B shyam Sunder
B. Shyam Sunder
B. Shyam Sunder (21 December 1908 – 19 May 1975) was born in Aurangabad district in Maharashtra State, India. His father was B. Manicham, a railway employee, and his mother Sudha Bai and had one younger sisiter. He was a political thinker, jurist, prolific writer, parliamentarian and a revolutionary leader. In 1937, he founded the Dalit-Muslim unity movement at Parbhani in Aurangabad, Maharashtra and urged his people to join hands with Muslims. He was a legislator representing Andhra Pradesh and Mysore State.
In 1956, he established the "All India Federal Association of Minorities" at Hyderabad and finally organised a movement for Bahujans in 1968 at Lucknow district in Uttar Pradesh State and formally declared that Minorities slogan "India is ours." He inaugurated 'Bhim Sena', a voluntary corps force, at Gulbarga in Karnataka State which later spread to all parts of India. V. T. Rajshekar an eminent Dalit scholar, writer and editor Dalit Voice credited him as Father of Dalits Movements in India.
Shyam Sunder was born on 21 December 1908 in Aurangabad district, Maharashtra State, which was then part of the Nizam of Hyderabads princely state. He completed his early schooling at Aurangabad. He was greatly moved by caste, ill-feelings and practice of untouchability, his agitated mind took him to Buddha's Ajanta Caves to seek solace. When his family moved to Hyderabad, he enrolled in the Osmania University, graduating in Political Science, Economics and went on to earn a law degree. He could speak Urdu, English and Marathi. He was popular among the student community and he was elected Senate and Syndicate member of the Osmania University. He entered active politics and joined the student wing of Depressed Classes Association; he was chosen as General Secretary and later became its President in 1947.
He practiced law briefly and joined the Swadeshi movement under the leadership of Smt Sarojini Naidu and served as its General Secretary to Andhra Pradesh. He was elected the President of Literary Society of Hyderabad. He accepted the membership of Exhibition Society to Hyderabad. He was elected unopposed from Graduate Constituency, to Hyderabad Legislative Assembly and later served as its Deputy Speaker. He was a part of the Nizam's delegation to UNO. Sri PR Venkat Swamy, who authored Our Struggle for Emancipation, says "the entry of Shyam Sunder is a red day in the history of Depressed Class Movement" and mentions he was fondly addressed as Queid-ePusthakhome [Leader of Depressed Class]. The Nizam of Hyderabad conferred Khusro-e-Deccan, highest civilian award, on Shyam Sunder for his yeoman service.
Shyam Sunder was a social-political and ideological leader of the Mool Bharathis the during pre and post-independence period. He was able to alleviate the conscience of his brethren by making them realise they are not Untouchable but the Mool Bharathis of India; they are born Buddhist and builders of Harappan civilization and heir apparent to rule this land. He strove hard to provide education facilities and fought for land reforms for his brethren. He spearheaded a movement to federate Minorities and Bahujans to fight for their legitimate constitutional rights.
Mahatma Gandhi, fondly said they are Harijan, meaning sons of God. The Constitution of India declared they are Scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and Human Right activists say they are Dalit. Shyam Sunder, from the beginning of his political career, bluntly refuted this, saying "We are not Hindus, we have nothing to do with the Hindu caste system, yet we have been included among them by them and for them Hinduism has a practice of "untouchability", wherein certain people are Untouchable.
Contribution to education
In 1932, His Highness the Nizam of Hyderabad set up the "One Crore Scheduled Caste Welfare Fund". Shyam Sunder was a trustee member for three years. To avoid caste ill-feeling among students, the trust opened Madarsa-e-Pushthkhome schools, residential hostels and to combat school dropout, it distributed monthly scholarships and even clothes to the students. This kind of education scheme was not found elsewhere in India. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar started the People's Educational Society at Aurangabad; afore mentioned trust gave twelve 1.2 million rupees as a grant and the Nizam of Hyderabad personally gave two hundred acres of land to the Society. With these donations, Milind College, the first PES institution at Aurangabad, was established. Shyam Sunder served as Executive Council Member to the Society from 1964-66.
Shyam Sunder realised that land alone could bring a qualitative-quantitative change in the lives of his brethren. PR Venkat Swamy recalls that he organized a mammoth rally of landless peasants at Hyderabad. He demanded land reforms from Nizam's State government, asking his followers to encroach on government-held "Gairan" land and even surplus lands of landed gentry. Dalits occupying agricultural lands belonging to the Government and privately held properties were first noticed in this part of India.He proposed many amendments to land reform bills in the Karnataka Assembly and his contributions are hailed. But the feudal mentality were stumbling blocks for successful land reform; thus, he went to the extent of demanding a Mool Bharathi State 'Dalitastan'
He was part of Nizam's delegation to the UN Security Council. He is the first post-independent untouchables leader who addressed the UN security council. He, as a sole representative of the 9 million Depressed class people, formed a part of the delegation took advantage of his presence among the representative of world nations. He gave the Security Council a clear picture of the embittered strife between groups and inhuman conditions of the suppressed masses of independent India. His comparison of the pathetic plight of the depressed Classes of India to the segregation of Negros in the United States created an indelible impression in the world diplomatic parlors. He was given a place of honour everywhere, as the true representative of sixty millions "untouchables", "Unapproachable", "Unseeable" and "Unshadowable" people.
The Indian governments Operation Polo wherein the Nizam signed an accession treaty with government occurred, and Shyam Sunder cut short his European tour and returned to India. He was kept under house arrest at his sisters house in Pune and later freed. He renewed his political activities and contested the first General Election from Chanchal Guda constituency from Hyderabad, which he lost. He was later elected to Mysore Legislative Assembly from Bhalki constituency in Bidar district. In 1962 he contested for an Assembly seat from Aland constituency in Gulbarga district, and Lok Sabha seat from Bidar district, but lost both elections. After the demise of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia he became the president of Praja Socialist Party .
With the blessings of Sardar Master Tara Singh, on 13 October 1956 Shyam Sunder formed "All India Federal Association of Minorities" at Hyderabad. Shyam Sunder also wrote the pamphlet Federation is a must for Indian Minorities; his demands for Minorities included enforcement of their Constitutional rights, preservation of culture, electoral reforms, and even nationalisation of Administration Problems of India Minorities. His main objectives were to undertake a nationwide educative campaign in favor of secularism, to ensure that minorities were not denied their constitutional rights, and a fair deal in recruitment for civil and military appointments and admissions to educational and technical institutions. Articles 29 and 30 of the constitution of India (part III) were implemented in letters as well as in spirit so far as the minorities are concerned. He warned minorities that "the alternative before the minorities is federate or face a lingering death.". National Integration and Problems of Minorities" He specifically suggests safeguards such as effective representation of minorities in Parliament and Legislature, safety of their life and culture and reiterates the re-ogranisation of states and further he says prejudice and discrimination against minorities hurts the country more than its victims.
The Mool Bharathi B. Shyam Sunder Memorial Society was formed after the death of Shyam Sunder. The society has published his books and assists research students in various universities.
Books by B. Shyam Sunder
source : wikipedia