ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Bhagwan Das

Bhagwan Das, 83, a veteran Ambedkarite and a chronicler of the dalit movement, passed away on 18 November in Delhi at his Munirka residence. Das was among the last few people of a generation that had a direct association with B R Ambedkar. Born in 1927 in Jutogh cantonment, Shimla, Bhagwan Das fi rst met Ambedkar in Shimla in 1943 at the age of 16 as a member of the Scheduled Castes Federation. After his matriculation, Das joined the Royal Indian Air Force in 1943 as a radar operator. He served on the Burma front during the second world war. Subsequently he worked with the Comptroller and Auditor General’s offi ce in Shimla and Delhi. Bhagwan Das also worked as a research assistant with Ambedkar in 1955-56. In 1971, Das completed his LLB and practised law.

Well before the Maharashtra government began, in 1979, to publish Ambedkar’s writings and speeches, Das had edited, compiled and produced a four-volume Thus Spoke Ambedkar series between 1963 and 1980. This was published by Lahori Ram Balley’s Bhimpatrika imprint based in Jalandhar. Bhagwan Das wrote over 23 books, notable among which are Mein Bhangi Hoon (I am a Bhangi) and several edited volumes and compilation of Ambedkar’s writings and speeches. At the time of his death, Das was working on a book called Untouchability in Asia.

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