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24th September in Dalit History – Poona Pact


Poona Pact, Agreed to by Leaders of Caste-Hindus and of Dalits, at Poona on 24-9-1932

The following is the text of the agreement arrived at between leaders acting on behalf of the Depressed Classes and of the rest of the community, regarding the representation of the Depressed Classes in the legislatures and certain other matters affecting their welfare

1. There shall be seats reserved for the Depressed Classes out of general electorate seats in the provincial legislatures as follows: –

Madras 30; Bombay with Sind 25; Punjab 8; Bihar and Orissa 18; Central Provinces 20; Assam 7; Bengal 30; United Provinces 20. Total 148. These figures are based on the Prime Minister’s (British) decision.

2. Election to these seats shall be by joint electorates subject, however, to the following procedure –

All members of the Depressed Classes registered in the general elec- toral roll of a constituency will form an electoral college which will elect a panel of tour candidates belonging to the Deparessed Classes for each of such reserved seats by the method of the single vote and four persons getting the highest number of votes in such primary elections shall be the candidates for election by the general electorate.

3. The representation of the Depressed Classes in the Central Legislature shall likewise be on the principle of joint electorates and reserved seats by the method of primary election in the manner provided for in clause above for their representation in the provincial legislatures.

Dr. Ambedkar at the Round Table Conference

Dr. Ambedkar at the Round Table Conference

CENTRAL LEGISLATURE

4. In the Central Legislature 18 per cent of the seats allotted to the general electorate for British India in the said legislature shall he reserved for the Depressed Classes.

5. The system of primary election to a panel of candidates for election to the Central and Provincial Legislatures as i herein-before mentioned shall come to an end after the first ten years, unless terminated sooner by mutual agreement under the provision of clause 6 below.

6. The system of representation of Depressed Classes by reserved seats in the Provincial and Central Legislatures as provided for in clauses (1) and (4) shall continue until determined otherwise by mutual agreement between the communities concerned in this settlement.

7. The Franchise for the Central and Provincial Legislatures of the Depressed Classes shall be as indicated, in the Lothian Committee Report.

8. There shall be no disabilities attached to any one on the ground of his being a member of the Depressed Classes in regard to any election to local bodies or appointment to the public services. Every endeavour shall be made to secure a fair representation of the Depressed Classes in these respects, subject to such educational qualifications as may be laid down for appointment to the Public Services.

(Adult franchise but reservation has been provided for Dalits on population basis, till 1960),

9. In every province out of the educational grant an adequate sum shall be ear-marked for providing educational facilities to the members of Depressed Classes,

Source – Ambedkar.org

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Caste Discrimination in Australia


Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar had rightly said that wherever these upper caste hindus will go they will bring caste system and discrimination with themselves.

It’s a prejudice that’s been outlawed in India. But now it seems caste discrimination could be creeping into daily life in Australia.

Mitra and Rita Pariyar came to Australia three years ago, believing they would leave behind the prejudice they faced in Nepal. They were wrong.

A recent lunch in Sydney revealed how deeply ingrained the couple’s caste status is — even among friends.

“The only burgers left were beef burgers and what my friends told me was that it was alright for me to pick up the beef because I was an untouchable and therefore I shouldn’t really mind about it,” Mitra says.

“But I felt offended about it because I consider myself as much a Hindu as they are.”

Mitra and Rita are Damais — members of one of Nepal’s lowest Hindu castes, otherwise known as untouchables.

Mitra says they’re frequently the targets of jokes by other members of the Australia’s Nepalese community.

“It’s almost a part of their lingo that they use these derogatory terms. You are damai, you are as black as a kami, these comments are common. So the upper caste people might not feel it, they might use it as a form a joke, but it badly hurts us.”

Employment discrimination

Two weeks ago, Rita was interviewed for a job. She says the interview was going well — then the Nepalese interviewer learned her surname.

A week later, Rita called the manager to confirm her start date.

“She said No. And I said why? And she said no reason, I am going overseas, like that. And I feel that I am low caste, and that’s why.”

But the discrimination extends beyond employment prospects.

Mitra says their low caste identity also isolates him socially within the Nepalese community.

