Friday, 2 September 2011

How to Protect Fundamental Rights

The idea of making a gift of fundamental rights to every individual is no doubt very laudable. The question is how to make them effective ? ‘The prevalent. view is that once rights are enacted in a law then they are safeguarded. This again is an unwarranted assumption. As experience proves, rights are protected not by law but by the social and moral conscience of society. If social conscience is such that it is prepared to recognizes the rights which law chooses to enact rights will be safe and secure. But if the fundamental rights are opposed by the community, no Law no Parliament, no judiciary can guarantee them in the real sense of the word. What is the use of the fundamental rights to the Negroes in America., to the. Jews in Germany and to the Untouchables in India.? As Burke said, there is no method found for punishing the multitude. Law can punish a single solitary recalcitrant criminal. It can never operate against a whole body of people who are determined to defy it. Social conscience—to use the language of Coleridge—that calm incorruptible legislator of the soul without whom ail other powers would ” meet in mere oppugnancy— is the only safeguard of all rights fundamental or non-fundamental”

SECTION VI, Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah. Vol-I, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writing and Speeches

You cannot be liberal by halves

Ranade was not only wise but he was also logical. He told his opponents against playing the part of Political Radicals and Social Tones. In clear and unmistakable terms he warned them saying :
"You cannot be liberal by halves. You cannot be liberal in politics and conservative in religion. The heart and the head must go together. You cannot cultivate your intellect, enrich your mind, enlarge the sphere of your political rights and privileges, and at the same time keep your hearts closed and cramped. It is an idle dream to expect men to remain enchained and enshackled in their own superstition and social evils, while they are struggling hard to win rights and privileges from their rulers. Before long these vain dreamers will find their dreams lost.”

SECTION VI, Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah. Vol-I, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writing and Speeches

On Gandhi and Jinnah

I can give only my impressions of them, for what they are worth. The first thing that strikes me is that it would be difficult to find two persons who would rival them for their colossal egotism, to whom personal ascendancy is everything and the cause of the country a mere counter on the table. They have made Indian politics a matter of personal feud. Consequences have no terror for them ; indeed they do not occur to them until they happen. When they do happen they either forget the cause, or if they remember it, they overlook it with a complacency which saves them from any remorse. They choose to stand on a pedestal of splendid isolation. They wall themselves off from their equals. They prefer to open themselves to their inferiors. They are very unhappy at and impatient of criticism, but are very happy to be fawned upon by flunkeys. Both have developed a wonderful stagecraft and arrange things in such a way that they are always in the limelight wherever they go. Each of course claims to be supreme. If supremacy was their only claim, it would be a small wonder. In addition to supremacy each claims infallibility for himself. Pius IX during whose sacred regime as Pope the issue of infallibility was raging said— ” Before I was Pope I believed in Papal infallibility, now I feel it.” This is exactly the attitude of the two leaders whom Providence—may I say in his unguarded moments—has appointed to lead us.
SECTION VIII, Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah. Vol-I, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writing and Speeches

From Varna to Caste (I)- Occupational Fixity

N.B:- The length of the text quoted is approximately 2 & 1/2 pages of MS document in font size 12 and line spacing 1.0. But It includes the complete ‘Story’.

When I say that Brahmanism converted Varna into Caste what I mean is that it made status and occupation hereditary.
How was this transformation effected? As I said there are no foot prints left of the steps taken by Brahmanism to accomplish this change but there are landmarks which serve to give us a clear view of how the deed came to be done.
The change was accomplished by stages. In the transformation of Varna into Caste three stages are quite well marked. The first stage was the stage in which the duration of Varna i.e. of status and occupation of a person was for a prescribed period of time only. The second stage was a stage in which the status and occupation involved the Varna of a person ensured during lifetime only. The third stage was a stage in which the status and occupation of the Varna became hereditary. To use legal language the Estate conferred by Varna was at the beginning an Estate for a term only. Thereafter it became a life Estate and finally it became an Estate of inheritance which is tantamount to saying that Varna became Caste. That these are the stages by which Varna was converted into Caste seems to have ample support from tradition as recorded in the religious literature. There is no reason why this tradition should not be accepted as embodying some thing that is quite genuine. According to this tradition, the task of determining Varna of a person was effected by a body of officers called Manu and Sapta Rishis. From the mass of people Manu selected those who were fit to be Kshatriyas and Vaishas and the Sapta Rishis selected those who were fit to be Brahmanas. After this selection was made by Manu and Sapta Rishis for being Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishas, the rest that were not selected were called Shudras. The Varna arrangement so determined lasts for one Yug i.e. a period of four years. Every fourth year a new body of officers known by the same designation Manu and Sapta Rishi were appointed for making a new selection. It happened that last time some of those who were left to be fit only for being Shudras were selected for being Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas while some of those who were, elected last time for being Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas were left as being fit only of being Shudras. Thus the personnel of the Varna changed. It was a sort of a periodical shuffling and selection of men to take up according to their mental and physical aptitudes and occupations which were essential to the life of the community. The time when the reshuffling of the Varnas took place was called Manwantar which etymologically means change of Varna made by Manu. The word Manwantar also means the period for which the Varna of an individual was fixed. The word Manwantar is very rich in its contents and expresses the essential elements of the Varna system which were two. First it shows that Varna was determined by an independent body of people called Manu and Saptarshi. Secondly it shows that the Varna was for a period after which a change was made by Manu . According to ancient tradition as embodied in the Puranas the period for which the Varna of a person was fixed by Manu and Saptarshi was a period of four years and was called Yug. At the end of the period of four years there occured the Manwantar whereby every fourth year the list was revised. Under the revision some changed their old Varna, some retained it, some lost it and some gained it.
The original system seems to have in contemplation the determination of the Varna of adults. It was not based on prior training or close scrutiny of bias and aptitude. Manu and Saptarshi was a sort of a Board of Interview which determined the Varna of a person from how he struck them at the interview. The determination of the Varna was done in a rough and tumble manner. This system seems to have gone into abeyance. A new system grew up in its place. It was known as the Gurukul system. The Gurukul was a school maintained by a Guru (teacher) also called Acharya (learned man). All children went to this Gurukul for their education. The period of education extended for twelve years. The child while at Gurukul was known as Bramhachari. After the period of education was over there was the Upanayan ceremony performed at the Gurukul by the Acharya. The Upanayan ceremony was the most important ceremony. It was a ceremony at which the Acharya determined the Varna of the student and sent him out in the world to perform the duties of that Varna. Upanayan by the Acharyas was the new method of determining Varna which came into vogue in place of method of determination by Manu and Saptarshi. The new method was undoubtedly superior to the old method. It retained the true feature of the old method namely that the Varna should be determined by a disinterested and independent body. But it added a new feature namely training as a pre-requisite for assignment of Varna. On the ground that training alone developes individual in the make up of a person and the only safe way to determine the Varna of a person is to know his individuality, the addition of this new feature was undoubtedly a great improvement.
With the introduction of the Acharya Gurukul system, the duration of the Varna came to be altered. Varna instead of being Varna for a period became Varna for life. But it was not hereditary.
Evidently Brahmanism was dissatisfied with this system. The reason for dissatisfaction was quite obvious. Under the system as prevalent there was every chance of the Acharya declaring the child of a Brahmin as fit only to be a Shudra. Brahmanism was naturally most anxious to avoid this result. It wanted the Varna to be hereditary. Only by making the Varna hereditary could it save the children of the Brahmins from being declared Shudra. To achieve this Brahmanism proceeded in the most audacious manner one can think of.
Brahmanism made three most radical changes in the system of determing the Varna of the child. In the first place the system of Gurukul as the place where training to the child was given and its Varna was determined by the Guru at the end of the period of training was abolished. Manu is quite aware of the Gurukul and refers to Guruvas i.e. training and residence in the Gurukul under the Guru. But does not refer to it at all in connection with the Upanayan. He abolishes the Guru as an authority competent to perform Upanayan by omitting to make even the remotest reference to him in connection with Upanayan. In place of the Guru Manu allows the Upanayan of the child to be performed by its father at home. Secondly Upanayan was made into a Sanskara i.e. a sacrament. In olden times Upanayan was like a convocation ceremony held by the Guru to confer degrees obtained by students in his Gurukul in which certificates of proficiency in the duties of a particular Varna were granted. In Manu’s law that Upanayan was a complete change in the meaning and purpose of this most important institution. Thirdly the relation of training to Upanayan was totally reversed. In the olden system training came before Upanayan.
Under the Brahmanism Upanayan came before training. Manu directs that a child be sent to the Guru for training but that is after Upanayan i.e. after his Varna is determined by his father.
The principal change made by Brahmanism was the transfer of authority from the Guru to the father in the matter of performing Upanayan. The result was that the father having the right to perform the Upanayan of his child gave his own Varna to the child and thus made it hereditory. It is by divesting the Guru of his authority to determine the Varna and vesting it in the father that Brahmanism ultimately converted Varna into Caste.
Such is the story of the transformation of Varna into Caste. The story of the transition from one to the other is of course reconstructed. For the reasons already given it may not be quite as accurate as one would wish it to be in all its details. But I have no doubt that the stages and the ways by which Varna ceased to exist and caste came into being must be some such as have been suggested in the foregoing discussion of the subject.

CHAPTER-7 The Triumph of Brahmanism : Regicide or the birth of Counter-Revolution, part-II & III. Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Ancient India, Volume-III. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writing and Speeches

