Tag Archives: Ambedkar

Dr.Ambedkar – An academician, economist, politician and a Patriot

A Talk by Sri Milind Oak at a program organised by Bharatiya Vichar Manch & Dr.Ambedkar Trust at Gujarath ; Covers a great deal of ground on his contributions in academics, social life, politics and social movements. The talk throws a lot of light on the legacy that Dr.Ambedkar inherited in the “Dalit” movement and how within a span of 2 decades, he was able to wean the depressed classes away from the separatists due to his extensive work.

 

Ambedkar’s Appeal to the Nation – Last Speech in Constituent Assembly

….My mind is so full of the future of our country that I feel I ought to take this occasion to give expression to some of my reflections thereon. On 26th January 1950, India will be an independent country (Cheers). What would happen to her independence? Will she maintain her independence or will she lose it again? This is the first thought that comes to my mind. It is not that India was never an independent country. The point is that she once lost the independence she had. Will she lost it a second time? It is this thought which makes me most anxious for the future. What perturbs me greatly is the fact that not only India has once before lost her independence, but she lost it by the infidelity and treachery of some of her own people. In the invasion of Sind by Mahommed-Bin-Kasim, the military commanders of King Dahar accepted bribes from the agents of Mahommed-Bin-Kasim and refused to fight on the side of their King. It was Jaichand who invited Mahommed Gohri to invade India and fight against Prithvi Raj and promised him the help of himself and the Solanki Kings. When Shivaji was fighting for the liberation of Hindus, the other Maratha noblemen and the Rajput Kings were fighting the battle on the side of Moghul Emperors. When the British were trying to destroy the Sikh Rulers, Gulab Singh, their principal commander sat silent and did not help to save the Sikh Kingdom. In 1857, when a large part of India had declared a war of independence against the British, the Sikhs stood and watched the event as silent spectators.

Will history repeat itself? It is this thought which fills me with anxiety. This anxiety is deepened by the realization of the fact that in addition to our old enemies in the form of castes and creeds we are going to have many political parties with diverse and opposing political creeds. Will Indian place the country above their creed or will they place creed above country? I do not know. But this much is certain that if the parties place creed above country, our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost for ever. This eventuality we must all resolutely guard against. We must be determined to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood.(Cheers)

On the 26th of January 1950, India would be a democratic country in the sense that India from that day would have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The same thought comes to my mind. What would happen to her democratic Constitution? Will she be able to maintain it or will she lost it again. This is the second thought that comes to my mind and makes me as anxious as the first.

It is not that India did not know what is Democracy. There was a time when India was studded with republics, and even where there were monarchies, they were either elected or limited. They were never absolute. It is not that India did not know Parliaments or Parliamentary Procedure. A study of the Buddhist Bhikshu Sanghas discloses that not only there were Parliaments-for the Sanghas were nothing but Parliaments – but the Sanghas knew and observed all the rules of Parliamentary Procedure known to modern times. They had rules regarding seating arrangements, rules regarding Motions, Resolutions, Quorum, Whip, Counting of Votes, Voting by Ballot, Censure Motion, Regularization, Res Judicata, etc. Although these rules of Parliamentary Procedure were applied by the Buddha to the meetings of the Sanghas, he must have borrowed them from the rules of the Political Assemblies functioning in the country in his time.

This democratic system India lost. Will she lost it a second time? I do not know. But it is quite possible in a country like India – where democracy from its long disuse must be regarded as something quite new – there is danger of democracy giving place to dictatorship. It is quite possible for this new born democracy to retain its form but give place to dictatorship in fact. If there is a landslide, the danger of the second possibility becoming actuality is much greater.

If we wish to maintain democracy not merely in form, but also in fact, what must we do? The first thing in my judgement we must do is to hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives. It means we must abandon the bloody methods of revolution. It means that we must abandon the method of civil disobedience, non-cooperation and satyagraha. When there was no way left for constitutional methods for achieving economic and social objectives, there was a great deal of justification for unconstitutional methods. But where constitutional methods are open, there can be no justification for these unconstitutional methods. These methods are nothing but the Grammar of Anarchy and the sooner they are abandoned, the better for us.

