Tribute to the respected elder Pandit Padam Singh Bishwakarma

Nepaldalitinfo international network pays a respectful tribute to Dalit elder and leader Padam Singh Bishwakarma who is no more. We are deeply saddened by his sudden passing away at the age of 86 early this month, while being treated for an illness of pneumonia at a hospital in Pokhara. He was one of the earliest Dalit leaders who fought against the caste discrimination and untouchability in the era of Nepal’s autocratic Rana regime, when raising voice against the discriminatory caste system was a severe crime against the state and the ruling class.

Late Padam Singh Bishwakarma was the first Chairman of National Dalit Commission founded by the Government of Nepal in the initiation of the then Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. Ever since then, he has been demanding for making the National Dalit Commission a constitutional body, which has been a reality after the new Constitution of Nepal came into effect on Sept 20, 2015.

Late Padam Singh Bishwakarma was the third among early Dalit leaders of Bishwa Sarbajan Sangh (World’s All People [Equals] Association) founded by Late Bhagat Sarbajit Bishwakarma, while the second Dalit leader was Pandit Riplal Bishwakarma. They fought in their times fervently against caste discrimination in Nepal and were jailed by autocratic Rana regime government prior to BS 2007 peoples’ movement. Under the leadership of Bhagat Sarbajit, they fought against the caste discrimination and oppression placed on Dalit communities by the society and the law of the land. All of the three leaders were educated in Sanskrit and Hindu religion whilst they lived in India, receiving the knowledge and skills of Hindu priesthood. Upon their home coming to Nepal, they challenged many Brahmin priests in Shastrartha (debates on Hindu religious scriptures), and pointed out Brahmins’ erroneous interpretations of Hindu scriptures in their own favour leading to oppressing and discriminatory treatment of Sudras in the society.

padamsingh-bishwakarma

Pandit Padam Singh Bishwakarma

He served as a head master and teacher in the High School of his village in Baglung district shortly after his home coming from India, until the time he got involved in Dalit movement and democratic politics more actively in 1950s.

Bishwakarma had led many incidents of protests and campaigns against caste discrimination and oppression in Nepal. His contributions to the Dalit movement in the country has earned him as the most respected elder leader of Dalit movement in recent times.

In the national politics, Bishwakarma was a democratic leader in the history of Nepal, who had contributed significantly to peoples’ democratic movements of BS 2007, BS 2046 and BS 2062. He was a dedicated active member of Nepali Congress Party for long time. He was instrumental in establishing Nepal Dalit Sangh, a Dalit wing of the party for consolidating the role of Dalits within the party.

Late Padam Singh Bishwakarma will be remembered in the history of Nepal and Dalit movement in the country for his legacy of an inspiring political leader, a respected Dalit elder and a teacher.

Related News:

Dalit leader Bishwakarma passes away at: https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/dalit-leader-bishwakarma-passes-away/

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