It is very easy for anybody to become a Mahatma in India by merely changing his dress – Dr.B.R. Ambedkar
Is Gandhi a Mahatma? I am sick of this question. There are two reasons why this question annoys me. Firstly, I hate all the Mahatmas and firmly believe that they should be done away with. I am of the opinion that existence is a curse to the nation in which they are born.
The reason why I say so is because they try to perpetuate blind faith in place of intelligence and reason.
Secondly, I do not know what exactly people understand by the word Mahatma.
Even then since the Editor of the ‘Chhitra’ seems to be so adamant on getting- a reply from me, i have decided to make earnest efforts to answer this question.
Generally speaking according to an ordinary Hindu in order to pass as a Mahatma a person must have three things, namely his robe, his character and his particular doctrine. If these qualities are taken as a criterion for judging a Mahatma then in the eyes of ignorant and uneducated persons who took to wards others for salvation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi can be called as a Mahatma. It is very easy for anybody to become a Mahatma in India by merely changing his dress. If you are wearing an ordinary dress and leading an ordinary life even if you perform extraordinary noble deeds, nobody takes, any notice of you. But a person who does not behave in normal manner and shows some peculiar trends and abnormalities in his character he becomes a saint or a Mahatma. If you put on a suit or ordinary dress and do something, people would not even like to look at you. But if the same person discards his clothes, runs about naked, grows long hair, abuses people and drinks dirty water from the gutters, people fall at his feet and begin to worship him. In these circumstances if Gandhi becomes Mahatma in India there is nothing surprising. Had these things been practiced in any other civilized country people, would have laughed at him. To a casual observer Gandhi’s teachings appear to be” very sweet and appealing. Truth and Non-violence are very noble principles. Gandhi claims to preach ‘Satya’ (Truth) and ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence) and people have so much liked it that they flock around him in thousands. I fail to understand why they do so. Is it not a fact that thousands of years ago Lord Buddha gave the message of truth and non-violence to the world? Nobody excepting an ignorant fool or congenital idiot would give credit to Gandhi for originality in this matter. There is nothing new in the pronouncement that Truth and non-violence’ are necessary for the preservation of human civilization. There is nothing new that Gandhi has added to/the maxim. As I have already stated that earlier Lord Buddha taught these principles thousands of years ago. Had Gandhi thrown some light over the intricate problems arising from the experiment of ‘Truth and non-violence’ this would have added luster to his Mahatma ship and the world would have remained under gratitude for ever. World is anxiously waiting for the solution of the two riddles, namely how to uphold the noble principle, of ‘truth’ and under what circumstances should violence be considered as ‘right action’. Lord Buddha preached that attitude towards ‘Truth’ and ‘Non-violence’ should be pragmatic. What answer Jesus Christ would have given to this question, unfortunately we have no means to know. Perhaps Pilate did not allow him time enough to answer this question. Has Gandhi answered this question? I do not find it anywhere. If we study his teachings and sermons we find that he is trading on other people’s capital. Truth’ and ‘Non-violence’ are not his original discoveries. When I seriously study Gandhi’s character 1 become exceedingly convinced that cunningness is more evident in his character than the seriousness or sincerity.
According to me, his actions can be likened to a base coin. His politeness is like the politeness of Ura Heap, one of the characters in the famous English novel ‘David Copperfield’. He has managed to keep himself in the fore front by means of cunning and inherent shrewdness. A person who has faith in his capacity and character faces the reality of life in a bold and manly manner. He has no need to keep a dagger up his sleeve. Napoleon always charged from the, front. He did not believe in treachery and never attacked from behind. Treachery and deceit are weapons of the weak. Gandhi has always used these weapons. For many years he had been declaring himself to be a humble disciple of Gokhale. Thereafter he had been admiring Tilak for many years. Afterwards he hated Tilak also. Everybody knows this. Everybody knows that unless he used the name of Tilak for raising funds he could not have collected 10000000 for Swarajya Fund. Forgetting his personal relation and leaving aside other considerations, like a shrewd politician he attached the name of Tilak to the Fund.
