COMMENTS ON GANDHI
- He said that if a man with God’s name on his tongue and a sword under his armpit deserved the appellation of a Mahatma, then Mohandas K.Gandhi was a Mahatma.
- If the untouchable classes were the people God, were the touchable classes assumed to belong to monsters.
- Mahatmas have come and Mahatmas have gone, but the Untouchable remained as Untouchables.
- He (Gandhi) knew what would happen to his fast unto death, had he started one to force the Muslims to drop separate electorates. Nor did he enter upon a fast unto death for the abolition of Untouchablity.
- Ambedkar says “I am confident that the future generation of Hindus will appreciate my services when they study the history of Round Table Conference.
- His verdict was that Gandhi age was the dark age of India.
- Ambedkar and Savarker warned that if the demand of the Muslim league for a division of India was allowed to hold the Muslim masses, there would be no hope for united India and all responsibility would lie with the Congress.
- Ambedkar was describing Nehru as a fourth standard boy.
- The day before the 13th November 1931 when the minorities’ sub-committee of the Round Table Conference Mr.Gandhi took a copy of the Koran and went to the Ritz Hotel a Piccadilly where the Rt.Hon.H.H.Aga Khan was staying to meet the Muslim delegates who; had assembled there. To Muslim delegates he asked-“Why are you dividing the Hindu community which you are doing by recognizing the claim of the Untouchablity for separate representation?”
The murderers paid the penalty of law where law is enforced. The leading Moslems, however never condemned the Muslim criminals but they were hailed as religious martyrs and agitation was carried on for clemency being shown to them. As an illustration of this attitude, one may refer to Mr.Barkat ali a Barrister of Lahore, who argued the appeal of Abdul Qayum. He went to the length of saying that Qayum was not guilty of murder of Nathuramal because his act was justifiable by the law of the Koran. This attitude of the Moslems is quite understandable. What is not understandable is the attitude of Mr.Gandhi. Gandhi was kept silent over them.
Gandhiji said, ‘What a question to ask? If the Congress wishes to accept partition, it will be over my dead body. So long as I am alive, I will never agree to the partition of India. Nor will I, if I can help it, allow Congress to accept it.‘
- The political objection to Hindu Raj rest on various grounds. The first ground is that Hindu society is not a democratic society. Thru, it is not. It may not be right to ask whether the Muslims have taken any part in the various movements for reforming Hindu society as distinguished from proselytizing. But it is right to ask if the Musalmans are the only sufferers from the evils that admittedly result from the undemocratic character of Hindu society. Are not the millions of the Untouchables, suffering the worst consequences of the undemocratic character of Hindu society? Who benefits from education, from public service and from political reforms except the Hindu governing class- composed of the higher Castes of the Hindus-which form not even 10 percent of the total Hindu population? Has not the governing class of the Hindus, which controls Hindu politics, shown more regard for safeguarding the rights and interests of the Musalmans than they have for safeguarding the rights and interests of the Shudras and the Untouchables? Is not Mr.Gandhi, who is determined to oppose any political concession to the Untouchables, ready to sign a blank cheque in favour of the Muslims? Indeed, the Hindu governing class seems to be far more ready to share power with the Muslims that it is to share power with the Shudras and the Untouchables. Surely, the Muslims have the lest ground to complain of the undemocratic character of Hindus society.
- The Hindus are in the grip of the Congress and the Congress is in the grip of Mr.Gandhi. It cannot be said that Mr.Gandhi has given Congress the right lead. Mr.Gandhi first sought to avoid facing the issue by taking refuge in two things. He started by saying that to partition India is a moral wrong and a sin to which he will never be a party. This is a strange argument. India is not the only country faced with the issue of partition or shifting of frontiers based on natural and historical factors to those based on the national factors. Poland has been partitioned three times and on one can be sure that there will be no more partition of Poland. There are very few countries in Europe which have not undergone partition during the last 150 years. This shows that the partition of a country is neither moral nor immoral. It is unmoral. It is a social, political or military question. Sin has no place in it.
Dr.B.R.Ambedkar as a labour member, Government of India then says that Government expects the provinces to bear the mind the absolute necessity of ensuring that the benefits of the new project like Damodar project must be a multipurpose project (Irrigation, electricity and navigation), flood control is a matter of policy. India should utilize the water resources to the best advantage of every body and to put over water resources to the purpose which they are made to serve in other countries. Like Tennessee Valley Scheme operating in USA. As he has vast experience in this TVS project when he was in USA as a student.(Vol-10)
GOUTAM BUDDHA SAID
“Do not believe in what you have heard; do not believe in the traditions because they have been handed down for generation; do not believe in anything because it is rumored and spoken by many; do not believe merely because a written statement of some old sage is produced; do not believe in conjectures, do not believe in that truth to which you have become attached by habit; do not believe merely the authority of your teachers and elders. After observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and gain of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. Pray do not, therefore, believe me when I come to the philosophical issues until and unless you are convinced of what I say, either as a sequel to proper reasoning or by means of a practical approach.”
