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Bhagavan Das

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In memoriam on his fourth death anniversary – Like Marx his slogan was “Dalits of the World Unite.”

… He was a member for the ‘Committee for evolving new strategies for the development of Scheduled Castes and Tribes – VIII Plan’ set up by the Government of India and also a member of Ambedkar Centenary Committee of the Government of India. Mr. Das has written many books in Urdu, English and Hindi on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar; Untouchables; Scavengers and Sweepers; Human Rights & Discrimination etc. Prominent among them are Thus Spoke Ambedkar (Vol I to IV Ed) a pioneer work; Ambedkar on Gandhi and Gandhism (Ed); Ambedkar Ek Parichey Ek Sandesh (Hindi); Main Bhangi hoon (Hindi), the story of an Indian sweeper told in the first person (this book has been translated into Punjabi, Kannada, Marathi and German); Valmiki aur Bhangi Jatian (Hindi); Valmiki (Hindi); Dhobi (Hindi), Revival of Buddhism in India and Role of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar; Dr. Ambedkae Ek Parichay Ek Sandesh; Dr. Ambedkar aur Bhangi Jatiya and Bharat me Bauddh Dhamm ka punrjagran tatha samasyayen. He has translated into Urdu former President of the USA Lyndon Johnson’s book ‘My. Hope for America’; Dr Ambedkar’s ‘Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah’ into Urdu; besides editing Bhadant Anand Kaushalyayan’s ‘Gita ki Buddhivadi Samiksha.’

Other books in hand are “Reservation and Representative Bureaucracy in India”; “Untouchables in the Indian Army (Mahar, Mazhbi, Chuhra, Pariahs, Mangs, Dhanuks, Dusadhs, Chamars, Kolis, Bheels)”; “Mandal Commission and the Future of Backward Classes”; “Twenty-Two Oaths of Buddhism and Conversion”; “Balmiki; Ravidassis and Balmikis of Northern India”; “Buddhism and Marxism” and “Ambedkar as a Religious Leader.” …

Bhagwan Das: A Legendry Ambedkarite By S.R.Darapuri http://www.countercurrents.org/darapuri011214.htm

Mr. Bhagwan Das was born in an Untouchable family at Jutogh Cantonment, Simla (Himachal Pradesh), India on 23 Apl 1927. He served in the Royal Indian Air Force during World War II and after demobilisation served in different capacities in various departments of Government of India at Saharanpur, Simla and Delhi. He did M.A. in History (Punjab University) and LL.B from Delhi University. …

… Mr. Das is associated with many organisations of lawyers, Buddhists, Scheduled Castes and Minorities in India. He was General Secretary, United Lawyers Association, Supreme Court, New Delhi; General Secretary, Bouddh Upasak Sangh, New Delhi; Founder Chairman, Ambedkar Mission Society which has branches in many parts of the world; Revived Samata Sainik Dal (Vounteers for Equality) founded by Dr. Ambedkar in 1926-27; Regional Secretary (North). Indian Buddhist Council; Founder, Society for the Protection of Non-Smokers; Founder President of Society for Promoting Buddhist Knowledge; edited Samata Sainik Sandesh (English) 1980-1990.He was also the main person behind publication of “Bheem Patrika” an Urdu and the Hindi magazine published from Jullundar (Punjab).

His mother tongue is Urdu. He learnt English from class 7th. His command over English and his British accent compelled many to label him as a “Black English Man.” He is Adib Fazel in Persian. He can speak and write in Hindi and Punjabi. Just like Dr. Ambedkar he was not allowed to read Hindi and he had to take up Persian at school. His knowledge about Dr. Ambedkar, Buddhism, Hindu Castes, Religion and many more subjects is so vast and thorough that he is often marked as a “Moving Encyclopaedia.” …

… He remained in close contact with Dr. Ambedkar at Delhi from 1942 till his death. He also adopted Buddhism in 1956 when Dr, Ambedkar launched his Buddhist Conversion Movement on 14 th October, 1956. He has written his autobiography which has been published as “In the Pursuit of Ambedkar” in English and :”Baba ke Charnon me” in Hindi. A documentary film on his life has also been prepared by S. Anand of Navyana. …

… Mr. Das has been associated with the ‘Peace Movement’ since the end of World War II, in which he served on the Eastern Front with the Royal Air Force (RAF) under South East Asia Command. He is one of the founder members of the World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP) (India) and has participated in the Conferences held in Kyoto, Japan, 1970; Princeton USA (1979); Seoul, Korea (1986); Nairobi. Kenya (1984) and Melbourne Australia (1989). He was appointed Director, Asian Centre for Human Rights (Asian Conference on Religion and Peace) in 1980 and continued to serve in this capacity till 2004 monitoring the news of violation of human rights in Asian countries and organising camps for training of human ‘ rights workers, speaking and writing for the cause.

Mr. Das was invited to deliver a lecture on ‘Discrimination by the Peace University, Tokyo (1980) and also addressed several meetings organised by the Burakuminsof Japan. He gave testimony before the United Nations in regard to the plight o Untouchables in South Asia, in the meeting of Sub-Committee on Human Rights held at Geneva, Switzerland in August, 1983. … He was invited to give lectures on Dr Ambedkar at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Moscow in June, 1990. … Mr. Das was invited to preside at the Dalit and Buddhist Writers Conference held at Akola in 1989 and is closely associated with various organisations of Dalit Writers.

Mr. Das has written more than five hundred articles, papers for seminars, short stories for various newspapers and journals. His papers on ‘Revival of Buddhism’; ‘Some problems of minorities in India’; ‘Reservation in Public Services’ have been published in Social Action brought out by Indian Social Institute, New Delhi and Delhi University Buddhist Department. …

… Mr. Das has toured almost the whole of India to study the problems of Hindu-Muslim riots, religious conflicts, atrocities committed on the Untouchables and tribal people, with the group ‘Threat to Diversity’, ‘Swaraj Mukti Morcha and as Chairman, Samata Sainik Dal.” He is also the founder President of “Dalit Solidarity People”, an organisation aiming at uniting Hindu Dalits, Dalit Christians, Sikh Dalits, Muslim Dalits and Burakumins of Japan and Korea. Like Marx his slogan was “Dalits of the World Unite.”

Mr Bhagwan Das has been a storehouse of insight and information, his residence at Delhi has been a mandatory stopover for many renowned scholars like Eleanor Zelliot, Mark Juergensmeyer,Owen lynch, Marc Gallanter, RK Kshirsagar, Sukhadeo Thorat down to younger scholars like Vijay Prashad,Nicolas Jaoul and Maren Bellwinkel-Schempp. …

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