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Hunger is the worst kind of illness said Awakened One
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Fruit Bearing Trees all over the world and in Space. Purify
Mind. Lead Hilarious Happy Life to Attain Eternal Bliss as Final
Goal.- Universal Prabuddha Intellectuals Convention.
Do Good. Grow Broccoli
Beans in Pots.
Bearing Trees all over the world and in Space. Purify Mind.
Lead Hilarious Happy Life to Attain Eternal Bliss as Final Goal.-
Universal Prabuddha Intellectuals Convention.
The pill to reverse aging would be available to the public within five years and cost the same each day as a cup of coffee, says researcher. (Supplied) Staff writer, Al Arabiya English Wednesday 05 September 2018
BHSBS vision is to fulfill Bharat Ratna Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar(Babasaheb) envision of a Prabuddha Samaj (Enlightened Society) based on the principles of dignity, justice, equality, freedom and fraternity.
BHSBS strive for active peace and work towards equal access and rights over resources and services, without any prejudice, discrimination or exclusion on any basis, including caste, class, race, gender, age, religion, abilities, regions, language or property.
BHSBS strive for a society where human rights and equal dignity of all are respected and there is no place for exploitation or oppression.
What is Vipassana
Vipassana meditation is the personal
purification of the mind. It is the highest form of awareness—the total
perception of the mind-matter phenomena in its true nature. It is the
choiceless observation of things as they are.
Vipassana is the meditation the Buddha practiced after trying all other
forms of bodily mortification and mind control and finding them
inadequate to free him from the seemingly endless round of birth and
death, pain and sorrow.
It is a technique so valuable that in Burma it was preserved in its pristine purity for more than 2,500 years.
Vipassana meditation has nothing to do with the development of
supernormal, mystical, or special powers, even though they may be
awakened. Nothing magical happens. The process of purification that
occurs is simply an elimination of negativities, complexes, knots, and
habits that have clouded pure consciousness and blocked the flow of
mankind’s highest qualities—pure love (metta), compassion (karuna), sympathetic joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekkha).
There is no mysticism in Vipassana. It is a science of the mind that
goes beyond psychology by not only understanding, but also purifying,
the mental process.
The practice is an Art of Living which manifests its profound
practical value in our lives — lessening and then eliminating the greed,
anger, and ignorance that corrupt all relationships, from the family
level to international politics. Vipassana spells an end to daydreaming,
illusion, fantasy—the mirage of the apparent truth.
Like the sizzling explosion of cold water being thrown on a red-hot
stove, the reactions after bringing the mind out of its hedonistic
tendencies into the here and now are often dramatic and painful. Yet
there is an equally profound feeling of release from tensions and
complexes that have for so long held sway in the depths of the
Through Vipassana anyone, irrespective of race, caste, or creed, can
eliminate finally those tendencies that have woven so much anger,
passion, and fear into our lives. During the training a student
concentrates on only one task — the battle with his own ignorance. There
is no guru worship or competition among students. The teacher is simply
a well-wisher pointing the way he has charted through his own long
With continuity of practice, the meditation will
quiet the mind, increase concentration, arouse acute mindfulness, and
open the mind to the supramundane consciousness—the “peace of nibbana
(freedom from all suffering) within.”
As in the Buddha’s enlightenment, a student simply
goes deep inside himself, disintegrating the apparent reality until in
the depths he can penetrate even beyond subatomic particles into the
There is no dependence on books, theories, or
intellectual games in Vipassana. The truth of impermanence (anicca),
suffering (dukkha), and egolessness (anatta) are grasped directly with
all the enormous power of the mind rather than the crutch of the
intellect. The illusion of a “self,” binding the mental and physical
functions together, is gradually broken. The madness of cravings and
aversions, the futile grasping of “I, me, mine,” the endless chatter and
conditioned thinking, the reaction of blind impulse—these gradually
lose their strength. By his own efforts the student develops wisdom and
purifies his mind.
The foundation of Vipassana meditation is sila—moral conduct. The practice is strengthened through samadhi—concentration of the mind. And the purification of the mental processes is achieved through panna—the
wisdom of insight. We learn how to observe the interplay of the four
physical elements within ourselves with perfect equanimity, and find how
valuable this ability is in our daily lives.
We smile in good times, and are equally unperturbed
when difficulties arise all around us, in the certain knowledge that
we, like our troubles, are nothing but a flux, waves of becoming arising
with incredible speed, only to pass away with equal rapidity.
A Non-sectarian Technique: Although Vipassana meditation was developed
by the Buddha, its practice is not limited to Buddhists. There is no
question of conversion—the technique works on the simple basis that all
human beings share the same problems, and a technique that can eradicate
these problems will have a universal application.
Hindus, Jains, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Roman Catholics, and other
Christian sects have all practised Vipassana meditation, and have
reported a dramatic lessening of those tensions and complexes that
affect all mankind. There is a feeling of gratefulness to Gotama, the
historical Buddha, who showed the way to the cessation of suffering, but
there is absolutely no blind devotion.
The Buddha repeatedly discouraged any excessive veneration paid to him
personally. He said, “What will it profit you to see this impure body?
