sandhu was well aware of the exclusionary immigration laws of the Canadian government. But given his revolutionary spirit, he was determined to challenge such inhuman legislation leading to a prolonged battle with the Canadian white regime. In the due course of whole of the episode, tremendous political awareness was generated. Public meeting were organized by the Canadian conservative political leadership to build up pressure to keep the passengers out. On the other end a “shore committee” was organized under the leadership of Hassan Rahim and Sohan Lal Pathak. Indo Canadians also held protest meetings in Canada and the United States to build up pressure against the exclusionary immigration laws. After a prolonged confrontation which also witnessed some violent outburst from the stranded passengers who were demanding that justice be given to them, only 20 passengers were allowed to enter Canada and the rest of them were deported back on the same ship. The Komagata Maru, which sailed from Hong Kong, Shanghai, China to Yokohama and finally to its destination in Vancouver arrived in Calcutta on September 27, 1914. The political events that surrounded the episode met their thunderous flare up at the Budge Budge leading to the killing of 19 innocent passengers who were already harassed to the core. During the melee some of the passenger escaped and the remainder were arrested and imprisoned or put under house arrest in their respective villages until the end of the World War I.
The Komagata Maru incident provided impetus to the Ghadar movement and sharpened the ongoing freedom struggle in the country. This incident is metamorphosed into a vibrant memory of great sacrifices and candid concern for freedom, dignity and justice. The incident did not stop haunting the conscience of the perpetrators of such inhuman atrocities on the enthusiastic passengers who wanted to take a whiff of fresh air on the promised soil of Canada. On May 23, 2008, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia did penance in unanimously passing a resolution that “this Legislature apologizes for the events of May 23, 1914, when 376 passengers of the Komagata Maru, stationed off Vancouver harbor, were denied entry by Canada. The House deeply regrets that the passengers, who sought refuge in our country and our province, were turned away without benefit of the fair and impartial treatment befitting a society where people of all cultures are welcomed and accepted”.
Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor-in-Chief (Ambedkar Times & Desh Doaba)
001-916-947-8920 chumbermerdia@yahoo.com , www.deshdoaba.com & www.ambedkartimes.com Posted on December 6, 2014
AMBEDKARTIMES.COM
TRIBUTE TO THE GREAT

SAHIB KANSHI RAM JI
March15th, 1934 - October 09th, 2006

Prem Chumber
Editor-in- Chief www.ambedkartimes.com

Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji was born on March 15, 1934, in Khawas Pur village of Ropar District of Punjab. He belonged to the Ramdassia community (Ad Dharmi) of the Scheduled Caste group, which is the largest group in Punjab. He was named Kanshi because after his birth the midwife placed him in a tray made of kansa metal. His father owned some land and his uncles were in the armed forces. In Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram's own words, "I was born and brought up amongst those who sacrificed themselves but never betrayed the country...”  Despite his low caste background, he earned a bachelor’s degree in science from the Government College at Ropar ( Punjab). Soon after, he joined the research staff of Kirki’s Explosive Research and Development Laboratory (ERDL) in Pune 1957. While working in Pune, he quit his job after becoming involved in the famous Deena Bhan case. Deena Bhan, a Rajasthani Scheduled Caste employee and senior colleague of Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram was suspended. His fault was that he protested against the decision of ERDL management for the cancellation of holidays for Dr. Ambedkar and Lord Buddha Jayantis and their replacement by the Tilak Jayanti and one additional holiday for Diwali. Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram decided to fight against such a caste ridden and dictatorial behaviour of the management. The fighter in Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram got the suspension orders of Deena Bhan revoked and Dr. Ambedkar and Lord Buddha Jayantis holidays were restored.

This was the beginning of the long battle for the emancipation of the Dalits in the country that Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram had to lead till his last breath. He resigned from his job and totally dedicated his entire life for the cause of the community. He never married nor visited his home since then. His struggle was not for the home and family. He devised a new strategy to regain the lost glory of the original (Adi) inhabitants of Bharat. He gave utmost importance to the culture of work and democratic method of struggle. He also expanded the circle of the Dalits by incorporating other Backward Classes and Minorities into it.

He criticised the post-Ambedkar leadership of Dalits in India. For that he declared Poona Pact as the main reason. He said that “Poona Pact made dalits helpless. By rejecting separate electorate, dalits were deprived of their genuine representation in legislatures. Several and various kind of chamchas were born in the last fifty years. As and when India's high caste Hindu rulers felt the need of chamchas and when the authority of the upper castes got endangered by real and genuine Dalit leaders, chamchas were brought to the fore in all other fields".

In his "The Chamcha Age", a well argued and polemical tirade against the pseudo Dalit leaders, Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram sharpen the contradiction for the legitimate acquisition of political power by the downtrodden in electoral democracy in India. In, the Chamcha Age, "he focused very much on the Poona Pact which was a point of a rather decisive Gandhian victory over Dr. Ambedkar after a long duel between the two at the Round Table Conference". Ambedkartimes.com pays tribute to The Great Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram Ji on his eighth death anniversary.

Prem Kumar Chumber Editor-in- Chief www.ambedkartimes.com (Posted on October 9, 2014) OK


BABASAHEB DR. B.R. AMBEDKAR,
POONA PACT AND THE CURRENT SITUATION

Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar devoted his entire life for the emancipation and empowerment of the Scheduled Castes of India who for centuries have been compelled to live in deplorable situations. He tried different ways for this noble cause while setting the goal of annihilation of caste. First, he did his best to improve upon the situations through reforms within Hinduism. But soon, he realized that reforms within Hinduism will not work for the annihilation of caste because without caste the whole structure of Hinduism would come down like a house of cards and that would not be acceptable to its protagonists at all. Annihilation of caste at the first instance requires doing away with the Hindu Sastras (sacred scriptures/law books), which Hinduism would never agree to comply with. Thus the other way and rather the only way open to seek casteless social order was to say good bye to Hinduism and construct a new society under a different religion for the Ex-Untouchables. Dr. Ambedkar finally left Hinduism and established a new social-religious order popularly known as Navayan-Buddhism (Buddha and His Dhamma) where no one is subjected to any social discrimination based on accretive and primordial notions of caste and creed. In between, Dr. Ambedkar battled many struggles for the betterment of living conditions of the Scheduled Castes. Poona Pact was one of such major struggles.

It was through this historic Pact that Dr. Ambedkar got voice for his people in the provincial legislative structures in the form of certain fixed number of seats. That was 1932. A lot has changed now in 2014. State in India is fast withdrawing from its responsibilities towards the people. It firmly believes that market can save them from all the hardships they face. In other words neo-liberalism is being projected as the messiah of the Scheduled Castes. In such a changed scenario downtrodden has to rethink rather critically about the nature of struggle that they have to wage for the acquisition and protection of their rights. Quite interestingly, there is also fast emerging a viewpoint from within the academic circles of the Scheduled Castes which says that neo-liberal market economy offers lots of opportunities to the former untouchables who no-longer face any social exclusion in the aftermath of 1991 Globalizing India. This view-point also talks about Dalit billionaires and their own chambers of commerce.  What it forgets is that in the free market economy only those are welcome who have the capital to invest. And the capital in India used to be the prerogative of the upper castes only. Lower castes were deliberately kept out of reach of the capital by all possible means under the garb of a discriminatory and hegemonic religious social order. What about the millions of lower castes who do not have requisite capital to enter into the so-called non-discriminatory market economy in India. Would they be not discriminated in this new economic order? Neo-liberalism is no more different from capitalism. We must not forget that the two main enemies of the lower castes are, as cautioned by Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Capitalism and Brahmanism. Both of them are once again busy in fashioning new permutations and calculations to keep their hold intact. Thus to face the realities of current situation in contemporary India, the teachings of Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar are of utmost value as they have been ever.
Prem K. Chumber Editor-in Chiefwww.ambedkartimes.com
Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com September 24, 2014
OK

EDUCATION, SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION AND EMPOWERMENT
Prem K. Chumber
Editor-In-Chief: Ambedkar Times

Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar laid stress on ‘Educate, Agitate, Organise’ for the liberation of the Scheduled Castes (SCs) of India. He knew very well that education could not only stir the notion of self-respect among the downtrodden but also encourage them to locate viable solutions to the age-old evil of caste system and Untouchability in India. Educated SCs would challenge their tormentors and refuse to accept oppressive social structures around them. In fact, it was education that imbibed the glaring spirit in him of getting rid of caste system (annihilating caste) from Indian society; the most sought after goal of his life time mission.

Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was confident that once the downtrodden get educated they would never sit idly. They would definitely agitate against the system of social injustice around them and eventually organise themselves to put an end to the same. He himself set the example through his life-long struggle for the annihilation of caste. His philosophy was simple that an educated Dalit would agitate against the all-round system of injustice around him and indulge in a struggle to overcome it. It is his self-agitation against the blind system Untouchability that would force him and his fellow-beings to get organise to commence a struggle. The central thesis of his philosophy was to know the system first so that it can empower the downtrodden to challenge social injustice rationally then to set the pace for a long struggle to put an end to age-old social evil of caste system and Untouchability.

After almost sixty eight years of India’s independence, is there available a viable system of education to SCs in India? Government rural school system has come to standstill. They have turned dysfunctional long ago. Those who can afford costly private school education have abandoned them, thus rendering them just into ‘Dalit schools’. This is an open fact that in Government rural schools majority of the students are from the SCs community. There are, of course, some other students belonging to OBC and upper caste communities but they too belonged to poor families. There is no denying a fact, however, that that majority of the SCs families belong to the poor and most poor strata of the society.

Given the dysfunctional status of Government rural schools, the basic factor of education to change the system of Untouchability as advocated by    Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar has been pushed to side-line. It is not only depriving SCs of genuine education but also blocking their way to social transformation. So there is an urgent need to revamp the Government rural schools so that proper and useful education could be imparted to SCs students along with others who want to join such schools. In addition an effort should be made to introduce an intensive multi language course work to enable the students to understand the available material in different languages. Along with the existing subjects provisions should also be made prepare them for job oriented courses in higher education.    
(Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com) December 6, 2014 

Ambedkartimes.com and the so-called Upper Castes

Dear Readers,
Ambedkartimes.com received an e-mail seeking its opinion on the question of whether this World's fastest expanding web-site entertains reports, articles and essays written by scholars belonging to Non-Dalit or so called Upper Caste categories?

Let me (the editor of this site), clarify at the outset that <www.ambedkartimes.com> firmly believes in the philosophy and teachings of Bharat Rattan Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and aims at in its modest way to keep the caravan going on. Babasaheb had very clearly said that Brahmanism is a state of mind and an ideology rooted in Hindu Shastras. Brahmanism is not a person. A particular person who belongs to an Upper Caste but does not believe in the muck of the Hindu Shastras and is critical of its chaturvarna theory can not be tied with Brahmanism simply by virtue of the fact that he is born Upper Caste. Such thinking totally negates the very radical philosophy of Babasaheb Dr Ambedkar who clearly condemned any kind of discrimination based on birth/caste.

After the episode of Jat-Pat Todak Mandal of Lahore in 1936, Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar decided that henceforth he would not go to any Caste Hindu organization but will welcome any one from the Upper Castes if he or she believes in Annihilation of the Caste system and agree with his philosophy of emancipation and empowerment of the Dalits.

Thus, Ambedkartimes.com is of the firm view that if any one, whosoever she/he may be, tries to distort the path of Babasaheb’s struggle and creates a wedge between the Dalits and the Dalit-sympatric scholars (who irrespective of their caste repose faith in the Philosophy and teachings of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar) is an enemy of the Dalits and the cause of the community.

<www.ambedkartimes.com> encourage and welcome scholars of Dalits as well as non-Dalit background to contribute their valuable writings that will enlighten the cause of the Dalits and further the on-going struggle both in India and elsewhere.

Further <www.ambedkartimes.com> does not discriminate simply on the basis of birth, rather it is duty bound to make all efforts for the elimination of this disastrous practice of Brahminical ideology that has made the life of Dalits a hell for centuries all together.

It also caution that we too should not fall victim to such nefarious designs of the Brahminical ideology and warns to be at guards so that Brahmanism should not enter the rank and files of the Ambedkarite struggle from the back door!
With Regards,
Prem K. Chumber
Editor
Amabedkartimes.com
(Reposted on www.ambedkartimes.com) December 2, 2014

CONGRATULATIONS
ON THE BIRTH
ANNIVERSARY OF
SAHIB SHRI SATGURU RAVIDASS JI MAHARAJ

Prem Kumar Chumber (Editor: www.ambedkartimes.com)

Guru Ravidass Ji Maharaj, whose 637th birth anniversary is being celebrated throughout the world, was a great saint/Guru of medieval Bhakti movement of North India. He belonged to the lowest of the low castes in India whose touch used to be considered polluting to the Savarnas. He opened a frontal attack against the system of Untouchability. He rejected the tradition of Brahmin mediator to reach the Supreme Being. He also said that one need not to hide his caste or leave his low profession to reach God. He became a model for his fellow beings to overcome the hierarchical barriers of Brahminical Social Order and to establish Begumpura - a state without fear and sorrows. Guru Ravidass elevated the status of the labour by emphasizing on the fact that honest labour is empowering. He completely rejected the concept of living on charity or miraculous wealth obtained by Paras.

      By defeating the famous Kashi Pundits in a formally organized Shastrartha, Guru Ravidass proved that merit is not the fiefdom of so called upper castes alone. Every body is capable of worshipping Him. The fourfold division of Hindu society is a big lie and a trick to make and keep a large section of the Indian society under the cruelty and control of the few in the name of purity-pollution principle made by the so-called Brahmins. It is against this very system of religiously sanctified social differentiation that Guru Ravidass envisioned establishing a state where there would be no place for untouchability and social oppression.

      For the social transformation of the society, Guru Ravidass laid emphasis on labour, compassion, virtue, prohibition of alcohol and all bad deeds. He also reiterated on the urgent need of remembering the formless God whom he addressed by varied names. Some scholars are of the view that Guru Ravidass did not form an organization nor he launched any consistent and systematic agitation against the system of untouchability. This is true. But to raise a loud voice at his times was no less than a clarion call to dismantle the unjust system of Brahminical social order. It is also true that the path told by him has become the beacon light for the Dalit movement in the country and abroad.

Posted onwww.ambedkartimes.com ( February 14, 2014)

Today is Merry Christmas, 25th of December, 2013. It is celebrated all over the Christian world as the birth of Jesus Christ. But for the whole world of Dalits, it is an important day as "Manu Smruti Dahan Din", as it was on this day in 1927 that Manusmruti was publicly burned by Dr. Ambedkar, during the "Maha-Sangharsha" of Mahad Satyagraha, and is an important mile stone in Dalit struggle against Brahmanism. Let us all remember this day with pride.
Read more Dr. K. Jamanadas

Another Feather in the Cap of Honorable
Prof. (Dr.) Ronki Ram

www.ambedkartimes.com takes pride in congratulating Honorable Prof. (Dr.) Ronki Ram, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Professor of Political Science and Fellow at Panjab University on his being elected Dean, Faculty of Arts. Prof. Ronki Ram has been the first incumbent of ICCR Chair Professorship of Contemporary India Studies at Leiden University, The Netherlands (September 2011-June 2013). Recipients of various awards both at home and abroad, Prof. Ram has widely travelled in USA, UK, Canada, France, Denmark, South Korea, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany, Bahrain, Pakistan, Sweden and The Netherlands on various academic assignments. Author of two books, several book chapters and research articles published in international peer reviewed journals like Modern Asian Studies (Cambridge University Press), Journal of Asian Studies (Cambridge University Press), Asian Survey (California University Press), Contributions to Indian Sociology (Sage), Journal of Punjab Studies (University of California Santa Barbara) among others within and abroad, he has 30 years of teaching and research experience at Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi), Uppsala University (Sweden) Goa University (Goa), Panjab University (Chandigarh) and Leiden University (The Netherlands). His books on Dalit identity formation processes in Punjab are read with keen interest. His areas of specialization are identity politics, political sociology, conflict and peace studies, and critical Dalit studies.

We once again congratulate him on his becoming Dean, Faculty of Arts at Panjab University. It is a matter of great honor and pride that Panjab University has recently emerged as number one university in South Asia and thirteenth in BRICS and other developing countries in the world.

Prem K. Chumber (Editor-In-Chief)
Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com , December 14, 2013

Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar and His People
Prem K. Chumber
Editor-in-Chief (www.ambedkartimes.com)

Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar devoted his entire life for the creation of inclusive social set up in India where there should be no place for caste and similar social hierarchies leading to entrenched discrimination in all walks of life. He termed his struggle spiritual and not economic or for political power per se. His sole objective was to restore the lost dignity and self-respect to the millions of downtrodden in the society and to prepare them to stand for equal rights on their own strength. He firmly believed that liberty, equality and fraternity should become the real strengths of India, which would lay the true foundations of India democracy. For him political democracy should be based on social democracy. Social democracy in turn is dependent on equal opportunity available to all in the society where there should be no hierarchies and hereditary claims and special rights. 

He was a practical visionary who produced voluminous of well-documented literature to put across his viewpoint and egalitarian social order. He participated meticulously in expanding democracy of India and founded two political parties (Labor Party of India and Scheduled Castes Federation of India) and prepared a blueprint for the third (Republican Party of India). To give a practical shape to his social vision, Babasaheb tried all possible ways to bring social reforms within Hinduism in order to make it an all-inclusive religion where the Shudras and Ati-Shudras should not suffer on account of their so-called lower birth. He launched satyagrahas (non-violent struggles) for the entry of lower castes (then known as Depressed classes) in to public places of utility and religious sites; organized common kitchen eatings; and advocated inter-caste marriages. When such measures failed to bring fruit, he put forward the idea of changing religion. After giving it a deep thought (more than twenty years), he embraced Buddhism as a way to egalitarian social order in India.

His people for whom he struggled throughout his life eagerly wait for the true realization of his goal. Their enthusiasm can be seen from the way they throng the Mahaparinirvan Bhoomi of their beloved Babasaheb who had died on 6th December1956. Large crowds of people from all over the country gathered at the ”Chaitya Bhoomi” (Dr. Ambedkar’s memorial) at Dadar in order to pay reverence to the Messiah of downtrodden. They offered their love-laced feelings by touching the “Chaitya Bhoomi” reverently. This shows his great legacy that his people carrying forward to make his dream come true.

Prem K. Chumber
Editor-in-Chief (www.ambedkartimes.com)
Posted on December 6, 20132

BAHUJANA HITAYA
BAHUJANA SUKHAYA

Prem Chumber (Editor: Ambedkartimes.com )

The history and the contemporary texture and structure of Hindu society are caste ridden. It is basically an exploitative society. What further distinguishes it from rest of the varied forms of exploitations and exploitative social systems is its birth-based-purity-pollution principle of graded caste hierarchy that perpetuates hereditary occupation laced discrimination. Traditionally it draws its sustenance from the Varna system social stratification having its roots in the Hindu Dharmasastras. The most horrible aspect of this India-specific system of social exclusion and exploitation is that it has been able to inculcate in the minds of its victims that the latter are supposed to undergo such discrimination rather willingly as a penance of their bad deeds they have had accumulated in their earlier enumerable low births.

Religion of the Hindus is nothing but a sacred reinforcement of the above obnoxious system of social exclusion of their -inhabitants cursed as ex-Untouchables. However, as far as the hard labour of these lesser human beings and its expropriation is concerned that is welcomed! For centuries no one objected to this inhuman social practice. On the contrary, this inhuman social practice was considered as a normal practice and an integral part of the Hindu social and

political order. So much so that the Hindu religious texts were designed to justify such a horrible social muck meticulously.

Tathagat Buddha was the first rational and forceful voice against the Hindu caste system and its consequent system of untouchability. He contested the Hindu system of birth-based social stratification with his new and innovative slogan of Bahujana hitaya bahujana sukhaya. He took on the Hindu socio-religious system head-on and turned it upside down while coming out with a scientific interpretation of the maladies of the society and its rational ground-based practical solutions. He categorically discarded the supernatural/extra-worldly/mythological God/Avatar based Hindu world view. He very politely but equally firmly emphasised on the equality of all Human beings and very strongly rejected the rotten institution of caste. He very strongly advocated that looking after the interests of all would definitely give way to the much desired goal of the welfare of the all.

Tathagat Buddha came out with four noble truths: (a) suffering is an inherent part of existence, (b) the origin of suffering is ignorance and the main symptoms of which are attachment and craving, (c) the cause of suffering can be removed, (d) the way fir its removal is Ashtangika Marga (the eight-fold path). The eight-fold path includes: (1) right understanding, (2) right thought, (3) right speech, (4) right action, (5) right livelihood, (6) right efforts, (7) right mindfulness, and (8) right concentration.

Let us follow Tathagat Buddha’s Ashtangika Marga in properly understanding the real problem of the community and finding its practical solution by bringing everyone on a common platform for furthering the cause of Dalit liberation and empowerment without accusing each other.