From Varna to Caste (II)- Endogamy

N.B:- The accompanying table is a pain, because wordpress(free) does not support custom CSS. But we will put it as a picture for clarity.
(This) isolation among the classes is the work of Brahmanism. The principal steps taken by it was to abrogate the system of intermarriage and interdining that was prevalent among the four Varnas in olden times. This has already been discussed in an earlier section of this chapter. There is however one part of the story that remains to be told. I have said the Varna system had nothing to do with marriage. That males and females belonging to the different Varnas could marry and did marry. Law did not come in the way of inter-varna marriage. Social morality was not opposed to such marriages. Savarna marriage was neither required by law nor demanded by Society. All marriages between different Varnas irrespective of the question whether the bride was of a higher Varna than the bride-groom or whether the bride-groom was of the higher Varna and the bride of the lower Varna were valid. Indeed as Prof. Kane says the distinction between Anuloma and Pratiloma marriage was quite unknown and even the terms Anuloma and Pratiloma were not in existence. They are the creation of Brahmanism. Brahmanism put a stop to Pratiloma marriages i.e. marriages between women of a higher Varna and men of lower Varna. That was a step in the direction of closing the connection between the Varnas and creating in them an exclusive and anti-social spirit regarding one another. But while the inter-connecting gate of the Pratiloma marriage was closed the inter-connecting gate of Anuloma marriage had remained open. That was not closed. As pointed out in the section on graded inequality Anuloma marriage i.e. marriage between a male of the higher Varna and the female of the lower Varna was allowed by Brahmanism to continue. The gate of Anuloma marriage was not very respectable and was a one way gate only. still it was an interconnecting gate by which it was possible to prevent a complete isolation of the Varnas. But even here Brahmanism played what cannot but be called a dirty trick. To show how dirty the trick was it is necessary first to state the rules which prevailed for determining the status of the child. Under the rule existing from very ancient times the status of the child was determined by the Varna of the father. The Varna of the mother was quite unimportant. I he following illustrations will place the point beyond doubt:
Father’s Varna of Mother’s Varna of Child’s Varna Name father Name mother name child
1. Shantanu Kshatriya Ganga Shudra Bhishma Kshatriya
2. Shantanu Kshatriya Matsyagandha Shudra Vichitra Virya Kshatriya
3. Parashar Brahmin Matsyagandha Shudra Krishna- Brahmin
(Fisher) Dwaipayana
4. Vishwamitra Kshtriya Menaka (Apsara) Shakuntala Kshatriya
5. Yayati Kshatriya Devayani Brahmin Yadu Kshatriya
6. Yayati Kshatriya Sharmishta Asuri Druhya Kshatriya
7. Jaratkaru Brahmin Jaratkari Nag. Asita Brahmin
The rule was known as the rule of Pitra Savarnya. It would he interesting to consider the effect of this rule of Pitra Savarnya on the Anuloma and Pratiloma systems of marriage.
The effect on Pratiloma marriage would be that the children of mothers of the higher Varnas would be dragged down to the level of the lower Varnas represented by their fathers. Its effect on Anuloma marriage would be just the contrary. The children of mothers of the lower Varnas would be raised up and absorbed in the higher Varnas of their fathers.
Manu stopped Pratiloma marriages and thereby prevented the higher from being dragged to the status of the lower. However regrettable, not much damage was done by it so long as the Anuloma marriage and the rule of Pitra Savarnya continued in operation. The two together formed a very useful system. The Anuloma marriage maintained the inter-connection and the Pitra Savarnya rule made the higher classes quite composite in their make up. For they could not but help to he drawn from mothers of different Varnas. Brahmanism did not want to keep this gate of intercommunication between the Varnas open. It was bent on closing it. But it did it in a manner which is disreputable.
The straight and honourable way was to stop Anuloma marriage. But Brahmanism did not do that. It allowed the system of Anuloma marriage to continue. What it did was to alter the rule of determining the status of the child. It replaced the rule of Pitra Savarnya by the rule of Matra Savarnya by which the status of the child came to be determined by the status of the mother. By this change marriage ceased to be that means of intersocial communication which it principally is. It relieved men of the higher Varna from the responsibility to their children simply because they were born of a mother of lower Varna. It made Anuloma marriage mere matter of sex. a humiliation and insult to the lower Varnas and a privilege to the higher classes to lawfully commit prostitution with women of the lower classes. And from a larger social point of view it brought the complete isolation among the Varnas which has been the bane of Hindu Society.

CHAPTER-7 The Triumph of Brahmanism : Regicide or the birth of Counter-Revolution, part-III. Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Ancient India, Volume-III. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writing and Speeches

Temple Entry Won’t Make Equals

N.B :- This is the content of the letter written by Dr. Ambedkar to Mr. Bhaurao Gaikwad on 3rd March 1934, regarding the KalaRam Temple Entry Satyagraha-which stated on 2nd March 1930 , but whose preparation was underway for months. It started “with” the leadership of Dr. Ambedkar. His inaugural speech remained consistent with the conviction in which the Satyagraha was withdrawn. It was stopped immediately after the reciept the the said letter.
….. It is very kind of you to have asked me my views on the propriety of the Depressed Classes launching upon a Satyagraha at the Kala Ram Temple in Nasik on the coming Ram Navami Day. I have no position in saying that such a move would be quite uncalled for and should not merely be suspended but stopped altogether. This may appear strange and surprising coming as it does from one who was the author of the Satyagraha. But I am afraid to declare this change of front. I didn’t launch the temple entry movement because I wanted the Depressed Classes to become worshipers of idols which they were prevented from worshiping or because I believed temple entry would make them equal members in and an integral part of the Hindu Society. So far as this aspect of the case is concerned I would advise the Depressed Classes to insist upon a complete overhauling of Hindu Society and Hindu theology before they consent to become an integral part of Hindu Society. I started temple entry Satyagraha only because I felt that was the best way of energizing th Depressed Classes and making them conscious of their position. As I believe I have achieved that purpose I have no more use for temple entry. I want the Depressed Classes to concentrate their energy and resource on politics and education and I hope that they will realise the importance of both.

SECTION- IV Kalaram Temple entry Satryagraha, Nasik and Temple entry movement, Volume-XVII. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writing and Speeches

Do Depressed Classes Desire Temple Entry?

N. B. :- Gandhi requested Dr. Ambedkar to lend his support to Dr. Subbarayan’s Temple entry Bill and that of Ranga Iyer-when both met on 4th Feb. 1934 at Yeravada Prison. Dr. Ambedkar declined in person, and later issued a statement on 14th Feb, 1933. He outlined the impracticability of the bill, crticised it for not making Untouchability illegal and outlined why he would not prefer just temple entry-this part is reproduced here.
The main question is : Do the Depressed Classes desire Temple Entry or do they not ? This main question is viewed by the Depressed Classes by two points of view. One is the materialistic point of view. Starting from it, the Depressed Classes think that the surest way of elevation lies in education, higher employment and better ways of earning a living. Once they become well placed in the scale of social life, they would become respectable the religious outlook of the orthodox towards them is sure to undergo change, and even if it didn’t happen, it can do no injury to their material interest. Proceeding on these lines the Depressed Classes say that they will not spend their resources on such an empty things as Temple Entry. There is another reason why they do not care to fight for it. Their argument is the argument of self-respect.
Not very long ago there used to be boards on club doors and other social resorts maintained by Europeans in India, which said “Dogs and Indians” are not allowed. The temples of Hindus carry similar boards today, the only difference is that the boards on the Hindu temples practically say : “All Hindus and all animals including gods are admitted, only Untouchables are not admitted”. The situation in both cases is of parity. But Hindus never begged for admission in those places form which the Europeans in their arrogance had excluded them. Why should an Untouchable beg for admission in a place from which he has been excluded by the the arrogance of the Hindus? This is the reason of the Depressed Class man who is interested in material welfare. He is prepared to say the Hindus, “to open or not to open your temples is a question for you to consider and not for me to agitate. If you think, it is bad manners not to respect the sacredness of human personality, open your temple and be a gentleman. If you rather be a Hindu than a gentleman, then shut the doors and damn yourself for I don’t care to come.”
I found it necessary to put the argument in this form, because I want to disabuse the minds of men like Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya of their belief that the Depressed Classes are looking forward for their patronage.
The second point of view is the spiritual one. As religiously minded people, do the Depressed Classes desire temple entry or do they not ? That is the question. From the spiritual point of view, they are not indifferent to temple entry as they would be, if the material point of view alone were to prevail. But their final answer must depend upon the reply which Mahatma Gandhi and the Hindus give to the questions namely : What is the drive behind this offer of temple entry ? Is temple entry to be the final goal of the advancement in the social status of the Depressed Classes in the Hindu fold ? Or is it only the first step and if it is the first step, what is the ultimate goal ? Temple entry as a final goal, the Depressed Classes can never support. Indeed they will not only reject it, but they would then regard themselves rejected by Hindu Society and free to find their own destiny elsewhere. On the other hand, if is only to be a first step they may be inclined to support it. The position would then be analogous to what is happening in India today. All Indians have claimed dominion status for India. The actual constitution will fall short of Dominion status and many Indians will accept it. Why ? The answer is that as the goal is defined, it does not matter much if it is to be reached by steps and not in one jump. But if the British had not accepted the goal of Dominion status, no one would have accepted the partial reforms which many are now willing to accept. In the same way, if Mahatma Gandhi and the reformers were to proclaim what the goal which they have set before themselves is for the advancement of the social status of the Depressed Classes in the Hindu fold, it would be easier for the Depressed Classes to define their attitude towards Temple entry. The goal of the Depressed Classes might as well be stated here for the information and consideration of all concerned. What the Depressed Classes want is a religion,, which will give them equality of social status. To prevent any misunderstanding,I would like to elaborate the point by drawing a distinction between social evils are which are the result of secular causes and social evils which are founded upon doctrine of religion. Social evils can have no justification whatsoever in a civilised society. But nothing can be more odious and vile than that admitted social evils should be sought to be justified on the ground of religion. The Depressed Classes may not be able to overthrow inequalities to which they are being subjected. But they have made up their mind not to tolerate a religion that will lend its support to the continuance of these inequalities.
If the Hindu religion is to be their religion, then it must become a religion of Social Equality. The mere amendment of Hindu religious code by the mere inclusion in it of a provision to permit temple entry for all, cannot make it a religion of equality of social status. All that it can do is to recognize as nationals not aliens, if I may use the common terms which have become so familiar in politics. But that cannot mean that they would thereby reach a position where they would be free and equal. , without being above and below any one else, for the simple reason that the Hindu religion does not recognise the principle of equality of social status : on the other hand it fosters inequality by insisting upon grading people as Brahmins, Kshatrias, Vaishyas and Shudras, which now stand toward one another in an ascending scale of hatred and descending scale of contempt. If the Hindu Religion is to be a religion of social equality then an amendment of its code to provide temple entry is not enough. What is required is to purge it of the doctrine of chaturvarna. That is the root cause of all inequality and also the parent of the Caste system and Untouchability, which are merely forms of inequality. Unless it is done not only will the Depressed Classes reject the temple entry, they will also reject the Hindu faith. Chaturvarna and the Caste system are incompatible with the self-respect of the Depressed Classes. So long as they stand to be its cardinal doctrine, the depressed classes must continue to be looked upon as low. The Depressed Classes can say that they are Hindus only the theory of Chaturvarna and Caste system is abandoned and expunged from the Hindu shastras. Do the Mahatma and the Hindu reformers accept this as their goal and will they show the courage to work for it ? I shall look forward to their pronouncements on this issue, before I decide upon my final attitude. But whether Mahatma Gandhi and the Hindus are prepared for this or not, let it be known once and for all that nothing short of this will satisfy the Depressed Classes and make them accept temple entry. To accept temple entry and be content with it, is to temporise with evil and barter away the sacredness of human personality that dwells in them.
There is, however, one more argument which Mahatma Gandhi and the reforming Hindu may advance against the position I have taken. They may say : “acceptance by the Depressed Classes of Temple entry now, will not prevent them from agitating hereafter for the abolition of Chaturvarna and Caste. If that is the view, I like to meet the argument right at this stage so as to clinch the issue and clear the road for future developments. My reply is that it is true that the my right to agitate for the abolition of Chaturvarna and Caste system will not be lost, if I accept Temple entry now. But the question is on what side will Mahatma Gandhi be when the question is put. If he will be in the camp of my opponents, I must tell him I cant be in in camp now. If he will be in my camp he ought to be in it now.
(Almost all the Depressed Classes leaders of Dr. Ambedkar’s persuasions, endorsed the view of their leader. Srinivasan, Permtai and Malik upheld views of their leader.
Gandhi issued a statement in reply in which he stated : “I am a Hindu, not merely because I am born in the Hindu fold, but I am one by conviction and choice. There is no superiority or inferiority in Hinduism of my conception. But when Dr. Ambedkar wants to fight Varnashram itself, I cannot be in his camp, because I believe Varnashram to be an integral part of Hinduism. )
SECTION- IV Kalaram Temple entry Satryagraha, Nasik and Temple entry movement, Volume-XVII. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writing and Speeches

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Biography of Dr B R Ambedkar

