Raj Kumar Oshoraj

Vice President
Indian Buddhist Society Toronto (Canada)

During my recent visit to California (USA) from August 16th -27th, 2007 I had the pleasure meeting with our organizations that are working actively for the upliftment of our community.

Among these organizations there were Shri Guru Ravidas Sabha Bay Area, Ambedkar Education Aid Society Fremont, IBO and Ambedkarite Buddhist gentlemen.

Firstly I met, an Ambedkarite and Buddhist who had spent a great deal of time serving our community in Toronto and now he is actively working for our community from Yuba City (California, USA) and he is very well known to the active workers of our community: he is Mr. Mohan Gill. 

He shared his wealth of practical experience with me about how we can be released from the leprosy of castism that has been around us for thousands and thousands of years. 

Mr. Gill commended Baba Sahib Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's contributions for our community and at the same time he felt sad for all those who claim to understand Baba Sahib's mission but do not follow his path to liberation from castism by embracing Buddhism. He also felt grief-stricken for people who are propagating Baba Sahib but don't spend enough time to understand his mission by themselves. But he was very optimistic about the future of Buddhism in India and abroad.

Secondly, Mr. Prem Kumar Chumber (Ambedkartimes.Com) was kind enough to lend his time to meet me. We had a great time discussing about the advantages of Electronic Media in 21st century and the role of His website is the first of its kind that is bringing our people together to share their thoughts and also making them aware about the community activities around the globe. Mr. Chumber also shared his thoughts about facing and upgrading the website in near future. He seemed to me that he is very well up to date with the new technology and very keen to provide his services for the community. I was really impressed with his interest and dedication to continue this project without any personal financial benefit to him.

The credit goes to Mr. Prem Kumar Chumber for making arrangements for me to meet Shri Guru Ravidas Sabha Bay Area, California (USA) on Sunday. It was great opportunity for me to share my views with our brothers and sisters in this gathering which had blessing of Sant Shri 108 Sant Amar Dass Ji Dera Sherpur Dhakkon Near Mahil Pur Barian District Hoshiarpur (Punjab) I was able to share the common mission with the sangat to get social equality for our people from the times of Lord Buddha - Shri Guru Ravidas and all the way to the struggle of Baba Sahib Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. Sangat was very appreciative and they provided me their full co-operation to deliver my message.

After the Sunday Gurudwara at noon we had a meeting with some of the active community workers in the evening. They all felt the burning need of electronic media in today’s world. Mr. Prem Clumber’s services of his website were appreciated by all and also everyone assured him the ongoing support. Everyone also shared their practical experiences of social injustices here and in India. All were concerned to remove the social inequality based on castism and commended Baba Sahib's contribution for our community to show us social, economic, political and religious direction. The following gentlemen were present in the meeting...Vinod Kumar Chumber, Sucha Ram Bharta, Baldev Suman, Dharam Paul Jhamat, Prem Kumar Chumber.....

The following Saturday, Mr. Amrik Chand, a great personality, a great Ambedkarite and a great Buddhist also arranged another collective meeting with all representatives of the local organizations. The meeting was scheduled at Golden Peacock Banquet Hall in San Jose. Mr. Ram Murti Saroy, a well known personality in San Jose and the owner of the Banquet Hall also participated in the meeting. The meeting lasted for almost for five hours. The following gentlemen were present in the meeting: Amrik Chand, Kewal Bolina, Ram Murti Saroy, Ramesh Chander, Surinder Soni, Chander Mohan, Satnam Ram, Ram Lal, Surinder Saroy, Balbir Thind, Sonu Ambedkar, Bhupinder Singh, Major Kumar, Ram Gopal, Paramjit Rai, Randhir Suman.

A great extent of thoughts was exchanged in this meeting. I was given the opportunity to present my thoughts first and share my views with all present in the meeting which was followed by questions to me. All possible opportunities and challenges were discussed during this meeting by all participants. The main theme of the meeting was to find the best possible opportunities for all active workers to help promote the message of our Maha Purkhas and make every possible effort to achieve their dreams.

I was impressed by the questions raised by the participants since all those questions were very common for our community living in India and abroad except some questions. Issues were raised as to what we can do to improve the current condition of our community living in India and abroad. How can we get together and what could be done to bring our community at one platform. But the underlined concern of all participants was the same as all others living abroad that we must stand together for our community. All agreed to commend Guru Ravidas, Baba Sahib Dr. Ambedkar for their struggle to help our community to bring it where we are today. I felt a burning flame in their hearts to do something good for our community.

I enjoyed my trip with my family to California, USA even though I must admit the weather in California 35-40 Celsius was above normal for us as compared to our weather in Canada.

On behalf of INDIAN BUDDHIST SOCIETY TORONTO, CANADA .......I personally thank all of them who took their time to meet me during my trip to California and shared their thoughts with me. I assure them that their time is appreciated and all their thoughts will be considered and given a collective attention to help and support our community.

Some pictures during my visit to California:

Sant Amar Dass Ji (Sherpur Dhakkon) honored by Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha, Bay Area
Bhai........ .............., Sant Amar Dass (Dera Baba Kalran,  Sherpur Dhakkon, Hoshiarpur), V.K. Chumber

Raj Kumar Oshoraj at Ambedkartimes office

Left to Right: Mrs. P.K. Chumber, Mrs. R. K. Oshoraj, R. K.Oshoraj & M.L. Gill

Raj Kumar Oshoraj honored by Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha, Bay Area

........, V.K. Chumber, R.K. Oshoraj, Randhir Suman

Raj Kumar Oshoraj with community members in Bay Area

R.K. Oshoraj, D.P. Jhamat, S.R. Bharta, B.S. Suman, P.K. Chumber, V.K. Chumber  .......,  ......

Raj Kumar Oshoraj with community members in Bay Area

Siting: ......., Randhir Suman, Raj Kumar oshoraj, R.M. Saroya, Balbir Thind

Standimg: Ram Kumar, ...., Surinder Saroya, Chandan Mohan, A.C. Lakha, Paramjit Rai,  K.K. Bolina, Surinder Soni,  Ram Gopal Bains, Sonu  Ambedkar,  Rakesh  Chander.


What is Ambedkar Mission?

Editor , Bheem Patrika, Jalandhar.

Mission means Message; it is from MISSIO, a Latin word. Therefore, Ambedkar Mission means the message i.e. the philosophy of Dr. Ambedkar.

The first foremost question is: Has Ambedkar left any mission, any message, any programme to be carried forward to its fulfillment? Yes, Dr. Ambedkar has definitely left a mission to be fulfilled. In a message he exhorted his followers to carry forward the CARAVAN. He said:

“My message is struggle and more struggle, sacrifice. It is struggle, more struggles, without counting sacrifice or sufferings that will bring their emancipation. Nothing else will”.

Exhorting the real proletariat Dr. Ambedkar said:  “The untouchable must develop a collective will to rise and.

1. The untouchables have been and are the real working class in India. Ralph Miliband, Marxist scholar that part of the “collective labour”  which produces Surplus value, from a position of subordination, at the lower ends of the income  scale, and also at the lower ends of what might be called the “scale of regard”. These three criteria absolutely apply to the untouchable now called the scheduled castes resist and must believe in the greatness of their task and develop a common determination to achieve their goal. Their task is so great and the purpose so noble that all that untouchables should commit themselves to the following: Blessed are they who vow to give the flower of their days, their strength of soul and body and their might, to further the campaign of resistance to slavery. Blessed are they who resolve: Come good, come evil, come sunshine, come tempest, come honour, come dishonoured not to stop until untouchables have fully recovered their manhood.”

In his speech broadcast from all India radio, New Delhi on the 3rd Oct. 1954 he said, “My Philosophy has a Mission I have to do the work of conversation for I have to make followers of triguna theory (based on Bhagavad-Gita) to give it up and accept mine. Indians are today governed by two different ideologies. The political ideal set out in the preamble to the constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them.

Basis of Society   Ambedkar Mission aims at the reconstruction of society basing it on scientific materialism with Man its pivot. In one of his essays Ambedkar said: My ideal society would be a society based on liberty, equality and fraternity. “He has explained these cardinal principles of his ideal society as Follows---

LIBERTY: Allow liberty to benefit by an effective and competent use of a person’s powers liberty in as much as it involves liberty to choose one’s profession to object to this kind of liberty to perpetuate slavery. Fordoes not merely mean a legalized from of subjection. It means a state of society in which some control their conduct. This condition obtains even where there is no slavery in the legal sense. It is found where, as in the caste system, some people are compelled to carry on certain prescribed calling which are not of their choice ‘Thus according to Ambedkar, essence of liberty is: Absence of all sorts of exploitation, forced division of labour and that of the labourers.

EQUALITY: One must accept to equality as the governing principal. A man’s power is dependent upon, (1) Physical heredity, (2) social in heritance or endowment in form of parental care, education, accumulation of scientific know-ledge, everything which enables him to be more efficient than the savage and finally, (3)  on his own efforts. In all these three respects men are undoubtedly unequal because they are unequal?  This is a question which the opponents of equality must answer. From the stand- point of the individual-list it may be just to treat men unequally so for as their efforts are unequal, it may be desirable to give as much incentive as possible to the full development of every- one’s power. But what would happen if men were treated unequally as they are, in the first two respects’? It is obvious that those individuals alone in whose favour there is birth, education, family name, business connections and inherited wealth would be selected in the race. But section under such circumstances would not be a selection of the able. It would be the selection of the privileged. The reason therefore, which forces that in the third  respect we should treat man unequally demands that in the first two respect we should treat men as equally as possible. On the other hand it can be urged that if it is good for the social body to get the most out of its members it can get most out of them only by making them equal as far possible at the very start of the race .That is one reason why we cannot escape equality.

FRATERNITY: Fraternity is another name for brotherhood... An ideal society should be mobile, in other words there must be social endosmosis. This is fraternity, which is only another name for democracy. Democracy is not merely a form of Government .It is primarily a made of associated living of conjoint communicated experience. It is essentially an attitude of respect and reverence towards fellowmen’.’  

The economic programme of Ambedkar Mission is thus to establish socialism through the law of constitution retaining parliamentary democracy. If this cannot be achieved through constitutional means then, says Dr. Ambedkar, people will be at liberty to apply non –constitutional methods to achieve the desired end.

In short, Ambedkar Mission demands and requires a person, if he or she has to become a true Ambedkarite, to be practically:

(1)A Rationalist: Negatively, one who does not believe in the supernatural God and Soul, one who does not believe in the sacredness and infallibility of religious books; One who does not believe in speculation and one who does not believe in and does not practise religious observances, rituals and ceremonies.

Positively, thinking and a creative being, judicious person, endowed with reason, intelligence and scientific temper.

(2)A Moralist:  of good universal moral conduct; VOLUNTARILY OBSERVING PRINCIPLES OF SOCIAL GOOD.

(3) A Socialist: He must be believing and working for the establishment of casteless and classless society.

(4) A Missionary: Sincere to the cause, friend, philosopher and guide of the people, contribute his mite to courageously and relentlessly carry forward the Mission.

The exploited people, the victims of castism, the toiling brave men and women, come forward, organize them selves and let us strive to shatter the centuries old shackles so that the aspirations of man are fulfilled and Ambedkar’s ideals are realized.