Posted on May 25, 2013

WWW.AMBEDKARTIMES.COM
PAYS FLORAL TRIBUTE TO MR. DEWAN CHAND AHIR
www.ambedkartimes.com condoles the demise of Honorable Mr. Dewan Chand Ahir who dedicated his entire life for the spread of the mission of Bharat Rattan Baba Sahib Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar for betterment of the community. He was one the few scholars whose views on Buddhism and the teachings of Baba Sahib are valued deeply among the intellectual circles world over. He wrote many books on the history of Buddhism in South Asia and the philosophy of Bodhisattva Baba Sahib Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. He also wrote on the rise of Ad Dharm and Ambedkarite movement in Punjab (Dr. Ambedkar and Punjab, Delhi: B.R. Publications 1991). His seminal work on The Pioneers of Buddhist Revival in India published by Sri Satguru Publications, 1989 is one of the many widely read of his books. We lost in his demise a great scholar of Buddhism and a visionary of the great mission of Baba Sahib Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. The forum www.ambedkartimes.com sympathizes with the family of honorable Mr. Dewan Chand Ahir and also his wide intellectual and friends circles.

Prem K. Chumber
Editor-in-Chief: www.ambedkartimes.com
(Posted on July 14, 2012 )

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL ON
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY

Prem Kumar Chumber
(
Editor-in-Chief www.ambedkartimes.com)

AMBEDKAR CARTOON
UPROAR IN INDIAN PARLIAMENT

Prem Kumar Chumber (Editor: Ambedkartimes.com)

A row over a cartoon depicting Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the chief Architect of the Indian Constitution, riding a snail and Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the country, standing behind him, brandishing a whip rocked the Indian Parliament. The message it symbolizes in the text alongside suggests that Dr. Ambedkar was slow on completing the draft of the constitution and Jawaharlal Nehru pressing hard on him to do the job quickly. The cartoon was sketched by renowned cartoonist Shankar in 1949, and has been part of the NCERT book since 2006.

Opposition Members of Parliament stalled the proceedings in the both houses of the parliament on May 11, 2012, emphasizing on the ‘disrespectful’ message of the cartoon. Interacting with the reporters outside the parliament Kumari Mayawati, Dalit politician, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and member of the Rajya Sabha (upper house) said, “This is an insult on Indian democracy. The government should intervene and take strong action against those who are involved in this”. She continued, “If it fails to do so, we will wait for two to three days or else our party (BSP) will not allow the House to run”. Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, President of the Lok Janshakti Party, condemned the inclusion of the cartoon in the textbook as “highly deplorable”.

Pacifying the charged emotions, Pranab Mukerjee, Finance Minister, said that it was with the consistent efforts of Dr. Ambedkar that the constitution of independent India was framed within “a short time of three years”. Kapil Sibal, HRD Minister, later apologized, and said he had already directed NCERT to remove the cartoon on April 26 this year.

The protest over the cartoon in the Parliament also led to the resignation of the advisors of the office of NERT, Suhas Palshikar (former head of the department of Political Science in the University of Pune) and Yogendra Yadav (psephologist). A day after their resignation, two to three people, allegedly belonging to a new organization named the Republican Panthers Party of India, attacked the office of the Suhas Palshikar. During the attack they shouted slogans in the name of Dr. Ambedkar. Two of the attackers were arrested by the police. Mr. Palshikar, however, was not hurt in the attack. He did not want to initiate action against the perpetrators but wanted action against those who he thought instigated the attack.

Mr. Yogendra Yadav commenting on the cartoon row said, “I personally do not think that that cartoon denigrates Dr. Ambedkar. He himself did not think it did so. Any cartoon or any piece of art must be understood by keeping in mind that you can’t take a Xerox copy of one particular thing and say, is it good or is it bad. First you have to understand the symbolism of it, if you start to take all piece of art literally, then you would have to ban, then you would have to ban all poetry in this country, all the art forms, and cartoons in this country”. Zoya Hasan, a Political Scientist of Jawaharlal Nehru University, considered the row as “an unnecessary controversy … It is a classic case of construct hurt and invented controversy … The government must allow for more public debate on this issue”.

Beyond symbolism or the contents of the controversy, what is more important is the presence of caste in contemporary India. It is in this context that one has to look at the whole cartoon row that rocked the parliament. The advisors of the NCERT are not oblivious of the presence of caste in Indian society and its continuous impact on the day-to-day lives of Dalits. It is also well know to every body, at least in India, especially to those who do social science in the country, that 2012 is not 1949– when the cartoon in question was sketched. Now Dalits have come of age. They want no more further to be pushed aside. In a caste ridden society like India, one needs to exercise restrain in making symbolic use of cartoon or poetry because in a fragmented social domain every symbol or verse carries tons of meaning both pejorative or otherwise. For the good of democracy and social harmony one should not only restrain but also design new symbols and poetry free of caste intents and discriminatory hidden messages.
Posted on May 15, 2012

GREETINGS ON THE BUDDHA PURNIMA

Ambedkartimes congratulates all its worthy writers,
readers and well wishers on Lord Buddha's Jayanti
and wish you all happy, healthy and peaceful life.

Prem Kumar Chumber
www.ambedkartimes.com
(Posted on May 05, 2012)

Our new website www.deshdoaba.com in Punjabi coming soon

DR. RONKI RAM’S
SECOND BOOK ON DALIT PACHAN,

MUKTI ATEY SHAKTIKARAN

(Dalit Identity, Emancipation and Empowerment) in Punjabi is out


Dr Ronki Ram’s second book on Dalit Pachan, Mukti Atey Shaktikaran (Dalit Identity, Emancipation and Empowerment) in Punjabi is released on February 1, 2012 at the International Punjabi Development Conference (February 1-3, 2012), organized by Punjabi University, Patiala (India). This book is a detailed account of Dalit identity as it emerged in the border state of Punjab in North-West India where concentration of Dalit population is highest in the country. The central thesis of the book revolves around the critical processes of the emergence of Dalit identity and the ways it facilitates Dalit emancipation and empowerment since the beginning of the Dalit movement (Ad Dharm) in the state in the second half of 1920s. The book also provides an in-depth account of the role of the philosophy and teachings of Shri Guru Ravidass Ji, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Shaheed Bhagat Singh in the rise of Dalit consciousness in Punjab. How the complex process of Dalit identity has been represented in the grass-roots Dalit poetry is another interesting aspect of this book, which lays special emphasis on the importance of doing research in Punjabi for the better understanding of Dalit question in Punjab. The book is based on ethnographic study done during the last one decade in the villages of east Punjab. The book is published by the Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala (India).

Prem Chumber
Editor-in-Chief www.ambedkartimes.com
Posted on February 29, 2012

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM PAYS ITS GLOWING TRIBUTE TO DR. AMBEDKAR ON HIS 55th PRINIRVAN DIVAS DEC. 6TH
BABA SAHIB DR. B. R. AMBEDKAR AND
EMPOWERMENT OF DALITS

Editor: Ambedkartimes.com

The untouchables were placed at the bottom of the Hindu caste hierarchy and were known by different names in different parts of the country. They were called Shudras, Atishudras, Chandalas, Antyajas, Pariahs, Dheds, Panchamas, Avarnas, Namashudras, Asprusthas, etc. etc. The hierarchical and inegalitarian structure of Indian Hindu society came into existence during the period of manusmriti. The manusmriti set the tenor of social discrimination based on birth. This, in turn led to economic degradation and political isolation of the untouchables now popularly known as Dalits. Dalits are the poor, neglected and downtrodden lot. Their social disabilities were specific, severe and numerous. Their touch, shadow or even voice was considered by the caste Hindus to be polluting. They were not allowed to keep certain domestic animals, use certain metals for ornaments, eat a particular type of food, use a particular type of footwear, wear a particular type of dress and were forced to live in the outskirts of the villages towards which the wind blew and dirt flowed. Their houses were dirty, dingy and unhygienic where poverty and squalor loomed large. They were denied the use of public wells. The doors of the Hindu temples were closed for them and their children were not allowed into the schools attended by the children of caste Hindu. Barbers and washer-men refused their services to them. Public services were closed to them. They followed menial hereditary occupations such as those of street sweepers, scavengers, shoemakers and carcasses removers.

Baba Sahib Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, himself a Dalit, made efforts to transform the hierarchical structures of Indian society for the restoration of equal rights and justice to the neglected lot by building up a critique from within the structure of Indian society. His was not a theoretical attempt but a practical approach to the problems of untouchability. He tried to seek the solution to this perennial problem of the Indian society not by making appeals to the conscience of the usurpers or bringing transformation in the outlook of the individual by begging but by seeking transformation in the socio-religious and politico-economic structures of the Indian society by continuous and relentless struggle against the exploitative system where he thought the roots of the untouchability lay. He thought that until and unless the authority of the Dharamshastras is shaken which provided divine sanction to the system of discrimination based on the case hierarchy, the eradication of untouchability could not be realised. It was his subaltern perspective, a perspective from below which helped him to come to the conclusion that untouchability emanated neither from religious notions, nor from the much-popularized theory of Aryan conquest. He believed that it came into existence as a result of the struggle among the tribes at a stage when they were starting to settle down for a stable community living. In the process, the broken tribesmen were employed by the settled tribes as guards against the marauding bands. These broken tribesmen employed as guards became untouchables. However, Dr Ambedkar could not provide answer to the problem as to why only these broken tribesmen were confined to the one part of the village in the setting towards which the wind blew and the dirt of the village flowed. Dr Ambedkar’s tirade against untouchability was a tirade to make these people conscious of their rights, and to prepare them to agitate and win their rights democratically.

Posted on December 05, 2011

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM
REMEMBERS TODAY

SAHIB KANSHI RAM JI
ON HIS DEATH ANNIVERSARY


Prem Chumber
Posted on October 9, 2011

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM
CONGRATULATES
DR. RONKI RAM
Ambedkartimes.com takes prides in congratulating Dr Ronki Ram on his being selected for the prestigious Shaheed Bhagat Singh Professorship in Political Science at Panjab University, Chandigarh (India). Prof Ronki Ram was also selected earlier as Visiting Professor on the ICCR's Long-Term Chair of Contemporary Indian Studies at Leiden University, The Hague, Netherlands, which he will be joining shortly. He will the first incumbent of this
prestigious Chair at Leiden University.
Prem Kumar Chumber
(Editor), (Posted on September 8, 2011)

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM CONGRATULATES
HONORABLE DR. RONKI RAM
ON THE ONLINE PUBLICATION

(DOI: 10.1017/S0026749X11000254) OF HIS RESEARCH ARTICLE IN THE
PRESTIGIOUS CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF MODERN ASIAN STUDIES

Prem Chumber
(Editor-In-Chief : ambedkartimes.com)
Modern Asian Studies promotes original, innovative and rigorous research on the history, sociology, economics and culture of modern Asia. Covering South Asia, South-East Asia, China, Japan and Korea, the journal is published in six parts each year. It welcomes articles which deploy inter-disciplinary and comparative research methods. Modern Asian Studies specialises in the publication of longer monographic essays based on path-breaking new research; it also carries substantial synoptic essays which illuminate the state of the broad field in fresh ways. It contains a book review section which offers detailed analysis of important new publications in the field.

Abstract
Given different socio-economic structures, and acute landlessness among the Dalits of East Punjab, the agendas of conversion to neo-Buddhism and sanskritisation, the two most popular Dalit social mobility models in India, have failed to strike a cord among the Dalits in this border state of northwest India. But that does not imply that Dalits of Punjab have failed in improving their social status. On the contrary, they have been very vocal in their assertions for social justice and dignity, and pressing for a due share in the local structures of power; a clear indication of a significant surge of Dalit social mobility in Punjab. The question that still remains largely unexplored, however, relates to the patterns of Dalit social mobility in Punjab that have emerged independently of the agendas of conversion to neo-Buddhism and sanskritisation. The study aims to map out the contours of an emerging alternative Dalit agenda in Punjab, which is conspicuous by its absence in existing Dalit studies, and examines its catalytic role in enhancing the legitimacy and effectiveness of increasingly visible Dalit social mobility in the state. The paper concludes by visualising the possibility of an articulation and assertion of a similar alternative Dalit agenda through highly contentious democratic politics in other parts of India, where the archetypical agendas of conversion and sanskritisation have either failed to deliver social justice and dignity or could not simply appeal to the local Dalit population.

Posted on May 20, 2011


BABU MANGU RAM MUGOWALIA (JANUARY 14, 1886 - APRIL 22, 1980) A GREAT FREEDOM FIGHTER & THE FOUNDER OF AD DHARM MOVEMENT
BABU MANGU RAM MUGOWALIA
AND DALIT IDENTITY IN PUNJAB

Prem Kumar Chumber Editor-In-Chief : Ambedkar Times

Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia founded Ad Dharm movement for the emancipation and empowerment of his people. He organized all the ex-untouchable castes falling under the then category of the Depressed Classes in Punjab and reminded them of their rich heritage. He told them how they were reduced into worse than slaves in their own land by the alien Aryans who brought with them their sick social system called caste and oppressed them with the whip of untouchability. He told his people that for them the real battle is the battle against the Chaturvarna system of Brahminical Hinduism. He reiterated that Scheduled Castes are neither Hindu nor Sikh. They are also neither Muslim nor Christian. They are the original inhabitants of this ancient land called Bharat (he called it Hind). Their real religion (Ad Dharm) was much older than Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism. All these religion are born after Ad Dharm, the real religion of the original inhabitants of India. He said that the Hindus did not only subjugate them but also made their religion oblivious; and thus made the ex-untouchables their slaves. He said that real freedom for the indigenous people will be to liberate themselves not only from the British rulers but also from Brahmanism.

He struggled hard to convince British rulers to include Ad Dharm in the Census list of 1931 as a separate religion of the Depressed Classes in Punjab in 1931. A great victory of the Dalits indeed! Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia became the pioneer of seeking political power as a key to all the problems of the community. In 1937, his Ad Dharm won 7 out of all the 8 reserved seats in Punjab. He also stood like a rock with Dr. Ambedkar in his tirade against caste annihilation at the national level. During Dr. Ambedkar's fight with Gandhi at the Roundtable Conferences in London (1930-32), Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia sent telegrams in support of the former as the leader of the untouchables in India against Gandhi. In 1946, Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly from Hoshiarpur.

Through his consistent efforts, people of Punjab became aware of their rights. They started recognizing their true position in the given circumstances which helped them shape their identity in a distinct way. Ad Dharm gave them their true Gurus, cultural symbols, prayers, organizations and religion, which they are very proud of. On this day, April 22, 2011, Ambedkartimes.com, Ambedkartimes.org and Ambedkar Times fondly remember Babu Mangu Ram Ji Mugowalia, the architect of distinct Punjabi Dalit identity. Posted on April 22, 2011

DR. AMBEDKAR, SWARAJ & NATION
Prem Kumar Chumber (www.ambedkartimes.com)

Swaraj without extinction of caste had no meaning for Dr. Ambedkar. In his undelivered speech to the Jat Pat Todak Mandal of Lahore, he said, “In the fight for swaraj you fight with the whole nation on your side. In this, you have to fight against the whole nation and that too your own. But it is more important than swaraj. There is no use having swaraj, if you cannot defend it. More important than the question of defending swaraj is the question of defending Hindus under the swaraj. In my opinion, only when the Hindu society becomes a casteless society that it can hope to have strength enough to defend itself. Without such internal strength, swaraj for Hindus may turn out to be only a step towards slavery”. Thus, it was Dr. Ambedkar’s subaltern perspective, which distinguished his conception of swaraj from that of the protagonists of the various shades of the national freedom movement. In his editorial in the Bahishkrit Bharat, Dr. Ambedkar wrote on 29 July 1927 “If Tilak had been born among the untouchables, he would not have raised the slogan ‘Swaraj is my birthright’, but he would have raised the slogan ‘Annihilation of untouchability is my birthright’”.

Dr. Ambedkar’s understanding of the question of the identity and existence of the nation was based on his incisive analysis of the oppressive character of the Hindu community. Since the dominant Hindu discourse of Indian nationalism remained indifferent towards removal of the caste system; and the economic analysis of the communist secular socialist school also failed to highlight the issue of caste in its mechanical interpretation of class, Dr. Ambedkar – himself an untouchable and victim of untouchability – formulated his own framework from the perspective of the untouchables for the understanding of the system of caste and untouchability. The foundations of Dalit-Bahujan nationalism lie in this framework developed by Dr. Ambedkar. It aimed at restructuring the Indian society into a casteless and classless and egalitarian Sangha. Annihilation of caste was its central theme. Caste for Dr. Ambedkar was nothing but Brahmanism incarnate. “Brahmanism is the poison which has spoiled Hinduism”. Dr. Ambedkar realised that any form of nationalism whose roots were steeped into Hinduism could not be a solution to the problem of Dalits. Any discourse of nationalism bereft of annihilation of caste was just not acceptable to him. The agenda of annihilation of caste was so important to him that it became a central point of his struggle against colonial rule. In the first Round Table Conference, he minced no words in criticizing the British government for its failure to undo untouchability. Let us join our hands to do away with such social evils by taking an oath on the 120th birthday of Bharat Ratan Bodhisattva Babasahib Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. The Ambedkar Times Group (Ambedkartimes.com, Ambedkartimes.org & Ambedkar Times) congratulates you all on this most important day in the life of the millions of downtrodden and takes immense pride paying floral tribute to our revered Baba Sahib, a great sociologist, economist, political scientist, human rights advocate, architect of the constitution of Independent India and messiah of the subalterns the world over.
Posted on April 14, 2011

REMEMBERING
BABU MANGU RAM MUGOWALIA
ON HIS 125TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY

Prem Chumber Editor-in-Chief

Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia was the founder of the glorious Ad Dharm movement in Punjab. The Ad Dharm movement was the only movement of its kind in the Northwestern region of the country that aimed at securing a respectable place for the scheduled castes through cultural transformation and political assertion rather than seeking patronage from above. Another important feature of this movement was that it intended to bring social transformation and spiritual regeneration in the lives of the downtrodden. Although, this movement ceased to exist in its vehement form after the first general election in independent India, its emphasis on social transformation and political assertion against structures of social inequality and oppression continues to attract the Ad-Dharmis and other scheduled castes of Punjab even today.

Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia set a clear agenda for the emancipation of the Dalits and their upliftment. The agenda aimed at restoring their lost indigenous religion and provide them with a sense of self-respect and dignity. The method to achieve this agenda was based on cultural transformation and spiritual regeneration of the indigenous people contemptuously known as Ati-Shudras. Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia was not in favour of embracing any other existing religion. He was in favour of strengthening the Adi (the original) religion of the indigenous people of this country. His views on Hindu religion were very clear. He was of the opinion that since Dalits were not born Hindu where is the need for them to leave that religion and to embrace some other one. Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia thought it appropriate to empower Dalits by carving out a separate Dalit identity on the basis of their indigenous religious strength (Ad Dharm). In one of his interviews to Professor Mark Juergensmeyer, a reputed scholar of Ad Dharm movement, Babu Mangu Ram said proudly “we helped give them [Ad Dharmis] a better life and made them into a Qaum. We gave Gurus to believe in and something to hope for”. Thus the real contribution of Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia and the Ad Dharm movement was in forging a separate and independent Dalit identity in Punjab, which helped them reclaim their long lost original Adi religion and their forgotten heroes and gurus. All Ad Dharmis are indeed proud of for what Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia did for them and are sincerely indebted to him. We all remember him reverently on his birth anniversary.

Posted on January 14, 2011

“LOOKING WITHIN: DALIT MOVEMENT AT THE CROSSROADS”
Editor: <www.ambedkartimes.com>

Caste does not only operate along fault lines between the higher and lower caste. It equally afflicts the Scheduled Castes from within. The Scheduled Castes are as much divided among themselves as the other various twice born castes. The similar situation applies to the Other Backward Castes (OBC) too. Baba Sahib Dr. B.R. Ambedkar highlighted this aspect of the caste system in many of his speeches and writings. He was of the opinion that Scheduled castes were as much divided house within as the division between them and rest of the twice born. Irrespective of the fact that they were socially excluded and relegated out of the boundaries of the suffocating caste hierarchy emanated from the Varna system, the Scheduled Caste themselves follow the same logic of social exclusion and discrimination on the pattern of Brahminical graded inequality. Baba Sahib Dr. Ambedkar reiterated that if the Scheduled Castes wanted to get rid of the social exclusion and untouchability, they have to say first good bye to the social evil of untouchability within. Unless and until the internal social division is not taken care of, the requisite unity among the various Dalit castes is difficult to evolve. Unity among the various communities among the Scheduled Castes is the most necessary requirement for any democratic Dalit movement to come forward to take cudgels with the Brahminical Social Order (BSO).

In Punjab at present there are as many as 39 castes among the Scheduled Castes. In the 2001 Census their number was 38. Later on in 2007, another caste of Rai Sikhs was added to the list of Scheduled Caste in Punjab, thus making the figure thirty nine. Scheduled Castes in Punjab like their counterparts in rest of India are not only divided along caste lines, they are equally splintered into various religions. Scheduled Castes in Punjab are Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists. Some of them claim to be belonging to their indigenous religion Ad Dharm; though after 1931 census Ad Dharm did not figure in the decennial census of India. The 39 Scheduled Castes of Punjab have their peculiar social hierarchical system whereby they have causally arranged themselves on low-high profile parallel to the prevalent Brahminical caste system in the rest of the country. It was against this social division within that Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia, the founder of the famous Ad Dharm movement, addressed almost all the then caste members of the ex-untouchables by their specific caste names to come forward on a single platform forgetting their insidious caste factor and fight collectively the monster of untouchability.