- In Buddha’s opinion, nothing was infallible and nothing could be final. Everything must be open to re-examination and reconsideration whenever grounds for re-examination and reconsideration arise.
- The Brahmanic sacrifices were mostly sacrifices of animals to please their gods. He condemned them as false sacrifices. He would not allow them even though they be performed with the object of getting salvation for the soil. “If one can go to heaven by sacrificing an animal why should not one sacrifice one’s own father.”
- There were sixty-two different schools of philosophy. Of these schools of philosophy there was one headed by Purana Kassappa. His doctrine was known as Akriyavada. He maintained that the soul was not affected in any way by Karma. One may do, or one may get things done. One may do injury or one may get someone to kill. One may commit theft or dacoity or one may get theft or dacoity committed, one may commit adultery or one may get adultery committed, one may tell a lie or one may get a lie told. Nothing affects the soul. An act, however licentious, does not affect the soul with sin. An act, however, good, does not bring merit to the soul. Nothing has any Kriya(result) on the soul. When a person dies, all the elements of which he is made join in their originals. Nothing survives after death, neither body nor soul.
- The center of his Dhamma is man and the relation of man to man is his life on earth.
- Christ claimed to be the Prophet of Christianity and He was the Son of God.
- Mohammad claimed he is a Prophet of God and he is send by God.
- Buddha claimed that he was no more than the natural son of Suddodana and Mahamaya.
- Individuals come and individuals go. But the moral order of the Universe remains and so also the law of Kamma which sustains it. It is for this reason that in the religion of the Buddha, Morality has been given the place of God.
WHAT IS NOT DHAMMA
- Belief in the Supernatural is Not-Dhamma.
- Belief in Ishwara(God) is not Essentially Part of Dhamma.
- Dhamma base on Union with Brahma is a False Dhamma.
- Belief in soul is Not-Dhamma.
- Belief in Sacrifices is Not-Dhamma.
- Belief Based on Speculation is Not-Dhamma.
- Reading Books of Dhamma is Not-Dhamma.
- Belief in the Infallibility of Books of Dhamma is Not-Dhamma.
WHAT IS DHAMMA
- to maintain purity of life is Dhamma.
- To reach perfection in life is Dhamma.
iii. To live in Nibbana is Dhakka.
- To give up Craving is Dhamma.
- To believe that all compound things are impermanent is Dhamma.
Vi. To believe that Karma is the instrument of moral order is Dhamma.
- What is the use of man’s existence if he is not free? What is the use of man’s intelligence if he continues to believe in supernatural causes?
- “You say that the worshipful Brahma, the Vanquisher, the Unvanquished, Father of all that are and are to be, he by whom we were created, he is permanent constant, eternal, unchanging, and he will remain so far every and ever. Then why are we who are created by that Brahma, have come hither, all impermanent, transient, unstable, short-lived destined to pass away?”
- His fourth argument was that if God is good then why do men become murderers, thieves, unchaste, liars, slanderers, abusive bafflers, covetous, malicious and perverse? The cause of this must be Ishwara. Is this possible with the existence of God who is good?
- Brahma is not real and any religion based upon it is useless.
- The Buddha was on the other hand an upholder of Education for all, besides, he was more concerned with the use of knowledge a man is likely to make with knowledge itself.
- Religion must teach man to know what is right and to follow what is right.
- Religion must teach man to know what is wrong and not to follow what is wrong.
- “If any man, whether he be learned or not, considers himself so great as to despise other men he is like a blind man holding a candle-blind himself, he illumines others.”
FIVE BASIC PRINCIPAL
- One relating to taking life
- Second relating to stealing.
- Third relating to sexual immorality.
- Fourth relating to telling a lie.
- Fifth relating to drink
- Karuna is only love for human beings. Buddha went beyond and taught Maitri. Maitri is love for living beings.
- The soul of this theory, it is obvious, is inequality. This social inequality is not the result of historical growth. Inequality is the official doctrine of Brahminism.
- If your Chaturvarna is an ideal society, why is it not universal?
- No one is an outcast by birth-and no one is Brahmin by birth.
- This is what he says: “Though this is what I affirm and what I preach yet some recluses and Brahmins, wrongly, erroneously and falsely charge me in defiance of facts, with being an annihilationist and with preaching the disintegration, destruction and extirpation of human beings.”
- So interpreted it is easy to understand why the Buddha said that he was not an annihilationist. He believed in the regeneration of matter and not in the rebirth of the soul.
- The Hindu law of Karma is based on the soul. The Buddhist is not. In fact there is no soul in Buddhism.
- That human birth is genetic is told by the Buddha to a Yakkha who came to discuss the matter with him.