Posted on August 31, 2007



(With Special reference to India)

L. R. Balley

The causes that led to disappearance of Buddhism from its land of birth need to be pointed out so as to  comment upon and determine the future of Buddhism especially in India. Historians have pointed put many causes for the decline rather ruination of Buddhism India. Some of the main causes were as under:

1.      Brahmins propounded the system of four varnas which ultimately created more than ten thousand castes and sub-castes, graded and inequality, monopolisation of state power, property all around domination of Brahmins. Buddha scathingly attacked Brahmins system and did his to uproot it. He opened the doors of the Sangha to the women. He converted lowly people such as Sopaka and Suppiya, the untouchable, Sunita the sweeper, Upali the barber, Sumangala and the other low caste people. He converted Prakrati, Chadalika. The conversation of these people gave a blow to the position and prestige of the Brahmins. Therefore they had a grudge against Buddhism and were very impatient to regain their power and prestige by whatever means and methods they could imply. In 800Ad the Brahmins made a united from with Abu-bin-Qasim the first Muslim invader of India. The Buddhist King Brihadrath was got murdered by his own commander- Push Mitra.  Thus a Brahmin- Muslim combine ruined Buddhism. A counter- revolution was started against Buddha’s revolution of Humanism that was with service of mankind.2. The Brahmins incorporated some of the noble teachings and good qualities of Buddhism in their scriptures and rituals and even social set up. Bhagavad Gita is one conspicuous example of religious manipulation. As one intellectual has correctly said, “Buddhism is the resistor and Hinduism is debtor.” 3.   The Brahmins spread disinformation about Buddhism. 4.    Brahmins Intruded into the sangha and corrupted it in many respects. 5.   Lethargic attitude of the laity who proved incapable of d the sangha. To ensure better and brighter future of Buddhism in India the causes mentioned above should always be kept in view.

The falgbearer of Brahmanism has not long ago demolished a mosque in Ayodhya. There have been cases of rape of Christian nuns, plundering of their churches. The Buddhists have been the continuous victims of Brahmins persecution and oppression. At many places the statues of Buddha were broken and Buddhist shrines were desecrated. The management of the Bodh Gaya is still in the hands of such Hindus as have no affection for Buddhism and many unbuddhistic practises are being observed in the Maha Vihra of Bodh Gaya.The Brahmist leaders often boast that India is the birth of Gautama Buddha. But the social set up is not congenial to Buddhism.  Therefore the new Brahminic zeal is a potential danger to Buddhism.

The lowly people of India who are termed as the scheduled castes in the constitution of India and who numbers more than 150 million are the descendants of the Buddhists. The majority community being the Hindu, its governing class being the Brahmins, they don’t like Buddhism to flourish because in Buddhism lies the annihilation of the graded inequality, monopolisation of administration and financial resources. There would have been atleast 100 million Buddhists in India by now had the Hindu majority not created legal impediments in the cultural advancement of the oppressed section of the Indian Society. It may be noted here that it was provided in the Indian Constitution, through an amendment, that “no person can be a member of the Scheduled caste unless he professes Hindu religion.” After a strenuous struggle this legal bar has been removed. In the next census the number of Buddhists will certainly increase tremendously.

 If the disinformation is being spread against the Buddhist movement of India – continues, it may result into misleading those who desire to see the movement becoming more strong and wide spread.

Some points here need to be clarified:

1.      It is alleged that Dr. Ambedkar (By his followers) is equated with Buddha. This is a balatant lie. In one of his speech he called ‘BUDDHA , MY MASTER, MY ONLY TEACHER,” ( Speech on voice of America 1954) 2.      It is said that the Buddhist movement in India is a political movement. For those Indians who suffered for centuries, Buddhism is a vehicle of all-round change-ethical, social and even economic. Buddha preached against exploitation of man by man, to wage a struggle for civil rights’, social justice and economic emancipation. If it all is considered politics, then Indian Buddhist do candidly accepts this charge. Buddhism has taught them to be moral and free from want and worry so they feel pride in waging struggle for their human and constitutional rights. 3.      Often the lowly people are looked down upon because they are very backward economically. Their present condition is not of their making. Instead of contempt they deserve sympathy, compassion and help.

This kind of mischievous propaganda against the Indian Buddhist movement shall have to be disbelieved and totally rejected if it desired that Buddhism should spread in India. India has great potential for spreading of Buddhism. Its future can be bright, Very bright, if needed precautions are taken. And a programme for the all round emancipation of the people is formulated and organisational machinery is established and sincerely operated for the benefit of the needy mankind. I close this brief narration with 3Cs

(1) Clarity about programme (2) Coordination and (3) Common resources.

If my submissions are given serious thought, I hope, then the future of Dhamma in India would be very bright and it may regain its original glory and purposefulness. It is gratifying that the Punjab Buddhist Society U.K under the benevolent guidance of Ven: Chanderbodhi has taken lead for fulfilling the historic noble task of spreading the Buddhism.

Posted on August  08, 2007



L. R. Balley
Editor , Bheem Patrika, Jalandhar -144 003

While paying tribute to Dr. Ambedkar, on his death, on 6th December 1956, the then Prime Minister of India, Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru said:   “Dr. Ambedkar would be remembered mostly as the symbol of revolt against all the oppressing features had kept peoples mind awake. Although he was highly controversial figure, he played a very constructive and very important role in the government activities. He revolt against.”

What he revolted? Though Mr. Nehru has given an indication, yet his rebellion need to be explained more as he devoted whole of his life to its success. Among many theories Dr. Ambedkar propounded, one is very prominent, it is this:  “History bears out the proposition political revolutions have always been preceded by social and religious revolutions”.

Indian Society is still a tribal society, steeped in orthodoxy and superstitious, divided in thousands of castes-sub castes. It is continuously practicing even today inhuman practices in the midst of the present modern world. Dr. Ambedkar personality was unique. Numerous author, Indian as well as foreigners, have described his contribution to the economic development of his country and the emancipation of Indian masses in different ways. One such author has said:

 “Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was an intellectual, a educationist, a thinker and an advocate of Humanism.”2

The author has rightly and truly mentioned the qualities and qualifications are to reconstruct the Indian Society on the principles of the liberty, equality and fraternity the principles he learnt not from French “his master, The Buddha.” He persistently pursued his idea of bringing out basic reforms in the Indian Society as he said:-

1936:   “if the source of the power and the dominion is at any given time or in any given society social and religious then social reform must be accepted as the necessary sort of reform.  1953:   in India social structure must be altered.

1954: To leave inequality between class and class between sex and sex which is the soul of Hindu Society untouched and to go on passing legislature relating to economic problem is to make a farce of the constitution and build a palace on dung heap.”

In order to achieve his object of reformation of Indian society particularly its Hindu part, he piloted code bill. As the Indian Parliament was, then dominated by orthodox Hindus, the bill could not be passed. Therefore, in protest, Dr. Ambedkar resigned on 28th September, 1951 as law Minister of India. After his resignation within 4 Years the Hindu code Bill was passed in parts.

As a result of enactment of Hindu marriage Act, Hindus of different Sects, Castes and the Communities and Gotras could inter- marry which was not possible earlier. It is worth noting the Hindu code Bill was applicable to all sorts of Hindus – Sikhs, Buddhist and Jains. This was the first legal step Dr. Ambedkar took to reform the society.

Article 13: All Laws – ordinance, order by law, rule, regulation, notification, custom or usage having in the territory of India the force of the Law, immediately before the commencement of this constitution, in so far they are inconsistent with the provision of fundamental rights shall, to the extent of inconsistency, be void.

Article 14: The state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or equal protection of the law within the territory of India.

Article 15: The state shall not discriminate against any citizen in matters relating on ground only for religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.

Article 16: There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the state.

Article 17: “Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability running out of “untouchability” shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.

Article 23: Traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced labors are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law. As a decisive lasting step Dr. Ambedkar gave a historic verdict on Hinduism, its proper name being “Brahmanism.”

He opined:  “As Prof. Max Muller observers: Modern Hinduism rest on the system of caste on a rock which is no argument can shake.”

 “Hinduism is overwhelmed with fear of pollution. It has not got the power to purify. It has not the impulse to serve and that is because by its very nature it’s inhuman and immoral. It is a misnomer to call it religion. Its philosophy is opposed to very thing for which religions stands.”

“Religion is every where else is engaged in the task of rising and ennobling mankind Hinduism is busy in debasing and degrading it.”

 “The Philosophy of Hinduism neither satisfies the test of social utility nor does it satisfy the test of individual justice.”

He therefore discarded Hinduism and got converted with Buddhism on October, 1956 at Nagpur in Maharashtra with millions of his followers. Why did he embrace Buddhism? On this question he clarified as under:

I prefer Buddhism because it gives three principles in combination which no other religion does. All other religions are bothering themselves with god and soul and life after death. Buddhism teaches ‘Prajana’ (Understanding as against superstition and supernaturalism). It teaches ‘karuna’ (Love). It teaches ‘Smata’ (equality). This is what a man wants for a good and happy life on earth. These three principles of Buddhism make their appeal to me. These three principles should, also make an appeal to the world. Neither God nor soul can save society.”

Thus Dr. Ambedkar not only presented his theory of social re-construction, he took measures to do so would be evident from the details given above. It is Dr. Ambedkar and none else from the Indian leader ship may be social, religious or political who could be so realistic, so courageous and so farsighted who could lay principles of social reform and become an example to be followed faithfully and sincerely.

Indians as a nation are therefore, grateful to Dr. Ambedkar for his all round constructive contribution to the Society.  


(1) Dr. Baba Sahib Ambedkar Writings and speeches Bombay 1979, Vol., page 43. (2) Mainstream Weekly, New Delhi, dated 8 May, 1999, page 20. (3) Dr. Baba Sahib Ambedkar Writings and speeches Bombay 1979, Vol., page 45. (4) Daily Hindu, New Delhi, Dated 26th June 1953 (5) Dr. Baba Sahib Ambedkar Writings and speeches Bombay 1979, Vol.14, part 2 page 1326.  (6) Science of Religion page 28 Dr. Baba Sahib Ambedkar Writings and speeches Bombay 1989, Vol.3, page 92. (7) ibid page37 (8) ibid page71 (9) Talk on BBC London on 12th May, 1956.                    

 Posted on August 03, 2007



Palash Biswas

Untouchability and Starvation Live together in India! This is the ultimate truth of sense shining, to be Hindu Superpower India!

Local goons raided a Dalit hamlet and attacked women and children for allegedly ‘frolicking’ in a community temple in Shivalapar village under Shahpur police station in Danapur of Patna district on Friday evening.A tiff erupted between the Dalits and Ramavtar Yadav, when he objected to the Dalit children ‘dirtying the premises of the Goddess Durga temple.’

Yadav and his three sons Sanjay, Umesh and Dinesh raided the hamlet, comprising 50 families.

They caught hold of Gyanati Devi, pulled her hair, beat her up and poured boiling ‘Dal’ on her.

Her six-month-old daughter Sunita, too, suffered burns.

Untouchability Offenses Act (1955, India)

Encyclopædia Britannica: Related Articles

A selection of articles discussing this topic.

Influence on status of untouchables

...the constitution provides these groups with specific educational and vocational privileges and grants them special representation in the Indian parliament. In support of these efforts, the Untouchability (Offenses) Act (1955) provides penalties for preventing anyone from enjoying a wide variety of religious, occupational, and social rights on the grounds that he is a Harijan, the name...No results were returned.

Please consider rephrasing your query. For additional help, please review Search Tips. Search Britannica for Untouchability Offenses Act

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is responsible for all round development of Scheduled Castes and to bring them in the mainstream of national life and ensure their full participation in socio-economic development of the country.