The second thing we must do is to observe the caution which John Stuart Mill has given to all who are interested in the maintenance of democracy, namely, not “to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him with power which enable him to subvert their institutions”. There is nothing wrong in being grateful to great men who have rendered life-long services to the country. But there are limits to gratefulness. As has been well said by the Irish Patriot Daniel O’Connel, no man can be grateful at the cost of his honour, no woman can be grateful at the cost of her chastity and no nation can be grateful at the cost of its liberty. This caution is far more necessary in the case of India than in the case of any other country. For in India, Bhakti or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship, plays a part in its politics unequalled in magnitude by the part it plays in the politics of any other country in the world. Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship.

The third thing we must do is not to be content with mere political democracy. We must make our political democracy a social democracy as well. Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy. What does social democracy mean? It means a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life. These principles of liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life. These principles of liberty, equality and fraternity are not to be treated as separate items in a trinity. They form a union of trinity in the sense that to divorce one from the other is to defeat the very purpose of democracy. Liberty cannot be divorced from equality, equality cannot be divorced from liberty. Nor can liberty and equality be divorced from fraternity. Without equality, liberty would produce the supremacy of the few over the many. Equality without liberty would kill individual initiative. Without fraternity, liberty would produce the supremacy of the few over the many. Equality without liberty would kill individual initiative. Without fraternity, liberty and equality could not become a natural course of things. It would require a constable to enforce them. We must begin by acknowledging the fact that there is complete absence of two things in Indian Society. One of these is equality. On the social plane, we have in India a society based on the principle of graded inequality which we have a society in which there are some who have immense wealth as against many who live in abject poverty. On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which is Assembly has to laboriously built up.

The second thing we are wanting in is recognition of the principle of fraternity. what does fraternity mean? Fraternity means a sense of common brotherhood of all Indians-if Indians being one people. It is the principle which gives unity and solidarity to social life.

Read the full text Ambedkar Last speech in consituent assembly

Why Ambedkar Would Not Get Along Very Well With ‘Periyar’

By Aravindan Neelakandan

To name a group “Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle” is akin to naming a group “Nehru Jinnah Study Centre”.  The politics of Ambedkar and Periyar remain so mutually incompatible.

The recent controversy about a group named “Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle” being derecognised by the IIT-Madras administration has brought to light the modus-operandi of Leftist groups in academic institutions. One of the ways in which Leftist groups operate is by appropriating the legacy and names of famous icons, even if the stated views of the icons were diametrically opposite to the views held by the Left.

In the case of the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle we observe a similar practise: that of bringing together the names of two icons with totally opposite views. Admittedly this may project an image of a ‘consolidated’ sub-altern platform, Ambedkar representing the Dalit faction and Periyar’s name standing in for Tamil/Dravidian nationalism. But little do the organisers realize how comical this comes across as. The politics of Ambedkar and Periyar remain so mutually incompatible. To name a group “Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle” is akin to naming a group “Nehru Jinnah Study Centre”. Here are two reasons why an ‘Ambedkar-Periyar’ joint platform is not going anywhere:

1. Ambedkar Didn’t Buy Into The Aryan-Dravidian Divide

E.V.Ramasamy fondly addressed as ‘Periyar’ by his followers was a racist. He believed in racial theories, especially in the  Aryan race theory(ies). He promoted racial stereotypes.

On the other hand, Dr.Ambedkar was the quintessential humanist. He studied the so-called Aryan race theory and racial interpretation of Indian society and rejected it.

For example in his ‘Who were the Shudras’, Dr.Ambedkar called the theory of Aryan invasion as well as the idea of Aryan race ‘an invention’. In his work on ‘Untouchables’ he underscored the point that race had nothing to do with the social dynamics in India:

If anthropometry is a science which can be depended upon to determine the race of a people…(then its) measurements establish that the Brahmins and the Untouchables belong to the same race. From this it follows that if the Brahmins are Aryans the Untouchables are also Aryans. If the Brahmins are Dravidians, the Untouchables are also Dravidians….