- The doctrine of past Karma is a purely Brahminic doctrine. Past Karma taking effect in present life is quite consistent with the Brahminic doctrine of soul, the effect of Karma on soul. But it is quite inconsistent with the Buddhist doctrine of non-soul.
- The first circumstantial evidence on the point is that the Buddha had no objection to the eating meat if it was offered to him as part of his alms.
- Ahimsa Peramo Dharma is an extreme Doctrine. It is a Jain Doctrine. It is not a Buddhist Doctrine.
- From this it appears that the doctrine of Ahimsa does not say “Kill not. It says love all.”
- A Bhiikku does not take a vow of obedience. Outward respect and courtesy to his superiors is expected from the novice. His own salvation and his usefulness as a teacher depend on his self-culture. He is to obey not his superior but the Dhamma. His superior has no supernatural gift of wisdom or of absolution. He must stand or fall by himself. For that he must have freedom of thought.
- A Brahmin is born. A Bhikku is made.
- Once a Brahmin always a Brahmin. No sin, no crime can unmake a Brahmin.
- No attention should be paid to such criticism. But if any reply is to be given, it is that Buddhism is the only real religion and those who do not accept this must revise their definition of Religion.
- A religion to be a religion of man must teach him to shun bad conduct. The destruction of life, the talking of what is not given licentiousness and lying speech are the four vices of conduct which he must avoid.
- A religion to be a religion of man must teach him not to dissipate his wealth. Dissipation of wealth results from being addicted to intoxicating liquors, frequenting the streets at unseemly hours haunting fairs, being infatuated by gambling, associating with evil companions, the habit of idleness.
- Then a certain Brahmin’s slave girl, going along with a jar of water, saw the Blessed One and the monks, realized that they were weary and thirsty, and being of devout heart, wanted to give them water. (It proves Brahmins girls were also slaves.)
- It was at midnight on Vaishkha Paurnima that the blessed Lord breathed his last. This year of his death was 483 B.C.
- The sun shines only in the day and the moon makes bright the night. The warrior shines when he is in his armor. And the Brahmin when he is meditating. But the Buddha shines over all by day as well as by night by his own glory.
- There isn’t anything new in the Gospel of Mohammed who is the least original of the Prophet. His Koran is a compromise between Judaism and Christianity. Few gospel from Koran is as below:
Quran says that all those who disbelieve in Islam go to hell (Q. 5:10 ),
They are najis (filthy, untouchable, impure) (Q. 9:28 ),
And orders us to fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left (Q. 2:193 ).
It prohibits a Muslim to befriend a non-believer even if that non-believer is the father or the brother of that Muslim (Q. 9:23 ),(Q.3:28 ).
It says that the “non-believers will go to hell and will drink boiling water” (Q. 14:17 ).
It asks the Muslims to “slay or crucify or cut the hands and feet of the unbelievers, that they be expelled from the land with disgrace and that they shall have great punishment in the world hereafter” (Q. 5:34 ).
And tells us that “for them (the unbelievers) garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skin shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods” (Q. 22:19-22 )
and that they not only will have “disgrace in this life, on the Day of Judgment He shall make them taste the Penalty of burning (Fire)” ( 22:9 )
Muslims alone are responsible for the disgraceful and un-Islamic state of personal law in respect of marriage, divorce etc.
As the Koran says:
“Verily God does not change the state of a people until they change the state of their own lives.” (13:11)
“…The only religion in the sight of God is Islam…” (Quran 3:19)
In another verse of the Holy Quran, God states:
“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the Hellfire).” (Quran 3:85)
In another saying, Muhammad, the Prophet of God, said:
“Whoever testifies that there in none worthy of being worshipped but God, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, and that Jesus is the Slave of God, His Prophet, and His word which He bestowed in Mary and a spirit created from Him; and that Paradise (Heaven) is true, and that the Hellfire is true, God will eventually admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
In the lectures he delivered in Chennai nearly 70 years ago, the poet-philosopher Iqbal posed a pertinent question: “Did the founders of our schools ever claim finality for their reasoning’s and interpretations? Never. “He upheld the claim of “the present generation of Muslim liberals to re-interpret the foundational legal principles in the light of their own experience.” Iqbal’s remarks, made 70 years ago, are relevant now: “In view of the intense conservatism of the Muslims of India, Indian judges cannot but stick to what are called standard works. The result is that while the peoples are moving, the law remains stationery.” (The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam by Sir Muhammad Iqbal, page 168).
Zeenat Shaukat Ali blends history, theology and the law in one erudite whole in a work of enormous labour. She proves to the hilt that: (a) the Koran does not sanction polygamy, (b) the triple pronouncement of divorce in one sitting is un-Islamic. An English Judge of the Bombay High Court aptly described it as “good in law, though bad in theology” and (c) the wife is equally entitled to divorce the husband. This is known as khula.