Nearly 50 percent of the world's hungry live in India, a low-income, food-deficit country. Around 35 percent of India's population - 350 million - is considered food-insecure, consuming less than 80 percent of minimum energy requirements. In 1947, untouchability was banned by the Indian constitution established after independence from the British. Yet, as a social organization and economic constraint, untouchability is very much alive today. Its grip and that of the caste system, from which it derives, will necessarily be challenged to the very core if India is to become an industrialized nation. This question has now become urgent for India's 800 million people. As the 21st century nears, either India will find within itself the capacity for cultural regeneration permitting economic development, or as Mahatma Gandhi predicted, Hinduism will perish, and India with it.

Nutritional and health indicators are extremely low. Nearly nine out of 10 pregnant women aged between 15 and 49 years suffer from malnutrition and anemia. Anemia in pregnant women causes 20 percent of infant mortality. More than half of the children under five are moderately or severely malnourished, or suffer from stunting.

More than 160 million people in India are considered "Untouchable"—people tainted by their birth into a caste system that deems them impure, less than human.

Human rights abuses against these people, known as Dalits, are legion. A random sampling of headlines in mainstream Indian newspapers tells their story: "Dalit boy beaten to death for plucking flowers"; "Dalit tortured by cops for three days"; "Dalit 'witch' paraded naked in Bihar"; "Dalit killed in lock-up at Kurnool"; "7 Dalits burnt alive in caste clash"; "5 Dalits lynched in Haryana"; "Dalit woman gang-raped, paraded naked"; "Police egged on mob to lynch Dalits".

Dalits are not allowed to drink from the same wells, attend the same temples, wear shoes in the presence of an upper caste, or drink from the same cups in tea stalls," said Smita Narula, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch, and author of Broken People: Caste Violence Against India's "Untouchables." Human Rights Watch is a worldwide activist organization based in New York.

India's Untouchables are relegated to the lowest jobs, and live in constant fear of being publicly humiliated, paraded naked, beaten, and raped with impunity by upper-caste Hindus seeking to keep them in their place. Merely walking through an upper-caste neighborhood is a life-threatening offense.

Nearly 90 percent of all the poor Indians and 95 percent of all the illiterate Indians are Dalits, according to figures presented at the International Dalit Conference that took place May 16 to 18 in Vancouver, Canada.

National Commission for socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities

A decision has been taken to appoint a National Commission to recommend measures for welfare of socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities.

The Terms of Reference of the commission are:

to suggest criteria for identification of socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities.

to recommend measures for welfare of socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities, including reservations in education and government employment.

to suggest the necessary constitutional, legal and administrative modalities as required for the implementation of their recommendations, and

to present a Report of their deliberations and recommendations.


The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is implementing a number of Schemes for the welfare and development of Scheduled Castes, Other Backward Classes, Minorities, the disabled, children in need of care and protection, the aged, victims of alcohol and drug abuse, etc. It is necessary that the impact of these Schemes/Programmes should be assessed and evaluated from time to time, so that these can be suitably modified /revised to make them more effective or phased out if their utility is found to be doubtful. It is also necessary to identify through research, areas where social problems are likely to arise in future so that the Ministry can plan timely interventions. The Ministry, therefore, sponsors research and evaluation studies under the Scheme of Grant in aid Rules for Research and Publications to assist in the task of review and future planning.

Under the Scheme, Universities/Research Institutions and Professional bodies are given financial assistance to meet the expenditure on research and evaluation studies in the broad areas of Social Policy, Social Development and Social Welfare, particularly to evaluate the Programmes/Schemes implemented for the welfare and development of Disabled Persons, OBCs, and Minorities and in the field of Social Defense.

Research proposals on the specified priority areas from established research institutions and universities are considered.

In cases, where it is felt that the problem needs to be studied on larger scale, a common research design is devised and the study on the subjects carried out simultaneously in several States/UTs.

The types of studies sponsored by the Ministry are (i) Evaluation Studies; (ii) Diagnostic Studies; and (iii) Documentation Studies. In the case of evaluation studies, the Ministry's programmes/schemes implemented at the field level are evaluated to know the effectiveness of the schemes and to modify/revise the schemes appropriately. The diagnostic studies are those on social problems relating to the areas of prostitution, drug abuse, the aged, children in difficult circumstances, minorities and OBCs and the disabled population. The documentation type of studies are - Preparation of summary of research projects, Preparation of Handbook of Social Welfare Statistics, Preparation of Compendium of Schemes, Directory of voluntary organizations in the field of Social Welfare, etc.

Since the inception of the Scheme from 1973-74, 433 Research/Evaluation Studies have been sponsored. The findings and recommendations of all these studies have been useful for the Ministry for evolving further intervention at the policy and implementation level. The reports are being utilized by research professionals working in related fields to review the progress of work and to identify social problems requiring urgent intervention.

The list of Research/Evaluation Studies sponsored from 1973-74 to 2003-04 (up to 31st December, 2004) is annexed.

The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) has decided to launch a state wide agitation in Haryana in protest against the "continuous atrocities on dalits" in the state. A decision to this effect will be taken at a joint meeting of various Dalit organizations which has been convened by NCDHR on September 15 at Delhi. According to Arun Khote, secretary of the NCDHR, the Dalit organization have taken a serious note of the alleged murder of Rakesh alias Lara and incidents of violence and arson in Gohana town and else where in the country and they have decided to call a joint meeting on September 15 in Delhi to chalk out the future course of action on this issue. He said that the Dalit organizations wanted to impose President's rule in Haryana and declaration of Haryana as Dalit Utpeeran Grast Rajya. He also disclosed that the NCDHR has already apprised the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission and Kumari Selja Union Minister of State about the incidents of atrocities on dalits in Haryana and demanded immediate taking of steps to check such cases in future. Referring to the alleged murder of Rakesh alias Lara, Khote said that it was a conspiracy and per-planned murder and the police have utterly failed to ensure the safety of dalits. If such types of atrocities continued, the Dalit organizations have no alternative but to launch a statewide agitation on this issue.

The Communist Party of India on Saturday demanded an end to the intimidation of Dalits in the Gohana area of Sonepat district in Haryana. This demand was made a day after CPI national secretary D. Raja visited Gohana, where a Dalit youth was killed last week resulting in clashes in several districts of the State.

Posted on September 4, 2007




Palash Biswas

The largest circulated Hindi daily which is incidentally most popular amongst the Dalits in eastern part of India including Kolkata and aspires to become national very soon- publishes quotes from Manusmiriti daily on its Edit page!

Bengali and English Dailies in Kolkata do not quote Manusmiriti. The ruling Left in Bengal is said to be up against Manusmiriti and it launches a Marxist Dalit movement with a platform named Dalit Samanyaya Samiti. CPIM Hyderabad conference officially passed Dalit agenda.

Our Constitution is based on justice, liberty, equality, fraternity! Even Manusmiriti sustains. So much so Namboodaripad supported castism and the People’s president APJ missile man Abdul Kalam quotes from Manusmiriti.

In Bengal, the Brahmincal system is most organized, systematic and scientific. It is never as rough and rigid as the Hindi daily representing feudalism persistent in rest of India.

In fact, media as well as so called Mainstream Intelligentsia promotes Manusmiriti in most sophisticated way. Take any Bengali or English daily you may get the tone. They have sophisticated the folk and the dialects and use them against the indigenous people. Politicians play vote bank game. We may identify the caste logy in the polity. But the most dangerous type of discrimination is monopoly on knowledge, information, art, literature and culture.

Indian Intelligentsia has the single agenda of post modern Manusmiriti Galaxy Order under Zionist Hindu Imperialism. Thus, while they pose standing United with Nandigram singur resistance, they never allow a real Dalit movement in India!

The former Bihar Governor, M. Ramajois, said here on Sunday that despite the propaganda against it, the Manusmiriti remained a source of eternal values for humanity. At a popular lecture on the role of professionals in enforcement of contractual obligations in the construction industry, Justice Ramajois said the good points in this ancient law text must be taken and the irrelevant and unsuitable ones discarded. He opined that Manusmiriti elaborated on the "right to happiness" which contained within its ambit all other rights developed by western jurisprudence.

Dalit activists in Jaipur have taken strong exception to then President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam making a reference to "Manusmiriti" while extolling the virtue of not accepting gifts that come with a purpose, saying his citation from the ancient Hindu treatise was "unwarranted" and had "hurt the sentiments of Dalits" by according respectability to Manu’s pronouncements.

Mr. Kalam, addressing a function at the India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi on Thursday, had remarked while quoting from "Manusmiriti" that by accepting gifts, the divine light in the person gets extinguished. Centre for Dalit Rights (CDR) chairperson P. L. Mimroth said the outgoing President need not have quoted from the archaic Hindu code of law that had created the Varna system under which the higher castes for centuries denied all basic human rights and dignity to Dalits. "For us, Manu only symbolizes the unjust social order imposed on Dalits from time immemorial."

Mr. Mimroth said Mr. Kalam, shortly demitting the highest constitutional office in the country, should not have made the "unwarranted reference" to an antiquated treatise which was squarely responsible for discrimination against Dalits and flew in the face of the constitutional ideal of a casteless society.

"Quoting from Manusmiriti amounts to paying homage to a figure who represents all that is unjust in the Indian society," said Mr. Mimroth. He added that Mr. Kalam could have mentioned any of the hundreds of literary, spiritual or religious figures – such as the acclaimed Tamil poet Sumbramanya Bharathi – to emphasize his point.

The Rajasthan convener of the National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) and PUCL State president, Than Singh, said Mr. Kalam’s reference to Manusmiriti was "shocking and strange" in view of the known fact that the unabated oppression of Dalits was because of the edicts prescribed in the treatise. "The President’s remarks have without doubt injured the emotions of Dalits who looked up to him for upholding constitutional values all these years," he added.

Dharma is the everlasting friend. It is essential not only for the individual’s happiness but also for the happiness of other individuals who constitute the family and the society," said Justice Shri Rama Jois, the Governor of Jharkhand. Speaking on his latest book, "The Eternal Values in Manusmiriti", at the Indian Institute of World Culture under the aegis of IGNCA - Southern Regional Centre, he elucidated upon the ancient text, regarded as the oldest codification of rules of dharma.
 Posted on August 04, 2007



  Freddi Joseph Khudai Khidmatgar.

Chief Editor Masihi Sansar


Before leaving the Raj Bhawan to contest forthcoming presidential elections Rajasthan Governor Pritbha Patil has forwarded the controversial anti conversion religious bill 2005 to the President Abdul Kalam for his approval. The Governor did not give her judgment on the bill. The assembly had passed the bill on May 7, 2006. The governor returned it to the government with some objections and suggestions. Patil had observed that the bill could have an adverse impact on the secular credential of the nation and state. She also pointed out a lack of clarity in some of the clauses like conversion through "deceit" and 'force' but the BJP government passed the bill again in assembly without changing its draft and returned it to her mid–May this year. The Bill says:-

 * A person indulging in conversion through allurement, force or deceit will be punished with imprisonment of 2 to 5 years.* A fine up to Rs 50,000 can be imposed on the guilty.* Institutions can lose their recognition for indulging in conversions.* The investigation officer will not be less than a Deputy Superintendent of Police.* Interestingly the bill says converted Hindus can revert to their original religion. But a Christian or Muslim adopting Hinduism cannot return to Christianity or Islam as well.

