DECLINE AND FALL OF BUDDHISM
Depicting Buddha as Hindu by RSS, specially to the international community, and pretending to respect Him, is a stategy to hoodwink the mases, as was done about Ambedkar. The process started long time back by declaring Buddha as an avatara of god in some times around eighth century and finalised till 12th century. Manohar Joshi, the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, writing in the Introduction of Dr. Ambedkar's W&S vol. 16, (1998) does mention Buddha as tenth incarnation of God, knowingly that the Buddhists all over the world do not believe in God, let alone its incarnations. At the same time, an average Brahmin takes a great pride that Buddhism was driven away from this land by Adi- Sankara. They ignore that a non-existent religion can not die.
Declaring the Buddha as ninth avatara of Vishnu, by the Brahmanic Puranas, was meant to cause confusion in the minds of people with the result that Buddhism came to be treated as a "heretical" and "aesthetic" branch of Brahmanism. The modern scholars like Kane, Radhakrishnan, Swami Vivekanand and Tilak, have pushed this confusion further back to the time of origin of Buddhism, by saying that Upanishadas are the origin of Buddhist thought, thus claiming both that Buddhism was just a refined "Hinduism", and also claiming with pride that Buddhism was driven away by the Brahmanas and it has died down,
As a non-existent tradition or way of life can not die, and as the decline of Buddhism in India is a historical fact, the theory of its origin as a "reformed" Brahmanism is false. If Buddhism was a sect of "Hinduism", then one may well ask the proud supporters of Shankaracharya, what was that religion which was "driven out by Adi Sankara", as they claim? Was it also Hinduism? This proves that Buddhism is not a sect of Hinduism, which was nonexistant till Muslim conquest.
Buddhism was the national Religion of India
Buddhism was the first organized religion in the modern sense of the term "religion". It succeeded in driving out the Brahman religion of sacrifices, but gradually succumbed to the influences of the religion of masses, who had by then, set up Buddha's images and started temple worship. The fact that at one time Buddhism was the national religion of India and was followed by the majority of population, is almost ignored. There is a feeling in the minds of many, that India is and was a Hindu country having always had a majority of Hindus. This again is a misconception. In historical times the population of India never had majority of Hindus. Swami Vivekananda, estimated Buddhists to be two thirds of population [L.M.Joshi: 1977: 358] and Dr. Ambedkar says Buddhist were in majority. [W&S, 7, 345] Then there were Jains and Veerashaivas and Tribal religions in addition to Muslims, Sikhs and Christians coming in the later times. Brahmins had lost all the respect of masses as well as princely rulers. They were smarting under this defeat. [Untouchables, W&S vol.7, p.346] They did everything in their power to finish off Buddhism and after Muslim invasion, succeeded in it.
Buddhism was the national religion of India, not only because the Buddha was an Indian, but because it was the source and inspiration of the national awakening of Indian empires and for the first time, united India in a common cultural synthesis and organization and because unlike Brahmanism, which was the religion of the privileged classes, Buddhism was the first religion of the common people, not forced on them, but accepted by their free will and pleasure; and because Buddhism caused progress in science and art, literature and religion, commerce and industry, internal progress and international reputation; and lastly, because no other religion has till this day been able to make India a great nation as Buddhism did. [Swami Dharmatirtha, p. 76]
Brahmins usurped Buddhism
Brahmans became the leaders of Buddhism because of their learning, and first disfigured it thoroughly with ritualism and images, and then destroyed its separate organization of monasteries and monks with the help of the foreign masters who came into power. But the Buddhism of Harsha and Nagarjuna did not disappear, it formed the nucleus of the later Hinduism, superadded with horrors of caste. To become the sole leaders of the country and to enforce their system of castes, has always been the prime motive of Brahmanism, and if Buddhist order of monks and monasteries had survived, the Brahmins could not have achieved this goal. So they completely destroyed the external institution of Buddhism, the monks and monasteries. Brahmins became the undisputed leaders, and a new popular religion, Hinduism, emerged with important aspect of caste, as Dharmatitha observed:
"... Caste is an entirely independent social order which was neither in the ancient Aryan religion nor in primitive Indian religion nor in Buddhism. It is the unique contribution of the Brahman priests, and none else ever wanted it, until the country lost its national religion and political freedom, and the Brahmans succeeded in imposing the system upon the people almost at the point of the bayonet with of alien masters. [Swami Dharmatirtha, p. 110]
Brahmanism does not mean Brahmins alone
As the British Imperialism does not mean the British people and symbolizes a vast system and has numerous votaries among Indians also, Brahmanism, similarly, does not signify the Brahmins exclusively, but an ancient order of things of which the Brahmins are the leaders and champions. It stands for the aggregate of ideals, institutions and past history of the socio-religious constitution of the Hindu society. We have to serve the welfare of the entire nation and not the sentiment of separate castes, though Brahmans, or Kshatriyas or others must accept a larger share of the blame for the disaster which has befallen us all. We have to understand that it is the pernicious system which is throttling us all equally, and is the subject of our criticism. A prominent thinker of Maharashtra, Raosaheb Kasbe, has elaborated the subject by saying that, Brahmins are fortunte that, "Brahmin" is a name of Caste as well as of a "Varna", thereby implying Class, this status being bestowed upon them by Smritis. As a class and as a power structure, Brahmins have developed vested interests. Dalit writers divide the history as Brahmin Vs. non- Brahmin, instead of Vedic Vs. non-Vedic, and when the words having Brahmin as one of their components are used by them to criticise these vested interests, the meaning implied is against the power structure and not agaist the caste. If this is a blameworthy mistake, the mistake is committed by the authors of Smritis, specially "Yama smriti", and they and the later authors desrve the blame. [Kasbe Raosaheb, "hindu muslim prashna aani sawarkara cha hindu rastravaad", (marathi) Sugawa Publ. 1994, p.242 ff.]
Causes of fall of Buddhism
We saw M. M. Kane's views and those of other scholars. Caliber of Vajrayani Buddhists was not the cause, neither was the Tantric practices. Buddhist Siddhas were the forerunners of Bhakti cult, which now Hindus claim to be theirs. In this respect Brahmin books must not be relied upon.
Techniques of imposing slavery over the population by the Brahmins were studied. In present times the struggle is amongs the followers of Phule, Shahu, Ambedkar Versus those of Tilak Gandhi Golwalkar. We saw the Brahmanic tendency to find faults with Buddhism for country's ills, like Sawarkar in his "saha soneri pane" blaming Buddhist Ahimsa and ignorng the real reason being Chaturvarna.
Position of women in ancient india has been studied in detail in Pre-Vedic and Vedic times and Buddhist Doctrines and Laws about them contrasted and Manu's role in their degradation stressed. This continued in Rajput and in middle ages in pre-British times, and got worst during Peshawa rule.