A concise Biography of Ambedkar by Gail Omvedt


Ambedkar: Towards An Enlightened India

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Some views of Ambedkar

Some thoughts 
  1. • Be Educated, Be Organized and Be Agitated
  2. • If you want success, you must be narrow minded.
  3. • A person with an open mind is always the subject of congratulations. While this may be so, it must, at the same time, be realized that an open mind may also be an empty mind and that such an open mind, if it a happy condition, is also a very dangerous condition for a man to be in.
  4. • You may abuse me as much as possible, provided you do not take much time. I am concerned more with time than with abuse.
  5. • There will be no difference between parents and animals if they will not desired to see their children in a better position than their own.
  6. • The history of India is nothing but a history of a mortal conflict between Buddhism and Brahminism.
  7. • You must abolish your slavery yourselves. It is disgraceful to live at the cost of one’s self-respect. Self-respect is a most vital factor in life. Without it man is a mere cipher. To live worthily with self-respect one has to overcome difficulties. It is out of hard and ceaseless struggle alone that one derives strength, confidence and recognition.
  8. • My life is threatened if I came here to wake you up to the causes of your misery and shame. Man is mortal. Every one is to die some day or other. But one must resolve to lay down one’s life in enriching the noble ideals of self-respect and in bettering human life. We are not slaves. We are a warrior clan. Nothing is more disgraceful for a brave man than to live a life devoid of self-respect and without love for the country.
  9. • If you stand by your resolve to extirpate your slavery root & branch and undergo all trials & tribulations for it, the credit & success of my being able to discharge the onerous task will be yours
  10. • At present I am the most hated man in Hindu India. I am presented as a traitor; I am denounced as an enemy of the Hindus, I am cursed as a destroyer of Hinduism, and branded as the greatest enemy of the country. But believe me when I say that when after some days the dust settles down and a review of the proceedings of the Round Table Conference is dispassionately taken by future historians, the future generations of the Hindus will acclaim my services to the nation. If they do not recognize, well I would not care for their disapprobation. My great satisfaction is that he Depressed Classes have implicit faith in my work and undivided devotion to the mission for, which I stand. It is my solemn vow to die in the service and cause of those down trodden people among whom I was born, I was brought up and I am living. I would not budge an inch from my righteous cause, or care for the violent and disparaging criticism by my detractors.
Thoughts on Education
  1. • Student should pursue their studies very sincerely. You have done a good thing , that you came to see me before leaving Delhi. I do not want victory at the cost of my students. You should return the ticket and do not come to Bombay for canvassing. You are conducting research for Ph. D. in Agriculture, which is very important subject. I wish, you should concentrate on your research. For your information, I tell you that, we have made good provisions in constitution for encouraging agricultural developments.
  2. • We must now entirely give up the idea that parents give birth – janma - to the child and not destiny – karma. They can mould the destiny of the children and if we but follow this principle, be sure that we shall soon see better days and our progress will be greatly accelerated if mail education is persuaded side by side with the female education the fruits of which you can very well see verified in your own daughter. Let your mission therefore be to educate and preach the idea of education to those at least who are near to and in close contact with you.
  3. • Education is something, which ought to be brought within the reach of everyone. The policy of the department therefore, ought to be to make higher education as cheap to the lower classes as it can possible be made.
Social thoughts
  1. • Untouchability is nothing but slavery. Tell a slave, he is a slave he will revolt.
  2. • Lost rights are never regained by begging, and by appeals to the conscience of the usurpers, but by relentless struggle. Goats are used for sacrificial offering and not lions.
  3. • The man who practised what he preached was worthy of reverence. But a good principle never suffered because some men holding it did not show the requisite courage to practice it. Yet there were some who said that inequality would never disappear from the face of the earth.
  4. • If Tilak had been born amongst the untouchables, he would not have raised the slogan "Swaraj is my birthright," but he would have raised the slogan: "Annihilation of Untouchability is my birthright".
  5. • Caste has no scientific origin. it is the natural outcome of certain religious beliefs which have the sanction of Shashtras which are believed to certain the command of divinely inspired sages who were endowed with a supernatural wisdom and whose commands therefore, cannot be disobeyed without committing sin.
  6. • Brahman and Baniya has never died for freedom although they are the only fortunate who are deriving benefit now. Let me now how many of them have died in the last war? How many of them are in the army? If there is conscription our people will be the first to go to the army. They will do their duty as they have done previously.
  7. • If there is one lesson that you must learn from my life, it is this, that I have never disowned my community. I have been proud in sharing their happiness and misery, all throughout my life and will continue to do so.
  8. • If I fail to do away with the abominable (hateful) thralldom (those of noble birth) and inhuman injustice under which the class, into which I was born, has been goring, I will put an end to my life with a bullet.
  9. • India is a home of inequality. Hindu society is just like a tower which had several storeys without a ladder or an entrance. One was to die in the storey in which one is born. Hindu society consisted of three parts : the Brahmins, the non-Brahmins and the untouchables. He pitied the souls of those person who said that according to their philosophy there existed God in animals as well as in animate things and yet treated their co-religionist as Untouchables ! He lamented that not the spread of knowledge and literacy but accumulation and monopoly was the aim of the Brahmins. In his view the backwardness of the non-Brahmins was due to lack of education and power. In order to slave the Depressed Classes from perpetual slavery, poverty and ignorance, herculean efforts must be made, he asserted , to awaken them to their disabilities.
  10. • The Swaraj wherein there were no fundamental rights guaranteed for the Depressed Classes, would not be a Swaraj to them. It would be a new slavery for them.
  11. • Hindu society was just like a tower, which had several storeys without a ladder or an entrance. One was to die in the storey in which one was born. Hindu society consisted of three parts: the Brahmins, the non-Brahmins and the untouchables. He pitied the souls of those persons who said that according to their philosophy there existed god in animals as well as in animate things and yet treated their co-religionists as untouchables! He lamented that not the spread of the knowledge and literacy but accumulation and monopoly was the aim of the Brahmins. In his view the backwardness of the Non-Brahmins was due to lack of education and power. In order it save the depressed classes from perpetual slavery, poverty and ignorance, Herculean efforts must be made to awaken them to their disabilities.
  12. • My heart breaks to see the pitiable sight of your faces and to hear your sad voices. You have been groaning from time immemorial and yet you are not ashamed to hug your helplessness as inevitability. Why did you not perish in the prenatal stage instead? Why do you worsen and sadden the picture of the sorrows, poverty, slavery and burdens of the world with your deplorable, despicable and detestable miserable life? You had better die and relieve this world if you cannot rise to a new life and if you cannot rejuvenate yourselves. As a matter of fact it is birthright to get food, shelter and clothing in this land in equal proportion with every individual high or low. If you believe in living respectable life, you believe in self-help, which is the best help!
  13. • I think the day will not the distant when the people, who are placed by the tyranny of the higher classes in to the lower grade of society, even at the present time, will find themselves driven to the other religious folds. There will be then no reason at all for Hindu society to complain that Mohammedan or Christian missionaries are including members of the depressed classes to change the religion of their birth.
  14. • No lasting progress can be achieved unless we put ourselves thought a three-fold process of purification. We must improve the general tone of our demeanour, re-tone our pronunciations and revitalize our thoughts. I, therefore, ask you now to take a vow from this moment to renounce eating carrion. It is high time that we rooted out from our mind the ideas of highness and lowness among ourselves. Make an unflinching resolve not to eat the thrown-out crumbs. We will attain self-elevation only if we learn self-help, regain our self-respect and gain self-knowledge.
  15. • if you say your religion is our religion, then your rights and ours must be equal. But is this the case? If not, on what grounds do you say that we must remain in the fold in spite of your kicks and rebuffs? The religion which discriminates between two followers is partial and the religion which treats crores of its adherents worse than dogs and criminals and inflicts upon them insufferable disabilities is no religion at all religion is appellation for such an unjust order. Religion and slavery are incompatible.
  16. • Who has seen the world after death or salvation? On top of it all, it is mischievous propagated by Hindu scripture that by serving the upper three classes the Shudras attain salvation. Untouchability is another appellation of slavery. No race can be raised by destroying its self-respect. So, if you really want to uplift the untouchable, you must treat them in the social order as free citizens, free to carve out their destiny.
  17. • Untouchbility has ruined the untouchables, the Hindus and ultimately the nation as well. If the depressed classes gained their self-respect and freedom they would contribute not only to their progress and prosperity but also by their industry, intellect and courage would contributes also to the strength and prosperity of the nation. If the tremendous energy the untouchables are at present required to fritter away in combating the stigma of untouchability had been saved them, it would have been applied by them to the promotion of education and development of economic resources of the nation as a whole. They would not have been required to embrace another religion for getting themselves called human being.
  18. • Never regard yourselves as untouchables. Live a clean life. Dress yourselves like the touchable ladies. Never mind if your dresses is full of patches, but see that it is clean. None can restrict your freedom in the choice of your garments and in the use of the metal for your ornaments. Attend more to the cultivation of the mind and the spirit of self-help. But do not feed in any case your spouse and sons if they are drunkards. Send your children to schools. Education is as necessary for females as it is for males. If you know how to read and write, there would be much progress. As you are, so your children will be. Mould their lives in virtuous way, for sons should be such as would make a mark in this world.
  19. • Personally, myself I say openly that I do not believe that there is any place in this country for any particular culture, whether it is Hindu culture or a Mohammedan culture or a Kanarese culture or a Gujrathi culture.
  20. • Every human being without on his part but simply in virtue of his birth and upbringing becomes a member of what we call a natural society. He belongs to a certain family and a certain nation.
  21. • I am not hopeful of the younger generation, which seems to be more predisposed to pleasures seeking and not possessing much of idealism and is not likely to produce men of ideals, principles and actions like Ranade, Tilak and Gokhale.
  22. • History bears out the proposition that political revolution have always been preceded by social and religious revolution.
  23. If the problem of the Untouchables is a social problem, is not that of the Muslims also a social problem? The Muslims too suffer from the consequences of the distorted vision of the upper castes of the Hindus, in the same manner as do the Untouchable… It is our firm conviction that the Nehru Committee’s Brahamanical strategy aims at perpetuating the Hindu social hierarchy in their struggle for political power. What else could be the reason for its extending certain facilities to the Muslims, and deny similar facilities to the backward and untouchables classes of the Hindus? It is evident that the Nehru Committee intends to perpetuate Brahminism.
Political thoughts
  1. • For nationality of flame into nationalism two conditions must exit. First, there must arise the "will to live as a nation." Nationalism is the dynamic expression of that desire. Secondly, there must be a territory which the nationalism could occupy and make it a state, as well as a cultural home of the nation.
  2. • Unfortunately for the minorities in India, Indian Nationalism has developed a new doctrine which may be called the Divine Right of the majority to rule over the minorities according to the wishes of the majority. Any claim for the sharing of power by the minority is called Communalism while the monopolizing of the whole power by the majority is called Nationalism.
  3. • For words such as society, nation and country are just amorphous, if not ambiguous, term. There is no gain saying that 'Nation' though one word means many classes. Philosophically it may be possible to consider a nation as a unit but sociologically it cannot but be regarded as consisting of many classes and the freedom of the nation if it is to be reality must vouchsafe the freedom of the different classes comprised in it, particularly those who are treated as the servile classes.
  4. • A people who, notwithstanding their differences accept a common distiny for themselves as well as for their opponents, are a community. A people who are not only different from the rest but who refuse to accept for themselves the same destiny which others do, are a nation.
  5. • In the state of Kashmir the ruler is a Hindu, but the majority of the subjects are Muslims. The Muslims fought for representative government in Kashmir, because representative government in Kashmir meant the transfer of power from a Hindu king to the Muslim masses. In other Muslims states, the ruler is a Muslim but the majority of his subjects are Hindus. In such states representative government means the transfer of power from a Muslim Ruler to the Hindu masses, and that is why the Muslim support the introduction of representative government in one case and oppose it, in the other.