Who sees the teaching—the Dhamma—sees me.”
Asoka and the spread of Dhamma
History shows that during the time of the
Buddha, the Kings Bimbisara, Suddhodana, and Prasenajita received great
benefit from their practice of the Dhamma, and naturally wanted to share
this benefit with others. They enthusiastically supported the
dissemination of the Buddha’s teaching in their respective kingdoms. Yet
the fact remains that the Dhamma spread to the masses not only because
of this royal patronage but because of the efficacy of the technique
itself. This technique enables anyone who applies it to come out of
misery by rooting out the mental impurities of greed (lobha), hatred
(dosa), and delusion (moha). A simple and universal technique, it can be
practised by men and women from any class, any sect, any communal
group, with the same results. Suffering is universal: unwanted things
happen and desired things may or may not happen. A universal malady must
have a universal remedy: Dhamma is this remedy. The Buddha
compassionately and freely distributed the Dhamma throughout northern
India, attracting a large number of people in what was then called
Similarly after the time of the Buddha, during the time of Emperor Asoka
in the third century B.C., the Dhamma spread widely. Again this was
mainly because of the practical, applied aspect of the teaching (Dhamma
paṭipatti). Several Asokan rock edicts prove this fact. Asoka must have
himself experienced the beneficial results of this technique, and he
propagated the Dhamma with great zeal. It was out of the volition to
serve others, which develops when the mind becomes purified, that he put
forth so much effort to help his subjects in both the mundane as well
as the supramundane spheres. On the Pillar Edict #7 he points out two
reasons why he succeeded in this. One was the rule of law and order in
his kingdom (Dhammaniyamani), but he gave more emphasis to the second
reason which was the practice of meditation (nijhatiya), the practical
aspect of the Dhamma. This shows that he appreciated the fact that the
practice of the Dhamma is the main reason for its spread.
It was after the Third Council under Asoka’s patronage that fully
liberated arahant monks were sent out of northern India to nine
different areas to make the Dhamma available to more people. These monks
were called Dhamma dutas (Dhamma messengers). They naturally gave
emphasis to the practical aspect of the Dhamma by which they themselves
had become free from mental impurities. Filled with love and compassion,
they attracted large numbers of people to the path of liberation.
The following are the names of the elder monks (Theras) and the nine areas where they went to teach Dhamma:
Majjhantika Thera: Kasmira and Gandhara (Kashmir, Afghanistan, Peshawar and Rawalpindi in Northwest Pakistan)
Mahadeva Thera: Mahisamandala (Mysore)
Rakkhita Thera: Vanavasi (North Kanara in South India)
Mahinda Thera and others: Tambapannidipa (Sri Lanka)
Asoka also sent teachers to as far away as
present day Syria and Egypt. He paved the way for coming generations to
spread the sublime Dhamma to the entire world.
His lead was followed by King Kanishka who sent teachers such as the
Theras Kumarajiva and Bodhidhamma to Central Asia and China.
From there the Dhamma went to Korea in the early 4th century A.D., and
then to Japan. In India, Dhamma Universities—Takkasila, Nalanda,
Vikkamasila, and others—developed, flourished, and attracted learned
people from as far away as China. Dhamma also spread throughout
Southeast Asia. Large numbers of people started practising in Thailand,
Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Tibet also received the Dhamma,
through the service of Santirakshita, Padmasambhava, Atisha, and
Today the technique which the Buddha taught 2,500 years ago is once
again flourishing, and is giving the same results now as it did then.
Thousands of people in India and in countries around the world are
learning Vipassana. What is attracting so many different types of people
to the Dhamma is the same as what attracted them 2,500 years ago: the
very practical nature of the teaching which is vivid, tangible,
wholesome, easily understood, giving benefit here and now, leading one
step-by-step to the goal.
As many people start to practise Dhamma once again, we can begin to
imagine what life in the time of the Buddha, and later in the time of
Asoka, was like: a society full of peace and harmony as millions of
people became established in love, compassion, and wisdom through the
practice of Dhamma.
May all beings be happy. May peace and harmony prevail.
Sixth century BC was an important era in history. This was the
period when a great benefactor of mankind was born and became renowned
as Gotama the Buddha. The Buddha rediscovered the path of Dhamma leading
to the eradication of universal suffering. With great compassion he
spent forty-five years showing the path and this helped millions of
people to come out of their misery. Even today this path is helping
humanity, and will continue to do so provided the teachings and practice
are maintained in their pristine purity.
The following account of Sayagyi U Ba Khin’s teacher is partially
based on a translation of the book “Saya Thetgyi” by Dhammacariya U Htay
Saya Thetgyi (pronounced “Sa ya ta ji” in Burmese) was born in the
farming village of Pyawbwegyi, eight miles south of Rangoon, on the
opposite side of the Rangoon river, on June 27, 1873. He was given the
name Maung Po Thet. His father died when Po Thet was about 10, leaving
his mother alone to care for the four children: him, his two brothers
and a sister.