According to the constitution India is secular country and not a theocratic state. The government neither can control the religion of the citizens nor interfere it. But it is a matter of great surprise that government is controlling and interfering the religions of the Indian citizens by making laws that are absolutely against the spirit of the Indian constitution. According to the constitution religion is not an issue for the government but practically to-day the religion is the biggest issue for some of the political parties and these parties are misusing their political power to snub the religious freedom of the citizens. It is also notable that so far no case of conversion through 'deceit' and 'force' has been detected throughout the country. So far anti-secularism parties have passed anti - conversion bill/ laws in nine states of India. That means in one third of India the religion of the Indian citizens is being controlled by the state. It is a clear indication that the country is heading to wards becoming a theocratic state.

It is a matter of great regret that the Indian Christian leadership has miserably been failed to realize the seriousness of the present situation and is totally unaware of its afterwards consequences. Neither it could bring awareness among the Christian masses nor make the society at large to realize that the religious rights of the Christians are virtually being killed in this country. Silence of the Christian leadership over this issue has given the signal to the nation that the Christians are guilty.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has cleared once far all that the Caesar has no right over the religious right of the people by saying that give God what belongs to God and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. It is a matter of some relief and earnest hope that Paritbha Patil is going to be the President of India. Hopefully she will discharge her duty to force the Indian Government to work according to the secular spirit of the Indian consitution of the country



Freddi Joseph
    Khudai Khidmatgar      

Opponents of reservation policy for Dalits have found another trick to oppose the development of the Dalits. Now they are raising hue and cry against the benefit of reservation to the creamy layer among the Dalits. These people are not other than those who have been oppressing the Dalits since last four thousand years in this country. They plead when a Dalit reaches a certain point of development he should not be allowed to enjoy the benefit of reservation policy. They further say that reservation should not exceed the limit of 50%. If this formula is to be adopted it must not be imposed on Dalits alone. It must be imposed on all the sections of the society. 50% agricultural land must be given to the Dalits, 50% factories be given to the Dalits. They must have 50% seats in the parliament and states assemblies. On the same lines all the sources of income and honor must be divided between Dalits and other groups of the society.

Then there is a theory of capability or competency. They say that ‘Dalits’ are not competent for certain high level professions. Where as practical fact is that when a man is given responsibility only then he will be able to show his competency. Britishers were of the opinion that not only Shudras but all the Indians including Brahamins and Kshatreis were not capable for ruling India. They presented an offer to Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru to let them stay in India for 20 years more, during this period they will train the Indians to rule the country. Pandit ji rejected their offer and said that Indians were competent to run their country. So the Indians took the charge of the country from them and proved their competency to rule the country. Lalu Parshad a Dalit has been given the charge of railway, in India he is the first railway minister who not only stopped the heavy annual increase in the railway fare and freight but also gave new better look to the railway within the same sources of income. In India Christian educational and health institutions are leading ones in their respective spheres. Just see! who are the people that are running these institutions? Majority of them are Dalits. So hue and cry of competency theory is another trickery to prevent the development of the Dalits.

There is still another fraud, which is being tried to prevent the development of the ‘Dalits’. It is being pleaded that the base of reservation policy should be economy and not caste. They people are trying to hide the fact that ‘Dalits’ were victimtized on the base of caste and not economy. So the remedy of their sufferings lies in the reservation based on caste and not on economic factor.

The Himachal Pradesh Anti Conversion Bill is not yet enacted as Law
but started Harassing Christian Minority in the State

The Care and service to the destitute orphan children by Pastor Behal from Kangra in Himachal Pradesh – an army retired captain has been charged as anti social activist by Siva Sena, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) - the World Hindu Council. A Drug Addict Rehabilitation Center at Kullu attacked and counselors arrested with false charges.

Mr. Sam Abraham a senior Christian leader from Himachal Pradesh informed to All India Christian Council that a large number of Hindu fanatics led by the leaders and activists of Bajrang Dal, Siva Sena and VHP assembled at the gate of Pastor Behal’s resident on January 21, 2007 and demanded him to close down the children home and leave the place. Dr. Abraham Mathai – Vice President of Maharashtra Minority Commission informed Ajay Yadav – Superintendent of Police, Kangra that any unwanted incident should be prevented and Pastor Behal, his family and orphan children must be protected from Hindu fanatics groups.

Latter Ms. Sudha Devi – Sub-Division Magistrate of Kangra told to All India Christian Council that the Police forces have dispersed the Hindu Fanatics assembled at the resident of Pastor Behal. Ms Sudha Devi also told that Hindu fanatics have submitted a memorandum against Pastor Behal with charges that Pastor Behal has mistreated the orphan children and converting them to Christian.

Pastor Behal and his family have been living in Kangra for last twenty years. He hails from Punjab and started rendering his service of care to the destitute children after he retire from army.

Another attack happened in Himachal Pradesh. The Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Center “Last Restore” at Kullu has been under Hindu fanatic attack. Four of the counselors have been booked and arrested on January 17, 2007 with false charges.

Mr. Doorja – Sub Inspector of Kullu Police station told to the All India Christian Council that Mr. Rajesh Toppo, Mr. Nizam Minthang, Mr. Gopal Singh Bhatia and Mr. Lalboi have been booked (FIR NO. 44/07) under the section of IPC 295A, 341, and 342. Latter they were produced before the magistrate and released on bail.

Mr. Lalboi – one of the accused told to All India Christian Council that Mr. Amos – the complaint from Gaziabad and Binod Naini from Delhi were going through the rehabilitation with the consents of their parents, ran away from the center without any information.

Both the addicts did not have money to reach their home and they approached a man for financial help but latter the man happened to be an activist and leader of VHP. Instead of helping them financially, he took both the addicts to Kullu Police station and helped them to file complain against the rehabilitation center.  Mr. Lalboi said that they were accused falsely for very service of care and love rendered to drug addicts.  Dr. John Dayal – Member of National Integration Council, General Secretary of All India Christian Council said that The Himachal Pradesh Anti Conversion Bill 2006 is not yet enacted as law of the state but started harassing minority Christian NGOs rendering humanitarian service to destitute of the state. He strongly condemns the police forces, district authorities and Hindutva forces for accusing falsely to the Christian minorities in the state.

The Last Resort – the Drug Addiction Rehabilitation center still has 34 drug addicts who are under going the rehabilitation process. This service is rendered through Thangboi Haokip – son of Mr. Sanson Haokip – former minister of Manipur state.

Many human rights organizations and political parties have appealed to State Government to repeal the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill 2006 which was passed on December 29, 2006 at Dharamsala. The bill bans any force conversion and defaulters will be imprisoned up to 2 years and/or fined Rs. 25,000.00. Bill also require 30 days prior information to state authorities if any person wants to change faith and religion which is totally against the freedom of religion provided in Article 25 of Indian Constitution and 18 of UN Universal Declaration.

All India Christian Council has appealed to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi - President of All India Congress Committee to use her office to appeal Himachal Pradesh Government to reverse the controversial and draconian bill. Christian Council has also appealed Mrs. Gandhi to set up an anti party activity against Shri Virbharda Singh - Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. ( George MS )

An Open Letter to Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India : By Nishikant Waghmare

Dr.Manmohan Singh
Hon'ble Prime Minister Of India
Race Course Road,New Delhi

Most Respected Dr. Manmohan Singh Ji,

I am happy to know that our Nation's Government of India celebrating the 2550th "Buddha Mahaparinirvana Anniversary" is being commemorated with great solemnity throughout India. Government of India for this purpose in the Ministry of Culture has set up a National Committee under your Chairmanship.

The Minister of Tourism & Culture, Mrs. Ambika Soni, is the Vice-Chairperson of the National Committee and also heads the Implementation Committee entrusted with the task of implementing the various programmes chalked out for a year and for the whole country. 2550 the Buddha Anniversary programme was inaugurated on 13 May 2006 (Buddha Purnima Day) by yourself and was attended by many important leaders including religious leaders.

A number of events have been planned including an important International Conference at Bodhgaya on the theme of Buddhism and the 21st Century from February 4 to 6, 2007. The closing ceremony will be held at Kushinagar (the place of the Mahaparinirvana in eastern Uttar Pradesh) on the Buddha Purnima day.

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that The three Sub-Groups of Implementation Committee has set –up and for Conferences and Publications Committee Convener Dr. Bhalachandra Mungekar invited me to attend Bodhgaya International conference on February 4-6, 2007 on this historic occasion I wish to hand over my "Resolution relating to Ambedkarites and Buddhist of the World." Along with Dr.Bhalachandra Mungekar in Conference at Bodhgaya on February 4, 2007.

Mr. Prime Minister, after 60 years of Independence we must give due justice and human face to Buddhist people of India in the land of Buddha and Nation of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar who has given us one of the finest Constitution in the world which we all love and respect Bharat Rattna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar for his contribution and Chairmanship.

Dr. Ambedkar's role as a prominent constitution maker of India is quite well known. However, his views on religion, particularly his reasons for renouncing Hinduism, the religion of his birth, are not as widely known. Ambedkar who was born in an "untouchable" family carried on a relentless battle against untouchability throughout his adult life. In the last part of his life, he renounced Hinduism and became a Buddhist. What were his reasons for doing so?

A detailed answer to this question can be obtained by studying his Buddha and His Dhamma, Annihilation of Caste, Philosophy of Hinduism, Riddles in Hinduism etc. Nonetheless, some of his articles, speeches and interviews before and after his conversion to Buddhism throw some light on this question.

Ambedkar's statement in 1935 at Yeola Conference is quite instructive in this regard. Ambedkar believed that the untouchables occupied a "weak and lowly status" only because they were a part of the Hindu society. When attempts to gain equal status and "ordinary rights as human beings" within the Hindu society started failing,

 Ambedkar thought it was essential to embrace a religion which will give "equal status, equal rights and fair treatment" to the untouchables. He clearly said to his supporters "select only that religion in which you will get equal status, equal opportunity and equal treatment."

The Government of India must hand over the management of one of the Holiest Shrines of world the Maha Bodhi Temple, amending the Management Act of 1949. Millions of Buddhists across the world are upset as non-Buddhists have the control over the Holiest Shrine of Buddhists. We Buddhist must have control over the management.

We the Buddhist of India wish to make an appeal to all the world's religious and political leaders to demand immediate dissolution of the temple management committee to hand over control of Maha Bodhi Temple in the hands of Indian Buddhists.

If the managements of Hindu Temples, Churches, Mosques and Gurudwaras are not under the control of other sects, then why not so in the case of the Maha Bodhi temple in the hands of Buddhists. Buddhists had been given very little role in managing the affairs of the temple for over five decades. Maha Bodhi Temple was given a UNESCO Heritage...

Wisdom and compassion – the way forward! May peace prevail in India!! May peace prevail on Earth!!!

Yours in the Mission,
Nishikant Waghmare

Posted on August 31, 2007


               JOYTIRAO PHULE-----------SAVITRIBAI PHULE--------------DR. AMBEDKAR              


Nishikant Waghmare

Mahatma Jotirao Phule, Social Reformer of India, stared the fight against castes exclusion in our education system . His book titled Slavery took the Marathi world by storm in 1873. It was Phule who told the Hunter Commission in 1882 that the British were collecting revenue from Shudras (Backwards) and Ati-Shudras (Dalits) to educate upper-caste Brahmins. This, he claimed, was atrocious and the remedy he suggested was universalisation of primary education. Later his disciple Dr.  B.R.Ambedkar demanded equality of opportunity from the Simon Commission in 1928. It is from his memorandum one discovers that enrolment of lower castes in colleges was zero in 1882 and just one per cent in 1923-24. These facts have never been discussed in our mainstream discourses.