Referring to the Muslim religion, he said: If there are any people with whom religious sentiments and practices make it extremely risky to interfere, they are the Muslims.”
Dr.B.R.Ambedkar writing’s (Vol-11)
The Aryans when they invaded India met with a stubborn resistance from these Dravidians. For “they did not go beyond the frontiers of the Punjab till the fifteenth century before Christ”. (By E.J.Simcox)
Clive described Bengal as a country of “inexhaustible riches”. Macaulay said, “In spite of the Mussalman despot and of the Maratha freebooter, Bengal was known through the East as the Garden of Eden-as the rich kingdom. Its population multiplied exceedingly; distant provinces were nourished from the overflowing of its granaries: and the noble ladies of London and Paris were clothed in the delicate produce of its looms.”
The agency which could take charge of the education of the depressed classes was that of Christian Missionaries. In the words of Mount Stuart Elphinstone they “found the lowest classes the best pupils.” Education society formed in Bombay at 1815.
- I am quite convinced that given time and circumstances nothing in the world will prevent this country from becoming one. (Applause): With all our castes and creeds, I have not the slightest hesitation that we shall in some form be a united people (Cheers). I have no hesitation in saying that notwithstanding the agitation of the Muslim League for the partition of India someday enough light would dawn upon the Muslims themselves and they too will begin to think that a United India is better even for them. (Found cheers and Applause).
- Philosopher Burke has said somewhere that it is easy to give power; but difficult to give wisdom.
- Indeed, if I may say so, if things go wrong under new Constitution, the reason will not be that we had a bad Constitution. What we will have to say is, that man was vile. P-70, vol-13.
- The third thing which I would like to mention in this connection is that unfortunate the religions which prevail in this country are not merely non-social; so far as their mutual relations are concerned they are anti-social, one religion claiming that its teachings constitute the only right path for salvation, that all other religion are wrong. The Muslims believe that anyone who does not believe in the dogma of Islam is a kafir not entitled to brotherly treatment with the Muslims. The Christian have a similar belief. In view of this, it seems to me that we should be considerably disturbing the peaceful atmosphere of an institution of these controversies with regard to the truthful character of any particular religion and the erroneous character of the other were brought into juxtaposition in the school itself. (P423,v-13)
- WILL HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF? On 26th January 1950. India will be and 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 lose 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 has lost it by the infidelity and treachery of some of her own people…..
- 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 the addition to our old enemies in the form of Caste and creeds. We are going to have many political parties with diverse and opposing political creeds. Will Indians 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 is lost forever. This eventually we must all resolutely guard against. We must be determined to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood (cheers).
In the Constituent assembly on 25th November 1949 by Dr.B.R.Ambedkar.
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE HINDU CODE: No law passed by the Indian Legislature in the past or likely to be passed in the future can be compared to it (HINDU CODE) in point of its significance. To leave inequality between class and class, between sex and sex which is the soul of Hindu society, untouched and to go on passing legislation relating to economic problems is to a farce of our Constitution and to build a palace on dung heap. This is the significance I attached to the Hindu Code.
- PARLIAMENT IS SUPRIME: “In our Constitution we adopted a middle course; the course that we adopted was this, that while we will permit people to practice and to profess their religion and incidentally, to have their personal law because the personal law is so imbedded in their religion, yet the State has retained all along in article 25 the right to interfere in the personal law of any community in this country. That is my point. The only question is the time, the occasion and the circumstances. I want to assert in this House while I am here that I shall hear no argument from any community to say that this Parliament has no right to interfere in their personal law or any other laws. This Parliament is absolutely supreme and we deal with any community so far as their personal law is concerned apart from their religion. Let no community be in a state of mind that they are immune from the sovereign authority of this Parliament.” Dr.B.R.Ambedkar writings (Vo-13)
CRUESED FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
- The ancient world may be said to have been guilty for failing to take the responsibility for the education of the masses. But never has any society been guilty of closing to the generality of its people the study of the books of its religion. Never has society been guilty of prohibiting the mass of its people from acquiring knowledge. Never has society made any attempt to declare that any attempt made by the common man to acquire knowledge shall be punishable as a crime. Manu is the only divine law giver who has denied the common man the right to knowledge.
- No country has such a dismal record of class war as Hindustan. It was the proud boast of the Brahmin Parasuram that he exterminated the Kshatriyas twenty one times from the face of Hindustan and recreated them by Brahmans cohabiting with the widows of the Kshatriyas.
- Political right is more important than temple entry.
- Babasaheb told “I shall not deter from my pious duty, and betray the just and legitimate interests of my people even if you hung me on the nearest lamp-post in the street.
