‘Dalit Panther’ Namdev Dhasal dies at 64
The Founder of ‘Dalit Panther’ and veteran poet Namdev Dhasal died this morning at 64
He was admitted to this hospital last week for severe disease. He was later recovered and sent back to home but was admitted again on Tuesday for feeling restless.
Social, literature and political circle is mourning over his death. He was well recognized as a prominent name in Dalit literature and a senior leader of Dalit movement.
Tomorrow his corpse will be kept in Siddharth Hostel at 11am for last visit, before taking it to Chaityabhumi for last rites, informed close sources.
Dhasal was born at a remote village in Pune on 15th February 1949. He shifted to Mumbai with his father to improve family’s financial condition. He started driving taxi here during early struggling days. He founded ‘Dalit Panther’ organization on the grounds of ‘Black Panther’ in 1972.
His first poetry collection Golpitha was published in 1973. He was a revolutionary and an exceptional poet and litterateur. His literature became motivation to number of Dalit movements. He was awarded as Padma shri by the Indian Government.
He had a medical history of myasthenia gravis which is one of the lesser known auto-immune disorders.
In 2007, actors Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan had helped raise funds for Dhasal whose family was on the verge of selling their house to pay his medical bills.
Dhasal, also a rights activist, received the Nehru award for his book ‘Golpitha’. In 2004, he was awarded the prestigious Sahitya Akadami award for his contribution for literature.
Dhasal’s selected poems were translated into English under the title “Namdeo Dhasal: Poet of the Underworld”, Poems
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan condoled the passing away of Dhasal, describing him as a leader who was
committed to Dr B R Ambedkar’s ideals. “Dhasal highlighted the plight of the Dalit community through his literary works like ‘Golpeetha’, ‘Khel’ and ‘Tu Hi Yatta Kunchi’ very ably,” Chavan noted.
PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal said Dhasal’s contribution to literature was immense.
Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Eknath Khadse said the state has lost a great litterateur and leader
of the Dalit movement.
BJP leader Gopinath Munde said Dhasal was a revolutionary who had emerged as the hope of social justice movement. He was not just a poet on paper, but used the medium for social awareness, Munde added.
Read Dhasal’s Kamathipura, a poem here: http://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/poem/item/10554
Read Namdeo Dhasal’s Approaching the organized harem of the Octopus,