“The discrimination or the exclusion is more subtle – they won’t say ‘you are low caste, get away,’ but it’s more likely that I am not included in family events, and functions and festivals. There is more open and more formal sort of segregation as well, that’s because caste associations are creeping in in the country.”

“They use these derogatory terms, ‘You are damai, you are as black as a kami’ – these comments are common. So the upper caste people might use it as a joke, but it badly hurts us.”

Raj Azad agrees caste discrimination is happening in Australia.

He is a Dalit — a caste so low in India that it is not recognised officially in the country’s social hierarchy — and has found the discrimination he faced in India had followed him to university in Melbourne.

“In my class I found two boys arguing with each other and they were using different caste names to abuse each other.”

“Indians are really good at identifying the castes of each other.  They microscopically peel it layer by layer and then they come to know and that is what hurts me.”

Monash University researcher Lavanya Raj says when Indian Australians realise she’s a Dalit — also known as an untouchable — they change the way they behave towards her.

Her flatmate was from the highest caste, Brahmin, and when he found out her caste their once friendly relationship turned sour.

“Once we were just having a discussion and I was supposed to give him some money – some money that we use for the house to buy stuff,” she says.

“When I gave it to him, he put his hands out as if he was going to take it but then something told him in his mind that probably he should not touch me, and he withdrew his hand and asked me to keep the money on the table.”

“I was extremely angry and I threw the money, not exactly on him but somewhere near him and I walked off.”

A widespread problem

Many South Asian countries have outlawed caste-based discrimination, while in Britain, caste is recognised as a form of discrimination under its equality act.

John Kennedy is president of the United India Association, a group representing many Indian-Australian associations in Sydney.

He acknowledges caste is increasingly creeping into Indian-Australian communities, but he rejects the practice.

“Casteism, yes I can see that certain communities have started their own caste-based associations in Australia, and I can see that it is being practised in Australia,” he says.

“But as an Australian citizen I don’t want this to happen.”

“If racism is not allowed in this country, why should casteism?”

There are around 100 Australian-based Hindu temples and their priests all belong to the Brahmin caste.

Co-founder of Sydney’s Helensburgh Hindu temple, Natarajan Iyer, says currently there’s no need to appoint priests from lower castes.

“99 per cent of them will be Brahmins.  If there is a need we may consider it.  Right now, we are not in that sort of a situation.”

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The law in other countries

Caste discrimination is outlawed in many South Asian countries, including India and Nepal. Other countries affected are taking steps to address the issue.

Britain’s House of Lords adopted an amendment outlawing caste discrimination in 2013.

So far, a caste discrimination case has not reached the Australian courts.

Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane says there is no legal mechanism to address complaints for caste discrimination in Australia.

“If racism is not allowed in this country, why should casteism?”

“If there is discrimination that involved caste alone, then it’s by no means clear that we would accept the complaint. Caste is not specifically covered under the discrimination law that we have at the federal level.”

Professor Simon Rice from the Australian National University College of Law says caste-specific laws are not needed in Australia, as it is covered by other legal mechanisms.

“I don’t know that we need to legislate specifically for caste. Race covers a whole range of characteristics- skin colour, for example, nationality, ethnic origin, caste will just be another one in the list.”

But Mitra says specific recognition of caste-based discrimination in Australia would help to stop its spread.

He says it would also help vindicate those members of the community experiencing caste discrimination.

“If racism is not allowed in this country, why should casteism?”

With Raymond Selvaraj and Kulasegaram Sanchayan from SBS Radio Tamil

Source – SBS

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Times of India covered Dr. Ambedkar Caravan among Round Table India, NACDOR, APSC and Dalit Camera


Few months back, Al Jazeera show on Dalit History had mentioned comments from the Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s Caravan. Today, Times of India covered about Dr. Ambedkar Caravan. Read from here –

In recent months, racial violence has been foregrounded in the US, with the Charleston incident in which nine black church-goers were gunned down and other incidents of police brutality that are no longer possible to deny. And all of a sudden, Black Twitter has become a preoccupation with the US media, reminding it of its own evasions.

Hashtags around race like #icantbreathe #Blacklivesmatter found their way into many feeds, pushed themselves into wider view, and forced a reckoning. The LA Times recently even assigned a reporter to cover Black Twitter, while acknowledging that “it is so much more complicated than that”.