Gandhi was a staunch opponent of Christian religion. In order to please the Western world he often quoted from the Bible in times of crisis. In order to understand the working of his mind I have two other instances to quote.
During the Round Table Conference he told people, I shall not raise any objection against the demands presented by the representatives of the Depressed Classes. But, as soon as the representatives of the Depressed Classes people placed their demands, Gandhi quietly forgot about the assurances given by him. I call it a betrayal of the people belonging to the Depressed Classes. He went to the Moslems and told them that he would support their 14 Demands if they in turn opposed the demands placed by the representatives of the Depressed Classes. Even a scoundrel would not have done this. This is only one instance of Gandhi’s treachery.
Nehru Committee’s Report was presented in the open session of the Congress for discussion. Some amendments were to be made in the Report. All of you must know about it. Mr.Jayakar was hired by Mr. Gandhi to oppose these amendments. These amendments were very vehemently opposed by Mr. Jayakar and his supporters. This is known to many people. But what were these amendments and why so were these forcefully opposed? Not many people know the background of these amendments. I came to know about the opposition of Jayakar (it is a fact I have no reason to question the truth about it) from people who had opposed the amendments. All this was made known by Pandit Motilal Nehru, and Mr. Jinnah who was betrayed by Mr. Gandhi. The corrections which were proposed to be made in the Nehru Committee Report were suggested by Mr. Jinnah for the benefit of his community. But when Gandhi came to know about it he thought a great deal more had been given to the Muslims by Pandit Motilal Nehru than what he wanted to give originally.
In order to humiliate Pt. Motilal Nehru he vehemently opposed these proposals. Hindu Muslim hostility is the result of this deceitful action on the part of Gandhi.
The man who was considered to be a friend of the Untouchables and the Muslims betrayed the cause of the very same people whose cause he claimed to champion. This immensely pained me. There is, an old saying which befits the occasion (Bagal men chhuri Munh men Ram Ram); ‘God’s name on the lips and dagger under the arm’. If such a person can be called a Mahatma, by all means call Gandhi a Mahatma. According to me he is no more than a simple Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
I have given more than what the Editor of the ‘Chittra’ demanded. I must have told a great deal more than what the readers of the Chittra can digest.
Apart from the incidents quoted herein there are two more things that I shall tell and then close. Gandhi’s age can be called as the Tamo Yug’ of India. Gandhi was the man responsible for eliminating morality from politics and instead introduced commercialism in Indian politics. Politics has been denuded of its virtue. “When the salt has lost its savor, wherewith ye shall salt it” asked Jesus Christ of the Pharisees. How to get rid of the pernicious saintly idiosyncrasies of Gandhiji in Indian public life is the second and most important question. If the Hindu India does not realize it today it will take a long time to retrace its steps. Majority of the Indian population is illiterate, ignorant and uncivilized. This may not be the fault of the people. The privileged few of the society have deliberately kept the masses ignorant and illiterate. As a matter of fact it is impossible to fight against the Mahatma on the strength purely of logic and rationalism. It is fight between intellectualism against miracles and idiosyncrasies. Reason alone cannot wipe off the hypnotic effect of Mahatmic miracles. In these circumstances I would like to offer some suggestions. In order to put an end to the activities of the Mahatma other Mahatmas should come forward to take active part in Indian public life and set up a political wing of their own. There is no dearth of the Mahatmas in India. Upasani Buva, Dada Maharaj, Mehar Baba, Narayan Buva Kedgaonkar are some of the famous names. Numerous saints and ‘Mahatmas’ are present in India. They know the art of befooling and ensnaring the innocent people. True, the number of their followers is far less than the followers of Gandhi but their incapacity or lack of ability alone cannot be the reason for that. They have the ability and the strength to attain freedom along with the Salvation for their Hindu masses. There are many reasons why they have not been able to know this. Owing to his dual policy and duplicity of character Gandhiji was able to succeed in creating a following by promising to attain spiritual and political liberation for all. I believe that if Upasani Baba, Narayan Maharaj etcetra adopt the methods of Gandhiji undoubtedly they too would be able to establish the wing which can effectively face the blind followers of Gandhi. In this lies India’s salvation. Having a number of parties in the country will be beneficial to this country at least for the time being. If an organization is set up with these aims and objects it would be able to serve the same purpose as was served by the Apsaras of the Puranas namely the annihilation of their adversaries. And if this does not happen and this organization remains reactionary even then its existence would be useful. In this way at least the pernicious creed of Fascism which is spreading its tentacles all around will be stalled. I believe that if a Mahatma comes and places his Manifesto stating in a straightforward manner that he can achieve Salvation perhaps India will attain intellectual liberation. This is not a joke. This is no vilification or criticism of anybody. I am writing it with all the seriousness that I can command.
