11 May 2017
A recent order by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to the District Magistrate in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh directing action in cases of unlawful transfer of Adivasi land is a positive move, said Amnesty International India today.
On 9 May, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) directed action to be taken under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act – a special law to protect the rights of Dalit and Adivasi people – in cases where Adivasi land was transferred to other people through forgery. The order follows recent allegations that over 300 acres (121 hectares) of Adivasi land had been unlawfully transferred to non-Adivasis in Kunkuni village, Raigarh between 2009 and 2015. A farmer named Jailal Rathiya who had filed a petition in the Chhattisgarh High Court in relation to the transfer was found dead in March 2017.
“The dispossession of Adivasi land without their free, prior and informed consent is widespread in Chhattisgarh. The NCST’s recognition that this amounts to a crime against Adivasi communities is a welcome development,” said Karthik Navayan, Programmes Manager, Business and Human rights at Amnesty International India.
“Government authorities must Protect Adivasi rights and bring to book those who violate the law.”
Several members of local communities in villages in Raigarh have told Amnesty International India that they had been forced into selling their land through threats, intimidation, coercion and misinformation.
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, (PoA Act) criminalizes the wrongful dispossession or interference with the lands of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. In January 2016, Parliament passed an amendment to the Act, which, among other things, inserted an explainer stating that the word “wrongfully” included dispossession or interference done “against the person’s will”, “without the person’s consent”, or “with the person’s consent where such consent has been obtained by putting the person, or any other person in whom person is interested, in fear of death or hurt”.
In June 2016, the Kerala police registered a First Information Report under the PoA Act against officials of a Coca-Cola subsidiary for alleged pollution and groundwater exploitation.
The NCST order also highlights the intimidation and threats faced by human rights activists. An independent and impartial investigation must be conducted by authorities into the death of Jailal Rathiya. The NSCT also directed authorities to ensure that unlawfully transferred land to return to its original owners.
Under international human rights law and standards, states have an obligation to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consent on decisions that affect them. This right is recognized in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and also by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which India is a state party.
Indian laws such as the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act also require authorities to consult, and in some cases seek the consent of, Adivasi communities before acquiring or using land. However laws such as the Coal Bearing Act Areas Act ignore this right, undermining communities’ security of tenure.
The US Ambedkarite Collective, an umbrella body of North America based Ambedkarite groups demands reservation in Judiciary amidst Justice Karnan’s recent assertion on under-representation of all social sections in Judiciary of Indian Republic.
The Collective further shows its solidarity to Justice Karnan, High Court Calcutta for his bravery in exposing the deep-rooted caste based sensibilities in the Indian judicial system.
Justice Karnan’s devastating allegation against the Supreme Court judges’ caste discrimination is a living evidence that the court system in India is hazardously infectious of caste prejudice.
Justice Karnan’s courageous testament to uphold the democratic values and constitutional principles devoid of nasty casteism is a living example of caste virus severely affecting the fabric of Indian republic.
The US Ambedkarites are closely following the events unfolding Justice Karnan’s episode. It extends its warming support to Justice Karnan and encourages him to continue his struggle that is representative of the community experiences.
As an Ambedkarites community, it acknowledges the undeterred spirits of Justice Karnan that has exposed to the world the hypocritical stands of the supposedly “fair” court system in India. In our advocacy against India’s caste biases, Justice Karnan’s courageous leadership has given us additional reasons to make a strong caste against Indian caste based system with international governments and the UN.
This incident has brought out the hidden malicious practices of caste discrimination in the court of justice. In the appointment of Supreme Court and High Court judges, there is lack of adequate representation of the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Backward Caste judges in the bench. From 1950 to the present, only four Scheduled Caste judges were promoted to Supreme Court.
According to a report, 70 percent of the judges come from 132 families thereby giving rise to the nepotistic virtues practised in the highest orders. The Supreme Court in 1993 condemned the “self-perpetuating oligarchy” in the court system which it observed gave rise to a “theory of judicial relationship.” It furthermore stated that “generations of same men from the same family or caste, community or religion, are being sponsored or initiated as judges.”
The rampant corruptible practices in appointment and corruption in the court system go unchecked and unpunished. Without a representational judiciary, the republic ceases to function in honesty.