  6. • If Hindu Raj does become a fact, it will no doubt, be the greatest calamity for this country. No matter what the Hindus say, Hinduism is a menace to liberty, equality and fraternity. On that account it is incompatible with democracy. Hindu Raj must be prevented at any cost.
  7. • There is one thing which I think is very necessary in the working of democracy and it is this that the name of democracy there must be no tyranny of the majority over the minority. The minority must always feel safe that although the majority is carrying on the government, the morality is not being hurt, or the minority is not being hit below the belt.
  8. • When I think of our foreign Policy, I am reminded of what Bismarck and Bernard Shaw have said. Bismarck has said that, "Politics is not a game of realising the ideal. Politics is a game of the possible." Bernard Shaw, not very long ago said that, "Good ideas are good but one must not forget that it is often dangerous to be too good." Our foreign policy is incomplete opposition to those words of wisdom uttered by two of the world's greatest men.
  9. • In our foreign policy, we have not been able to make a distinction between Capitalism and Parliamentary Democracy. The dislike of Capitalism is understandable. But we take care that we do not weaker Parliamentary Democracy and help Dictatorship to grow. It would be like throwing the baby out of the bath but in emptying it of dirty water.
  10. • We have told that our foreign policy is a policy of peace friendship. My Hon. Friend. Diwan Chaman Lal, called it the Nehru Doctrine. If that is the object of the Nehru Doctrine, it is a welcome doctrine provided it was observed at all. Now if the object of the foreign policy of this country is to maintain friendship and peace throughout the world, I want to know who are our enemies against whom we want to maintain this huge army at a huge cost of Rs.197 crores.
  11. • The keynote of our foreign policy is to solve the problems of other countries, and not to solve the problem s of our own. We have here the problem of Kashmir. We have succeeded in solving it. Everybody seems to have forgotten that it is a problem. But I suppose some day, we may wake up and find that the ghost is there. And I find that the Prime Minister had launched upon the project of digging a tunnel connecting Kashmir to India. Sir, I think, it is one of the most dangerous thing that a Prime Minister could do... That might happen the Prime Minister in digging the tunnel, thinks that he alone would be able to use it. He does not realise that a conqueror who comes to the other side and captures Kashmir, can come away straight to Pathankot and probably come into the Prime Minister's House I do not know.
  12. • The Prime Minister has been depending upon what may be called the Panchasheel taken by Mr. Mao and recorded in the Tibet Treaty of non-aggression. Well, I am somewhat surprised that. The Prime Minister should take Panchsheel seriously. The Panchsheel, as you sir, know it well, is the essential part of the Buddhist religion, and if Mr. Mao had any faith in the Panchsheel, he certainly would treat the Buddhists in his own country in a very different way. There is no room for Panchsheel in politics and secondly not in the politics of a Communist Country. The Communist Countries have two well known principles on which they always act. One is that morality is always in a flux. There is no morality. Today's morality is not tomorrow's morality.
  13. • India's first duty should be to herself. Instead of fighting to make Communist China a permanent member of the UNO. India should fight for getting herself recognised as the permanent member of the UNO, instead of doing this India is spending herself in fighting the battle of Mao as against Chiangkai Shek.
  14. • I do not want that our loyalty as Indians should be in slightest way affected by any competitive loyalty whether that loyalty arises out of our religion, out of our culture, out of our language. I want all people to be Indian first, Indian last and nothing else.
  15. • Kashmir was not a unitary state. It was a composite state, consisting of Hindus, Buddhist and Muslims. Jammu and Ladak were non Muslim areas whereas the Kashmir valley was Muslims. If we cannot save the whole of Kashmir at least let us save our Kith and Kin.
  16. • The first thing I would like to submit is that we claim that we must be treated as distinct minority, separate from the Hindu community... as a matter of fact there is really no link between the Depressed Classes and Hindu community... Secondly, I should like submit that the Depressed Classes minority needs far greater political protection than any other minority in British India, for the simple reason that it is educationally very backward, that it is economically very poor, socially enslaved and suffers from certain grave political disabilities, from which no other community suffers.
  17. • The principle of one language one province is too large to be given effect to in practice. The number of provinces that will have to be carved out if the principle is to be carried to its logical conclusion shows in my opinion its unworkability. For I am of the opinion that the most vital need of the day is to create among the mass of the people the sense of a common nationality, the feeling not that they are Indians first and Hindus, Mohammedan or Sindhis and Kanarese afterwards, but that they are Indians first and Indians last. If that be the ideal then it follows that nothing should be done which will harden local patriotism and group consciousness.
  18. • It does not seem to be sufficiently known that India is not the only country where the Mohammedans are in a minority. There are other countries in which they occupy the same position. Albania, the Mohammedan form a very large community. In Bulgaria, Greece and Rumania they form a minority and in Yugoslavia and Russia they form a large majority. Have the Mohammedan communities there insisted upon the necessity of separate communal electorates? As all students of political history are aware, the Mohammedan in these countries have managed without the benefit of separate electorates; nay, they have managed without any definite ratio of presentation assured to them. The Mohammedan case in India, therefore, overshoots the mark in my opinion and fails to carry conviction.
  19. • I know your grievances the Khoti system is sucking your blood. This system of land tenure must be abolished. Its abolition will bring you peace & progress. In order to achieve your goal you must keep the agitation going on. India is likely to attend full control of its destinies in the coming four or five years. At the time you must take particular care to sent to the legislatures the right type of men as your representatives who would devoutly struggle for the abolition of this Khoti System.
  20. • This is nothing else than nomination pure and simple. If he chooses only one candidate in a constituency, there is no election. Demand the right to elect our own representatives of our choice, untrammeled by any condition or limitation whatsoever. We are certainly the best judges of our interests, and we must not allow even the Governors to assume the authority to determine what is good for us.
  21. • Supposing an officer was distributing dole to a farrune stricken people. He would be bound to give greater dole to a person of high birth than he would be a person of low birth.
  22. • I interpret it to mean that the scheduled castes are more than a minority and that any protection given to the citizens and to the other minorities will not be adequate for scheduled castes.
  23. • The Congress is heterogeneous body composed of the expliters as well as exploited and it is quit certain, that the exploiters in the Congress will not allow the organization to work for the masses. A combination of the expliter and exploited might be necessary for the purposes of the achieving political freedom, but to seek to form a common party consisting of exploiters for purposes of social reconstruction was to deceive the masses.
  24. • The Untouchables are not opposed to freedom from British Imperialism. But they refuse to be content with more freedom from British Imperialism. What they insist upon is that free India is not enough. Free India should have been made safe for democracy.
  25. • As for myself, I make no mistake about the fact that the essence of all reforms is to change the balance of power among the different classes if the lower classes gain some other class must lose. If each class remains with no more political power than before then there will have been normal reform.
Religious thoughts
  1. • My Philosophy may be said to be enshrined in these three words: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Elaborating these principles, my philosophy had its roots in the teachings of the Buddha. Though in my philosophy Liberty and Equality have their place, but unlimited Liberty destroyed Equality; and absolute Equality left no room for Liberty. I give the highest place to Fraternity, as the only real safeguard against the denial of Liberty or Equality.
  2. • I did not like Bhishma, Drona and Krishna. Bhishma and Krishna were hypocrites. They said one thing and did the opposite. Krishna believed in fraud. An equal dislike, I have for Rama. Examine his conduct in the Surupanakha episode, in the Vali-Sugriva episode, and his beastly behaviour toward the Sita...This is the origin of my interest in the Buddha and His Dhamma.
  3. • What are the ways and means advocated by Marx? And how do they differ from the ways and means taught by the Budhha? This the important question. The means that the communists wish to adopt in order to bring about communism (by which I mean the recognition of Dukkha, and abolition of property) is violence and killing of the opposed. There lies the fundamental difference between the Buddha and Karl Marx. The Buddha's mean of persuading people to adopt the principles is by persuasion by moral teaching, by love... the buddha would not allow violence; and the communists do.
  4. • The most important point we want to emphasize is not the satisfaction you get from the worship of the image of god, but the plan fact that a temple is not defiled by the presence of an untouchable, nor is the purity of the image affected by it that is why we oppose the idea of separate temples for us and insist on entering the existing one.
  5. • Hindutva belongs as much to the untouchable Hindus as to touchable Hindus. To the growth and glory of this Hindutva contribution had been made by untouchables like Valmiki, the seer of the Vyadhageeta, Chokhamela and Rohidas as much as by Brahmins like Vashishta, Shatriyas like Krishna, Vaishyas like Harsha and Shudras like Tukaram. The heroes like Sidnak Mahar, who fought for the protection of the Hindus, were innumerable. The temple built in the name of Hindutva the growth and prosperity of which was achieved gradually with the sacrifice of touchable and untouchable Hindus, must be open to all the Hindus irrespective of caste.
  6. • The bonfire of Manusmriti was quite intentional. It was a very cautious and drastic step, but was taken with a view to forcing the attention of caste Hindus. At intervals such drastic remedies are a necessity. If you do not knock at the door, none opens it. It is not that all the parts of the Manusmriti are condemnable, that it does not contain good principles and that Manu himself was not a sociologist and was a mere fool. We made a bonfire of it because we view it as a symbol of injustice under which we have been crushed across centuries. Because of its teachings we have been ground down under the despicable poverty, and so we made the dash, staked all, took our lives in our hands and performed the deed.
  7. • The struggle of the saints did not have any effect on society. The value of man is axiomatic, self-evident; it does not come to him as the result of the gilding of Bhakti. The saints did not struggle to establish this point. On the contrary, their struggle had a very unhealthy effect on the depressed classes. It provided the Brahmins with an excuse to silence them by telling that they would respected if they also attained the status of Chokhamela.
  8. • It is only in a Swaraj constitution that you stand any chance of getting political power in your hands without which you cannot bring salvation to our people. Do not be obsessed by the past. Do not be swayed by fear or favour from any quarter in making your own decision. Consult your best interests and I am sure you will accept Swaraj as your goal.
  9. • The fundamental characteristics of positive religions is that they have not grown up like primitive religions, under the action of conscious forces operating silently from ago to ago, but tract their origin to the teaching of great religions innovators, who spoke as the orange of a divine revelation.
  10. • This is the important question. The means that the Communists wish to adopt in order to bring about Communism, by which I mean the recognition of Dukkha(misery), and abolition of property, is violence and killing of the opposed. There lies the fundamental difference between the Buddha and Karl Marx. The Buddha’s means of persuading people to adopt the principles is by persuasion, by moral teaching, by love… the Buddha would not to allow violence; and the Communists do.
Economical thoughts
  1. • Up to 1833 the Company, by means fair or foul, managed to win over the English statesmen to continue her monopoly. But in that year the cry against hr monopoly had gone so loud that both the Company and the Ministers had to give in and the East India trade was thrown open to all the English public.
  2. • ... mutiny or no mutiny, the British statesmen were impatient to have direct control over the leaves and the fishes that came but indirectly from their rule in India by a process of disgorging a corporation which directly fed them on beef fat.
  3. • It went as a continuous tribute to England to pay dividends to the Company's share holders; and as the flow of the money from India was not sufficient to pay the dividends, there was an increasing debt called the Public Debt of India.
  4. • It is likely to be a matter of surprise when one sees the smallness of the Indian Home Bond Debt as compared with the Indian Debt. But the surprise will no longer exist when we know that the capacity of the East India Company to borrow in England was strictly limited by Parliamentary Regulations. The Parliament was ever eager to obtain the advantages of the rule of the company without its disadvantages ... Company's raising the loans beyond a certain limit lest the Company lose its hold upon India and bring ruin on England by jeopardizing English capital.
  5. • The Land Tax levied by the British Government is not only excessive, but, what is worse, it is fluctuating and uncertain in many provinces.