Even today Buddhism is the national Religion of India
We saw how Buddhism was the national religion of India and that it is flourishing even now in the garb of Hinduism with superadded Chaturvarna. We saw Buddhism is not a sect of Hinduism, irrespective of false propaganda of RSS. As Dr. Tulsiram, Associate Proffesor, School of International Studies, JNU and editor of Hindi monthly 'Vishwa Ashvaghosah', observes the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, has organised a number of "World Hindu Buddhist Conferences", at Haridwar, Modi Puram, Sarnath, Rajgir, Buddha Gaya, and Lumbini. At these conferences, it is falsely claimed that since Buddhism is an essential part of Hinduism, those who want to embrace Buddhism should embrace Hinduism directly. Also the text books are manipulated e.g. in a class IX book, the Sangha Parivar's Government in Gujrath has inserted that "the caste system is the greatest gift of Aryans to humankind." One of the reasons of reasserting Sankrit is preservation of caste. He observes:
"... The religion based on caste system has annihilated millions of Dalits over the centuries. About three million Dalit women have been raped and around one million Dalits killed from the time of Independence. This is 25 times more than number of soldiers killed during the wars fought after independence. That is why Dalits do not need Aryan culture or Hindu Dharma based on caste any more. ..." [Dr. Tulsiram, "The Pioneer", 30 Jan. 2000]
Two Orphans of Humanity
Jesus and Buddha were both ignored in their own countries and thus two Orphans in the world of Nations as Swami Dharma Tirtha has compared condition of Indians with Jews. Only that presently, the Jews have progressed, but we did not. Vedantists' claim that Vedanta alone can save the world and humanity has proved false and let alone saving the world, Hindus did not cultivated any superior virtues and ideals, and deny justice and humanity to their own kith and kin. Failure of Socialist Reformers was because they are steeped in the culture of caste and the religion of deception and exploitation. Same is the condition of the so called Nationalists, who only cultivated regionalism and language struggle and a good number of our Socialists and Nationalists turned out to be rank Capitalists and fanatical Communalists. Of many revolutions against Brahmanism, only work of Guru Govind Singh and Sikhism seems to have survived, at least to some extent, being influenced by saints like Kabir and Nanak, all under spirit of Buddhism.
Hindus became Hindus by Conversion
The derogatory sense of the word "Hindu" is forgotten, it is also forgotten that Brahmins did not like to be called as Hindus, not a long time back and that Hindus became Hindus by a sort of mass conversion or mass classification by the Muhammadans, and the various castes acquired their status by a similar process of mass classification behind their backs by the Brahman first and lastly by the British Government by laws made for them. We saw that Hinduism is not a religion in the sense in which Buddhism Muhammadanism and Christianity are. It is a loose conglomeration of castes, which is described by one author as a "grocery shop", where the comodity called "grocery" is not sold. Therefore, all those who are not Muhammadans or Christians are treated as Hindus, where all types of worship is allowed, as long as Brahin supremacy is maintained. Even for these Christians and Mohamedans, Brahmins have plans to incorporate in Hinduism and terms like "Mohemadi Hindus" are already coined for them, and full preparations are going on for its implementation. Also plans are afoot to create new 'Swastika' temples for such "purified" Christians. Thus the vagueness of Hinduism is a virtue for them, and language of Vedanta is the garb of camaflouge of equality, which help in the desire of Brahmin elites to govern the OBCs. Arrogance of Brahmins, who rule Hindus, did not change since the times of Abbe Dobois, neither did their attitude towards women.
Suggestions for nation building
The constructive thoughts and efforts and guiding as to what must be done as advised by Swamiji are summerised in the ability to evolve new ideals and institutions to embody the spirit of the collective life and will and avoid an obstinate clinging to mere existence and past glories. India had been suffering under the two imperialisms, Brahmanical and British placed one above the other, and three tests of Hindu Nationalism should be (1) Opposition to caste, (2) opposition to priestcraft and idolatry, and (3) Inter-religious tolerance and fraternisation. It must be realised that more nationalism persisted in the past before the British arrived, and there was more fellow feeling in teachings of saints, inspired by Buddhism.
Modus operandi of Brahmins to enslave Hindus
That the kalivarjya was the method of brahmins to tackle the Buddhist influence over the masses and impose their supremacy. All laws and rules, were amended including Civil, Criminal, Revenue and Personal laws, without actually condemning them. Who suffered in Kalivarjya were the OBCs due to failure of export of their productions. These are the masses of which Indian society is made of, and it is the need of the day to educate them. The process of emancipation of masses was started by Mahatma Phule, strengthened by Shahu, and put in Indian Constitution by Dr. Ambedkar. Now it is the duty of masses to protect the Constitution, if they want to protect themselves from oncoming Brahmanic tyranny.
Decline and fall of Buddhism
Techniques in causing decline and fall of buddhism, the Caliber of Vajrayani Buddhists, the methods of Brahmanic Conquest by peaceful means, the domestic and sexual invasion in Kerala are discussed, and the role of Shankara explained. Various techniques of Brahmanic controls, the difference between Local and Regional Brahmanism the admission of kings to Varna System, the extension of Varna system, the Extension of Sanskritic deities, the creation and developement of ceremonial and the Sanskritisation of names of places discussed and the social self of Brahmin explained. It was seen how Buddha's Sangha was captured by Brahmins, and how Brahmins destroyed Buddhism from outside also and how Kautilya checked growth of Buddhism and how Buddhism tried to thwart attempts of Brahmanism and how Brahmanism crushed Nationalism.
The foreigners like Shakas, Pahlavas Hunas etc. were assimilated by Buddhist ideals and not the Brahmanic, and the Hindu Muslim Conflict would not have been there if Buddhism was alive at the time of Muslim invasion. We saw the Brahmins had comunications links with foreign forces and that they obtained foreign help to topple kings unwanted for them.
About the conditions at the time of arrival of Europeans, Raja Sekhar Vundru, IAS, former JNU student writes:
"Vasco da Gama landed in 1498 in India, a veritable social hell for the dalits. Dalits feeding on carcasses, lurking like animals in the day with a status worse than an animal and conditions of life worse than a million genocides of a Hitler. The greatness of Dalits lies in their confidence to accept the ultra sub-human existence and breed dasyus, menials, slave, asuras, chandalas and untouchables: unparalleled and unrecorded in the history of world civilizations." [Raja Sekhar Vundru, "The Pioneer", Dalit Millennium Issue, 30 Jan. 2000]
How Hindus enjoyed Brahmanic slavery?
The evils of Hindu caste system are well known. The theory of karma castrated the society and deprived all the masses from the motivation to revolt against the domination and atrocities of the priestly class, making all the Hindus the slaves of Brahmins. We know that Rigvedic Society had only three Varnas. The fourth varna, i.e. of Shudras was added by "purusha-sukta", late in Buddhist times and was a planned to destroy the egalatarian Buddhist society, to stop Kshatriya revolt against Brahmins and to stop the flow of Shudras towards Buddha's Dhamma.