Where are we standing today? Are we not a divided house? Take for example marriages. There is hardly any inter-caste marriage within the Scheduled Castes. Ad Dharmi will prefer to marry within the Ad Dharmi caste. In the matrimonial advertisements it is common to find that marriage alliances are sought strictly within castes. One hardly finds marriages between the Chamar and Balmiki castes. Buddhists Dalits like all other Dalits belonging to different religions equally follow the criterion of caste endogamy in the marriages. All this has prevented unity among the Scheduled Castes. Probably this may be one of the most important reasons behind the failure of the Scheduled Caste in Punjab to come into political power despite their large numbers. Let us think beyond caste and forge a strong unity to empower ourselves.
Posted on January 1, 2011

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM PAYS ITS GLOWING TRIBUTE TO DR. AMBEDKAR ON HIS PRINIRVAN DIVAS DEC. 6TH
BABA SAHIB DR. B.R. AMBEDKAR AND EMPOWERMENT OF DALITS

Editor: Ambedkartimes.com

The untouchables were placed at the bottom of the Hindu caste hierarchy and were known by different names in different parts of the country. They were called Shudras, Atishudras, Chandalas, Antyajas, Pariahs, Dheds, Panchamas, Avarnas, Namashudras, Asprusthas, etc. etc. The hierarchical and inegalitarian structure of Indian Hindu society came into existence during the period of manusmriti. The manusmriti set the tenor of social discrimination based on birth. This, in turn led to economic degradation and political isolation of the untouchables now popularly known as Dalits. Dalits are the poor, neglected and downtrodden lot. Their social disabilities were specific, severe and numerous. Their touch, shadow or even voice was considered by the caste Hindus to be polluting. They were not allowed to keep certain domestic animals, use certain metals for ornaments, eat a particular type of food, use a particular type of footwear, wear a particular type of dress and were forced to live in the outskirts of the villages towards which the wind blew and dirt flowed. Their houses were dirty, dingy and unhygienic where poverty and squalor loomed large. They were denied the use of public wells. The doors of the Hindu temples were closed for them and their children were not allowed into the schools attended by the children of caste Hindu. Barbers and washer-men refused their services to them. Public services were closed to them. They followed menial hereditary occupations such as those of street sweepers, scavengers, shoemakers and carcasses removers.

Baba Sahib Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, himself a Dalit, made efforts to transform the hierarchical structures of Indian society for the restoration of equal rights and justice to the neglected lot by building up a critique from within the structure of Indian society. His was not a theoretical attempt but a practical approach to the problems of untouchability. He tried to seek the solution to this perennial problem of the Indian society not by making appeals to the conscience of the usurpers or bringing transformation in the outlook of the individual by begging but by seeking transformation in the socio-religious and politico-economic structures of the Indian society by continuous and relentless struggle against the exploitative system where he thought the roots of the untouchability lay. He thought that until and unless the authority of the Dharamshastras is shaken which provided divine sanction to the system of discrimination based on the case hierarchy, the eradication of untouchability could not be realised. It was his subaltern perspective, a perspective from below which helped him to come to the conclusion that untouchability emanated neither from religious notions, nor from the much-popularized theory of Aryan conquest. He believed that it came into existence as a result of the struggle among the tribes at a stage when they were starting to settle down for a stable community living. In the process, the broken tribesmen were employed by the settled tribes as guards against the marauding bands. These broken tribesmen employed as guards became untouchables. However, Dr Ambedkar could not provide answer to the problem as to why only these broken tribesmen were confined to the one part of the village in the setting towards which the wind blew and the dirt of the village flowed. Dr Ambedkar’s tirade against untouchability was a tirade to make these people conscious of their rights, and to prepare them to agitate and win their rights democratically.

Posted on December 05, 2010

SHRI BHAGWAN DAS IS NO MORE.
He will live among us through his works for the Mission

Ambedkartimes.com condoles the death of Shri Bhagwan Das, a legendary Ambedkarite, who deeply spread the mission and philosophy of Baba Sahib Dr. B.R. Ambedkar especially in Punjab and in whole India in general. He was the pioneered in publishing the speeches of Baba Sahib Dr. Ambedkar under the title Thus Spoke Ambedkar in four volumes at a time when there was no literature available on Baba Sahib’s views. He was a renowned scholar of Urdu and Hindi as well. He wrote extensively in Hindi too.

Shri Bhagwan Das was the founder member of the World Conference on Religion and Peace (India Chapter) with its headquarters in New York and Geneva. He was also the Director, Asian Centre for Human Rights; member of the Governing Board and Executive Committee of Asian Conference on Religion and Peace having its headquarters at Tokyo; and President of the Dalit Solidarity Programme. He remained active in his endeavours towards the mission up till his last breath.
Ambedkartimes.com pays floral tributes to the legendary Ambedkarite. His inspiration will always be with us to achieve the mission.
Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor-in-Chief (Ambedkartimes.com)
Posted on November 18, 2010

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM PAYS TRIBUTE TO ALL
THOSE PEOPLE WHO GOT ATTACKED BY THE TERRORSTS ON 9/11/2001
9/11 DAY OF SERVICE - DETAILS FOR AMERICA ON ANNIVERSARY OF TERRORIST ATTACKS
http://news.yahoo.com/video/politics-15749652/21839586#video=21855739
http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/21843769

( Posted on September 11, 2010)
THANKING YOU ALL ON
THE FOUNDATION DAY OF AMBEDKARTIMES.COM

Prem Kumar Chumber

Ambedkartimes.com completes six years on 4th August 2010. A few more such contributions are also furthering the cause of the community. This is beyond saying that Dalits to be heard need their own print as well as electronic media. We all know that the mainstream national and international media hardy accommodate any Dalit. There is deliberate resistance to allow Dalits to come into fields where opinions are made and agendas of development and empowerment are discussed, cultured and harvested. In order to rise, heard and to matter in all walks of life at par with the few hereditary privileged, Dalits need to construct their own ways. We know that there are innumerable hurdles in our ways to reach the destination. Hurdles are not only from others; sometimes our own peoples under false notions confront us. Healthy discussions and debates are always beneficial. They should not be fossilized into die-hard mindless oppositions. We must realize that at present lot is being written about us both within India and abroad. Dalit studies have become almost a compulsory subject at the higher education level at all the top institutions of academic excellence the world over. But the million dollar question is who writes about us? Whose interest they serve? Are we writing about ourselves? We must realize that apart from a few genuine scholars who are presenting the true picture of our community, there are a large sections of writers whose writings need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Let’s come together! We must write about ourselves. We should support our own web sites, papers and e-papers. We must remember what Guru Ravidass taught us. He advocated self-help for eliminating sufferings of the fellow Dalits. His vision for self-help is clearly reflected in one of the legends about his refusal to make use of a Paras (a mythical stone that turns iron into gold) to turn sudden rich. He reiterated that we should depend on no one except on our own. We do not say that others can not articulate the needs and the problems of the community. What we want to emphasise is that if we have our own platforms we need not to wait for others to do something for us. We can actively engage ourselves in the process of community development and can represent to the whole world in a most true sense of the term.

Ambedkartimes.com is a small endeavor in that direction. We solicit your support in further strengthening it. We are really grateful to all who supported us and have also been doing the same against all odds. We assure you that with your active support Ambedkartimes.com will achieve more heights and take pride in serving the community with Tann, mann, dhann .

Posted on August 04, 2010

Special on foundation day of Ad Dharm
AD DHARM: A WAY OF DALIT EMANCIPATION

Prem Kumar Chumber
(Editor-In-chief: Ambedkartimes.com)

Ad Dharm movement was founded formerly on June 11-12, 1926 in village Mugowal near Mahilpur, District Hoshiarpur(Punjab, India) under the dynamic leadership of Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia, a famous Gadhrite. Sarva-Shri Basant Rai, Thakur Dass and Shudranand were equally other powerful lieutenants of the Ad Dharm movement who joined hands with Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia, to organize this indigenous "Dalit Movement", the first of its kind in the history of Dalits of north India.

Ad Dharm is a name of the indigenous religion of the Dalits of the region who are the natives of this land (India). The invading Aryans subjugated them and established their rule over the natives. They see to it that the culture and religion of the natives had to be wiped out fully so that they could not stage a revolt. A Geat Gadhrite Baba Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia Ji thought it appropriate to relocate the lost native religion in order to re-establish sovereign Dalit Raj once again. He named his movement deliberately after the name of the religion of the natives: "Ad Dharm". Thus Ad Dharm is both 'Religion' as well as 'Movement'.

Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia made concerted efforts in the direction of laying solid ground for the revival of Ad Dharm in Punjab. He was of the opinion that if the ex-untouchables have to live a dignified life they had to revive their gurus, religious scriptures, festivals and religious places as well. He approached Sant Sarwan Dass Ji Maharaj at Dera Sachkhand Ballan for concretizing the Bani of Guru Ravidass Ji Maharaj and the proliferation of his mission. Ad Prakash, a holy Granth containing the Bani of Sahib Shri Saturu Ravidass Ji Maharaj and other Dalit Satgurus was prepared. Baba Mangu Ram Mugowalia Ji expressed his will among close circle that his last rites should be performed amidst the chanting of the holy Bani of Ad Parkash.

The real force which made the Ad Dharm movement surging ahead was provided by Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia who transformed it into a household name in the whole big province of pre-partition Punjab. Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia set a clear agenda for Ad Dharm movement. The agenda was to create a new religion for the lower castes. The Hindus who for political motives considered them as part of their religion treated them shabbily. Arya Samaj was making frantic efforts to bring the Shudras back into the Hindu fold who had proselytized into Islam, Christianity and Sikh religion. Arya Samaj and the Christian Church were not the only organizations, which were trying to win over the lower castes. Sikhs and Muslims were equally interested in bringing them into their respective religions.Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia Ji thought it appropriate to intervene at this juncture to espouse the cause of Dalits by carving out a separate identity of their own. The issue of separate Dalit identity is very much in vogue even today.

In the Ad Dharm Mandal approach, it is clearly mentioned that every Ad Dharmi should live his/her life according to the tenets of Ad Dharm and should not believe in any other religion. He said our Gurus are Guru Nam Dev Ji, Guru Ravidass Ji, Guru Kabir Ji, Guru Valmiki Ji and all other Dalits Saints. Thus Ad Dharm movement has very early shown the vision for the establishment of a separate Dalit identity based on distinct Dalit native religion: Ad Dharm. In its detailed report the following is worth of taking note of rather more closely.

The basic principles listed in the Ad Dharm Mandal Report are: (1) The essential teachings of the Ad Dharm will always be the same: no one can change them. They can stay alive and persist only through the help of a guru. (2) Every man and woman belongs to the faith, but they may not know it. To live without a guru is a sin. (3) A guru should be someone who truly and rightly knows the teachings of the previous masters. He should be able to distinguish between falsehood and truth. He should be able to bring peace and love within the community. (4) Everyone should be instructed by the lives of previous masters; progress comes from following the masters’ examples. The practices of previous masters should not be abandoned. This leads to progress. (5) There should not be any discrimination in regard to eating with other castes. (6) Ad Dharmis should abstain from theft, fraud, lies, dishonesty, looking at someone else’s wife with bad intentions, using anything which brings intoxication, gambling, and usurping other persons’ property or belongings. All of these things are against the law of nature and therefore the law of Ad Dharm. (7) Every Ad Dharmi has the duty to teach his children current knowledge and also to teach them to be obedient to the present king. (8) Every Ad Dharmi should read the Ad Prakash and act upon it. This is a foremost duty. (9) Ad Dharm does not believe in the caste system or any inferiority or superiority of this sort. (10) To learn and seek knowledge, and to learn and seek progress is compulsory for every man and woman.

The twelve duties mentioned in the Report are: (1) To publicize and propagate Ad Dharm. (2) To take pride in Ad Dharm. (3) To promote the use of name of the community and to use the red mark, which is its sign. (4) Ad Dharmis should try to retrieve any property of fellow Ad Dharmi that has been usurped. (5) We should distinguish among Hindus, Ad Dharmis, and other communities of India. (6) Those books, which have created the problem of untouchability and led to discrimination - books such as the Laws of Manu and other Shastras – should be completely boycotted and abandoned. (7) We should celebrate the festivals of our gurus and follow our faith to the utmost. (8) Abandon idolatry. (9) Receive education for ourselves and others in the brotherhood. (10) Boycott those who curse us as “untouchables” or discriminate against us. (11) Bring all demands of Ad Dharmis before the government. (12) Abandon expensive marriage and practice of child marriage.

The fifty-six commandments included in the Report are: (1) Each Ad Dharmi should know everything about the faith. (2) For the betterment and salvation of one’s body – physical and spiritual – one should recite the word Soham. (3) Each Ad Dharmi should remember Guru Dev for half an hour each morning or evening. (4) When Ad Dharmis meet, their greeting should be “jai Guru Dev.” (5) We should be true followers of the founders, Rishi Valmiki, Guru Ravi Dass, Maharaj Kabir, and Bhagwan Sat Guru Nam Dev. (6) A guru is necessary, one who knows about previous gurus and has all the capabilities of being a guru. (7) The wife of a guru should be regarded as one’s mother, the guru’s daughter as one’s sister. (8) Devotion to one’s wife should be a part of one’s faith, for therein lies salvation. (9) Every Ad Dharmi should abstain from theft, fraud, lies, dishonesty, and usurping the property of others. (11) One should not cause someone else heartache. There is no worse sin than this. (12) Every Ad Dharmi should enthusiastically participate in Ad Dharmi festivals and rituals. (13) There should be equally great happiness at the birth of both boys and girls. (14) After the age of five, every boy and girl should be given proper religious teaching. (15) Extravagant expenses at weddings are useless. Every marriage should be conducted according to rituals of our tradition. (16) Ad Dharmis should marry only Ad Dharmis. To marry someone outside Ad Dharm is not legal, but if someone does marry an outsider, he or she should be brought into the faith. (17) All Ad Dharmis, both men and women, should be obedient to their parents. (18) After the death of both parents it is the duty of each Ad Dharmi to cook food and distribute it among the poor. (19) The dead should be cremated, except for those under the age of five, who should be buried. (20) Ad Dharmis do not follow any other law except their own. (21) In the Ad Dharm faith only one marriage is allowed, but a husband may marry after the death of his wife. Also, if the first wife does not bear children, the husband may take another wife, provided he has the consent of the first wife. If this happens, the first wife remains a legal wife, with all the rights she had before. (22) Ad Dharmis should marry their children to the Ad Dharmis of the surrounding areas. (23) A girl should be more than twelve years old at the time of the marriage. The boy should be four years older than the girl. (24) It is illegal to receive money for a bride; on the other hand, there should not be a dowry. Those who sell their daughters commit a very great sin. (25) Offerings and sacrifices for prayers should be given only to those holy men who are Ad Dharmi and who have shown themselves to follow Ad Dharmi principles religiously. (26) It is necessary for each Ad Dharmi to provide primary education to both boys and girls. (27) The girls should be educated especially in household work such as sewing and needlework. (28) Young girls and boys should not be sent out to cut grass and gather wood. (29) It is the duty of parents not to allow young widowed daughters to remain in their household, because a young widowed daughter is a cause of disgrace. (30) If an Ad Dharmi widow with children wants to hold a commemoration of her deceased husband, but cannot afford it, then the Ad Dharm Mandal of Jullundur and its members will help her. (31) It is not good to cry and beat oneself at a death or funeral. To do so is to anger Guru Dev. (32) Among the Ad Dharmis sons and daughters should receive an equal inheritance. (33) To eat the meat of a dead animal or bird is against the law of Ad Dharm. (34) To use wine or any other intoxicants is a sin, except in the case of sickness. (35) It is legal to eat food offered at noon – Ad Dharm marriages, but the food should be decent, and not leftovers. (36) Cleanliness is important. It guaranteed good health. (37) It is forbidden to practice idolatry and worship statues, and one should not believe in magic, ghosts, or anything of the sort. (38) All Ad Dharmis should forget notions of caste and untouchability and work toward the unity of all people in the world. (39) Each Ad Dharmi should help a fellow Ad Dharmi in need. (40) One Ad Dharmi must not work at a place where another Ad Dharmi works until the first Ad Dharmi has been paid his wages. (41) If Ad Dharmis enter into a dispute with one another, they should attempt to come to some agreement by themselves or within the community. If no agreement is accomplished, they should refer the case to the Ad Dharm Mandal, Jullundur, and the Executive Committee will take action. (42) Ad Dharmis should open shops and business in every village. (43) Every Ad Dharmi should be a missionary for the faith. (44) Ad Dharmis should call themselves such and register in the census as “Ad Dharmi”. (45) A Red turban on the head is mandatory, for it is the color of our ancestors. (46) Every Ad Dharmi should work hard for the progress and peace of the community. (47) Ad Dharmis should organize themselves into cadres called martyrdom cells. They should work hard on the Ad Dharm’s projects. (48) Each Ad Dharmis should separate himself form Hindus, Sikhs, and members of other religions. (49) Each Ad Dharmi should be a good citizen, a patriot loyal to the present government, and should follow the law of the land. (50) Ad Dharmis have the obligation to consider the Ad Dharm Mandal of Punjab, city of Jullundur, as their rightful representative, and to recognize that the programs of the AD Dharm are for their benefit. (51) It is the duty of every Ad Dharmi to trust the Ad Dharm Mandal of Jullundur, and to share its work. (52) The Ad Dharm Mandal of Jullundur should certify all local branches of the Ad Dharm, and those, which are not certified, should not be considered genuine. (53) All Ad Dharmis should save their fellow Ad Dharmis from fraud and selfishness on the part of other communities. If such a situation arises, the Mandal should be informed. (54) Each Ad Dharmi should report any difficulty concerning the community to the Mandal in Jullundur. (55) Ad Dharmis should subscribe to the Qaum’s newspaper, Adi Danka. They should receive it regularly, read it regularly, and help support it regularly. (56) Anyone violating the laws of the Ad Dharm or of the guru, or who insults these laws in one way or another, will be liable to punishment, even the greatest punishment – being banished from the community [The report of the Ad Dharm Mandal, (1926-1931) published on May 15,1931. Originally in Urdu, Mark Juergensmeyer and Surjit Singh Goraya translated the report into English (Juergensmeyer 1988: 290-308). C. L. Chumber (Editor-In-Chief: Kaumi Udarian, Jalandhar) translated it into Hindi and Punjabi (C. L. Chumber, June 11 2000 : 1-54). The Hindi and Punjabi translation also include the name of the five hundred members of the Ad Dharm Mandal and its fifty-five missionaries. The above text is from (Juergensmeyer 1988: 290-308)].
Posted on June 12, 2010

BAHUJANA HITAYA
BAHUJANA SUKHAYA

Prem Chumber (Editor: Ambedkartimes.com )

The history and the contemporary texture and structure of Hindu society are caste ridden. It is basically an exploitative society. What further distinguishes it from rest of the varied forms of exploitations and exploitative social systems is its birth-based-purity-pollution principle of graded caste hierarchy that perpetuates hereditary occupation laced discrimination. Traditionally it draws its sustenance from the Varna system social stratification having its roots in the Hindu Dharmasastras. The most horrible aspect of this India-specific system of social exclusion and exploitation is that it has been able to inculcate in the minds of its victims that the latter are supposed to undergo such discrimination rather willingly as a penance of their bad deeds they have had accumulated in their earlier enumerable low births.

Religion of the Hindus is nothing but a sacred reinforcement of the above obnoxious system of social exclusion of their -inhabitants cursed as ex-Untouchables. However, as far as the hard labour of these lesser human beings and its expropriation is concerned that is welcomed! For centuries no one objected to this inhuman social practice. On the contrary, this inhuman social practice was considered as a normal practice and an integral part of the Hindu social and political order. So much so that the Hindu religious texts were designed to justify such a horrible social muck meticulously.

Tathagat Buddha was the first rational and forceful voice against the Hindu caste system and its consequent system of untouchability. He contested the Hindu system of birth-based social stratification with his new and innovative slogan of Bahujana hitaya bahujana sukhaya. He took on the Hindu socio-religious system head-on and turned it upside down while coming out with a scientific interpretation of the maladies of the society and its rational ground-based practical solutions. He categorically discarded the supernatural/extra-worldly/mythological God/Avatar based Hindu world view. He very politely but equally firmly emphasised on the equality of all Human beings and very strongly rejected the rotten institution of caste. He very strongly advocated that looking after the interests of all would definitely give way to the much desired goal of the welfare of the all.

Tathagat Buddha came out with four noble truths: (a) suffering is an inherent part of existence, (b) the origin of suffering is ignorance and the main symptoms of which are attachment and craving, (c) the cause of suffering can be removed, (d) the way fir its removal is Ashtangika Marga (the eight-fold path). The eight-fold path includes: (1) right understanding, (2) right thought, (3) right speech, (4) right action, (5) right livelihood, (6) right efforts, (7) right mindfulness, and (8) right concentration.

