“Whatever I have done, I have been able to do after passing through crushing miseries and endless struggle all my life and fighting with my opponents. With great difficulty I have brought this caravan where it is seen today. Let the caravan march on despite the hurdles that may come in its way. If my lieutenants are not able to take the caravan ahead they should leave it there, but in no circumstances should they allow the caravan to go back. This is the message to my people.”
It may be worthwhile debating whether the caravan which Dr.Ambedkar had referred to, had moved forward or backward. It will then become clearer to all of us as to how much energy would be required to move the caravan forward and ultimately take it to its logical end.
“Noble is your aim and sublime and glorious is your mission. Blessed are those who are awakened to their duty to those among whom they are born. Glory to those who devote their time, talents and their all to the amelioration of slavery. Glory to those who would keep their struggle for the liberation of the enslaved in spite of heavy odds, carping humiliation, storms and dangers till the downtrodden secure their “Human Rights”
So the human rights to all the downtrodden people was the ultimate dream of Babasaheb. Have we fulfilled that when 59 years have passed after his death? Why don’t we introspect?
Here is another quotation, which may give us the hint, as to what sort of support Dr.Ambedkar was getting from our educated people during his lifetime:
“There is some progress on education in our society. By acquiring education, some people have reached to the higher positions; but these educated people have deceived me. I was hoping from them that after acquiring higher education they will serve the society; but what I am seeing is that a crowd of small and big clerks has gathered around, who are busy feeding themselves and their families.”
Please note, this is how Babasaheb spoke in a public speech in Agra on 18 March 1956. Do you think the involvement of our educated people in social movement is any different today? Again a point to be introspected by all of us on this day. Are we using him just as a ATM card to encash scholarship, reservation, post, promotion, party ticket etc..???
The educated SC/ST is expected to take a plunge into the social movement. A very small fraction of his/her resources (time and financial), say 5% (which again Babasaheb has quantifies in his Nagpur speech of 15 October 1956) needs to be diverted to the social movement. Though this is a “PAY BACK TO THE SOCIETY”, but this is like an investment to encash “Social respect” To gain social respect mere academic education is not enough. Do we have social respect? Anybody wants to try. Just tell the caste Hindus that you are an SC/ST and see the reactions. How many of us tell their caste openly? To gain social respect a social movement has to be strengthened. If our social movement is strong, nobody will dare to humiliate you socially on the basis of birth.