We discussed the sexual behaviour of Aryans and how the ancient Aryan society did not have the marriage institution as we believe it today, or rather had no marriage institution at all. The barbarous Aryan society considered no relationship like brother- sister, father-daughter. Rajwade has explained how the priests had to satisfy the sexual demand of any woman approaching them at the time of yajnyas, then and there in open ground, in presence of Vedic fire. The Buddha fought against this and included vow to abstain from mithyachara, i.e. improper behaviour in sexual matters, among the five shilas.
Conversion from three varna society to four varna society was a great revolution in Aryan society, and entry of shudras into Chaturvana system, transformed savage society to rural one, claims Rajwade. But the Buddha discarded Varna System, where Shudras were made the beasts of burden with all the forced labour duties and no rights. Buddhists had no caste and Ashokan Society was integrated and that caste revived on the decay of Buddhism and emergence of Shaivism and Vaishnavism around 8th century A.D.
The productive castes suffered in Kalivarjya, one of the means adopted by Brahmins to dominate non-brahmins. The national Religion was destroyed by Caste System and Caste hierarchy with Brahmins having vested interests. They grew most powerful with the duty of kings being enjoined to worship Brahmins, whose arrogance was not an empty claim and Brahmins ruled over masses also not only the kings. Free Lands and houses were given to them, with no taxes and no fear of punishments. Secular powers were also exercised by Brahmins and Brahman Sabhas had power over all castes. Dharma Sastras were recasted in Muslim Rule and laws amended to establish Brahmin supremacy. Means employed by Brahmins to enslave Hindus included Punishments and Ordeals on Caste basis, and false philosophies created to support immoral acts to distort the religion. Buddhism had tried to save masses from Brahmanic slavery but in vain. We discussed how Vijaynagar Empire was a seat of exploitation of masses and Brahmanism was punished for the crimes.
Scheduled Tribes (aadivaasi)
Fall of Buddhism saw the rise of untouchables, the so called criminal tribes and Aadivaasis. Their problems are discussed, explaining differences between Castes and Tribes and origins of various names. Their history is traced from Prehistoric Period and it is explained that they are not remenents of Neolithic Age but are post Buddhistic. We saw how Indus Valley civilization did not belong to Aryans, how India was land of Naagas and its language Tamil, and how Vratyas were Naagas. We saw history of the Sisunaaga Dynasty, that Naaga worship is non-Vedic and Naagas were Buddhists. There was a casteless society among the Naaga culture, Naagas having their Republics. We saw the denegration of Naagas in Mahabharata, which opens with a curse on Naagas. We discussed Naaga Rajas in Kashmir and Rise of Buddhism there with Ahimsa of Buddha, and studied Serpent worship during Mauryan Dynasty, the times of Naagaarjuna and Kanishka, the Buddhist Sculptures and that Ayrans created writings, whereas Naagas created structures. We studied importance of Tribal Population in Sanchi and Amaravati Stupas and antiquity of Naaga clans.
Other effects of Fall of Buddhism
We saw other efects of Caste culture were deprivation of Education and spread of illiteracy and how fall of Buddhism directly affected the multitudes of population, who were denied education. How Gurukul system was detrimental to the interests of masses is explained and how a most educated country, where foreign scholars were coming to take higher education in Indian Universities, became the most illiterate country of the world due to fall of Buddhism is explained.
We saw how position of women detoriated and ultimately reached to the stage of burning of widows. We saw that Rajput Age was Dark Age of India and how Brahmins created Rajputs to get hold over the population, and how it caused the degradation and fall of Indian masses.
Kulin system of Bengal: How this was created to increase the population who would be willing to accept the supremacy of Brahmins and all the ill effects of this System is explained.
Sambandham System of Kerala: How Brahmins managed to gain control over the Buddhist Nayars by this method of "Cultural fertilization" and how it destroyed the cultural fabric of old Kerala society is discussed.
Devadasis: A system of Religious prostitution is discussed. It was put forward by the present author, for the first time, that Devadasis were degraded Buddhist nuns, in his book in 1991, "Tirupati Balaji was a Buddhist Shrine". The subject is discussed more fully here.
Fall of Science: How Science was on zenith in Buddhist India and how Brahmins purposefully caused its fall to uphold their own supremacy after the fall of Buddhism.
Kashmir Problem: How a Buddhist country of Kashmir became Mohammedan country, thereby leading to all the present problems is discussed.
Language Problem: How a country, which speaking one language and one or two scripts during the Buddhist period was divided into a country of multiple languages and scripts is discussed.
The reason why need to know the history is to guide us in future. If that purpose is not served, it has no meaning. The rulers of the society know it. Therefore, those who like that the oppressors should keep on oppressing and sufferers should go on suffering, never wish that the masses should know the real history. They present only those aspects of history which suits them, even distorting the facts. To find the cure, one has to know and understand the cause of ailments. If the interpretation of the history is on proper lines, the remedies would be correct. There is no doubt that now all realize that the real cause of all the ills of this country has been its religion. If this is realized, the ills can be cured and Indian masses can see the bright future. We narrate the views of some of the prominent thinkers.
Views of A. H. Salunkhe
In key note address at the recent "Bahujan Conference" at Nagpur by A. H. Salunkhe, a prominent OBC thinker and writer, expressed his views on the future course of action to be taken by OBCs. He stressed the importance of realizing the principle that OBCs and the dalits are co-sufferers. They should make it a point that they will neither tolerate the injustice done by others, nor would commit injustice against others. Vedic culture came into being after the destruction of Indus Culture. Among those who opposed Vedic culture, prominent was the Buddha and his movement was much more powerful than that of Phule, Shahu and Ambedkar. ['Prabuddha Bharat', 30.4.2000]
Amartya Sen got the Nobel Prize, Salunkhe said, but did not get enough publicity in Indian media, not even as much as the Beauty Contests did. The reason was that while discussing the Asian cultural history, Sen pointed out that the main reason why education did not reach the grass root levels in India was that machinery of education remained in the hands of fistful of priests, and that as contrasted against this, education reached the people at bottom levels of society in the other neighbouring nations like Ceylon and others, because they were following Buddhism. The Bahujans must realize that a person who declares these facts would not get any appreciation from the established society here. ['Prabuddha Bharat', 30.4.2000]
Amartya Sen, when questioned by journalists about his preceptor and the father of his ideals on Welfare State, had acknowledged the Buddha as his 'guru' and Ashoka as his ideal, a fact which never appeared in any Brahmanical media. [Speech by P. S. Changole at Aurangabad, 'Prabuddha Bharat', 30.4.2000]
Salunkhe explained how Indus Culture was followed by Vedic onslaught, how Buddhism was followed by Counter-revolution by Manu, how Saints and Shivaji was followed by Peshawai and now how after the revolution of Phule, Shahu and Ambedkar we are faced with danger of destruction of this system by Brahmanic counter- revolution by the R.S.S. If we wish to avert this calamity the Bahujans and Dalits must sort out the points of conflicts and unite. ['Prabuddha Bharat', 30.4.2000]
