Although incipient Dalit movements had sprouted in many parts of the country, Ambedkar’s advent on the Dalit horizon overwhelmed them. He had a dual aura of sacrifice as well as regality in his persona, which struck chord with the masses. They took him as their lord, a la bhim raja, and later when they threw away their gods at his behest by becoming Buddhists, they installed him in their place. No leader before or after him could take his place. After his death, the leaders had to constitute a presidium, 1 a form of collective leadership, as they knew no single individual would be able to hold together disparate individuals as well as be acceptable to the masses. It was meant to preside over all the institutions Ambedkar founded. Even then they could at best be proxy for him; each of their decisions or actions had to be demonstrably compliant with ‘Ambedkar thought’. The rivalry between these leaders began manifesting itself in terms of competitive claims of being the genuine follower of Ambedkar. Not only did it lead to the splintering of the Dalit movement, but it also set in a process of fossilization.