Ordering the psychiatric evaluation of a respected high court judge belonging to the Scheduled Caste is contemptuous to the whole community whereby exercising one’s rights is declared insane.
This episode has once again proven that a whole system acts against a vulnerable community person should it decide to exercise its constitutionally granted rights. It has also shed light on the contemptible practices of caste bigotry.
Scheduled Caste person is a Dalit first and later considered as a fellow worker. Under such disparaging attitude the Dalit community realizes to live.
We demand reservation in the Judiciary, alike executive and legislature to democratically function the arms of government.
As a democratic movement in the overseas community, we have resolved to participate in Justice Karnan’s struggle against the behemoth of caste which is invisible yet palpable.
We appeal to the political parties to stand guard to protect the constitutional provisions that demand protection of the Scheduled Caste citizens.
We also urge the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi to look into the allegations made by Justice Karnan against 20 sitting judges and law officials. Failure to do so will expose the government’s lack of empathy towards the vulnerable section of the communities.
Dr. Ambedkar’s speech at the closing session of the Fourth Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in the State Gallery Hall in Kathmandu (Nepal) ,on 20th November 1956.
BUDDHA OR KARL MARX ?
President, Your Reverences, Ladies and Gentlemen .
I am sorry that, having come to Nepal to attend the Conference, I have not been able to participate in its proceedings in the way in which a delegate ought to participate, but I am sure, I am physically a very ill man, and I am quite unable to bear the stress and strain of the Conference proceedings. It is, therefore, not out of any disrespect for the Conference that I have been usually absent, it is because of my personal condition that I could not do justice to the task of the Conference. It is perhaps because of my absence from the Conference that I was asked by way of compensation to address you this afternoon. I consented to do that, but even here there have been rather surprises flung upon me. I had not enough notice that I was to speak here. And when I was asked what subject I would speak on, I mentioned the subject of ‘Ashisa in Buddhism’. But I find that a large majority of the people attending this Conference are desirous that I should speak on ‘Buddhism and Communism’ a subject to which I, in a very passing sentence, referred at the general meeting, first General meeting.
I am quite prepared to agree to the suggestion of the change of subject. Although, I must say that I am not quite, on the spur of the moment, prepared to deal with such a large, enormous, and it I may say so, a very massive subject, a subject which has had half the world in grips, and I find that it has held also in its grip large number of the student population even of the Buddhist countries. I look upon the latter aspect of the matter with grave concern. If the younger generations of the Buddhist countries are not able to appreciate that Buddhism supplied a way which is better that what is supplied by the Communist wqay of life, Buddhism is doomed. It cannot last beyond a generation or two. It is therefore quite necessary for those, who believe in Buddhism, to tackle the younger generation, and to tell them whether Buddhism can be a substitute for Communism. It is then only that Buddhism can hope to survive. We must all remember that to-day a large majority of the youngers in Asia look upon Karl Marx as the only prophet who could be worshipped. And they regard, I need not say much about it, large part of the Buddhist priesthood as nothing but the yellow peril. That isan indication which the Bhikkus must take up, must understand, must reform themselves in order that they could be compared with Karl Marx. And Buddhism could compete with it. Now, with this introduction. I propose to give you a few salient points in Buddhism and in Marxism or Communism in order to show you where the similarity of ideals lies, where the differences arise between Buddhism and Marxism. And thirdly, whether the Buddhist way of life of reaching the goal which communism has, is a lasting one, or whether the communist way of bringing about the goal is the lasting one. Because, there is no use in pursuing a certain path, if that path is not going to be a lasting path. If it is going to lead you to jungle, if it is to lead you to anarchy, assured that the path that you are asked to follow is slow, may be devious, may be there are detours, but it ultimately makes you land on a safe, sound ground, so that the ideals you are pursuing are there to help you, to mould your life permanently and for ever, is much better, in my judgment to follow the slower path, and the detour us path rather than to rush up and to take what we call short cuts. Short cuts in life are always very dangerous, very dangerous.
