Baba Kanshi Ram

Baba Kanshi Ram

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Baba Kanshi Ram

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Baba Kanshi Ram (11 July 1882 – 15 October 1943) was an Indian poet and independence activist from the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

Early life and family

Kanshi Ram got married at a very early age of seven to Sarasvati Devi who, at that time, was barely five. He went to the village school but could not study any further.

He lost his parents within a span of one year when he was barely 13 years old. He had to move to Lahore in search of livelihood. It was here that he came in contact with many revolutionaries such as Lala Lajpat Rai, Lala Hardayal, Sardar Ajit Singh and Maulavi Barkatullah for the first time.

Independence campaign

Kangra Valley was hit by a Kangra earthquake in 1905. Kanshi Ram took active part in a team led by Lala Lajpat Rai. He also attended the Delhi Durbar in 1911.

The turning point for him however came in 1919, when the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre happened. He was in Amritsar at that time. After this incident, he returned home to Kangra and started spreading Mahatma Gandhi's message through his poetry and songs in the Pahari languages. He was arrested for the first time on 5 May 1920 for two years and lodged in the Dharamshala jail along with Lala Lajpat Rai. He was released on 11 November 1922.

He was again arrested while reciting self-composed poems at a gathering in Palampur. He spent nine years in various jails, after being arrested 11 times. He continued writing sensitive poetry...
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