Tag Archives: Ambedkar

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.

RSS, Hindu Nation and The State

Source

Courtesy Indian Express

MG Vaidya Courtesy Indian Express

Sometimes, something good comes out of a seemingly ugly or evil event. The JNU episode, though unfortunate, has given rise to a debate on what constitutes a nation. The confusion is due to the present-day formation of a one state — one nation reality. But the two concepts need not be congruent. One state can include many nations, so also one nation can consist of many states.

For example, the state of the USSR, till a quarter of a century ago, included many nations, like Latvia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, etc. The state of Yugoslavia, too, had comprised of more than one nation. Our India, that is Bharat, that is Hindustan, was one nation from time immemorial but contained many states. At the time of the invasion of Alexander in the 4th century BCE, there was one Nanda empire but, besides that, there were many republics. Lord Buddha was born in a republic. In the 7th century CE, King Harshavardhan ruled over the territory to the north of the river Narmada; in the south, the king was one Pulakeshin. Germany had been a nation for many years. But from 1945 to 1990, there were two states.

The distinction between the two concepts — state and nation — should always be remembered. A state is a political association that is run by and through laws. And for laws to be effective, the state needs physical force. To quote political thinker Ernest Barker, “The state… is a legal association: a ‘juridically organised nation, or a nation organised for action under legal rules.’ It exists for law: it exists in and through law: we may even say that it exists as law, if by law we mean not only a sum of legal rules, but also, and in addition, an operative system of effective rules which are actually valid and regularly enforced. The essence of the state is a living body of effective rules; and in that sense the state is law.”

All those who follow the legal framework become its citizens. A nation means the people. The people are the nation. There are three main conditions for people to constitute a nation: One, their sentiment for the land in which they live. Those who believe that the land is their motherland constitute a nation. The Jews were driven out of their motherland and for 1,800 years, they lived in different countries. But they never forgot that Palestine is their motherland. The second condition is a common history. After all, what is history except certain events that happened in the past. Some of them may lead to a feeling of pride and others may cause shame. Those who have the same feeling of joy or grief about the events in their history constitute a nation. The third and most important condition is adherence to a certain value system, that is, culture. In all nations of the world, these three conditions prevail. It is in our hapless country alone that there is controversy about these conditions.

Who are the people who take pride in uttering a slogan like “Bharat Mata ki Jai” or “Vande Mataram”? Who are the people that stretch their history to Rama, Krishna, Chanakya, Vikramaditya, Rana Pratap and Shivaji? And who are the people that share a certain value system? One major principle of this value system is the appreciation of plurality of faiths and religions. These people are known, world over, by the name of Hindu. Therefore, this is a Hindu nation. It has nothing to do with whether you are a theist or atheist, whether you are an idol-worshipper or against idol-worship, whether you believe in the authority of the Vedas or some other sacred book. This was understood by the framers of our Constitution. Therefore, Explanation II under Article 25 states that “reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religion”. Why should this not be applicable to those who profess Christianity or Islam? B.R. Ambedkar moved the Hindu Code Bill in Parliament, and it is applicable to Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. Why not to Christians and Muslims?

For 17 long years, I was a lecturer in a Christian college run by a Protestant church. I never concealed my affiliation to the RSS. Once, in 1957, a very senior Christian professor, some two decades older than me, asked me: “Can I become a member of the RSS?” I said, “Yes, you can.” He said, “What shall I have to do?” I replied, “You need not give up your church, nor abandon faith in the Bible and can have the same reverence for Jesus Christ.” I was watching the signs of surprise on his face. However, I said, “But, sir, you have to accept the validity of other faiths and religions also.” He immediately remarked, “I cannot accept this. If I accept this, I will not be able to propagate my religion.” I said, “Sir, then you cannot become a member of the RSS.”

The whole confusion in our understanding of “Hindu” is due to our consideration of Hinduism as a religion. It is not a religion. As S. Radhakrishnan said, “It is a commonwealth of many religions.” “Hindu” is a dharma. And in English, there is no equivalent of the word dharma. It will require another article to explain the correct concept and connotation of dharma. I will end by quoting Ernest Renan, a French philosopher, whose book as translated in English is titled What is a Nation. I quote, “The soil provides the substratum, the field for struggle and labour, man provides the soul. Man is everything in the formation of this sacred thing that we call a people. Nothing that is material suffices here. A nation is a spiritual principle, the result of the intricate workings of history; a spiritual family and not a group determined by the configuration of the earth.”

He adds, “Two things, which are really one, go to make up this soul or spiritual principle. One of these things lies in the past, the other in the present. The one is the possession in common of a rich heritage of memories; and the other is actual agreement, the desire to live together, and the will to make the most of the joint inheritance. Man, gentlemen, cannot be improvised. The nation, like the individual, is the fruit of a long past spent in toil, sacrifice and devotion…To share the glories of the past, and a common will in the present; to have done great deeds together, and to desire to do more — these are the essential conditions of a people’s being. Love is in proportion to
the sacrifice one has made and the evils one has borne.”

To become a nation, Renan emphasises that you don’t need to have one language or one religion, or a community of economic interests. You only need the spirit, the sentiment, the value system. Can one abuse this connotation of “nation” as narrow or dangerous?

  • By Sri M.G.Vaidya