Let us follow Tathagat Buddha’s Ashtangika Marga in properly understanding the real problem of the community and finding its practical solution by bringing everyone on a common platform for furthering the cause of Dalit liberation and empowerment without accusing each other.

Posted on May 30, 2010

REMEMBERING GHADRI BABA
BABU MANGU RAM MUGOWALIA

Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor: Ambedkartimes.com

Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia (1886–1980), death anniversary falls on April 22, 2010. He was the founder of the glorious Ad Dharm movement of Punjab. He traveled almost all of the undivided Punjab to facilitate the organization of the Dalit movement in the state. Being a former Ghadarite who he spent the formative years of his prime youth in fighting against the mighty British imperialism in foreign lands, he learnt the technique and strategy to contest and fight against cased based internal colonialism. He was an active member of the team of the Ghadarities who were assigned the task of smuggling weapons to India to fight against the Empire. The plan was somehow sabotaged and they were arrested. Then it is long story of ordeal. Against all odds, Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia was able to survive and reached his village in 1925. After reaching his native village to his surprise he found the same ugly social system of low and high castes intact. He made his mind to liberate the downtrodden from the internal slavery of Varnashramdharma and started organizing a unique battle against the centuries old Hindu system of birth-based social exclusion. He founded Ad Dharm movement for the emancipation and empowerment of his people. He organized all the ex-untouchable castes falling under the then category of the Depressed Classes in Punjab and reminded them of their rich heritage when they used to be the masters of this land. He told them how they were reduced into worse than slaves in their own land by the alien Aryans who brought with them their sick social system called caste and started them oppressing with the whip of untouchability. He told his people that for us the real battle is the battle against the Chaturvarna system of Brahminical Hinduism.

He openly declared that Scheduled Castes are neither Hindu nor Sikh. They are also neither Muslim nor Christian. They are the original inhabitants of this ancient land called Bharat. Their real religion (Ad Dharm) was much older than Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism. All these religion are born after Ad Dharm religion of the original inhabitants of India. He said that the Hindus did not only subjugate them but also made their religion oblivious; and thus made the ex-untouchables their slaves. He said that our real freedom will be to liberate ourselves not only from the British rulers but also from Brahmanism. He got special rights from the Britishers by adding Ad Dharm to the Census list as a separate religion of the Depressed Classes in Punjab in 1931. A great victory of the Dalits indeed! Babu Ji also became the pioneer of seeking political power as a key to all the problems of the community. In 1937, his Ad Dharm won 7 out of all the 8 reserved seats in Punjab.

Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia's movement was not only confined to Punjab. He stood like a rock with Dr. Ambedkar. During Dr. Ambedkar's fight with Mr. MK Gandhi at the Roundtable Conferences in London (1930-32) Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia Ji sent telegrams in support of the former as the leader of the untouchables in India against the latter (MK Gandhi). In 1946, Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly and remained in legislature till 1952.

He was very clear in his understanding that the real emancipation of the ex-untouchables lies in their efforts to revive their own indigenous religion (Ad Dharm), and in worshipping their own Gurus (Guru Namdev Ji, Guru Ravidass Ji Maharaj, Guru Valmiki Ji Maharaj, Guru Kabir Ji Maharaj). No other religion can liberate the Dalits from the quagmire in which they have been straddled for centuries except their own original religion "Ad Dharm".

Posted on April 22, 2010

HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS

It is our <www.ambedkartimes.com> great pleasure to congratulate Dr. Ronki Ram on the publication of his book entitled DALIT CHETNA: SAROT TE SARUUP (Dalit Consciousness: Sources and Form) in Punjabi. This book is a detailed account of how Dalit consciousness emerged in Punjab, what turns it has taken over the last nine decades since the beginning of glorious Ad Dharm movement led by Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia and the rise of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar movement in Punjab spearheaded by Seth Kishan Dass of Bootan Mandi. The Book also provides an exhaustive account of some of the pioneer Dalit poets, prose writers and Dalit autobiographies as well as activists. Dalit Deras and the question of emerging Dalit identity figures prominently in this field study based book in Punjabi.

The book (DALIT CHETNA: SAROT TE SARUUP) is published by Lokgeet Parkashan, S.C.O. 26-27, Sector 34 A, Chandigarh-160022 (India) Ph. +911725077427, 5077428 e-mail <pcis@rediffmail.com> and is very reasonably priced Rs. 200. Total Pages: 264.

Prem Chumber
Editor-In-Chief: Ambedkartimes.com

Posted on April 13, 2010

DR. AMBEDKAR AND THE QUESTION
OF CASTE IN INDIA OF 21IST CENTURY

Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor-In-Chief: Ambedkartimes.com


No one till date has been able to analyze the question of caste in India in such details and struggled so meticulously against its oppressive structures as Baba Sahib Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. He was of the opinion that caste is central to the Indian society and polity. Its economy is also inextricably tied with the elusive phenomenon of caste in India. Irrespective of long boasts of the pristine Indian (read Hindu) civilization and its so-called non-mundane concerns, it remains highly segmented especially on the basis of birth; a unique social malady afflicted millions of Dalits in India and abroad. What does it matter to them whether India achieves 8 or 9 per-cent growth rate? When there remains rampant social exclusion in all walks of life. Over and above the widespread phenomenon of globalization has further pinned them down. It is based on the idea that the welfare state is a hindrance in the way of the global market; it is presumed that the marginalized need not be supported by the state at all as they used to be earlier. This has further deepened marginalization and exclusion of the marginal groups and communities that were traditionally vulnerable and excluded. The rapid pace of transformation in the context of the market forces in the contemporary world has not only heightened the exploitation of the marginalized, but also severely limited the possibilities of their emancipation. Globalization may have opened up enormous opportunities but one has to map the emphasis on the ‘opportunities’. In fact, in the asymmetrical world in which we live, such opportunities open many doors for the haves by further marginalizing the interests of the have nots.
The Dalits have been excluded from social, economic and political rights including the right to education and employment, other than the traditional forced and customary undignified labour, precisely because of their birth in the untouchable castes. They also suffered from social exclusion because of their geographical segregation. They were forced to live on the outskirts of the villages towards which the wind blew and sewage flowed. Their houses were dirty, dingy, dark, and unhygienic where poverty and squalor loomed large. Until 1990, there had been some improvements in the lives of the Dalits in terms of education and employment opportunities, increase in wages, fall in poverty, access to land, water, health, education, housing and other resources owing to the State’s affirmative action. However, the trend was reverted and sidelined with the onset of the economic reforms under the process of globalization. The economic policy in India has undergone a major transformation since the beginning of the early 1990s, under the paradigm of liberalization, privatization, and globalization. One of the main concerns of this new paradigm is to facilitate the process of the roll back of the welfare State and prepare the space for the operation of the unrestrained market forces and open international trade. This pro-market and capital stance of the process of economic globalization has led to the widening of the gap between the privileged few and the large mass of the marginalized, and among them the Dalit laborers, daily wage workers and workers in the informal sector suffer the most.

For Dalits and other marginalized sections of the society in such adverse times, if still there is any hope to seek their genuine human rights and chances to livelihood that is the egalitarian, peaceful, rational and social-democratic philosophy of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar who had devoted his entire life for the cause of the uplift of the downtrodden. His interpretations about the origins of caste and untouchability are not only rational but are grounded in grass-roots reality of which he himself was an integral part. He devoted his entire life for the annihilation of caste from this sub-continent size of India by deploying democratic and peaceful methods. He was a thorough democrat in his approach and strategy. He wanted this evil to go for ever. For him the question of caste is not an individual question of the Scheduled Castes only, it is in fact an all India question which is very closely tied with the larger questions of Indian nationalism and real growth of India. If India has to come forward to play an important role in the emerging new post 9/11 world order, she has to exorcise its deadly specter of centuries-old caste.

The institution of Dr. Ambedkar Chair (Constitutional Law) in Columbia University from where he learnt his lessons of social equality, liberty and democracy under the guidance of reputed scholar Professor Dewey is a great and true tribute to messiah of downtrodden. The Ambdkartimes.com, Ambedkartimes.org & Ambedkar Times in English & in Punjabi congratulate all on this occasion of Birth anniversary of Baba Sahib Dr. B R Ambedkar .

Posted on April 14, 2010 at 0419

Please click here for News Paper in Punjabi
AMBEDKAR TIMES
http://ambedkartimes.org/

Prem Kumar Chumber
(Editor-In-Chief: Ambedkar Times)

The readers and contributors of the Ambedkartimes.com would be glad to know this Mulnivasi Bahujan Forum (Ambedkartimes.com) has taken a step forward in launching a solely Ambedkar Times news paper in Punjabi for the proliferation of the Philosophy and universal egalitarian message of Sahib Shri Satguru Ravi Dass Ji and the teachings of Baba Sahib Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Ghadri Baba Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia of the Ad Dharm fame. This Paper is publicly launched at Sahib Shri Satguru Ravi Dass Ji Maharaj’s 633rd Parkash Utsav & tenth vishal Nagar Kirtan celebrated at Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple, Rio Linda, Sacramento (California) on march 14, 2010. Many of our community fellows in foreign lands asking for such a nirol Punjabi community paper, which has become a dream come true with all your encouragement and support without that it simply could not have happened.

I earnestly request you all to contribute to the development of this small endeavor in the form of writing articles, sending reports, news item focusing on the community activities and relating to the missions of Great Martyr Maharishi Shamooka, Tathagat Buddha, Ad Dharm, Baba Sahib Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and Great freedom fighter & founder of Ad Dharm movement Baba Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia. We also request to all to give the opportunity to this paper to carry your advertisements relating to business, organizational and other related fields. We know that with your close and continuous support this paper would not leave behind anyone in serving the cause of the community and spreading the pious mission of our revered Rehbers.

Posted on March 30, 2010

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM
REMEMBERS
SAHIB KANSHI RAM JI
ON HIS BIRTHDAY

Prem Chumber
Editor-in- Chief www.ambedkartimes.com

Sahib Kanshi Ram was born on March 15, 1934, in Khawas Pur village of Ropar District of Punjab. He was the eldest of eight siblings. He belonged to the Ramdassia (AD-DHARMI) community of the Scheduled Caste group, which is the largest group in Punjab. He was named Kanshi because after his birth the midwife placed him in a tray made of kansa metal. His father owned some land and his uncles were in the armed forces. In Sahib Kanshi Ram's own words, "I was born and brought up amongst those who sacrificed themselves but never betrayed the country...” Despite his low caste background, he earned a bachelor’s degree in science from the Government College at Ropar (Punjab).

His upbringing was modest. During his education years there was nothing special about him to suggest that he would mature into great social revolutionary. It was only after he took up a government job in the western Indian state of Maharashtra that he began to be influenced by the writings and life of Baba Sahib Dr. B.R. Ambedkar who voiced the concerns of India's low caste community and worked hard throughout his life for their empowerment.
Soon after his graduation, Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji joined the research staff of Kirki’s Explosive Research and Development Laboratory (ERDL) in Pune 1957. While working in Pune, he quit his job after becoming involved in the famous Deena Bhan case. Deena Bhan, a Rajasthani Scheduled Caste employee and senior colleague of Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji was suspended. His fault was that he protested against the decision of ERDL management for the cancellation of holidays for Ambedkar and Buddha Jayantis and their replacement by the Tilak Jayanti and one additional holiday for Diwali. Sahib Kanshi Ram decided to fight against such a caste ridden and dictatorial behavior of the management. The fighter in Kanshi Ram got the suspension orders of Deena Bhan revoked and Ambedkar and Buddha Jayantis holidays were restored.

This was the beginning of the long battle for the emancipation of the Dalits in the country that Sahib Kanshi Ram had to lead till his last breath. He resigned from his job and totally dedicated his entire life for the cause of the community. He never married nor visited his home since then. His struggle was not for the home and family. He devised a new strategy to regain the lost glory of the original (Adi) inhabitants of Bharat. He gave utmost importance to the culture of work and democratic method of struggle. He also expanded the circle of the Dalits by incorporating other Backward Classes and Minorities into it.

He criticized the post-Ambedkar leadership of Dalits in India. For that he declared Poona Pact as the main reason. He said that “Poona Pact made Dalits helpless. By rejecting separate electorate, Dalits were deprived of their genuine representation in legislatures. Several and various kind of chamchas were born in the last fifty years. As and when India's so called high caste Hindu rulers felt the need of chamchas and when the authority of the upper castes got endangered by real and genuine Dalit leaders, chamchas were brought to the fore in all other fields”.

In his "The Chamcha Age", a well argued and polemical tirade against the pseudo Dalit leaders, Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji sharpen the contradiction for the legitimate acquisition of political power by the downtrodden in electoral democracy in India. In, the Chamcha Age, "he focused very much on the Poona Pact which was a point of a rather decisive Gandhian victory over Dr. Ambedkar after a long duel between the two at the Round Table Conference".
In the mid-1960s, Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji began to organize Dalit government employees to fight against what he saw as the deeply entrenched prejudice of higher caste peoples. It was around this time that he decided that he would not marry and dedicate his life to the cause of Dalit improvement. By the mid-1980s, he decided play a crucial role in the politics of the country.

The result was the formation of the BSP (the Common Man's Party) in 1984. As a politician, he became very popular among his people, who found a new hope and vision in his style of functioning and sincerity. Suddenly he became a national figure. He was a master strategist and a meticulous organiser. He used his strengths to carve out a niche for Dalits. This was done by deploying an often combative and aggressive strategy, with virulent attacks on other political parties which he claimed only represented the interests of higher caste Hindus. He was sharply different from other politicians of the mainstream. He used to communicate before he spoke.

He was one of the few great leaders of Independent India who actually expanded the limits of Dalit politics. His political vision was never confined to Scheduled Castes only, as is often thought about him. All of the political organisations he founded were meant for the downtrodden of all sorts – SC, ST, OBC and Minorities. It would not be an exaggeration to say that he was the one who took a lead in making Indian democracy more competitive and practically open to the Dalit-Bahujan Samaj.

Posted on March 15, 2010

54th Birthday of Hon’ble Chief Minister,
Uttar Pradesh Ms. Mayawati

Prem Chumber
Editor-in- Chief www.ambedkartimes.com

Ambedkartimes.com wishes Hon’ble Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh Ms. Mayawati fearless leader of the downtrodden, the oppressed, and the socially excluded millions of India and symbol of the social mobility, self-respect and honor, an active long life full of vigor, good health and happiness on her 54th birthday on 15 January 2010.

On this very day, the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Ms. Mayawati reaffirming her commitment to welfare of the downtrodden and deprived sections of society, launched a special scheme “Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mahamya Gharib Arthik Madad Yojna” to be directly monitored by her. Under this scheme, the beneficiaries would be entitled to Rs. 300 per month and the amount would be deposited in two half-yearly instalments in their bank accounts. For the speedy implementation of this new scheme, a special cell has been created in the Chief Minister’s secretariat at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Annexe Bhawan (Lukhnow). It is estimated that about 30 Lakh (three million) poor families would benefit in the first year of the scheme and the remaining would be reached out subsequently.

The “Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mahamya Gharib Arthik Madad Yojna”scheme is among the 264 new public utility projects worth Rs. 7, 312.00 crore located in the capital, Lucknow and various districts of the state covering as wide areas as new bridges, new roads, bus stations, sewerages in several towns, health care units, power sub-stations and agricultural reforms programs.

On this auspicious occasion, the English and Hindi editions of the fifth volume of Ms. Mayawati’s book, “A Travelogue of My Struggle-Ridden Life and BSP Movement”, were released by her. This anthology, running up to 1,100 pages is known as the “Blue Book” of the BSP.

Posted on January 15, 2010


GREAT GHADRI BABA JI
BABU MANGU RAM MUGOWALIA

( January 14, 1886 APRIL 22, 1980 )

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Editorial

GHADRI BABA BABU
MANGU RAM MUGOWALIA
AND DALIT EMANCIPATION

Prem Chumber
Editor-in- Chief www.ambedkartimes.com

GHADI BABA BABU MANGU RAM MUGOWALIA ( January 14, 1886 APRIL 22, 1980 )
A GREAT FREEDOM FIGHTER &THE FOUNDER OF AD DHARM MOVEMENT IN PUNJAB

Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia (1886–1980), birth anniversary falls on January 14, 2010. He was the pioneer of the anti-untouchability movement in colonial Punjab. A former Ghadarite, he spent the formative years of his prime youth in fighting against the mighty British imperialism in foreign lands. He was an active member of the team of the Ghadarities who were assigned the task of smuggling weapons to India to fight against the Empire. The plan was somehow sabotaged and they were arrested. Then it is long story of ordeal. Against all odds, Babu Mangu Ram was able to survive and reached his village in 1925. After reaching his native village to his surprise he found the same ugly social system of low and high castes intact. He made his mind to liberate the downtrodden from the internal slavery of Varnashramdharma and started organizing a unique battle against the centuries old Hindu system of birth-based social exclusion. He founded Ad Dharm movement for the emancipation and empowerment of his people. He organised all the ex-untouchable castes falling under the then category of the Depressed Classes in Punjab and reminded them of their rich heritage when they used to be the masters of this land. He told them how they were reduced into worse than slaves in their own land by the alien Aryans who brought with them their sick social system called caste and started them oppressing with the whip of untouchability. He told his people that for us the real battle is the battle against the Chaturvarna system of Brahminical Hinduism.

He openly declared that Scheduled Castes are neither Hindu nor Sikh. They are also neither Muslim nor Christian. They are the original inhabitants of this ancient land called Bharat (he called it Hind). Their real religion (Ad Dharm) was much older than Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism. All these religion are born after Ad Dharm religion of the original inhabitants of India. He said that the Hindus did not only subjugate them but also made their religion oblivious; and thus made the ex-untouchables their slaves. He said that our real freedom will be to liberate ourselves not only from the British rulers but also from Brahmanism. He got special right from the Britishers by adding Ad Dharm to the Census list as a separate religion of the Depressed Classes in Punjab in 1931. A great victory of the Dalits indeed! Babu Ji also became the pioneer of seeking political power as a key to all the problems of the community. In 1937, his Ad Dharm won 7 out of all the 8 reserved seats in Punjab.


Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia's movement was not only confined to Punjab. He stood like a rock with Dr. Ambedkar. During Dr. Ambedkar's fight with Gandhi at the Roundtable Conferences in London (1930-32) Babu Ji sent telegrams in support of the former as the leader of the untouchables in India against the latter (Gandhi). In 1946, Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly and remained in legislature till 1952.

He was very clear in his understanding that the real emancipation of the ex-untouchables lies in their efforts to revive their own indigenous religion (Ad Dharm), and in worshipping their own Gurus (Guru Namdev Ji, Guru Ravidass Ji Maharaj, Guru Valmiki Ji Maharaj, Guru Kabir Ji Maharaj). No other religion can liberate the Dalits from the quagmire in which they have been straddled for centuries except their own original religion "Ad Dharm".

Posted on January 14, 2010

DR. RONKI RAM’S RESEARCH ARTICLE ON GURU RAVI DASS, DERA SACHKHAND
BALLAN AND THE QUESTION OF DALIT IDENTITY IN PUNJAB PUBLISHED IN JOURNAL
OF PUNJAB STUDIES (UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA)

Dear readers,

The recent issue of Journal of Punjab Studies (University of California, Santa Barbara), Vol. 16, No. 1, Spring 2009 has carried Dr. Ronki Ram’s, Chairperson, Dept. of Political Science, Panjab University, Chandigarh (India), research article on Ravidass, Dera Sachkhand Ballan and the Question of Dalit Identity in Punjab.

The Journal of Punjab Studies is published by the Center for Sikh and Punjab Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

The Center provides institutional support for the study of the Sikh tradition, the region of the Punjab, and the Punjabi communities settled in other parts of the world.

The first of its type in North America, the Center's aims are: (1) to serve as a premier venue for research and scholarly exchange;
(2) to develop and promote undergraduate and graduate teaching;
(3) to disseminate knowledge through publications and outreach activities;
(4) to assist other universities embarking on programs in this area, and
(5) to be proactive in involving the Sikh/Punjabi community in these
activities.

The Journal publishes related articles. It is available free of charge as an Open Access journal on the Internet. http://www.global.ucsb.edu/punjab/journal.html

Prem Chumber
Editor-in- Chief www.ambedkartimes.com

Posted on January 06, 2010

DR. AMBEDKAR
AND DALIT EMANCIPATION
IN THE ERA OF NEO-LIBERAL MARKET
Ambedkartimes.com wishes you all Happy New Year 2010

Prem Chumber
www.ambedkartimes.com

Baba Sahib Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was in favor of state control market forces. He was of the opinion that nationalization of industrial as well as agriculture sectors would help develop India while taking everyone along with the rising level of national economic growth. In a country like India, long infested with caste divisions and related grim social exclusion, to allow market a free hand would amount to further oppress those who have already been just passing their time at the margins of the society. What does it matter to them whether India achieves 8 or 9 per-cent growth rate? When there would be nothing at all for poors in such glittering statistics, the rising levels of economic growth becomes an alien world for them. Since the very logic of globalization is based on the idea that the welfare state is a hindrance in the way of the global market, it is presumed that the marginalized need not be supported by the state at all as they used to be earlier. This has further deepened marginalization and exclusion of the marginal groups and communities that were traditionally vulnerable and excluded. The rapid pace of transformation in the context of the market forces in the contemporary world has not only heightened the exploitation of the marginalized, but also severely limited the possibilities of their emancipation. Globalization may have opened up enormous opportunities but one has to map the emphasis on the ‘opportunities’. In fact, in the asymmetrical world in which we live, such opportunities open many doors for the haves by further marginalizing the interests of the have nots.