E.V.Ramasamy had this to say on the same subject: “We Tamilians were the rulers of this land and we lost our prestige, ruling power and valour to a group of nomads who came here with their cattle…We would come out of this slavery only when we shed away the feeling that we are Hindus and that we are Indians.

2. Ambedkar Didn’t Like Monotheism

E.V.Ramasamy was a pro-monotheistic in the garb of an atheist. He stated : “I am not asking you not to worship God but to worship one God like the way Christians and Muslims do.”(Viduthalai, 04-06-1959) To EVR colonial imperialism was the ultimate sign of a religion’s superiority.

On the other hand Dr.Ambedkar rejected as shaky foundation for democracy the idea of universal fatherhood of God and instead considered the Hindu concept of Brahman as the surest and most suitable basis for democracy:

To support Democracy because we are all children of God is a very weak foundation for Democracy to rest on. That is why Democracy is so shaky wherever it made to rest on such a foundation. But to recognize and realize that you and I are parts of the same cosmic principle leaves room for no other theory of associated life except democracy. It does not merely preach Democracy. It makes democracy an obligation of one and all.

Western students of Democracy have spread the belief that Democracy has stemmed either from Christianity or from Plato and that there is no other source of inspiration for democracy. If they had known that India too had developed the doctrine of Brahmaism which furnishes a better foundation for Democracy they would not have been so dogmatic. India too must be admitted to have a contribution towards a theoretical foundation for Democracy.

3. E.V. Ramasamy Was No Democrat. Ambedkar Was.

E.V.Ramasamy was totally against democracy. He considered democracy to be the root cause of all the problems faced by the society and considered it as an evil manipulation of Brahmins. E.V.R in an editorial dated 8-2-1931 stated that, “in a nation with different languages, religions, and castes with low literacy democracy cannot in any way bring any progress.”

On the other hand Dr.Ambedkar strongly supported universal suffrage and thought ‘the exercise of vote was itself an education’. Dr.Ambedkar famously stated that “Social democracy means a way of life, which recognises liberty, equality and fraternity as the principle of life.”

4. E.V. Ramasamy Was Anti-Indian. Ambedkar Deeply Believed In India’s Cultural Unity

E.V.R was basically anti-Indian. He never considered India as a unified entity. He was for linguistic and racial balkanisation of India. Dr.Ambekdar was deeply convinced of the basic cultural unity of India and the need for the political unification of India based on that spiritual-cultural basis. Dr.Ambedkar definitively rejected the linguistic basis of the nation-state.

Even while arguing for linguistic states Dr.Ambedkar stated:

The formula one language, one State means that all people speaking one language should be brought under one Government irrespective of area, population and dissimilarity of conditions among the people speaking the language. This is the idea that underlies the agitation for a united Maharashtra with Bombay. This is an absurd formula and has no precedent for it. It must be abandoned. A people speaking one language may be cut up into many States as is done in other parts of the world.”

And further cautioned about linguistic feelings balkanizing Hindus:

I advocated partition because I felt that it was only by partition that Hindus would not only be independent but free. … When the partition took place I felt that God was willing to lift his curse and let India be one, great and prosperous. But I fear that the curse may fall again. For I find that those who are advocating linguistic States have at heart the ideal of making the regional language their official language.

5. Ambedkar Was Pro-Sanskrit

E.V.R had a visceral hatred for everything he associated with Brahmins including Sanskrit. He declared:

Aryans were nomads in different places and picked up different dialects. And what they call today their Sanskrit language is actually a combination of these dialects and languages spoken at different places in different ages. The Sanskrit language has nothing noble in it and the Brahmins spoke high about Sanskrit only to make themselves superior and to humiliate other languages.” (From the collection “The Great Falsehood”, Viduthalai, 31-July-2014).

