Conversion 3rd part

  1. PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY

 

Beware  of  parliamentary democracy it  is

not the best products as its appears to be.

 

The  wrong  ideology  which  has  vitiated

parliamentary democracy is the failure to realize

that political  democracy  cannot  succeed  where

            there is  no social and economic democracy.  Some

may question  this proposition.  To those who are

disposed   to   question  it,  I   will   ask   a

counter-question.     Why     did   parliamentary

democracy  collapse  so easily in Italy,  Germany

and Russia  ?  Why did it not collapse so  easily

in England and the U.S.A.  ?  To my mind there is

only one  answer.  It is that there was a greater

degree of  economic  and social democracy in  the

latter countries  than  existed  in  the  former.

Social and economic democracy are the tissues and

the fiber  of a political democracy.  The tougher

the tissue  and  the  fiber,   the  greater   the

strength  of the body.  Democracy is another name

for equality.   Parliamentary democracy developed

a passion  for  liberty.   It never made  even  a

nodding acquaintance with equality.  It failed to

realize  the significance of equality and did not

even endeavour   to  strike  a  balance   between

liberty and equality with the result that liberty

swallowed  equality and has made democracy a name

and a farce.1

 

I  have  referred to the wrong  ideologies

which in  my  judgment have been responsible  for

the failure of parliamentary democracy.  But I am

equally certain that more than bad ideology it is

bad organization  which has been responsible  for

the failure   of   democracy.     All   political

societies get divided into two classes-the Rulers

and the  Ruled.   This is an evil.  If  the  evil

stopped  here it would not matter much.  But  the

            unfortunate  part  of  it is  that  the  division

            becomes so stereotyped and stratified that Rulers

            are always  drawn  from the ruling class and  the

            class that  is  ruled  never becomes  the  ruling

            class.   This happens because generally people do

            not care  to  see  that they  govern  themselves.

            They are  content  to establish a government  and

            leave it  to  govern  them.   This  explains  why

parliamentary   democracy   has   never  been   a

government of the people or by the people and why

it has been   in   reality  a  government  of   a

hereditary  subject class by a hereditary  ruling

class.   It  is  this   vicious  organization  of

political  life  which   has  made  parliamentary

democracy  such a dismal failure.  It is  because

of this  that  parliamentary  democracy  has  not

fulfilled  the hope it held out to the common man

of ensuring  to him liberty, property and pursuit

of happiness.

 

Who  constitute  the  governing  class  in

India?    For   Indians  such   a   question   is

unnecessary.    But  for  the   others  it  is  a

necessary  preliminary  and it must therefore  be

dealt with.    The  Governing   class  in   India

consists  principally of the Brahmins.  Strangely

enough some  present-day  Brahmins repudiate  the

allegation  that  they  belong to  the  governing

class though   at   one   time   they   described

themselves as Bhudevas (Gods on earth).  What can

this volt  face  be  due to?   The  intellectual

class in  every community is charged by its moral

code with  one sacred duty, namely, to  safeguard

the interest   of  the  community   and  not   to

sacrifice  it to the interest of their own class.

No intellectual  class  has so  grossly  violated

            this trust  as have the Brahmins in India.   When

one finds the Brahmins repudiating their position

as the governing  class  in India one  begins  to

think whether  it is due to a guilty  conscience,

born of  the realization that they have committed

a criminal  breach  of this trust  and  therefore

dare not  stand before the bar of the world.   Or

is it due  to their sense of modesty?  It is  not

necessary  to speculate as to what the truth  is.

For, it  is hardly open to question that in India

the Brahmins are a governing class.  If necessary

there are two tests which one could apply for the

purpose  of ascertaining the truth.  First is the

sentiment  of  the people and the second  is  the

Brahmin’s  share  in administration.  Taking  the

attitude  of  the  people  towards  the  Brahmin,

nobody can deny that the person of the Brahmin is

regarded  as sacred by every Hindu, high or  low.

He is the   most  “Worshipful   Master”  to  whom

everyone  high and low must bow.  In  pre-British

day he had  immunities and privileges which  were

denied to  the  servile class.  For  instance  he

            could not  be hanged even if he committed murder.

That was  because he was a sacred person.   There

was a time  when  no person of the servile  class

could take his food without drinking the water in

which the  toes of the Brahmins were washed,  Sir

P.C.Ray once described how in his childhood, rows

of children belonging to the servile classes used

to stand for hours together in the morning on the

roadside  in Calcutta with cups of water in their

hands waiting for a Brahmin to pas, ready to wash

his feel  and  take  the sacred liquid  to  their

parents  who  would not take their  food  without

having a  sip  of it first.  He was  entitled  to

first fruits.   In Malabar, where the  Sambandham

form of  marriage prevails, the servile  classes,

such as  the  Nairs, regard it an honour to  have

their females kept as mistresses by the Brahmins.

Even kings  invited  Brahmins to  deflower  their

queens on prima noctis.

 

Ludovico  Di Varthama writes “It is proper

and at the same time a pleasant thing to know who

these Brahmins  are.  You must know that they are

the chief  persons  of the faith, as priests  are

among us.   And  when  the king takes a  wife  he

selects  the most worthy and the most honoured of

these Brahmins  and  makes  him sleep  the  first

night with  his  wife,  in   order  that  he  may

deflower  her.   Do not imagine that the  Brahmin

goes willingly  to  perform this operation.   The

king is  obliged to pay him four hundred to  five

hundred  ducats.   The  king only  and  no  other

person in Calicot adopts this practice.”2

 

A  person cannot be called secular if  he,

when his  father  dies,  performs  the  religious

ceremonies prescribed by orthodox Hinduism at the

hands of  Brahmin  priests  on the banks  of  the

river Ganges.

 

The  opinion  of the leaders of  India  is

very much  clear,  as we find in 1918,  when  the

non-Brahmins and the Backward classes had started

an agitation  for separate representation in  the

legislature, Mr.Tilak in a public meeting held in

Sholapur  said that he did not understand why the

oil pressers,  tobacco   shopkeepers,  washermen,

etc, that was his description of the Non-Brahmins

and the  Backwards  classes – should want  to  go

into the  legislature.   In  his  opinion,  their

business  was to obey the laws and not to  aspire

for power to make laws.

 

In   1942  Lord   Linlithgow  invited   52

important  Indian representatives from  different

section  of the people to discuss the steps  that

might be  taken  to make the  Central  Government

more popular  and thereby enlist the sympathy and

co-operation of all Indians in war effort.  Among

those that were invited were members belonging to

the Scheduled Castes.  Mr.Vallabhbhai Patel could

not bear  the  idea that the Viceroy should  have

invited  such  a  crowd of mean men.   Why  these

leaders bears the idea that these people can’t do

anything,  though  they are educated.  Here I  am

going to explain, why they think so?

 

The cardinal principles of this philosophy

of the Brahmins   were  six-to   use  a   correct

expression, techniques of suppression:

 

(1)   graded   inequality    between   the

different classes;

 

(2)  complete  disarmament of the  Shudras

and the Untouchables;

 

(3)  complete ban on the education of  the

Shudras and the Untouchables;

 

(4) total exclusion of the Shudras and the

Untouchables from place of power and authority;

 

(5)  complete subjugation and  suppression

of women.

 

Inequality  is  the official  doctrine  of

Brahmanism  and  the  suppression  of  the  lower

classes aspiring to equality has been looked upon

by them  and carried out by them, without remorse

as their bounden duty.  There are countries where

education did not spread beyond a few.  But India

is the only country where the intellectual class,

namely,  the  Brahmins  not only  made  education

their monopoly   but  declared   acquisition   of

education   by  the  lower   classes,   a   crime

punishable by cutting off of the tongue or by the

pouring  of  molten  lead  in   the  ear  of  the

offender.   The result is that for centuries  the

            Brahmins  have  denied  the servile  classes  the

            right to education.3 

 

The argument used by the governing classes

to oppose  the demand of the servile classes  for

reservations   is  based  on   the  doctrine   of

efficiency.   To  give  a patriotic look  to  the

stand taken  by  the  governing   classes  it  is

represented  that  what Indian must aim at is  to

maintain  in India an efficient body politic  and

that this  can  be  done only by  insisting  that

every place  of  power  and authority  should  be

field by none but the last man available.

 

The  Historical  circumstance of India  is

that mere  efficiency can never be accepted as  a

test.  If  it  was accepted as the only test  the

            result would  be  that the affairs of the  French

            might well be run by the Germans, of Turks by the

            Russians  and of Chinese by the Japanese.   Those

who hold  out the theory of naked efficiency  and

nothing  but  efficiency  as  the  test  of  good

Government  should ask the French, the Turks  and

the Chinese  as to what they have to say about it

and how  they like the result which follows  from

its application.

 

The  record of the Brahmins as law  givers

for the  Shudras,  for the Untouchables  and  for

women is the blackest as compared with the record

of the intellectual classes in other parts of the

world.  For no intellectual class has prostituted

            its intelligence   for   the   sole  purpose   of

            inventing  a  philosophy to deep  his  uneducated

            countrymen  in  a perpetual state  of  servility,

            ignorance  and poverty as the Brahmins have  done

            in India.   Every Brahmin to-day believes in this

philosophy   of  Brahminism   propounded  by  his

forefathers.  He is an alien element in the Hindu

Society.

 

A  bar divides but does not link, A hyphen

does both.   It divides but it also links.  India

the governing classes and the servile classes are

divided  by a bar.  The resultant difference is a

very crucial one.  In other countries, there is a

continuous  replenishment of the governing  class

by the incorporation  of others who do not belong

to it but  who have reached the same elevation as

the governing  class.   In India,  the  governing

class is a close corporation in which nobody, not

born in it, is admitted.

 

The  demand  for  reservation  pointed  by

            Dicey advocated  by  Marx  & adopted  by  Russia.

Only those who belong to the servile class can be

the trusted  to  protect  the  interest  of  that

class.   This consideration is so important  that

            the principle  of efficiency cannot be allowed to

            altogether  override it.  If the governing  class

            in India  stands  on the principle of  efficiency

            and efficiency alone it is because it is actuated

            by the selfish   motive  of    monopolizing   the

            instrumentalities of Government.4

 

Before  making  the  Constitution  it  was

predicted  that, due to the safeguards it will be

possible for the servile classes to liquidate the

governing  classes in course of time.  But it was

not possible  since  last  50 years due  to  some

stooge were  form by political reservation, which

must be  end.   Leaders  must  be  made  directly

responsible  for  the lapse of any  developmental

work, specially where it is for the downtrodden.

 

Do  people  not know that  this  governing

class in  India  is  not  a part  of  the  Indian

people,  is  not  only completely  isolated  from

them, but  believes in isolating itself, lest  it

should be  contaminated by them, has implanted in

its mind  by reason of the Brahmanic  philosophy,

motives  and interests which are hostile to those

who are  outside its fold and therefore does  not

sympathies  with  the living forces operating  in

the servile  masses whom it has trodden down,  is

not charged  with their wants, their pains, their

cravings,  their  desires, is inimical  to  their

aspirations, does not favour any advance in their

education promotion to high office and disfavours

every movement  calculated to raise their dignity

and their self-respect?

 

The  Brahmin  believes in  the  two-nation

theory.   He  claims to be the representative  of

the Aryan  race  and he regards the rest  of  the

Hindus as descendants of the Non-Aryans.

 

Without  examining  the   real  facts  and

intentions  of  the  ruling class of  India,  the

foreigner  are supporting them.  There will be  a

change of  their attitude after knowing the empty

slogan which  the  Savarna are using to  get  out

side support.   It  is a pity that people do  not

seem to  distinguish the case of a tyrant who  is

held down  and who pleads for liberty because  he

wants to regain his right to oppress and the case

of an oppressed class seeking to be free from the

oppression of the tyrant.

 

“In  our Constitution we adopted a  middle

course;   the  course that we adopted  was  this,

that while  we will permit people to practise 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.   There can be no argument  against

that.  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.”5

 

 

 

  1. REFORM BENEFITS MUST REACH POOR:

     PRESIDENT

 

 

President  Shri.K.R.Narayanan today warned

that the  fury of the patient and  long-suffering

people would  be unleashed if the three-way  fast

lane of   liberalization,     privatisation   and

globalisation  failed to provide “safe pedestrian

crossings” for the unempowered India.

 

Addressing  the  nation on the eve of  the

golden jubilee  of the Republic Day, Mr.Narayanan

also decried  the social, economic and  political

injustice  being  meted  out   to  millions.   He

justified  reservations  for  women,  Dalits  and

other weaker  sections  so that the  “edifice  of

democracy  would not be like a palace built on  a

dung heap.”

 

Turning    to     Pakistan’s    “terrorist

interventions  and the propaganda of hatred”, the

President  reiterated  India’s intent to live  in

peace in   its  neighbourhood.    “We  want   the

relations  to  conform to the best traditions  of

good neighbourliness” he said.

 

Mr.Narayanan,  while referring to the fact

that India  is  now among the 10 fastest  growing

economies,  emphasized  at the same time  on  the

need to   correct  the   tragic   contradictions,

particularly   the  great   regional  and  social

inequalities.

 

“We  have  one  of   the  world’s  largest

reservoirs  of  technical personnel but also  the

world’s  largest  number  of  illiterates;    the

world’s largest middle class but also the largest

number of people below the poverty line;  and the

largest   number  of   children  suffering   from

malnutrition.   One  half of our society  guzzles

aerated  beverages while the other has to make do

with painful  of  muddied water,”  the  President

observed  while calling upon the people to go  in

for introspection.

 

Mr.Narayanan,  referring to the signs that

the privileged  classes  were  getting  tired  of

affirmative    action    provided    under    the

Constitution,  said:   “Let us not get  tired  of

what we have provided for our weaker sections.”

