Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kanshi Ram (born 1934) is an Indian politician of Dalit Sikh background. He founded the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), a political party with the stated goal of serving the traditionally lower castes of Indian society, including Sudras and Dalits (Untouchables). He shares the BSP's leadership with Mayawati, a Dalit woman, whose relationship to Kanshi Ram is the subject of numerous and contradictory rumors. Their leadership brought the party to power in India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh in 1995, at which point Mayawati became the state's chief minister.
As of April, 2005, Kanshi Ram has spent more than a year recovering from health problems and has not appeared publically during that time. He has been convalescing at the home of Mayawati, and members of his family have claimed that she has been essentially holding him captive in order to control the BSP. On April 8, 2005, the Supreme Court of India ordered a team of doctors to examine his physical and mental condition.
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