African-American struggles have inspired and tactically informed anti-caste activism. But could Dalit-Bahujan Twitter exert a similar force, in India?

Take Round Table India, a forum of writers that aims for “an informed Ambedkar age” and sees caste as the primary fissure in Indian society. They aggregate news on politics, society and culture, they comment and critique, and try to be a hub for Dalit-Bahujan voices. ‘Unlike mainstream media, we aren’t casteist – we have many upper castes writing, at least as much as their share in the population,” says Naren Bedide, one of the founders.

It’s only half a joke. The media is scandalously unrepresentative – in 1996, Pioneer journalist B N Uniyal found that he hadn’t met a single Dalit journalist in his entire working life. In 2006, a Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) study found that 90% of the decision-makers at English newspapers and 79% of TV journalists were upper-caste.

In other words, the media frames national events, but does not include most of the nation. It speaks with near-unanimity on IIT’s “standards” when it pushes out Dalit students; it misreports caste-based violence as “farmers’ clashes” or lovers’ quarrels when it reports them at all; and it often misses the real import of events. “When others interpret the world for you, can you change it?” is the question that drives Round Table India. “We don’t have, and don’t expect access in the media. It’s a conscious decision to build spaces of our own,” says Bedide. As he sees it, it is a structural conflict, and one can’t use the tools of savarnas, like mainstream media, to dismantle their edifice of hierarchy.

There are blogs like Atrocities News that wrenched attention to the Khairlanji killings and continue to document caste-based attacks. But there are also blogs with entirely different missions, Facebook and Twitter accounts, mailing lists and Whatsapp groups – and to club them all together as Dalit social media flattens their diversity. Shared Mirror, for instance, is a platform for Dalit poetry, translated and new. Savari, a space by Adivasi, Bahujan and Dalit women, speaks with its own distinctive voice.

There are forums dedicated to history and to challenging narratives and erasures, like Dr Ambedkar’s Caravan, which has over 500 articles so far. In April, activists across the board celebrated Dalit History Month, creatively resisting the attempt to reduce Dalit history solely to one of atrocity. This was, again, a nod to Black History Month. Hashtags like #Dalitlivesmatter are often used to galvanize others.

TOI

Twitter, though, is still a hostile medium, say many of these writers. “It is full of either Internet Hindus or Congressis and left-liberals, there is no understanding of other issues,” says Bedide. Facebook, which nurtures more like-minded groups and longer conversations, is more useful, says Ashok Bharti, chairman of the National Confederation of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR). “If any incident happens anywhere, it is on my Facebook page in five minutes. It’s better than a wire service, though the stories are often raw,” he says.

“Dalits are still untouchable on social media; if I post anything about Dr Ambedkar or Dalit history in a general forum, I get blocked in a few minutes,” says Pardeep Attri of Ambedkar’s Caravan.

Of course, there is no unified Dalit social media, any more than there is a single Dalit politics across the country, fragmented as it is by sub-caste, region, gender, class and ideological preference. And yet, social media offers something new. Dalit Camera, a YouTube channel, records life “from untouchable eyes”. Bathran Ravichandran, who founded it, says that social media, with the many perspectives it offers, has “broadened the views and values” of Dalit activists around the country. Social media only supplements, in a small way, the grassroots work that goes on around the country, he says.

Others are skeptical of the reach and representativeness of social media Dalit voices. Political analyst and activist Anand Teltumbde describes them as “a small fraction of Dalits, who just talk to each other”. According to him, a sharpened sense of caste and sub-caste identity makes it harder to make common cause with others, and only props up their elite adversaries.

Meanwhile, groups like NACDOR prefer to engage with mainstream media and institutions, and use social media for direct access and advocacy. So does the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) at IIT Madras, which has a vocal social media presence. Akhil Bharathan of APSC thinks that caste, as an all-encompassing framework of oppression, also compels one outwards, to think of gender, class, and minority justice, and to form alliances. While these voices may now be a “counterpublic”, drowned out in the din of powerful interest groups, the “ultimate aim is to be the public,” says Bharathan.

Source – TOI

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Some Questions to Hindus


Dr Sunil Yadav’s questions which will make everyone speechless!