  6. • It is true that the British Government only followed the precedent of the previous Mohammedan rulers who also claimed an enormous Land Tax. But the difference was this, that what the Mohammedan rulers claimed they could never fully realize : what the British rulers claimed they realized with vigour.
  7. • A Land Tax which now exists in India, professing to absorb the whole of the landlords rent, was never known under any government in Europe of Asia.
  8. • India has never had even the shadow of a constitution, or of a national government, but has been ruled as a conquered country, according to the views of successive British Parliaments and the British administrations. The Indian debt has really been incurred by the Government of this country and how, then, can we possibly shake ourselves free of Indian liabilities.
  9. • The company though legaly extinct continues to live for all practical purposes and enjoys her dividends even to this day in the shape of interest paid out of Indian revenues. The astounding result of this policy was gains to England and costs to India.
  10. • The revenues of India shall not, without the consents of both Houses of Parliament, be applicable to defray the expenses of any military operations carried on beyond the external frontiers of such possessions by her Majesty's forces charged upon such revenues.
  11. • ... by no means salutary in that the revenues of India have been spent outside India for non-Indian purposes, even after the Act. The fatal error lay in this, - the excepting clause... omits the vital word previous.
  12. • The immenseness of India's contribution to England is as much astounding as the nothingness of England's contribution to India. Both are, however, true statements if looked at from economics point of view.
  13. • Wisdom therefore requires that those who are entrusted with the financial management of the State should look beyond the more immediate object of raising and spending of money, for the 'how's' of finance are very important and can be seldom neglected in practice with impunity. The wealth of society is the only patrimony of which the state can draw, and the state that damages it cannot but end in damning itself.
  14. • Justice in taxation was conspicuous by its absence. It was a cruel satire or at best an idle maxim, for the lancet was directed not where the blood was thickest but to that part of the body politic which on account of its weakness and poverty most meekly bore the pang. The landlords who passed their lives in conspicuous consumption or vicarious leisure on the earnings of poor tenants, or the many European civil servants who fattened themselves on pay and pickings, were supremely exempted from any contribution towards the maintenance of pomp and privilege. On the other hand. the salt tax and ... the other oppressive taxes continued to harass the industrious poor.
  15. • It ought to serve as an object lesson to all financiers to show that when their revenue laws are harmful to the resources of the people they must blame none but themselves for their empty treasury.
  16. • It may perhaps be argued on the other hand that much of the military expenditure, large though it was went back into the coffers of the Indians themselves as they formed the bulk of the forces employed in the country and goes on to show irrelevance of such an argument by pointing that one European drew on an average more than he salaries of four natives put together.
  17. • The agencies of war were cultivated in the name of peace, and they obserbed so much of the total funds that nothing practically was left for the agencies of progress. Education formed no part of the expenditure incurred and useful public works were lamentably few. Railways, Canals for navigation or irrigation and other aids to the development of commerce and industry for a long time found no corner in the Imperial Budget.
  18. • There is a principle well known to farmers that constant cropping without maturing ends in the exhaustion of the soil. It is, however, capable of wider application, and had it been observed in the State economy of India the taxing capacity of the country would have grown to the benefit of the treasury and the people. Unfortunately it was lost upon the financiers of India to the detriment of both.
  19. • If the history of development of Provincial Finance is to be divided into stages according to the changes in fundamental basis thereof, then emphasis has to be laid on features altogether different in character.
  20. • As a matter of justice we should have expected the continuance of the income tax to the relief of the State... But justice was for a long time absent from the Financial Secretariat of the Government of India.
  21. • Prospect of gaining half the excess over the normal gave a more direct stimulus to the provinces to develop their resources beyond the normal than would have been the case if the total excess had been entirely appropriated by the Imperial Government. On the other hand the consent secured from the provinces to bear half the burden of a possible deficit in the normal estimate directly put a premium on economical and judicious administration of the ceded revenues . The fear that their obligation to bear half the deficit might assume a large proportion... compelled them to bestow greater vigilance than they would otherwise have done.
  22. • What was an advantage to the Imperial treasury was drawback. Owing to the short durations ... (the Provincial Governments) could not adopt a definite financial policy, for they feared that the new terms on renewal might compel them either to give up the policy or modify it so seriously as to prejudice its results... this was just the flaw that deteriorated the sound working of provincial finance.
  23. • Beneficial as far as it went, this time-bar was found to exercise a most pernicious influence on Provincial Finance. Under (the five yearly) system (the Provincial governments) ... were parsimonious in the first few years lest their expenditure should prove too much for their revenues, and extravagant in the last few years lest their expenditure should shrink below the standard and leave large margins to be cancelled by the Government of India.
  24. • Increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration and the gradual development of self-governing institutions, with a view to the progressive realization of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British Empire.
  25. • Again under the income tax holders of income below a certain minimum are exempted from levy. But under the land revenue the tax is remorselessly collected from everyone, be he rich or poor.
Constitutional thoughts
  1. • It may say so, and I say it with a certain amount of pride the constitution which has been to this country is a wonderful document. It has been said so not by myself, but many people, many other students of the constitution. It is the simplest and easiest. Many, many publishers have written to me to write a commentary on this constitution, promising a good sum. But I have always told them that to write a commentary on this constitution is to admit that the constitution is bad one and an un-understandable one. It is not so. anyone who can follow English can understand the constitution. No commentary is necessary.
  2. • We build a temple for a God to come in and reside, but before the God could be installed, the devil had taken possession of it, what else could we do except destroyed the temple? We do not intend that it should be occupied by the Asuras. We intended it to be occupied by the Devas. That is the reason why I said I would rather like to burnt it.
  3. • If every time this parliament is to be subjected to the vote of the ignorant people outside, who do not know the ABC of the technicalities of the law, this parliament will have to be suspended. It would be much better not to have a Parliament at all !
  4. • No constitution will be workable which is not acceptable to the majority of the people... Let the consent of the people and not the accident of logic be the touchstone of your new constitution, if you desire that it should be worked.
  5. • In the Constitution of that machine certain hard facts of Indian social life must not be lost sight of. It must be recognised that Indian society is a gradation of castes forming an ascending scale of reverence and a descending scale of contempt - a system which gives no scope for the growth of that sentiment of equality and fraternity so essential for a democratic form of Government.
  6. • The directive principles have a great value, for they lay down that our ideal is economic democracy. Because we did not want merely a parliamentary form of Government to be instituted through the various mechanisms provided in the Constitution, without any direction as to what our economic ideal, as to what our social order ought to be, we deliberately included the Directive Principles in our Constitution.
  7. • My definition of democracy is 'A form and method of Government whereby revolutionary changes in the economic and social life of the people are brought about without bloodshed. If democracy can enable those who are running it to bring about fundamental changes in the social and economic life of the people and the people accept those changes without restoring to bloodshed, then I say, there is democracy.'
Thoughts on Labours
  1. • The country needs a lead and the question who can give this lead. I venture to say that Labour is capable of giving to the country the lead it needs. Correct leadership apart from other things, requires idealism and free thought. Idealism is possible for the Aristocracy, though free thought is not. Idealism and free thought are both possible for Labour. But neither idealism nor free thought is possible for the middle-class. The middle class does not possess the liberality of the aristocracy which is necessary to welcome and nourish an ideal. It does not possess the hunger for the New Order, which is the hope on which the labouring classes live. Labour, therefore, has a very distinct contribution to make in bringing about a return to the sane and safe ways of the past which Indians had been pursuing to reach their political destiny. Labour's lead to India and Indians is to get into the fight and be united. The fruits of victory will be Independence and a new Social Order. For such a victory all must fight. Then the fruits of victory will be the patrimony of all, and their will be none to deny the rights of a united India to share in that patrimony.
  2. • Labour's creed is internationalism. Labour is interested in nationalism only because the wheels of democracy such as representative parliaments, responsible Executive, constitutional conventions, etc.- work better in a community united by national sentiments. Nationalism to labour is only a means to an end. It is not an end in itself to which labour can agree to sacrifice what is regarded as the most essential principal of life.
  3. • I have heard labour leaders speaking against capitalism. But I never heard any labour leaders speaking against Brahmanism amongst workers. On the other hand their silence on this point is quite conspicuous.
Thoughts  on M. K. Gandhi
  1. • The Mahatma has been claiming that the Congress stands for the Depressed Classes and that the Congress represents the Depressed Classes and that my colleagues can do. To that claim, I can only say that it is one of the many false claims which irresponsible people keep on making, although the person concerned with regard to those claims have been invariably denying them.
  2. • Gandhi’s voice is only one against many. They may be small fry and the Mahatma may be speaking on behalf of a most influential organization. To my mind the Mahatma should have brought a strong contingent of representatives of the nationalist sections of the great minorities. Then they would have been able to speak in reply to such people as are criticizing him today.
  3. • Unfortunately, the Congress chose Mr. Gandhi as its representative. A worse person could not have been chosen to guide India’s destiny. As a unifying force he was a failure. Mr. Gandhi presents himself as a man full of humility. But his behaviour at the Round Table Conference showed that in the flush of victory Mr. Gandhi could be very petty-minded. As a result of his successful compromise with the Government just before he came, Mr. Gandhi treated the whole non-Congress delegation with contempt. He insulted them whenever as occasion furnished him with an excuse by openly telling them that they were nobodies and that he alone, as the delegate of the Congress, represented the country instead of unifying the delegation, Mr. Gandhi, widened the breach. From the point of view of knowledge, Mr. Gandhi proved himself to be a very ill equipped person. On the many constitutional and communal questions with which the Conference was confronted, Mr. Gandhi had many platitudes to utter but no views or suggestions of a constructive character to offer.
  4. • I am described as a traitor by Congressmen because I oppose Gandhi. I am not at all perturbed by this charge. It is baseless, false and malicious. But it was a great shock to the world that Gandhi himself should have sponsored violent opposition to the breaking of your shackles. I am confident that the future generations of Hindus will appreciate my services when they study the history of the Round Table Conference.
  5. • It would have been justifiable if Mr. Gandhi had resorted to this extreme step for obtaining independence for the country on which he was so insistent all through the Round Table Conference debates. It is also a painful surprise that Mr. Gandhi should have singled out special representation for the Depressed Classes in the Communal Award as an excuse for his self-immolation. Separate electorates are granted not only to the Depressed Classes but to the Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians and Europeans as well as to Mohammedan and Sikhs.
  6. • The Mahatma is not an immortal person, nor the Congress, assuming that it is not a malevolent force and is not to have an abiding existence. There have been many Mahatmas in India whose sole object was to remove Untouchability and to elevate and absorb the Depressed Classes, but every one of them has failed in his mission. Mahatmas have come and Mahatmas have gone. But the Untouchables have remained as Untouchables.
  7. • It has fallen to my lot to be the villain of the piece. But I tell you I shall not deter from my pious duty, and betray the just and legitimate interests of my people even if you hand me on the nearest lamp-post in the street. You better appeal to Gandhi to postpone his fast about a week and then seek for the solution of the problem.
  8. • The first source of confusion is the temperament of the Mahatma. He was almost in everything the simplicity of the child with the child’s capacity for self-deception like a child he can believe in anything, he wants to believe… The second source of confusion is the double role, which Mahatma wants to play of a Mahatma and a politician. As Mahatma he may be trying to spiritualize politics, whether he has succeeded in it not. Politics have certainly commercialized him