- Adopting the line of least resistance will be in effective in the matter of uprooting untouchability. “For that you must create”, he asserted, “A crises by direct action against the customary code of conduct of the caste Hindus.” The crises will compel the caste Hindu to think, once he begins to think he will be more ready to change than he is otherwise likely to be. The great defect in the policy of least resistance and silent infiltration of rational ideas lies in this that they do not produce a crisis. The direct action in respect of the Chowdar Tank at Mahad, The Kalaram Temple at Nasik and the Guruvayur Temple in Malabar has done in a few days what million days of preaching by reformers would never have done.
- He said if there is a caste, question of outcast can arise.
- According to him, the way out was the emergence of a benevolent dictator in religious and social matters. “India wants a dictator like Kamal Pasha or Mussolini in social and religious matters.” Democracy is not suitable for India.
- Lala Har Daya observes: “Caste is the curse of India. Caste, in all its forms, had made us a nation of Slaves. It is not Islam, It is not England, which has destroyed India, No, our enemy is within us. Priest craft and Caste have slain us. India can ever establish and maintain a Free State so long as Caste rules in our society. You may deliver speeches pass resolutions sign Commonwealth Bills at infinitum, but Caste Hindus cannot work together, or establish a Free State, or create a victorious army.”
- “Because of untouchability your merits go unrewarded; there is no appreciation of your mental and physical qualities. Because of it you are debarred from entering into the army, police department and navy. Untouchability is accurse that has ruined your worldly existence, honour and name,” he thundered.
- He did not believe in the honesty of the Hindu social reformers who lived in their own caste, married in their own Caste and dies in it!
- I have decided once for all to give up this religion my religious conversion is not inspired by any material motive. There is hardly anything that I cannot achieve even while remaining an Untouchable. There is no other feeling than that of spiritual feeling underlying my religious conversion. Hinduism does not appeal to my conscience. My self-respect cannot assimilate Hinduism. In your caste change of religion is imperative for worldly as well as spiritual ends. Do not care for the opinions of those who foolishly ridicule the idea of your conversion for material ends. What avail is the religion that deals with life after death? A rich man’s sense may be tickled by this idea in his leisure time. Those who are well-placed and prosperous is this world may bless life in contemplation of life-after-death. But why should you live under the fold of that religion which has deprived you of honour, money, food and shelter?
- “I tell you, religion is for man and not man for religion. If you want to organize, consolidate and be successful in this world, change this religion. The religion that does not recognize you as human beings, or give your water to drink, or allow you to enter the temples is not worthy to be called a religion. The religion that forbids you to receive education and comes in the way of your material advancement is not worthy of the appellation ‘religion’. The religion that does not teach its followers to show humanity in dealing with its co-religionists in nothing but a display of force. The religion that asks its adherents to suffer the touch of animals but not the touch of human beings is not religion but a mockery. That religion, which precludes some classes from education, forbids them to accumulate wealth and to bear arms, is not religion but a mockery. The religion that compels the ignorant to be ignorant and the poor to be poor, is not religion but a visitation”!
- In the first place in the religion of the savage society there is no trace of the idea of God. In the second in the religion of the savage society there is no bound between morality and Religion. In the savage society there is religion without God. In the savage society; there is morality but it is independent of Religion.
- In modern society abandonment of religion or acceptance of another is not necessary for social fusion. Religion as a social force cannot be ignored. In short justice is simply another name for liberty, equality and fraternity.
- Babasaheb told he was a confirmed enemy for the community, who exploited the labourers for their political ends.
- Our People follow the Mahatmas as Sheep follow the Shepherd.
- An educated man without character and humanity was more dangerous than a beast.
- The benefited persons forgot the class from which they came and became as insolent and arrogant as any foreigner.
- He told “I hate,’ he continued, injustice, tyranny, pompousness and humbug, and my hatred embraces all those who are guilty of them. Country is greater than man.
- He demanded for the worker Holiday with pay.(He introduced a Bill).
- He said that Political power was the key to all social progress, and the Scheduled Caste could achieve their salvation if they captured the power by organizing themselves into a third party and held the balance of power between the rival political parties, the Congress and the Socialists.
- He said Untouchables were Broken Men and because those poor men could not give up beef-eating and Buddhism, they were treated as Untouchables. He traces the origin of untouchability to a time about 400A.D. and with his profound scholarship maintains that it is born out of the struggle for supremacy; between Buddhism and Brahmanism.
- In the course of his speech he attributed all that vices of the Hindus such as violence, immorality and corruption in Government offices, to deterioration in Hinduism and declared that Real salvation for India would come when the people embraced Buddhism.
- He said to his people that he had lost faith in the educated man of his community and pinned his faith on the illiterate.
- He said it was unfortunate that most of those men who raised from amongst the Schedule castes turned their back upon them. They tried to become second class Brahmins.
- He declared “I shall be the first person to burn it (Constitution) out. I don’t want it, it does not suit anybody. If you want to be effective then you must have guns and not mere soft speech.”