 

Pointing   to  the   regional  and  social

inequalities  accompanying the country’s economic

growth,  he  cautioned:  “Many a social  upheaval

can be traced  to the neglect of the lowest  tier

of society,  whose  discontent moves towards  the

path of  violence.   Dalits and tribals  are  the

worst affected by all this.”

 

While  justifying  the   trajectories   of

modern progress  such  as   factories,  dams  and

satellites.  Mr.Narayanan,   however,  cautioned

against  ecological and environmental devastation

leading   to  uprooting  of  human   settlements,

especially of the tribal and the poor.  “Ways and

methods could be found for countering the harmful

impact of  modern technology on the lives of  the

populace  both  by  the   government  and   civil

society.”

 

Describing  the  status of women  and  the

condition  of  Dalits as “the  greatest  national

drawback  and our greatest shame”, the  President

stated that  even after 50 years of our Republic,

the plain  truth was that the female half of  the

Indian population  continued to be regarded as it

was in the 18th and 19th centuries.6

 

  1. OPPOSE REVIEW OF CONSTITUTION

 

In  an  interview,   Bahujan  Samaj  Party

leader Kanshi  Ram said his party will oppose any

move to review the Constitution.

 

He  said though his party was open to  any

further  amendment to the Constitution as “it has

already been amended 79 times, it will oppose the

full review tooth and nail.

 

Welcoming     President    K.R.Narayanan’s

suggestion that there was no need for a review of

the Constitution on stability factor, he said the

country is witnessing a political instability for

the last  few  years because of a  newly-emerging

social mobility  and  dynamism among  the  weaker

sections.  “This has happened only because of the

framework of the Constitution,””‘ he told a Press

conference here.

 

Branding   Prime  Minister   Atal   Bihari

Vajpayee’s   assertion  on  the   review   as   a

“conspiracy”  of  the social elite to  perpetuate

their rule  in  the  country,   he  accused   the

Bharatiya  janata Party clinging to power in  the

name of ushering in stability.

 

He  said  the vast millions  have  started

working against their political hegemony.  “These

sections  have  started asserting  themselves  to

attain not  only  self-respect and dignity but  a

share in  power commensurate with their numerical

strength,” he said.

 

The  “so-called  political stability”,  he

said, has  been  in the country for around  35-40

years and  yet  most of the  elected  governments

completed their five-year terms.  “Not because of

a strong  popular base but for a strict political

control exercised by the socially-dominant groups

over the  Bahujan  Samaj”   -which  represents  a

majority of suppressed people.”

 

“At  this  juncture,  stability  could  be

achieved  by implementing existing provisions  of

the Constitution  to  secure a social order,”  he

said.

 

Without naming the Congress, Mr.Kanshi Ram

said ruling  social  groups together  managed  to

reign the  country  “with the help of  money  and

Mafia”.

 

“They  can  no longer use these tools  and

befool the  majority  of the deprived,  who  have

awakened.

 

During  last four decades of Independence,

there has  virtually  been  no democracy  as  the

majority  community  gave  no safeguards  to  the

minorities,””  he  said.  The BSP leader  said  a

dominant  team  of  ruler,   who  formed  only  a

minority,  were attempting to extract all rights,

thus thwarting the democratic set-up.

 

“Dr.B.R.Ambedkar    who     drafted    the

Constitution  wanted  to  give  justice  to  vast

millions   of  people  made   to  live   degraded

sub-human  lives for centuries.  But he could not

do so.

 

Dr.Ambedkar,   however,  had   sounded   a

warning  to  the  constituent Assembly  that  the

contradiction  between  political   equality  and

social inequality  had  to  be removed,  or  else

those suffering  from inequality will blow up the

structure  of political democracy.  This is  what

now happening  in  the country,”   Mr.Kanshi  Ram

said.

 

Condemning  Chief  Minister   Ram  Prakash

Gupta”’s statement on the Ayodhya issue, he said

his party   would  “do   everything  within   its

strength to prevent these forces from going ahead

with their conspiracy””.

 

He  also criticized the Gujarat government

for lifting  the ban on State government  members

becoming RSS members.7

 

 

 

                              BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

  1.    Writing     &     Speeches     by

Dr.Ambedkar,vol9,  p447

  1. vol-i,p141, Hakuyat Society
  2. ,, p468
  3. ,, p481
  4.     ,, v14  Back cover
  5. H.T NEW DELHI, JANUARY 26, 2000
  6. The pioneer 31.01.2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14.IS CONVERSION MUST FOR

 SOCIAL CHANGE? 

 

Indeed  it is most extraordinary thing  to

note that   although  Legislative   Bodies   were

established  in  India  in  1861  and  have  been

passing  laws  on  every   social  questions  and

discussing  public  questions, yet except on  two

occasions   the   Untouchables   were  not   even

mentioned.  The first occasion on which they were

mentioned  was in 1916, when one Parsi  gentleman

Sir.Maneckji   Dadabhoy  moved    the   following

Resolution in the Central Legislature:-

 

“That  this  Council   recommends  to  the

Governor  General  in  Council that  measures  be

devised  with the help, if necessary, of a  small

representative   committee  of    officials   and

non-officials  for an amelioration in the  moral,

material  and  educational condition of what  are

known as  the  Depressed Classes, and that, as  a

preliminary   step  the   Local  Government   and

Administrations  be invited to formulate  schemes

with due regard to local conditions.”

 

There  was no sympathy to this resolution.

The Hindu  members of the Legislature were  angry

with the  mover  for  his having brought  such  a

subject before the Legislature.  Including Pandit

Madan Mohan   Malviya   &   Sir   Surendra   Nath

Benerjee.1

 

The  second  time   the  Untouchables  are

mentioned  in the proceedings of the  Legislature

was in 1928   when  Mr.M.R.Jayakar    moved   the

following Resolution:-

 

“This   Assembly    recommends    to   the

Governor-General  in Council to issue  directions

to all Local  governments  to   provide   special

facilities  for the education of the Untouchables

and other depressed classes, and also for opening

all public   services  to   them,  specially  the

Police.”

 

Mr.G.S.Bajpai,  speaking on behalf of  the

Government of India said:-

 

“The  Local Governments are alive to their

responsibility, they are doing what they can.  It

is not my  privilege to claim for them that  they

have achieved  the  ideal,  but I do  claim  that

there is  an awakening and an awakened and roused

sense of  responsibility  and a roused  sense  of

endeavour  for  improving the position  of  these

depressed  classes.   That  being so,  it  is  no

function  to interfere by direction or by demand.

They (i.e.   the  Government) can, if  the  House

wishes,  communicate  to  them the views  of  the

House on this very national problem.”

 

Such   is  the  record   of  the   British

Government  in the matter of social Reform.  What

a miserable record it is ?2

 

 

 

 

I.FEW STATEWISE RECORD OF PAST AND PRESENT

 

In Maharashtra an Untouchable was required

to wear  a black thread either in his neck or  on

his wrist    for    the     purpose   of    ready

identification.2a

 

In Gujarat the Untouchables were compelled

to were a horn as their distinguishing mark.

 

In the Punjab a sweeper was required while

walking through streets in towns to carry a broom

in his hand  or under his armpit as a mark of his

being a scavenger.

 

In   Bombay  the   Untouchables  were  not

permitted  to  wear clean or untorn clothes.   In

fact the  shopkeepers took the precaution to  see

that before  cloth was sold to the Untouchable it

was torn & soiled.

 

In  Malabar  the   Untouchables  were  not

allowed to build houses above one story in height

and not allowed to cremate their dead.3

 

In  Malabar  the   Untouchables  were  not

permitted  to  carry umbrellas, to wear shoes  or

golden ornaments, to milk cows or even to use the

ordinary language of the country.

 

In South India Untouchables were expressly

forbidden  to cover the upper part of their  body

above the  waist and in the case of women of  the

Untouchables  they were compelled to go with  the

upper part of their bodies quite bare.

 

In  the Bombay Presidency so high a  caste

as that  of Sonars(gold-smiths) was forbidden  to

wear their  Dhoties with folds and prohibited  to

use Namaskar as the word of salutation.

 

Under  the Maratha rule any one other than

a Brahmin  uttering  a Veda Mantra was liable  to

have his  tongue cut off and as a matter of  fact

the tongues  of  several Sonars(goldsmiths)  were

actually  cut off by the order of the Peshwa  for

their daring to utter the Vedas contrary to law.

 

IN BENGAL

 

In  his Presidential address of the Indian

History  Congress  held  at  Allahabad  in  1938,

Prof.Surendra Nath Sen very rightly observed

 

“It cannot be an accident that the Punjab,

Kashmir,   the  district   around  Behar  Sharif,

North-East  Bengal where Muslims now predominate,

were all   strong   Buddhist   Centres   in   the

pre-Muslim  days.  It will not be fair to suggest

that the  Buddhists  succumbed   more  easily  to

political  temptations  than the Hindus  and  the

change of  religion  was due to the prospects  of

the improvement of their political status.”

 

Therefore  conclusion arise that after the

fall of  Buddhism  in Bengal the  Nama  community

came under  the influence of Brahmanism with  the

condition  of  equal  status in  respect  of  all

religious  ceremonies.  But in general they  were

called Chandals  by  the caste Hindus.   In  1901

census report  in  Bengal  they  were  called  as

Chandal.   In  1911  census in  Bengal  the  name

chandal  replaced  by Namasudra with the help  of

Dr.C.S.Mead(Austrain  Missionary) at 1908 and for

this all credit goes to Shri.Guruchand Thakur and

Dr.C.S.Mead.  On the other hand as all the higher

caste people  were deadly against this change  of

name by  the  then Censure Commissioner  Mr.Gait.

Even then some people openly revolted and refused

to write Namasudra.

 

In 19th century or even before this period

there were lot of Namasudra started to convert in

Christianity  in the influenced of the  Christian

missionaries  in  Bengal.   Even  some  prominent

personalities  and  highly educated  intellectual

and talented  man  like  Reverent  Krishna  Mohan

Bondopadhyaa,  Sonet  Poet Sir.Michal  Madhusudan

Datta, Sir.W.C.Banerjee   and  others   who   all

embraced  Christianity after disowning  Hinduism.

Then the    Nama     community     leader    like

Shri.Gurucharan  Thakur  although   despised  and

socially  segregated  by the high  caste  Hindus.

But they  tolerated the injustices happened  upon

them by  Brahmanism because they did not find out

any easy  way  of  escape  from  Brahmanism,  but

whenever  they got an opportunity of escape  they

were seldom  slow  to  take   advantage  of   it.

Therefore  they  embraced   Islam  directly  from

Buddhism,  and few of them accepted  Christianity

at the time  of  British   rule.   Shri.Harichand

Thakur tried  to  united  them in the  banner  of

Matua religion founded by his father Sh.Harichand

Thakur.   After 1947 due to the division of India

this Nama  community  spared all over India as  a

refugee  and  most  of  illiterate  peasant  were

thrown out  against their wish and will by  their

fellow brother  in  India  as well as  Muslim  in

Pakistan.

 

In  1911 Namasudra in Bengal was submitted

a memorandum  to the census commissioner in  that

letter express by

 

para  3.  In Eastern Bengal and  Assam.Our

number is  14,33,061  and preponderate  over  the

total number  of the main Hindu castes namely the

Brahmins, Kayasthas and Baidyas by 4,33,061.

 

para  5.   We beg to add that, though  our

religious rites and their observances, and social

customs  are  similar to those of the high  caste

Brahmins,  we  have not the slightest  connection

with any  of  the Hindu communities.  We are  not

allowed   to  join  them  in  their  social   and

religious ceremonies.  They have been continually

looking  down  upon us with contempt and  malice:

have kept   us   under   subjection   and   total

ignorance.   we  have been smarting  under  their

yoke of  bondage.   It  is absolutely  absurd  to

anticipate  that they would, in future, mix  with

us in social and religious performances.  Thus we

desire to  be  recognized  by the  Government  as

entirely  a  different community having  separate

claim to political privileges like Mahomedans.

 

“Hindus continually have been looking down

upon us  with contempt and malice;  have kept  us

under subjection  and  total ignorance.  We  have

been smarting under the yoke of their bondage”

 

Hon’ble  Mr.H.H.Risely,  C.I.E.    in  his

“Caste and  Tribes  of   Bengal”  designates  the

Nama-Sudras  as  Chandals without any  sufficient

ground,  although  he admits that  no  Nama-Sudra

acknowledges  the  term  “Chandal” as  his  caste

designation.*

 

With    the     help    of    Dr.C.S.Mead,

Shri.Gurucharan  Thakur  was able to  achieved  a

significant development towards education for his

community  though  he and his followers were  not

converted   to   Christianity.   He   took   full

advantage  from the missionary for few people  of

his community.

 

Then  they  did  not look back  for  their

progress  in  all  spare  of  life  like  social,

political  and  economically.  Before  1911  this

great community was always avoided by the British

Government  under  the  influence of  Savarna  in

Bengal.   First  Bengal depressed class  Assembly

member was  Mr.B.B.Das  in 1919.   Mr.M.B.Mallick

became a  Magistrate  in  1908  and  his  brother

Mr.N.B.Mallick  was  became  a member  of  Bengal

Assembly  at  1921 from a general seat.   Mr.Guru

charan Thakur’s  Grand son Mr.P.R.Thakur went  to

London along with his two relatives and he became

Barister  and  joined  at  Calcutta  High  court.

Later he  became  a  Congress  minister  at  West

Bengal.   The  Namasudra  people also  served  in

British  army  at the 2nd world war some of  them

ware commissioned  officer,  captain Amya  Bhusan

Das, captain  Rakul Chandra Boral, liet.Sarat ch.

Bal, Liet.B.K.Roy, Liet D.N.Mistry etc.