Salunkhe urged the OBCs to discard Wamana as an incarnation, and questioned how he can be our ideal instead of Bali. He also opined that OBC youths should reexamine the 'Gita', and if it teaches you to follow the duties of 'Chaturvarnya', you would be required to throw it away. 'Gita' talks of 'swadharma', which does not mean Hindu or Islam religion, it means 'Chaturvarna dharma''. He asked OBCs to evaluate the history of the Buddha through their own values instead of those of Manu, Shankara or Brahmanic books. He asked them to examine their own religion and ask themselves what exactly, it offers them. It offers nothing but slavery, he stressed. ['Prabuddha Bharat', 30.4.2000]
Salunkhe averred that it is a false history, taught to us that Shankara defeated Buddhism, but if he had evolved some strategy and helped its decline, not only for Dalits, but also even for people in grass root level, and for those who call themselves as Kshatriyas and for Marathas and Kunbis and OBCs, it was not a golden day of glory but it is was a moment of pushing them into darkness and slavery. He advised that the sufferings of Dalits are the sufferings of OBCs, and vice versa. We are not fighting against any caste, not even Brahmins, but against a system of inequality imposed over Dalits and OBCs by the religious books. Some OBCs think they are Kshatriyas, and should side with Brahmins because of our scriptures which condemn the 'Shudras' and not the 'Kshatriyas'. Their mentality is to accept the slavery of Brahmins but not to consider Dalits equal to themselves. But if you inspect the reality, you would find that not only Ekalavya and Shambuka suffered but also Tukaram, who was an OBC, suffered. For the scriptures, Dalits and OBCs are both 'Shudras' and both deserve condemnation and are deprived from their rights. Today OBCs are projected as neo- Kshatriyas and made to fight against Muslims and Dalits, but they must not forget that they are being used as tools and will the thrown away after their utility ends. If the merit is important, there is no doubt that Shivaji's merit as a 'Kshatriya' was proved. Why then his coronation was opposed by the Brahmins of Maharashtra. Today Dalits honour Shivaji and Shahu with full reverence, not as a strategy or convenience, but from the bottom of their hearts, then why OBCs should not honour Ambedkar likewise? ['Prabuddha Bharat', 30.4.2000] Similar views are expressed by him later in "First Maratha Sahitya Sammelan" held very recently at Amravati in Vidarbha. This literary meet of Marathas was highly maligned by Brahmanical press and scholars.
Views of Prakash Ambedkar
He explained the two ideologies in India, one of RSS and other of 'Varkaris' and stressed importance of unity among the OBCs. He questioned why the post of 'Shankaracharya' is not given to an OBC and suggested to launch an agitation about this in social fora. How much success he gets in his endeavour remains to be seen.
Brahmanic attitude towards Dalitbahujans
Shri Raja Sekhar Vundru describes the attitude of elitist media towards these people.
"Media explosion finds news value in dalits only when they are killed. Dalits do not see themselves as victims of atrocities. Atrocities are part of their daily life. For Dalits persecution is as old as Shambuka, denial as old as Eklavya; revolution as old as Buddha; valor as old as Asura; slavery as old as dasyu and untouchability as old as touch. Nevertheless, Manudharma's tentacles are wide spread and all-compassing." [Raja Sekhar Vundru, "The Pioneer", Dalit Millennium Issue, 30 Jan. 2000]
When Dr. Ambedkar was trying for "Hindu Code Bill", which was to remove the injustice on Hindu women, Jereshastri the then Shankarachrya of Sankeswara Pitha, wrote:
"... Milk or Ganges water may be holy, but if it comes through a nallah or a gutter, it can not be considered sacred. Similarly, the 'Dharmasastra' howsoever it may be authentic, it can not be considered authentic because it has come from a 'Mahar' like Dr. Ambedkar. Ambedkar is a scholar, it is said that his study of scriptures is great, but he is an 'antyaja'. How can the Ganga of Scriptures comming from the nallah of Ambekar be holy? It must be discardable like milk comming from the gutter..."
Quoting this passage from 'Nav Bharat', daily, 21 Jan. 1950, Yashwant Manohar observes, even the women for whose liberation was this Bill opposed it. We see today these women participating in hindutwavadi organizations. They opposed Mandal Commission, and they still oppose the reservation of OBC and other women, however, they demand right to priesthood. [Yashwant Manohar:, 1999: p.73]
Our religion and Constitution must not have contradictions
In his last speech during Sarnath visit in 1956, Dr. Ambedkar spoke to students, as reported by Nanak Chand Rattu, in Benares University Hall. Speaking on Adi Shankara philosophy, he said that if the Brahman pervaded all, a Brahmin and an untouchable were equal. But Shankara did not apply his doctrine of Brahman to social organization and kept the discussions only on Vedantic level. Had he applied it on a social level and preached social equality, his proposition would have been profound and worth consideration, in spite of his belief in the world being an illusion. Rattu reports:
"He, therefore, asked the students whether they would follow Hindu scriptures which supported graded inequality propounded by Purush Sukta and give religious sanction to social inequality or whether they would stand by the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity propounded in the Constitution, and refute the graded inequality preached by the Hindu scriptures." [Rattu: 1997: 99]
How Buddhist Books reached West
Arrogance and hatred against Buddhism is seen by the fact that around 1816 A.D. after Nepal was settled under British rule, Brian Hodgson came there as Assisant to the Resident in a newly opened Office. He obtained many MSS from Buddhist pundits like Amrutananda, and sent the collection to Asiatic Society of Bengal and to India House in Paris and other libraries. Once, Minister Rana Bahadur Jang of Nepal seized a Buddhist Vihar and threw away all the books in the street. Dr. Wrights, who was Physician to British Resident got it collected and presented to the Cambridge University. From these sourses Burnuff and his disciple Max Muller compiled early history of Buddhism. [Kasbe: 1996: 315]
How Upnishads reached West
It is also interesting to know that it was Dara Shukoh, brother of Emperor Aurangjeb, who got many Upnishads translated into Persian through pundits of Kashi. These were later translated into Latin. Duparron obtained a copy from a French scholar M. Gentyl in court of Sirajuddolah, and later Burneere took it to France on his trip to Bengal in 1775 A.D., and translated into French, and later published in Latin. Weber commented on these in his "Indian Studies". The South Indian collection was published for the first time in 1851 by W. Elliot in Journal of Asiatic Society in Bengal, and later translated and incorporated in 'Bibliotheca India'. [Kasbe: 1996: 228]
That the main target of Brahmanism was the OBCs, in ancient times as it is today, is clear from more sourses than one. Kasbe describes one instance where OBCs are equated with impotents etc. According to him, "Jabaloupnishad", which is a later Upnishad, is highly venomous to the orthdox as they believe it planted the seeds of starting of Buddhism and destruction of Vedic religion. The reason was it had allowed renunciation of household duties and accepting the "pravajya" any time, wihout going through the tradional Ashramas. Ahitagni Shankar Ramchandra Rajwade, a Vedic scholar, criticised bitterly this upnishad in his criticism of 'nasdiya sukta bhashya', saying that when a sentence 'yadahrev virjettdahrev pravajet' appeared in this upnishad, it paved the way for all the "bungled and botched" 'vratyas', 'patitas' etc. for a life of "Liberty-Equality- Fraternity", thereby reducing the importance of Brahmins in the society. Though Jabalopnishad advocated 'sanyas' at any age, there were upnishands that time in existence asking for taking sanyas after all three ashramas, and also upnishadas which included the 'Kumbhar' (potter), and 'Teli' (oilmen) among the list of those for whom 'sanyas' was prohibited, like to impotent, outcaste, deaf, dumb etc. [Raosaheb Kasbe, "manav aani dharm chintan", Sugawa, Pune, 1996, p. 223]
A neglected message from Dr. Ambedkar to OBCs
An article was published recently in Marathi local magazine by Suhas Sonwane based on daily Loksatta. The following is a gist of it, translated from Marathi.