These questions are worth giving your thoughts:

  1. Why are all the Hindu gods and goddesses born only in India? And why the people outside India don’t know any of them?

  2. Why do all the Hindu gods and goddesses ride carriers which are Indian animals? Why not some animals found only in a few countries such as Kangaroos, Giraffe and so on?

  3. Why did all the gods and goddesses born only in royal families? Why none of them was born in poor families or in lower castes?

  4. The mythological stories mention details of daily activity of the gods and goddesses as to when did Parvati bathe with sandal dust? when did she make LADDUs for Ganesha, how did Ganesha relish the LADDUs and so on. But as soon as the SCRIPT of the scriptures ends, so do the narratives of the activities of the gods and goddesses. Did all the gods die after that? Where are they now and what are they doing?

  5. The scriptures tell us stories of gods and goddesses frequently visiting the earth. They would sometimes give boons to somebody and sometimes kill a sinner. But what has gone wrong now, that they no longer visit the earth?

  6. In the mythology, whenever a evil spreads all around, god would take birth in a king’s family and grow there for about 30-35 years and then kill the evildoer. When god himself has to kill the evil, why does he wait for 30-35 years? Why doesn’t he rather instantly kill them like he killed his own devotees in Uttar Khand?

  7. If Hindu religion is such an ancient one, why isn’t there much propaganda for it all over the world? Why the other religions like Islam and Christianity have so much acceptability? How could they win more followers than Hindu religion, if it’s ancient? Why were the Hindu gods and goddesses unable to stop them?

  8. If polygamy is inappropriate as per Hinduism, then why did Dasharath, the father of Rama, marry three women?

  9. If Shiva was able to chop off his son Ganesha’s head, what sort of a god does it make him, that he was unable to patch the same head back in place? Why should an innocent elephant be killed and it’s head be placed on Ganesha’s body? How did an elephant’s head fit on a human body?

  10. If non veg food is prohibited by Hinduism, why did Rama go out to hunt the golden deer? Isn’t it wrong to kill a deer?

  11. If Rama is god, how come he didn’t know that the nectar pot is hidden in Ravana’s tummy? If Ravana’s insider didn’t divulge the secret to Rama, he would have never won the war against Ravana! Is this how you expect god to be?

  12. You believe Krishna is god too. But how does it befit god to peep at bathing Gopikas? If a common man does such things in this era, don’t we call him a loose charactered man? How can you call Krishna a god?

  13. Why are the perpetrators of rape so high among Hindus?

  14. Why do Hindus worship Shiva’s penis? Why other parts are not worth worshipping?

  15. Hindu temples of Khujaraho’s walls are adorned with erotic sculptures. Why is such place called a holy temple? Is sex considered as a holy activity worth worshipping?

I have a lot more questions to ask but let me first get answers to these!

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Why I Hate Vivekananda – 16 Castiest Quotes of Vivekananda


1) I do not propose any leveling of castes. Caste is a very good thing. Caste is the plan we want to follow.

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2) The plan in India is to make everybody a Brahmin, the Brahmin being the ideal of humanity.

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3) Indian caste is better than the caste which prevails in Europe or America.

→ Which caste system prevails in Europe or America Mr. Vivekananda? Here he glorifies caste system in India!

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4) Where would you be if there were no caste? Where would be your learning and other things, if there were no caste? There would be nothing left for the Europeans to study if caste had never existed!

→ We would have been better off without caste, our situations would have been better. What learning so called caste system gave to Dalits? Caste system taught only discrimination.

→ Yeah, you guys invented caste system so that Europeans have something to study because poor Europeans didn’t have anything to study!

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5) Caste should not go; but should only be readjusted occasionally. Within the old structure is to be found life enough for the building of two hundred thousand new ones. It is sheer nonsense to desire the abolition of caste.

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6) Brainy Vivekananda suggested to lower castes that are fighting and writing against higher castes is of no use, learn Sanskrit and you problems will be solved! Such a brainy was our Swami!

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7) The Brahminhood is the ideal of humanity in India, as wonderfully put forward by Shankaracharya at the beginning of his commentary on the Gitâ, where he speaks about the reason for Krishna’s coming as a preacher for the preservation of Brahminhood, of Brahminness.

→  Dr. Ambedkar was against Brahminhood and Brahminism, which is a mentality of people that makes them to suppress and discriminate. Vivekananda supported Brahminism.

