This article was first posted at Round Table India.
It may be your interest to be our masters, but how can it be ours to be your slaves? – Thucydides
As seen recently on the occasion of Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti, everyone from the RSS to the BJP to the Congress seem ready to appropriate and claim Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy, most likely to appease Dalits for votes. RSS is using Dr. Ambedkar’s name to justify their evil agenda such as ‘Ghar Wapsi’ and wrongly claiming that he supported RSS’ ideology. BJP is saying that Dr. Ambedkar was a ‘nationalist’ and using Dr. Ambedkar inappropriately as a shield for their wickedness against Muslims, and Congress on the other hand is claiming that although Dr. Ambedkar had serious differences he was part of the Congress ‘dhara’. They even have plans to hold year-long celebrations in the name of Dr. Ambedkar.
Further, the Congress is demanding that the Modi government should issue gold coins and stamps with Dr. Ambedkar’s imprint on them. But I would like to know how many stamps and gold coins did the Congress issue in the 10 years of its rule? All these parties till now have distorted Dalit history and have created obstacles in the path of Dalits’ progress. It has been the policy of all these parties to hijack national icons who have a mass following in order to get votes. Congress did everything to stop Dr. Ambedkar from entering the parliament in 1952 elections. Go back and read history and you will see that not only the Congress but also the BJP and RSS have done everything to suppress Dalits.
All these parties are always silent whenever Dalit women are raped and murdered. And when foreign journalists cover that news, they kick them out of the country. For example, the Khairlanji news was first covered by a journalist from USA, while the Brahmin media had ignored it for months. Later, these people forced that journalist to leave India. What right do they have to celebrate and claim Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy when they don’t even follow what Dr. Ambedkar stood for?
On one side, the BJP in Maharashtra was successful in getting the sympathy of Dalits for buying Dr. Ambedkar’s home in London but at the same time they don’t seem to care much about Dr. Ambedkar’s home in Dadar which is crumbling. Why wasn’t the Indu mills land allotted to construct Dr. Ambedkar’s memorial? Also, Dr. Ambedkar’s belongings (Dalit heritage) are getting ruined in the Nagpur museum, what has the BJP government done to save that? Nothing.
To top it all, a few weeks back it was the BJP government that demolished Siddharth Vihar in Mumbai, the place where Dalit Panthers was formed.This year, the ruling BJP in its national budget allocated around 60% less than the prescribed Sub-plan norms to the Dalits. They don’t care about the constitution of India, which was written by Dr. Ambedkar but want to celebrate his birthday.
Maybe when Modi is saying ‘Jai Bhim’ today, his Bhim is from Mahabharata. It can’t be Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar as Modi’s actions don’t represent Babasaheb’s ideolgy. Stop misleading Dalits.
RSS is justifying Ghar Wapsi by using Dr Ambedkar’s name – this is not only shameful but outright ridiculous. When Dr. Ambedkar himself had left the Ghar (Hinduism), how can anyone say such a thing? And Dr. Ambedkar would have never approved of your forceful conversion of poor innocent people. Stop insulting Dr. Ambedkar by your evil deeds. I would suggest that the BJP, RSS and Congress should read Dr. Ambedkar’s books, in particular “Riddles in Hinduism” and “Annihilation of Caste”. The Congress shoud especially read “What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables”. And then ask themselves how can they claim Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy?
Why don’t the RSS, BJP and Congress first annihilate caste and then celebrate Dr. Ambedkar Jayanti?
All of these parties want a piece of Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy for their propaganda. But I want to raise some important issues. Throughout the year, you talk against reservation, which is for equality, you deny us our food, our culture, our history, and by celebrating Dr. Ambedkar Jayanti you think Dalits can be fooled and they will accept your Hindutva propaganda. Forget it, for we’ve been awakened by Babasaheb and we know your motive is to erase what Dr. Ambedkar said and rewrite his thoughts in a manner that suits your propaganda.
It’s your people who kill, exploit Dalits, grab their lands, make them work in your fields, snatch away any opportunity they have to read and write. You don’t let them enter temples, you don’t let them become priests in temples, you purify Dalit students by sprinkling cow urine, you kill Dalits just because their names match with some of yours, you make Dalits remove their shoes when they have to pass in front of your houses, you consider Dalits’ shadow impure, you eat into Dalit students’ scholarships, you don’t eat food cooked by Dalits, you make Dalit students sit separately in classrooms, you parade Dalit women naked, you don’t deliver post in Dalit colonies, in your homes you have separate utensils for Dalits.
You advertise on newspapers – Dalits, Muslims need not to apply, in courts you don’t deliver justice to Dalits, you didn’t deliver any justice to Dalits in Bathani Tola, Jehanabad, Melavalavu, Muthanya, Laxmanpur Bathe and Kilvenmani massacres. In movies and T.V. shows you denigrate Dalit characters, you don’t rent your home to Dalits and Muslims, you keep Dalits and Muslims in jails without any crime and then you talk about justice, you do nothing to stop Devdasi system (temple prostitution), you vandalise statues of Dalit icons and then put garlands on their anniversary, you boycott Dalits in villages, you don’t let Dalits hoist flags, you publish job openings with – ‘Dalits need not to apply’.
You killed Dalit icons such as Tukaram and you also attempted to kill Mahatma Jotiba Phule, you threw mud on Savtribai Phule, you created obstacles in her good cause, you opposed Dr. Ambedkar during his lifetime, you abused him, you labelled him as a ‘traitor’, ‘anti-national’, you demolish mosques on his death anniversary, you malign Dr. Ambedkar’s greatness by writing ‘Worshiping false gods’ and then you pretend to worship him. You opposed abolition of untouchability, you still practice untouchability, you still worship 33 crore fake gods, and you denied Dalits separate electorates. You destroy Dalit history every day, you malign Dalit history every day and then you try to benefit from the legacy of Dr. Ambedkar.
Dr. Ambedkar never believed in your 33 crore fake Gods. Dr. Ambedkar fought for the rights of Dalits and Adivasis. But you displaced them, snatched their lands, made them homeless. You use poor innocent Dalits in your fields, you don’t pay their wages, and you exploit them. Where is your love for the Untouchables when all this happens? How can Dr. Ambedkar be one of you when you do all these things? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself when you even say such things? You don’t deserve any part of Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy.
Cartoon by Unnamati Syama Sundar