 

March  1937  Mr.N.B.Mallick   &   Raikut’s

inclusion  in the Haque cabinet as a Minister was

a great  achievement  from this  depressed  class

people who  were suffered centuries for the cause

of negligency  of caste Hindus.  This achievement

was after  26 years of recognition by the British

Government  as  a civil caste of Bengal.  It  was

mentioned  then by “Hindustan” & Swaraj” this two

journal of Calcutta.

 

As  an  independent member of  the  Bengal

assembly  Mr.Jogendra  Nath  Mondal was  a  close

associate with Sarat Bose elder brother of Subash

Bose and  due to this close association with Bose

brother he was loyal to the Congress in the first

of his political  life  but he was aware of  this

community’s  suffering  from higher caste  Hindus

and whenever occasion arise to talk about his own

people’s  interest  he  never   left  it  without

challenge.   At Calcutta Municipal Corporation in

1940 he  was Congress nominee from Burtulla (Word

N.3) and win.

 

He  was the only man in all over India who

own an unreserved   seat   from   his  own   home

constituency  and  his example was quoted by  Mr.

Gandhi in support of his Joint electorate move at

the Round  Table  conference Mr.Mondal was  given

some condition regarding his people’s upgradation

to the other  political party in Bengal  assembly

at 1945.   Mr.Khaza  Nizamuddin of Muslim  league

was accepted  his condition and formed a ministry

with the  help  of  Nama member  of  that  period

including   Mr.Mondal  and  two   of  his   close

associated inclusion of that ministry.  From that

occasion  higher  caste  politician’s  of  Bengal

started  to  criticize his as “Jogen Ali  Molla”,

Kalapahar”  etc.  some Higher caste minister  was

also with  him in the same cabinet but they  left

untouched  by Mondal’s critic’s and its shown the

low mentality  of  the   higher  caste  regarding

development of depressed class.  It is a question

why they were behind Mondal?  Mr.Mondal was given

offer to  join the the Central Cabinet in Nov  3,

1946 and  he accepted it and he was law  minister

of India  up to  August  1947.   He  was  accepted

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar  as  his  political Guru  and  he

helped him  to elect to the constituent  assembly

from Bengal  in  July 1946.  Due to  division  of

lndia Mr.Mondal  prefer to stay with Pakistan  to

look after  his  own poor community and accept  a

birth to  the Pakistan cabinet as a Law Minister.

He was the  Chairman of the Pakistan constitution

assembly.   As per Mr.Samar Guha ex.MP  expressed

there is   an  important   contribution  to  form

Bangladesh by Mr.Mondal & himself at Pakistan.

 

Later  on  Mr.Mondal  came to  the  bitter

realization at Pakistan and concluded Pakistan is

not the  place  where religious minorities  could

live with  dignity and latter he had to flee from

Pakistan  in 1950 though at that time he was  law

minister  of  that country.  But it was too  late

for him and his community.

 

A  large  section of his people are  still

illiterate  and  living below poverty line.   Now

this community  has  more  than   1.5  crore   of

population all over this subcontinent.  Some poor

people of this community are now doing menial job

which their   forefather    never    did   before

partition.   In this circumstances it may be  not

wring to  say that if this community converted to

Christianity at the time of Guruchand Thakur then

the present  condition will never been arise.  As

it is seen if a Christian is humiliate by anybody

even in  war time in anywhere in a slightest  way

there is  a hue and cry all over the world, where

as if a  dozen  of Namas killed then there is  no

body to  say  a ward for them.  What  a  pitiable

condition  for  a  marshal  original  inhabitants

community?

 

  1. MERIT OF CONVERSION

 

For  if  efficiency  was   made  the  only

            criterion  there  would  be   nothing  wrong   in

            Employing  Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans & Turks

            instead of the Brahmins of India.4.

 

It  is  impossible to believe that  Hindus

will ever  be able to absorb the Untouchables  in

their society.    Their  Caste   System  and  the

Religion  completely  negative   any  hope  being

entertained in this behalf.5

 

The only 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 1815.6

 

The   other   religionist   can  ask   the

protagonists  of  Hinduism  the  many  questions.

They can  ask:  Does Hinduism recognize Scheduled

Caste &  Scheduled Tribe’s worth as human beings?

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  humane 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  Hindu 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  their

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 be an Untouchable.  They  shall

some day  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

untouchability 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  not  be

expected  to  give  an admission that  he  is  an

Untouchable  and rightly so .  Which  Untouchable

is there  with  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.

 

III. PRESENT SITUATION U.P.

 

As  here I will mention a recent  incident

in India where 10 Women raped per day by Brahmins

& Thakurs in Chitrakut region of Uttar Pradesh.7

 

National  Commission for Women Chairperson

Mohini Giri said an average of 10 women are raped

everyday  in  the region and many families  there

work as  bonded labourers for as little as  1.5kg

of grain a day.

 

The opponents of conversion are determined

not to be  helpless  against these landlords  who

are being   patronised   by    politicians,   the

landlords,  both  Brahmins and Thakurs, known  as

dadoos are  exploiting the Kol Tribals  sexually,

economically  and is every other way.  The  local

administration is finding itself helpless against

these landlords  who  are   being  patronised  by

politicians,  ”  said  Mr.Gopal   of  the   Akhil

Bharatiya  Samaj Sewa Santhan.  He said a dacoit,

Dadhwa was  running a parallel government in  the

area.

 

Life  has never been the same for  23-year

old Saukli ever since one of the landlords in her

village broke into her house and raped her.

 

Saukali   was    not    solitary   victim.

Thousands  of  Saukalis in Chitrakoot  region  of

Uttar Pradesh  have  come   together  in  protest

against the excesses done by the landlords.  Many

social organizations have come forward to take up

their cause too.  In this regard a public hearing

was organized  by National Women’s Commission  in

the Capital on Tuesday 4.11.97.

 

The   victims  belonging  to  kol   Tribe,

narrated   their  tale  of   woe  and  said  they

constantly live under the shadow of fear.

 

Out  of  fear the villagers remained  mute

spectators  as  women  were  molested  and  these

incidents became a regular feature in the region.

 

The  testimonies  of 29 women  on  Tuesday

4.11.97  revealed  that sexual  exploitation  and

being bonded  for life have become a reality  for

the Kol Tribals in Chitrakoot.

 

Incidentally,  many of these families  own

land.  But  only  on  paper.    The  pattas   are

retained  by  the  landlords and  these  families

struggle to take out a living.

 

Not  just  this,  there   are  some   like

Aitwaria who is repaying a loan she never applied

for or got.   “The  landlord got some loan in  my

father’s  name and when the amount was not repaid

they confiscated  our  land and till date I  have

not been  able to get the land transferred in  my

name,” she said.

 

The  Jury comprised of Justice V.R.Krishna

Iyer, Justice Leila Sethy and Swami Agnivesh.

 

In  the modern days of a civilized society

no one can  even imagine such things happening in

the 21st  Century.   How could betterment can  be

offer by  the  supporter  of  Hinduism  for  this

tribals  people  of  this   country?   Who   were

suffering  thousands  of years without any  body

care from  any quarter.  If now some body come to

rescue them  then  why  people  raise  objection?

What is  their  interest  to  keep  these  people

illiterate and in dark?

 

Helpless  against these landlords who  are

being patronized  by politicians, ” said Mr.Gopal

of the Akhil  Bharatiya  Samaj Sewa Santhan.   He

said a dacoit,  Dadhwa  was  running  a  parallel

government in the area.

 

 

  1. HARYANA

 

HARYANA  a  mini state of northern  India,

there Dalits threaten to become Christians.  More

than 400 Dalit families in the village of Kaithal

district  of Haryana made it known that they  are

soon to  convert to Christianity “to fight social

ostracism and harassment” by the upper castes.

 

“If  Dalits are harasses and killed no one

reacts.   But  if one Christian is  killed,  even

Bill Clinton  asks questions,” said Gun  Prakash,

the organizer  of  the Dalit Sangharsh Samiti  of

the village.

 

Such  is the level of ostracism, an  upper

caste landowner  who dares employ a Dalit risks a

Rs.20,000 fine from the community.

 

Dayal  Singh, who is a Dalit member of the

panchayat,  is  a mason by profession but  cannot

find any  work in the village.  “For the last two

years, I  have had to go to other places to  find

work, ”  he said.  “The higher castes have  hired

artisans  from  Bihar who form a  cheaper  labour

force.   None  of us is allowed to work in  their

fields.”

 

Ram  Kali said that she had been forced to

sell her  cattle because she could not afford  to

buy fodder  for them.  “Till about two years ago,

we would  collect fodder from the fields but  now

we are not allowed to enter there,” she said.

 

Rashmi,  who was with her, added, ” added,

“About a fortnight ago one woman was raped in the

fields by  Dharma,  a  Brahmin.    He  has   been

arrested but we feel insecure here.”

 

“There  is a common tap on panchyat  land.

If we go  to  collect  water  there,  the  higher

castes break our pots,” said Narsi Ram.  Not only

are they  denied  water  but the potters  in  the

village  do  not even sell the Dalits  any  pots.

“We have  to get pots from outside.  Once a woman

had come  to sell pots here but she was forced to

leave,”he added.

 

About  three  years ago,  an  organization

called the  Kranti Sena was set up in the village

by the higher  castes.   Loosely   based  on  the

Ranvir Sena’s  principles, the avowed aim of this

organization  is  to  bring about  a  revival  of

Manuwadi society.

 

Reports   of  similar   organizations   in

neighbouring villages have also come in.

 

The first incident in Pharal took place in

  1. Subhash  Chandra,  a  Dalit,  was  getting

married  and  had gone to the village temple  for

blessings   before  leaving   for  his   wedding.

“Because  I was on a horse, Collector Singh,  who

has started  the Kranti Sena, stopped me and said

that if Dalits will ride horses what will we, the

upper castes  do?  He and his men thrashed me  as

well as the women of my family,” he said.

 

Acknowledging  that  converting  will  not

mean an  end  to  the   social  harassment,   the

villagers  state  that this is the only means  of

protest  by  which to attract attention to  their

problems.

 

The  officials,  however,  feel  that  the

situation  is  being exaggerated by  the  Dalits.

“The immediate   problem  is   related  to   some

panchayat  land  that was given to the Dalits  as

part of  the Third Survey Scheme.  There is  some

dispute  over  the  location of the  plots.   The

matter is  in court and we are doing whatever  we

can to ensure   that  the   law  is  upheld,”said

Additional DC of Kaithal, H.P.Chaudhary.

 

Gun Prakash, who significantly is a Rajput

and self-professed  sanyasi,  is championing  the

Dalit rights.   He  said, “the issue of the  land

will be  settled in the court.  We are converting

to Christianity   to   draw   attention  to   the

harassment  that we are being shown.  We have met

the missionaries  about  a week age and  will  be

converting soon.”7

 

 

On  the  other hand the Prime Minister  of

India on  05.12.99  declared that the  government

was committed   to  protect   the  interests   of

underprivileged  communities.  Expressing concern

on the high  incidence  of   child  labour  among

Scheduled caste and prevalence of untouchability,

he described  such  tendencies as an  assault  of

human dignity  and  negation of the principle  of

equality.  Most of these problems could be solved

by education   as   literacy   was   a   powerful

instrument of reform and development, he said.

 

Lambasting  the  continuing trend  of  the

scheduled  castes  becoming   victims  of  social

ostracism   and  untouchability,  he  said   that

efforts  be  made  to   bring  about  attitudinal

changes  to  curb such tendencies.  A  scheme  to

reward villages  and  panchayats free  from  such

maladies  should  be started, he  suggested.   He

said a “mission  mode” approach should be adopted

to abolish the inhuman practice of carrying night

soil on  head by the safaikaramcharis.  He gave a

call to the MP’s to adopt one village or town for

the purpose  and  help  the  government  in  this

task.9

 

BIBLEOGRAPHY

 

 

  1. Writing  & Speeches  by  Dr.Ambedkar,

vol-12 p133

  1. ,, p115 2a.  v 12 p720
  2. ,, p721
  3. ,, p724
  4. ,, p730
  5. ,, p107
  6. The Pioneer  5.11.97
  7. H.T.4.12.99
  8. ,,  5.12.99

*(I.L.R.10 Calcutta 238 Hurry Charan Das &

others vs Nirmal Chand Koyal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. ATROCITIES & REMEDY

 

A   case  was  filed   to  challenge   the

reservation  provided for OBCs.  The  reservation

for S.Cs and S.Ts was not challenged by anyone in

the court.   But  the Supreme Court  delivered  a

judgment on a matter that was not referred to it,

without  even  hearing  the S.Cs and  S.Ts.   The

judgement  is, therefore, against the  principles

of natural justice.

 

The bureaucrats hardly implement judgments

favourable  to S.Cs and S.Ts while they spare  no

opportunity  to  speed up the  implementation  of

judgments  that go against the interests of  S.Cs

and S.Ts.    With  malice,   the  DoPT  distorts,

misinterprets  and  misguides   the   reservation

scenario.

 

Incidents  of  atrocities on  Dalits  were

reported   from  Pudukkottai,    Perambalur   and

Cuddalore    districts   of     Tamil   Nadu   in

November-December  1998,  and   these  portent  a

possible  spread  of  caste-related  tensions  to

these hitherto  relatively   peaceful  districts.

While three  Dalit  youths   were  humiliated  at

Thirunallur  in  Pudukkottai district for  having

married   caste-Hindu   girls,   at   Ogalur   in

Perambalur district Dalits were subject to police

violence  reminiscent of the Kodiyankulam outrage

of 1995   (Frontline,  October   20,1995),.    At

Puliyur   in  Cuddalore   district,  Dalits  were

attacked by their Vanniya neighbours on 16.12.98.

