A MESSIAH OF THE SUPPRESSED AND THE OPPRESSED – II
As a fearless crusader for proclaiming and establishing the human and humanitarian rights of the Dalits of India, Dr. Ambedkar was savagely critical of all the mainstream political parties in India.
DR. AMBEDKAR WAS SAGE-LIKE AND PROPHETIC IN HIS VIEW THAT THE POLITICAL PARTIES WERE ONLY INTERESTED IN PERPETUATING THE EVILS OF THE CASTE SYSTEM AND NOT IN ITS ELIMINATION OR ERADICATION. He was the only leader who was able to clearly foresee the ‘CASTE AND COMMUNAL AND ESSENTIALLY ANTI-HINDU DASTARDLY ELECTORAL POLITICAL GAME’ played by the Congress Party first under Mahatma Gandhi in British India and later under Jawaharlal Nehru and his successors in post-Independent India.
Even when the Non-Cooperation and Civil Disobedience Movements were at their peak in the 1920s and 1930s, Dr. Ambedkar did not hesitate to politically attack the Indian National Congress and its unchallenged leader Mahatma Gandhi, whom he accused of deliberately reducing the untouchable community to a figure of wretched pity and pathos.
Dr Ambedkar was also completely disillusioned and dissatisfied with the failure of British rule and therefore boldly advocated a political identity for untouchables quite separate from both the Congress and the British.
At a Depressed Classes Conference on 8 August, 1930, Dr Ambedkar outlined his political vision, insisting that the safety of the Depressed Classes hinged on their being independent of both the Government and the Congress Party. His words on that occasion are worthy of recall:
`We must shape our course ourselves and by ourselves... Political power cannot be a panacea for the ills of the Depressed Classes. Their salvation lies in their social elevation. They must cleanse their evil habits. They must improve their bad ways of living.... They must be educated.... There is a great necessity to disturb their pathetic contentment and to instill in them that divine discontent which is the spring of all elevation.'
In this speech, Dr Ambedkar criticised the Salt Satyagraha launched by Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress. His criticisms and political work had made him very unpopular with orthodox Hindus, as well as with many Congress politicians who had earlier condemned untouchability and worked against discrimination across India. This was largely because these `liberal' politicians usually stopped short of advocating full equality for untouchables.
Despite the underground machinations of the Congress party and its High Command, Dr. Ambedkar's prominence and popular support amongst the untouchable community had increased to Himalayan heights and he was invited to attend the Second Round Table Conference in London in 1931 as a Representative of the Untouchables of India.
At that historic conference, Dr Ambedkar sparred verbally with Mahatma Gandhi on the question of awarding separate electorate to untouchables.
A fierce opponent of a separate electorate on religious and sectarian lines, Mahatma Gandhi feared that separate electorate for untouchables would divide Hindu society for future generations.
When the British agreed with Dr Ambedkar and announced the awarding of separate communal electorate, Mahatma Gandhi began a fast-unto-death while imprisoned in the Yeravada Central Jail of Pune in 1932.
Exhorting orthodox Hindu society to eliminate discrimination and untouchability, Gandhi asked for the political and social unity of Hindus. Gandhi's fast provoked great public support across India, and orthodox Hindu leaders, Congress politicians and activists such as Madan Mohan Malaviya and Pawlankar Baloo organised joint meetings with Ambedkar and his supporters at Yeravada.
Fearing a communal reprisal and killings of untouchables in the event of Gandhi's death on account of his fast-unto-death, Dr. Ambedkar agreed under massive coercion from the supporters of Gandhi to drop the demand for separate electorate, and settled for a reservation of seats. Dr. Ambedkar was later to criticise this fast of Gandhi as a gimmick to deny political rights to the untouchables on the one hand and to coerce him to give up his legitimate demand for a separate electorate. I cannot help saying that Mahatma Gandhi was absolutely right in his ruthless opposition to Dr. Ambedkar’s political demand for separate electorates for the Depressed Classes on the solid ground that such separate electorates for untouchables would only have the disastrous effect of dividing the Hindu society for countless generations in the future.
What Mahatma Gandhi feared with such clairvoyant vision in 1932 has become a stark reality in post-Independent India with Reservations in Government Service, and Higher Education for the Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. With a Firangi Memsahib from mafia-ruled Italy ruling the roost today, the treasonable Sonia Congress Party is the staunchest advocate for conducting a CASTE-BASED CENSUS OF INDIA. For this most corrupt lady, the survival of her known, unknown and undetected Swiss Bank accounts running to Billions of Dollars is more important than the very survival of the Indian Nation.
At the same time, taking the Congress rascally record of double-dealing and prevarication and procrastination, it was perhaps a historic necessity that Dr. Ambedkar should have raised the provocative and untenable issue of separate electorates for the Depressed Classes as early as in 1932.
Now to revert again to the mainstream of the inspiring story of Dr. Ambedkar’s life. In 1932, Dr. Ambedkar was appointed as a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Indian Constitutional Reform. In 1935, Dr Ambedkar was appointed as Principal of Government Law College in Mumbai. He was also appointed as Perry Professor of Jurisprudence, a position he held for two years.
Settling in Bombay, Dr Ambedkar oversaw the construction of a large house called `Rajagraha' in Dadar and stocked his personal library there with more than 50,000 books.
Ramabai Ambedkar (1896-1935)
His wife Ramabai died after a long illness in the same year. It had been her long-standing wish to go on a pilgrimage to Pandharpur, but Ambedkar had refused to let her go, telling her that he would create a new Pandharpur for her instead of Hinduism's Pandharpur which treated them as untouchables. His own views and attitudes had hardened against orthodox Hindus, despite a significant increase in momentum across India that had taken place in 1930s for the fight against untouchability. Consequently, he also invited the wrath of orthodox of Hindu activists.
