But the world owes much to rebels who would dare to argue in the face of the pontiff and insist that he is not infallible.
I do not care about the credit which every progressive society must give to its rebels. I shall be satisfied if I make the Hindus realize that they are the sick men of India, and that their sickness is causing danger to the health and happiness of other Indians.
B. R. AMBEDKAR – in the “annihilation of caste”
I have always been enamored by Dr. Ambedkar in particular, and to the ‘Dalit’ (or caste or social justice) movement in India. For I believe, any claim to our progress is un-founded till we work tirelessly to bring to better levels, people from every section of our society. Especially those who have been marginalized and discriminated against historically, we have bigger obligations to them and thus I am a big votary of ‘affirmative action’.
It is ironic if we look back at our past and compare our vision with those who comprise a big part of our society, say for e.g. the Dalits. The rule of Shiva ji, the champion of ‘Hindvi’ swaraj (rule of Hindus) and ‘Peshvai’ rule is a matter of great pride for Hindus by and large, but Dalits who have a recollection of their past would argue that the peshvai rule was of great torcher to them and they would prefer ‘now’ to the peshvai rule. We may argue for or against it, but certain truths are better to be accepted and rectified.
Note:- Except for Mauryan empire when the people from backward and marginalised section of society were given adequate voice, no ancient kingdom has worked for the upliftment of Dalits. Few exceptions are Mauryan empire, Lord Buddha, Ashoka post his conversion to Buddhism and in recent past Chhatrapati Shahu ji Maharaj, this has been supported by Dr. Ambedkar as well.
Hindu, before being a religion, is a society. And we must accept that we have leaps and bounds to climb before we argue we are the best or we are threatened by another religion. As long as caste system is prevalent and as long as enough affirmative action is not worked upon effectively, it is foolish to talk about our religion as ‘one’ and ‘all encompassing’.
Those who talk about uniting Hindus against any other religion must first spell out their agenda, through words and actions, about different sets of people within Hinduism.
Now to Dr. Ambedkar… how should we remember him!
He was the first and one of the very few, if not the only, mainstream Indian politician to have a PhD in Economics from London School of Economics. Add to that his research on the ‘caste system’ in India. He was someone who could openly label “Mahatma Gandhi” as a Hindu leader (in my opinion, rightly so and is a matter of pride. But see who all are we today considering as Hindu leaders, what lows have we come to) and challenge Gandhi for an open debate.
So is Dr. Ambedkar the icon, on whose birth and death anniversary people have to face traffic jams in all major cities, particularly in Mumbai and Pune. The young and upwardly youth who smirk and have opinion about the ‘blue’ bandwagon about the needless show of strength and idiocity.
And, he is someone who ensured the better future of these youths and young India by laying down its foundation through a marvelous constitution.
Or, he is the author of a copy and paste constitution, which is devoid of Indian (Hindu) tradition and cultural influence as is alleged by RSS (the ruling ideology of today).
Or, Dr. Ambedkar is the icon whose picture you would find at many places, particularly in the home of people belonging to a particular caste, being worshipped and considered a ‘God’, even when Dr. Ambedkar was dead against God worship as such.
To me Dr. Ambedkar was the ultimate rebel. So learned that he gave us a terrific constitution for which we can’t thank him enough, and so puritarian in his thoughts that he can’t get mainstream political success.
He will always be an enigma to me and I would sincerely like more people to research on him and learn from him… the lessons of humanity and social progress.
The annihilation of caste- http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/mmt/ambedkar/web/readings/aoc_print_2004.pdf