Now let me go to the subject. What is the theory of Communism ? What does it start with ? Communism starts with the theory that there is exploitation in the world, that the poor are exploited by the rich because of the property that they hold, and they enslave the masses, that enslavement results in suffering, in sorrow, in poverty. That is the starting point of Karl Marx. He uses the word ‘exploitation’. What is the remedy that Karl Marx provides ?. The remedy that Karl Marx provides is that in order to prevent poverty, suffering ofone class, it is necessary to prevent private property. Nobody should possess private property, because it is the private owner who appropriates or misappropriates, to use the technical language of Karl Marx the surplus value which the workers produce, the worker does not get t6he surplus value which he produces. It is appropriated by the owner. And Karl Marx asked the question – why should the owner misappropriate the surplus value which is produced by the efforts of the working man ? His answer is that the only owner is the State. And it is because of this that Marx propounded the theory that there must be the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is the third proposition that Marx enunciated that Government must be by the exploited classes and not by the exploitation class, which is what meant by dictatorship of the proletariat. These are fundamental propositions of Karl Marx, which have the basis of Communism in Russia. It has undoubtedly been expanded, it has been added too, and so on, But these are the fundamental propositions.
Now let me, for a moment, go to Buddhism and see what the Buddha has to say about the points made out by Karl Marx. As I told you, Karl Marx begins with what is called exploitation of the poor. What does the Buddha say ? How does he begin ? What is the foundation on which he has raised the structure of his religion ? That Buddha too, 2000 or at any rate 2400 years ago, said exactly the same thing. He said, “There is ‘Dukkha’ in the world.” He did not use the word, exploitation’ but he did lay the foundation of his religion on what is called ‘Dukkha’. There is ‘Dukkha’ in the world. The word ‘Dukkha’ no doubt has been interpreted in various ways. It has been interpreted to mean rebirth, the round of life, that is ‘Dukkha.’ I do not agree with that. I think there are lots of places in the Buddha literature where the Buddha has used the word ‘Dukkha’ in the sense of poverty. Therefore, so far as the foundation is concerned, there is really no difference at all. It is unnecessary for the Buddhist people to go to Karl Marx to get that foundation. That foundation is already there, well laid, well laid. It is the first proposition with which the Buddha begins his sermon-the Dharma-Chakra Paribartana Sutta. Therefore, to those who are attracted by Karl Marx, I say, study the Dharma-Chakra Paribartan Sutta and find out what the Buddha says. And you will find sufficient satisfaction on this question. The Buddha did not lay the foundation of his religion either on god, or on soul, or anything supernatural as to that. He laid his finger on the fact of life-people are living in suffering. Therefore so far as Marxism or Communism is concerned, Buddhism has enough of it. And the Buddha has said it 2000 years before Marx was born. With regard to the question of property, you will again find some very close affinity to the doctrine of the Buddha and the doctrine prepeached by Karl Marx. Karl Marx said that in order to prevent exploitation, the State must own the instrument of production, that is property. Land must belong to the State,industry must belong to the State, so that no private owner intervenes and robs the worker of the profits of his labour. That is what Marx said.
Now let us go to the Sangha, the Buddhist Sangha, and examine the rules of life the Buddha laid down for the monks. What are the rules that the Buddha laid down ? Well, the Buddha said that no monk shall have private property. Ideally speaking, no monk can own property. And although there might be a few lapse here and there, I have noted that in some countries the monks own some property. Yet in the large majority of the countries the monks have no property- no property at all. In fact the Buddhist rules for the Sangha are far more severe than any rule that the communists have made in Russia. I take it, it is a mute subject, nobody has yet discussed it and come to any conclusion. What object did the Buddha have in forming the Sangha ? Why did he do it ? Going back a little into the history, when the Buddha was engaged in propagating his religion, what we to-day call the ‘Paribrajikas’, they were existing there long before the Buddha was there. The workd Paribrajika’ means a displaced person, a person who has lost his home. Probably during the Aryan period, the different tribes of the Aryans were warring against one-another as all tribal people do. Some broken tribes left lost their moorings and they were wandering about. And it is those wanderers that were called Paribrajikas. The great service that the Buddha did to these Paribrajikas was to arganise them into a body, to give them rules of life what are contained in the ‘Vinayapitaka’. In the rule, the Bhikku is not allowed to have property. The Bhikku is allowed to have only seven things-a razor, a lota for getting water, a bhikshapatra, the three chibaras, and the needle for sewing things. Well, I want to know if the essence of property of Communism is to deny the private property, can there by any greater and more severe rule, as regards private property, that is to be found in the ‘Vinayapitaka’?. I do not, I do not find. Therefore, if any people or any youngsters are attracted by the rule contained in the communist system of rules that there shall be no private property, they can find it here. The only question is to what extent can be applied this rule of denial of private property to society as a whole. But that is a matter of expediency,time, circumstances, development of human society. But so far as theory is concerned, whether there is anything wrong in abolishing private property, if Buddhism will not stand in the way of any body who wants to do it, because it has already made this concession in the organization of the Buddhist Sangha.