300 strong  mob of caste-Hindus raided the  Dalit

settlement  surrounded by eight Vanniya dominated

villages.  About 500 houses were ransacked and 13

were injured.   Utensils  and household  articles

were damaged.   Some  families   lost  all  their

belongings.   The  attack  was  a  sequel  to  an

incident  on  the  previous   day.   The  funeral

procession   of   a  Dalit   was  stopped  by   a

Caste-hindu  in  the Vanniya area when it  passed

his house.   In  the  melee  that  followed,  the

caste-Hindu  resident was reportedly assaulted by

a Dalit,  who, it is said, had been slapped a day

earlier  for  smoking  in  the  presence  of  the

caste-Hindu resident.

 

The Dalit’s quarrel with caste-Hindus over

the sharing  of  a piece of temple land  sometime

back and  an alleged attempt at molestation of  a

Dalit woman  by a caste-Hindu of the village, who

was said  to  be  with the policemen  during  all

their three  visits  to the colony, gave  another

dimension  to  the  police action.   The  police,

however, laughed away the suggestion.

 

M.Annadurai,  an  advocate   and  a  Dalit

living in  the  colony, said that  no  government

official  visited  the  colony.  the  Dalits,  he

said, continued  to  be in a state of fear.   The

farm workers  could  not go to work and  children

could not attend school.1

 

There   are  many  people   who  must   be

wondering  as to how such an established order so

full of  inequalities could have survived.   What

are the  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  means to suppress the  Untouchables

whenever the Untouchables try to upset it even in

the slightest degree.2

 

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  Mahomedans 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

Mahomedans   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.3

 

The  ordinary  non-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.

 

Some  might think that this description of

the Established   Order   and   the  rules   made

thereunder  are matters of ancient past.  This is

a complete   mistake.   The   Established   Order

subsists   even  today  and   the  rules  are  as

operative today as they were when they were made.

Let us mentioned  some recent incident from daily

news.

 

Police  have  arrested   four  persons  in

connection  with  the beating up of  a  Scheduled

Tribe lady  sarpanch of Thikiria village in Dausa

district in Rajasthan by some villagers belonging

to higher    caste    during    celebrations   of

Independence  Day  in 1998 reported by  Hindustan

times correspondent from Jaipur.  As a result the

National  Alliance  of Women(NAWO) has urged  the

National  Human Rights Commission(NHRC) to  probe

into the incident, a UNI report from Delhi.

 

Mr.Babulal  Meena,   district  magistrate,

Rudraprayag, in UP said, “The social workers have

told me  that the labourers are refusing to touch

the bodies.   It  is a strange problem.  We  will

either have  to get the local police or the  ITBP

jawans to  remove the bodies.  As such the bodies

are rotting  and an epidemic can break out.   The

water sources  are getting poisoned as the  water

is flowing  over  the  bodies.    Bodies  of   32

villagers, belonging to the Scheduled Caste, have

been rotting  for the past one week since  rescue

workers,  a  majority of whom are from the  upper

caste, have refused to touch the them as a result

district  officials are at their wit’s end as  to

how to get  the  bodies removed.   Mr.Meena  said

that this village had faced the full onslaught of

the landslides.   Majority  of  the  deaths  have

taken place here.4

 

If  the Hindus observes 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.

 

A  report  from Jaipur by Hindustan  Times

correspondent  mentioned on 29.01.99 in Hindustan

Times as follows:

 

One  incident  will  be suitable  to  cite

here.  Untouchability   being    practised   with

impunity  in  90% of Rajasthan’s 40,000  villages

which can    be    attributed    to   illiteracy,

backwardness  and  old mindset of the  people  in

both rural and urban areas in the State.

 

The  incident  of stone throwing  by  high

caste villagers on a bridegroom and his relatives

on January 22 1999 at Sunadla village in district

Jaipur is  not an isolated case Hundreds of  such

incidents   take  place  every   year  which   go

unnoticed and unreported in the Press.

 

Low  caste people in Sunadla village  were

still feeling  unsafe  as  high  caste  villagers

continue  to  terrorize them.  Due to failure  of

the successive  governments to implement the laws

to protect  the  rights  of citizens,  the  wedge

between  the  high  and low  caste  villagers  is

widening.   High  caste  villagers took it  as  a

challenge  to their authority in Sunadla village.

Hence they  stoned the marriage procession of the

low caste  bridegroom.   Some   politicians   and

officials   had   also     contributed   in   the

continuation   of  this   social  evil.   Elected

representatives hardly raised their voice because

there was  danger  of losing the support of  high

caste voters.   Most of the officials belonged to

higher caste  hence  they opted to protect  their

community.

 

Social  organizations  have done  precious

little to   create   awareness    amongst   these

oppressed  people  to challenge the authority  of

high caste villagers.

 

It  was  a  modest beginning  in  Mathania

village  in  Jodhpur district a few  months  back

when youth   belonging  to   low  caste  revolted

against the supremacy of high caste people.

 

About  50 low caste youth were up in  arms

against  the  dominance of high caste people  who

did not  have  social relations with them.   Even

shopkeepers used to serve tea to low caste people

in separate  glasses which were always kept  near

washbasins.   They  were  forced   to  clean  the

glasses after drinking tea.

 

Low  caste youth went in a group to a  tea

shop which  was owned by a high caste shopkeeper.

They drank  tea and refused to clean the glasses.

There were   open   clashes   between   the   two

communities  which  caused tension in  this  town

Finally, leaders of the two communities agreed to

withdraw  the  FIRs registered with local  police

station.   Government must take drastic action to

set things right.

 

A report from the state of Bihar.  Minutes

After President of India K.R.Narayanan’s Republic

day-eve  message,  exhorting the nation to put  a

stop on  atrocities against his community and the

downtrodden, hundreds of rounds of firing greeted

a sleepy  village of Bihar’s Jehanabad  district.

The Ranvir  Sena,  an  outlawed private  army  of

land-lords,  had  struck.  At least 22  villagers

were killed;   12  injured, latter some  of  them

also died  were  all Scheduled Castes  and  poor,

their only crime to boot.

 

For  the  second time in a little  over  a

fortnight,  the  killing fields of  Jehanabad  in

central  Bihar  resounded to the wails of  Dalits

mourning  the  slaughter  of 11 of their  kin  by

upper caste fanatics on 10.2.98 night.

 

The  centre  has imposed  the  President’s

rule.  The wake of latest killings in Jehananbad,

culminated  in president K.R.Narayanan issuing  a

proclamation in Calcutta around 9 p.m.

 

The  latest bout of violence was the worst

since the  December 1, 1997, carnage of 61 Dalits

at Laxmanpur-Bathe, which was also carried out by

the Ranvir  Sena.  The immediate provocation  now

was the incident at Sanda a few days ago whom Mao

Communist  Centre  activists gunned down  mukhiya

Nawal Singh  and his son.  Nawal Singh was on the

MCC hit-list  ever  since the 1991 Mein  Bersimha

massacre, in which half a dozen members of the SC

community   were  mowed  down   by   the   Savarn

liberation front Nawal Singh was its chief.

 

A  list  of the massacres  against  Dalits

carried  out by Ranvir sena a upper caste outfits

since 1977 in central Bihar are as follows:

 

 

—————————————————–

Sl.No.  Village      Year     No.of Dalits killed

—————————————————–

1       Belchi       1977     11

2       Parasbigha   1980     11

3       Pipra        1980     14

4       Kathibigha   1985     11

5       Banjhi       1985     15

6       Arwal        1986     24

7       Kansara      1986     11

8       Gaini        1986     12

9       Darmia       1986     11

10      Chechani     1987     07

11 Bagnaura-Dalelchak1987     54

12   Nonhi-Nagwan    1988     21

13   Damuha-khagri   1988     11

14   Danwar Bihta    1989     24

15   Kesari          1990     10

16   Malbaria        1991     14

17   Tiskhora        1991     15

18   Deo Sahiara     1991     15

19   Bara            1992     34

20   Mathanbigha     1994     11

21   Bathanitola     1996     21

22   Ankodar         1997     10

23   Jalpura         1997     04

24   Haibaspur       1997     10

25   Lakshmanpur Bathe1997    62

26   Rampur  Chauram  1998    10

27   Shankarbigha     1999    22

28     Narayanpur     1999    12

—————————————————–

 

 

(Incident  of Bhojpur are not indicated in

its totality  including  the one at Ekwari  which

claimed  six  lives in 1997,  Table  incorporated

from H.T.  report on 12.2.99)

 

On  January 9, Barmeshwar Singh had openly

declared  that  the  Ranvir Sena was  planning  a

massacre   bigger   than    the   Laxmanpur-Bathe

incident-and yet no action was taken against him.

Besides  Barmeshwar Singh, who hails from Sandesh

village  of Bhojpur district, the Ranvir sena  is

controlled  by  Samsher  Bahadur Singh  of  Buxar

district.   Ever since the Ranvir Sena was formed

on January  22,1995,  ostensibly to  counter  the

Naxalite  movement  in  the  state,  it  has  led

several  operations  against  Dalits,  taking  at

least 183  lives.   “They have killed people  who

are not  even our supporters, and have created  a

reign of  terror,” says CPI(ML)’s state committee

member Santosh Sahar.

 

Sources  close  to the Ranvir Sena say  it

had decided  to  kill  all   the  Dalits  of  the

village,  numbering 70, but due to the arrival of

a large  number of villagers from Bhobai  village

the task  could not be accomplished.  Though  the

police has  arrested some of the key accused, the

mastermind  of the killing squad, Babban Singh is

still at large.

 

The  Government announced 1.4 lakh each to

the dependents   of   the   victims,  besides   a

government  job  and  a pucca  house.   But  says

Deonandan Paswan, who witnessed the massacre from

a haystac:  “The Government always announces such

largesse  after  every  carnage, but  really  has

anyone got   even  a  single   rupee.   So   what

guarantee  is  there that they will give  us  the

amount this time?”

 

President  of  India Mr.K.R.Narayanan  led

the way in condemning the incident.  “The killers

of innocent  men,  women  and  children  must  be

brought quickly to justice, “he said in a message.

National  Human rights commission issued  notices

to the chief  secretary and the director  general

of the police  asking them to submit a report  to

the massacre  within  two weeks.  But as for  the

victims,  they  say they are tired  of  political

games, and only hope for some justice.

 

There  is  a long persisting dark area  in

Hindu society  which cries out for justice.  Even

fifty years  after the Constitution provided them

with fundamental  rights under Articles 15 and 17

the Dalits  are still persecuted.  Untouchability

has been   abolished  by  law   and  Article   15

specifically  prohibits discrimination in  access

to shops,  public  restaurants, hotels etc.   But

these fundamental right are only on paper and not

enjoyed by the affected people.

 

Many  Hindus  would  regard   this  as   a

travesty of their religion.  The best way to meet

the charge  is  to quote Chapter and  verse  from

Manu who  is the architect of Hindu Society.  Let

anyone,  who  denies what I have said,  read  the

following    commands    of     Manu    regarding

untouchability,  Untouchables  and the duties  of

the Hindus in regard to them:

 

“1.  All those tribes in this world, which

are excluded  from(the  community of) those  born

from the  mouth,  the arms, the thighs,  and  the

feet (of Brahma), are called Dasyus, whether they

speak the  language of the Mlenchhas (barbarians)

or that of the Aryans.

 

  1. Near  well  known  trees  and  burial

ground,  on  mountains and in groves,  let  these

(tribes  dwell,  known  (by certain  marks),  and

subsisting by their peculiar occupations.

 

  1. But the dwellings of the Chandalas and

Shwapakas shall be outside the village, they must

be made  Apatras and their wealth (shall be) dogs

and donkeys.

 

  1.   Their dress (shall be) the garments of

the dead,  (they shall eat their food from broken

dishes,  black iron (shall be ) their  ornaments,

they must always wander from place to place.

 

  1. A man who fulfills a religious  duty,

shall not  seek  intercourse  with  them;   their

transaction  (shall  be)  among  themselves,  and

their marriages with their equals.

 

  1. Their food shall be given to them  by

others (than  an  Aryan giver) in a broken  dish;

at night  they  shall not walk about in  villages

and in towns.

 

  1. By  day  they must go about  for  the

purpose  of their work, distinguished by marks at

the king’s  command and they shall carry out  the

corpses  (of persons) who have no relatives, that

is a settled rule.

 

  1. By the king’s order, they shall always

execute the criminals in accordance with the law,

and they  shall take for themselves the  clothes,

the beds and the ornaments of (such) criminals.

 

  1. He who has had connection with a woman

of one of  the  lowest  castes shall  be  put  to

death.

 

  1. If  one who (being a member  of  the

Chandalas  or  some other low caste) must not  be

touched,  intentionally defiles by his touch  one

who (as  a  member of a twice born caste) may  be

touched (by the other twice born persons only) he

shall be put to death.” **

 

Can  anybody, who reads these Commandments

of Manu  deny that it is Hindu religion which  is

responsible    for     the     perpetuation    of

untouchability  and for the lawlessness and  want

of conscience  on the part of the Hindus  towards

the Untouchables?    Indeed,  if   the  acts   of

omission  and commission which have been detailed

in the earlier  occasion,  it will be found  that

the Hindus  in  committing these acts are  merely

following the Commandments of Manu.  If the Hindu

will not  touch an Untouchable and regards it  as

an offence  if an Untouchable touches him, it  is

because  of the Commandments Nos.  5 and 10.   If

the Hindus  insist  upon the segregation  of  the

Untouchables,  it is because of Commandment No.3.

If the Hindus  will not allow the Untouchable  to

wear clean  clothes,  gold ornaments, he is  only

following  Commandment  No.8.  If the Hindu  will

not tolerate  an  Untouchable acquiring  property

and wealth,  he  is  only  following  Commandment

No.3.