In this way, the process of globalization has favored the capital and, ignored with impunity, the labor. Although, the pontiffs of the fast expanding caravan of globalization are over optimistic about the emergence of ‘integrated distance labor markets’ and the consequent birth of the ‘common wage rates’ the world over, especially in the sector of the skilled labor, there is no general consensus about the equity of flows between capital and labor. The opportunities for the poor, socially excluded, tribal people, women, disabled and other vulnerable groups have shrunk and marginalization of certain sections among these groups (Dalits) has been intensified through the process of Special Economic Zones and arbitrarily deprivation of land and displacement.

The Dalits have been excluded from social, economic and political rights including the right to education and employment, other than the traditional forced and customary undignified labor, precisely because of their birth in the untouchable castes. They also suffered from social exclusion because of their geographical segregation. They were forced to live on the outskirts of the villages towards which the wind blew and sewage flowed. Their houses were dirty, dingy, dark, and unhygienic where poverty and squalor loomed large. Until 1990, there had been some improvements in the lives of the Dalits in terms of education and employment opportunities, increase in wages, fall in poverty, access to land, water, health, education, housing and other resources owing to the State’s affirmative action. However, the trend was reverted and sidelined with the onset of the economic reforms under the process of globalization. The economic policy in India has undergone a major transformation since the beginning of the early 1990s, under the paradigm of liberalization, privatization, and globalization. One of the main concerns of this new paradigm is to facilitate the process of the roll back of the welfare State and prepare the space for the operation of the unrestrained market forces and open international trade. This pro-market and capital stance of the process of economic globalization has led to the widening of the gap between the privileged few and the large mass of the marginalized, and among them the Dalit laborers, daily wage workers and workers in the informal sector suffer the most.

For Dalits and other marginalized sections of the society in such adverse times, if still there is any hope to seek their genuine human rights and chances to livelihood that is the egalitarian, peaceful, rational and social-democratic philosophy of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar who had devoted his entire life for the cause of the uplift of the downtrodden.

Posted December 31, 2009

Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar:
Messiah of the Downtrodden of the World

Prem Kumar Chumber (Editor: Ambedkartimes Group)

Bodhisatv Bharat Ratan Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was a real karmyogi, a social radical, an organic intellectual and a true democrat who lived and worked throughout his active life as faithful soldier as well as captain of the downtrodden. He adopted peaceful and constitutional method for the resolution of social problems and played a leading role in framing the constitution of independent India. He was the first law minister of Azad Bharat, who had to resign on account of the failure of the House to took the matter of Hindu code Bill seriously, which he thought could have paved the way for social equality in the otherwise patriarchic set up of Hindu society. He formed three political parties: Independent Labor Party, All India Scheduled Caste Federation, and the Republican Party of India; he led three temple Satyagraha: Kalaram temple, Parvati temple and Thakurduara temple for the social transformation of the Hindu society and to strengthen the social life of the downtrodden and he launched four journals: Mook Nayak (Leader of the Dumb), Bahishkrit (Ostracized India), Janata (The People) and Prabuddh Bharat (Enlightened India). He was an activist with a difference, who wrote several seminal masterpieces on the social, political and economic life of the country as well as the socially excluded people of Bharat. A month & 23days before his prinirvan, he embraced Buddhism for helping the downtrodden retrieves their real space in the independent India.

Baba Saheb used to emphasize on self respect, fearlessness and education. He was of the firm opinion that it was due to fear and lack of self respect that the Scheduled Castes people had been subjected to untold atrocities and discriminations for centuries all together. If there is any hope to raise a struggle among the SCs that could only be possible through building self respect and fearlessness in them so that they would come to stand against their blatant plight. For that Baba Saheb singled out education as the most essential feature of such a great project. He himself did a lot in that direction by establishing various institutions of primary, secondary and higher education. His slogan was Buddham, Dhammam, Sangham i.e. Educate, Agitate and Organise. Baba Saheb was of the opinion that it is only through education that one can get agitated about his/her pathetic state-of-affairs, which would prompt in the direction of building an organisation for the social revolution; the only way of Dalit emancipation.

The AMBEDKARTIMES GROUP (Ambedkartimes.com, Ambedkartimes.org and Ambedkartimes) joins millions of followers of our revered Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar in paying a floral tribute to him on his 53rd Death Anniversary on December 6, 2009.

Posted on December 6, 2009

Ambedkartimes.com Videos

Please check out these seven web links of Ambedkartimes.com celebrating its two years
completion as a successful website. ( Video links by Gurbax Bagha, Courtesy: You Tube)

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM
PAYS FLORALTRIBUTE TO
SANT AMAR DASS JI

Left Sant Amar Dass Ji & right Sant Amar Dass was honored by
Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha Bay Area (California) during his last visit to United States

Ambedkartimes.com pays floral tribute to Sant Baba Amar Dass Ji of Dera Baba Kalran Wale (Sherpur Dhakkon near Mahilpur, District Hoshiarpur, Punjab ) who left for his heavenly abode on July 17, 2009 . Sant Baba Amar Dass was a great soul who dedicated his entire life for the spiritual uplift of the community. He used to greet every one with Jai Guru Dev, greetings coined during the Ad Dharm movement of Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia. Baba Ji holy personality won him a huge followings in Doaba Punjab. Many of his sevaks settled in North America and Europe . We join all the Followers of Baba Amar Dass Ji in paying floral tribute to the departed holy soul.

Prem Chumber (Editor-in-Chief)
Posted on July 19, 2009

REPORT ON THE INAUGURATION OF WWW.AMBEDKARTIMES.COM

Ambedkartimes.com awarded honorable Dr. Ronki Ram ( Chairman Dept . of political science Panjab University Chandigarh India) on his first visit to the headquarter of Ambedkartimes.com in California (USA) with the momentum and a certificate for his great contribution towards the Ambedkartimes on the inauguration of Ambedkartimes.com

Above pictures Amrik Chand Lakha (CPA), Captain Mehar Singh, Paramjit Bhutta, Gurbaksh Bagha, Subedar Joginder Singh,
Prem Kumar Chumber, Narender Kaur Chumber, and Takshila Chumber were present on the inauguration of Ambedkartimes.com.

Pictures were taken by Kabir Chumber (Ambedkartimes.com)

Ronki Ram (Dr.) Chairman
(Dept. of political science, Panjab University Chandigarh India)

Ambedkartimes.com is one of the pioneers Dalit websites. Mr. Prem Kumar Chumber, the proprietor and the Editor-in-Chief of this famous site is a thoroughly groomed Ad Dharm activist who quite interestingly and co-incidentally launched this website in the Golden state of California (USA) where almost a century ago the lustrous founder of the glorious Ad Dharm movement entered into the battle fields of Gadhar Lehar. If Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia, the lustrous founder of the glorious Ad Dharm movement, gave shape to Dalit movement while living in his home town in Mahilpur (Hoshiarpur) after spending meaningful sixteen years abroad, Prem Kumar Chumber established this website while struggling hard to eke out his livelihood in foreign lands after remaining actively involved in the radical Dalit journalism in Jalandhar, the headquarters of Ad Dharm Mandal for a long period. He along with his brother, C. L. Chumber, Editor-in-chief of Kaumi Udarian, worked day and night to dig out the lost and scattered documents relating to the memorable strides of the heroes of the great Ad Dharm movement of Punjab. The Chumber brothers had not only brought out a Souvenir on the 99 th birth anniversary of Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia, but also published a rare but forgotten report of the Ad Dharm Mandal 1926-31 both in Hindi and Punjabi along with the names of the 500 members of the Ad Dharm Mandal and its 55 missionaries, and widely circulated the same through Saptahik Adi Dharm Parveshank (Jalandhar) on June11. 2000.

Ambedkartimes.com is a continuation of Prem Kumar Chumber’s active involvement in the Herculean task of the furtherance of the ideology of Ad Dharm and the realization of its goal of dignity, equality and social justice for the Scheduled Castes population of the state. This site is equally dedicated to the great mission of Bharat Rattan Bodhisattva Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar and aimed at the realization of his vision of Prabudh Bharat. It encourages young scholars, social activist, Ambedkarites and Neo-Buddhists to contribute their valuable articles, stories and news-items to post on the site. This site invites all scholars who work on the life and struggle of Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia, Ad Dharm movement in particular and Dalit movement in general in India, Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and other subaltern leaders and thinkers who sacrificed their entire life for the emancipation and empowerment of Dalits to send their research monographs for wider circulation. Apart from the research files, there are many more relevant files on this site such as News, Community Activities, Culture, Articles etc.

This famous site was formally inaugurated after one year of its successful working on May 26, 2008 at its headquarters in Sacramento ( California), also the residence of Mr. Prem Kumar Chumber, the Editor-in-Chief. Mr. Paramjit Bhutta, a known figure among the Punjabi Dalit Ad Dharmis emigrants in US, inaugurated the website on its successful completion of one year period. Dr. Ronki Ram was the special chief guest of the honor. Mr. Amrik Chand CPA, Mr. Gurbax Bagha & his father Capt. Mehar Singh and Subedar Joginder Singh were also present as guests on the occasion. In his inaugural address, Mr.  Paramjit Bhutta congratulated Mr. Prem Kumar Chumber for the great job he has done for the uplift of the Dalit community single-handedly. He assured him all support in this great endeavor. He also appealed to all the concerned members of the community to come forward in a big way to make this great endeavor an everlasting institution for the service of the community. He said “we must pay back to our society, if we really want to see ourselves rising in our lives”. He also welcomed Dr. Ronki Ram on his visit to the Headquarters of the Ambedkartimes.com.

In his keynote address, Mr. Amrik Chand CPA, the chief guest, welcomed Dr. Ronki Ram and traced the history of Dalit struggle in India and highlighted the importance of independent Dalit electronic and print media. For the betterment of the community, he argues that lively interaction within and rational dialogue with the society at large is an essential feature of a viable Dalit endeavor. That is why Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar launched three Dalit weeklies during his long struggle for the emancipation of the downtrodden and the annihilation of caste. Mr. Amrik Chand CPA emphasized on the importance of being concerned with the task of the advancement of the community. He also related his and his colleagues R. M. Saroy & Randhir Suman’s efforts to help poor and meritorious students in Punjab financially. He also assured the Editor of Ambedkartimes.com of financial help. Subedar Joginder Singh congratulated the Editor of Ambedkartimes.com and lauded his sincere efforts for the awareness and betterment of the community.

Mrs. Narender Kaur Chumber honored Mr. Paramjit Bhutta, Amrik Chand CPA & Gurbax Bagha with a memento and a souvenir of the web site and offered a vote of thanks. Mr. Amrik Chand CPA honored Dr. Ronki Ram with a special memento. While appreciating the continuous help and encouragement provided by Miss Takshila Chumber in setting up the web-site and by Mr. Kabir Chumber in facilitating on the technical side of the project, the Editor-in-Chief of the Ambedkartimes (Mr. Prem Chumber) thanked all the dignitaries on the occasion and appealed to all for an active association with the web site

ON AD DHARM DAY JUNE 11-12

Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor:Ambedkartimes.com

 Ad Dharm movement, the glorious Dalit movement that not only envisaged an egalitarian social set-up but also struggled hard for the same, was founded formely on June 11, 1926 in village Muggowal near Mahilpur (Hoshiarpur) under the dynamic leadership of Babu Mangu Ram, a famous Gadhrite. Sarva-shri Basant Rai, Thakur Dass and Shudranand were the equally powerful other lieutenants of the Ad Dharm movement. However, when it comes to the brass stack, it was Babu Mangu Ram who emerged as the leading star of the movement.

Ad Dharm is a name of the indigenous religion of the Dalits of the region who are the natives of this land ( India ). The invading Aryans subjugated them and established their rule over the natives. They see to it that the culture and religion of the natives had to be wiped out fully so that they could not stage a revolt. Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia thought it appropriate to relocate the lost native religion in order to re-establish sovereign Dalit Raj once again. He named his movement deliberately after the name of the religion of the natives: Ad Dharm. Thus Ad Dharm is both 'Religion' as well as 'Movement'.

Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia made concerted efforts in the direction of laying solid ground for the revival of Ad Dharm in Punjab . He was of the opinion that if the ex-untouchables have to live a dignified life they had to revive their Gurus, religious scriptures, festivals and religious places as well. He approached Sant Sarwan Dass Ji Maharaj at Dera Sachkhand Ballan (Jalandhar) for concretizing the Bani of Guru Ravidass Ji Maharaj and the proliferation of his mission. The Ad Prakash, a holy Granth containing the Bani of Guru Ravidass Ji and other Dalit Gurus was prepared. Babu Mangu Ram Muggowalia Ji expressed his will among close circle that his last rites should be performed amidst the chanting of the holy Bani of Ad Parkash.

In the Ad Dharm Mandal approach, it is clearly mentioned that every Ad Dharmi should live his/her life according to the tenets of the Ad Dharm and should not believe in any other religion. He said our Gurus are Guru Nam Dev Ji, Guru Ravidass Ji, Guru Kabir Ji, Guru Valmiki Ji and all other Dalits saints. Thus the Ad Dharm movement has very early shown the vision for the establishment of a separate Dalit identity based on distinct Dalit native religion: Ad Dharm. 

Posted on June 12, 2009

TRIBUTE TO SANT RAMA NAND JI & APPEAL FOR PEACE


(Left) Sant Niranjan Dass Ji & (Right) Sant Rama Nand has passed away
Pictures by Prem Kumar Chumber (Ambedkartimes.com) when both Saints were on their visit to California

Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor: Ambedkartimes.com

Ambedkartimes.com is deeply shocked to hear that the great preacher, Sant Rama Nand Ji of Dera Sant Sarwan Dass SachKhand Ballan (Jalandhar, Punjab , India ) is no more. Sant Niranjan Dass Ji (Head of the Dera Sant Sarwan Dass SachKhand Ballan, Jalandhar, Punjab, India) and Sant Rama Nand Ji (Assistant of Sant Niranjan Dass Ji) were attacked with knives and guns by some disgruntled elements at Shri Guru Ravidass Temple in Vienna ( Austria ) on May 24th, 2009 where Sant Rama Nand Ji succumed to his injuries in the hospital in Vienna and Sant Naranjan Dass Ji is now recuperating finely over there (see photographs taken in the hospital showing him in better conditions).

The Ambedkartimes strongly condemn this dastardly act and appeals to the followers of the Dera Sachkand Ballan and to public in general in Punjab in other regions of India as well as  abroad to maintain peace, harmony and goodwill. This is in the true spirit of the celestial bani of Shri Guru Ravidass Ji Maharaj.

The Ambedkartimes pays tribute to Sant Rama Nand Ji and prays for Sant Niranjan Dass Ji’s speedy recovery.

More news about the head of the Dera Sant Sarwan Dass SachKhand Ballan, Jalandhar, Punjab , India , Sant Niranjan Dass Ji are coming soon, please stay in touch.

We couldn’t update the website on May 23, 2009 to May 25, 2009 due to some technical problems. We appreciate your patience and please stay in touch.

Posted on May 26, 2009

Dr. Ronki Ram’s Research Article
in Journal of Asian Studies (JAS)

Prem Kumar Chumber (Editor:Ambedkartimes.com)

  • The ambedkartimes.com congratulates Dr. Ronki Ram (Chairman, Department of Political Science, Panjab University, Chandigarh (India), for his ethnographic research article entitled “Ravidass Deras and Social Protest: Making Sense of Dalit Consciousness in Punjab (India)” carried in the prestigious pages of The Journal of Asian Studies (JAS), Vol. 67, No. 4, November 2008, pp.1341-1364. Motivated by the pioneering research on Ad Dharm done by Professor Mark Juergensmeyer, Dr. Ronki Ram has already published articles on Ad Dharm and Dalit Assertion in Punjab in Asian Survey (University of California Press), Vol. XLIV, No.6, November-December 2004 and in Contributions to Indian Sociology (Sage), Vol. 38, No. 3, September-December 2004.
  • The ambedkartimes.com also put on record its sincere appreciations to JAS for publishing the article. At present this Journal is based at University of California , Irvine , USA . Professor Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom is the Editor.
  •  

Published in February, May, August, and November, The Journal of Asian Studies (JAS) has long been recognized as the most authoritative and prestigious publication in the field of Asian studies.

This quarterly has been published regularly since 1941, offering Asianists a wealth of information unavailable elsewhere.

JAS publishes the very best empirical and multidisciplinary work on Asia, spanning the arts, history, literature, the social sciences, and cultural studies. Experts around the world turn to this quarterly journal for the latest in-depth scholarship on Asia’s past and present, for its extensive book reviews, and for its state-of-the-field essays on established and emerging topics. With coverage reaching from South and Southeast Asia to China, Inner Asia, and Northeast Asia, JAS welcomes broad comparative and transnational studies as well as essays emanating from fine-grained historical, cultural, political, or literary research and interpretation. The JAS also publishes clusters of papers representing new and vibrant discussions on specific themes and issues.

Posted on May 26, 2009

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ELECTIONS, DEMOCRACY AND DALITS IN INDIA
Now the time has come when the Dalits of Punjab has to forget their community differences and to put up a joint front like that of the glorious Ad Dharm movement (1937) in order to come into power on their own.

Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor: Ambedkartimes.com

The current Parliamentary election in India is a continuous process of the seven decades old, but ongoing, project of deepeningof democracy in the country. Elections are not merely a platform for presentation of manifestoes, campaigning, making speeches, and airing promises. They are, in fact, an indication of a vibrant society that strives to achieve equity and justice in a transparent way while seeking an active involvement of those who constitute it. Elections also function as a barometer to measure the acceptability of different stake-holder in the body-politic of a nation. In a country like India where electoral politics began under the aegis of the British rule, fair and objective representation was something of a difficult proposition. To begin with, it took the form of communal representation through the colonial Acts of 1909 and 1919. The Scheduled Castes, then known by the name of Depressed Classes, were denied the provision of communal electorate as promised in the Round Table conferences. However, under the Poona pact they were granted some meaningful space in the form of reserved constituencies.

Although Baba Sahib Dr. B.R. Ambedkar made concerted efforts to bring forth the downtrodden into the plateau of emerging democracy in India by founding political parties such as Independent Labor Party, All India Scheduled Castes Federation and the Republican Party of India, the participation of the Scheduled Caste candidates won on the tickets of Dalit political parties remained very thin in the parliament of India. In the state of Punjab, visited by Dr. Ambedkar thrice, 1932, 1936 & 1951, which houses largest percentage of Scheduled Castes population in the country, the outcome of the Dalit political parties was never promising. Ever since the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) founded by the illustrious Dalit son of Punjab, (A great Ad Dharmi after the Great Ghadri Baba Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia) Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji, in 1984, it has participated in the contest of seven Lok Sabha elections in Punjab. Though social engineering has become the strategy of the BSP under the able leadership of Km. Mayawati in the last Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Punjab unit of the BSP had tied up with Akali-BJP alliance in 1996 and with other Akali factions in 1997 . It was in 1992 that the BSP had shown some promise to come to power in Punjab in a big way. But that promise could not become a reality till date. In the last Punjab assembly elections, BSP even failed to open its account.

Though BSP enjoys major support base in the Doaba region of Punjab, but due to reasons better known to its leadership even in this very region it failed to register its mark in terms of winning assembly as well as parliamentary seats. It seems that the Dalit electorates who believe in the ideology of BSP may not be confident about the capabilities of its leadership to catch hold of the ‘master key’ to the store-house of political power in the state. Currently, Scheduled Castes comprised about 30 percent of the total population of Punjab. If the percentage of the Rai Sikhs, the recent addition to the list of Punjab Scheduled Castes, is added to the Scheduled Castes population in Punjab their share in the total population may shoot up to about 38 percent. Now the time has come when the Dalits of Punjab has to forget their community differences and to put up a joint front like that of the glorious Ad Dharm movement (1937) in order to come into power on their own.

Posted on May 12, 2009

GBBMRM.jpg

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM
PAYS TRIBUTE TO MUGOWALIA

Ambedkartimes.com pays floral tribute to Ghadri Baba Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia, the founder of the Ad Dharm movement in Punjab, on his 29th death anniversary.
(Editor:www.ambedkartimes.com)

Prem Kumar Chumber
(Editor:www.ambedkartimes.com)

Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia (1886–1980), whose 29 th death anniversary falls on April 22, 2009, was the pioneer of the anti-untouchability movement in colonial Punjab. A former Gadharite, who spent the formative years of his prime youth fighting against the mighty British imperialism in foreign lands, after reaching his native village made himself busy in organizing a unique battle against the centuries old Hindu system of birth-based social exclusion. He founded Ad Dharm movement for the emancipation and empowerment of his people. He organised all the ex-untouchable castes falling under the then category of the Depressed Classes in Punjab and reminded them of their rich heritage when they used to be the masters of this land. He told them how they were reduced into worse than slaves in their own land by the alien Brahmins who brought with them their sick social system called caste and started them whipping with the whip of untouchability. He told his people that for us the real battle is the battle against the Chaturvarna system of Brahminical Hinduism.