Now we come to another aspect of the matter, and that aspect is, what are the ways and means which Karl Marx or the Communists wish to adopt in order to bring about Communism ? That is the important question. This means that the Communists wish to adopt in order to bring about communism by which I mean recognition of Dukkha, the abolition of private property, the means that they wish to adopt is violence and killing of the opponents. There lies the fundamental difference between the Buddha and Karl Marx. The Buddha’s means of making the people to adopt the principle is by persuation, by moral teaching, by love. He wants to conquer his opponents by inculcating in them the doctrine that love can conquer anything, and not power. That is where the fundamental difference lies – that the Buddha would not allow violence, and the communists do. No doubt the communists get quick results, because when you adopt the means of annihilating a man, he does not remain to oppose you. You go on with, your ideology, you go on with your ways of doing things. The Buddha’s way, as I said, is a long way, perhaps the surest way. There are two or three questions which I have always asked my communist friends to answer. They establish by means of violence what they call the dictatorship of the proletariat. They deprive all people, who have property, of political rights. They cannot have representation in the legislation, they cannot have right to vote, they must remain what they call second great subjects of the state, ruled, not sharing in the ruling authority or power. When I asked them whether you agree that dictatorship is a good method of governing people, they say, “ No, we do’t” we don’t like dictatorship.” Then we say, “How do you allow it?” But they say, This is an interim period in which dictatorship must be there” You proceed further and ask them, “What is the duration of this interim period? Twenty years ? Forty years ? fifty years ? Hundred years? “No answer” They only repeat that the proletariat dictatorship will vanish, somehow automatically. Very well, let us take the thing as it is that dictatorship will vanish. Well, I ask a question, “What will happen when dictatorship disappearas? What will take its place? Will man not need Government of some sort ? “ They have no answer. Then we go back to the Buddha and ask this question in relation to his Dhamma. What does he say ? The greatest thing that the Buddha has done is to tell the world that the world cannot be reformed except by the reformation of the mind of the man and the mind of the world. If the mind accepts the communist system and loves it loyally and carries it out it is a permanent thing, it does not require force, it does not require a soldier or a police to keep a man in order. Why? The answer is, “The Budhhas has energised your conscience to such an extent that your conscience itself is acting as a sentinal in order to keep you on your path. There is no trouble when the mind is converted, the thing is permanent. The communist system is based on force. Supposing tomorrow the the dictatorship in Russai fails, and we see signs of it, what would happen ? I really liked to know what would happen to the communist system. As I see it, there would be bloody warfare among the Russian people for appropriating the property of the state. That would be the consequence of it. Why ? Because they have not accepted the communist system voluntarily. They are obeying to it because they are afraid of being hanged. Such a system can take no roots, and therefore in my judgment, unless the communists are able to answer these questions, what would happen to their system? When force disappears, there is no use of persuing it, because if the mind is not converted, force will always be necessary. And this is what I want to say, in conclusion, that one of the greatest things Ifind in Buddhism is that his system is a democratic system. He told the Vajis when the Prime Minister of Ajat Shatru went to ask the Buddha, the Ajat shartu wants to conquer the Vajis, and he said he won’t be able to do it until the Vajis follow their ways of their age-old system. It is unfortunate that the Buddha did not explain in plain terms what he meant. But there is no doubt about it that what the Buddha was referring to was the democratic and the republican form of Government, which the Vajis had. He said, so long as the Vajis were following their system, they would not be conquered. The Buddha, of course, was a great democrat.
