Kanshi Ram's sepoy lends Rahul a hand
Rajesh Kumar Singh, Hindustan Times
Jalaun, February 20, 2012
Once Babu Ramadhin called himself a "frontline sepoy of Kanshi Ram".
These days, the former founder-member of BSP says he is the "only old
leader in the Rahul brigade". Back in 2008, a decade after Ramadhin
quit the BSP, Rahul Gandhi had persuaded him to join Congress. Today,
65-year-old is the party's candidate from the Orai (reserved) assembly
"Few know that on October 15, 1956, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar called for
ending reservation for Dalits in politics," Ramadhin said. "Ambedkar
was disillusioned with the Dalit leadership, as, instead of empowering
the poor, they exploited them."
His disagreements with Kanshi Ram, and later Mayawati, are on those
"I told Kanshi Ram that the aim of floating the BSP was not to grab
political power by hook or by crook, but to give a larger canvas to
the have-nots," he said.
In the Mayawati regime, the rift grew wider.
"In the beginning, we had decided that we would have no bank account
as we were not in politics to make money." As Mayawati's grip on the
BSP strengthened, it "deviated from the basic aim," he added primly.
"In my youth, I wanted to study law and languages," said the man who
has degrees in both, but decided to dedicate his life to the
empowerment of Dalits.
When that dream soured, he left the BSP in 1998. A brief stint with
the Samajwadi Party did not work out either.
"Rahul told me the Dalits would get their due under Congress rule," he
said. "I am working to spread his message."
The BSP leaders call him a traitor.
Unfazed Ramadhin replies with a couplet: "Mujhe kya garaz tujhe nicha
girane ko, tere amaal kafi hain teri haasti mitane ko (I don't care to
remove you from power, your misdeeds would end your rule)."
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