Will the Hindus by changing the minds of the Mahatmas like Dada Maharaj, Mehar Bawa or Narayan Bawa try to serve India?
– Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
24th January in Dalit History – Gandhi was shown black flags in Nagpur by the Ambedkarites
1. In every country the intellectual class is the most influential class. This is the class which can foresee, advise and lead. In no country does the mass of the people live the life for intelligent thought the action. It is largely imitative and follows the intellectual class. There is no exaggeration in saying that the entire destination of the country depends upon its intellectual class. If the intellectual class is honest and dependent, it can be trusted to take the initiative and give a proper lead when a crisis arises. It is true that the intellect by itself is no virtue. It is only a means and the use of a means depends upon the ends which an intellectual person pursues. An intellectual man can be a good man but he may easily be a rogue. Similarly an intellectual class may be a band of high-souled persons, ready to help and ready to emancipate erring humanity or it may easily or it may easily be a gang of crooks or a body of advocates of narrow clique from which it draws it support.
2. My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organize, have faith in yourself. With justice on our side. I do not want to see how we can loose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is battle for freedom. It is the battle of reclamation of human personality.
3. On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics, we will have equality and in social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of democracy which this Constituent Assembly has so laboriously built up.
4. What you have lost others have gained. Your humiliations are a matter of pride with others. You are made to suffer wants, privations and humiliations not because it was pre-ordained by the sins committed in your previous birth, but because of the overpowering tyranny and treachery of those who are above you. You have no lands because others have usurped them, you have no posts because others have monopolized them. Do not believe in fate, believe in your strength.
5. You must abolish slavery yourselves. Do not depend for its abolition upon god or a superman. Remember that it is not enough that a people are numerically in the majority. They must be always watchful, strong and self-respecting to attain and maintain success. We must shape our course ourselves and by ourselves.
6. From the point of view of annihilation of caste, the struggle of the saints do not have any effects on society. The value of a man is axiomatic and self-evident, it does not come to him from the gliding of Bhakti. The saints did not struggle establish this point. On the contrary their struggle had very unhealthy effect on the depressed classes. It provided the Brahmins with an excuse to silence them by telling them that they would be respected if they attained the status of Chokhamela.
7. Positively, my social philosophy may be said to be enshrined in three word, liberty, equality and fraternity. Let no one however say that I borrowed by philosophy from the French Revolution. I have not. My philosophy has its roots in religion and not in political science. I have derived them from the teachings of my master, the Buddha.
8. Learn to live in this world with self-respect. You should always cherish some ambition of doing something in this world. But remember that the age of selfishness has ended. A new epoch is set in. All things are now possible because of your being able to participate in the politics and legislature of your country.
9. I measure the progress of community by the degree of progress, which women have achieved.
10. Political tyranny is nothing compared to the social tyranny and a reformer who defies society is more courageous man than a politician who defies Government.
11. have 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 by feelings of hatred as a real force. They are only the reflexes of love I bear for the cause I believe in and I am in no wise ashamed of it.
12. There is nothing fixed, nothing eternal, nothing sanatan, everything is changing, change is the law of life for individuals as well as for society, in a changing society there must be constant revolution of old values.