 

It  is  really unnecessary to  labour  the

matter further.   It is incontrovertible that the

main cause  which is responsible for the fate  of

the Untouchables  is  the Hindu religion and  its

teachings.   A  comparison between  Paganism  and

Christianity  in relation to slavery and Hinduism

in relation   to  untouchability    reveals   how

different  has  been  the influence  of  the  two

religion on human institutions, how elevating has

been the   influence  of  the   former  and   how

degrading that of the latter.  Those who are fond

of comparing  slavery with Untouchability do  not

realize  that they are facing a paradox.  Legally

the slave  was  not a freeman.  yet, socially  he

had all  the freedom necessary for the growth  of

his personality.   Legally  the Untouchable is  a

freeman.  Yet, socially he had no freedom for the

growth of his personality.

 

This  is  indeed a very  glaring  paradox.

What is  the explanation of this paradox?   There

is only  one explanation of this paradox.  It  is

that while religion was on the side of the slave,

religion  has been against the Untouchables.  The

Roman Law  declared  that  the slave  was  not  a

person.   But  the  religion of Rome  refused  to

accept that  principle,  at any rate, refused  to

extend that  principles  to   social  field.   It

treated him as a human being fit for comradeship.

The Hindu  law declared that the Untouchable  was

not a person.   Contrary  to Paganism, the  Hindu

religion  not  only  accepted the  principle  but

extended  it  to the social field.  As the  Hindu

Law did  not  regard  the Untouchable  a  person.

Hinduism  refused to regard him as a human being

fit for comradeship.

 

That  the  Roman religion saved the  slave

from the  social degradation consequent upon  his

legal degradation  is beyond question.  It  saved

him from  such  degradation  in  three  different

ways.  One  way by which the Roman religion saved

the slave  was to keep the most sacred place open

for the slave to occupy.  As has been observed:

 

“……..Roman  religion was never hostile

to the slave.   It did not close the temple doors

against  him;   it  did not banish him  from  its

festivals.   If slaves were excluded from certain

ceremonies  the  same may be said of freemen  and

women-men  being excluded from the rites of  Bona

Dea, Vesta  and  Ceras,  women   from  those   of

Hercules at the Ara Maxima.  In the days when the

old Roman  divinities counted for something,  the

slave came  to  be  informally  included  in  the

family,  and  could  consider himself  under  the

protection  of the Gods of  household….Augustus

ordered  that  freed women should be eligible  as

priestesses  of  Vesta.  The law insisted that  a

slave’s  grave  should be regarded as sacred  and

for his  soul Roman Mythology provided no special

heaven and  no  particular  hell.   Even  juvenal

agrees that the slave’s soul and body, is made of

the same stuff as his master”.

 

The  secondly way  in   which  the   Roman

religion  helped  the  slave  was  equivalent  to

lodging a complaint before the City Prefect whose

duty it  became  to hear cases of wrong  done  to

slaves by  their  masters.   This was  a  secular

remedy.   But  the  Roman religion  had  provided

another  and  a better remedy.  According to  it,

the slave  was  entitled to throw himself  before

the altar  and demand that he should be sold to a

kindlier master.

 

The  third way in which the Roman religion

saved the  slave by preventing the Roman Law from

destroying  the sanctity of his personality as  a

human being.  It did not make him unfit for human

association and comradeship.  For the Roman slave

this was  the  greatest  saving  grace.   Suppose

Roman society had an objection to buy vegetables,

milk, butter or take water or wine from the hands

of the slave;   suppose  Roman   society  had  an

objection to allow slaves to touch them, to enter

their houses,  travel  with them in  cars,  etc.,

would it  have  been possible for the  master  to

train his  slave to raise him from semi-barbarism

to a cultures  state?   Obviously   not;   it  is

because  the  slave  was  not held to  to  be  an

Untouchable  that the master could train him  and

raise him.   We again come back therefore to  the

same conclusion,  namely, that what has saved the

slave is  that his personality was recognized  by

society  and  what has ruined the Untouchable  is

that Hindu   society   did   not  recognize   his

personality, treated his as one whose personality

was unclean which rendered him as unfit for human

association and common dealing.

 

There  was not gulf, social or  religious,

which separated  the  slave from the rest of  the

society.  In outward appearance he did not differ

from the  freeman;   neither colour nor  clothing

revealed  his  condition;  he witnessed the  same

games as  the freeman;  he shared in the life  of

the Municipal towns and got employed in the State

service, engaged himself in trade and commerce as

all freemen  did.   Often  apparent  equality  in

outward  things counts far more to the individual

than actual  identity  of rights before the  law.

Between  the  slave  and the  freed  there  seems

often to   have  been   little  social  barrier.

Marriage  between  the slave and freed  and  even

freed and  slave  was  very  common.   The  slave

status carried no stigma on the man in the slave.

He was Touchable  and even respectable.  All this

was due  to  the attitude of the  Roman  religion

towards the slave.

 

There  is  no space to describe at  length

the attitude  of Christianity to slavery.  But it

was different  from Paganism.  It is not known to

many that  during  the  period   of  slavery   in

America,  Christian priests were not prepared  to

convert  Negro slaves to Christianity because  of

their view  that it would degrade Christianity if

the convert  remained a slave.  In their opinion,

one Christian could not hold another Christian as

a slave.  He was bound to offer him fellowship.

 

To sum up, Law and Religion are two forces

which govern  the conduct of men.  At times, they

act as handmade  to each other.  At other  times,

they act  as check and counter-check.  Of the two

forces,  Law  is  personal   while  religion   is

impersonal.   Law being personal it is capable of

being unjust and inequitious.  But religion being

impersonal,  it  can be impartial.   If  religion

remains impartial, it is capable of defeating the

inequity  committed by law.  This is exactly what

happened in Rome in regard to the slave.  That is

why religion  believed to ennoble man and not  to

degrade  him.  Hinduism is an exception.  It  had

made the  Untouchable sub-human.  It has made the

Hindu inhuman.  There is no escape to either from

the established  order  of the sub-human and  the

inhuman.5

 

Any  one  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  a  very

pertinent  question- Why should an untouchable be

tyrannized  if he wears clean clothes ?  How  can

it hurt  a  Hindu.  Why should an untouchable  be

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

desires  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

falls 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-to-do?  Why  should  all

Hindus whether  officials  or non-officials  make

common cause  to suppress the untouchables?   Why

should all  castes  otherwise   quarreling  among

themselves combine to make, in the name Hinduism,

a conspiracy to hold the untouchables at bay?6

 

Lawlessness  of  this country has shown  a

new face  at  midnight in Mahoharpur, Orissa,  on

January  22  was like any other night.  Till  the

screams  from  Timothy, Philip and  their  father

Graham Stewart  Staines as they were burnt  alive

in their  station  wagon  woke up a  nation.   It

patently  failed,  however, to jolt  the  BJP-led

Union Government  out of its slumber.  The crisis

before the  A.B.Bajpayee  Government  is  one  of

credibility.     Of    leadership.     It   seems

increasingly  to  be led by the  lunatic  fringe,

which nobody has the courage or political will to

stop.  Even  as  the   obstructionism  cartwheels

dangerously  out  of control.  Some  are  piously

penitent.  The Prime Minister led them:  “My head

hangs in  shame”.   One of his Minister  Mr.Madan

lal Khurana has resigned.

 

The  leading lights of the BJP,  including

party president   Kushabhau  Thakre    and   home

minister L.K.Advani, have condemned the violence,

though different way.

 

They   say   Gujarat    was   ‘different’.

“Intra-tribal, localised” conflicts, said the BJP

and its  affiliates in the Sangh.  The sotto voce

campaign:  Christian missionaries, you know, they

do convert   “simple,  honest    tribals”   using

allurements.   The  English   language  press  is

behaving  irresponsibly.  It exaggerates.   After

all, only  some  makeshift structures  have  been

damaged.    Nobody’s  been   killed.”  Well,  now

somebody  has, and SC/ST’s are regular killing by

the Savarna  people  in  all   over  the  country

without  any  protest  except  shed  some drop of

Crocodile tears from the politicians for the sake

of vote.

 

Attacks  on  Christians,  which  began  to

acquire  a  frequency  around the  time  the  BJP

settled into power at the Centre, seemed to reach

their savage  pitch  in  the   aftermath  of  the

assembly  election  debacle.  Before the  Staines

episode  came Gujarat-28 churches were  destroyed

in a month-and  Madhya  Pradesh.   Even  hitherto

peaceful  Kerala  didn’t  escape  the  fire.   In

November  1998 some missionaries returning from a

prayer meeting  at Sultan Batteri in Wyanad  were

waylaid  by  a  group  of  RSS  activists.   They

snatched   their  Bible,  and   beat   them   up.

According  to  the  local   bishop,  Yuhanan  Mar

Philoxinos,  the  provocation  was that  the  the

tribal chief in the Adivisi colony had a photo of

Jesus in  his  house.   According   to  him,  the

Jacobite  Church  does not encourage  conversions

among tribals  as the converted tribal would  not

be treated  on  par with the rest of  the  Syrian

Christian community.  Last week at Vadakara, also

in Kerala, three member of the evangelical church

of India,  all aged between 18-20, were  thrashed

by Sangh  zealots.   Post Staines, a  chapel  was

stoned in  Bolangir, Orissa;  and sangh activists

were allegedly   in  the  thick   of  things   in

Allahabad,   UP,  and   the  hill   regions-where

visiting Kerala missionaries were beaten up.

 

A total of 75 attacks on minorities by the

Sangh parivar  between March 2, 1998 and Jan  23,

1999 and  barring a few most of them were against

Christians,   their    churches    and   schools.

Conversions  to Christianity are nothing new  and

they have  been  going or for centuries.  In  the

northeast  the  Nagas  and  a  few  other  tribal

communities  have been almost totally  converted.

The Christian     missionaries       have    been

understandably  concentrating  on   the   tribals

spread all  over  India.   Most   of  the  tribal

communities are not Hindus in the strict sense as

they are animists or votaries of cults of various

categories.   Large sections in Arunachal Pradesh

are worshippers  of  the  Sun  and  Moon.   Every

tribal who   is   not  a  Christian   cannot   be

considered  a  Hindu or belonging to a  pro-Hindu

cult or belief.

 

Tribals  are  7.5% of total population  of

India.  The Christians tribals, many of whom have

given English  as  their  mother  tongue  in  the

north-eastern  region, are among the most forward

section  of  tribals  in India  today,  they  are

getting  better education in excellent missionary

schools  and  colleges.  There are very few  such

officers  from  the  non-Christian  tribals  from

Bihar, Orissa,   Madhya  pradesh,   Gujarat   and

Rajasthan,  which  have a huge  concentration  of

non-Christian  tribals.  Why blame the  Christian

missions  if  there are no Hindu counterparts  to

fill the  vacum  at  least last  50  years?   The

period Hindus    are    rulling    India.     The

contribution of the Christian missionaries in the

field of   education   and   health   cannot   be

minimised.    Christian  missionaries    in   the

remotest  areas  taken care of  leprosy  patient,

when even the kith and kin have abandoned old men

and women.  The school and colleges set up by the

missions   are   jewels   among   the   education

institutions   in  the   country  and  successive

generations  of students have passed out of these

institutions    to      become    administrators,

educationists  and political leaders.  Is it  not

unfortunate  and  indeed   ungrateful  of  Indian

society  to go after the Christian  missionaries.

If the Christian  missionaries  had  been  really

aggressive  in their conversion drive, then their

population would not be under 3%.

 

In   1981,    Tamilnadu’s   Ramanathapuram

district  in  Meenakshipuram,   when  the  Dalits

embraced  Islam, it sent a shock wave  throughout

the country.   The depressed classed people opted

for conversion    to   escape     the   bane   of

untouchability,  the  two-glass   system  in  the

village  tea shops, the ghettoes in the  villages

and, in  short discrimination and insult in every

walk of    life   from     the   upper   classes.

Unfortunately  a criminal tribe Thevars named  by

British enjoy the OBC category now are the reason

for much conversion to Islam.  Recently when some

Hindu activists,  asked  for  reconversion,  they

asked in which caste they would be assigned to on

reverting   to  Hinduism?   Here   is  the   real

challenge  to Hinduism and its proponents.  Until

caste system  vanish  from  Hinduism, it  has  no

future at all.

 

The day before the 13th November 1931 when

the minorities   pact   was   presented  to   the

Minorities  Sub-Committee  of   the  Round  Table

Conference Mr.Gandhi took a copy of the Koran and

went to  the  Ritz Hotel in 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  Untouchables  for

separate representation ?7

 

“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  touchables  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.”8

 

 

  1. REACTION WORLDWIDE

 

In  the  competition   between  Hindu  and

Christian  missionaries, it is the tribal who has

suffered.    The  proselytising   zeal  of   both

threatens  to  undermine   the  tribal  identity,

manipulate  their collective memory and create  a

new man.

 

Blind faith, like jahira(traditional puja)

was a must  for  tribal in Orissa, even a  decade

ago, none dared to miss jahira, fearing a boycott

and the  wrath  of evil spirits.   But  Christian

missionaries  took their evangelical zeal to  the

state’s  dark  and forgotten corners and  educate

the tribals  to  attend  the local  church  every

Sunday.

 

Government   sources  say   there  are  90

foreign-funded   missions  working   in   Orissa,

besides  a  host of “para-church”  organisations.

About 8,000  churches  service  Orissa’s  current

2.9% Christians.

 

Graham Staines’ long time friend Subhankar

Ghosha Botany teacher in Cuttack- was awakened by

the first  shouts.   Peering  through a  mud  hut

window,  barely  300 yards from the  chapel  door

where Staines  and  his  children  slept  in  the

station  wagon,  he  saw a  mob  surrounding  the

vehicle.   “I  heard shouts,  beatings,  screams,

brickbatting,   banging  of   doors.   They  were

shouting  maro,  maro, maro and  zindabad.   Then

suddenly  the  station  wagon   was  in  flames.”