- He advised his people not to trust the leaders of the Caste Hindus, who hated the Untouchables.
- The ignorant people believed that their fate was pre-appointed and irretrievable.
- Geeta an irresponsible book on ethics, a compromise of all errors.
- He said “Indeed the ideal Hindu must be like a rat leaving in his whole refusing to have any contact with others”.
- To him Buddhism differed from Hinduism. He further observed: “Hinduism believes in God. Buddhism has no God. Hinduism believes in soul. According to Buddhism there is no soul. Hinduism believes in Chaturvarnya and the caste system. Buddhism has no place for the caste system and Chaturvarnya.”
- He said “We must give up (observing) all the religious festivals and days which we had been observing according to the Hindu religion. We must consider whether the rites performed according to the Hindu religion are proper from the point of view of religion and morality. Some rites are full of extreme ribaldry….(Source material or Dr. BR Ambedkar and the movement of untouchables, vol-1.)
SLAVE VS UNTOUCHABLE
- Slavery, is must be admitted, is not a free social order. But can untouchability be described as a free social order? The Hindus who came forward to defend untouchability no doubt claim that it is. They, however, forget that there are differences between untouchability and slavery which makes untouchability a worse type of an unfree social order. Slavery was never obligatory. But untouchability is obligatory. A person is permitted to hold another as his Slave. There is no compulsion on him if he does not want to. But an Untouchable has no option. Once he is born an Untouchable, he is subject all the disabilities of an untouchable. The law of slavery permitted emancipation. Once a slave always a slave was not the fate of the slave. In untouchability there is no escape. Once an Untouchable, always an Untouchable. The other difference is that untouchability is an indirect and therefore the worst form of slavery. A deprivation of a man’s freedom by an open and direct way is a preferable form of enslavement. It makes the slaves conscious of his enslavement and to become conscious of slavery is the first and most important step in the battle for freedom. But if a man is deprived of his liberty; indirectly he has no consciousness of his enslavement. Untouchability is an indirect for of slavery. To tell an untouchable you are free, you are a citizen, you have all the rights of a citizen’, and to tighten the rope in such a way as to leave him no opportunity to realize the ideal is a cruel deception. It is enslavement without making the Untouchables conscious of their enslavement. It is slavery though it is untouchability. It is real though it is indirect. It is enduring because it is unconscious. Of the two orders untouchability is beyond doubt the worse.
- Religion has also mixed up with the untouchability, education the basic foundation of the humanity was closed to them. Grammarians, philosophers, tutors, doctors and artists were slaves in Rome but it was absent among the untouchables.
- There are many people who must be wondering as to how such an established order so full of inequalities could have survived. What forces which go to support it? Of the forces which sustain the system the most important is the determination of the Hindus to maintain it at all cost. The Hindus are prepared to use every men’s to suppress the Untouchables whenever the Untouchables try to upset it even in the slightest degree.
- For Hinduism inequality is a religious doctrine adopted and conscientiously preached as a sacred dogma. It is an official creed and nobody is ashamed to profess it openly. Population of Brahmins caste is a crore and a half but it has 1886 sub-caste (1931 census).
- Caste divides Labourers, Caste disassociates work from interest, Caste disconnects intelligence from manual labour, Caste devitalizes by denying to him the right to cultivate vital interest and Caste prevents mobilization.
- Caste system is not merely division of labour. It is also a division of labourers. Civilized society is undoubtedly needs division of labour. But is no civilized society is division of labour accompanied by this unnatural division of labourers into water-tight compartments.
- Caste becomes a direct cause of much of unemployment we see in the country.
- Indeed the destiny of a defeat which has been the lot of India throughout history is due to Caste. Caste prevented general mobilization.
- There is only one period in Indian history which is a period of freedom, greatness and glory. That is the period of the Mourya Empire. At all other times the country suffered from defeat and darkness. But the Mourya period was a period when chaturvarnya was completely annihilated, when the Shudras, who constituted the mass of the people, came into their own and became the rulers of the country.
- There is nobody to avenge an injury done to an Untouchable. There is no fear of a blood feud. The Hindus therefore can commit any wrong against the Untouchables with impunity. This is because the Mohammedans are a solid mass, held together with a deep consciousness of kind, ready to act as one man to vindicate any wrong to the community or to a member thereof. The Untouchables, on the other hand, are a disunited body, they are infested with the caste system in which they believe as much as does the caste Hindu. This caste system among the Untouchables has given rise to mutual rivalry and jealousy and it has made common action impossible. The Mohammedans have also a caste system among themselves. Like untouchables they are also scattered all over the country. But their religion is a strong unifying force which gives them the feeling that, if they are parts, they are parts of one Muslim community. There is nothing to instill such a feeling among the Untouchables. In the absence of any unifying force the Untouchables are just fragments with no cement to bind them and their numbers are therefore of no advantage to them.