Mr. Gawande, a close friend of Dr. Ambedkar, who was then the Law Minister in Nehru Cabinet in 1947, asked for a message for the Maratha people to be published in the Souvenir of "Maratha Mandir" of Bombay. Ambedkar declined saying that he had no relation with the Organization or the Marathas, but on persistent insistence, a message was given and published in the souvenir on 23rd March 1947. It was made available by Shri Vijay Survade recently and was undocumented till now. Dr. Ambedkar said:
"This principle will apply not only to Marathas but all Backward Castes. If they do not wish to be under the thumb of others they should concentrate on two things, one is politics and the other is education."
"One thing I like to impress on you is that the community can live in peace only when it has enough moral but indirect pressure over the rulers. Even if a community is numerically weak, it can keep its pressure over the rulers and create its dominance as is seen by the example of status of present day Brahmins in India. It is essential that such a pressure is maintained, as without it, the aims and policies of the state can not have proper direction, on which depends the development and progress of the state."
"At the same time, it must not be forgotten that education is also important. Not only elementary education but higher education is most essential to keep ahead in competition of communities in their progress."
"Higher education, in my opinion, means that education, which can enable you to occupy the strategically important places in State administration. Brahmins had to face a lot of opposition and obstacles, but they are overcoming these and progressing ahead."
"I can not forget, rather I am sad, that many people do not realize that the Caste system is existing in India for centuries because of inequality and a wide gulf of difference in education, and they have forgotten that it is likely to continue for some centuries to come. This gulf between the education of Brahmins and non-Brahmins will not end just by primary and secondary education. The difference in status between these can only be reduced by higher education. Some non-Brahmins must get highly educated and occupy the strategically important places, which has remained the monopoly of Brahmins since long. I think this is the duty of the State. If the Govt. can not do it, institutions like "Maratha Mandir" must undertake this task."
"I must emphasize one point here that middle class tries to compare itself with the highly educated and well placed and well to do community, whereas lower class all over the world has same fault. The middle class is not as liberal as upper one, and has no ideology as lower one, which makes it enemy of both the classes. The middle class Marathas of Maharashtra also have this fault. They have only two ways out, either to join hands with upper classes and prevent the lower classes from progress, and the other is to join hands with lower classes and both together destroy the upper class power coming against the progress of both. There was a time, they used to be with lower classes, now they seem to be with the upper class. It is for them to decide which way to go. The future of not only Indian masses but also their own future depends upon what decision the Maratha leaders take. As a matter of fact it all should be left to the skill and wisdom of the leaders of Marathas. But there seems to be a lack of such wise leadership among the Marathas."
What he said about Marathas, equally applies to all OBCs, and still holds true after half a century. Dr. Ambedkar wrote much to educate the OBCs. It is only now that OBCs are awakening gradually. It must not be forgotten that the future of this country depends on them.
Buddhist "Bahujan" meant Non-Brahmin
Vedic social stucture was created for supremacy of Brahmins and it was not possible to liberate all the non-Brahmin masses without destroying it. "Bahujan Samaj" of Buddha was not the middle castes like Kunbis, Telis and Malis but comprised of all non-Brahins - Kunbis Telis to Mang Mahars and Nomadic and ex- Criminal tribes, opined Ambedkarite laureate Yashwant Manohar. ['Prabuddha Bharat', 30.4.2000]
It is not properly realized that the ultimate fate of India depends upon what course of action the OBCs take. The dalits have already made their choice, that they do not wish to lead a life of Slavery under the Brahmins. As a matter of fact, they always wished to free themselves from it one way or the other. If the present movement of Ambedkar for conversion to Buddhism is sabotaged and if it fails, they would find other alternatives. It is for the OBCs to decide what they wish to do, whether to join Ambedkarite movement or to join Brahmanical movement. That the political power in Independent democratic India is mostly in the hands of the OBCs, is technically speaking, true. But the real power evades them. What is the reason? There is a lot of awakening among them, these days, and everybody seems to be searching for the solution, but the real reason is elluding them. The real reason, in our opinion, is that these people are not concerned with their "Cultural Slavery" under the Brahmins.
Examples of Brahmanic hostility towards OBCs OBC youth in Maharashtra had demanded of the Government that certain books which had deroatory remarks about OBCs be banned. The then Govt. of Maharashtra under Sharad Pawar had declared the ban. But perhaps it was not effected. The President of Marathi Sahitya Sammelan held at Panaji (Goa) a few years back, Shri Ram Shewalkar, then criticised the Maharashtra Govt. for this decision as, he claimed, it was against the "freedom of speech", going out of the way by speaking what was not in the written speech.
The then Chairman of the Marathi Sanskruti Mandal, a Govt. organization for promotion of literature, criticised that an OBC saint Tukdoji Maharaj, who played a great role during Independance movement, is termed as "Rashtra Sant", and in his opinion, only a Brahmin saint Ramdas deserved this appellation.
Recently the word "Kunbi" was shown to have been included in a dictionary mentioned having derogatory meaning, for which the publisher had to apologige.
At all these times, OBCs had protested. Sometimes, in their caste functions, they talk of denouncing the Brahmanic slavery. They talk that Eklavya was deceived by Dronacharya, that killing of Shambuka was wrong. But they can not deny the grip of cultural slavery on their minds. They can not demand that the name of Dronacharya given to the highest award in Sports be withdrawn. They can not stop participating in "Ganesh Festival" started by B. G. Tilak, and which was then criticised by the Mahatma Phule's followers in Satya Shodhak Samaj and requested a ban on it.