Outside  the  hut, the mob prevented  all  rescue

efforts.   When  the  mob  left  an  hour  later,

Staines  and and his children lay charred.   Next

day, the  cops scooped out the heap.  The  target

was Staines:    his  camera,   watch  and   Bible

remained.   “It was gruesome.  I’ll never forget,

“says Ghosh.   But  the  ground   level  of  some

organisation’s  hard-liners having decided to  go

the whole  hog despite the universal condemnation

of the Staines’   incident.    In   Maharashtra’s

villages  where number of Christians living have,

in this  climate  of fear, packed their bags  and

moved out for peaceful life.

 

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.11

 

At last now the foreign media has wake up,

when the  Christians  has  beaten  up  and  burnt

alive.  The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times

and even  the Washington Post is writing that the

prime Minister    Atal    Behari    Vajpayee   is

“powerless”   to   say   anything,  because   the

“outrageous”  attacks  are being carried  out  by

political   allies   of   Vajpayee’s  BJP.    And

according to the US press, the real target of the

attacks is Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

 

Indian  ambassador to Washington  recently

added that members of the Indian community in the

US should  “first throw stones at my house before

going to  Kofi  Annan”.   The   deputy  chief  of

mission,  T.P.Srinivasan,  met  with a  group  of

India Christians  and  told  them  not  to  allow

themselves  to  be exploited by the US media  and

other biased groups.

 

The Clinton administration is so concerned

that deputy  secretary of state Strobe Talbott is

likely to  rake up the issue in the next round of

talks in  New  Delhi.   “We can guess why  it  is

happening,”   Talbott  said.   He   laughed   off

accusations  that  the  attacks were part  of  an

“international  conspiracy”.  He said the stir up

anti Christian  hysteria  as a way of getting  at

the Congress party and Sonia Gandhi.

 

But  the  worst  press has come  from  the

British  media.  These are “the worst attacks  on

India’s  Christian  minority this  century,”  the

Daily Telegraph  reported.   The Times  said  the

murder of  the Australian missionary and his  two

sons as the 109th attack against Christians since

the BJP  government  took over compared to 50  in

the past 50 years.

 

Gandhi’s  expectations of a tolerant India

have been “brutally betrayed,” The Times screamed

in an editorial.   “Asian  Christians  are  under

assault  as they have not been in living memory,”

it wrote.   In Pakistan justice for Christians is

“virtually  non-existent” and the police identify

Christian  homes  with  crosses   “much  as  Nazi

Germany  instituted  the yellow star  for  Jews”.

Such actions  are often signs of weak governments

but India has been “relatively lightly touched by

the Asian  disease;   there  the   problem  is  a

governing party that rose to power by cultivating

a religious militancy whose destructiveness it is

unable or unwilling to control.”

 

The Guardian carried a report from Gujarat

which spoke  of Christian friction with believers

in the “monkey  god” and quoted villagers  making

fun of Hindus  who  had  attempted  to  reconvert

them(Christians)   to  Hinduism.     The   report

portrays the Hindus there as ridiculous zealots.

 

The  widespread  media reports  contradict

the information  given to foreign secretary Robin

Cook by  the  PM’s  principal  secretary  Brajesh

Mishra,  a week ago that the media had blown up a

small incident  in one village in one district in

one state.    The  Telegraph   said   “throughout

Gujarat, Christian chapels, schools and homes lie

in ruins.”  It reported that Hindus have resorted

to “stoning   Christian  women”   and  that  many

Christians  have  been sacked by Hindu  employers

and Christians  have been told that diesel  would

be mixed  in their drinking water if they did not

reconvert to Hinduism.  The newspaper blames “two

fundamentalist organizations of the Sangh.”

 

Not  so in France, which has maintained an

astute silence.   The issue was not even  touched

upon briefly  during the recent visits of defence

minister George Fernandes or Mishra.  “If we make

any official   statement   not,  it   may   prove

counterproductive  and at this juncture we do not

wish to  complicate  matters,”say  senior  French

officials.

 

In  contrast, the European Union is taking

a serious  view.  Facing increasing pressure from

member countries, especially the UK, the European

Union could  be pushed into holding a ministerial

meeting  to  discuss  the   issue.   “The  EU  is

extremely  concerned  about the situation and  is

watching  it  closely.  There is mounting  public

opinion   in  the  member   states  about   these

atrocities.   But the EU respects India and would

not like  to  take actions that could be seen  as

meddling  in its internal affairs and undermining

its secular  and  democratic   framework,”says  a

senior EU  official.   The Germans  have  already

conveyed  their concern to the Indian  Government

through their ambassador in Delhi.

 

If London’s response has been reactionary,

the perception  in  Washington  is  that   damage

control  in  India  has  been  “quite  pathetic”.

Quipped a Pakistani diplomat:  “We used to be the

bad guys.   Now  it is India all the time.   They

need to learn better PR in Delhi.”

 

“If  we had converted through our schools,

there’d  be  500  million Christians.”  Alaan  De

Lastic, archbishop of New Delhi, in ‘Time’.12

 

 

  1. RECEPIENT OF FOREIGN FUND

 

Top  25 recipient of foreign contributions

during 1996-97.

 

————————————————————–

Organisation                       State           Rs.(crore)

————————————————————–

  1. Sri Satiya Sai Central Trust    Andhra Pradesh       47.74

 

  1. Maharishi Ved Vigyan Vishva vidyapeetham ,, 40.32

 

  1. Foster plan internation inc Delhi           35.87

 

  1. World vision of India Tamil Nadu      33.89

 

  1. Gospel for Asia Kerala          26.06

 

  1. Action AID                   Karnataka       24.77

 

  1. CSI Council for Child Care Karnataka       23.34

 

  1. Family Planning Association of India Maharashtra 22.19

 

  1. Christian Children Fund inc Karnataka       22.18

 

10.Community and Sponsorship programme  Maharashtra     20.07

 

  1. Serv. Assn of 7th day Adventists Tamil Nadu      19.64

 

  1. Tibetan Children’s village HP              18.90

 

  1. Churches Auxiliary for Social Action Delhi 17.35

 

  1. Mysore Resettlement & Devpt Agency Karnataka       17.22

 

  1. SOS Children’s villages of India Delhi           16.88

 

  1. Bochasanwasi Akshar purushotam santha Gujarat 16.53

 

  1. Oxfam(INDIA) Trust Delhi           15.34

 

  1. Missionaries of Charity   West Bengal     14.84

 

  1. Indo German Social Service Society Delhi           14.83

 

  1. Lilavati Kirtilal Mehta Medical trust Maharashtra   14.73

 

  1. Caritas India Delhi           14.72

 

  1. AMG India International Andhra Pradesh       14.29

 

  1. Lutheran World Service – India West Bengal     13.62

 

  1. Association for servga Sewa Farm Tamil Nadu      12.86

 

  1. Aga Khan Foundation               Delhi           11.23

————————————————————–

 

These  are few and many more organization

are there, which are receiving the foreign funds.

 

 

III. APPROACH IS CONTINUING

 

The Parliamentary Forum of SC/ST MPs meets

on 16.12.98  and decided that it should  approach

the Prime   minister  with  a  request  to  shift

present  Minister  out of the Social Justice  and

Empowerment  Ministry.  A former Union  minister,

who is a  member  of  this  Forum  set  the  ball

rolling  by commenting that all was not well with

the Ministry  which  is the nodal agency for  the

welfare of the depressed classes.

 

The  assembled members were astounded when

the former  Minister  mentioned  that  Mrs.Maneka

Gandhi had  even  issued  an   order  to   remove

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar’s  photograph  from  her  office.

This prompted  even  the ruling alliance  members

volunteering   to  seek   the  Prime   Minister’s

intervention for her removal.

 

“If  she is not serious about the  welfare

of the people  belonging to the SC/ST, then there

is no justification  for  such a  person  heading

this ministry,” some of the members noted.

 

The predominant mood at the meeting was to

approach  the  Prime  Minister  before  the  next

cabinet  expansion with a request to remove  Mrs.

Gandhi from  the  Ministry of Social Justice  and

Empowerment.   The  SC/ST members also felt  that

the Minister  of  Cabinet rank should  head  this

important Ministry, Whereas Mrs.Gandhi has been a

Minister of State.

 

Since  then  two months has passed but  so

far my knowledge  no  body has taken  any  action

regarding the voice of this forum.

 

 

  1. BUDDHISM IS UNDER THREAT

 

A  Buddhist  monk,  Venerable  Gangodawila

Soma Thera  criticized the worship of Hindu  Gods

saying that   the  practice    contradicted   the

Buddhis’s  teaching as Buddhism, which allows  no

God.

 

Lord  Buddha  had  said  that  a  person’s

saviour  was  himself,  and   if  he   controlled

himself,  he could not get a better saviour  than

himself.   Buddhism forbids the asking of favours

from Gods and making offerings of money and other

goodies to get divine favours.

 

Buddhists were not following the “Dhamma”,

the five  precepts  or the noble path of  conduct

prescribed  by Buddha, and were steeped in ritual

and magical  practices,  Mr.Lokugamage  lamented.

He added  If  a person followed the  Dhamma,  the

Dhamma would  itself  protect him.  He  need  not

seek protection  from  an   outside  supernatural

agency.  Though it is non existence.

 

I  am really attracted by his  scholarship

and preservations  with which he has examined the

carper of  Hindu scriptures.  I think that he has

critically  examined the religious scriptures  to

find out how deep is our religion and how sublime

are our principles of life.  Any one can find his

scholarship  and  erudition, he has  almost  gone

through  all  the Vedas, Smrities and  Upanishads

ultimately  to  find  out why the Hindus  are  so

unsocial  and  even  antisocial to  maintain  the

supremacy  without  any  reason or merit  of  the

system.

 

He was a multi dimensional and multi faced

personality  and he had set for himself the  main

task and chief goal of uplifting and emancipating

the millions of his fellowmen from the squalor of

poverty,  ignorance, slavery and humiliation.  He

expressed  his  deep concern for the  humiliation

condition  of  humanity and presented the  action

plan based  on deep research into their problems,

he dives  so  deep into the socio-economical  and

political  history  of   India.   He  contributed

towards  social change and economic  emancipation

of the down  trodden people of India and all over

the world.    He  was  a  most  prominent  social

thinkers  after  Lord  Buddha, his  findings  and

suggestions  are relevant today and people  speak

volumes   for   his   profound  scholarship   and

intellectual capacities.

 

He  carefully  examined   the  four  major

religion  of  the  world,  namely,  Christianity,

Islam, Hinduism  and  Buddhism.   He  found  that

Christ claimed  that,  he was the son of God  and

those who  wished  to  enter the kingdom  of  God

would fail  if they did not recognize him as  the

son of God.   Hazrat Mohammed claimed that he was

the messenger  of  God and also, that one  should

accept that  he was the last messenger.  Both  of

them claimed  that  their  teaching was  the  God

gifts and  so  infallible  and  therefore  beyond

question.   Krishna  claimed that he himself  was

the God  and his teaching was original and final.

But Lord  Buddha  never  made  such  claims.   He

claimed that he is the natural son of his parent.

For modern  world  such a religion  is  essential

which is based on only truth without supernatural

bias.  His  approach  to   humanism  is  ethical,

social and  secular.   The  moral  order  is  the

universe is not maintained by God but by man.  It

occupies  the  highest place.  There  is  nothing

absolute.   Everything  is  related  to  man  and

society.   He  holds that religion, base  of  the

concept  of  the soul, is based  on  speculation.

Things exists  is  not the soul but the mind  and

mind is quite different from the soul.

 

Education  is must for all was the them of

Dr.Ambedkar   which   was   propagated  by   Shri

Guruchand Thakur of Bengal though he was not well

educated.    He  believed   that  education   was

necessary  to shake off their mental lethargy and

satisfaction with their existing plight.

 

He  was  a  prolific writer and  author  a

large number   of   books.    He   attempted   an

exposition   of   the  vents   leading   to   the

establishment  of  the exchange standard  and  an

examination  of  its theoretical basis.   In  the

matter of   land   reforms    he   stated    that

consolidation holdings would obviate the evils of

scattered  holdings  provided these are  economic

holdings.   Industrialisation  must be  there  to

improve  so he said “industrialisation facilities

consolidation.   It lessons the premium of  land.

It must  precede consolidation.  It is a  barrier

against future subdivision and consolidation”.13

 

 

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

       

  1. (Frontline, January 29,1999)
  2. Writing & Speeches  by Dr.B.R.Ambedkar

vol-5,  p-35

  1. vol-5, p-266
  2. H.T.  20.08.98
  3. vol-5,  p-91
  4. vol-5,  p-272
  5. vol-5, p-323
  6. vol-5, p-361-371
  7. vol-5,   p-404-408
  8. vol-5, p-411-413
  9. vol-5, p-285
  10. (Outlook 8.2.99)
  11. Ambedkar  B.R,  Small holdings in

India and their Remedies,  p28.  **

1-10, Manu  X.45 ibdi  X 50-53, Manu

X 54 & 56 Vishnu V 43 & 104

 

 

  1. APPEAL BY THE GREATEST

    SOCIAL REVOLUTIONARY

 

There   were  some   who  raised   violent

protests  against  the insulting treatment  meted

out to the  Indians  in South Africa and  to  the

Indian students  in Britain, and at the same time

denied human  rights  to   their  countrymen  and

co-religionists   in    India.    Dr.B.R.Ambedkar

exposed their inconsistent attitude, selfishness,

shamelessness and held them to ridicule!

 

He  made a powerful appeal to all  leaders

and the  public at large, who favoured  abolition

of untouchablity,  to transform their  sympathies

into practicality  and  bring   the  reform  into

reality  in their day-to-day life.  It was  sheer

cruelty,  he  declared, to say that  because  the

injustice  had been extended across centuries, it

should be  borne for some time more.  Only a cave

man, he added, could defend his sins in that way.

It was his   earnest   appeal,    therefore,   to

thoughtful men to act up to their views and vows.