13. Reservation demand is for protection against aggressive communal-ism of ruling class who wants to dominate the servile/depressed classes in field of life.
Press Release 6-4-2017
We strongly condemn ongoing attempts by the police of Kurnool district to continuously harass UG Srinivasulu, an Adoni-based advocate and Human Rights Forum (HRF) secretary (AP & TS).
Over the past three years the police have filed several criminal charges against Srinivasulu, and several other activists of Adoni town, all of which are patently false.
The police have done this because the HRF, led by Srinivasulu, has, among other issues, consistently opposed arbitrary and malafide use of the law by the police and critiqued their unlawful methods. He has also spoken out and undertaken campaigns against industries in Kurnool district that are endangering people’s health and the environment. He has opposed the fabrication of charges on marginalised sections and has sought proper and effective implementation of the SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. He, along with several other like-minded individuals and organisations, has spoken out against subversion of the rule of law and the need to protect our secular ethos. He has constantly endeavored, over the past three decades, to protect the basic rights of the underprivileged and protested against their violation. All of this activity has been totally peaceful, transparent, non-violent and democratic in nature.
However, this legitimate activity has been met by the police in a very hostile manner by recourse to plain abuse of the law and foisting of false charges. When HRF along with several organisations sought enforcement of environmental regulations on industries emitting toxins into the air, ground, water and causing immense injury to the people near Adoni, instead of invoking the law and penalizing those industries, false charges, including under the SC, ST (POA) Act, were levelled against HRF functionaries. When HRF questioned the indiscriminate opening of a huge number (460 in all) of rowdy sheets against people in Adoni, – and pointed out the harassment and humiliation this would entail – instead of taking corrective measures, the police retaliation was to book a rowdy sheet on UG himself! They even went to the extent of fabricating a case under section 153A IPC (creating enmity between communities) against him. This is perhaps the first time that a human rights activist has been charged under this section in the States of AP and Telangana.
The HRF is aware that the filing of these false cases against Srinivasulu and several others is solely intended to harass, discourage and intimidate them and stop their human rights activism since it acts as a check on abuse of power. We see these threats as part of an explicit attempt to stifle voices of protest and dissent. The intention is to criminalise dissent. This is reflective of the AP government’s increasing intolerance of critical voices.
We wish to remind the government that dissent and the various freedoms conferred on us by the Constitution are intrinsic to our democracy. Crude and mala-fide attempts to curb these rights and silence dissent will not go unopposed. We will not sit by and watch as the government seeks to dismantle democratic norms and tries to stymie open, critical and diverse debate.
The HRF will continue to hold the government and its various instruments accountable to the law and democratic procedures. We shall endure in our work towards safeguarding and spreading a human rights culture in society.
The unfortunate reality today is that the police are only as lawful or lawless as the political government wishes them to be. We therefore call upon the AP government to rein in this arbitrary exercise of power by the Kurnool police. We demand that all charges against UG Srinivasulu be dropped and the cases foisted upon him be withdrawn.
VS Krishna S Jeevan Kumar
(HRF general secretary, AP&TS) (HRF president, AP&TS)
“As to Dictatorship the Buddha would have none of it. He was born a democrat and he died a democrat. At the time he lived there were 14 monarchical states and 4 republics. He belonged to the Sakyas and the Sakya’s kingdom was a republic. He was extremely in love with Vaishali which was his second home because it was a republic. Before his Mahaparinirbban he spent his Varshavasa in Vaishali. After the completion of his Varshavasa he decided to leave Vaishali and go elsewhere as was his wont. After going some distance he looked backon Vaishali and said to Ananda. “This is the last look of Vaishali which the Tathagata is having”. So fond was he of this republic.
He was a thorough equalitarian. Originally the Bhikkus, including the Buddha himself, wore robes made of rags. This rule was enunciated to prevent the aristocratic classes from joining the Sangh. Later Jeevaka, the great physician prevailed upon the Buddha to accept a robe which was made of a whole cloth. The Buddha at once altered the rule and extended it to all the monks.
