Mumbai : Dr.Bhau Lokhande breathed his last Tuesday morning and with him an era of scholarship of Ambedkarism and Buddhism came to an end. But his legacy will continue to live long in the people he influenced with his active life in the service of the community through his unique scholarship and engagement with the community.
“To begin with the personal connection, two decades back when we were studying in PNRI, the institute established by Munshilal Gautam to provide facilities for youths who were preparing for civil services, Bhau’s house was a one stop solution for all the information related to literature about Ambedkarism and Buddhism. Whether the aspirants prepared for the questions that might be asked in the interviews in this area or needed some guidance on Pali language, we would visit his house and he will discuss with his warm smile and open hospitality. Some of us who opted for Pali literature as an optional subject had found his insights very helpful. He shared not only his knowledge, but also his books,” write Mangesh Dahiwale , Bahujan Scholar.
“He researched into the influence of Buddhism on Marathi saints. This research was landmark in which he not only brought out the insights and concepts of Buddhism in the teachings of saints, but also demonstrated the continuity of the Buddha’s revolution in the teachings of the Marathi saints. But as the saint tradition was in essence an all India movement, he could establish connections between saints from all over India. Sometimes, he suggested what needed to be looked into as the connection between the ideas of Buddhism and that of saint’s profound wisdom,” added Mangesh Dahiwale.
“Dr.Bhau Lokhande was unique figure in the Ambedkarite movement who joined the Samata Sainik Dal (SSD) camps and maintained friendly relations with Ambedkarite organisations. Because of his depth of study and understanding, he was a fluent master of speeches and when he spoke ideas flowed swiftly from his mouth and influence the listeners as he had a tact of simplifying the concepts and ideas,” Mangesh Dahiwale said.
Mangesh Dahiwale further said that Dr.Bhau Lokhande contribution to the Buddhist studies and Buddhist movement is huge. Rarely we find a scholar and an activist combined in one man and Dr.Bhau Lokhande was an unique blend of both. He will continue to remain an ideal to for the people and his approach to the movement (the blend of intelligent and action) is needed more than ever.