 

Ambedkar,  the social revolutionary,  knew

well that  problem  of   untouchability  did  not

depend for  its solution so much on the spread of

education  or  on the rational appeal as  on  the

abolition  of the privileges, selfishness and the

peculiar  frame of mind of the high caste Hindus.

He, therefore, urged the Depressed Classes to act

in as forcible  a way as to let the caste  Hindus

know that to observe untouchability was a risk as

dangerous as to bear live coals on their tongues.

These caste Hindus, he said, would not understand

            paper resolutions, or appeals made at conferences

            and would not realize the magnitude of their sins

            until they  felt  it  unsafe  to  treat  them  as

            Untouchables.   So  he asked them to keep  before

their mind  the  struggle between the Hindus  and

the Muslims  and said that it was a struggle  for

cultural predominance.  The balance of power was,

he asserted,  in  their  hands and  therefore  he

asked them to utilize their forces advantageously

for the  advancement  of  their  own  social  and

political rights.

 

Lost rights are never regained,” Ambedkar

            observed, “by  begging,  and  by  appeals to  the

            conscience  of  the usurpers, but  by  relentless

            struggle.”   “Goats  are   used  for  sacrificial

            offerings and not lions,”he concluded.1

 

Although   Ambedkar  insisted   upon   the

necessity  of securing political power, he  said:

“But I must  take  this opportunity to  emphasize

that 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.  By a change of  their

mode of  life  they must be made fit for  respect

and friendship.   They  must be  educated.   Mere

knowledge  of  the three R’s is insufficient  for

the great height many of them must reach in order

that the whole community may along with them rise

in the general  estimation.   There  is  a  great

necessity  to disturb their pathetic  contentment

and to instill  into  them that divine  discontent

which is the spring of all elevation.”2

 

“I   am   described  as   a   traitor   by

Congressman,”he  observed,  “because   I  opposed

Gandhi”.   I  am  not at all  perturbed  by  this

charge.   It  is baseless, false  and  malicious.

But it was a great shock to the world that Gandhi

himself  should have sponsored violent opposition

to the breaking of your shackles.  I am confident

            that the   future  generations  of  Hindus   will

            appreciate  my  services  when   they  study  the

            history  of the Round Table conference.” He  also

disclosed  how he happened to see Gandhi four  or

five times in London, how Gandhi went secretly to

the Aga Khan with a copy of the Holy Koran in his

hand and  asked the Muslim leader to withdraw his

support to the Depressed Classes, and how the Aga

Khan had  refused to do so.  Lastly, he  appealed

to his people  not  to  deify  him  as  he  hated

deification.3

 

Babashaheb  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 ineffective   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 crisis  will compel the caste Hindu to think,

one 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 have done in a  few

days what  million days of preaching by reformers

would never have done.4

 

Tolstoy  said  “Only  those who  love  can

Serve”.

 

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.   My  hope  that  Mr.Gandhi  would  attain

dictatorship  in  social  affairs was  dashed  to

pieces,”  he  declared.  In the circumstances  it

was difficult,  he  continued,  to   get  such  a

dictator  in  social and religious  matters,  and

since he   was  not  hopeful   of   the   younger

generation which seemed to be more predisposed to

pleasure-seeking and not possessing idealism like

Ranade,  Gokhale  and Tilak, he despaired of  the

future of  India.  Concluding his talks with  the

caste Hindu  deputation,  he  said  that  he  had

strong religious  sentiments  according   to  his

conception  of  religion, but he had no faith  in

Hinduism as he hated hypocrisy.5

 

Gandhi  wrongly  thought that  there  were

many influences in India and London acting behind

Ambedkar  and  the  problem had been  allowed  to

assume unduly  large  proportions because of  his

threats.6  On his way back from Segaon,  Ambedkar

was received enthusiastically at Wardh station by

the Depressed  Classes.   Walchand Hirachand  and

Jamnalal  Bajaj,  the millionaire  supporters  of

Gandhi,  asked  Ambedkar  why  he  did  not  join

Gandhi’s  camp,  so that he might have  boundless

resources  at his disposal for the uplift of  the

Depressed  Classes.   Ambedkar told them  frankly

that he  vitally  differed  from Gandhi  on  many

points.   Upon  this they referred to  Nehru  and

asked him to emulate his example by putting aside

his own  views.  he silenced them by saying  that

he was not a man to whom Nehru’s case would apply

and added  that  he  could   not  sacrifice   his

conscience  for success.  The millionaires showed

their surprise  at  the crowds of  the  Depressed

Classes  that  had gathered to receive  Ambedkar,

and they  remarked that although they spent money

on their  cause  the  Scheduled  Castes  did  not

respond to them properly.  Ambedkar once answered

that it was the difference between a mother and a

nurse.7

 

Lala  Har Dayal observes :  ” Caste is the

curse of  India.   Caste, in all its  forms,  has

made us  a nation of Slaves.  It is not Islam, It

is not England,  that  has destroyed India.   No,

our enemy  is  within us.  Priestcraft and  caste

have slain  us.   India can never  establish  and

maintain  a free State so long as caste rules  in

our society.   You  may   deliver  speeches  pass

resolutions,   sign    Commonwealth    Bills   ad

infinitum, but caste Hindus cannot work together,

or establish a free State, or create a victorious

army.”8

 

Describing  the  numerous   and   specific

disabilities  which the Depressed Classes had  to

undergo,  Ambedkar  said  that so  long  as  they

            remained   in  the  Hindu   fold,  there  was  no

            salvation  for  them.  They had to go out of  the

Hindu fold  to  secure  true  freedom  for  their

activities  such  as wearing dress, eating  food,

securing  jobs, receiving education and living in

the midst  of  a  civilized society.   “You  have

nothing  to  lose,”  he continued,  “except  your

chains and  everything  to gain by  changing  you

religion.”  Turning then to the social aspect  of

the problem,  he  said that although the  problem

looked like  a struggle for social status, it was

essentially a class struggle.  Oppressions were a

part of  that  ceaseless   struggle  which  raged

between  the privileged and the unprivileged.  He

told the Depressed Classes that they lacked three

essential   qualities  for   carrying  out  their

struggle,    namely,    man-power,    money   and

intellectual  power, and so long as they remained

in the Hindu  fold  they  would not  be  able  to

acquire those powers.

 

As  regards  the spiritual aspect  of  the

issue, he  observed  that the function of a  true

religion  was the uplift of the individual.   For

that purpose  it  should  teach  the  virtues  of

fellow-feeling,  equality and liberty.  As  Hindu

            religion  did  not  teach these virtues  and  had

            failed to  provide them a favourable environment,

            and denied    them    individual    freedom   for

            development  without  the   means  of  education, 

            wealth and  arms,  it had become  imperative  for

            them, he  asserted,  to leave the Hindu fold  and

            seek another  religion  that   would  offer  them

            better conditions of life. 

 

Dr.Ambedkar     said       “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  any

            navy.  Untouchability  is a curse 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!

 

As  to the political consequences, he said

that they would not suffer in any way by changing

their religion.   They  would get the support  of

the community  into  which they merged.   As  for

himself,  Ambedkar observed vehemently:  “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 case 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

in this  world may pass 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 you 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

is 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!”9

 

Dr.Ambedkar said in the preface of Ranade,

Gandhi and  Jinnah that no one could hope to make

any effective  mark  upon his time and bring  the

aid that  was worth bringing to great  principles

and struggling causes if he was not strong in his

love and  hatred.   “I  hate, ”  he  continued  ,

injustice,  tyranny, pompousness and humbug,  and

my hatred  embraces  all those who are guilty  of

them.  I want to tell my critics that I regard my

feelings of hatred as a real force.  They are the

reflex of  the  love  I  bear for  the  causes  I

believe in and I am in no wise ashamed of it.” He

hoped that  his  countrymen would some day  learn

that the country is greater than an individual.

 

The  phase of Buddhism was yet to come  in

Ambedkar’s  life.   It was Buddha’s eternal  rule

that hatred  never ceases by hatred, but by love.

Ambedkar   loved   the   principle  of   absolute

non-violence  as an end and believed in  relative

violence  as a means.  He was of the opinion that

Gandhi’s  non-violence  was derived from  Jainism

and not  from the Buddha, who never stretched  it

to the extreme view of Jainism.10

 

In  the Constitution Assembly, Dr.Ambedkar

said “I know”, “today we are divided politically, 

            socially  and  economically.  We are  in  warring

            camps and  I am probably one of the leaders of  a

            warring  camp.  But with all this I am  convinced

            that, given  time  and circumstances, nothing  in

            the world will prevent this country from becoming

            one, and,  with all our castes and creeds, I have

            not the  slightest  hesitation in saying that  we

            shall in some form be a united people.

 

I  have  no  hesitation is  saying  that,

            notwithstanding  the agitation of the League  for

            the partition  of  India, some day  enough  light

            will dawn  upon the Muslims themselves, and they,

            too, will  begin to think that a United India  is

            better for everybody,” he proceeded.

 

Blaming  the  Congress  Party  for  having

consented  to the dismantling of a strong center,

Ambedkar  said he would not ask whether the House

had the  right  to  pass such a  resolution.   It

might be  it  had the right.  “The question I  am

asking is,”  he asserted with a glow in his eyes,

“is it prudent  for you to do it?  Is it wise  to

do it?   Power  is  one   thing  and  wisdom  and

prudence  quit a different thing.” He, therefore,

made a fervent  appeal to the Congress Members to

make yet  another  attempt  to   bring  about   a

conciliation   and   said:    “In  deciding   the

destinies of a people, the dignity of the leaders

or men or parties ought to count for nothing.”

 

In  the  end he referred to three ways  by

which the  issue could be decided;  the permanent

surrender of one party to the other, a negotiated

peace or  war.  He confessed that he was appalled

at the idea of war, and uttered a warning that it

would be  a  war  on  the  Muslims  or  what  was

probably  worse, a war on the combination of  the

British  and the Muslims.  Quoting Burke’s famous

passage in favour of reconciliation with America,

Ambedkar  observed in a moving tone:  If  anybody

has it in  his  mind  that this  problem  can  be

solved by  war,  or  that   the  Muslims  may  be

subjugated   and   made  to    surrender   to   a

constitution that might be prepared without their

knowledge  and  consent,  this country  would  be

involved  in  perpetually  conquering  them.   As

            Burke said, “It  is  easy  to   give  power,  but

            difficult  to give wisdom”.  Let us prove by  our

conduct  that we have not only the power but also

the wisdom  to carry with us all sections of  the

country and to make them march on that road which

is bound to lead us to unity.” 11

 

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  he  had   joined  the   Central

Government  and  not  the  Congress  Party.   The

Congress Party was a burning house;  and he would

not be surprised if it was completely ruined in a

couple of  years.  If he joined the Congress,  he

would be  unaffected like a stone in water;   but

if his followers  would join it they would,  like

clods, be dissolved.  He therefore warned them to

keep their  organization  intact.    This  speech

brought hornets” nest about his ear.  “There is a

furor,  he  wrote  to Chitra “over  my  speech.”

“There has  been  somewhat   heated   controversy

between myself and Patel and Pandit.  I told that

if they feel embarrassed I am prepared to resign.

The issue  may be settle in the next few days one

way or the   other.”   He,   however,  issued   a

statement from new Delhi, stating that his speech

was ex-tempore  and  was misreported.   He  added

that he  had  joined  the   Cabinet  because  the

invitation  was free from any condition, that  he

thought  that  the  interests  of  the  Scheduled

Castes would  be  better  served by  joining  the

Cabinet  and  that  he  hated  the  principle  of

opposition  for opposition’s sake.  But this fire

was smouldering  till  August  1948.  He  had  to

cancel his   visit  to  Bombay   “as  there   are

political  happenings which may raise their  head

and cause a crash to the Government.”

 

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.12

 

Looking  to the future of the country,  he

showed his  anxiety and observed:  “What perturbs

me greatly  is  the fact that India has not  only

once before lost her independence but she lost it

by the infidelity   and  treachery  of  her   own

people.    In   the   invasion    of   Sindh   by

Mohommed-Bin-Kasim,  the  military commanders  of

King Dahir,  accepted  bribes from the agents  of

Mahommed-Bin-Kasim  and  refused to fight on  the

side of  their king.  It was Jaichand who invited

Mahomed  Ghori  to  invade  India  and  to  fight

against  Prithviraj and promised him the help  of

himself  and the Solanki Kings.  When Shivaji was

fighting  for  the liberation of the Hindus,  the

other Maratha  noblemen and the Rajput kings were

fighting  battles  on  the  side  of  the  Moghul

emperors.   When  the British were  fighting  the

Sikh rulers, 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?” he asked the

House.   His anxiety was deepened, he  proceeded,

by the realization  of the fact that in  addition

to their  old  enemies in the form of castes  and

creeds people  had  too many parties with  divers

opposing creeds.  He, therefore, urged the people

of India   to   resolutely   guard  against   the

eventuality  of parties placing their creed above

the country or else “our independence will be put

in jeopardy  a  second time and probably be  lost

for ever.   We  must be determined to defend  our

independence   till   the  last   drop   of   our

blood.”(cheers)

 

He  then turned to the ways of maintaining

democracy.   He  said that the first  thing  they

must do  was  to hold fast to the  constitutional

methods  of  achieving their social and  economic

objectives  and  abandon  the  methods  of  civil

disobedience,  non-co-operation  and  satyagraha,

for those methods were nothing but the grammar of

anarchy.