As a matter of fact, the relationship of dalitbahujans to 'upper' castes in all the political parties run by Brahmins, as various teams from A to E of Brahmanism in Kanshiram's terms, is like Ram and Hanuman, as put forward by Kancha Ilaiah, whose observation about Congress applies to all parties under Brahmanic control:
"...The Congress was systematically moulded into being a bhadralok party. They talked about the welfare of the Dalitbahujan castes, while all the state resources were cornered by the Hindus. The relationship between an 'upper' caste man and a Dalitbahujan caste man within Congress was like that between Rama and Hanuman. It is a common knowledge that Hanuman was a South Indian Dalit who joined the imperial army of Rama to fight against the South Indian Nationalist ruler - Ravana. Hanuman worked day in and day out in the interest of 'Ramrajya' (an anti-Dalitbahujan and anti-woman kingdom), yet his place in the administration was marginal and subservient. Similarly, all the Dalitbahujan activists who joined the Congress party were given subservient places in the party hierarchy. Their main task was to mobilize the masses, and organize the 'praise melas' of 'upper' caste Congress leaders in whose name they would carry the party flag. They would organize the photographers to publicize the images of 'upper' caste Congress leaders. The aim of an average 'upper' caste Congress leader would be to mould every Dalitbahujan into a trustworthy Hanuman. While Ambedkarism was creating a small force of conscious people among Dalitbahujans who were trying to organize into an autonomous political force, a large number were (perhaps for the sake of fringe benefits that the Congress administration could offer, perhaps for other reasons) willing to be Hanumans. [p.58]
Kancha Ilaiah, himself an OBC, has very convincingly put forward that the process of "Sanskritisation", i.e. elevating one's own caste, without demolishing the framework of Chaturvarna can never end the Brahmanic domination. Describing how various methods of Sanskritisation are futile, he observed:
"...Sanskritization process did not dilute caste identities and caste based humiliations. Many Dalitbahujans who got Sanskritized later realized that Sanskritization is no solution to Hindu barbarity. This is the why Ambedkar embraced Buddhism to build a counterculture to Hinduism, and Periyar Ramasamy Naiker attempted to establish the hegemony of Dravida culture by attacking Hindu culture and Hindu Gods." [Kancha Ilaiah, "Why I am not a Hindu", publ. Samaya, Calcutta, third reprint 1998, p.70]
Kancha Ilaiah, strongly advocates 'dalitization' - signifying dignity of labour rather than of leisure and combining physical and mental knowledge as dalitbahujans do - rather than hinduization, of the civil society, state and administrative apparatus, which is the real solution to the problems of India. He feels that only through liberation of dalitbahujans that the rest of the society, namely, the 'upper castes' can be liberated. And this process, which could be "very painful and tortuous" should start with addressing to the UC women, who also feel that dalitbahujans are the "others", but are receptive to Dalitbahujan questions, as they seem to prefer "divorce and remarriage" of dalitbahujans to "wife-murder" policy of UCs. [p.129]
Second thing he recommends is the capture of Hindu temples by expelling Brahmins, for the wealth they hold, convert them into centres of public education, taking care that the Brahmanical god culture does not get assimilated into Dalitbahujan culture. It is comparatively easier for neo-Kshatriyas to unlearn many things than baniyas and brahmins, but he warns that this anti-caste revolution may be more tortuous than the 'proletarian cultural revolution' in China. He avers about the NRIs that the post capitalist markets into which these NRIs are integrated did not de-caste them as is very clear from their pro-Hindutva proclamations from abroad. [Kancha, p.131]
Examples of OBC awakening
Apart from Dr. Salunkhe's advice to OBCs, there are other indicaters of OBC awakening. A recent literary meet of "Mana" community in Maharashtra declared themselves to be of "Naaga" clan and associated themselves with the Buddhist culture, denying the Brahmanic one. The important Adivasis are already dissociating themselves from the hindutvavadis and associating with Ambedkarites, in spite of strong propaganda by BSO of converting them into "Vanavasis". Everybody is realizing that the way of liberation is the fight against the caste and Brahmin supremacy.
Ambedkar's Efforts for Adivasis
All these people are now realizing that Dr. Ambedkar had struggled a lot for Adivasis also. We must strive for upliftment of BCs and Adivasis said Dr. Ambedkar. The purpose of keeping them in sub-clause (2) of Hindu Code Bill was to make some provision for them and Hindu Law would "apply to them only if it is proved that Hindu customs and Hindu usages are prevallent in that class", and it will not apply to them unless "they have adopted the customs." [W&S, vol. 14 part 2, p.886-7]
Ambedkar asked for right of Adult franchise for Adivasis, in 1928, Simon Commision Statemnt, commenting that Legislatures are the places where "social battles have to be fought, previlages have to be destroyed, and rights have to be won". He avered that their illeteracy should not come in way of giving them right to vote, as even an illiterate is intellegent and knows his welfare. [W&S, vol.2, p.471]
Disagreeing with the Britishers' idea of keeping the Adivasis segregated, during the evidence taken before the joint Committee on Indian Constitutional Reforms in 1933, he professed the ideal that these primitive people should not remain primitive and they should cease to be an isolated part of humanity and take part in the public affairs of this country like others. That they must not loose their lands and be landless labourers and their lands be protected from money lendes by suitable Laws. The education is more neccesary for BCs and Adivasis, more than anybody else, he said, and wanted adequate representation for them in legislature assuring the friendship of many BCs. [W&S, vol.2, p.737 ff.]
Stand of "Dalit Voice"
V. T. Rajshekhar, for last three years or so is recommending that each caste should consolidate itself and advocates breaking of SCs into some categories for purpose of reservations also, he claims this will destroy Brahmanism, a tall claim which is based on unproven logic. Everybody is entitled to his own opinion. But the tragic part is he ascribes his logic to Kanshiram and Mayawati and erroneously says they also subscribe to this view. The present author has repeatedly opposed this stand, so have many prominent Ambedkarites including Bhoja Tarakam and N. G. Uke.
"Jati Todo Samaj Jodo"
One of the senior Ambedkarites, Dr. Vellu Annamalai from USA ascribes motives of vested interests to VTR's attitude. This may or may not be true, but one thing is sure that Mayawati and Kanshiram do not ascribe to this view. They talk of "Jati Todo Samaj Jodo", which does not mean, as VTR seems to suggest, that they advocate consolidation of each caste. On the contrary, they say break your own caste, forget about wellbeing of only your caste and strive for making up a "Bahujan Samaj" identity, which alone can convert the minority into majority as Brahmanism has broken the society into various castes numbering about six thousand. It should be our aim to unite these various castes into one identity of "Bahujan". They believe that political solution is the most important method and quote Ambedkar that political power is the master key to all the ailments of non-Brahmins. They point out to the tremendous work that has been done in U.P. in a short span of her rule there. They have not tried to strengthen only Chamar caste, as is presumed by VTR. They have asked to strengthen all Bahujans to come together and work for common good of all Bahujans including dalits. They never worked for "separate but equal" castes. Neither Dr. Ambedkar, nor Shahu, nor Phule worked on the lines mentioned by VTR. They always worked to bring all together, demolishing walls among the castes, never ever, they advocated salvation of any individual caste or that of an individual person within a caste. A well known letter by Dr. Ambedkar to a Mang youth is proof thereof.