Government of India's decision to extend 27 per cent proposed quota to OBC (Other Backwards) in higher educational institutions. The attack by elites and the corporate sector against the proposed quotas for OBCs in the IITs, IIMs, and Central Universities, and reservation in the private sector for SCs and STs is deplorable though predictable. They condemn the proposals on the ground that quotas would jeopardize merit and efficiency, which are the two main planks of a globalize and competitive economy. It is distressing that the defenders of merit forget that they
are condemning nearly 80 per cent of the country's population as non-meritorious, inefficient and unworthy of occupying a due space in the overall structure of entitlements.

Note what M. K. Gandhi said about the Caste. And how shamelessly he defended it "Caste has nothing to do with religion. Varna and Ashrama are institutions which have nothing to do with caste. The law of Varna teaches us that we have each one of us to earn our bread by following the ancestral calling. It defines not our rights but our duties. The callings of a Brahmin- spiritual leader-and a scavenger are equal and their due performance carries equal merit before God and at one time seems to have carried identical reward before man. Both were entitled to their livelihood..." The Harijan, July 2, 1936. 

Occupation was the defining category that determined hierarchies in Manus's Varnaashrama. Manu assumed that economic and social orders complemented each other.  Abraham Lincoln says; "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy." Various philosophers, political scientists and writers have given numerous definitions of democracy. A relentless champion of human rights and staunch believer in democracy, Dr  B.R. Ambedkar says, "Democracy is not a form of government, but a form of Social Organization."
Dr Ambedkar believed that in democracy revolutionary changes in the economic and social life of the people are brought about without bloodshed. The conditions for that are as follows: (1) there should not be glaring inequalities in society i.e. privilege for one class; (2) the existence of an opposition; (3) equality in law and administration: (4) observance of constitutional morality: (5) no tyranny of the majority: (6) moral order of society: (7) public conscience."
Addressing the Constituent Assembly, he suggested certain devices essential to maintain democracy: "(i) Constitutional methods (ii) not to lay liberties at the feet of a great man (iii) make political democracy a social democracy."
Empowering India "Bring into the mainstream all those kept out"? It involves the establishment of a social-political order in which no discrimination takes place on the basis of race, caste, creed or sex and where all citizens enjoy equal opportunities and at least an acceptable minimum quality of living.

Dr. Ambedkar is one of the most famous Indians of the last century. Father of the Indian Constitution and one of the greatest Indian intellectuals and political agitators, Dr. Ambedkar was born into an "Untouchable" Caste. After 2000 Years of Man's anti-human laws when India needed a new lawgiver, she turned to one who was born an "Untouchable". On October 14, 1956 in Nagpur, Central India, Dr. Ambedkar, along with half a million other Dalits, converted to Buddhism- Dr.Ambedkar's  interpretation of Buddhism is a modern and humanistic one. Such is the intensity of he problem and the yearning for dignity.

Dr. Amertaya Sen Said, The real reason why the erstwhile "untouchables" or the poorest of the poor have the freedom to argue today is that the working of democracy - with all its inadequacies - has created a real shift in power to the deprived and dispossessed.

"I tell you, religion is for man and not man for religion. If you want to organize, consolidate and be successful in this world, change this religion, […] The religion that does not teach its followers to show humanity in dealing with its o-religionists is nothing but a display of a force. The religion that teaches its followers to suffer the touch of animals but not the touch of human beings is not a religion but a mockery. The religion that compels the ignorant to be ignorant and the poor to be poor is not a religion but a visitation!"----Dr. B.R Ambedkar.

Today's UPA government got 80 Secretary's posts in New Delhi one SC and one ST holding a post as Secretary of Union Government, as per my reading goes in last 59 years not even 10 IAS officers  being  appointed to Secretary post  in Union Government or Chief Secy. in State? In politics though 22% MLAs and MPs are from our lot, portfolios like Home, Finance, Industry, Commerce, Power, Revenue, Commercial taxes, excise, transport, irrigation, and  H.R.D. and Communication are still the privilege of the Upper Castes. What we can achieve?                                
My fear is that when the State, the Central Government and the PSUs in the country could not achieve even 22% reservation in the last 59 years, how would affirmative  action help? I wish to inform you that it is urgent need to revamp the administrative reforms and most of the government agencies in the county. "Reservations per se are not the Solution. The focus should be on high-quality education for all." 
An empowered India bereft of the respect for women, values of civilised existence and morality will collapse in the face of the disaffection and discontent of those who have suffered for centuries. Day in and day out we take pride in claiming that India has a 5000-year-old civilization. But the way the Dalits and those suppressed are being treated by the people who wield power and authority speaks volumes for the degradation of our moral structure and civilized standards.

Education is a change agent. What kind of change and progress can we anticipate if the education system is burdened with stereotype of the inherited merit of the few? How do we expect Universities to flourish and compete so long as we keep them as islands of caste prejudices and vanities?

The only substitute to quota and reservation is to create a more egalitarian social order guaranteeing equal opportunities to all and, simultaneously, to fight against all sources of inequality, exclusion and discrimination.


The writer is a Government Officer, Views expressed are personal.



Gaddi Nasheens of  Dera Sach Khand Ballan Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji and Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass ji have undertaken visits to many European countries including Britain, United States and Canada on various occasions from time to time to spread the mission of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Ji, to lay foundation stones of temples in the sacred memory of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Ji and attend inaugural ceremonies in these countries. In all these visits Sant Rama Nand Ji accompanied the Gaddi Nasheens. A detailed account of these visits is given below.

  1. 1st Holy Visit 14th August 1985 to 21st September 1985 United Kingdom.
  2. 2nd Holy Visit 2nd August 1986 to 27th September 1986 United Kingdom.
  3. 3rd Holy Visit 8th August 1988 to September 1988 United Kingdom.
  4. 4th Holy Visit 26th September 1990 to 19th November 1990 United Kingdom.
  5. 5th Holy Visit 12th March 1992 to 8th May 1992 United Kingdom and USA.
  6. 6th Holy Visit 9th October 1993 to 26th November 1993 UK, USA and Canada.
  7. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj inaugurated the opening ceremony of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple 181 Dudley Road Wolver Hampton West Midlands on 1st September 1985.
  8. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass ji Maharah and Sant Rama Nand Ji laid down the foundation stone of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Bhawan Union Row Hands worth Birmingham on 15th April 1990. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji paid 1100 pounds to the Birmingham Committee to commence the construction work of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Bhavan.
  9. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji inaugurated the opening ceremony of Shri Guru Ravidass Bahavan Union Row Hands worth Birmingham on 12 Match 1992. On this inauguration programme the sangat vowed in the Holy feet of Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj in front of Holy Book Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The total of 84000 pounds approximately was denoted by the sangat in the holy feet of 108 Sant Garib Dass ji Maharaj on the inauguration day and all the funds were given to the Executive Committee of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha Birmingham.
  10. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji laid foundation stone of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple Leicester on 22nd March 1992.
  11. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji inaugurated the opening ceremony of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple Southampton on 22nd March 1992.
  12. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji laid foundation stone of Shri Guru Ravi D ass Temple Coventry on 19th April 1992.
  13. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji visited all the Guru Ravi Dass Temples in United Kingdom and also some of the Sikh, Hindu Ram and Krishan Temples during their visits to United Kingdom. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji further motivated the entire population belonging to the Indian Subcontinent to unite and follow the philosophy of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Ji.
  14. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji inaugurated the opening ceremony of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple Sacramento, California United States of America on 16th May 1992.
  15. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji inaugurated the opening ceremony of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Bhavan 1 Vicarage Road Strood Kent on Sunday 31st October 1993.
  16. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj and  Sant Rama Nand Ji laid foundation stone of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple New York United States of America at the end of 1993.
  17. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji inaugurated the opening ceremony of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple 28 Carlyle Road Manor Park London E 12 6BN on Sunday 28th November 1999.
  18. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji inaugurated the opening ceremony of Ravi Dass Community Center 26 Carlyle Road Manor Park London E 12 6BN on Sunday 28th November 1999.
  19. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji laid foundation stone of the Extension Hall and adjoining balcony of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple 282 Western Southall Middlesex.
  20. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji inaugurated the opening ceremony of New Hall of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Bhavan I Vicarage Road Strood Kent on Sunday 17th September 2000.
  21. Shri 108 Sant Garib Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji inaugurated the opening ceremony of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple and Community Center Letch worth and Hitch in Hearts.
  22. Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Ram Nand laid foundation stone of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple Auckland New Zeeland on 31st December 2000.
  23. Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji laid foundation stone of Shri Guru Ravidass Temple Paris France on 16th April 2001.
  24. Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji inaugurated the opening ceremony of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple Vernon City Italy.
  25. Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji inaugurated the Launching ceremony of Shri Guru Ravi Dass International Organization for Human Rights (Regd.) as International incorporation on Sunday 25th May 2002 at Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple 26/28 Carlyle Road Manor Park London E12 6BN. This organization will safeguard the human rights of the poor and disadvantaged and downtrodden society of India and anywhere in the world and to stop its abuse throughout the world.
  26. Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji inaugurated the release of Special Publication of Souvenir 2003 on Shri Guru Ravi Dass International Organization for Human Rights Regd. as incorporation in United Kingdom at IL LEONE D ORA VIA-  DANTE -17, 2030-TLEGATE (BG) *BERGAMOIALY* on 25th May 2003.
  27. Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass Ji Maharaj and Sant Rama Nand Ji inaugurated the 2nd International Religious Function of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Darbar Voltaire Rome Italy on 17th August 2003.

Millennium Awards:

1.    Millennium award 2000 presented to Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass Ji Maharaj, Sant Rama Nand Ji in appreciation of their significant services and cooperation towards the uplift of Ravidassia community all over the world by Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha Bedford. The Lane (Ashburnham Road) Bedford MK 40 IED.

2.    Millennium award 2000 presented to Shri 108 Niranjan dass Ji Maharaj, Sant Rama Nand Ji  Dera Sant Sarwan Dass Ji Maharaj, Sach Khand Ballan (Punjab) by Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha, Southall, Middlesex London on 6th August 2000.

3.    Award of Honor by Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha Bay area, Fremont proudly presented Millennium award to Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass Ji Maharaj, Sant Rama Nand Ji Dera Sant Sarwan Dass Ji Maharaj, Sach Khand Ballan district Jalandhar (Punjab) for upliftment of Dalit Community in India, for spreading the teachings of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Ji Mahraj and motivate the community to construct more Guru Ghars in India and abroad. And for brave efforts to construct and manage the historical Temple Begumpura (Shri Guru Ravi Dass Janam Sthan Mandir) at Seer Goverdhanpur Varnasi U.P. India (Birth place of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Ji), and for establishment of Sant Sarwan Dass Charitable Hospital and education institutions in India on August 11, 2000 at Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple, Sacramento, California USA.

