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Rosa Parks: How It all Started

 

Rosa Parks & Jim Haskins

(Excerpt from the book 'Rosa Parks: My Story')

 One evening in early December 1955 I was sitting in the front seat of the colored section of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The white people were sitting in the white section. More white people got on, and they filled up all the seats in the white section. When that happened, we black people were supposed to give up our seats to the whites. But I didn't move. The white driver said, "Let me have those front seats." I didn't get up. I was tired of giving in to white people.

    rosa parks

"I'm going to have you arrested," the driver said.
"You may do that," I answered.
Two white policemen came. I asked one of them, "Why do you all push us around."
He answered, "I don't know, but the law is the law and you're under arrest."

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The many shades of Saheb Kanshiram


 

Gurinder Azad

Once Kanshi Ram Saheb was going somewhere with his colleagues in a car. His health was a bit bad. A colleague, probably wanting to please Saheb, asked 'Saheb, tell me, what do you want? Whatever you want, I will offer it to you.' Saheb said, 'Will you? Really?'. 'Yes, of course', he enthusiastically replied. 'So get me time from somewhere. I don't have it', Kanshi Ram ji's voice was suddenly very deep then. No one could utter a single word after that. There was eerie silence followed by that. The car was still on the road. Kanshi Ram ji was lost in some thoughts or was maybe drowned in some concern for his Bahujan people. He was about 65 years at that time.

Understanding Kanshi Ram ji, is neither difficult nor easy. Imagine a person who came to know about Babasaheb Ambedkar when he was 30 years old. After graduating in science, he was sitting in a government post. An incident (which most people are aware of) happened at DRDO (Pune), where he used to work; and a book written by Babasaheb changed his life. He left his job and family for the sake of the society. He did everything that would strengthen the Bahujan Samaj. It did not matter if he had to eat dry bread by dipping it in water, or had to starve. Or at the age of fifty, if he had to travel 4,200 km on a bicycle just to make people aware; he kept on doing everything he could, he did not stop. Today, in the midst of Brahmin-imperialism, where this country is being compared with the period of Pushyamitra Shunga, we remember Kanshi Ram ji used to challenge the same Brahmin-imperialism by holding its tail in his hand, and drive away its bodyguards.

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Remembering Ambedkar

 

Dr. K. R. Narayanan

Dr. Ambedkar was one of the giants of our time, one of the great personalities of the Indian national movement and of the Indian renaissance. He was a many- splendored personality, a great scholar, an original thinker, writer, orator, debater, a great jurist and constitutionalist, and above all a restless agitator and revolutionary working for social changes in our country.

kr narayanan

I recall the brief meeting I had with Ambedkar in New Delhi in 1943 when he was a member of the Viceroy's Executive Council. After taking my first degree from Travancore, I had gone to the north in search of a job. I had a letter of introduction to Ambedkar from one who had known him in Travancore. I took a room in a cheap hotel in Delhi, put my luggage there and then went to Ambedkar's residence at Prithvi Road with the introduction letter. He read the letter and asked me "Where are your 'Samaans', your luggage?" Obviously, he was thinking of putting me up at his residence. That was the kind of a human being he was. Though I was a stranger coming from a remote corner of Kerala, he wanted to put me up in his house.

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Remembering Rajabhau Khobragade, a revolutionary leader

 

Dipankar Kamble

On the 34th Death Anniversary of Barrister Rajabhau Khobragade, an intellectual heir of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, here is a short writeup about him.

bhaurao khobragade

Bhaurao Khobragade, affectionately called Rajabhau, was born on 25.09.1925 in Chandrapur, Maharashtra to Shri Dewaji and Smt. Indira Bai. His father was a forest contractor and a social worker.

Rajabhau Khobragade had his early education at Jubilee High School, Chandrapur. He then went on to clear the Inter Science exam from Nagpur Science College in 1943 and B.A. exam from Morris College, Nagpur in 1945. On the advice of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, he went to London to study Law at the Lincoln College in 1950.

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Critical Analysis of Indian Historians' Writings on Buddhism - Part 2

 

Ratnesh Katulkar

Continued from here.

ratneshIt was during the Mauryan period, particularly at the time of Asoka, that India reached its zenith. There was an advanced stage of development in the field of architecture (which is visible in the remains of the Asokan inscriptions), science and technology, literature, administration and above all the emergence of the welfare state which is still  absent in many part of the world in the modern times. Still none of the historians finds this period as the golden era of India; rather most of them even do not hesitate in declaring the Gupta period (300 AD) as a golden age. The reason they give for this declaration is the growth and development in the fields of arts, science and literature. The argument, however, has little truth, as there had already been much development in these sectors during the Mauryan regime. Moreover, how one can ignore that in the light of these developments in Gupta period there was emergence and establishment of the downfall of society? The evil customs like caste, untouchability, patriarchy in its worst form, like enforced widowhood, sati system and the rise of feudalism were the striking characteristics of this period.1 As rightly marked by Kosambi, 'During Gupta period, the civilising and socialising work of the Buddha and of Asoka was never continued. The tightening of caste boundary begins.'2

In the history of ancient India and of Buddhism, the decline of Buddhism is of remarkable importance. This issue should be a striking subject of study, for when Buddhism continued to survive in other parts of world why was it extinguished from the land of its birth? The reasons for the decline of Buddhism mentioned by historians are weird. R.C. Majumdar, who tried to present Asoka's Dhamma as non-Buddhist old tradition strangely blamed his appointment of Dhamma Mahamatra and policy of non-violence as the factors responsible for the decline of Buddhism.3 So there is a chunk of historians who think that the large donations to Sangha led to economic decline of the Mauryan Empire. But none of them tried to accept the Buddhist sources as evidence. Dr Ambedkar dealt with this issue seriously. Using the reference of Haraprasad Shastri, he says:

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