Therefore, I say, and I have been , if I may say so, if the President will allow me, I have been a student of politics, and I have spent a great deal of time in studying Karl Marx, Communism and all that, and I have also spent a good deal of time in studying the Buddha’s Dhamman, and after comparing the two I came to the conclusion that Buddha advise with regard to the great problem of the world namely that there is Dukkha, that the Dukkha must be removed, that the Buddha’s method was the safest and the soundest, and I advise the younger generation of the Buddhist countries to pay more attention to the actual teachings of the Buddha. If I may say so in conclusion, if any peril arises in the Buddhist country to the Dhamma, the blame shall have to be cast upon the Bhikkus, because I personally think that they are not discharging the duty which devolves on them. Where is the preaching ?Who preaches the Buddha’s religion to anybody for the matter of God? The Bhikku is living in his cloister taking his meal, one meal no doubt, and sitting quietly, probably he is reading, and most probably I find them sleeping, and in the evening having little music. That is not the way of propagating religion. My friends, I want to tell you, I do not want to criticize anybody, but religion, if it is to be a moral force for the regeneration of society, you must constantly din it into the ears of the people. How many years a child has to spend in school ? you do not send the child to school on a day to grow into learning. To get education, the child has to go to school every day, sit there for five hours and study constantly. It is then and then alone that the child gets a little saturated with what is called knowledge and what is called learning. Here the monastery is not a state. The Bhikkus do not call for the people to the monastery on any single day and deliver a sermon to them on some subject of moral education. I have never seen it. I went to Ceylon and I told some people that I was particularly anxious to see how the Bhikkus preach. They told me that they have got ‘Bharna” Bharna” some word they use, which I subsequently learnt it meant ‘Vanaka” They took me at 11 o’ clock to one place to a small little squeare thing as big as this, a table and I sat on the ground. A Bhikku was brought in with a cross on his head dress. Severalmen and women brought water and washed his feet and he came up and sat there. He had a ‘Pankha” with him, you see, God only knows what he said. Of course he must have preached in Singhalese. It was not more than two minutes, and after two minutes he departed.
You go to a Christian Church. What happens? Every week people assemble there. They worship and some priest delivers a sermon on some subject from the Bible in order to remind the people what Jesus told them that they should do. You will be probably surprised, most of us are, that 90 per cent of Christianity is copied from Buddhism, both in substance and form. You go to Rome, see the main Church and you will be reminded of the big temple which is known as “Vishwa Karma” at Beirut.
Vishabigne, who wrote a book on Buddhism, was a missionary in China, had expressed his great surprise as to how this similarity occurs between Buddhism and Christianity. So far as the outlook, he darted not say that the Buddhism copied Christianity, but he would not admit that Christianity copied Buddhism. There is so much of if, I think, time has turned and we must now copy some of the ways of the Christians in order to propagate religion among the Buddhist people. They must be made aware every day and all the time that the Buddha’s Dhamma is there, standing by them as a policeman to guard those who go the wrong way. Without that this religion will remain probably in a very decadent state. Even now that I find it even in the Buddhist countries its condition is very decadent. But its influence is there, no doubt about it.
I wanted to tell you one very interesting epilogue which I saw in Burma. I went to Burma, I was called for the conference and they took me to show how they were going to reconstruct the villages. I was very happy. I went with them and the Committee had planned to reform the villages. Their streets as usual were crooked bent here, and bent there, nothing systematic. So the Committee put down iron pillar and lined ropes that this street must go this way. In good many cases. I found that the lines drawn by the Committee went across portion of the house of a certain gentleman or it went across a portion of a piece of land which was owned by a private individual. When Iwent and saw and asked them, “How are they going to manage? Have you got money.” I said, “ to pay for the property that you are going to take ?” They said, “Nobody wants money.” Everybody said, “ If you want it, take it.” Why is this? While in my country there would have been bloodshed if you take a little piece of land from somebody without giving him compensation. But there it is. Why ? Why were the Burmese so free with their properties, so free ? Why did they not care for it ? It is because the Buddha has taught “Sarvam Anityam.” Everything, you see, is impermanent. Why fight for impermanent things ? It is alright if you want the land, take it. Now, ladies and gentlemen, I do not think I can continue any further, nor is necessary for me to continue.
I just wanted to give you a point of view from which to look at. Do not be swallowed by the Communist successes. I am quite confident that if we all become one tenth as enlightened as the Buddha was we can bring about the same result by the methods of love, of justice and goodwill. Thank you very much.
N.B.: Immortal Audio and written script (45min.) both are available, is a great achievement indeed.
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.