G. P. Deshpande, Prof. Of International politics at JNU and a theater personality in Delhi advises that a caste-group is never a leader and Dr. Ambedkar never thought so either. What he identified was central contradiction in Indian society epitomised in and by the Varna and Jati system. The transformative movement that India needs so badly today should take note of this understanding. Ambedkar's relevance lies precisely in this approach in building a wider social base. The present Dalit movement, Deshpande comments, is yet to define itself and demonstrate that it is conscious of the whole within which it is to function, and avers that it has as much relevance for Savarnas and upper castes as it has for the Dalits and other classes. He concludes:
"Dalits, today, have to realise that it is all a question of hegemony. He also has to realise that in matters of politics and culture, he will provide leadership only if his politics is of genuine 'jatyanta' (end of caste). Interests of caste have to be secondary to the interests of end of caste." [G. P. Deshpande, "The Pioneer", Dalit Millennium Issue, 30 Jan. 2000]
He laments that dalitbahujans are the oldest people of the globe, and yet have no calender of their own and a largest group in the world without the own individual dates of birth. They invented through their scientific approach to production by counting seeds, birds and animals the 'concept of zero', which was "patented" by Bana Bhatta, an Aryan Brahmin. These first invaders, the Aryan Hindus, condemned the discovery of tool making, leather making, and wool weaving as Chandala processes.
The degradation of dalitbahujans was achieved through two methods - danda and mantra, first 'Danda' i.e. violence and second 'Mantra' i.e. by developing the consent systems. As an example of second, he observes:
"Did not Hinduism make us do the same thing when it forced us to celebrate the birthday of Rama as Ramnavami, a dateless day, a man who killed my ancestors Tataka, Vali, Shambhuka and Ravana, and cut off the nose and earlobes of most beautiful woman of India, Shurpanakha? Jesus Christ's noble soul did not kill even his enemies. What a difference in godhood." [Kancha Ilaiah, "The Pioneer", 30 Jan. 2000]
"Post independent India has not given the dalitbahujans anything except a saga of atrocities. The Hinduism that rendered this country calenderless is forcing all dalitbahujans to call themselves Hindus. I made my position very clear that "I am not a Hindu" as I cannot worship the very gods who killed my ancestors. My predicament is that of Angada, the son of Bali who was killed by Rama and while his father's dead body lying there he was forced to worship the killer of his father, Rama. I refuse to do that." [Kancha Ilaiah, "The Pioneer", 30 Jan. 2000]
Describing the sufferings of dalitbahujans for last two thousand years, Kancha Ilaiah describes:
"In the first millennium, the Shudras along with the Chandalas suffered all kinds of atrocities at the hands of the Hindu rulers who constructed a Swarna Yuga (golden age) of their own during political rule of Guptas. It was during this period that the scientific temper the Shudras constructed among themselves was destroyed and they were pushed into most dark period of their life. During the first millennium Manu Dharma as law and Kauttilya's brutal state craft were brought into force and they destroyed all the creative ability of the Shudras, Chandalas and Adivasis (SCAs). Except the text 'Mritchakatika' by Shudraka, all other texts including 'Megha Sandesha' by Kalidasa were written in the image of Brahmanical leisure- centered classes. The history of SCAs from then was rendered invisible and non-existent." [Kancha Ilaiah, "The Pioneer", 30 Jan. 2000]
"... By the beginning of the second millennium, Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas (BKVs) had eaten away the vitals of Subcontinent. These three leisure and pleasure centered castes lived in celestial and spiritual luxuries and sexual orgies. During this period, the BKVs destroyed the Buddhist ethical and productive life and also symbols of that civilization and errected erotic temples translating the sexual pleasure-centered discourse of Vatsayana's 'Kamasutra' culture into sculpture at the cost of enormous labour power of the unpaid sculptors. All the sculptors came from the SCA backgrounds. Investment of wealth and labour on constructing structures like Khajuraho and Konark reflected the negative cultural mould of the ruling castes/classes. No single structure that reflected the productive culture of people was errected during the period." [Kancha Ilaiah, "The Pioneer", 30 Jan. 2000]
Today as India heads into new millennium, its own sixth millennium of civilization, it has no clear vision of where it is going, kind of society it wants and how it proposes to build it, she laments and emphasizes, the fervor of freedom fighters and Nehruvian socialism are gone and "Gandhian version of Hinduism is empty now", and its modern 'avatar', the environmentalists wish the revival of traditional forms of production and culture in the form of "Ram Raj". She feels that neither Gandhism, nor socialism are more than empty terms in India, and Hindutva Nationalism alternative is itself based upon the Brahmanic version of Indian tradition. She recommends five new visions for the Dalitbahujan masses of India:
"1. Alternative enlightenment" - based on moralism, rationalism, whether religious or aesthetic or agnostic, a genuine democratic socialism can have its roots only in "Ambedkar's Buddhism".
"2. Alternative spirituality" - "...Even before Ambedkar chose Buddhism in 1956, it had emerged with Pandit Iyothee Thass and Tamil Buddhism; with Srilanka's Anagarika Dharmapala, Brahmanand Reddy of Andhra and Acchutananda of Uttar Pradesh. Phule took Buddhism as an important source of 'shudra-ati-shudra' tradition. ..."
"3. Alternative Economics" - "...Ambedkar's economic trajectory went from conventional welfare liberal economics in twenties to endorsement of state socialism that lasted upto 1947, to a final disillusionment of Soviet model and efforts to seek alternative Buddhist economics, described variously as democratic socialism, liberal socialism, a mixed economy or simply as beyond labels. ..."
"4. Alternative Nationalism" - Only Ambedkar realized the need for English to unite all dalits in India. "This illustrates that real nationalism in India must (be) realized in the language of the people, not in the Sanskritised Hindi taught in schools or link language of cinema."
