The Roundtable team express their deep condolences over the passing away of Bhagwan Das, this morning in New Delhi. His tall legacy as an Ambedkarite and Buddhist will continue to guide our efforts in our struggle against caste.
Bhagwan Das, a research associate of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, is best known as compiler and editor of the four volumes of Thus Spoke Ambedkar. He spoke to Prasanna Raghav about his meetings with Ambedkar and the trajectory of Dalit politics in India:
When did you first meet Ambedkar?
My father, who was politically and socially aware through his readings, was a great admirer of Dr Ambedkar, referring to him as Ummeedkar, the one who brings hope. I used to read every newspaper article about Babasaheb with great interest. When i first went to meet him in Simla in 1943 with a request for a job, i had to wait for seven hours. Impressed with me, he promised me a job and i got my appointment letter in 15 days.
Mahatma Gandhi was also against discrimination of Dalits. How were the two leaders different?