Dr.Ambedkar giving his Presidential address at the historic Yeola Conversion Conference on October 13, 1935.
Dr Ambedkar presided over the Yeola Conversion Conference, Nasik, on 13 October, 1935. Dr Ambedkar exhorted the Depressed Classes to leave Hinduism and embrace another religion. He would repeat his message at numerous public meetings across India. He also declared at this conference: `I was born as a Hindu but I will not die as a Hindu.'
In December 1935, Dr Ambedkar was invited by the Jat Pat Todak Mandal of Lahore to preside over the Conference of Scheduled Caste and other Castes. Dr Ambedkar prepared a historic speech titled `The Annihilation of Caste.' The Conference was cancelled in the last minute by the Jat Pat Todak Mandal on the ground that Dr Ambedkar's thoughts were revolutionary. Finally, Dr Ambedkar also reacted strongly by refusing to preside over that meeting and published his speech in book form in 1937.
In 1936, Dr. Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour Party. The First general elections were held in 1937 under the Government of India Act of 1935. Dr Ambedkar's Independent Labour Party won 17 seats in elections to the Central Legislative Assembly. Dr. Ambedkar was elected Member of Bombay Legislative Assembly in 1937.
In 1937, he published his book The Annihilation of Caste, a remarkable book in the field of Indian sociology, based on the thesis he had written earlier in New York. This book became very popular.
In this book, Dr. Ambedkar strongly criticised Hindu religious leaders and the caste system in general. He protested against the Congress decision to call the untouchable community Harijans (Children of God), a name coined by Mahatma Gandhi.
When the World War II started in September 1939, Dr Ambedkar strongly pleaded for the recruitment of Mahars in the Indian Army. As a result, today, there is a Mahar Regiment an Infantry Regiment of the Indian Army. Dr Ambedkar was appointed as a member of the Defence Advisory Committee of the government of India in July 1941.
In April 1942, he founded the All India Scheduled Caste Federation in Nagpur. Between 1940 and 1945, Dr Ambedkar published a large number of highly controversial books and pamphlets. In December 1940, Dr Ambedkar published his Thoughts on Pakistan IN WHICH HE CRITICISED THE MUSLIM LEAGUE'S DEMAND FOR A SEPARATE MUSLIM STATE OF PAKISTAN. The second edition of this book with the revised title Pakistan or Partition of India was issued in February 1945. A third impression of the same book was again published in 1946 under a new title India's Political What's What: Pakistan or Partition of India.
COVER PAGE OF THE BOOK
Unlike Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and many other Islam-embracing and Hindu-baiting leaders of the Congress party at that time, Dr Ambedkar was able to see clearly through the vicious and crooked political game of Mohammed Ali Jinnah for Islamisation of India through a series of `Planned Partitions of India'. Let us hear the thundering words of Dr Ambedkar:
“Past experience shows that they (Hinduism and Islam) are too irreconcilable and too incompatible to permit Hindus and Muslims ever forming one single Nation or even two harmonious parts of one whole. Those differences have the sure effect not only of keeping them at war, the differences are permanent and the Hindu-Muslim problem bids fair to be eternal. To attempt to solve it on the footing that Hindus and Muslims are one or if they are not one now, they will be one hereafter is bound to be a barren occupation (as barren as it has come to be proved later in the case of Czeckoslovakia).”
“On the contrary, time has come when certain facts must be admitted as beyond dispute, however unpleasant such admission may be... In the first place, it should be admitted that every possible attempt to bring about union between Hindus and Muslims has been made and all of them have failed.... There seems to be an inherent antagonism between the two which centuries have not been able to dissolve. It (the antagonism) also prohibits inter-marriage between Muslims and Hindus. With these social laws, there can be no social assimilation and consequently no socialization of ways, modes and outlooks, no blunting of the edges and no modulation of age-old angularities.... Islam is a close corporation and the distinction it makes between Muslims and Non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the Universal Brotherhood of Man. It is Brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only.”
The shameless anti-Hindu Sonia Congress Government headed by a politically vicious woman like Sonia Gandhi, duly assisted by a soul-less Prime Minister like Dr Manmohan Singh, an unscrupulously corrupt mercenary like Pa(kistani!) Chidambaram and a corrupt rootless wonder like Pranab Mukherjee are all engaged in the noble task of erecting a magnificent ill-fated edifice of ‘Hindu-Muslim’ Unity which is destined from the beginning to damnation, doom and destruction. Dr Ambedkar, in Heaven, has had the last laugh on the subject of Hindu-Muslim Unity with the denial of Visa to General Musharraf in the first week of December 2010.
With What Congress and Gandhi Have Done to the Untouchables, Dr Ambedkar intensified his attacks on Gandhi and the Congress, charging them with hypocrisy. Right from Gandhi’s days, the political philosophy of the Congress Party has been based on the dictum that the genuine humanity is truly communal and reactionary whereas sham hypocrisy is patently secular and titillatingly cosmopolitan!
In his work Who Were the Shudras?, Dr Ambedkar attempted to explain the formation of the Shudras i.e. the lowest caste in hierarchy of Hindu caste system. He also emphasised how Shudras are separate from untouchables. Dr Ambedkar oversaw the transformation of his political party into the All India Scheduled Castes Federation, although it performed poorly in the elections held in 1946 for the Constituent Assembly of India.
In writing a sequel to Who Were the Shudras? In 1948, Dr Ambedkar lambasted Hinduism in “The Untouchables: A Thesis on the Origins of Untouchability' The Hindu Civilisation.... is a diabolical contrivance to suppress and enslave humanity. Its proper name would be infamy. What else can be said of a civilisation which has produced a mass of people... who are treated as an entity beyond human intercourse and whose mere touch is enough to cause pollution?”