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8) This Brahmin, the man of God, he who has known Brahman, the ideal man, the perfect man, must remain; he must not go.

–> Yes, Vivekananda is against anyone fighting casteism, because fighting casteism is fighting against Brahmins, who are, of course, according to him, Gods on earth.

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9) This Brahmin, the man of God, he who has known Brahman, the ideal man, the perfect man, must remain; he must not go. And with all the defects of the caste now, we know that we must all be ready to give to the Brahmins this credit, that from them have come more men with real Brahminness in them than from all the other castes. That is true. That is the credit due to them from all the other castes.

–> Yes, Vivekananda is against anyone fighting casteism, because fighting casteism is fighting against Brahmins, who are, of course, according to him, Gods on earth.

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10) In India, even the lowest caste never does any hard work. They generally have an easy lot compared to the same class in other nations; and as to ploughing, they never do it.

–> Dalits and Shudras, in Vivekananda’s opinion, do no work. The fields plough themselves, by magic! And only hard work is done by Brahmins sitting in A.C. Temples and earning millions, sitting in A.C. is very tough work!

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11) Why is India not a superpower? Of course, because we “abolished caste”:

“Then what was the cause of India’s downfall? — The giving up of this idea of caste. As Gitâ says, with the extinction of caste the world will be destroyed. Now does it seem true that with the stoppage of these variations the world will be destroyed…Therefore what I have to tell you, my countrymen, is this: that India fell because you prevented and abolished caste… Let Jati have its sway; break down every barrier in the way of caste, and we shall rise.”

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12) So what is the basis of the Indian’s social order? It is the caste law. I am born for the caste, I live for the caste. I do not mean myself, because, having joined an Order, we are outside. I mean those that live in civil society. Born in the caste, the whole life must be lived according to caste regulation.

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13) Now look at Europe. When it succeeded in giving free scope to caste and took away most of the barriers that stood in the way of individuals, each developing his caste — Europe rose. In America, there is the best scope for caste (real Jati) to develop, and so the people are great.

–> Here Mr. Vivekananda again glorifies the caste system! First thing first, Mr. Vivekananda, there was/is no caste in western societies.  

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14) “As Manu says, all these privileges and honours are given to the Brahmin, because “with him is the treasury of virtue”. He must open that treasury and distribute its valuables to the world. It is true that he was the earliest preacher to the Indian races, he was the first to renounce everything in order to attain to the higher realisation of life before others could reach to the idea. It was not his fault that he marched ahead of the other caste. Why did not the other castes so understand and do as he did? Why did they sit down and be lazy, and let the Brahmins win the race?”

–> Vivekananda is a defender of Manu, the “great” law-giver, and blames the lower castes for their sorry lot. Is it surprising that most of the followers of the cult of Vivekananda are high caste Hindus?

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15) The only safety, I tell you men who belong to the lower castes, the only way to raise your condition is to study Sanskrit, and this fighting and writing and frothing against the higher castes is in vain…

–> Vivekananda doesn’t want that Dalits write against their oppressors and he wants that Dalits keep on suffering silently! Lower castes fight is for equality and Sanskrit is a language of discrimination and it originated to maintain the caste discrimination. How learning Sanskrit will help lower castes get jobs, respect and dignity and how it will solve the problem of caste discrimination? I am not able to understand, can you?

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16) To the non-Brahmin castes I say, wait, be not in a hurry. Do not seize every opportunity of fighting the Brahmin, because, as I have shown, you are suffering from your own fault.

–> Vivekananda blames lower castes for their suffering. Yeah, as if while studying, lower castes themselves poured lead in their own ears, cut their own tongue and plucked their own eyes after reading!