He openly declared that Scheduled Castes are neither Hindu nor Sikh. They are also neither Muslim nor Christian. They are the original inhabitants of this ancient land called Bharat. Their real religion (Ad Dharm) was much older than Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism. All these religions born after Ad Dharm religion of the original inhabitants of India. He said that the Hindus did not only subjugate them but also made their religion oblivious; and thus made the ex-untouchables their slaves. He said that our real freedom will be to liberate ourselves not only from the British rulers but also from Brahmanism. He got special right from the Britishers by adding Ad Dharm to the Census list as a separate religion of the Depressed Classes in Punjab in 1931. A great victory of the Dalits indeed! Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia Ji also became the pioneer of seeking political power as a key to all the problems of the community. In 1937, his Ad Dharm won 7 out of all the 8 reserved seats in Punjab.

Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia's movement was not only confined to Punjab. He stood like a rock with Dr. Ambedkar. During Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's fight with Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi at the Roundtable Conferences in London (1930-32) Babu Ji sent telegrams in support of the former as the leader of the untouchables in India against the latter (Gandhi). In 1946, Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly and remained in legislature till 1952.  

He was very clear in his understanding that the real emancipation of the ex-untouchables lies in their efforts to revive their own indigenous religion (Ad Dharm), and in worshipping their own Gurus (Guru Namdev Ji, Guru Ravidass Ji Maharaj, Guru Kabir Ji Maharaj, Guru Valmiki Ji Maharaj). No other religion can liberate the Dalits from the quagmire in which they have been straddled for centuries except their own original religion "Ad Dharm".  

< www.ambedkartimes.com> pays floral tribute to Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia, the founder of the Ad Dharm movement in Punjab, on his 29th death anniversary.

Posted on April 22, 2009

TRUE TRIBUTE TO BHARAT RATTAN BODHISATTVA BABA SAHIB
DR. B. R. AMBEDKAR

Editorial

Prem Kumar Chumber

It is my great pleasure to share with the fraternity of www.ambedkartimes.com that on March 15th 2009 a new newspaper Ambedkartimes Times has been released ( Actual Ambedkar Times Newspaper was published & distributed on March 12th, 2009 ). This day happened to be the most auspicious day for the occasion. On this very day Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Fresno (CA) celebrated Shri Guru Ravidass s 632 nd Gurpurab. It was also the birth anniversary of Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji, the founder of BAMCEF, DS4 & BSP. On the same day Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia s picture was presented to the Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha by Prem Kumar Chumber. In fact, the Ambedkar Times newspaper was launched amidst the Gurpurab celebrations at Shri Guru Ravidass Temple Fresno (California).
Ambedkar Times is a modest attempt towards furthering the missions of Bhagwan Buddh, Satguru Ravidass Ji Maharaj, Bharat Rattan Bodhisattva Baba Sahib Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Ghadri Baba Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia (Ad Dharm), and Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram Ji. I have been cultivating this desire for quite a long time. When we find that news relating to our community is rarely carried in the pages of the mainstream print media owned by Savarnas and big business houses, it gives a feeling of helplessness. It is to overcome such a feeling and to provide our community with its own platform that Ambedkar Times is launched. You are all welcomed to this small endeavor. It is your paper, strengthen it. We have to pay back in our own small ways to our society so that the coming generations can be proud of us that we carried forward the caravan of the father of modern India Bharat Rattan Baba Sahib Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.
Our policy is to promote consciousness about the status of Dalit Human Rights in India and to make efforts for the creation of a supportive social, political and economic environment for the implementation of constitutional provisions for the advancement of the living conditions of Dalits, minorities and other neglected sections of the society including women in India. It is pertinent to mention here that Baba Sahib Dr. B. R. Ambedkar resigned from the Indian parliament and his position of Law Minister, not over the issues of economics or defense but over the failure of the legislature to pass the Hindu Code Bill meant for bringing marital and economic equality to women in the country. We understand that untouchability is a common problem and it is not only a Dalit issue as is often projected in the media as well as even in serious academic discourse. Untouchability is an all India problem bringing everyone under its firing range. If total number of 16 percent Scheduled Caste population of the country ( India) is subjected to maltreatment, then it is not only that these 16 percent are deprived of their due share. On the contrary their exclusion is also having serious implications for the economic growth of whole of India in the sense that had they been provided equal opportunities they could have contributed more to the national kitty than at present. It is in this context that Ambedkar Times aims at focusing on the larger issues involving Dalits and their impact on the national economy.
Another issue that we want to focus on is the role of Dalit diasporic philanthropy in building up the informal sector in India for the emancipation and empowerment of the downtrodden. This paper is banking on the support of NRI brothers and sisters and their close concern for the upliftment of the community back home. Let us come together and work for the betterment of living conditions back home. It is the only way and the right tribute to Bharat Rattan Bodhisattva Baba Sahib Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar on his 118 th birth anniversary and all those who have sacrificed their life for the creation of a just and egalitarian society in India.
Posted on April 14, 2009, on birth anniversary of Bodhisattva Baba Sahib Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

The Media & Dalit Empowerment

Prem Kumar Chumber

I feel delighted to inform the readers of this site that <ambedkartimes.com> is going to complete three years on August 04, 2009. The purpose, for which this site is created, as you all know, was to spread the mission of AD Dharm Samaj of Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia along with that of Baba Saheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar & Lord Buddha based on liberty, equality and fraternity. We are encouraged to receive a great response from various scholars who have contributed to the site in the form of research articles, letters, field work pictures, rejoinders and valuable opinions. This web-site has also been functioning successfully as a platform to give visibility to the otherwise ignored Dalit activities and achievements. Shri Guru Ravidass, Baba Sahib Dr. B. R. Ambedkar & Lord Buddha Anniversaries have regularly been covered with prominent space devoted to such columns on the site. Last year, 2008, Prof. Ronki Ram visited the headquarters of the site in Sacramento (California) USA on the invitation of the Editor-in-Chief of www.ambedkartimes.com. We in collaboration with Shri Guru Ravidass Sabhas of Pittsburg, Bay Area, Selma, Yuba City, Sacramento and Fresno and Dr Ambedkar Educational Aid Society Fremont, California organized his special lectures on the life and teachings of Guru Ravidass, the philosophy Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and the contributions of the glorious Ad Dharm movement towards the formation of Dalit consciousness in Punjab. Very recently the English site has been reinforced with a Punjabi counterpart under the name <ambedkartimes.org>. We are planning to open similar sites in Hindi and Marathi also.

I am glad to announce that on the birthday of Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram Ji the Ambedkartimes.com is releasing a print paper "AMBEDKAR TIMES" in English for wider circular among the Bahujan Samaj. This paper is dedicated to Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram Ji. All the readers and contributors of the <ambedkartimes.com> are requested sincerely to contribute regularly to this paper and make it a big success. The main objective of this paper is to facilitate our Samaj brothers and sisters and the general public at large to be aware of about the community activities and issues of current concern at their doorsteps. We understand that many of our fraternity members are too busy to spare some special time to surf internet. This is to reach them in their car, office, home and during their leisure trips. They can read the paper at their will wherever they would be. We know that if we want to see our community rising then we must have our own media, papers. It is in this very context that the ambedkartimes.com intends to make a modest attempt by launching this paper. We need you active support for this community endeavor

Posted on March 15, 2009

AMBIAN NU TARSENGI
CHHADD KE DESH DOABA

(YOUWILL DISHERISON LEAVING THE DOABA REGION WHICH IS FAMILIAR FOR MANGOES!)

Editor,
Ambedkartimes Group

Mr. C. L. Chumber has very big project to highlight and blend the ancient, medieval and modern history of the Doaba region of Punjab state which earns more than 25 percent foreign currency of India ! On his 52nd birthday on 2nd March, 2009 , he announced these projects. We are happy that he is whole heartedly dedicated to the research work again. I have to pursue him to revive his journalistic talent. His wife also worked hard to convince him to write down his ideas, experiences to guide the masses. His first article ' Inqulabi Dr. Ambedkar ' under the name ' Vangar ' (challenge) C. L. Chumber published on 14th April, 1973 when he was appearing in his matriculation examination. I was delighted very much to read the name of my brother in a news paper with his article and on the birth of a new writer in our family of writers! Next year he wept on the theft of the same article in the same news paper! He is familiar for his daring and honest efforts with ' do or die ' spirit whether in government job or in business or in politics or in history rewriting!

First, he will highlight on 4 district headquarters of Doaba region. He is authority on Jalandhar history and now he is planning to visit one week tour of  Gujarat State to do research on Sahib Shri Guru Ravidass Ji, Guru Miran Bai and Adi-Maha Bhagwan Jalandhar Ji Maharaj founder of Jalandhar city! Then he will also write on Noormahal , Phagwara , Garhshankar, Nakodar, Phillaur , Sultanpur Lodhi, Banga, Dasuya and more areas wise. The details will be published time to time by us. Please contact Mr. C. L. Chumber only by emails: c.l.chumber@gmail.com. Once again, Happy Birthday to honorable brother Mr. C. L. Chumber and congratulation to his family.

Posted on March 02, 2009

To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and silencing of dissent: Know that you are on the wrong side of history”

US President Barack Obama’s
Inaugural Address (January 20, 2009)

Ambedkartimes Group
welcomes the 44rth President of the United States Barack Obama

This picture was taken when Lahori Ram was awarded with the International Dalit Rattna Award

LAHORI RAM PASSED AWAY

Ambedkartimes Group is shocked to hear about the death of Lahori Ram who was recently presented with the International Dalit Rattna Award at the conference in New York . He was one of the first Indo-Americans to be appointed to the high level commissions in California like California Transportation Commission, California Trade, Technology, Commerce Commission and the Economic Development Commission for the state of California . He was also one of the founder members of Shri Guru Ravidass Temple (Shri Guru Ravidass First Temple in North America ), California . Ambedkartimes group sends its condolence to Lahori Ram’s family, relatives and friends on their biggest loss.

Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor: www.ambedkartimes.com and www.ambedkartimes.org
Posted on January 11, 2009

DEAR READERS, CONTRIBUTORS
AND ALL WELL-WISHERS

Prem Kumar Chumber (Editor)

GBBMRM.jpg

In August 2009, New Year, Ambedkartimes.com is going to complete three years of its desired long journey. It is my great pleasure as well as privilege to thank all the dear readers and esteemed contributors to this humble site dedicated to the Dalit democratic struggles spearheaded by great and all time heroes of the downtrodden: Ghadri Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia and Bodhisattva Bharat Rattan Baba Sahib Dr Bhim Rao Ramji Ambedkar. Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia, the founder of the Glorious Ad Dharm movement in Punjab and the undisputed leader of the Dalits of the then vast Punjab province, stood like a rock behind Dr. Ambedkar, the All India Dalit leader, during the Dalit leadership controversy, rather conspiracy hatched by the Brahminical forces, during Round Table conferences to eclipse the star-like shinning presence of Baba Sahib. In order to keep the caravan going on, as exhorted by Dr. Ambedkar, and also to follow into the footsteps of Babu Mangooram Mugowalia, Ambedkartimes.com launched in 2008 a Punjabi web site named <ambedkatimes.org> As you all know the headquarters of both of these Dalit web sites are located in California, the Golden State of U.S.A., which carries special importance in the sense that Babu Mangoo Ram chose this very state as his place of work as well as activism during his stint in US in the early 1900s. He came to US in 1909 and the New Year 2009 is the beginning of his 100 th year mark in the Golden State of California. It gives me immense pleasure to wish you all very happy and productive New Year in the name of our great heroes and liberators.

Over the last few years, it has been witnessed widely that issues relating to the dignity and Human Rights of the Dalits have come of age and now no one can dare to ignore them at all. The historic victory of US President-Elect Mr. Obama and the steady march of Km. Mayawati towards Delhi are good signs of the rise of the downtrodden. We know that there is an urgent need to do a lot more to facilitate the respectful entry of the socially excluded, for long, into the mainstream of the public domain in caste-ridden Indian society. It is very encouraging to know that issues of Dalit Human Rights in India have definitely been acquiring serious attention of both the formal and informal sectors of the establishment. The role of the Dalit Diaspora in that regard is also of great importance, especially the role of the various international Dalit conferences. International Dalit Conferences have not only sensitized the public and the state establishments, but have also prompted the elite academic world to rise to similar Endeavour. The recently concluded (December 2008) International Dalit Scholars and activists meet at the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia (US) is a case in point.

Amdedkartimes.com & Ambedkatrimes.org is a modest attempt in the direction of Dalit consciousness formation through the collective efforts of the academics and the social activists. This is your own web site. You all are cordially invited to send your valuable views on how we can annihilate caste and win the long denied Dalit Human Rights in India with dignity and democracy.

Posted on January 03, 2008

We thank for all the New Year greetings from Bhagwan Valmik, Lord Buddha, Shri Guru Ravidass, Satguru Kabir Sahib, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Societies and all the viewers of www.ambedkartimes.com and www.ambedkartimes.org.
Once again a very Happy New Year to all from Ambedkartimes group.

Prem Chumber

Posted on January 08, 2009

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM & AMBEDKARTIMES.ORG
CONGRATULATE TO ALL ON
SAVITRI BAI PHULE'S BIRTH DAY

On 52nd Maha Parinirvan
of Baba Sahib Dr. B. R. Ambedkar


Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor <ambedkartimes.com>

Ambedkartimes.com remember Bharat Rattan Baba Sahib Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (April 14, 1891- December 6, 1956) messiah of downtrodden and a symbol of revolt against all the oppressive features of Hindu society on his 52 nd maha-parinirvan on December 6, 2008. Dr. Ambedkar, popularly known as Baba Sahib by his admirers, was the only voice during the mainstream freedom struggle that brought up the larger question of the freedom of the depressed classes from the internal colonialism of Hinduism in to the forefront. He was a great advocate for the rights of Dalits, an educationist par excellence, a wonderful constitutionalist, a world-renowned economist, political philosopher, rationalist and above all a great humanist. His was a multi-faceted personality, totally dedicated for the annihilation of caste in India as well as for the empowerment of the downtrodden.

He was born on April 14, 1891 in the Military Headquarters of War (Mhow) in central India. After passing his matriculation he attended Elfinstone College, Bombay, after which he joined Columbia University, USA from where he received his Ph. D. in Economics. From London School of Economics and Political Science he received D.Sc.in Economics and was called to the Bar from Gray’s Inn.

To improve the economic conditions of the downtrodden and to spread education among them, Baba Sahib founded (1923) 'Bahishkrit Hitkarni Sabha'. He gave the slogan: "Educate-Agitate-Organise" and launched the social movement for the annihilation of caste and reconstruction of caste-less Indian Society. On April 3, 1927 , Dr. Ambedkar launched "Bahishkrit Bharat", a Marathi paper on April 3, 1927 to communicate his views and to respond to his critics. He told his people to fight for their social and political rights. He emphasised, "Lost rights are never regained by begging, and by appeals to the conscience of the usurpers, but by the relentless struggle - goats are used for sacrificial offerings and not the lions". In December 1930, a weekly "Janata" was launched in place of "Bahishkrit Bharat" which continued till 1956. It was later on changed in to "Prabuddh Bharat".

To win the rights of his people Baba Sahib adopted democratic-constitutional method. He was a great liberal crusader. He launched the peaceful struggle in 1927, at Mahad ( Maharashtra) to have access to the public Chawdar Lake. In 1930, he started the famous temple entry movement of the Untouchables. He took his tirade against Untouchability to the Round Table Conferences (1930-32. He succeeded in his mission; however, he had to take a compassionate stand in order to save Gandhi's life by signing the Pune Pact.

After the failure of the temple entry movement and the Puna Pact, Baba Sahib soon realised that while living within Hinduism, the goal of Dalit emancipation seemed to be impossible. Hinduism is beyond reforms from within. He told his people to stop the struggle for temple entry, as they were not going to gain equal status in Hinduism. He asked them to leave Hinduism and join some other religion. On 13 October 1935, at the historic Yeola Conference Baba Sahib Said, “I was born as a Hindu but will not die as a Hindu”.

After the Yeola declaration, Baba Sahib chalked out a new strategy to fight for the cause of the downtrodden. In 1936 he founded the Independent Labour Party. In the election of 1937 provincial councils, ILP captured thirteen out of fifteen seats and also captured two general seats. In 1942, Dr. Ambedkar founded the Scheduled Caste Federation to be followed by Republican Party of India.

Baba Sahib, the architect of the Constitution of Independent India, embraced Buddhism as a step towards the creation of an egalitarian society based on the principles of equality, liberty and fraternity. He was of the firm view that political democracy could not sustain itself amidst centuries old rotten system of caste discrimination in India. For political democracy to succeed in Indian there should be natural growth of social democracy in the country. Political democracy is to ensure equal participation in the electoral domain of the country. But that could not be realized unless and until provision are made for the institutionalization of social equality in the country. Caste is the biggest hurdle in that regard. Political democracy draws sustenance from social democracy. He continued his struggle for social democracy in India until 6 December 1956, the day he achieved Maha-Parinirvan.

Posted on December 06, 2008

 

THE FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA
MR. V. P. SINGH PASSED AWAY

Prem Chumber
(Ambedkartimes.com)

The former Prime Minister of India Mr. V.P. Singh passed away after a prolonged fight with blood cancer. His death came at such a time when India was shaken by terrorist attack in Mumbai. Mr. Singh was born on June 25, 1931. He remained on important positions such as chief minister of Utter Pradesh, Defense Minister and Finance Minister in Rajiv Gandhi's cabinet. Mr. Singh is known for his commitment to implement Mandal Commission report for reservation of backward classes. He earned respect of people by upholding values of dignity, liberty and equality. He parted company with former PM Rajiv Gandhi over his involvement in Bofors corruption case. He didn't compromise his principles by sticking to the august office of Finance Minister in Mr. Gandhi's cabinet. He led a coalition against him and remained Prime Minister from December 2, 1989 till November 10, 1990.  He dared to arrest the BJP leader Mr. L. K. Advani during his Rath Yatra, the least caring for his party's outside support to his government. India has, indeed, lost a brave son in Mr. Vishwa Nath Partap Singh.
Posted on Nobember 30, 2008

 

OBAMA'S
HISTORIC VICTORY!
CHANGE HAS COME TO AMERICA

WWW.AMBEDKARTIMES.COM
CONGRATULATES
AND WELCOME MR. BARACK OBAMA
THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN PRESIDENT
ELECTED OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

November 4th, 2008 (9:10pm)

Lakh Lakh Baddhai

What Obama is to America Km. Mayawati can be to India

Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor: www. Ambedkartimes .com

The Victory of Obama is the Victory of all those who have been subjected to untold miseries and hardships for centuries. His ascendance to the highest office in one of the efficiently working democracies in the world indicates clearly that the long cherished goal of the empowerment of the socially excluded sections of all the varied societies on the globe is now not too far to be achieved. It gives us tremendous courage to tell the world: yes we too can rise and that too democratically. Obama’s victory inculcates in all of us a feeling that what we needs, that has also been taught to us by our beloved and revered Baba Sahib Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram, is political power to restore our lost glory, self respect and dignity. This is amply exhibited in the jubilant outburst of emotions of the millions the world over. Yet another aspect of Obama’s victory is that it strengthens the forces of peace and amity in world and generates confidence for the emancipation of the marginalized sections of the societies. The time has come when United States of America has to show the way for the uplift of the downtrodden of the world. That momentous role of US would indeed be the real contributions towards the building of a new universal world order based on peace and prosperity as against war and plunder.

What Obama is to US & Km. Mayawati is to India. Obama’s glorious victory sends billions of pounds of strength to the Dalits in India and exhort them to come forward to strengthen the hands of Km. Mayawati Ji and lay the new foundation of egalitarian social order in Brahminically stinking caste ridden Hindu society. The time has come when the caste ridden Hindu mind has to be washed with the mantra of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Americans have done it by saying good bye to racism. Let’s resolve to say good bye to casteism.

American experiment teaches us that we too can get a berth in seat of power in Delhi. For that we have to move very smartly in the corridors of electoral number game in India. We know India is not America. But we also know what helped Obama in US is very much available there in India – Democracy. Let’s strengthen that wonderful institution by asking our people to exercise their franchise right in a more responsible and rational way.

Once again www.ambedkartimes .com sends its heartiest congratulations to Dear Barrack Obama on his tremendous victory in the US Presidential elections.

Posted on November 04, 2008

AJIT CHAND 'NIMTA' PASSED AWAY

Ambedkartimes pays floral tributes to beloved Ajit Chand Nimta Ji
and sends condolences to his family and fellow missionaries.

