" Democracy was
also a great narrative and not merely a monolithic kind of democratic participation."

Angane Lal

Angane Lal was born on 25th September, 1935 in a village called Ruri Saadikpur, Unnao, a district of Uttar Pradesh. He was among those unfortunate ones whose childhood did not experience parental warmth as at an early stage of his life he lost his father Mannilal. His father’s death was a loss for the entire family, but more so for his mother, Bhagyawati Devi, who was now burdened with the responsibilities of her whole family. She, a simple housewife, having lived her entire life under the protection of her husband, encountered tremendous problems in the upbringing of her children, but she never lost hope and doggerly continued shouldering life’s responsibilities. She never allowed her difficulties to overpower her and made sure that education of her children continued without any break.

Angane Lal began his early education in his village and passed his 4th standard from there. A bright student, he excelled in his class 4th district level examination. In this examination he successfully solved the most difficult questions, asked in the question paper which nobody else could solve. His Head Master, Munshi Ashraf Ali and assistant teacher, Pandit Mohan Lal Bajpai was rewarded with a sum of Rs.13.00 and Rs.8.00 respectively. As his village did not have school for further education, for his 5th standard he took admission in a school in Fatehpur Chaurasi, ten miles (15Kms. approx.) away from his village. The route to this school was unsafe for children, as there were two forests of Bamboo trees inhabited by wild animals. Angane Lal and his friend Chet Ram used to go to school carrying sticks with them. It was the school where he celebrated the achievement of country’s Independence on 15th August 1947. After passing his 5th standard he passed his 6th and 7th class from Lunnarpur Middle School. He completed his High School from Subhash College, Bangarmau, Unnao.

It was at this place that he faced an incident of discrimination that completely shook his faculties from within. One day when he was very thirsty, but the peon employed to serve water to the untouchables was not there. He was bitterly thirsty and he could not wait any more for him to quench his thirst. He took the water himself. Suddenly, the peon came and on seeing this, he lodged a complaint with the principal. Next day, the principal called Angane Lal and beat him. Angane Lal protested against this and requested the principal to change the rules for everybody; either all will serve water themselves or nobody will. After a few days the principle agreed to this and henceforth every student took water from the peon’s hand.

For pursuing his graduation he took admission in the University of Lucknow. He did his M.A in Ancient Indian History and Archeology from the University of Lucknow, where he recieved Radha Kumud Mukherjee Merit Scholarship for excelling in M.A Previous examination and was also awarded Gopaldas Memorial Gold Medal for his Master’s degree in 1959. He completed his Ph.D on the topic “Sanskrit Baudh Sahitya Mein Bhartiya Jeevan” for which he received accolades from people like Prof. V.P.Bapat, Prof. V.V.Mirashi, Prof. K.D.Bajpaye, Bhadant Aanand Kaushalyanan and Dr. Dharmarakshit to mention a few scholars. His another research focussed on “Ashwaghosh Kalin Bharat”, for which he was honoured by the Uttar Pradesh Government. The University of Lucknow awarded Angane Lal the degree of D.Litt. in 1976 on the topic “Geographical Data in Buddhist Literature in India”.

On 17th January 1961, he was appointed lecturer in Ancient Indian History and Archeology in the University of Lucknow, where he became Reader and later Professor. He was initially appointed on an adhoc basis. He was not absorbed in the department. He was removed from his post after teaching for more than six years as a lecturer. By this time his many papers had got published in different journals and he had also authored a book. Despite these an upper caste candidate with 2nd class degree in M.A was preferred. He was made to pay the price for his lower caste social location. However he was reappointed as lecturer and remained adhoc for another sixteen years before being made permanent in 1976.

His zeal for an egalitarian social structure and liberation of Dalits from social bondage was evident from his childhood when he started taking part in movements, rallies, conferences and student elections, etc. His engagement in these areas also persuaded him to write a history of his discriminatory past. His deep interest in academics caused him to write on academic subjects. But he was also conscious of the deprived status of outcastes, both in economic and educational sphere. So he decided to write small booklets in a language that is easily understandable by the common man. Dr. Ambedkar’s Words, that a teacher should give his everything to his students, further inspired him towards writing. His first published booklet was ‘Aadivansh Katha’, which he wrote to replace the ‘Satyanarayan Katha’ that made a mockery of the Dalit people. His other booklets, published so far, include Boddhisatva Baba Sahab Dr. Ambedkar, Boddhisatva Dr. Ambedkar Avdaan, Bouddha Sanskriti, Boudhha Diksha Vidhi, Aadi Vansh Katha, Buddha Sashan ke Ratna, Ambedkari Bouddha Aandolan ke Panchvargiye Bikshu, Sravasti ke Shraman Chintak aur Bauddha Nariyan, Bauddha Dharma kee Yug Yatra: Buddha se Ambedkar Tak and Aadhunik Bharat ke Paanch Bauddha Acharya. ‘Bundelkhand Mein Bauddha Dharma: Tab aur Ab’ is in the press. ‘Vishmrit Bauddha Kendra-I(Uttar Pradesh), Bauddha Sanskriti-II, Vishisht Purushawali, Jo Bisar na Sake and Baaees Pratigya- Prakash is under publication. He has also published more than 250 research papers in different national and international journals and newspapers, some of which have been presented in various conferences and seminars. He was appointed Vice Chancellor of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Awadh University by the Government of Uttar Pradesh, and also a member of the Working Committees of Merrut, Bundelkhand, Kumayun and Roorkee Universities. He has served as a member on the advisory board of All India Oriental Conference, Baba Saheb Dr.B.R.Ambedkar’s birth anniversary’s National and regional organization, Hindi Samiti Uttar Pradesh, All India Radio and Doordarshan Kendra, Lucknow. He has also been a member of the Planning Commission, Uttar Pradesh, a member of the Government of Uttar Pradesh’s, Harijan Welfare Mulyankan Association, Schedule Caste/Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Caste Association’s Advisory Board and the Minority Commission, Uttar Pradesh. He is a lifetime member of the Indian History Congress (Delhi), Epigraphical Society of India (Bangalore), Mahabodhi Society of India (Kolkata), Ethnographical and Folk Culture Society (Lucknow), International Goodwill Society (New Delhi), International Meditation Centre (Bodhgaya), and President of Indian Buddhist Council, Bhartiya Bodh Parishad (Nagpur). For his services to the humanity and the environment he was rewarded with a fellowship jointly by the World Peace Foundation and the Global Open University Milan, Italy, and Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment, New Delhi. Presently he continues to engage himself in the cause of Buddhism and does regular social works, writings and popularizes the messages of Buddhism through his writing.


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