- The ordinary not-violent Hindu will not hesitate to use the utmost violence against the Untouchables. There is no cruelty which he will not practice against them to sustain the established order. Not many will readily believe this. But this is a fact.
- Hindus say that their civilization is older than any civilization, the Hinduism as a religion is superior to any other religion. If this is so how is that Hinduism failed to elevate these people, bring them enlightenment and hope; how is it that it failed even to reclaim them; how is it that it stood with folded hands when millions and millions were taking to life to shame and crime?
- Hindus philosophy is opposed to very thing for which religion stand. A society without any respect for human personalities is a band of robber
- Some might think that this description of the established order and the rules made there under are matters of ancient past. This is complete mistake. The established order subsists even today and the rules are as operative today as they were when they were made.
- Isolation and exclusiveness make them anti-social and inimical towards one another. Isolation makes for rigidity of class consciousness, for institutionalizing social life and for the dominance of selfish ideals within the classes. Isolation makes life static, continues and separation into a privileged and underprivileged, masters and servants.
- If the Hindus observe untouchability it is because his religion enjoins him to do so. If he is ruthless and lawless in putting down the Untouchables rising against his established order. It is because his religion not only tells him that the established order is divine and therefore sacrosanct but also imposes upon him a duty to see that this established order is maintained by all means possible. If he does not listen to the call of humanity, it is because his religion does not enjoin him to regard the Untouchables as human beings. If he does not feel any qualms of conscience in assaulting, looting, burning and other acts of atrocities against the Untouchables, it is because his religion tells him that nothing is sin which is done in defense of the social order.
- Caste system is an ascending scale of hatred and descending scale of contempt. Through conversion the Untouchables politically there is neither gain nor loss. Socially, conversion the Untouchables will be members of a community whose religion has universalized and equalized all values of life. Such a blessing is unthinkable for them while they are in the Hindu fold.
- It is said that one of the blessings of the British rule is that Manu Smriti has ceased to be the law of the land.
- Anyone who reads of the lawlessness of the Hindus in suppressing the movement of the untouchables, I am sure will be shocked. Why does the Hindu indulge in this lawlessness is a question he is sure to ask and none will say that such a question will not be a natural question and in the circumstances of the case of very pertinent question-why should an untouchables be tyrannized if he wears clean clothes? How can it hurt a Hindu? Why should an untouchable he molested because he wants to put a tiled roof on his house? How can it injure a Hindu? Why should an untouchable be persecuted because he is keen to send his children to school? How does a Hindu suffer thereby? Why should an untouchable be compelled to carry dead animals, eat carrion, and beg his food from door to door? Where is the loss to the Hindu if he gives these things up? Why should a Hindu object if an untouchable desire to change his religion? Why should his conversion annoy and upset a Hindu? Why should a Hindu feel outraged if an untouchable calls himself by a decent, respectable name? How can a good name taken by an untouchable adversely affect the Hindu? Why should the Hindu object if an Untouchable builds his house facing the main road? How can he suffer thereby? Why should the Hindu object if the sound made by an untouchable fall upon his ears on certain days? It cannot deafen him. Why should a Hindu feel resentment if an untouchable enters a profession, obtains a position of authority, buys land, enters commerce, becomes economically independent and is counted among the well-do-do? Why should all Hindus whether official or non-officials make common cause to suppress the untouchables? Why should all castes otherwise quarrelling among themselves combine to make, in the name of Hinduism, a conspiracy to hold the untouchables at bay?
- If we are not free to enter into Hindu Temples, we are no Hindus, and if we are not Hindus why should we be in a joint electorate with them? Is it for swelling their numbers as against Muslims and other communities?
- The salvation of the Depressed classes will come only when the Caste Hindu is made to think and is forced to feel that he must alter his ways. For that you must create a crisis by direct action against his customary code of conduct. The crisis will compel him to think and once he begins to think he will be more ready to change than he is otherwise likely to be.
- The place of the boss is reserved for the Caste Hindu while the Depressed Class worker must slave as his underdog no matter how senior or how efficient.
- The touchable and the untouchables cannot be held together by law, certainly not by any electoral law substituting joint electorates for separate electorates. The only thing that can hold them together is love.
- Four principal objections have been urged by the opponents against the conversion the Untouchables. i.e. What can the Untouchables gain by conversion? Conversion can make no change in the status of the Untouchables. Ii. All religions are true, all religions are good. To change religion is a futility. Iii. The conversion of the Untouchables is political in its nature. Iv. The conversion of the untouchables is not genuine as it is not based on faith. It cannot take much argument to demonstrate that the objections are puerile and inconsequential.
- To take the last objection first. History abounds with cases where conversion has taken place without any religious motive. What was the stability of the social order? The religious sanction, on account of its being supernatural has been on the other hand the most effective means of social control, far more effective than law and Government have been or can be. Without the support of religion, law and Government are bound to remain a very inadequate means of social control. Religion is the most powerful force of social gravitation without which it would be impossible to hold the social order its orbit.