4.    Award of Honor by Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha Bay area, Fremont California USA proudly presented Millennium award to Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass Ji Maharaj award to Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass Ji Maharaj, Sant Rama Nand Ji Dera Sant Sarwan Dass Ji Maharaj, Dera Sach Khand Ballan, District Jalandhar (Punjab) for upliftment of Dalits/Ramdasia Community in India, for spreading the teachings of Shri Guru Ravi Dass Ji Mharaj and motivate the community to construct more Guru Ghars/Temples in the name of Guru Ji in India and abroad. And for brave efforts to construct and manage the historical Temple Begumpura (Shri Guru Ravi Dass Janam Sathan Mandir) at Seer Goverdhanpur varanasi U.P. India (Birth place of Shri Guru  Ravi Dass Ji), and for establishment of Sant Sarwan Dass Charitable hospital and educational institutions in Punjab. This award was presented on 12th August 2000 at Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple, Pittsburgh, California USA

5.    Millennium Award presented to Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass JI Maharaj, Sant Rama Nand Ji Dera Sant Sarwan Dass Ji Maharj, Sach Khand Balln, District Jalandhar (Punjab) by Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha, Vancouver Canada on 13th August 2000.

6.    Millennium Award presented to Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass Ji Maharaj, Sant Rama Nand Ji Dera Sant Sarwan Dass Ji Mharaj, Sach Khand Ballan, District Jalndhar (Punjab) by Shri Guru Ravi Dass Marg, Astoria, New York on13th august 2000.

7.    Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha (Medway) Strood Kent, Millennium award 2000 presented to Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass Ji Mahraj, sant Rama Nand Ji Dera Sant Sarwan Dass Ji Maharaj, Sach Khand Ballan, District Jalandhar (Punjab) India in acknowledgement of the Social services for the Ravidasia Community on 17th September 2000.



Virender Singh Gill

Kanshi Ram was born to Bishan Kaur and Hari Singh at Khawapur village in Ropardistrict of Punjab. After completing his Bachelor's degree in Science (B.Sc) from the Government College at Ropar affilated to The Punjab University he joined the offices of Survey of India through a reserved quota for Dalits.During his tenure in the Survey Department in 1965 he joined the agitation started by Scheduled CasteEmployees of Government of India to prevent the abolition of holiday commemoration Dr. B.R.Ambedkar's birthday.

In 1970 he formed the All India Backward and Minority Employees Federation. He started his attempt of unifying the Dalit vote bank in 1981 and by 1984 he founded the Bahujan Samaj Party.He represented the 11th Loksabha from Hoshiarpur Constituency and in 2001 he publicy announced Kumari Mayawati as his successor.Last Days as of April, 2005, Kanshi Ram has spent more than a year recovering from health problems and has not appeared publicly during that time. He has been convalescing at the home of Mayawati, and members of his family have claimed that she has been essentially holding him captive in order to control the BSP. On April 8, 2005, the Supreme Court of India ordered a team of doctors to examine his physical and mental condition.[1]

On October 9, 2006, he died of severe heart attack in New Delhi. Ram, who has been suffering of multiple ailments like stroke, diabetes and hypertension, was virtually bed-ridden for more than two years.Author as an author Kanshiram wrote two books

"Birth of BAMCEF"

"An Era of the Stooges" (Chamcha Age) Kanshi Ram: from BAMCEF to the Bahujana Samaj Party Kanshi Ram was born in 1934 as a Raedasi Sikh, a community of Punjabi Chamars converted to Sikhism. The family had 4 or 5 acres of land, some of it inherited and the rest acquired through government allocation after Independence), a small landed background is characteristic of many Scheduled Caste legislators but remains acomparative rarity for Dalits in general. Kanshi Ram's father was himself 'slightly' literate, and he managed to educate all his four daughters and three sons. Kanshi Ram, the eldest, is the only graduate. He was given a reserved position in the Survey of India after completing his BSc degree,and in 1958 he transferred to the Department of Defence Production as a scientific assistant in a munitions factory in Poona. Kanshi Ram had encountered no Untouchability as a child, and overt discrimination was not a phenomenon within the educated circles of his adult life. But his outlook underwent a sudden change in 1965 when he became caught up in a struggle initiated by other Scheduled Caste employees to prevent the abolition of a holiday commemorating Dr Anibedkar's birthday.'4 During this conflict Kanshi Ram encountered a depth of high-caste prejudice and hostility towards Dalits that was a revelation to him. His almost instant radicalisation was completed soon after by a reading of Ambedkar's Annihilation of Caste: he read the book three times in one night, going entirely without sleep.

Kanshi Ram's introduction to the political ideas of Ambedkar - he has never been attracted to Buddhism - was through his Mahar Buddhist colleague and friend at the munitions factory, D. K. Khaparde. Together the two of them began formulating ideas for an organisation to be built by educated employees from the Scheduled and Backward castes. Such an organisation would work against harassment and oppression by high-caste officers, and also enable the often inward-looking occupants of reserved postions to give something back to their own communities. So Kanshi Ram and Khaparde began to contact likely recruits in Poona.

Kanshi Ram talked persuasively about how Ambedkar had struggled for all the down-trodden classes, and how the Scheduled Castes, Tribes and also the Backwards and Minorities were all victims of Brahminism.

This was conceived as a political organisation parallel to BAMCEF: it shared the same President in Kanshi Ram, the same office, and many of the same members. DS4 was aquasi- rather than fully fledged political party, partly because government servants were forbidden to take part in electoral politics. But DS4 made little concrete progress, and late in 1984 Kanshi Ram took the plunge and formed the Bahujana Samaj Party (a variant on the name of Phule's nineteenth-century organisation). Inevitably, this caused major strains in BAMCEF ranks. Their agitational activities had placed many of his colleagues from the Poona and early Delhi periods in a delicate position asgovernment servants and, in any case, the political loyalty of many of them was to the several strands of the Republican Party. There were also strains arising fromKanshi Ram's will to total domination of all three organisations. And the need for money was rising with the push into politics: one of the Maharashtra workers recalls delivering Kanshi Ram a purse of forty thousand rupees collected from Maharashtra in 1984. These several strains grew more severe over the next two years, and early in 1986 a major split took place. Kanshi Ram announced at that time that he was no longer willing to work for any organisation other than the Bahujana Samaj Party. His transition from social worker to politician was complete.

Kanshi Ram is more an organiser and political strategist than an innov-ative thinker or charismatic public speaker. While his Ambedkarite ideol-ogy has remained constant and lacking in any innovation, there has been a progressive sharpening of hisrhetoric. The early issues of BAMCEF's monthly magazine, The Oppressed Indian, were full of his didactic exposi-tions of Ambedkar's views on Indian society.

While Kanshi Ram and Mayawati denied authorship of such slogans, they served as a simple and dramatically offensive marker of the party's ideological position.Kanshi Ram's strategy and his larger understanding of social change are now considerably evolved. He no longer believes in the primacy of social reform. Rather, expenditure of effort on any object other than the capture of government is seen to besuperfluous. It is administrative power that will bring about desired social change, not vice versa. So he declines to spell out policies on basic issues such as the liberalisation of the Indian economy or on land reforms. His view is that such issues are irrelevant to the project of gaining power, and that the appropriate poli-cies will fall into place once power is attained. His picture of India is of a kind of holy war on the part of the bahujan samaj against their Brahminwadi oppressors. In the context of this war debates about policy are almost frivolities. This is a stance of pure fundamentalism, but it also frees him to engage in the most ruthless pragmatism in the name of capturing power.Consistent with this stance, Kanshi Ram has become increasingly critical of the institution of reservation in government employment. Reservation is a 'crutch' - useful for a cripple, but a positive handicap for someone who wants to run on his own two feet (Kanshi Ram interview:1996). He now throws off the line that once thebahujan samaj get to power throughout India, it will be they who can condescend to the Brahmins by giving them reservation proportional to their own meagre population. There is more than a little bravado in this, but there is no doubt that Kanshi Ram is now hostile to the system of institutional preference that was the indispensable basis of his own personal and polit-ical career. It seems that he believes that reservation has now done enough for the Scheduled Castes. He notes that of some 500 Indian Admin-istrative Service (LAS) Officers in Uttar Pradesh, 137are from the Scheduled Castes. By comparison, there are only seven lAS officers from the Backward Castes, six of them Yadavs (Hindustan Times, 6 April 1994). His point is not that there are now too many Scheduled Caste officers -their number conforms strictly to the legal quota - but too few from the Backward Castes. He apparently assumes that the capture of political power will automatically transform the composition of the bureaucratic elite.

The Bahujana Samaj Party first made headway in Punjab, Kanshi Ram's home State, but his primary political task was to wean the Chamars of Uttar Pradesh from Congress. It was Kanshi Ram's fortune that he built the party at the historical moment that the long-term Congress decline became a landslide. The formal entry of his party into Uttar Pradesh was in a by-election in 1985 for the Lok Sabha seat of Bijinor, in which its candidate was Mayawati. She is a Jatav (or Chamar), the daughter of a minor government official in Delhi, and had completed a BA and LLB from the University of Delhi. Mayawati had made contact with Kanshi Ram in 1977 while she was a student, and had gradually been drawn into his organisation.

Kanshi Ram had prepared the ground carefully. He had selected organisers and candidates from a variety of social backgrounds.The party won only two Parliamentary seats in 1989, and one in 1991; Kanshi Ram himself subsequently won a by-election from UP in 1992. Among Backward Castes, Kanshi Ram's strongest support has come from the Kurmis. They have shunned Congress for what they see to have been its culpable failure to prevent the demolition of the mosque, and have given considerable support to Mulayam Singh's Samajwadi Party and some support to Kanshi Ram. Thus in the municipal elections of Uttar Pradesh in November 1995 and in the national and UP elections of 1996 it seems that UP Muslims were prepared to vote for whichever party was locally the strongest anti-BJP force. In short, the politics of post-Congress Uttar Pradesh are currently cast largely in terms of community vote banks. Political strategy is a matter of positioning one's party so as to retain one s core vote bank and also attract others at the margins. At least as much as any other player, Kanshi Ram has adapted to this game with calculating skill.




Raju Kamble




After India’s independence in 1947, Indians slowly started venturing on the shores outsides India. India’s membership with Commonwealth countries helped immigration to U.K and other countries. Movement to U.K was more apparent and visible. Dalits, especially the ones from Punjab became part of this move. However in the case of Dalits, the major contributing factor in making this immigration possible was the extention of Dr.Ambedkar’s powerful movement to empower dalits in India. The beginning of implementation of reservations to SC/ST started appointing dalits as officers. One of such appointment of a dalit (SC/ST) was in the position of Under Secretary for Passports in 1952 in Punjab. The officer was Mr.Ishwar Dass Pawar(1). Between 1954 till 1961 he issued on an average 500 passports to the dalits every year. Those days getting passport was enough to make the move to U.K possible. This rule of issuing about 10% visas to the dalits was implemented until 1968. Thus it can be easily visualized that those SC/STs/ dalits, who entered England in the 50s and 60s could do so because of Dr.Ambedkar’s struggle to secure the rights of dalits.   


50s and 60s was a boom time for industrialized activities in England and hence the Indias, dalits too became part of the process of regular employment. Once they settled down with plenty of employment opportunities, they started looking for social interaction, religious activities. Dalits in England started organizing themselves under the Guru Ravidass Sabhas, Balmiki Sabhas and under the Dr.Ambedkar/Buddhist Organisations. Number started growing. Families started joining. Due to the significant number of dalits, they started settling down in different cities. In each city, the Guru Ravidass Sabhas and Ambedkarite Organisations sprang up. In this article, an attempt has been made to review the growth as well as analyse the functioning, the role and responsibilities of the Guru Ravidass Sabhas, towards the society to which it belong.