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Does Hinduism recognize Equality?

The question instantaneously brings to one's mind the caste system. One striking feature of the caste system is that the different castes do not stand as an horizontal series all on the same plane. It is a system in which the different castes are placed in a vertical series one above the other. Manu may not be responsible for the creation of caste. Manupreached the sanctity of the Varna and as I have shown Varna is the parent of caste. In that sense Manu can be charged with being the progenitor if not the author of the Caste System. Whatever be the case as to the guilt of Manu regarding the Caste System there can be no question that Manu is responsible for upholding the principle of gradation and rank.

In the scheme of Manu the Brahmin is placed at the first in rank. Below him is the Kshatriya. Below Kshatriya is the Vaishya. Below Vaishya is the Shudra and Below Shudra is the Ati-Shudra (the Untouchables). This system of rank and gradation is, simply another way of enunciating the principle of inequality so that it may be truly said that Hinduism does not recognize equality. This inequality in status is not merely the inequality that one sees in the warrant of precedence prescribed for a ceremonial gathering at a King's Court. It is a permanent social relationship among the classes to be observed— to be enforced—at all times in all places and for all purposes. It will take too long to show how in every phase of life Manu has introduced and made inequality the vital force of life. But I will illustrate it by taking a few examples such as slavery, marriage and Rule of Law.

Manu recognizes[f15] Slavery. But he confined it to the Shudras. Only Shudras could be made slaves of the three higher classes. But the higher classes could not be the slaves of the Shudra.

But evidently practice differed from the law of Manu and not only Shudras happened to become slaves but members of the other three classes also become slaves. When this was discovered to be the case a new rule was enacted by a Successor of Manu namely Narada[f16]. This new rule of Narada runs as follows :

V 39. In the inverse order of the four castes slavery is not ordained except where a man violates the duties peculiar to his caste. Slavery (in that respect) is analogous to the condition of a wife."

Recognition of slavery was bad enough. But if the rule of slavery had been left free to take its own course it would have had at least one beneficial effect. It would have been a levelling force. The foundation of caste would have been destroyed. For under it a Brahmin might have become the slave of the Untouchable and the Untouchable would have become the master of the Brahmin. But it was seen that unfettered slavery was an equalitarian principle and an attempt was made to nullify it. Manu and his successors therefore while recognising slavery ordain that it shall not be recognised in its inverse order to the Varna System. That means that a Brahmin may become the slave of another Brahmin. But he shall not be the slave of a person of another Varna i.e. of the Kshatriya,Vaishya, Shudra, or Ati-Shudra. On the other hand a Brahmin may hold as his slave any one belonging to the four Varnas. A Kshatriya can have a Kshatriya, Vaisha, Shudra and Ati-Shudra as his slaves but not one who is a Brahmin. A Vaishya can have a Vaishya, Shudra and Ati-Shudra as his slaves but not one who is a Brahmin or a Kshatriya. A Shudra can hold a Shudra and Ati-shudra can hold an Ati-Shudra as his slave but not one who is a Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya or Shudra.

Consider Manu on marriage. Here are his rules governing intermarriage among the different classes. Manu says :—-

III. 12. "For the first marriage of the twice born classes, a woman of the same class is recommended but for such as are impelled by inclination to marry again, women in the direct order of the classes are to be preferred."

III. 13. "A Shudra woman only must be the wife of Shudra: she and a Vaisya, of a Vaisya; they two and a Kshatriya, of a Kshatriya; those two and a Brahmani of a Brahman."

Manu is of course opposed to intermarriage. His injunction is for each class to marry within his class. But he does recognize marriage outside the defined class. Here again he is particularly careful not to allow intermarriage to do harm to his principle of inequality among classes. Like Slavery he permits intermarriage but not in the inverse order. A Brahmin when marrying outside his class may marry any woman from any of the classes below him. A Kshatriya is free to marry a woman from the two classes next below him namely the Vaishya and Shudra but must not marry a woman from the Brahmin class which is above him. A Vaishya is free to marry a woman from the Shudra Class which is next below him. But he cannot marry a woman from the Brahmin and the Kshatriya Class which are above him.

Why this discrimination? The only answer is that Manu was most anxious to preserve the rule of inequality which was his guiding principle.

Take Rule of Law. Rule of Law is generally understood to mean equality before law. Let any one interested to know what Manu has to say on the point ponder over the following Rules extracted from his code which for easy understanding I have arranged under distinct headings.

As to witnesses.—According to Manu they are to be sworn as follows :

VIII. 87. "In the forenoon let the judge, being purified, severally call on the twice-born, being purified also, to declare the truth, in the presence of some image, a symbol of the divinity and of Brahmins, while the witnesses turn their faces either to the north or to the east."

VIII. 88. "To a Brahman he must begin with saying, `Declare ; to a Kshatriya, with saying, ' Declare the truth '; to a Vaisya, with comparing perjury to the crime of stealing kine,grain or gold ; to a Sudra, with comparing it in some or all of the following sentences, to every crime that men can commit.".

VIII. 113. "Let the judge cause a priest to swear by his veracity ; a soldier, by his horse, or elephant, and his weapons ; a merchant, by his kine, grain, and gold ; a mechanic or servile man, by imprecating on his own head, if he speak falsely, all possible crimes ;"

Manu also deals with cases of witnesses giving false evidence. According to Manu giving false evidence is a crime, says Manu :

VIII. 122. "Learned men have specified these punishments, which were ordained by sage legislators for perjured witnesses, with a view to prevent a failure of justice and to restrain iniquity."

VIII. 123. "Let a just prince banish men of the three lower classes, if they give false evidence, having first levied the fine ; but a Brahman let him only banish." But Manu made one exception :

VIII. 1 12. "To women, however, at a time of dalliance, or on a proposal of marriage, in the case of grass or fruit eaten by a cow, of wood taken for a sacrifice, or of a promise made for the preservation of a Brahman, it is deadly sin to take a light oath." As parties to proceedings—Their position can be illustrated by quoting the ordinances of Manu relating to a few of the important criminal offences dealt with by Manu. Take the offence of Defamation. Manu says :

VIII. 267. "A soldier, defaming a priest, shall be fined a hundred panas, a merchant, thus offending, an hundred and fifty, or two hundred; but, for such an offence, a mechanic or servile man shall be shipped."

III. 268. "A priest shall be fined fifty, if he slander a soldier; twenty five, if a merchant ; and twelve, if he slander a man of the servile class." Take the offence of Insult—Manu says:—

VIII. 270. "A once born man, who insults the twice-born with gross invectives, ought to have his tongue slit ; for he sprang from the lowest part of Brahma."

VIII. 271. "If he mention their names and classes with contumely, as if he say, "Oh Devadatta, though refuse of Brahmin", an iron style, ten fingers long, shall be thrust red into his mouth."

VIII. 272. "Should he, through pride, give instruction to priests concerning their duty, let the king order some hot oil to be dropped into his mouth and his ear." Take the offence of Abuse—Manu says :

VIII. 276. "For mutual abuse by a priest and a soldier, this fine must be imposed by a learned king; the lowest amercement on the priest, and the middle-most on the soldier."

VIII. 277. "Such exactly, as before mentioned, must be the punishment a merchant and a mechanic, in respect of their several classes, except the slitting of the tongue ; this is a fixed rule of punishment. " Take the offence of Assault—Manu propounds :

VIII. 279. "With whatever member a low-born man shall assault or hurt a superior, even that member of his must be slit, or cut more or less in proportion to the injury ; this is an ordinance of Manu."

VIII. 280. "He who raises his hand or a staff against another, shall have his hand cut ; and he, who kicks another in wrath, shall have an incision made in his foot." Take the offence of Arrogance—According to Manu:—

VIII. 28). "A man of the lowest class, who shall insolently place himself on the same seat with one of the highest, shall either be banished with a mark on his hinder parts, or the king, shall cause a gash to be made on his buttock."

VIII. 282. "Should he spit on him through price, the king shall order both his lips to be gashed; should he urine on him, his penis: should he break wing against him, his anus."

VIII. 283. "If he seize the Brahman by the locks, or by the feet, or by the beard, or by the throat, or by the scrotum, let the king without hesitation cause incisions to be made in his hands." Take the offence of Adultery. Says Manu:—

VIII. 359. "A man of the servile class, who commits actual adultery with the wife of a priest, ought to suffer death; the wives, indeed, of all the four classes must ever be most especially guarded."

VIII. 366. "A low man, who makes love to a damsel of high birth, ought to be punished corporal; but he who addresses a maid of equal rank, shall give the nuptial present and marry her, if her father please."

VIII. 374. "A mechanic or servile man, having an adulterous connection with a woman of a twice-born class, whether guarded at home or unguarded, shall thus be punished ; if she was unguarded, he shall lose the part offending, and his whole substance ; if guarded, and a priestess, every thing, even his life."

VIII. 375. "For adultery with a guarded priestess, a merchant shall forfeit all his wealth after imprisonment for a year; a soldier shall be fined a thousand panas, and he be shaved with the urine of an ass."

VIII. 376. "But, if a merchant or soldier commit adultery with a woman of the sacerdotal class, whom her husband guards not at home, the king shall only fine the merchant five hundred, and the soldier a thousand;”

VIII. 377. "Both of them, however, if they commit that offence with a priestess not only guarded but eminent for good qualities, shall be punished like men of the servile class, or be burned in a fire of dry grass or reeds."

VIII. 382. "If a merchant converse criminally with a guarded woman of the military, or a soldier with one of the mercantile class, they both deserve the same punishment as in the case of a priestess unguarded."

VIII. 383. "But a Brahman, who shall commit adultery with a guarded woman of those two classes, must be fined a thousand panas; and for the life offence with a guarded woman of the servile class, the fine of a soldier or a merchant shall be also one thousand."

VIII. 384. "For adultery with a woman of the military class, if guarded, the fine of a merchant is five hundred ; but a soldier, for the converse of that offence, must be shaved with urine, or pay the fine just mentioned."

VIII. 385. "A priest shall pay five hundred panas if he connect himself criminally with an unguarded woman of the military, commercial, or servile class, and a thousand, for such a connection with a woman of a vile mixed breed."

