Understand Bahujan Philosophy instead of proletysing
Dr. K. Jamanadas
This is in response to letter from Dr. Choudhrie in DV of Sept. 1-15. I am glad to know that he is trying to study Ancient Indian History. Not only it is illuminating, but it throws ample light on the happenings of today. One finds that from times immemorial, the struggle between the so called upper caste savarnas on one side and the rest of population on other side is going on. It had assumed different names, shapes and forms during the course of different periods of history, and the history of India is nothing but the history of conflict between these two ideologies, as is well demonstrated by Dr. Ambedkar. The present name for this is bahujan-vad and bahujan-virodh-vad. The present day protagonists of these are Phuley, Shahu and Ambedkar on one side and Tilak, Gandhi and Golwalkar on the other. All the leaders of christians and muslims need to understand this point and explain it to the gullible ignorant and illiterate christian and muslim masses, instead of thinking in lines of proletising Dalits. These are the only two ideologies in present day India, and sooner the people understand this, earlier they will be freed from their slavery.
Unchristian side of the Indian Church
In his rejoinder to Dr. Chaudhrie's letter, VTR has very aptly described the situation. If I remember it correctly, in his article of above name published in DV some two years ago, he had commented that the missionaries are educating the children of oppressors, who tomorrow will come to power and see that these very schools be closed. It is like feeding milk to the serpents' offsprings. He had also suggested that at least 50% of seats in all christian convents must be given only to SCs and STs at no charge, and the deficit be made good by charging double fees from the children of oppressors. I think that article was a master piece.
Ambedkar's Advice to Christians
I like to make all conversant with one of the speeches of Dr. Ambedkar, during the period of active consideration of choice of religion to adopt. May be, this might clear doubts, if any. The speech delivered to Indian Christians of Sholapur. Published in 'Janata' of 5.2.1938, reproduced from 'Dnyanodaya'
"From the available religions and personalities in the world, I consider only two - Buddha and Christ for conversion. We want a religion for me and my followers which will teach equality freedom among men, and how man must behave with men and God, how child should behave with father etc.
"Missionaries feel they have done their duty when they convert an untouchable to Christianity. They do not look after their political rights. I find this is a big fault in Christians. Because they have not entered into politics up till now. It is difficult for any institution to survive without political support. We, Untouchables, though are ignorant and illiterate, we are in movement. That is why we have 15 seats in the Legislative Assembly. Students are getting scholarships, there are government hostels. Such is not the case of Christian students. If an untouchable student getting scholarship get converted, his scholarship is stopped though his financial status remains same. If you were in politics, things would have been opposed.
"Your society is educated. Hundreds of boys and girls are matric. These people have not agitated against this injustice unlike the uneducated untouchables. If any girl becomes a nurse or any boy becomes a teacher they are involved in their own affairs, they do not get involved in public affairs. Even clerks and officers are busy in their work, he ignores the social injustice. Your society is so much educated, how many are District judges or magistrates? I tell you, this is because of your neglect towards politics, because there in nobody to talk of and fight for your rights. ..." [translated from marathi-M. F. Ganjare's vol. III. p.142 ff.]
BSP and Kanshiram
To relieve the humanity from suffering, in India, the remedy is to develop the spirit of Bahujan Samaj. We cannot progress by merely "Dalit Unity", or by only "Dalit Muslim Unity", or by only "Dalit Christian Unity", we have to build a Bahujan Samaj, which is not an easy task. One has to understand the mechanics of Bahujan Samaj. There are many misconceptions about BSP, Kanshiram and Mayavati, purposefully spread by vested interests. One has to understand Bahujan Philosophy with all its intricacies. It is pity that Dr. Choudhrie could not get time to understand BSP while he was in Punjab. I hope he will have ample opportunity to understand it in M.P., where there is remarkable influence of BSP. BSP is not merely a political party unlike many others; it is a movement. One must read Phuley, Shahu Ambedkar and follow it with reading about Kanshiram and BSP.
Social service and social transformation
This is the important point which one must understand. Medical ethics says, prevention is better than cure. Instead of curing a disease give more attention to its prevention. To mend a fracture is social service, to create environment so that fractures do not take place is social transformation. To give vitamin pills to malnourished Adivasi children is social service, to give their parents employment so that they can buy wholesome food for their children is social transformation. To give charity to a beggar is social service, to create social atmosphere so that nobody has to beg is social change. To give rice at Rs. two per kilo when market price is Rs.7/- is social service, to raise the income of the person so that he can buy the rice at market price is social change. To feed the hungry is social service, to create situation where nobody remains hungry is social change. To teach an illiterate is social service, to destroy the social structure which made him illiterate is social change. To open a new school in thee vicinity of an illiterate poor colony of zopadpatti could be social service, to motivate the poor hungry and illiterate man to send his child to school walking five kilometers away even on an empty stomach is social transformation. To protect a weak person by giving him weapons is social service, to make him strong enough to let him manufacture and use his own weapons is social change. To teach an egalitarian prayer to a school child may be social service, to dynamite the scriptures spreading inequality among human beings is a social change. To assure protection to scared minorities may be social justice, to give them power so that they can defend themselves is social transformation.
I have great respect for missionaries who did a tremendous amount of good work. If there were no missionaries, there would have been no Phuley, no Shahu and no Ambedkar, let alone Kanshiram and Mayawati. In my humble opinion, missionaries in India are doing social service, and are the very best at that. but still it is not social transformation. I think here lies the importance of BSP, which is not a political party alone but a movement which stands for not social service or social justice alone but for social transformation and economic emancipation.