"5. Empowerment of women" - In contrast to Brahmanic subordination of women, Dalitbahujan leaders projected a vision of women as equal citizens with rights to individual fulfillment. [Gail Omvedt, "The Pioneer", 30 Jan. 2000]
V. P. Singh
Asked about effects of globalization on Dalits, he remarked that he was not in favour of blind liberalization, but certain licenses, quotas and regulations have to go. However state can not refrain from human investment. Second stage of justice should be education, which is a key to empowerment. With commercialization of education, future decision makers will come only from effluent sections. Social justice is a continuous, self corrective process, where the neglected will fight and correct the system. [V. P. Singh "The Pioneer", 30 Jan. 2000]
Hindu Muslim Unity
Arvind Das, the editor of New Delhi review journal, "Biblio", commenting on the attitude of elites, observe that any of those who demand that Christians apologize for the Inquisition or Muslims be sorry for being designated "Babur ki aulad" do not express the slightest regret for the centuries of oppression that they have practiced on the dalits, and there is only a thundering silence in that respect. [Arvind Das, "The Pioneer", 30 Jan.2000]
Syed Shahabuddin, editor of Muslim India and former M.P. observes that the Draft constitution had declared Muslims and SCs as minorities and provided reservations for both. But Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel moved resolution and Muslims were denied facilities. He observes:
"... The goal of Dalit Muslim unity is neither racial kinship nor religious uniformity but political unity. ... Even if the forward Shudras were not included, the EBCs (the Backward backwards), SCs, STs, and Muslims alone form about 67.5 percent of the population. ... a majority that lives below the poverty line. They own less than 15 per cent of national resources and have a long way to go before they become equal partners in the national enterprise - in power sharing as well as effective participation in decision making." [Syed Shahabuddin, "The Pioneer", 30 Jan. 2000]
He advocates alliance of deprived, but thinks it is unrealistic to think on national level. But in MLA segments, where the strength of these people exceeds fifty percent, it can be tried. In UP BSP and in Maharashtra RPI represent Dalits, but there is no party of Muslims anywhere, he laments, and stresses the need for "composite leadership". He also stresses the need of common agenda, and feels that the Brahmanical order is on the decline, but not so Brahmanism. He laments that every emergent class tends to be reborn as a Neo-Brahmin aspiring for social domination. Those who stand for social justice cannot accept such succession and, therefore, the battle for Identity, Dignity and Equality will go on, he avers. [Syed Shahabuddin, "The Pioneer", 30 Jan. 2000]
Communism and Dalitbahujans
A lot has been written by Dr. Ambedkar discarding Communist idiology. Prof. T. K. Oomen at JNU, explains layers of Dalit movement. There are people who concentrate on economic side and others on caste basis. But he feels that all Dalits are not proletarians and a small substratum among this traditionally unprivileged class has undergone a process of elitisation. In addition, Dalit consciousness is qualitatively different from proletarian or caste consciousness. Stressing the importance of cultural enlightenment, he comments that it is no accident that Dalit protests in India first crystallized against socio- cultural oppression like untouchability, which was followed by mobilization for political enfranchisement and finally protests against economical exploitations were heard. [T. K. Oomen, "The Pioneer", 30 Jan. 2000]
Dalit Unity is not enough
Without in any way denigrating the efforts of those who are striving for Dalit Unity, I feel, even if all the Dalits of India, of all castes, shades and colours, unite, they cannot achieve any power without the help of other oppressed castes, as they are only about 16% or so. And if there is no power, caravan of Ambedkar will be on retrograde journey. Many non-dalit non- brahmin castes are realizing the mischief done by Caste system, they are having dialogue with Dalits and uniting with them, as is seen in North Indian states. And the message is spread broad and wide and all regions of this country are awakening.
Should we not destroy our identity?
Are various leaders ready to give up their identities on argument that Dalit liberation must get priority over all other demands? One does not have to give up ones identity, if we are talking at this stage of only political unity. But if we unite only politically at this stage, a time will come, when we have to unite religiously and socially also. At that time, I would like to ask these leaders, "Can they afford not to dissolve their identities?" If they did, their castes would be wiped out by the BSO. One has only to see the way these sub-castes are fighting among themselves just for crumbs, they have forgotten that their real enemy, BSO, is safe and secure in its own citadel. Even at this stage, infighting among the sub-castes is counter productive and injurious to the interest of their own caste.
Role of Jains and Osho
There are always some sporadic news items keep appearing in papers that, some youths have started a social movement to assert that Jains are not Hindus. We read that at one time Jainism was a revolutionary religion, and they had to suffer for it at the hands of BSO. K.A.N.Sastri tells us how eight thousand Jains were put to death by impalement by a Saiva King and how a festival is celebrated every year, even now, to commemorate this event in a temple at Madura. [K. Jamanadas, "Tirupati Balaji was a Buddhist Shrine" p.134]. Whether same revolutionary spirit will be revived among the Jains again, is more than I can predict.
I only know of one Jain revolutionary in modern times. He is Osho Rajnish, who said about the glass of orange juice given by Robindranath Tagore to break the fast of M. Gandhi at the conclusion of Poona Pact, "But this orange juice, this one glass of orange juice, contains millions of people's blood!" ["Dr. Ambedkar aur Osho", Hindi, by Sandesh Bhalekar p. 43] He had the courage to denounce Manu in no uncertain terms that if we could forget Manusmriti whole world would call us more liberal and broad minded; Manu is sitting on our chest like a big stone. [p.51] Some Ambedkarite scholars like Lokhande and Bhalekar project him as 'in lineage of Phule, Shahu and Ambedkar'. Other equally prominent scholars like Yashwant Manohar call such projections as pollution (pradushan) in Dalit literature. What role, if any, the followers of Osho, the world over, will play in opposing BSO in future, is a question better left alone for the future generations to work out.
Future of Buddhism in India
The struggle for destruction of Caste is the precursor of the spread of Buddhism, but need not be a precondition. Equitable distribution of land and fast implementation of Land Reforms is the need of the day. They know that this will dilute the hegemony of Brahmins, and so such reforms are not implemented. With this attitude, one may contrast the honesty of the British, who knew that imparting education to lower castes will, one day, enable these people to drive away the alien rulers, but still they did not keep us ignorant. Under such circumstances we conclude this tract with the prophesy of Dr. Ambedkar about future of Indian Buddhism.
After comparing Buddhism with Hinduism, while comparing Buddhism with other non-Hindu religions, Dr. Ambedkar observes:
(i) The society must have either the sanction of law or the sanction of morality to hold it together. Without either society is sure to go pieces. He explains that in all societies law plays a very small part. It is intended to keep the minority within the range of social discipline. The majority is left and has to be left to sustain its social life by the postulates and sanction of morality. Religion in the sense of morality, must therefore, remain the governing principle in every society.
(ii) That religion as defined in the first proposition must be in accord with science. Religion is bound to lose its respect and therefore become the subject of ridicule and thereby not merely lose its force as a governing principle of life but might in course of time be disintegrated and lapse if it is not in accord with science. In other words, religion if it is to function, must be in accord with reason which is merely another name for science.
(iii) That religion as a code of social morality, must recognize the fundamental tenets of liberty, equality and fraternity. Unless a religion recognize these three fundamental principles of social life religion will be doomed.
(iv) That religion must not sanctify or ennoble poverty. Renunciation of riches by those who have it may be a blessed state. But poverty can never be. To declare poverty to be a blessed state is to pervert religion, to perpetuate vice crime, to consent to make earth a living hell.
Which religion fulfills all these requirement, he asks, emphasing that the days of the Mahatmas are gone and the world cannot have a new Religion and choice is limited to existing ones, and avers that the only religion which satisfies all these tests is Buddhism. Buddhism is the only religion which the whole world can have. The new world needs religion far more than the old world did, and it can only be religion of the Buddha. The confusion is because most of those who have written about the Buddha have propagated the idea that the only thing Buddha taught was Ahimsa. Without minimizing its importance, as it is a great doctrine and the world can not be saved unless it, he emphasized that Buddha taught many other things besides Ahimsa. He observed:
"... He taught as a part of religion, social freedom, intellectual freedom, economic freedom and political freedom. He taught equality, equality between man and man but between man and woman. It would be difficult to find a religious teacher to compare with Buddha whose teachings embrace so many aspects of the social life of a people whose doctrines are so modern and whose main concern was to give salvation to man in his life on earth and not to promise it to him in heaven after he is dead." [Buddha and future of his religion", p. 9]Previous Chapter