Turning to the system of punishment for offences Manu's Scheme throws an interesting light on the subject. Consider the following ordinances :

VIII. 379. "Ignominious tonsure is ordained, instead of capital punishment, for an adulterer of the priestly class, where the punishment of other classes may extend to Loss of life."

VIII. 380. "Never shall the king slay a Brahman, though convicted of all possible crimes ; let him banish the offender from his realm, but with all his property secure, and his body unhurt."

XI. 127. "For killing intentionally a virtuous man of the military class, the penance must be a fourth part of that ordained for killing a priest ; for killing a Vaisya, only an eighth, for killing a Sudra, who had been constant in discharging his duties, a sixteenth part."

XI. 128. "But, if a Brahmen kill a Kshatriya without malice, he must, after a full performance of his religious rites, give the priests one bull together with a thousand cows."

XI. 129. "Or he may perform for three years the penance for slaying a Brahmen, mortifying his organs of sensation and action, letting his hair grow long, and living remote from the town, with the root of a tree for his mansion."

XI. 130. "If he kill without malice a Vaisya, who had a good moral character, he may perform the same penance for one year, or give the priests a hundred cows and a bull."

XI. 131. "For six months must he perform this whole penance, if without intention he kill a Sudra; or he may give ten white cows and a bull to the priests."

VIII. 381. "No greater crime is known on earth than slaying a Brahman; and the king, therefore, must not even form in his mind an idea of killing a priest."

VIII. 126. "Let the king having considered and ascertained the frequency of a similar offence, the place and time, the ability of the criminal to pay or suffer and the crime itself, cause punishment to fall on those alone, who deserves it."

VIII. 124. "Manu, son of the Self-existent, has named ten places of punishment, which are appropriated to the three lower classes, but a Brahman must depart from the realm unhurt in any one of them."

VIII. 125. "The part of generation, the belly, the tongue, the two hands, and, fifthly, the two feet, the eye, the nose, both ears, the property, and, in a capital case, the whole body."How strange is the contrast between Hindu and Non-Hindu criminal jurisprudence? How inequality is writ large in Hinduism as seen in its criminal jurisprudence? In a penal code charged with the spirit of justice we find two things—a section dealing defining the crime and a prescribing a rational form of punishment for breach of it and a rule that all offenders are liable to the same penalty. In Manu what do we find? First an irrational system of punishment. The punishment for a crime is inflicted on the organ concerned in the crime such as belly, tongue, nose, eyes, ears, organs of generation etc., as if the offending organ was a sentient being having a will for its own and had not been merely a servitor of human being. Second feature of Manu's penal code is the inhuman character of the punishment which has no proportion to the gravity of the offence. But the most striking feature of Manu's Penal Code which stands out in all its nakedness is the inequality of punishment for the same offence. Inequality designed not merely to punish the offender but to protect also the dignity and to maintain the baseness of the parties coming to a Court of Law to seek justice in other words to maintain the social inequality on which his whole scheme is founded.

So far I have taken for illustrations such matters as serve to show * how Manu has ordained social inequality. I now propose to take other matters dealt with by Manu in order to illustrate that Manu has also ordained Religious inequality. These are matters which are connected with what are called sacraments and Ashrams.

The Hindus like the Christians believe in sacraments. The only difference is that the Hindus have so many of them that even the Roman Catholic Christians would be surprised at the extravagant number observed by the Hindus. Originally their number was forty and covered the most trivial as well as the most important occasions in I a person's life. First they were reduced to twenty. Later on it was reduced to sixteen[f17] and at that figure the sacraments of the Hindus have remained stabilized.

Before I explain how at the core of these rules of sacraments there lies the spirit of inequality the reader must know what the rules are. It is impossible to examine all. It will be enough if I deal with a few of them. I will take only three categories of them, those relating with Initiation, Gayatri and Daily Sacrifices.

First as to Initiation. This initiation is effected by the investitute of a person with the sacred thread. The following are the most important rules of Manu regarding the sacrament of investiture.

II. 36. "In the eighth year from the conception of a Brahman, in the eleventh from that of a Kshatriya, and in the twelfth from that of a Vaisya, let the father invest the child with the mark of his class."

II. 37. "Should a Brahman, or his father for him, be desirous of his advancement in sacred knowledge ; a Kshatriya, of extending his power; or a Vaisya of engaging in mercantile business; the investitute may be made in the fifth, sixth, or eighth years respectively."

II. 38. "The ceremony of investitute hallowed by the Gayatri must not be delayed, in the case of a priest, beyond the sixteenth year ; nor in that of a soldier, beyond the twenty second ; nor in that of a merchant, beyond the twenty fourth."

II. 39. "After that, all youths of these three classes, who have not been invested at the proper time, become vratyas, or outcasts, degraded from the Gayatri, and condemned by the virtuous."

II. 147. "Let a man consider that as a mere human birth, which his parents gave him for their mutual gratification, and which he receives after lying in the womb."

II. 148. "But that birth which his principal acharya, who knows the whole Veda, procures for him by his divine mother the Gayatri, is a true birth ; that birth is exempt from age and from death."

II. 169. "The first birth is from a natural mother; the second, from the ligation of the zone ; the third from the due performance of the sacrifice ; such are the births of him who is usually called twice-born, according to a text of the Veda."

II. 170. "Among them his divine birth is that, which is distinguished by the ligation of the zone, and sacrificial cord ; and in that birth the Gayatri is his mother, and the Acharya, his father." Then let me come to Gayatri. It is a Mantra or an invocation of special spiritual efficacy. Manu explains what it is. II. 76. "Brahma milked out, as it were, from the threeVedas, the letter A, the letter U, and the letter M which form by their coalition the triliteral monosyllable, together with three mysterious words, bhur,bhuvah,swer, or earth, sky, heaven."

II. 77. "From the three Vedas, also the Lord of creatures, incomprehensibly exalted, successively milked out the three measures of that ineffable text, be ginning with the word tad, and entitled Savitri or Gayatri."

II. 78. "A priest who shall know the Veda, and shall pronounce to himself, both morning and evening, that syllable and that holy text preceded by the three words, shall attain the sanctity which the Veda confers."

II. 79. "And a twice born man, who shall a thousand times repeat those three (or om, the vyahritis, and the gayatri,) apart from the multitude, shall be released in a month even from a great offence, as a snake from his slough."

II. 80. "The priest, the soldier, and the merchant, who shall neglect this mysterious text, and fail to perform in due season his peculiar acts of piety, shall meet with contempt among the virtuous."

11.81 "The great immutable words, preceded by the triliteral syllable, and followed by the Gayatri which consists of three measures, must be considered as the mouth, or principal part of the Veda."

II. 82. "Whoever shall repeat, day by day, for three years, without negligence, that sacred text, shall hereafter approach the divine essence, move as freely as air, and assume an ethereal form."

II. 83. "The triliteral monosyllable is an emblem of the Supreme, the suppressions of breath with a mind fixed on God are

the highest devotion ; but nothing is more exalted than the gayatri ; a declaration of truth is more excellent than silence."

II. 84. "All rights ordained in the Veda, oblations to fire, and solemn sacrifices pass away; but that which passes not away, is declared to be the sylableom, thence calledacshare ; since it is a symbol of God, the Lord of created beings."

II. 85. "The act of repeating his Holy Name is ten times better than the appointed sacrifice: an hundred times better when it is heard by no man ; and a thousand times better when it is purely mental."

II. 86. "The four domestic sacraments which are accompanied with the appointed sacrifice, are not equal, though all be united, to a sixteenth part of the sacrifice performed by a repetition of the gayatri." Now to the Daily Sacrifices.

III. 69. "For the sake of expiating offences committed ignorantly in those places mentioned in order, the five great sacrifices were appointed by eminent sages to be performed each day by such as keep house."

III. 70. "Teaching (and studying) the scripture is the sacrifice to the Veda; offering cakes and water, the sacrifice to the Manes, an oblation to fire, the sacrifice to the Deities; giving rice or other food to living creatures, the sacraments of spirits; receiving guests with honour, the sacrifice to men."

III. 71. "Whoever omits not those five great sacrifices, if he has ability to perform them, is untainted by the sons of the five slaughtering places, even though he constantly resides at home."

Turning to the Ashramas. The Ashram theory is a peculiar feature of the philosophy of Hinduism. It is not known to have found a place in the teachings of any other religion. According to the Ashram theory life is to be divided into four stages called Brahmachari,Grahastha, Vanaprastha and Sannyas. In the Brahamachari stage a person is unmarried and devotes his time to the study and education. After this stage is over he enters the stage of a Grahastha i.e. he marries, rears a family and attends to his worldlywelfare. Thereafter he enters the third stage and is then known as a Vanaprastha. As a Vanaprastha he dwells in the forest as a hermit but without severing his ties with his family or without abandoning his rights to his worldly goods. Then comes the fourth and the last stage--that of Sannyas—which means complete renunciation of the world in search of God. The two stages of Braharnchari and Grahastha are natural enough. The two last stages are only recommendatory. There is no compulsion about them. All that Manu lays down is as follows:

VI. 1. A twice born who has thus lived according to the law in the order of householders, may, taking a firm resolution and keeping his organs in subjection, dwell in the forest, duly (observing the rules given below.)

VI. 2. When a householder sees his (skin) wrinkled, and (his hair) white, and the sons of his son, then he may resort to the forest.

VI. 3. Abandoning all food raised by cultivation, all his belongings, he may depart into the forest, either committing his wife to his sons, or accompanied by her.

VI. 33. But having passed the third pan of (a man's natural term of) life in the forest, he may live as an ascetic during the fourth part of his existence, after abandoning all attachment to worldly objects.

The inequality embodied in these rules is real although it may not be quite obvious. Observe that all these sacraments and Ashramas are confined to the twice-born. TheShudras are excluded[f18] from their benefit. Manu of course has no objection to their undergoing the forms of the ceremonies. But he objects to their use of the Sacred Mantras in the performance of the ceremonies. On this Manu says: — X. 127. "Even Shudras, who were anxious to perform (heir entire duty, and knowing what they should perform, imitate the practice of good men in the household sacraments, but without any holy text, except those containing praise and salutation, are so far from sinning, that they acquire just applause." See the following text of Manu for women: — -

II. 66. "The same ceremonies, except that of the sacrificial thread, must be duly performed for women at the same age and in the same order, that the body may be made perfect; but without any text from the Veda."

Why does Manu prohibit the Shudras from the benefit of the Sacraments? His interdict against the Shudras becoming a Sannyasi is a puzzle. Sannyas means and involves renunciation, abandonment of worldly object. In legal language Sannyas is interpreted as being equivalent to civil death. So that when a man becomes a Sannyasi he is treated as being dead from that moment and his heir succeeds immediately. This would be the only consequence, which would follow if a Shudra become a Sannyasi. Such a consequence could hurt nobody except the Shudra himself. Why then this interdict? The issue is important and I will quote Manu to explain the significance and importance of the Sacraments and Sannyas. Let us all ponder over the following relevant texts of Manu :

II. 26. With holy rites, prescribed by the Veda, must the ceremony on conception and other sacraments be performed for twice-born men, which sanctify the body and purify (from sin) in this (life) and after death.

II. 28. By the study of the Veda, by vows, by burnt oblations, by (the recitation of) sacred texts, by the (acquisition of the) three sacred Vedas, by offering (to the gods Rishis and Manes), by (the procreation of) sons, by the Great Sacrifices, and by (Srauta) rites this (human) body is made fit for (union with) Bramha. This is the aim and object of theSamscaras.Manu also explains the aim and object of Sannyas.

