Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Akademi

Dear Friends,

Dr Ambedkar is perhaps the most popular personality in the history of India today. More and more schools, colleges, universities and other organisations are being named after him. His statues can be seen almost in every city of India. Scholars are doing research and conferred Ph.D. degrees. Any book published on Dr Ambedkar sells like a hot cake. Many people and organisations take pride to associate themselves with his name. Though most of them are genuine and sincere to improve the conditions of Dalits, yet there are some who are just exploiting Baba Sahib_s name to further their own interest by exploiting the sentiments of his admirers. It is our duty to expose these people.

I am watching the activities of Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Akademi, Delhi run by Dr SP Sumanakshar from the last few years. This organisation was set up to promote Dalit literature, encourage Dalit writers and recognize the services of those people who are engaged in the field of Dalit welfare by giving them Dr Ambedkar national and international awards. If the award is named after his name, it is also expected that the literature published by them is also compatible with Baba Sahib_s philosophy.

Dr Ambedkar always opposed caste system and struggled to bring all castes under one umbrella, first through Scheduled Caste Federation, then Republican Party of India and finally embracing Buddhism.

But what BDSA is doing? They are digging out caste persons from the history books and trying to portray them as caste heroes. BDSA has also instituted Guru Ravidas, Kabir, Bhagwan Valmik and Dr Ambedkar fellowships to please Chamars and Valmikis and other castes. By promoting caste loyalties, the gap between these castes is becoming unbridgeable. BDSA is also against Buddhism. In one of the national conferences, Dr Sumankshar, the National President of BDSA said that by embracing Buddhism Dr Ambedkar committed a biggest mistake. Mr. Naval Viyogi, General Secretary BDSA, Punjab branch wrote in one of his letters to my friend that Dr Ambedkar was wrong in adopting Buddhism as in the present circumstances, Sikhism is more appropriate. Dr Lekh Raj Parwana, President BDSA Punjab branch in his latest book VAFA DA ASHIANA published by

BDSA writes that Gautam Buddha_s wife was having illicit relations with somebody else. Tormented with family shame, he left his house and went to jungles in search of peace. He has devoted one chapter to undermine Lord Buddha_s personality. The Ambedkar Mission Society, Punjab publicly burned this book and Ambedkarites and Buddhists in Punjab are agitating to ban this book. This reflects that BDSA not only opposing Buddhism but also writing against as well to confuse the people.

Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Akademi holds annual conferences to distribute Ambedkar National and International Awards with big publicity. By giving this award to the people who got nothing to do with Dalit liberation and denying to those who have spent whole of their lives in this field is to make mockery of the awards. Some of the recipients of these awards have given them back as they were treated badly. Mr. Sohan Lal Sampla, President, Dr. Ambedkar Mission Society, Germany was nominated for the Dr Ambedkar International Award in 1997. Mr. Sampla alongwith his wife went to India to receive this award. He was presented with a certificate and momento and the amount of Rs5000.00 was also announced. This report with photographs was published in various newspapers. When Mr. Sampla asked for the amount. He was asked for donations. On Mr. Sampla_s insistence, he received a letter from BDSA that the award was given to him by mistake and was requested to give back the certificate and momento back to BDSA. Now the question arises how come the executive committee of BDSA recommended his name without checking his credentials and made such a blunder. Even if he was given this award by mistake, they made another blunder by asking him to return the award. Who will pay his travelling expenses? Mr. Sampla has been defamed and the BDSA is liable for compensation. It is also learnt that each fellowship is being sold at the cost of Rs. 250.00. It is also learnt that the people who go to attend the conferences were asked to deposit the delegation fee and promised with a fellowship. One of my friends, Mr. Chanan Chahal has such an experience. After the conference, when he inquired about the fellowship. One of the organisers brought two three blank certificates and gave to people standing nearby and were asked to fill their names without asking their name addresses.

All this has put a question mark on the working and objectives of BDSA.

ARUN KUMAR


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