Emergence of Guru Ravidass Sabhas


The first Guru Ravidass Sabha was built in Wolverhampton, U.K in 1968. Due to the constant flow of new dalit immigrants (thanks to the Scheduled caste Joint Secretary, passport division, Shimla) to England in the last 30 years, 26 Guru Ravidass Sabhas have been built in England alone. It is by no means a less achievement. U.S.A has about 10 Guru Ravidass Societies, while Canada has 4. Not every society is named as Guru Ravidass Sabhas; some are Sabhas, some are societies and some have different names. In this article, Guru Ravidass Sabha will be used as a generic representative name for all the societies under the name of Guru Ravidass.

To organize oneself under the banner of Guru Ravidassji’s name is a straight pointer that the member who joins in this Sabha/Society is a dalit by default. This implies that the people who joined these Sabhas have declared and established their separate identity as a dalit community – who were once untouchables. Establishing a separate identity, identifying oneself openly with whatever ex-caste background thus matches with Dr.Ambedkar’s self-respect movement. Though the Ravidass Sabhas and Ambedkarite organizations of NRIs have been functioning separately, the one advantage is that they have not lost the common cause of being part of the Self-Respect movement, though in their own way. Guru Ravidass Sabhas have done a wonderful job of organizing the dalits, especially the Chamars of Punjab, outside India. It has kept a particular section of dalits organized. This is a step forward, when we see dalits all across India suffering from the syndrome of hiding their identity.

Let us now analyze the organization, the activities and objectives of the Guru Ravidass Sabhas. Guru Ravidass Sabhas, basically organize Sunday congregations (Satsangs). The Satsangs comprise an aarti (a prayer), the kirtan, reciting the verses of Guru Ravidassji and that of Kabir and Guru Nanak. Verses are also recited from the Guru Granth Sahab. The kirtan/aarti is then followed by the community lunch (langar).

These Sunday satsangs bring all the dalits together at a place. The advantage is that the dalits meet at a reasonably good frequency (weekly). This frequency of interaction would help the dalits in the long run to protect themselves as a community, since they are already organised. One cannot forget that this same community was made to suffer as slaves, untouchabes for more than 2000 years. As of now, not much of debate takes place among the members to find out why they were made to suffer for such a long time. But one day this mystery will make them restless and force them to ponder over the cause of their past slavery. They do feel the caste discrimination by the fellow caste Hindus/Sikhs in day to day life in England, Canada and U.S.A also. But its severity is quite toned down; plus they are not dependent on the caste Hindus for their employment like in India where 90% of dalits in Punjab are landless labours, who have to work in the fields of feudal lords for their survival. But their ( the dalit NRI’s) self esteem will some day force them to challenge this caste discrimination, even though it is a low profile one.  Even when the youth get into browls, they go back to castiest abusing. Some of the dalits in England have reported that the dalit youth are called by specific derogatory identification such as stinkers. I am sure, again some day, the dalit NRI youth will challenge these derogatory words.


Guru Ravidass Sabhas and Dalit Movement


As far as social movement is concerned, one of the drawbacks of Guru Ravidass Sabhas, is their almost complete disconnect with the mainstream dalit movement in India. There are practically no discussions at the Sabha temples about the development of dalit society backhome. Afterall Ravidass community has too ripped the benefits of social movement of Dr.Ambedkar during the period of 1916-1956. Even if we take the exclusive case of Punjab dalits, it was Dr.Ambedkar who was responsible for the abolition of Punjab Land Alienation Act of 1902. This was the single biggest stumbling block, which prevented dalits in Punjab from owning land. They even could not buy the houses in their own name.  If a scheduled Caste ever wanted to buy a house, he has to a make an arrangement with the member of a farming community and has to make the payment to the member of the farming country and the purchase would be done in the name of this member of the farming community. This was brought to the notice of Dr.Ambedkar when he visited Punjab as the member of Lothian Commission in 1932(2). Dr.Ambedkar struck down this law when he became the Law Minister of India. Hence Scheduled Castes of Punjab are exclusively indebted to Dr.Ambedkar for having made the legal provision to own houses and property in their own name. This paved the way for the Punjab Scheduled Castes to become eligible for acquiring the Indian passoport without which the scheduled castes would not have got the chance to migrate abroad. This is the single largest contribution of Dr.Ambedkar to the Punjab scheduled castes.

Having thus indebted even to the extent of acquiring the passport, Punjab Scheduled Castes are oblized to pay it back to the society. This is what was Dr.Ambedkar’s expectation from the beneficiaries of social movement.


What needs to be done to fulfill this obligation? Ravidas Sabhas must create Social Cells under their own organizations to discharge this obligation. The social cell should put aside a definite amount of funds for social development like education, creating self-employment, owning land and distributing among the landless scheduled castes, providing scholarships for higher studies abroad etc.


In spite of a strong presence of the Punjab scheduled castes in U.K, Canada and U.S.A startling statistics has been reported about the large number of landless laborers among the scheduled castes in Punjab. Scheduled Castes landowners of Punjab are less than 10%; that is to say that 90% of the Punjab scheduled castes are landless labourers (3). This data must bring the NRI Punjab scheduled castes out of the state of complacency. Punjab Scheduled Castes own 2.4% of Punjab’s land. That means the scheduled castes did not get any benefits of the green revolution in Punjab. Other communities got benefited by the green revolution but not the scheduled castes. Guru Ravidass Sabhas can play a vital role in bridging this gap between the scheduled castes and non-scheduled castes in the matter of landholding. They should try to buy some land in Punjab and distribute among the landless scheduled castes. This may look a stupendous task looking at the dimension of the problem. But it is better to make a positive contribution howsoever small it may be. In the coming 25 years one would see the results easily if this is started now on a micro-level. Even 5 acre land bought by one Guru Ravidass Sabha and distributed to 5 families; easily 200 families would become landowners assuming that there should be at least 40-50 Guru Ravidass Sabhas all over the world. Even though a small help, but it will create a chain reaction in establizing a strong sense of brotherhood in the community. This sense of brotherhood is by and large non-existent among the scheduled castes.


Guru Ravidass Sabhas should also provide financial assistance to the landless scheduled caste laborers to set up their own small businesses including their own grocery shops, vegetable shops and small scale industrial units. This will make them stand on their own feet. It will also help them to get out of the generation to generation transferred bondage of the feudal lords. The extent of exploitation of the landless scheduled castes by the feudal lords came to the surface during the episode of Talhan when :”Social Bycotts” were imposed on the landless scheduled caste laborers as a means to suppress the upsurge at scheduled caste dominant area like Boota Mandi in Jullander district. It was a shocking observation to note that in the 21st century, the scheduled castes in the prosperous state of Punjab which has been the land of social reforms of Guru Nanak and Sikh Gurus. It was all the more reflective of the weak and almost non-existent Dalit movement in PunjabPunjab population as against a national average scheduled caste population of 15%. One can imagine Guru Ravidass Sabhas (so also the Ambedkarite organizations) have to shoulder this responsibility. I am confident the Guru Ravidass Sabhas can accept this challenge and bring about the social and economic equality in Punjab. They must play this role of empowering the dalits in Punjab. This will provide the role model to all the states. inspite of the fact that the scheduled castes are 28% of the


Guru Ravidass Sabhas and Dr. Ambedkar


It has been observed that by and large the Guru Ravidass Sabhas have kept themselves away from the social struggle of Dr.Ambedkar. Guru Ravidass Sabhas must play a matured role now and say that Ambedkar and his struggle is not the monopoly of the Ambedkarite organizations. Guru Ravidass Sabhas should formulate their own acceptance level from among the vast dimensions of Dr.Ambedkar’s struggle. They, if they wish, can be selective in this. Dr.Ambedkar or Ambedkarism is no more a name of a person. It has much more diverse and comprehensive connotation. It has already become a theory of fight against human repression. Gail Omdevt defines AmbedkarismIndia, much as Marxism is; it defines the ideologies of the dalit movement and to a larger extent an even broader anti-caste movement.”(4). More so there is practically, barring the controversial spiritual aspect there is no difference between what Guru Ravidassji did in 15th century and what Dr.Ambedkar did in 20th century. The objectives of both the leaders of the dalit community were the same- to destroy the caste system, to create a casteless society and to provide social justice to the dalits/untouchables.  The only difference is the timing. Dr.Ambedkar did highlight the contribution of Guru Ravidass when he dedicated his book “The Untouchables” in 1948 to three saints who were born among the untouchables; namely Guru Ravidass, Nandnar and Chokha Mela. thus, “Ambedkarism is the theory of dalit liberation. Ambedkar is today a living force in


The Delhi Ambedkarite activists used to tell that it is Dr.Ambedkar who advised them to take out a procession on the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidass, way back in 1949. This is when Delhi dalits wanted to create their own festivals.


So it is hightime, Guru Ravidass Sabhas take the strong and modern struggle of Dr.Ambedkar in the right earnest. They must introduce vast literature of Dr.Ambedkar to its members and encourage its members to derive inspiration from this literature. This they can do it through its own organizational set up.

Guru Ravidass Sabhas must not stay away from the struggle and vast literature of Dr.Ambedkar. If they wish they could separate social struggle of Dr.Ambedkar from his message about religion and accept at least the non-religious aspect of Dr.Ambedkar’s struggle. This must be done urgently before it gets too late. Dalit movement needs the vital support of the resourceful Guru Ravidass Sabhas urgently. The suffering millions of dalits can not wait for too long.




  • Guru Ravidass Sabhas,especially,  the ones outside India have done an excellent job in organizing the Ravidass community of Punjab.
  • The Guru Ravidass Sabhas have provided courage to the Ravidassi community to come out openly and get organized under the name of Guru Ravidass, who is identified by all the Indians as a medieval saint born in the Chamar community. Thus Guru Ravidass Sabhas have become a symbol of fearless identity by the Scheduled Caste communities.
  • Guru Ravidass Sabhas have done very little to play a role in the development of the poor, suffering landless scheduled caste community in Punjab.
  • Guru Ravidass Sabhas must on an urgent basis create “Social Cells” under its organization to carry out the socio economic developmental and educational program for the deserving Scheduled Caste community in Punjab. Afterwards the same model can be extended to other states.  
  • Guru Ravidass Sabhas must set aside a sizable but small %age of their regular collection as “Education Fund” or “Social Fund” to run developmental program through its social cells.
  • As part of developmental program, Guru Ravidass Sabhas can take the following activities in India:


  1. Sponser scholarship to SCs in Punjab for higher studies outside India.
  2. Run/support dalit schools in Punjab.
  3. Buy land in Punjab and distribute among the landless scheduled caste laborers in Punjab.
  4. Provide financial assistance to landless, poor SCs to set up their own grocery, vegetable shops, automobile repair workshops etc.
  5. Provide financial assistance to landless poor SCs to set up small scale industrial type of businesses, self employment schemes etc.
  6. Guru Ravidass Sabhas must encourage their members to read and learn from the vast literature of Dr.Ambedkar. They must also encourage their members to derive inspiration from Dr.Ambedkar’s struggle’ especially the young generation.
  7. Sponser at least one family per Sabha for immigration to Canada or U.S.A. This will help our community grow in developed western countries.



