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

A+| A| A-

Remembering B D Sharma

A tribute to the extraordinary official-turned-campaigner who brought compassion and understanding to his work on the ground, especially tribals.

When I first saw and heard Brahma Dev Sharma, or B D Sharma as he was often called, I had no idea about his very distinguished background. But I was immensely impressed with what this tall, eminent looking person, in a dhoti and kurta, who stood straight, and talked as straight as he stood, had to say. Subsequently, I also learnt about his very extraordinary careeror should I say, mission-path. I was all the more struck with his unequivocal speech when I came to understand that he had been a bureaucrat for much of his working life, and when I first met him, was still a part of the government establishment, albeit, holding the constitutional post of Commissioner for Scheduled Castes (s) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).

Just a few months before meeting B D Sharma, I had become a full-time activist of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA)the mass movement of the people affected by the dams on the Narmada River. Even in this short time, I had come to understand how bureaucrats, and anyone even remotely associated with the establishment, shied away from taking firm stands and hesitated to make clear statements if they could be construed to be critical of the government. And yet, here was B D Sharma, or Doctor saab as also he was referred to, calling a spade a spade, not mincing words.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Or

To gain instant access to this article (download).


Pay
INR 59

(Readers in India)


Pay
$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.