Ambedkartimes.com shares its deep grief over the untimely passing away of Ajit Chand 'Nimta', our beloved Ambedkarite and a true follower of Guru Ravidass Ji Maharaj, on 13th October 2008. I have the honour of close association with Nimita ji. We worked together during the preparing of Ambedkar Chitrawali I&II. We also used to go to Sanghol during excavations on the famous Buddhists site in 1980s. He pinned down many books of poetry especially on the contributions of Guru Ravidass and Dr. Ambedkar towards the uplift of the Dalits. One can easily count his following famous literally works: Ambedkar Kavitawali,Ambedkar Darpan, Sri Guru Ravidass Chamatkar, Amarbani Sri Guru Ravidass, Sat Bhakhe Ravidass, Kamn Dian Gallan,Kar Diya Kamaal, Azhe Vi Saddhe Naal, Razatan to Rajan, Asi Kaun de Kaun, and Hashe Khushian Kheran. His book on Ambedkar Kavitawali is recommended for the Colleges, Higher Secondary, High Schools and Social Studies Centres of Punjab wide
letter no. 3/62-72, dated 18-11-1976 isuued by Books Director Education Department of Punjab State. Nimita ji was an active member of Ambedkar Mission Parchar Sabha (Jalandhar).

Ambedkartimes pays floral tributes to beloved Ajit Chand Nimta Ji and sends condolences to his family and fellow missionaries.

Prem Kumar Chumber
(Editor: www.ambedkartimes.com)

Posted on October 23, 2008

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM TRIBUTE TO
THE GREAT SAHIB KANSHI RAM
March15th, 1934 — October 09th, 2006

Sahib Kanshi Ram was born on March 15, 1934, in Khawas Pur village of Ropar District of Punjab. He belonged to the Ramdassia community of the Scheduled Caste group, which is the largest group in Punjab. He was named Kanshi because after his birth the midwife placed him in a tray made of kansa metal. His father owned some land and his uncles were in the armed forces. In Sahib Kanshi Ram's own words, "I was born and brought up amongst those who sacrificed themselves but never betrayed the country...”  Despite his low caste background, he earned a bachelor’s degree in science from the Government College at Ropar ( Punjab). Soon after, he joined the research staff of Kirki’s Explosive Research and Development Laboratory (ERDL) in Pune 1957. While working in Pune, he quit his job after becoming involved in the famous Deena Bhan case. Deena Bhan, a Rajasthani Scheduled Caste employee and senior colleague of Kanshi Ram was suspended. His fault was that he protested against the decision of ERDL management for the cancellation of holidays for Ambedkar and Buddha Jayantis and their replacement by the Tilak Jayanti and one additional holiday for Diwali. Sahib Kanshi Ram decided to fight against such a caste ridden and dictatorial behaviour of the management. The fighter in Kanshi Ram got the suspension orders of Deena Bhan revoked and Ambedkar and Buddha Jayantis holidays were restored.

This was the beginning of the long battle for the emancipation of the Dalits in the country that Sahib Kanshi Ram had to lead till his last breath. He resigned from his job and totally dedicated his entire life for the cause of the community. He never married nor visited his home since then. His struggle was not for the home and family. He devised a new strategy to regain the lost glory of the original (Adi) inhabitants of Bharat. He gave utmost importance to the culture of work and democratic method of struggle. He also expanded the circle of the Dalits by incorporating other Backward Classes and Minorities into it.

He criticised the post-Ambedkar leadership of Dalits in India. For that he declared Poona Pact as the main reason. He said that “Poona Pact made dalits helpless. By rejecting separate electorate, dalits were deprived of their genuine representation in legislatures. Several and various kind of chamchas were born in the last fifty years. As and when India's high caste Hindu rulers felt the need of chamchas and when the authority of the upper castes got endangered by real and genuine Dalit leaders, chamchas were brought to the fore in all other fields".

In his "The Chamcha Age", a well argued and polemical tirade against the pseudo Dalit leaders, Sahib Kanshi Ram sharpen the contradiction for the legitimate acquisition of political power by the downtrodden in electoral democracy in India. In, the Chamcha Age, "he focused very much on the Poona Pact which was a point of a rather decisive Gandhian victory over Dr. Ambedkar after a long duel between the two at the Round Table Conference".

Ambedkartimes.com pays tribute to The Great Sahib Kanshi Ram on his second death anniversary.

Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor: www.ambedkartimes.com

More matter is coming soon on BAMCEF, DS4, BSP and the legacy of Ad Dharm and also well known writers’ valuable articles.

Posted on October 9, 2008

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL ON THE TWO YEARS COMPLETION OF WWW.AMBEDKARTIMES.COM

Prem Kumar Chumber (Editor)

The question of Dalit emancipation in India is in fact a question of the whole of the Indian society. However, it has been conspiratorially confined only to the critically emerging bold space of Dalits in India. Baba Sahib Dr. Ambedkar very perceptively built a link between the treacherous institution of caste and the rooting of democracy in India. He was of the firm opinion that democracy (Social Democracy) could not evolve where a virus of caste is around. Caste is also anti nation, emphasised Dr. Ambedkar. It is against this background that he drew the sketch of his life-long struggle against the caste-based asymmetrical social structures in India. One of the strategies of his fight against caste and untouchability was the role of media in addressing the cause of the Dalit. He launched Bahishkrit Bharat, Mook Nayak and Janta for spreading awareness among his fellow beings in India.

Ghadri Baba Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia, the founder of Dalit Struggle and Ad Dharm Movement in Punjab, launched Adi Danka (the first Dalit News Paper in North India) to represent the cause of the Dalits and to generate a radical Dalit consciousness among them in the region. In order to document the Dalit struggle, Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia published the Report of the Ad Dharm Mandal 1926-1931.Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia Ji stood like a rock with Baba Sahib Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar during the Dalit leadership dispute at the London Roundtable Conferences.

Ambedkartimes.com, dedicated to the true struggles of Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia and Bharat Ratan Baba Sahib Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, congratulates its valuable and respected readers, contributors and sympathizers on the two years of its successful completion. This web-site of the Dalits is a small endeavour run single-handedly by its editor-cum-owner (Prem Kumar Chumber).

Ambedkartimes.com assures its contributors and dear readers of the continuance of this Dalit electronic media endeavour and also earnestly request to come forward to make this small beginning in the Golden state of California a big success in transforming the rotten social fabric of the India society.

Once again, ambedkartimes.com takes pleasure and feels honoured in announcing the second year of its on-going efforts for the empowerment of the Dalits and building a wider pro-Dalit opinion as well as projecting the cause of Dalits at the international level.

Posted on August 11, 2008

WWW.AMBEDKARTIMES.COM
PAYS FLORAL TRIBUTE TO THE VETERAN LEADER OF THE TOILING MASSES OF INDIA

Prem Kumar Chuber (Editor of www.ambedkartimes.com) interviewing
Com. Harkishan Singh Surjeet during his last visit to Sacramento (Ca.)

Prem Kumar Chumber (Editor)
AMBEDKARTIMES.COM


Comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet, who always stood in the forfront of radical struggle against imperialism and for the empowerment of the have notes and the downtrodden of the society, took his last breath on Friday at Metro Hospital at Noida (Delhi). He was 92. Born on March 23, 1916 in a Bassi Jat family of Bundala village ( Jalandhar district) of Doaba Punjab, Com. Surjeet became an integral part of the national liberation movement at the very young age of 16. He took his life long inspiration from Shaheed-E-Azam S. Bhagat Singh. He joined the Communist Party in 1934 and elected to its Polit Bureau in 1954. He was also one of the founders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in October-November 1964. Between January 1992 and April 2005, Com. Surjeet served the party as the General Secretary of the CPI (M). His deteriorating health forced him to relinquish the post to be followed by Com. Prakash Karat.

Comrade Surjeet was very brave revolutionary who played a dare devil in hoisting the Indian tricolor at the court in Hoshiarpur amidst pointed shooting at him. Later on he was punished by the colonial rulers for one year which he got extended to four years by chiding away with the Justice in charge. During the court proceedings he stated his name as London Tor Singh (one who dismantles London).

He was a co-founder of the Kisan Sabha in Punjab and also became its president at the national level. He is household name among the peasants of Punjab who love him deeply for his sincere struggle for them. He provided a critical voice to the exploitated peasants in his Dukhi Duniya and Chingari vernacular publications. Though he had to discontinue his studies at the school level itself, his real-life-based rich experience made him  an erudite commentator who could write well both in his mother tongue (Punjabi) and English. He was always up-to-date in his public an oration of which was a perfect master. He authored the books on "Land Reforms in India", "Happenings in Punjab" and the "Outline History of the Communist Party". The CPI (M) in its condolence resolution recognized his (Com. Surjeet) "important role in making the CPI (M) the largest contingent of the Left movement in the country. Surjeet absorbed Marxism-Leninism by sheer dent of self-study and
learning from experience. He always stressed the fundamental importance of critically examining the party's ideology and political positions on the basis of Marxism". "He worked tirelessly for the defence of democratic and secular values and to see that India maintained its non-aligned and independent foreign policy. His views were sought and his advice heard with great respect in political circles". Is evident from the glowing tributes paid by Hon’ble Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Com Surjeet on July 31 for his extraordinary skills at weaving and sustaining broad, secular-progressive anti-BJP coalition: "If we are here after a tenure of four years, the credit for all this should go to the wise and visionary leadership of Jyoti Basu and Harkishan Singh Surjeet. They were all architects of our coalition government.   

His political space was not only confined to territorial boundaries of India. He was able to build a strong network of international contacts over decades and was successful in initiating many international solidarity campaigns. He was a great master of political arrangements, who would not mind approaching even his worst foe if the issue was of the welfare of the have notes and poor masses, national unity and question of the secularism of the country. He was instrumental in the formation of a series of non-congress, non-BJP alliances. He was also the 'kingmaker' of the United Progressive Alliance government supported from outside by the Left parties until very recently. He would be remembered for ever for his astute coalition builder role in the parliamentary democracy in India.

The CPI (M) in its condolence resolution recognized Com Surjeet's "important role in making the CPI (M) the largest contingent of the Left movement in the country. Surjeet absorbed Marxism-Leninism by sheer dent of self-study and learning from experience. He always stressed the fundamental importance of the critically examining the party's ideological and political position on the basis of Marxism". The resolution reads further, "His was a life-long fight against communalism. He was one of the first leaders who recognized the threat posed by the rise of the communal forces to the secular principle of the Indian state. He played a crucial role in 1989, 1996 and 2004 in creating the political formations and the setting up of governments which excluded the communal forces".

Posted on August 06, 2008

CONGRATULATIONS TO JASVIR SINGH

Prem Kumar Chumber (Editor)
AMBEDKARTIMES.COM

Ambedkartimes.com congratulates Mr. Jasvir Singh who was born to Mrs. Karmi Banger (mother) and father Mr. Jeet Ram Banger resident of village Karnana Tehsil & District Nawan Shahar of Punjab (India) qualifying for the Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing in the 62-kilogram category (137 pounds) of weightlifting. He qualified for the Olympic Games with a total lift of 270 kilograms, 115 in the snatch and 155 in the clean and jerk. He will also be the first Punjabi weightlifter who was born in India to compete in the Olympic Games either in Canada or other countries in the world except India .

Mr. Jasvir first started weightlifting when he was in 9th grade. He used to do practice with his friends in his native village Karnana (Nawan Shahar) in Punjab . Mr. Jasvir was in Punjab police when he was in Punjab and granted Canadian citizenship on account of his excellent record in weightlifting.

Now as a Canadian resident of Burnaby , Mr. Jasvir will be the first weightlifter from B.C. to go to the Olympic Games. Mr. Guy Greavette ( Coach and Executive Director of the B.C. Weightlifting Association) who was in top five/ participated in weightlifting 20 years ago in Seoul and he is the one who helped Mr. Jasvir to permanent stay in Canada.

We are very proud of our Jasvir, not only the first Punjabi but also the first Indian born Canadian citizen who is competing in the coming Olympic Games in Beijing ( China ).
Posted on JuLY 23, 2008.

THE AD DHARM MOVEMENT

THE PIONEER DALIT MOVEMENT OF NORTH INDIA


Prem Kumar Chumber (Editor)

www.ambedkartimes.com & www.ambedkartimes.org

Ad Dharm movement in Punjab is the pioneer Dalit movement of North India. Founded by Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia, this movement made public its ideology and plan-of-action for the empowerment of the downtrodden on June 11-12, 1926, at its first mammoth conference at village Mugowal of District Hoshiarpur ( Punjab). It laid stress on distinct Dalit identity independent of Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians. To achieve that the Ad Dharm movement aimed at relocating the indigenous religion of Dalits and to get it registered as their official religion in the state. In no time this historic movement became a Dalit mass struggle for their separate Dalit identity (for a detailed analysis see: Mark Juergensmeyer. 1988. Religious Rebels in the Punjab; and Ronki Ram. 2004. Untouchability, Dalit Consciousness, and the Ad Dharm Movement in Punjab", Contributions to Indian Sociology, Vol. 38, No. 3, September-December 2004).

With the active supports of the all sections of the community, the Ad Dharm movement succeeded in getting Ad Dharm religion registered for the Census in 1931. At that time about five lakhs members of the community got them recorded as Ad Dharmi. It was perhaps for the first time in the neglected/unrecorded history of the Dalits in India that Scheduled Castes in Punjab declared themselves as belonging to an indigenous non-Aryan religion totally different from that of all the mainstream religions of the region. Not only that, the movement even contested the first provincial election of 1937 and returned the community candidates from 7 out of 8 reserved constituencies in Punjab. That was also the first great success of the Dalits in Punjab towards their march to gain political power: the proverbial Master Key.
 
This is in fact what the Dalits of Punjab should have continued with if they were willing to come into power on their own in the state where they are in largest numbers in comparison to rest of the entire country. Sahib Kanshi Ram did his level best to pick up the thread from where Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia had left. But that bore fruits in UP and Punjab is yet to replicate the same. Doing that would be a true tribute to Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia and Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji and to the Historic Ad Dharm movement in Punjab.

On these two special historic days, 11th & 12th of June, 2008, we proudly announce & launch a new website www.ambedkartimes.org in Panjabi, dedicated to the great leader in the world, Bharat Rattan Baba Sahib Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. We congratulate to all on June 11 th-12 th, AD-Dharm Mandal Punjab’s 83 rd foundation day.

Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com (June 11, 2008)

THE MESSIAH OF THE DOWNTRODDEN
SAHIB KANSHI RAM JI

 

Prem Kumar Chumber (Editor)
www.ambedkartimes.com

Babu Kanshi Ram, the messiah of the downtrodden and an organic scholar, was born on 15 March 1934 in a Dalit family of Ramdassia community in Khawas Pur village of Ropar district in Punjab . He did his B.Sc in 1955-56 from Panjab University . And thereafter he joined the research cell of Kirki's Explosive Research and Development Laboratory (ERDL) at Pune in 1957. It was at this very place where he encountered a crucial situation when a fellow Scheduled Caste employee (Deena Bhan) was suspended by the management of the organisation for protesting against the discriminatory polices of the ERDL. Deena Bhan was raising his voice against the cancellation of holidays for Dr. Ambedkar and Lord Buddha Jayantis and being replaced with the Hindu festivals. When asked by his fellow colleagues what should be done now, Deena Bhan showed an exemplary courage by saying that the Job is my constitutional right and the Brahminical management could not deter me to oppose the sick Hindu system of caste and that was what Baba Sahib Dr. Ambedkar had taught us. This bold stand by a Dalit fourth class employee had touched the inner core of Babu Kanshi Ram Ji who immediately extended full support to Mr. Bhan and filed a case against the termination of his suspension. Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji paid initially Rs. 500/ for the legal case charges to the advocate. As a result, Bhan's suspension was annulled and holidays for the Jayantis of Lord Buddha and Baba Sahib Dr. Ambedkar were restored. This particular event changed the course of the subsequent life of Babu Kanshi Ram. He left his lucrative job and jumped into politics for the rest of his life for the cause of the community. His involvement was so intense that he decided to remain bachelor and also not to return home. He also wrote to his mother, Mata Bishan Kaur Ji, about his decision that he dedicated his entire life for the emancipation and empowerment of the downtrodden.    

On 14 April 1965 Babu Kanshi Ram took the oath that “I will complete the unfinished mission of Baba Sahib Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. I will look after the welfare of my Samaj. I will spend each and every moment of my life for the cause of the Samaj". After that Baba Sahib never went to the office of ERDL. From 1965 to 1971 he meticulously spread the mission and message of Baba Sahib Dr. B. R. Ambedkar among the Dalits. In 1978 he launched his first organisation: All India Backward (SC, ST, OBC) and Minority Communities' Employees' Federation, popularly known as BAMCEF. Three years later, Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji founded another organisation: DS-4 (Dalit Shoshit Samaj Sangharsh Samiti). And on 14 April 1984 , Babu Ji announced the formation of the Bahujan Samaj Party. In 1996 Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji elected to the Lok Sabha from the Hoshiarpur constituency, from where 50 years ago Great Ghadri Baba Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia founder of the Ad Dharm Movement had been returned to the Punjab assembly in 1946. Interestingly, it was at Hoshiarpur, the stronghold of Ad Dharm, that the BSP celebrated the 75th year of the Ad Dharm movement on 18 February 2001 . On this occasion Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji exhorted the Bahujan Samaj to follow the principles of the Ad Dharm movement of which the BSP has now become the torch-bearer.   Km. Mayawati (Bahan Ji) took the struggle to great heights by repeatedly forming government in the heartland of Chaturvarna system. For her the next target is Delhi : the highest seat of political power in the country. Punjab , the birth place of Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji, which has been housing the largest (29 percent) proportion of Scheduled Castes in comparison to rest of the country must learn lesson from the UP experiment. This would be a true tribute to Sahib Kanshi Ram Ji.

Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com ( March 15, 2008 )

CONGRATULATIONS

ON THE BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF

SAHIB SHRI GURU RAVIDASS JI

Prem Kumar Chumber

(Editor: www.ambedkartimes.com)

Guru Ravidass Ji Maharaj, whose 631st birth anniversary is being celebrated throughout the world, was a great saint/Guru of medieval Bhakti movement of North India. He belonged to the lowest of the low castes in India whose touch used to be considered polluting to the Savarnas. He opened a frontal attack against the system of Untouchability. He rejected the tradition of Brahmin mediator to reach the Supreme Being. He also said that one need not to hide his caste or leave his low profession to reach God. He became a model for his fellow beings to overcome the hierarchical barriers of Brahminical Social Order and to establish Begumpura - a state without fear and sorrows. Guru Ravidass elevated the status of the labour by emphasizing on the fact that honest labour is empowering. He completely rejected the concept of living on charity or miraculous wealth obtained by Paras.

      By defeating the famous Kashi Pundits in a formally organized Shastrartha, Guru Ravidass proved that merit is not the fiefdom of so called upper castes alone. Every body is capable of worshipping Him. The fourfold division of Hindu society is a big lie and a trick to make and keep a large section of the Indian society under the cruelty and control of the few in the name of purity-pollution principle made by the so-called Brahmins. It is against this very system of religiously sanctified social differentiation that Guru Ravidass envisioned establishing a state where there would be no place for untouchability and social oppression.

      For the social transformation of the society, Guru Ravidass laid emphasis on labour, compassion, virtue, prohibition of alcohol and all bad deeds. He also reiterated on the urgent need of remembering the formless God whom he addressed by varied names. Some scholars are of the view that Guru Ravidass did not form an organization nor he launched any consistent and systematic agitation against the system of untouchability. This is true. But to raise a loud voice at his times was no less than a clarion call to dismantle the unjust system of Brahminical social order. It is also true that the path told by him has become the beacon light for the Dalit movement in the country and abroad.

Posted onwww.ambedkartimes.com ( February 20, 2008 )
 
AMBEDKARTIMES.COM'S
Clarifications on some of the
crucial aspects of Dalit struggle

Prem Kumar Chumber (Editor)
www.ambedkartimes.com

Educate, Agitate and Organise

Educate, Organise and Agitate is the most misquoted slogan of Baba Sahib Dr Ambedkar. Its true version is: Educate Agitate and Organise. Baba Sahib uttered these precious words at the end of his historic speech delivered at the All-India Depressed Classes Conference (July 18-19, 1942 at Nagpur), convened to create an All-India organization with distinct aims and purposes in co-operation with all the inter-provincial forces. It was at this very conference that a declaration was made about the formation of the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation. Below are given the exact words of the concluding part of this historic speech of Baba Sahib, as cited in his ‘fascinating biography’ authored by Dhananjay Keer:

“My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side, I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle, not for wealth or for power. It is a battle for freedom. It is a battle for the reclamation of human personality” (Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 3rd ed. 1971, p: 351, emphasis added).

Baba Sahib’ struggle for the uplift of the socially excluded was precisely spiritual in the sense that it intends to restore their lost dignity and make them equal with all the other sections of the rest of the society. For that the method he chooses was democratic-constitutional. Being educated in the oldest democracies in the world, Dr. Ambedkar imbibed the true spirit of democracy and constitutionalism. He wanted his fellow –beings and his countrymen to follow democratic ways for the peaceful resolution of all one problems including the most fatal one – the Untouchability.