1. “Religion as Social Vision” by Mark Juergensmeyer

2. Dr.Ambedkar and Punjab by D.C.Ahir

3. Dalit Sikh by Ronki Ram in Dalit International Newsletter. 

4.Dalits and the Democratic Revolution by Gail Omdevt



By Justice P.B. Sawnt (Retd.)

 No national society can be constructed, and if constructed will survive today, without at the same time reconstructing the international order on the same lines. Economically, environmentally and militarily, the concept of the nation – State belongs to the past. The world has become interdependent and the mankind has become a global family in the more ways than one. The advances in science and technology in the production, distribution and marketing of  the goods and services, including the military hard and software, weapons of mass destruction, the invasion of the space, the fast development in the communication and transportation industry, the increasing concentration and control of the economic and military power in fewer and fewer hands and the growing cultural homogenisation of the people spread far and wide, have left no option to any national group but to fall in line, submit to and be a part of the dominant power. The struggle of the national states today is not so much to maintain there independence as to remain as much unscathed as possible from the devouring influence of the powerful onslaught of the all persuasive authority.

 This does not mean that unless the international order becomes congenial, the nation – state should not construct themselves on rational, humanitarian, just and equitable basis. On the contrary, if the international order is to be rational and equitable, the beginning will have to be made by reconstructing the national societies on scientific, rational and egalitarian basis. However, it has to be constantly borne in mind that the dominant international forces opposed to the creation of such societies, will keep making constant endeavours to sabotage the emergence of such societies, and to topple them when created. It is therefore necessary, while striving to build such societies, that the nation States remain alert and ready to meet both external and internal challenges, make alliances with similar national societies, and build a counter international force to prevent the destruction of their internal experiments. It is the lack of sufficient attention paid to the anti-reconstruction forces, and the failure to muster sufficient internal and external forces against them, which has so far mostly resulted in the miscarriage of all such attempts.


 What should be the principles, which must be borne in mind for building any rational national and international social order today? Whatever the means and methods adopted to construct such order, the following irrefutable truths cannot be ignored, while building it.

Our Planet Earth

1. This planet, with all its resources on, under and above the earth, belongs to all men and women, wherever they may be born, living and working.

2. Every man and woman has right to reside, settle, work and move throughout and share equitably its physical, intellectual and cultural resources.

3. Every man and woman is under an obligation to live in co-operation with the nature, and not to pollute, or destroy the environment, or disturb the ecological balance.

4. No man or woman shall consume or use more resources than what isabsolutely necessary for his/her comfortable living and working.

5. No goods or services shall be produced, used or consumed which will pollute, damage or destroy air, soil, water or the non-renewable resources irreparably or endanger the ecological balance.

The National Social Order

6. The social order in every country shall be so organized that every man and woman shall have the right to live with dignity, and for that purpose he/she shall be secured all the human rights throughout his/her life.

7. The human rights will comprise of the physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual rights on the individual plane; and of the economic, civil, political, cultural and environmental rights on the social plane.

8. There shall be no social and economic discrimination or inequality between man and man and no individual shall dominate or exploit another.

9. All disputes between individual or groups of individuals shall be resolved by amicable methods and without resort to violence.

10. Men and women shall have equal rights in all spheres and in all matters. The establishment, preservation, protection and promotion of the family shall be the equal responsibility of both.

The International Order

11. There shall be no war or violence of any kind between nation and nation, or between social groups. All disputes between the nations and social groups shall be resolved by recourse to amicable methods. The peace and non-violence shall be the articles of facts and will be observed as matters of principle.

12. All nations and social groups shall enjoy equal rights, and no nation or social group shall exploit or dominate another by any means.   

13.  All weapons of mass destruction shall be banned and their designing, testing, manufacture, possession and use shall be made a criminal offence both by national and international law.    

14.  The nations shall be entitled to possess only the conventional weapons and only for the purpose of self-defence.

15.   No nation shall interfere in the internal affairs of another. Every nation shall respect the territorial and political integrity of the other. Every nation shall also respect the right of the other to develop itself according to its genius and desire, and shall not directly or indirectly impose its will or culture on another.

16.All nations shall be under an obligation to live peacefully and in co-operation wit h each other and to aid and assist each other in times of want and calamity, and disasters of all kinds.

17.   All nations shall be under an obligation to ban fanaticism, fundamentalism and terrorism of all kind within their borders, and prevent such activities across from within their borders.

God and Religion

18.  The natural force which pervades the entire universe is the creator of all the animate and inanimate objects. All plant and animal life owes its birth to that force. They grow, survive and perish according to the laws of that force. The concept of God is invented by the unenlightened Man to describe that force. The enlightened ones do not and should not harbour such illusions. The religion is nothing but an ethical code of conduct for the individual to govern his own conduct, his relations with the other individuals with the society at large, those who believe in God or cannot sustain or enforce the code without the awe-inspiring myth of God, ascribe the origin of religion to God.

Humanism, equality and righteous conduct constitute the only true religion, and all conduct of Man has to be oriented in them and judged by them. A code of conduct i.e. a religion which is bereft of them, is no religion at all. The self – sacrifice is the highest spiritualism and Man and women should try to cultivate it.

No religion i.e. the code of conduct may teach hatred of, and violence against, another or look down upon it. All religions i.e. the codes of conduct must respect each other and live in peace and co-operation with each other. Being the creatures of the same universal life-force, all human beings are equal, irrespective of the sex, race, region, religion, caste, creed or culture. Bearing the above in mind, Man is free to pursue his belief and abide by his faith, provided it does no harm to others.


A careful study of Buddhism will reveal that it in terms implies the above principles and envisages the construction of human society consistent with them. It is amazing that the Great Buddha, 2500 years ago, in 600 BC, when much of the world that we know today, was in a barbaric state, and violence, plunder and exploitation, slavery, intolerance, hatred and all other raw animal instincts of Man were governing his relations with others, could formulate these humanist principles, as the guiding beacon light for mankind. That a Great Master should have emerged on the scene in those times to preach and profess these rational principles is itself an unusual phenomenon. In those time, this was a unique revolution in thinking. Buddha was the first to think rationally on the relations of man with man and with the society; of the concept of God and the true nature of religion: of the root causes of man’s sufferings and of the means of their removal, of the goal that the man should keep and pursue in life; of the importance of education; and of the need of a social structure which will take care of the oppressed, the poor, the helpless, the unprotected and the orphan, and most importantly of the man – made and not divine nature of the society.

What are the main precepts of Buddhism?

The Buddha was the first to preach equality between Man and Man. He debunked the caste higherarchical system of Chaturvarnya and asserted that the merit of a person is to be measured not by his birth, but by his worth. He advocated pulling down of all barriers between Man and Man. According to him, it is not the fittest but the best who is important from the point of view of the society. The best is one who contributes the most to the promotion of weal and welfare of the society. The equality was also necessary according to him for promoting the best and consequently, the prosperity of the society. The religion, which, according to him, does not preach equality, is no religion.

Fraternity and universal brotherhood based on love, compassion and friendship was another main plank of the philosophy he preached. The fraternity with all sections of the populace and with mankind at large, and compassion and respect not only for human beings but for all beings was the essence of his message. He preached living in co-operation with nature and not in confrontation with it. He emphasized that happiness was not to be attained at the cost of others, nor was oppression to be tolerated.

Liberty or freedom of his conception was essentially emancipation from mental and intellectual slavery. He did not believe in the authority of any individual or scripture. That is why he exhorted his followers not to consider either him or what he preached as infallible, and to be constantly on alert and be inquisitive. He was against any dogma, or divinity of any individual, theory or system. He believed that man alone was responsible for his sate of affairs and he can improve it by his own endeavours. He believed in persuasion and in free expression of thought. He preached respect for other’s views, free and frank discussion, and resolution of disputes by peaceful debate.

      He deplored poverty and at the same time also acquisitiveness. He believed in sharing resources, self help and collective endeavours. Poverty and hunger according to him were the cause of many social diseases and they were avoidable in a properly organized society. The abundance for some and the misery for others were the symptoms of an ill-organized society. The misery of man made him most unhappy and he devoted his primary attention to its removal. The social structure according to him it was not divine, but man-made and man can change it.

He did not believe in the existence of God or super nature. He debunked the theory of union with Brahman and dubbed it as false. He did not believe in rituals, prayers, worship, ceremonies, sacrifices to the so called deities, the existence of the soul apart from the body, the theory of rebirth or life after death or the theory that deeds of the past life (Karma) determined the course of life in the present.

On the other hand he believed that the righteous conduct in the present life repays the man in the same life, and determines his fate. According to him, the so called religion is nothing but a code of conduct for the private and social life of the individual. He made a distinction in the religion advocated by others and the Dharma preached by him. According to him, the religion concerned itself with the supernatural, the origin of the God, soul, rituals etc. and indulged in speculation. It ignored the present life, the miseries and suffering and their causes, and the ways of their removal. The religion preached morality but wads not based on it.

On the other hand the Dharma concerned itself with the reconstruction of the world. The Dharma was concerned wit the causes of misery and suffering of the man in this life and their removal by practical means. The root of dharma is morality. Morality is Dharma and Dharma is morality. The morality in Dharma arises because of the direct necessity for Man to love Man for his own good. While morality is a wagon attached to Religion which can be attached to it and detached from it according to convenience, the morality is the very basis of Dharma. The morality must be sacred and universal. It is righteous conduct of Man and not the rituals and prayers, which alone help him to live a happy life.

Likewise, the Buddha preached peace, non-violence, absence of conflict and war. According to his preaching, the violence was not to e willed but was resorted to only as a last resort and when it becomes absolutely necessary. Man has to strive to create a world without strife and violence, and of men, women and societies with the righteous conduct.


It may be appreciated from the above brief exposition of the Buddha’s Dharma, that it answers all the queries of Man, analyses his problems and provides practical and realistic solutions to them. Of all the attempts made on the religious or spiritual plane, to offer solutions to the Man’s doubts, mental, physical and spiritual sufferings and the anxieties on account of the insecurity and uncertainty about the future, the Dharma is so far the only rational and scientific endeavour. Yet, the Buddha, unlike others neither claimed himself to be a divine messenger nor claimed his message a divine origin. That was as it should have been, since he disowned the existence of God. The Dharma is not a religion but a social order, a way of life. It is rooted in the morality, and righteousness in all activities is the only guide it offers to Man for his happiness in life. The preachings of Dharma appeal to reason and stand the test of scientific inquiry. The Dharma is the first precept to analyse the sufferings of Man and attempt to find its causes in the social system. That is why it proclaims its purpose to be to reconstruct the world which no religion either there before or since then, has even remotely suggested. The Dharma does not want to be grouped with religious orders and rightly so, because the religions so called concern themselves with the origin of the world, and the non-existent God, and the speculations about both, and their appeasements by fruitless, wasteful and slavish rituals, prayers and worship. The religions from their inception have a mystical origin and have the sole purpose of enslaving the mind of Man. The fanaticism and fundamentalism have their origin in the mysticism associated with the religious orders which irrationalism the Great Buddha deprecated again and again.

The need of Man always has been to build a just and humane social structure based on rational and scientific foundation. We have in Buddhism, the basis of such reconstruction. Our Constitution in its Preamble, and in the chapters on Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of the State Policy, provides an outline of the contents of such rational society. What is needed is a political will to reconstruct the society on those lines. That will, will never emanate from the present ruling class entrenched as it is deeply in the present social order. It is the people and the people alone who may, by their organized collective effort succeed in ushering in such society, both internally in each country and internationally on global level.