- The Untouchables can very well ask the protagonists of Hinduism the very questions which Lord Balfour asked the Positivists. Nay the Untouchables can ask many more. They can ask: Does Hinduism recognize their worth as human being? Does it stand for their equality? Does it extend to them the benefit of liberty? Does it at least help to forge the bond of fraternity between them and the Hindus? Does it teach the Hindus that the Untouchables are their kindred? Does it say to the Hindus it is a sin to treat the Untouchables as being neither man nor beast? Does it tell the Hindus to be righteous to the Untouchables? Does it preach to the Hindus to be just and human to them? Does it inculcate upon the Hindus the virtue of being friendly to them? Does it tell the Hindus to love them, to respect them and to do them no wrong? In fine, does Hinduism universalize the value of life without distinction?
- No Hindus can dare to give an affirmative answer to any of these questions. On the contrary the wrongs to which the Untouchables are subjected by the Hindus are acts which are sanctioned by the Hindu religion. They are done in the name of Hinduism and are justified in the name of Hinduism. The spirit and tradition which makes lawful the lawlessness of the Hindus towards the Untouchables is founded and supported by the teachings of Hinduism. How can the Hindus ask the Untouchables accept Hinduism and stay in Hinduism? Why should the Untouchables adhere to Hinduism which is solely responsible for the degradation? How can the Untouchables stay in Hinduism? Untouchability is the lowest depth to which the degradation of a human being can be carried. To be poor is bad but not so bad as to be an Untouchable. The poor can be proud. The Untouchables cannot be. To be reckoned low is bad but it is not so bad as to be an Untouchable. The low can rise above his status. An Untouchable cannot. To be suffering is bad but not so bad as to the an Untouchable. They shall someday be comforted. An Untouchable cannot hope for this. To have to be meek is bad but it is not so bad as to be an Untouchable. The meek if they do not inherit the earth may at least be strong. The Untouchables cannot hope for that.
- In Hinduism there is no hope for the Untouchables. But this is not the only reason why the Untouchables wish to quit Hinduism. There is another reason which makes it imperative for them to quit Hinduism. Untouchability is a part of Hinduism. Even those who for the sake of posing as enlightened reformers deny that untouchablility is part of Hinduism are to observe untouchability. For a Hindu to believe in Hinduism does not matter. It enhances his sense of superiority by the reason of this consciousness that there are millions of Untouchables below him. But what does it mean for an Untouchable to say that he believes in Hinduism? It means that he accepts that he is an Untouchable and that he is an Untouchable is a result of Divine dispensation. For Hinduism is divine dispensation. An Untouchable may not cut the throat of a Hindu. But he can be expected to give an admission that he is an Untouchable and rightly so. Which Untouchable is there what the soul so dead as to give such an admission by adhering to Hinduism? That Hinduism is inconsistent with the self-respect and honour of the Untouchables is the strongest ground which justifies the conversion of the Untouchables to another and nobler faith.
- The opponents of conversion are determined not to be satisfied even if the logic of conversion was irrefutable. They will insist upon asking further questions. There is one question which they are always eager to ask largely because they think it is formidable and unanswerable. What will the Untouchables gain materially by changing their faith? The question is not at all formidable. It is simple to answer. It is not the intention of the Untouchables to make conversion an opportunity for economic gain. The Untouchable it is true will not gain wealth by conversion. This is however no loss because while they remain as Hindus they are doomed to be poor. Politically the Untouchables will lose the political rights that are given to the Untouchables. This is, however, no real loss. Because they will be entitled to the benefit of the political rights reserved for the community which they would join through conversion. Politically there is neither gain nor loss. Socially, the Untouchables will gain absolutely and immensely because by conversion the Untouchables will be members of a community whose religion has universalized and equalized all values of life. Such a blessing is unthinkable for them while they are in the Hindu fold. The answer is complete. But by reason of its brevity it is not likely to give satisfaction to the opponents of conversion. The Untouchables need three things. First thing they need is to end their social isolation. The second thing they need is to end their inferiority complex. Will conversion meet their needs? The opponents of conversion have a feeling that the supporters of conversion have no case. That is why they keep on raising questions. The case in favour of conversion is stronger than the strongest case. Only one does with to spend long arguments to prove what is so obvious. But since it is necessary to put an end to all doubt, I am prepared to pursue the matter. Let me take each point separately.
- How can they end their social isolation? The one and the only way to end their social isolation is for the Untouchables to establish kinship with and get themselves incorporated into another community which is free from the spirit of caste. The answer is quite simple and yet not many will readily accept its validity. The reason is, very few people realize the values and significance of kinship. Nevertheless its value and significance are very great. (Vol-5)