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References – 

  • Swami Vivekananda, “The Abroad and the Problems at Home”, The Hindu, Madras, February 1987, in “Interviews”, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 5, Access it from here.
  • Swami Vivekananda, in “The Future of India”, Delivered at Victoria Hall, Madras, in “Lectures from Colombo to Almora”, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 3, Access it from here.
  • Swami Vivekananda, in “Women of India”, Delivered at the Shakespeare Club House, in Pasadena, California, on January 18, 1900, in “Lectures and Discourses”, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 8, Access it from here.
  • Swami Vivekananda, in “A Plan of Work for India”, in “Writings: Prose”, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 4, Access it from here.
  • Vivekananda’s Ideological Yatra

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19th July (1954) in Dalit History – Dr. Ambedkar’s blue print for spreading the Buddhism in India


19th July 1954 in Dalit History: Dr. Ambedkar made a proposal for a campaign for spreading the Buddhism in India at Buddhist Sasana Council of Burma (present Myanmar)

In his July trip to Burma in 1954, Dr. Ambedkar made a proposal for sponsoring a campaign for Buddhist conversion in India. Speaking to the Buddhist Sasana Council of Burma, he argued that the ground wa fertile in India and presented a memorandum to the Council.

The memorandum is as follows:

MEMORANDUM I

Record of my talk to the Buddhist Sasana council of Burma

An enlarged version

1.      To spread Buddhism outside Burma be one of the aims of the Sasana Council then India is the first country they should make the centre of their effort. No other country; will yield so much as India will.

2.      The reason is obvious. India is a birth-place of Buddhism. It flourished in India from 543 B.C to 1400 A.D i.e. for nearly 2000 years. Although the Buddhist Religion has vanished the name of the Buddha is still held in great veneration and the memory of His Religion is still green. In India Buddhism may be withered plant. But no one can say that it is dead at the roots. He is regarded by the Hindus as an Avtar of Vishnu. In India we don’t have to restore veneration for a new prophet or (X) has to do for his Gods among the Jews. All that we have to do is to bring back his religion. Such easy condition for a   (X) sffort cannot be found in any other country. In them there are well and long established religions and Buddhism would be regarded as an intruder without a passport. So far as India is concerned the Buddha needs no passport nor does he require any visa.

3.      Thirdly there are sections among the Hindus who are eager to leave Hinduism and go over to Buddhism. Such are the Untouchables and the Backward Classes. They are against Hinduism because its doctrine of Chaturvarna which is best described as the doctrine of graded inequality. In the present stage of their intellectual awakening these classes are up in arms against Hinduism. Now is the time to take advantage of their discontent. They prefer Buddhism to Christianity on three grounds.

(i)  Buddhism is not a religion which is alien to Indians

(ii) The essential doctrine of Buddhism is social equality which they want;

(iii)  Buddhism is a national religion in which there can be no room for superstition.

4.      There should be hesitation in launching the movement on the ground that the majority of the people entering Buddhism in its early stages will be coming from lower classes. The Sasana council must not make the mistake which the Christian missionaries in India made. The Christian Missionaries began by attempting to convert the Brahmins. Their strategy was that if the Brahmans could be converted first the conversion of the rest of the Hindus would not be difficult. For they argued that is the Brahmins could be converted first they could go to the non-Brahmins and then “When the Brahmins have accepted Christianity why don’t you. They are the heads of your religion”. This strategy of the missionaries proved fatal to the spread of Christianity in India. The Brahmins did not become Christians. Why should they? They had all the advantages under Hinduism. The Christian missionaries in India realized their mistake and turned their attention to the Untouchables after wasting hundreds of years in their effort to convert the Brahmins. By the time they turned to the Untouchables the spirit of nationalism had grown up and every thing alien including Christianity was regarded as inimical to the country. The result was that the Christian missionaries could convert very few untouchables. The Christian population in India is surprisingly small not- with standing the missionary effort extending over 400 years. They might have converted the whole of Untouchables and the backward classes if they had begun with them first.

5.      Attention may be drawn to the entry of Christianity in Rome. For it is very instructive. From the pages of Gibbon’s decline and fall of the Roman Empire it is clear that Christianity entered first among the lower classes or as Gibbon says among the poor and despised section of the roman population. The higher classes came in later on. Gibbon ridicules Christianity as a religion of the poor and the down-trodden. In holding his view Gibbon was thoroughly mistaken. He failed to realize that it is the poor who need religion,. For religion, if it is a right religion, gives hope of betterment to the poor who having nothing else need as a soothing action. The rich have every thing. They need not live on hope. They live on their possessions. Secondly Gibbon failed to realise that religion if it is of the right type ennobles people and elevates them. People do not degrade religion.