 

Another   danger,  he   felt,  arose  from

heroworship.   He  quoted from John Stuart  Mill,

who warned  the defenders of democracy not to lay

            their liberties  at the feet of even a  greatman, 

            or trust  him  with powers which enabled  him  to

            subvert  their  institution.  Striking a note  of

warning  against  the spirit of irrational  blind

hero-worship  which prevailed in the country,  he

observed:   “There  is  nothing  wrong  in  being

grateful to great men who have rendered life-long

service  to the country;  but there are limits to

gratefulness:   As  has been well said  by  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 plays a part  in

politics unequalled in magnitude than the part it

plays in the politics of any other country in the

world.   Bhakti may be a road to the salvation of

the soul;    but,   in     politics   Bhakti   or

hero-worship  is  a sure road to degradation  and

eventual dictatorship.”

 

The   third  thing  people   must  do   to

safeguard the Indian Democracy, he said, was that

they must  not  be  content with  mere  political

democracy but that they should make the political

democracy  a  social and economic democracy.   He

added that the political democracy could not last

unless there  lay  at  the   base  of  it  social

democracy  which recognized liberty, equality and

fraternity  as  the  principles  of  life.   They

formed an inseparable Trinity.  Without equality,

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.   They  must  acknowledge,  he

continued,  the  fact  that  there  was  complete

absence   of  two  things   in  Indian   society:

equality in social and equality in economic life.

 

Sounding  a  grave warning, Ambedkar  said

with great fervency:  “On January 26,1950, 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…  We must

remove this contradiction at the earliest moment,

or else  those  who suffer from  inequality  will

blow up  the  structure  of  political  democracy

which this Assembly has so laboriously built up.”

 

In  the end he appealed to the Indians  to

be a nation in the social and psychological sense

of the word  by  discarding castes which  brought

about separation  in  social   life  and  created

jealousy and antipathy between caste and caste.

 

The  House  listened to  his  forty-minute

lucid, eloquent and prophetic speech spell-bound,

punctuating   it  with   cheers.   Members  later

described it as a graphic and realistic appraisal

of the political  conditions prevailing in India.

The next day newspapers published his speech with

great joy and pride, and showered eulogies on his

words of wisdom and warning.

 

R.K.Skinhead.M.P.   said   truly  speaking

Gandhi was influenced by Ambedkar to do something

for untouchable.13

 

In  the course of his speech he attributed

all the  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.14

 

May  1952, there in an explosive speech on

the Budget  he  described the defence  budget  as

being the greatest stumbling block in the path of

the progress  on the country and said:  “The army

is eating  into the vitals of the funds that  are

necessary  for the well being of the country.” If

the defence  budget were reduced by Rs.50 crores,

he said,  it  would do much good to the  country.

If India’s foreign policy aimed at maintenance of

friendship  and  peace,  who   were  the  enemies

against  whom it was necessary to maintain a huge

army?  He asked.

 

He  had  not on a single occasion  been  a

traitor  to  the  country   and  always  had  the

interests  of the country at heart.  Even at  the

Round Table  Conference  he had been two  hundred

miles ahead  of Gandhi so far as the interests of

the country were concerned, he added.

 

Columbia  University  conferred   on   six

persons  the  honorary degree of Doctor of  laws.

On June  5  the  Convocation   was  held.   While

awarding  him  an  honorary degree of  Doctor  of

Laws, at  its  198th Commencement exercises,  the

University  hailed  Ambedkar “as a framer of  the

Constitution,  Member  of the Cabinet and of  the

Council  of  States,  one   of  India’s   leading

citizens,  a  great social reformer and a  valian

upholder of human rights”.  Ambedkar received the

degree before  a  large crowd assembled to  watch

6,848 graduates  of  Columbia’s  17  schools   and

colleges  receiving  their degrees.  Among  those

who also  received  honorary degrees were  Lester

B.Pearson,   Canadian  Secretary  of  State   for

Foreign  Affairs  and M.Daniel Mornet, the  noted

French literary historian.

 

Ambedkar  returned  to Bombay on June  14.

The next day in an interview to the press he said

that it  was  his  impression that  the  American

public was  favourably inclined towards Pakistan.

On inquiries  he  was told in America  that  this

happened  because Pakistan always took great care

in the selection  of her foreign  representatives

and ambassadors   while    India    sent   abroad

inexperienced  men  to represent her.   He  added

that it   was  the  opinion   of   the   American

professors who visited India that Indian students

received education of an inferior grade and could

not derive sufficient guidance and knowledge from

it, nor  did  they  derive  any  inspiration  for

research and independent thinking.

 

In one occasion He said to his people that

he had lost  faith  in  the educated man  of  his

community and pinned his faith on the illiterate.

 

In December 1952, the members of the Poona

District  Law Library invited Ambedkar to  unveil

the portrait  of L.R.Gokhale and declare open the

collections  of the books donated to the library.

Ambedkar  unveiled the portrait and declared open

the new  sections of the library on December  22,

1952, at  Poona,  and addressed the gathering  on

the “Conditions  Precedent  for   the  Successful

Working  of Democracy”.  In this important speech

he observed  that  “Democracy is always  changing

its form,  that it is not always the same in  the

same country  and  that it undergoes  changes  in

purpose”.  According to him, he said, the purpose

of modern democracy was not so much to put a curb

on an autocratic  King  but  to bring  about  the

welfare   of  the  people.    Referring  to   the

definition  of Walter Bagehot that Democracy  was

government  by  discussion  and that  of  Abraham

Lincoln  that ‘a government of the people, by the

people,  for the people’, Ambedkar said that  his

own definition  was  “a  form  and  a  method  of

            government  whereby revolutionary changes in  the

            economic  and  social  life  of  the  people  are

            brought about without bloodshed“.

 

He then dealt extensively with the subject

and said  that  the first thing required for  the

successful  working  of Democracy was that  there

must be no glaring inequalities and there must be

neither  an  oppressed  class  nor  a  suppressed

class.   The  second  thing   required  was   the

existence  of  opposition  to  show  whether  the

Government  was going wrong.  The third thing was

equality  before law and in administration.   The

fourth was  the  observance   of   constitutional

morality.    The  fifth  point   was   that   the

successful  working  of  Democracy  required  the

functioning of moral order in society;  for moral

order was  taken  for granted in Democracy.   The

last thing   was   the   requirement  of   public

conscience, he concluded.  This thought provoking

speech became  a  topic for discussion  for  many

days in the newspapers.15

 

The disease, however, was being cured.  It

was disappearing  gradually.   But   no  sensible

Hindu would  pretend that the Untouchable was out

of it.   Caste,  of which untouchablity  was  the

perverted  outcome, was decaying, but it was  not

dead.  Those   who  indifferently   shelved   the

problem and shrank from responsibilities would do

well to  remember the words of a Negro girl, who,

when asked  to  suggest a fitting punishment  for

Hitler,  replied:   “Make him black and make  him

            live in  America!” The one leader in a  liberated

India who   unceasingly  cried   for  the  speedy

abolition  of  untouchability was Veer  Savarkar.

He was continuously  warning  the Hindus that  if

they did  not bury the gasping untouchability and

lift the  curse,  it would reappear and ruin  the

land.  To  him  abolition of  untouchability  was

more than winning a major war for the country.

 

Regarding the Constitution of India, which

he made  for this country and latter in his  life

time he  says I shall be the first person to burn

it out.   I  don’t want it, it does not suit  any

body.  “If you want to be effective then you must

            have guns  and  not  mere   soft  speech”.    The

ignorant  people  believed  that their  fate  was

pre-appointed and irretrievable.17

 

Dr.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.”

18

 

This is a reply to an article ‘Three exist

a common   line   of   political  thinking   from

B.R.Ambedkar  to Kanshi Ram, On dalits  politics,

says Bikramjit  De’  on  08.12.97 appear  in  the

Pioneer.    On  the  3  Round  Table   conference

Dr.Ambedkar’s  views was very clear when he says,

” At the   outset,  Ambedkar   declared  that  in

speaking  before  the Conference, he was  placing

the viewpoint   of   one-fifth   of   the   total

population  of British India-….”When we compare

our present  position  with the one which it  was

our lot  to bear in Indian society of pre British

days, we  find  that, instead of marching on,  we

are marking time.  Before the British, we were in

the loathsome    condition     due      to    our

untouchability.   Has the British Government done

anything  to  remove it?  Before the British,  we

could not  draw water from the village well.  Has

the British  Government  secured us the right  to

the well?  Before the British, we could not enter

the temple.   Can  we  enter   now?   Before  the

British,  we  were denied entry into  the  polish

force.  Does the British Government admit us into

the force?   Before  the  British,  we  were  not

allowed to serve in the Military.  Is that career

now open  to us?  To none of these questions  can

we give  an affirmative answer.  Our wrongs  have

remained  as  open sores and they have  not  been

righted,  although 150 years of British rule have

rolled away.”

 

On the other hand Mr.Gandhi planned to buy

out the  Musalmans  by  giving to  the  Musalmans

their fourteen  demands, which Mr.Gandhi was  not

in the beginning  prepared  to  agree.   When  he

found the Musalmans were lending their support to

the Untouchables.  Mr.Gandhi agreed to them their

fourteen  points on condition that they  withdrew

their support from the Untouchables.

 

The  Hindus had realized that to admit the

existence  of the Untouchables was detrimental to

their interest.   They  did not mind  sacrificing

truth and decency and decided to adopt the safest

course,  namely,  to  deny  that  there  are  any

Untouchables  in India at all, and there by knock

out the  bottom  of the political demands of  the

Untouchables  and  leave  no room  for  argument.

This shows how the Hindus can conspire in a cold,

calculated manner against the Untouchables out of

pure selfishness  and do indirectly what they can

not do directly.

 

 

  1. INDUSTRIALIZATION OF INDIA

 

Industrialization of India has been in the

air for  many years.  But one fails to notice any

serious  drive to bring about  industrialization.

There are  still some who pay only lip service to

  1. Others  look  upon  it as a fad,  if  not  a

craze.   There are very many who are never  tried

of preaching   that  India  is  an   agricultural

country  and therefore the best thing to do is to

devote all  energy to improve agriculture and not

to run after  industrialization.  Nobody needs to

be told  that India is primarily an  agricultural

country.  Everybody knows it.  What is surprising

is that  very  few people seem to realize what  a

great misfortune  it is.  I know this will not be

readily  admitted.  What more evidence is  wanted

to prove  that  this  is a  misfortune  than  the

famine which  is stalking Bengal and other  parts

of India  and where so many from the agricultural

population  are dying daily from want of food  or

from want of purchasing power?

 

To  my mind there can be no greater  proof

            necessary  to  show that India’s agriculture  has

            failed and  failed miserably when it is as  plain

            as anything  could be that India which is engaged

            in producing  nothing  but  food  does  not  even

            produce sufficient food to feed its people.  What

            is this  due  to?   The poverty of India,  to  my

            mind, is due entirely to its being made dependent

            upon agriculture.

 

Population in India grows decade by decade

in geometrical  progression.   As   against  this

unlimited  growth of population what is available

for cultivation is not merely a limited amount of

land but a limited amount of land whose fertility

is diminishing  year  by year.  India  is  caught

between  two  sides of a pincer, the one side  of

which is a progressive increase in population and

the other  is  a  progressive   increase  in  the

deterioration of the soil.

 

 

The  result is that at the end of a decade

we are left  with  a   negative  balance  between

population   and   production   and  a   constant

squeezing  of  the standard of living.  At  every

decade this  negative balance between  population

and production  is  increasing  in  an   alarming

degree,  leaving  India with the  inheritance  of

poverty, more poverty and chronic poverty.  A rot

has set  in.  This rot, I feel sure, is not going

to be stopped    by     organizing   agricultural

exhibitions  or animal shows or by propaganda  in

favour of better manuring.  It can stop only when

agriculture is made profitable.  Nothing can open

            possibilities  of  making  agriculture  in  India

            profitable  except  a  serious  drive  in  favour

            industrialization.   For it is  industrialization

alone which   can  drain  away   the  excess   of

population   which  is   exerting  such  enormous

pressure  on land into gainful occupations  other

than agriculture.

 

To  sum up, Our Reconstruction  Committees

are no doubt  modeled,  so far as  intention  and

purpose  is  concerned,  on  the   Reconstruction

Committees which have come into existence in most

European  countries whose industrial organization

has been  destroyed by the Germans.  The problems

of reconstruction  differ,  and must differ  from

country  to  country.   In   some  countries  the

problem  of  reconstruction  is   a  problem   of

reconditioning of rundown plant and machinery.

 

 

  1. NATURE OF PROBLEM IN INDIA

 

In   some   countries   the   problem   of

reconstruction  is  a problem of  replacement  of

tools and plants which have been destroyed in the

war.  The problem of reconstruction in India must

include  consideration of all the questions  with

which other   countries   engaged  in   war   are

concerned.

 

At  the same time we must not forget  that

the problem   of  reconstruction  in   India   is

essentially   different  from   the  problem   of

reconstruction  in  other  countries.   In  other

countries  the  problem  of reconstruction  is  a

problem  of rehabilitation of Industry which  has

been in existence.

 

The problem of reconstruction in India, as

            I see it,   is   a   problem    mainly   of   the

            industrialization  of India as distinguished from

            the rehabilitation     of        industry     and

            industrialization  but in the ultimate sense  the

            removal of chronic poverty. 

 

Till  date  the  removal of poverty  is  a

dream, due  to the rate of increase of population

and lack of good will to the ruling class.19

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

  1. LIFE AND MISSION OF DR.B.R.AMBEDKAR BY

KEER D.K.   P-82

  1. ,, p-143
  2. ,, p-194
  3. ,, p-222
  4. The Times of India, 30 November 1935
  5. Gandhi,M.K., letters to Sardar

Vallabhbhai patel, p.115

  1. Keer D.K.  p-268
  2. ,, p-272
  3. Keer D.K. p-388
  4. ,, p-405-407
  5. ,, p-420
  6. ,, p-431
  7.   ,, p-442-445
  8. ,, p-463
  9. ,, p-478
  10. ,,  p-492
  11. Writing & Speeches  by

Dr.Ambedkar, v13 p9

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