In his democratic scheme of conflict resolution, education figures at the very beginning of the social struggle. Hence “educate” comes first in his three stepped slogan of educate, agitate and organise. By education Baba Sahib did not mean merely certificates and degrees. For him to educate means to become aware of ones real life conditions; to be conscious of ones surroundings; to raise objection to the inhuman existence in the society; and to ask for change for the better. “Tell the slaves he is a slave and he will revolt”, that is the real meaning of education.

It is such education that will stir agitation within, leading to what Baba Sahib called “agitate”. To “agitate” does not mean to organise guerrilla warfare, to do murda bad – murda bab. On the contrary, it means to become aware about ones social conditions and to seek viable steps for the eradications of the causes of the problems. Baba Sahib told us that only real and true education could only make us to “agitate”.

And it is this agitation, which is within, that would ultimately help us to “organize”. The true example of which is Baba Sahib himself, who after obtaining critical and rational sense through his education felt toofan within and consequently organised three political parties (Independent Labour Party, Scheduled Caste Federation and Republican Party of India) to secure Dalit human rights.

Thus the real sequence of the slogan is:
Educate, Agitate and Organise.


Mr. Manjit Singh Chumber, Account Officer, and Jalandhar (E-mail: aojalandhar@yahoo.com ) said that:
I am very glad to see your site http://www.ambedkartimes.com. All sufficient knowledge of Ad-Dharmis gained and very well up to date information, massage and news available on site. There are some problems raised while we filling up the name of "Religion" in performa. We the people of Ad-Dharmis are not well versed about our religion. Some one writing Hindu and some writing Sikh. Our people neither come in Hindu nor in Sikh religion. You are requested to advise and suggest about our religion so that new coming generations may be able to know there Religion. Thanks.

ANSWER
Mr. Manjit Singh Chumber Ji your question is very important and interesting not for you only but for all Ad Dharmis & others. In 1931 Ad Dharm was declared an independent religion of the Dalits (original inhabitants of the region) Punjab, which somehow being forgotten in Independent India. According to the Punjab Census Report of 1931:

"The most notable feature of the present census from the stand-point of return of religion has been the adoption of the term Ad Dharmi by numerous Chamars and Shudras and other Untouchables. A new instruction to the religion was given this year, namely, Persons returning themselves as Ad Dharmis should be recorded as such".

"The Punjab Ad Dharm Mandal had petitioned the Punjab Government before census operations started in 1930, representing that the Depressed Classes should be permitted to return Ad Dharm as their religion at the time of the census, as they were the aborigines of India and while the Hindus kept them at a respectable distance, they did not believe in the Hindu religion".

(Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings& Speeches, Vol.17, Part-1 (p. 247-49) 2003)

Mr. Santokh Singh (Email: - santokhsamsingh@yahoo.com ) said that:
First of all thank to you and your complete team for doing great job for our community.
Are you able to help me to find the answer for two questions?

1. Why Dr. Ambedkar married to upper caste girl..?
2. Based on what we can say that Guru Ravidas Jee was Guru?

Can you tell me any book or any other material so that I can read it for the answer? I am not pointing any finger but I am looking for the answer, please help. Thanks.

ANSWERS
Mr. Santokh Singh Ji your both questions are very important and interesting not for you only but for all specially Ad Dharmis/Ambedkarites/Buddhist & others

Answer no. (1): Bharat Ratan Baba Sahib Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was a great liberal, educationist and a rationalist social thinker. He devoted his entire life for the cause of the annihilation of caste in India. He was dead against the social hierarchies of any sort. Caste for him is based on Brahmanism. Brahmanism is an ideology, not a person - male or female. He had many friends who were Brahmans. His first political party "Independent Labour Party" (ILP) and the last one "Republican Party of India" (RPI) are the clear manifestation of his inclusive and transparent approach towards the understanding of caste question and its annihilation.

He did not dislike an upper caste simply because he or she is a Brahmin or other so-called upper castes. To do that would be amount to becoming an agency of Brahmanism. Dr. Ambedkar was tooth and nail opposed to that. He married second time, after the demise of his first wife, a woman who cared him the most. For him she was simply a person not a caste. Let it be clear that Dr. Ambedkar married a woman, not an upper caste!

Answer no. (2): Shri Guru Ravidass Ji is a Guru for the Dalits. He is a Guru in the sense that he did not bow before the tormentor of his time, nor he accepted the offer of Brahmins to consider him of their own. He remained true to his caste and faith. He did not abandon his hereditary caste occupation of making and mending shoes. Rather he declared loudly in his Bani that he is a Chamar on whom the God has bestowed unlimited grace and placed him above the Biphar pradhan. In this way he elevated his so-called low profession and established the dignity of labour. He emphasised on earned living rather than on begging or living on alms like the Brahmins. He refused to become rich overnight by turning iron into gold as suggested by some legendry holy man who gave him the proverbial Paras.

It is in this way that Guru Ravidass became the progenitor of Dalit liberation in India to whom the Ex-Untouchables come to consider their Guru whose holy Bani also found place of due respect in the holy text of the Sikh faith (Sri Guru Granth Sahib).

Posted at www.ambedkartimes.com on December 27, 2007

 
On 51st Maha-Parinirvana of
Baba Sahib
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
 
 
Editor
 
<ambedkartimes.com> remember Bharat Rattan Baba Sahib Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (April 14, 1891-December 6, 1956) messiah of downtrodden and a symbol of revolt against all the oppressive features of Hindu society on his 51st maha-parinirvan on December 6, 2007. His was a multi-faceted personality. He was an untiring fighter for the rights of Dalits, an educationist par excellence, a world-renowned economist, political philosopher, rationalist and above all a great humanist.

He was born on April 14, 1891 in the Military Headquarters of War (Mhow) in central India. After passing his matriculation he attended Elfinstone College, Bombay, after which he joined Columbia University, USA from where he received his PhD in Economics. From London School of Economics and Political Science he received D.Sc.in Economics and was called to the Bar from Gray’s Inn.

To improve the economic conditions of the downtrodden and to spread education among them, Baba Sahib founded (1923) 'Bahishkrit Hitkarni Sabha'. He gave the slogan: "Educate-Agitate-Organise" and launched the social movement for the annihilation of caste and reconstruction of caste-less Indian Society. On April 3, 1927, Dr. Ambedkar launched "Bahishkrit Bharat", a Marathi paper on April 3, 1927 to communicate his views and to respond to his critics. He told his people to fight for their social and political rights. He emphasised, "Lost rights are never regained by begging, and by appeals to the conscience of the usurpers, but by the relentless struggle - goats are used for sacrificial offerings and not the lions". In December 1930, a weekly "Janata" was launched in place of "Bahishkrit Bharat" which continued till 1956. It was later on changed in to "Prabuddh Bharat".

To win the rights of his people Baba Sahib adopted democratic-constitutional method. He was a great liberal crusader. He launched the peaceful struggle in 1927, at Mahad (Maharashtra) to have access to the public Chawdar Lake. In 1930, he started the famous temple entry movement of the Untouchables. He took his tirade against Untouchability to the Round Table Conferences (1930-32. He succeeded in his mission; however, he had to take a compassionate stand in order to save Gandhi's life by signing the Pune Pact.

After the failure of the temple entry movement and the Puna Pact, Baba Sahib soon realised that while living within Hinduism, the goal of Dalit emancipation seemed to be impossible. Hinduism is beyond reforms from within. He told his people to stop struggling for entering the temple, like they were going to get an equal status like other Hindus. He asked them to leave Hinduism and join some other religion. On 13 October 1935, at the historic Yeola Conference Baba Sahib Said, “I was born as a Hindu but will not die as a Hindu”.

After the Yeola declaration, Baba Sahib chalked out a new strategy to fight for the cause of the downtrodden. In 1936 he founded the Independent Labour Party. In the election of 1937 provincial councils, ILP captured thirteen out of fifteen seats and also captured two general seats. In 1942, Dr. Ambedkar founded the Scheduled Caste Federation to be followed by Republican Party of India.

Baba Sahib, the architect of the Constitution of Independent India, embraced Buddhism as a step towards the creation of an egalitarian society based on the principles of equality, liberty and fraternity. He continued his struggle for social democracy in India until 6 December 1956, the day he achieved Maha-parinirvan.

      Jai Bheem!
 
Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com (December 06, 2007)
 


SAHIB KANSHI RAM JI
BORN MARCH 15, 1934 – DEATH OCTOBER 09, 2006

AMBEDKARTIMES.COM
PAYS ITS GLOWING TRIBUTE TO
SAHIB KANSHI RAM JI

On the first death anniversary [9 October 2007] of Manyawar Sahib Shri Kanshi Ram Ji, <ambedkartimes.com> pays its glowing tribute to the Messiah of Dalits, Downtrodden and Backwards for dedicating his whole life in order to help them stand on their feet with dignity, self-respect and courage.

In 1978 he launched his first organization BAMCEF to consolidate the SC, ST, and OBC government employees and to establish Dalit hegemony over the Bahujan Samaj. In 1982 he constituted DS-4 which enjoyed greater presence in the villages of the country. In 1984, Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji formed the BSP to provide a clear shape to his project odd Dalit emancipation and empowerment.

Km. Mayawati, his lieutenant is now in the forefront of that great project and has been discharging her duties in order to convert the project into a living reality.

Editor, ambedkartimes.com

Posted on October 09, 2007

 
Ambedkartimes.com and the so-called Upper Castes

Dear Readers,

Ambedkartimes.com received an e-mail seeking its opinion on the question of whether this World's fastest expanding web-site entertains reports, articles and essays written by scholars belonging to Non-Dalit or Upper Caste categories?

Let me (the editor of this site), clarify at the outset that <www.ambedkartimes.com> firmly believes in the philosophy and teachings of Bharat Rattan Baba Sahib Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and aims at in its modest way to keep the caravan going on. Baba Sahib had very clearly said that Brahmanism is a state of mind and an ideology rooted in Hindu Shastras. Brahmanism is not a person. A particular person who belongs to an Upper Caste but does not believe in the muck of the Hindu Shastras and is critical of its chaturvarna theory can not be tied with Brahmanism simply by virtue of the fact that he is born Upper Caste. Such thinking totally negates the very radical philosophy of Baba Sahib Dr Ambedkar who clearly condemned any kind of discrimination based on birth/caste.

After the episode of Jat-Pat Todak Mandal of Lahore in 1936, Baba Sahib Dr. Ambedkar decided that henceforth he would not go to any Caste Hindu organization but will welcome any one from the Upper Castes if he or she believes in Annihilation of the Caste system and agree with his philosophy of emancipation and empowerment of the Dalits.

Thus, ambedkartimes.com is of the firm view that if any one, whosoever she/he may be, tries to distort the path of Baba Sahib' struggle and creates a wedge between the Dalits and the Dalit-sympatric scholars (who irrespective of their caste repose faith in the Philosophy and teachings of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar) is an enemy of the Dalits and the cause of the community.

<www.ambedkartimes.com> encourage and welcome scholars of Dalits as well as non-Dalit background to contribute their valuable writings that will enlighten the cause of the Dalits and further the on-going struggle both in India and elsewhere.

Further <www.ambedkartimes.com> does not discriminate simply on the basis of birth, rather it is duty bound to make all efforts for the elimination of this disastrous practice of Brahminical ideology that has made the life of Dalits a hell for centuries all together.

It also caution that we too should not fall victim to such nefarious designs of the Brahminical ideology and warns to be at guards so that Brahmanism should not enter the rank and files of the Ambedkarite struggle from the back door!

With Regards,

Editor
amabedkartimes.com

Posted on September 11, 2007

 
AMBEDKARTIMES SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED IT'S ONE YEAR

I am glad to inform you all that ambedkartimes.com has successfully completed one year of its humble service
towards the cause of the community. I have been thinking for quite long time how to reach my community and to highlight the state of affairs through which it has been passing and also to facilitate in a very modest way in the upliftment of my fellow beings. It is with this objective in mind that I ventured into this web site which has now completed full one year.

All this has become possible only due to your constant support and encouragement. I on my own behalf and on the behalf of ambedkartimes.com put on record my sincere thanks to all the respectable contributors as well as all the dear readers without whose support this web site could not have been sustained.

This site has been dedicated to Bharat Rattan Baba Sahib Dr. Bhim Rao Ramji Ambedkar in the memory of Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia, Gadharite and founder of Ad Dharm Movement in Punjab. The sole aim of this site is to highlight the plight of the Mulnivasi of India who have not only been deprived of their due share in the wealth of their own country, but had also been subjected to untold miseries over centuries. Atrocities against them are still rampant in almost all the parts of the country. Hardly a day passes when there is no news about the social boycott or physical repression of all sorts on them. ambedkartimes.com is duty bound to highlight all such incidents as well as to seek and articulate some solid perspective for the amelioration of this age-old problem old social exclusion and blatant violation of the basic human rights of the Dalit brethren.

The improved version of this site is coming soon in the beginning of September 2007.

I once again thanks for your kind support and also expect the same in future too so that this modest attempt would continue in the service of our community. ambedkartimes.com deeply welcome your suggestions for its better functioning. This is your web site and it is you who have to make it successful. Kindly send your valuable articles, news reports, and opinions regularly, we would be pleased to carry them gratefully. Jai Bhim.

Editor
amabedkartimes.com

Posted on September 1st, 2007



Opinions: "ambedkartimes.com and the So-called Upper Castes".
Ambedkartimes.com
Ambedkartimes.com has been serving the most deserved humans on earth the dalits for the past one year,
I applaud the work and the vision, I feel very proud about Ambedkartimes work.

Dr. Saint, Ambedkarite

Jai Bheem,

I have been a regular reader, visitor and a well wisher of Ambedkartimes. I have known the lone sailor of this Ambedkartimes website for quite sometime, Mr. Prem Kumar Chumber is a dedicated and a pure Ambedkarite. There was a time, our savior Bheem Rao said something about the term "Mahatma", he said "Mahatmas have come and Mahatmas have gone but the untouchables remain untouchables". In a similar sense, we see dalits talk so highly of this and that but at the subtle level they have done nothing to the society. Quite often during my conversation with Chumber Ji, one thing came to my notice that the bragging of some dalits who are not Ambedkarites in real sense. For instance, people call themselves Buddhists or Ambedkarites, but when you visit their homes or talk to them at little deeper levels, you would easily discover how rotten their homes and thoughts with "Hindu idols and Hindu worshiping.

It would be an ultimate shame if someone calls thyself an Ambedkarites but at his/her house they worship Hindu gods and keep those myriads of idols, pictures of this Hindu god and that Hindu gods in their house, Hindu gods are the highly decorated and hyped mythical statues of Hindu chaturvarna culture that makes no sense for those who reason, we Ambedkarites are people of reason. And, I did talk to few of some well known dalits who called themselves as Ambedkarites, but all their pep talks about Ambedkarism was meaningless when I came to know that their family members worship Hindu gods, and this so called great Ambedkarite cannot even change his wife or other family members to learn and follow Buddha's teachings or Dr. Ambedkar's principles.

We Ambedkarites do not tolerate such idol worshiping ignorance and ambivalent stupidity. Be an Ambedkarite and give up your life and learning to the teachings and preaching of our savior Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and to Lord Buddha. If you do not do so, you are a betrayer. If you believe and worship Hindu gods, do not even think of coming here to any of our Ambedkarites gatherings, this is only for humans who use their brains and minds to upheld the dignity of our society and uplift our people in every sense.

On one of my recent trip to California for a meeting, I stayed overnight in a hotel, knowing that I am in town and in a hotel. Mr. Chumber Ji invited me to his home for a dinner, when I visited his home, I was delighted in joy to see a huge portrait of Ambedkar just in front of the big living room directly facing the main doorway and on the steps another huge picture of Buddha, no Hindu gods or filthy idols. Though he is a Punjabi who goes to Shri Guru Ravidass temple and participate in Shri Guru Ravidas temple activities, he remained a pure Ambedkarite in words, deeds and in his vision.

That's exactly why, we became close in spreading the Dhamma to our dalits through writing, and this is just the beginning, watch very closely on both "upliftthem and on Ambedkartimes.com, we are here to bring the Dhamma to our dalits the most needy humans on earth who were sabotaged for centuries and centuries by those idol worshiping, mindless Indians. All Indians including Indians of all religion and faiths, they all betrayed our dalits. There is no one we can trust or rely upon for uplifting our society, it is us and only we our self can change and uplift our society.

What you all the readers of this site must know that people like Prem Chumberji's are rare people, they are the real servant of our society, I have to recall another quote from Dr. B. R .Ambedkar, "a great man is different from an eminent one in that he or she is ready to be the servant of the society. This is where Premji is a real Ambedkarite and we need people like him to our society. Not those mindless political leaders of Dalit origin, who are slaves of the Brahmincal and feudal system of India.

This editorial of mine is just a warning to sabatogers that there is a zero tolerance for any backdoor sailors in this Ambedkartimes.com, as Prem rightly put it in his message to someone who wrote if upper case people can write. This is not a place for someone to walk in and play the 3000 year old same trick of sabotagery of dalits, it will not work here. Nor it is a filthy political stage where one can join hands for selfish ideas and then betray. This is for people who reason and people who treat humans with dignity. If you think you are and then you can write and publish your thoughts, we do not discriminate good humans who come from any corners of this earth, but we will certainly chase the Brahmins or hindutuva and atrocious people of India out of our intellectually admired place of Ambedkarism.

Jai Bheem,
Dr. Saint, Ambedkarite


Posted on September 13, 2007



LATE SHRI PUNJAB RAI CHUMBER

WE PAY OUR GLOWING TRIBUTE TO OUR RESPECTED

LATE SHRI PUNJAB RAI CHUMBER M.A.(Eco.)

ON HIS 39 TH DEATH ANNIVERSARY

( October 25th, 2007)


Mrs. Bishan Kaur Chumber (WIFE)

Mr. C. L. Chumber , Son, (Chief Editor Kaumi Udarian, Jalandhar City, Punjab) , Mrs. Santosh Chumber, Daughter-in-law, (Teacher), Mr. Prem Kumar Chumber, Son, (Editor of www.ambedkartimes.com Ph. 001-510-219-8920), Mrs. Narender Chumber, Daughter-in-law, (Technician), Mrs. Resham Kaur Mehmi, (Daughter), Mr. Dharam Paul Mehmi, Son-in law, (Manager, Oriental Bank of Commerce), Mr. Tarsem Lal Chumber, Son, (Lyric, Singer & Journalist, Jalandhar City), Mrs. Ranjeet Chumber, (Daughter-in-law), Mrs. Balwinder Devi Badhan, (Daughter) Business, Mr. Raj Kumar Badhan (Son-in-law), Principal in MPSEB, Mrs. Naranjan Kaur Ladhar, (Daughter) (TGT S.S of JNV), Mr. Ashok Kumar Ladhar, (Son in law), Principal of JNV, and Mr. Ravi Parkash Chumber (Son).

Grand Daughters : Ravjot Chumber, Amandeep Chumber, Takshila Chumber, Namrita Mehmi, Akanksha Badhan, Meera Chumber, Anjhulka Chumber, and Princy Ladhar.

Grand Sons: Kumarjeev Chumber, Jan Sangram Chumber, Kabir Chumber, Naveen Mehmi, Parveen Mehmi, and Anshu Badhan.

 

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This site has been dedicated to Bharat Rattan Baba Sahib Dr. Bhim Rao Ramji Ambedkar in the memory of Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia, Gadharite and founder of Ad Dharm Movement in Punjab. The sole aim of this site is to highlight the plight of the Mulnivasis (Inhabitants) of India who have not only been deprived of their due share in the wealth of their own country, but had also been subjected to untold miseries over centuries. Atrocities against them are still rampant in almost all the parts of the country. Hardly a day passes when there is no news about the social boycott or physical repression of all sorts on them. ambedkartimes.com is duty bound to highlight all such incidents as well as to seek and articulate some solid perspective for the amelioration of this age-old problem old social exclusion and blatant violation of the basic human rights of the Dalit brethren.

I once again thanks for your kind support and also expect the same in future too so that this modest attempt would continue in the service of our community. ambedkartimes.com deeply welcome your suggestions for its better functioning. This is your web site and it is you who have to make it successful. Kindly send your valuable articles, news reports, and opinions regularly, we would be pleased to carry them gratefully. Jai Bhim.

The views expressed in the articles/news published in the site "www.ambedkartimes.com"are that of their writers, and it is not implied that Prem Kumar Chumber, Editor / www.ambedkartimes.com endorses them.
| Dr. Ambedkar | Kanshi Ram | Babu Mangoo Ram | Ad-Dharm | The Gurus | Lord Buddha | Letter Box | Great Personalities |
This website is dedicated to our great savior Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in the memory of Babu Mangoo Ram Mugowalia, our great freedom fighter & the founder of Ad Dharm Movement in punjab
Due to the some technical problems, we couldn’t update the website on November 27th to Nobember 29, 2008. Sorry for the inconvenience. We are bringing more new matters, so please keep visiting www.ambedkartimws.com.:Editor


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| Dr. Ambedkar | Kanshi Ram | Babu Mangoo Ram | Ad-Dharm | The Gurus | Lord Buddha | Letter Box | Great Personalities |