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|Born||March 15, 1934
Khawas Pur village of Ropar District of Punjab (India)
|Died||October 9, 2006|
|Political party||Bahujan Samaj Party|
Kanshi Ram (March 15, 1934 – October 9, 2006) was an Indian politician. He founded the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), a political party with the stated goal of serving the traditionally lower castes of Indian society (that historically also included untouchables). He transferred the BSP's leadership to Mayawati. His leadership brought the party to power in India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh in 1995, at that point Mayawati became the state's Chief Minister.
Kanshi Ram was born to Bishan Kaur and Hari Singh in Ramdassia (Ad Dharmi/Mulnivasi) community of the Scheduled Caste group, which is the largest group in Punjab, at Khawaspur village in Ropar district of Punjab
During his tenure in the DRDO in 1965 he joined the agitation started by SCEWASTAMB(All India Federation of Scheduled Caste/Tribes Backward Class & Minorities Employees Welfare Associations) of Government of India to prevent the abolition of a holiday commemorating B.R. Ambedkar's birthday.
In 1978 he formed the, BAMCEF-Backward(SC/ST & OBC) and Minority Community Employees Federation. The BAMCEF was purely non political,Non Religious & Non Agitional organisation. Later on he formed another Social organisation known as DS4. He started his attempt of unifying the Dalit vote bank in 1981 and by 1984 he founded the Bahujan Samaj Party. The BSP found success in Uttar Pradesh but struggled to bridge the divide between Dalits and Other Backward classes.
He represented the 11th Lok Sabha from Hoshiarpur Constituency, Kanshiram was also elected as member of Lok Sabha from Etawah in Uttar Pradesh . In 2001 he publicly announced Kumari Mayawati as his successor.
He was already a diabetic and he suffered from a heart attack in 1994 followed by the formation of a clot in the brain artery in 1995. He has suffered a brain stroke in 2003. From around 2004 or so, Kanshi Ram stopped appearing publicly as he was suffering from various health problems. He convalesced at the home of Mayawati.
On October 9, 2006, he died of a severe heart attack in New Delhi. Kanshi Ram, who suffered from multiple ailments such as stroke, diabetes and hypertension, was virtually bed-ridden for more than two years.
According to his wish, last ritual were performed as per buddhist tradition, the pyre of Kanshi Ram was lit by his soul heir Kumari Mayawati. His ashes were placed in Urn and kept at Prerna Sthal, with huge procession accompanied by lakhs of supports.,
As an author Kanshiram wrote two books
- "An Era of the Stooges" (Chamcha Age)
- "New Hope"
- The Dalit Chanakya Ram Narayan Rawat in Outlook - October 23, 2006
- HT News
- "Kanshi Ram's ashes will not be immersed: Mayavati". Rediff.com. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- "Maya gives city traffic blues!". Hindustan Times. 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_8012/is_20061019/ai_n39423316/. Missing or empty
- "The Chamcha Age". Ambedkar.org. Retrieved 2012-08-04.