6.      I will now turn to the preliminary steps, which has to be taken for the revival of Buddhism in India.   I mention below those that occur to me:

(i) The preparation of a Buddhist Gospel which could be a constant companion of the convert. The must of a small gospel containing the teachings of the Buddha is a great handicap in the propagation of Buddhism. The common man cannot be expected to read the 73 volumes of the Pali Canon. Christianity has a great advantage over Buddhism in having the message of Christ contained in a small booklet, The Bible. This handicap in the way of the propagation of Buddhism must be removed. In regard to the preparation of Buddha’ Gospel care must be taken to emphasize the social and moral teachings of The Buddha. I have to emphasize the point because I find that in most Buddhist countries what is emphasized, is meditation, contemplation and the Abidhamma. This way of presenting Buddhism to Indians   would be fatal to our cause;

(ii) The introduction of a ceremony like Baptism in Christianity for the laity. There is really no ceremony of conversion i.e. for becoming a lay disciple of the Buddha. Whatever ceremony of conversion there is, is far becoming a Bhikku, for entering into the sangha. Among the Christians there are two ceremonies; for baptism showing acceptance of Christianity; and 2. For ordination i.e becoming a priest.  In Buddhism there is no ceremony like baptism. This is the main reason why people after becoming Buddhist slip out of Buddhism. We must now introduce a ceremony like the Christian baptism which every lay person must undergo before he can be called a ‘Buddhist’. Merely uttering the panch shila is not enough. Many other points must be added to make person feel that he is ceasing to be a Hindu and becoming a new man;

(iii)  The appointment of a number of lay preachers who could go about and preach the Buddha’s Gospel among the people and look after the new convert and see how far they are following the Buddha Dhamma. The lay preachers must be paid. They may be married persons.

(iv) The establishment of a Buddhist Religions seminary where persons who wish to become preachers could be taught Buddhism and also comparative study of the other Religions

(v) The introduction of congregational worship in the Vihara every Sunday followed by a Sermon;

7.      In addition to these preliminary steps it is necessary to do some other things which require to be done in a big way as aids to our propagation campaign. In this connection I make the following proposals;

(i) Building of big Temples and Viharas in the four important towns; 1. Madras; 2.Bombay; 3. Calcutta and 4. Delhi

(ii) Establishment of high Schools and Colleges in the following towns 1. Madras; 2. Nagpur; 3. Calcutta and 4. Delhi

(iii) Inviting essays on Buddhist topics and giving prizes to the first three sufficient in value so as to attract people to make their best efforts to study Buddhist literature. The essays should be open to all Hindus; Muslims and Christians; to men as well as to women. This is the best way of making people interested in the study of Buddhism.

8.      Temples should be so big as to create the impression that some thing big is really happening. High schools and colleges are necessary adjuncts. They are intended to create Buddhist atmosphere among younger men. Besides they will not only pave their way but bring a surplus which could be used for other missionary work. It should be remembered that most of the Christian missions find funds for financing their activities from the surplus revenue which is yielded by the schools and colleges they run.

9.      I have set out above what preliminary steps must be taken. I feel I must also set out what precautions must be taken in launching the movement for the revival of Buddhism in India if Buddhism is not to disappear again.

10.  Buddhism has not disappeared from India because its doctrines were found or proved to be false. The reasons for disappearance of Buddhism from India are different. Buddhism was in the first place overpowered and suppressed by the Brahmins. It is now sufficiently known that the last Maurya emperor, decandent of emperor Ashoka, was murdered by his Brahmin commander-in-chief, by name Pushya Mitra who usurped the throne and established Brahmanism as the State Religion. This led to the suppression of Buddhism in India which is one of the cause of its decline. While the rise of Brahmins brought about the suppression of Buddhism in India, the invasion of Islam brought about its complete destruction, by the violence it practiced in destroying Viharas and killing Bihkkus.

11.  The danger to Buddhism from Islam no longer exists. But the danger from Brahmins exists. It will be its toughest opponent. A Brahmin will remain a Brahmin no matter what colour he or what party he joins. That is because Brahmins want to maintain the system of graded social inequality. For it is this graded inequality, which has raised the Brahmins above all and to be on the top of every body. Buddhism believes in equality. Buddhism strikes at the very root of their prestige and power. That is why the Brahmins hate it. It is quite possible that if the Brahmins are allowed to lead the movement of revival of Buddhism they may use their power to sabotage it or misdirect it. The precautions to exclude them from position of power at least in the early stages of our movement is therefore very necessary.