Once the Buddha’s mother Mahaprajapati Gotami who had joined the Bhikkuni Sangh heard that the Buddha had got a chill. She at once started preparing a scarf for him. After having completed it she took to the Buddha and asked him to wear it. But he refused to accept it
saying that if it is a gift it must be a gift to the whole Sangh and not to an individual member of the Sangh. She pleaded and pleaded but he refused to yield.
The Bhikshu Sangh had the most democratic constitution. He was only one of the Bhikkus. At the most he was like a Prime Minister among members of the Cabinet. He was never a dictator. Twice before
his death he was asked to appoint some one as the head of the Sangh to control it. But each time he refused saying that the Dhamma is the Supreme Commander of the Sangh. He refused to be a dictator and refused to appoint a dictator.”
–Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Buddha or Karl Marx.
Revolutionary Jai Bhim and Salutes to Dappu Prakash.
Dalit revolutionary cultural activist and singer, Dappu Prakash is no more. He found dead today morning in Tenali town in Andhra Pradesh. Recently, on an appeal from Dalit Camera, some of you have supported him with money to meet medical expenses.
He were full time revolutionary activist associated with JNM – Jana Natya Mandali from 1970s and has continued his cultural activitism as an Ambedkarite from recent 2, 3 decades. He had not disclosed his biological family details anywhere with anyone and no one knows because he believed and lived for the movement and treated people around him as a family. This was due to his left radical activism that he maintained as a necessary and as a ideal. Now it’s became difficult his friends colleagues to locate his family to inform about his death.
Once he mentioned to my elder brother Battula Prakash that he belongs to Bellampally town in Adilabad District in Telangana state. But some friends saying that he is from Andhra Pradesh. If anyone able to trace his biological family, please get back to Palnati Sri Ramulu of Bahujana Keratalu or Jaladi Moses in Tenali. His colleagues and friends in Tenali town in Guntur district are planning to conduct final rites in Tenali.
One of the major landmarks of Dalit Movement led by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had been the huge participation of women and their articulation for political, social and economic rights for women in general and depressed class women in particular.
It is indeed remarkable to note that at the time when ‘nationalists’ of various hues were defining Indian Womanhood in terms of Sitas and Savitris, Depressed class women were asking for the right to divorce, family planning and compulsory primary education for all, together with better working conditions and equal wages for the female laborers.
On July 20, 1942 at Nagpur more then 25,000 Dalit women participated in the historic All India Depressed Classes Women’s Conference.
While addressing the participants, Conference President Sulochanabai Dongre said:
“One important question is of birth control. In this respect educated women can be successful because they can realize the evils of it. It is no use multiplying sickly, ill-fed and illiterate children at the cost of mother’s health. To stop this evil every woman should consider this question seriously and should act soon. To solve this problem female education on extensive scale is essential”.
Important Resolutions Passed in the Conference
The Women’s right to divorce her husband be recognized by law.
The idea of polygamy existing in our society is being unjust to the women and therefore government must make necessary amends or change in law to check this custom.
Betterment of working conditions for female laborers in mills, bidi factories, municipalities and railways etc like entitlement of casual leaves, adequate com- pensation for bodily injuries and pensions.
To improve education level among the depressed classes women:
Government must enforce compulsory primary education
Each Provincial Government should run separate hostels for depressed class girl students as well as provide scholarships for those among them who are desirous of taking secondary and college education.
Appointment of female supervisors for female workers in the mills.
Seats in all legislative and other representative bodies be reserved for women from Depressed Classes
All India Scheduled Caste Women’s Federation be established
It is unfortunate that today’s Dalit women do not have such platform anymore and like many other institutions initiated by Dr B.R. Ambedkar All India Depressed classes Women Conference also just vanished after his death in 1956.