On the other hand Dr.Ambedkar wanted Sanskrit to be the national language of India. (Report of the Sanskrit Commission, 1956-1957, p.200) He observed:

“Sanskrit is the golden treasure of epics, the cradle of grammar, politics and philosophy and the home of logic, dramas and criticism.” (Keer, p.19)

6. Dr.Ambedkar Was Sympathetic To The Jews

E.V.R promoted racial hatred against Brahmins and explicitly drew a comparison with the Jews. He justified both the anti-Semitic hatred for Jews and desired a similar hatred for Brahmins. Here is the sample of typical EVR rhetoric against Brahmins:

That Jews do not have a separate nation and hence no patriotism on their own is a fact that resonated with Brahmins who do not have a separate nation of their own. Is this not a similarity? Jews being obsessed only with themselves cajole those in power and indulge in cunning manipulations to hurt and suck others for their own living. Does not this resonate with Brahmins who with no responsibility cajole those in power and try to dominate others.

Dr.Ambedkar, on the other hand,  was sympathetic to the Jews. He supported Israel and never showed any hatred towards Brahmins. Far from that his respect for humanists cut across such caste and creed lines so much so that when he started the Siddharth College, Bombay, – the first college established by Peoples Education Society, he requested Professor Ashwathamacharya Balacharya Gajendragadkar to become the first principal. Gakedragadkar who was then in Elphinstone College, Bombay, took early retirement and accepted the offer.

How far removed is the catholicity of Dr.Ambedkar from the racist hatred promoted by EVR which could create a mindset that screamed ‘If you see a snake and a Brahmin beat the Brahmin first for snake has venom only in its fangs but Brahmin has venom all over his body.”

7. Dr.Ambedkar Would Never Compromise On The Safety Of Indian People

He worked for the creation of Mahar regiment that played a crucial role in rescuing Hindu-Sikh refugees from West Pakistan. Dr.Ambedkar also strongly advocated the rescue of Hindus and Buddhists stranded in East Pakistan. Dr.Ambedkar saw caste as politically fragmenting Hindus and worried that it would render them weak and vulnerable in the independent India. In the words of Dr.Ambedkar:

More important than the question of defending swaraj is the question of defending Hindus under the Swaraj. In my opinion, only when the Hindu society becomes a casteless society that it can hope to have strength enough to defend itself. Without such internal strength, Swaraj for Hindus may turn out to be only a step towards slavery.

Such a vision cannot be seen in EVR whose ‘social action’ was limited to racist rhetoric and seldom anything more.

8. Ambedkar’s Reform Could Draw Inspiration From Upanishads

Even while calling for the destruction of Smrithi and Sruthi based religion Dr.Ambedkar also specifically stated that Hindus should adapt their religion to modern situation transforming it into a religion of liberty, equality and fraternity based on the principles present in Upanishads. He always considered these important values as having Indic rather than European roots.

Thus in his ‘Annihilation of Caste’, Dr.Ambedkar stated: “… for such religious principles as will be in consonance with Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, it may not be necessary for you to borrow from foreign sources, and that you could draw for such principles on the Upanishads.” Later in his ‘Riddles‘ he elaborated how the Mahavakyas can form the spiritual basis for social democracy.

Again such an in-depth analysis and rootedness is conspicuously wanting in E.V.R.

9. Ambedkar Did Not Indulge In Doublespeak

Dr.Ambedkar cared for humanity and when a crime against humanity happened he condemned it. For example he never whitewashed the Moplah massacre of Hindus by Muslims. He minced no words nor sought or invent like modern day Marxists any any excuses for the fundamentalist killers. This is how he describes the riots:

The Hindus were visited by a dire fate at the hands of the Moplas. Massacres, forcible conversions, desecration of temples, foul outrages upon women, such as ripping open pregnant women, pillage, arson and destruction—in short, all the accompaniments of brutal and unrestrained barbarism, were perpetrated freely by the Moplas upon the Hindus until such time as troops could be hurried to the task of restoring order through a difficult and extensive tract of the country. This was not a Hindu-Moslem riot. This was just a Bartholomew. The number of Hindus who were killed, wounded or converted, is not known. But the number must have been enormous.”

Given the fact that the majority of those killed could be labelled ‘upper caste’ Hindus, Dr.Ambedkar could have easily ‘justified’ the riots like the modern day Leftists. But he chose to do otherwise.