VI. 81. He (the Sannyasi) who has in this manner gradually given up all attachments and is freed from all the pairs (of opposites), reposes in Brahman alone.

VI. 85. A twice born man who becomes an ascetic, after the successive performance of the above-mentioned acts, shakes off sin here below and reaches the highest Brahman. From these texts it is clear that according to Manu himself the object of the sacraments is to sanctify the body and purify it from sin in this life and hereafter and to make it fit for union with God. According to Manu the object of Sannyas to reach and repose in God. Yet Manu says that the sacraments and Sannyas are the privileges of the higher classes. They are not open totheShudra. Why? Does not a Shudra need sanctification of his body, purification of his soul? •Does not a Shudra need to have an aspiration to reach God? Manu probably would have answered these questions in the affirmative. Why did he then make such rules. The answer is that he was a staunch believer in social inequality and he knew the danger of admitting religious Equality. If I am equal before God why am I not equal on earth? Manu was probably terrified by this question. Rather than admit and allow religious equality to affect social inequality he preferred to deny religious equality.

Thus in Hinduism you will find both social inequality and religious inequality imbedded in its philosophy.

To prevent man from purifying himself from sin!! To prevent man from getting near to God!! To any rational person such rules must appear to be abnominal and an indication of a perverse mind. It is a glaring instance of how Hinduism is a denial not only of equality but how it is denial of the sacred character of human personality.

This is not all. For Manu does not stop with the non-recognition of human personality. He advocates a deliberate debasement of human personality. I will take only two instances to illustrate this feature of the philosophy of Hinduism.

All those who study the Caste System are naturally led to inquire into the origin of it. Manu being the progenitor of Caste had to give an explanation of the origin of the various castes. What is the origin which Manu gives? His explanation is simple. He says that leaving aside the four original castes the rest are simply baseborn!! He says they are the progeny of fornication and adultery between men and women of the four original castes. The immorality and looseness of character among men and women of the four original castes must have been limitless to account for the rise of innumerable castes consisting of innumerable souls!! Manu makes the wild allegation without stopping to consider what aspersions he is casting upon men and women of the four original castes. For if the chandals—the old name for the Untouchables—are the progeny of a Brahman female and aShudra male then it is obvious that to account for such a large number of Chandals it must be assumed that every Brahman woman was slut and a whore and every Shudra lived an adulterous life with complete abandon. Manu in his mad just for debasing the different castes by ascribing to them an ignoble origin seems deliberately to pervert historical facts. I will give only two illustrations. Take Manu's origin of Magadha and Vaidehik and compare it with the origin of the same castes as given by Panini the great Grammarian. Manu says that Magadha is a caste which is born from sexual intercourse between Vaishya male and Kshatriya female. Manu says that Vaidehik is a caste which is born from sexual intercourse between a Vaishya male and a Brahmin female. Now turn to Panini. Panini says that Magadha means a person who is resident of the country known asMagadha. As to Vaidehik Panini says that Vaidehik means a person who is resident of the country known as Videha. What a contrast!! How cruel it is. Panini lived not later than 300 B.C. Manu lived about 200A.D. How is it that people who bore no stigma in the time of Panini became so stained in the hands of Manu? The answer is that Manu was bent on debasing them. Why Manu was bent on deliberately debasing people is a task which is still awaiting exploration[f19] In the meantime we have the strange contrast that while Religion everywhere else is engaged in the task of raising and ennobling mankind Hinduism is busy in debasing and degrading it.

The other instance I want to use for illustrating the spirit of debasement which is inherent in Hinduism pertains to rules regarding the naming of a Hindu child.

The names among Hindus fall into four classes. They are either connected with (i) family deity (ii) the month in which the child is born (iti) with the planets under which a child is born or (iv) are purely temporal i.e. connected with business. According to Manu the temporal name of a Hindu should consist of two parts and Manu gives directions as to what the first and the second part should denote. The second part of a Brahmin's name shall be a word implying happiness ; of a Kshatriya's a word implying protection; of a Vaishya'sa term expressive of prosperity and of a Shudra's an expression denoting service. Accordingly the Brahmins have Sharma (happiness) or Deva (God), the Kshatriyas have Raja(authority) or Verma (armour), the Vaishyas have Gupta (gifts) or Datta (Giver) and the Shudras have Das (service) for the second part of their names. As to the first part of their names Manu says that in the case of a Brahmin it should denote something auspicious, in the case of a Kshatriya something connected with power, in the case of a Vaishyasomething connected with wealth. But in the case of a Shudra Manu says the first part of his name should denote something contemptible!! Those who think that such a philosophy is incredible would like to know the exact reference. For their satisfaction I am reproducing the following texts from Manu. Regarding the naming ceremony Manu says :—

II. 30. Let (the father perform or) cause to be performed the namadheya (the rite of naming the child), on the tenth or twelfth (day after birth), or on a lucky lunar day, in a luckymuhurta under an auspicious constellation.

II. 31. Let (the first part of) a Brahman's name (denote) something auspicious, a Kshatriya's name be connected with power, and a Vaishya's with wealth, but a Shudra's (express something) contemptible.

II. 32. (The second part of) a Brahman's (name) shall be (a word) implying happiness, of a Kshatriya's (a word) implying protection, of a Vaishya's (a term) expressive of thriving, and of a Shudra's (an expression) denoting service.

Manu will not tolerate the Shudra to have the comfort of a high sounding name. He must be contemptible both in fact and in name.

Enough has been said to show how Hinduism is a denial of equality both social as well as religious and how it is also a degradation of human personality. Does Hinduism recognise liberty?

Liberty to be real must be accompanied by certain social conditions[f20].

In the first place there should be social equality. "Privilege tilts the balance of social action in favour of its possessors. The more equal are the social rights of citizens, the more able they are to utilise their freedom… If liberty is to move to its appointed end it is important that there should be equality."

In the second place there must be economic security. "A man may be free to enter any vocation he may choose. ... Yet if he is deprived of security in employment he becomes a prey of mental and physical servitude incompatible with the very essence of liberty.... The perpetual fear of the morrow, its haunting sense of impending disaster, its fitful search for happiness and beauty which perpetually eludes, shows that without economic security, liberty is not worth having. Men may well be free and yet remain unable to realise the purposes of freedom".

In the third place there must be knowledge made available to all. In the complex world man lives at his peril and he must find his way in it without losing his freedom.

"There can, under these conditions, be no freedom that is worthwhile unless the mind is trained to use its freedom. (Given this fact) the right of man to education becomes fundamental to his freedom. Deprive a man of knowledge and you will make him inevitably the slave of those more fortunate than himself.... deprivation of knowledge is a denial of the power to use liberty for great ends. An ignorant man may be free. ... (But) he cannot employ his freedom so as to give him assurance of happiness."

Which of these conditions does Hinduism satisfy? How Hinduism is a denial of equality has already been made clear. It upholds privilege and inequality. Thus in Hinduism the very first collection for liberty is conspicuous by its absence.

Regarding economic security three things shine out in Hinduism. In the first place Hinduism denies freedom of a vocation. In the Scheme ofManu each man has his avocation preordained for him before he is born. Hinduism allows no choice. The occupation being preordained it has no relation to capacity nor to inclination.

In the second place Hinduism compels people to serve ends chosen by others. Manu tells the Shudra that he is born to serve the higher classes. He exhorts him to make that his ideal. Observe the following rules lay down by Manu.

X. 121. If a Shudra (unable to subsist by serving Brahmanas) seeks a livelihood, he may serve Kshatriyas, or he may also seek to maintain himself by attending on a wealthyVaishya.

X. 122. But let a Shudra serve Brahmans....

Manu does not leave the matter of acting upto the ideal to the Shudra. He goes a step further and provides that the Shudra does not escape or avoid his destined task. For one of the duties enjoined by Manu upon the King is to see that all castes including the Shudra to discharge their appointed tasks.

VIII. 410. "The king should order each man of the mercantile class to practice trade, or money lending, or agriculture and attendance on cattle ; and each man of the servile class to act in the service of the twice born."

VIII. 418. "With vigilant care should the king exert himself in compelling merchants and mechanics to perform their respective duties ; for, when such men swerve from their duty, they throw this world into confusion."

Failure to maintain was made an offence in the King punishable at Law.

VIII. 335. "Neither a father, nor a preceptor, nor a friend, nor a mother, nor a wife, nor a son, nor a domestic priest must be left unpunished by the King, if they adhere not with firmness to their duty."

VIII. 336. "Where another man of lower birth would be fined one pana, the king shall be fined a thousand, and he shall give the fine to the priests, or cast it into the river, this is a sacred rule." These rules have a two-fold significance, spiritual as well as economic. In the spiritual sense they constitute the gospel of slavery. This may not be quite apparent to those who know slavery only by its legal outward form and not by reference to its inner meaning. With reference to its inner meaning a slave as defined by Plato means a person who accepts from another the purposes which control his conduct. In this sense a slave is not an end in him. He is only a means for filling the ends desired by others. Thus understood the Shudra is a slave. In their economic significance the Rules put an interdict on the economic independence of the Shudra. A Shudra, says Manu, must serve. There may not be much in that to complain of. The wrong however consists in that the rules require him to serve others. He is not to serve himself, which means that he must not strive after economic independence. He must forever remain economically dependent on others. For as Manu says:—

1. 91. One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Shudra to serve meekly even these other three castes. In the third place Hinduism leaves no scope for the Shudra to accumulate wealth. Manu's rules regarding the wages to be paid to the Shudra when employed by the three higher classes are very instructive on this point. Dealing with the question of wages to the Shudras, Manu says :—

X. 124. "They must allot to him (Shudra) out of their own family property a suitable maintenance, after considering his ability, his industry, and the number of those whom he is bound to support."

X. 125. "The remnants of their food must be given to him, as well as their old clothes, the refuse of their grain, and their old household furniture.

This is Manu's law of wages. It is not a minimum wage law. It is a maximum wage law. It was also an iron law fixed so low that there was no fear of the Shudra accumulating wealth and obtaining economic security. But Manu did not want to take chances and he went to the length of prohibiting the Shudra from accumulating property. He says imperatively:—

X. 129. No collection of wealth must be made by a Shudra even though he be able to do it; for a Shudra who has acquired wealth gives pain to Brahmans.

Thus in Hinduism, there is no choice of avocation. There is no economic independence and there is no economic security. Economically, speaking of a Shudra is a precarious thing.

In the matter of the spread of knowledge two conditions are prerequisites. There must be formal education. There must be literacy. Without these two, knowledge cannot spread. Without formal education it is not possible to transmit all the resources and achievements of a complex society. Without formal education the accumulated thought and experience relating to a subject cannot be made accessible to the young and which they will never get if they were left to pick up their training in informal association with others. Without formal education he will not get new perceptions. His horizon will not be widened and he will remain an ignorant slave of his routine work. But formal education involves the establishment of special agencies such as schools, books, planned materials such as studies etc. How can any one take advantage of these special agencies of formal education unless he is literate and able to read and write? The spread of the arts of reading and writing i.e. literacy and formal education go hand in hand. Without the existence of two there can be no spread of knowledge.


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Ambedkar: The Champion of Women

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