Source – Sparks, Voices of Dalit Women
Judicial propriety hit a new low with the sentencing to life imprisonment of five persons by the Gadchiroli Sessions Court
Press Release 14-3-2017
Judicial propriety hit a new low with the sentencing to life imprisonment of five persons – Mahesh K Tirki, Pandu P Narote, Hem K Misrha, Prashant Rahi and GN Saibaba, and to 10 years imprisonment of Vijay N Tirki, by the Gadchiroli Sessions Court in Maharashtra on March 7 this year.
The 827-page judgment is both extremely disquieting and bizarre. After perusing it we wonder whether the judge was ‘far more executive minded than the executive itself’. Human Rights Forum (HRF) condemns the imposition of such a harsh punishment for acts construed as offences under the highly debatable Sections 13, 18, 20, 38, 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 read with that other equally dubious statute – Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Human rights organisations have been consistently demanding repeal of the UAPA and Section 120-B, IPC on the grounds that they disrespect fundamental political freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution. We have pointed out time and again that these statutes outlaw ideologies and criminalise political belief and thought. Successive governments have paid no heed and have gone on to introduce even more undemocratic provisions through a series of amendments to UAPA. The amendment to UAPA introduced in 2012 is a replica and a replacement of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA). The ambiguous definition of ‘terrorist’ contained in POTA was reintroduced in UAPA. The amended UAPA criminalises freedom to form an association and affords unbridled discretionary powers to the investigating officers leaving much room for misuse. This is a statute tailor-made for abuse. It is not just obnoxious and objectionable in principle, but evidence points to its abuse, among others, against politics that is inconvenient to the establishment.
It needs to be borne in mind that the six were not charged and convicted for committing acts of violence. They were charged and convicted for purportedly being members of and being associated with the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist), for being in possession of literature of that proscribed organisation and for providing financial assistance to it. HRF is in principle against the banning of a political party or organization. Various statutes invoked to ban parties or organisations are basically political instruments camouflaged as penal law. What they ban is not violence – which has been proscribed ever since the birth of the State in history – but social sympathy and political like-mindedness with the view point of the naxalites. Such an approach is unacceptable in a democracy.
Our rulers are fond of saying that all those who oppose undemocratic laws like UAPA are supporters of terrorism. We refuse to be cowed down by this tactic of silencing critics with threats. Opposition to unjust laws does not mean support for violence and crime. A law, like the UAPA, that has lost the sense of distinction between justice and injustice should find no place in a democracy. It is no longer possible to deny that behind the political militancy that is called Naxalite terrorism there are deep-rooted social and economic problems. It is foolish to say that proclamation of this truth is the same as support for terrorism. Governments that do not have the patience and the will to identify and address the problems invariably try to meet them with cruel laws. Consequently, the rights of the people, impartiality of the judicial system and democratic political culture are the casualties. A judicial system that does not give the accused the aid of principles of natural justice is no judicial system. A criminal law that calls freedom of expression a crime is no criminal law. It is because UAPA and 120-B IPC exhibit both these defects that we call it a blot on civilisation.
This judgment is bad in law on several counts. In convicting the six, the judge of Gadchiroli Court relied upon untrustworthy evidence. Pertinently, there were hardly any independent witnesses. It was a virtual beeline of police witnesses, stock witnesses and tutored ones which is hardly convincing enough to convict a person, much less for life. The judge relied upon documentary evidence consisting of material saved in electronic gadgets like scandisk memory cards, mobiles, pen drive, CDs, hard disks and a few pamphlets which were allegedly seized from the accused. Their contents were anything but incriminatory. Several doubts were raised by the defense counsel about the modus operandi of the seizures that were not answered properly in the judgment. There was heavy reliance upon confessional statements of Accused No. 1 and 2 which they later retracted. In fact, the two were vulnerable adivasis, compelled to be witnesses against their own cause.
HRF hopes that the appellate court would reverse the judgment. We call upon all those who cherish the rule of law and democracy to seek repeal of the draconian UAPA and Section 120-B, IPC.
VS Krishna S Jeevan Kumar
(HRF general secretary, AP&TS) (HRF president, AP&TS)