12.  All these proposals raise question of finance. This question, it must be frankly said, cannot be solved by India. The only people who could help are the Buddhists in India, who in the early stages must (are) very few. The burden must, therefore, be borne by the Buddhist countries outside India which I feel they can easily do by diverting their Dana to this purpose.

Sd/-

B.R.Ambedkar.

Civil Lines,

26 Alipore Road

Delhi, the 19th July, 1954.

But the Burmese were not willing to sponsor this, and Dr. Ambedkar was ready to undertake it on his own. He thus began writing a book intended as a simple, eloquent and rationalistic Buddhist gospel – The Buddha and His Dhamma.

19th July

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Why aren’t the hindus offended?


Casteism is a backbone of the hindu religion. Hinduism is full of discrimination, casteism and degradation, without all of these there is no hindu religion. Recently, the so called hindus forced Penguin India publishing house to withdraw The Hindu – An Alternative History book by Wendy Doniger on the argument that this book offend hindus. Hindus had earlier defended Salman Rushdie’s book Satanic Verses in the name of ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘freedom of speech’ or what not but didn’t accept the book by Wendy on the same logic! Ironic but true face of Hinduism and so called hindus. Here, in this post, I want to ask, why so called hindus are not offended when so many atrocities happen on Dalits in day to day life? According to a UN report, approximately 110,000 cases of violent acts committed against Dalits were reported in 2005.

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalit kids are forced to do toilet cleaning work at schools?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalit students are purified by sprinkling cow urine on them in schools?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalit women are seen and treated as only sex objects?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalit people are killed just because they had same name as some upper caste people had?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalit homes are separated by building walls in villages?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalits have to remove their shoes while passing in front of upper caste homes?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalit students’ scholarships aren’t issued on time?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalit homes are burnt daily, just because they are Dalit?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when food cooked by Dalit women isn’t accepted by so called upper caste students?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalit kids are made to sit separately in schools?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalit women are paraded naked, raped and forced to commit suicide?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalits are offered menial jobs and exploited at workplaces?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalit students seats at colleges are filled by upper castes having fake Dalit certificates?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalit students seats in colleges are left unfilled?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalits are not allowed to enter temples?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when there are separate barber shops for Dalits?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalits have to sip tea from separate tea cups?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when there appear caste wise columns in matrimonial pages?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalits have to wait for years to get justice in courts?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalits are shown as degraded characters in movies?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalits have separate office timings?

Why aren’t the hindus offended whenin Dalit home there is no postal delivery, just because upper caste Postman don’t want to go there?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalits and Muslims are denied renting homes, even in metro cities?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalit and Muslim are kept in jails for years without any crime?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when their own shankracharyas are caught for the involvement in rapes, murders and killings?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when they see there are still thousands of devidasis (temple prostitutes) in India?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalits are forced to work as manual scavengers?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when statues of Dalit leaders are maligned or destroyed?

Why didn’t the hindus get offend when 21 Dalits were slaughtered by the Ranvir Sena in Bathani Tola, Bhojpur in Bihar?

Why didn’t the hindus get offend when Kherlanji massacre happened?

Why didn’t the hindus get offend when Melavalavn massacre, TN, happened? 6 Dalits were killed by so called upper caste people?

Why didn’t the hindus get offend when 16 Dalits were killed in Muthanya incident, Kerala?

Why didn’t the hindus get offend when 58 innocent Dalits were killed at Laxmanpur Bathe, Bihar?

Why didn’t the hindus get offend when Bant Singh case of Punjab happened?

Why didn’t the hindus get offend when 42 innocent Dalits were killed in Kilvenmani massacre, TN, by the gang of upper caste landlords?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalits are boycotted in villages?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalits change their names/surnames to escape caste discrimination?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalit kids are forced to play in separate play grounds?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when job openings come with – ‘Dalits need not to apply’?

Why aren’t the hindus offended when Dalits can’t buy flats in a colony n ads come – ‘only for Brahmins’?

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Filed under Caste Discrimination, Casteism, Dalit-Bahujans, Equal Rights, India, Reality of Hindu Festivals