Now let us compare a similar incident in the life  of EVR. During the DMK regime, 44 Dalits were massacred at Keezhvenmani – a village in Tamil Nadu. They were burnt to death by non-Brahmin ‘Dravidian’ upper castes. EVR never condemned the massacre of Dalits by non-Brahmin caste ‘Dravidians’ and in a display of unrestricted perversion condemned those who organized the Dalits to fight for the higher wages.

10. E.V. Ramasamy Wasn’t All Pro-Dalit

E.V.Ramasamy nurtured a deep hatred for Dalits which often came out in statements which would make any civilized human being slightly cringe. He attributed the rise in prices of clothing to the fact that Dalit women had started wearing jackets. He wanted higher education institutions to be closed so that cheap labour would be available. Such thoughts could not even occur to Dr.Ambedkar

Courtest : Swarajya

Who Killed Rohit Vemula

In Jan 2016, one of our readers shared this video with us explaining the transition of Rohit Vemula from a boy with dreams, a fan of Vivekananda to becoming a person who called Vivekananda a misogynist to later feeling cheated by his later ideological mates. Watch the Video below

 

The Guntur District Collector has declared that Rohit Vemula was not a #Dalit, ( News link ) meaning he was not from the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes. They have also served a notice to Rohit’s mother who had apparently taken a fraudulent SC certificate.

Living a life of falsehood can have a lot of pressure and has the potential to suck up to people who claim to give support.

In his last letter, he wrote

” May be I was wrong, all the while, in understanding world. In understanding love, pain, life, death. There was no urgency. But I always was rushing. Desperate to start a life. All the while, some people, for them, life itself is curse. My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past.”

The vultures who used his death to score political points obviously are the ones who actually showed him false sense of support before driving him to his so-called suicide..

While the debate has been if he was a dalit or not for a few months, it is important to actually expose the forces that target gullible youth to confuse them, create hatred on the system and wean them away from the ethos of our ancient nation. Some of them overtime live a life of emptiness which is amply demonstrated by the letter that Rohit wrote stating that he felt cheated by his own people ( which he later struck off ) . News Link

“In the alleged suicide note written by Rohith, he struck down a few lines which in which he has blamed Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) and Students Federation Of India (SFI) for being power-hungry.

In the text of those lines, he hit out at his student organisations claiming that they exist for their own sake adding that they do not work for the interest of students. He had scribbled that the only aim of these organisations is to get power or become famous adding that the student organisations very often overestimate their acts and find solace in traits.

 “ASA, SFI, anything and everything exist for their own sake. Seldom the interest of a person and these organisations match. To get power or to become famous or to be important in between boundaries and to think we are up to changing the system, very often we overestimate our acts and find solace in traits. Of course I must give credit to these both groups for introducing me to wonderful literature and people,” the letter reads.

Those responsible for misguiding him leading to his eventual death must be exposed to save future generations of youth in the universities of Bharat. 

 

Ambedkar Support for Sanskrit as Official Language

The narrative of Dr.Ambedkar’s life over 3 decades has been hijacked by the very forces that Dr.Ambedkar warned the nation about. These forces try and paint every aspect of our national life as oppressive, unjust and evil. It is fashionable for these forces to use Dr.Ambedkar’s photographs on their books and then fill the books with hatred. Unfortunately, many gullible Hindus fall into this trap. It is true that Ambedkar was incisive in his criticism on some aspects of our national life but at the same time, he believed they were anomalies and had faith in the innate genius of our nation.

One aspect of their narrative is to spew hatred on #Sanskrit since it is so innately connected with this nation’s ethos.  When it was brought to light that Dr.Ambedkar had infact supported Sanskrit as Bharat’s official language in 1949, they called it a lie and asked for proof. So here it is

Newspaper clippings of 1949

Newspaper clippings of 1949

The constituent assembly discussions on many subjects esp this one are very revealing and brings to light the views of various leaders who were part of the finalisation of the Constitution. They are a must read for any serious reader trying to understand India post-Independence.