She supported the family by selling vegetable fritters in the
village. The little boy was made to go around selling leftover fritters,
but often came home without having sold any because he was too shy to
advertise his wares by calling out. So his mother dispatched two
children: Po Thet to carry the fritters on a tray on his head, and his
younger sister to proclaim their wares.
Because he was needed to help support the family, his formal
education was minimal -only about six years. His parents did not own any
land or rice fields, and so used to collect the stalks of rice which
remained after harvesting in the fields of others. One day on the way
home from the fields, Po Thet found some small fish in a pond that was
drying up. He caught them and brought them home so that he could release
them into the village pond. His mother saw the fish and was about to
chastise her son for catching them, but when he explained his intentions
to her, she instead exclaimed, “Sadhu! Sadhu! (well-said! well-done!).”
She was a kind-hearted woman who never nagged or scolded, but did not
tolerate any akusala (immoral) deed.
When he was 14 years old, Maung Po Thet started working as a
bullock-cart driver transporting rice, giving his daily wages to his
mother. He was so small at the time that he had to take a box along to
help him get in and out of the cart.
Po Thet’s next job was as a sampan oarsman. The village of Pyawbwegyi
is on a flat cultivated plain, fed by many tributaries which flow into
the Rangoon river. When the rice fields are flooded navigation is a
problem, and one of the common means of travel is by these long,
The owner of a local rice mill observed the small boy working
diligently carrying loads of rice, and decided to hire him as a
tally-man in the mill at a wage of six rupees per month. Po Thet lived
by himself in the mill and ate simple meals of split pea fritters and
At first he bought rice from the Indian watchman and other laborers.
They told him he could help himself to the sweepings of milled rice
which were kept for pig and chicken feed. Po Thet refused, saying that
he did not want to take the rice without the mill owner’s knowledge. The
owner found out, however, and gave his permission. As it happened,
Maung Po Thet did not have to eat the rice debris for long. Soon the
sampan and cart owners began to give him rice because he was such a
helpful and willing worker. Still, Po Thet continued to collect the
sweepings, giving them to poor villagers who could not afford to buy
After one year his salary was increased to 10 rupees, and after two
years, to 15. The mill owner offered him money to buy good quality rice
and allowed him free milling of 100 baskets per month. His monthly
salary increased to 25 rupees, which supported him and his mother quite
Maung Po Thet married Ma Hmyin when he was about 16 years old, as was
customary. His wife was the youngest of three daughters of a well-to-do
landowner and rice merchant. The couple had two children, a daughter
and a son. Following the Burmese custom, they lived in a joint family
with Ma Hmyin’s parents and sisters. Ma Yin, the younger sister,
remained single and managed a successful small business. She was later
instrumental in supporting U Po Thet in practicing and teaching
Ma Hmyin’s eldest sister, Ma Khin, married Ko Kaye and had a son,
Maung Nyunt. Ko Kaye managed the family rice fields and business. Maung
Po Thet, now called U Po Thet or U Thet (Mr. Thet), also prospered in
the buying and selling of rice.
As a child, U Thet had not had the opportunity to ordain as a novice
monk, which is an important and common practice in Burma. It was only
when his nephew Maung Nyunt became a novice at 12 years of age that U
Thet himself became a novice. Later, for a time, he also ordained as a
When he was about 23, he learned Anapana meditation from a lay teacher, Saya Nyunt, and continued to practice for seven years.
U Thet and his wife had many friends and relatives living nearby in
the village. With numerous uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins and
in-laws, they led an idyllic life of contentment in the warmth and
harmony of family and friends.
This rustic peace and happiness was shattered when a cholera epidemic
struck the village in 1903. Many villagers died, some within a few
days. They included U Thet’s son and young teenage daughter who, it is
said, died in his arms. His brother-in-law, Ko Kaye, and his wife also
perished from the disease, as well as U Thet’s niece who was his
This calamity affected U Thet deeply, and he could not find refuge
anywhere. Desperately wanting to find a way out of this misery, he asked
permission from his wife and sister-in-law, Ma Yin, and other relatives
to leave the village in search of “the deathless.”
Accompanied in his wanderings by a devoted companion and follower, U
Nyo, U Thet wandered all over Burma in a fervent search, visiting
mountain retreats and forest monasteries, studying with different
teachers, both monks and laymen. Finally he followed the suggestion of
his first teacher, Saya Nyunt, to go north to Monywa to practice with
the Venerable Ledi Sayadaw.
During these years of spiritual searching, U Thet’s wife and
sister-in-law remained in Pyawbwegyi and managed the rice fields. In the
first few years he returned occasionally to see that all was well.
Finding that the family was prospering, he began to meditate more
continuously. He stayed with Ledi Sayadaw seven years in all, during
which time his wife and sister-in-law supported him by sending money
each year from the harvest on the family farm.
With U Nyo, he finally went back to his village, but did not return
to his former householder’s life. Ledi Sayadaw had advised him at the
time of his departure to work diligently to develop his samadhi
(concentration) and panna (purifying wisdom), so that eventually he
could begin to teach meditation.
Accordingly, when U Thet and U Nyo reached Pyawbwegyi, they went straight to the sala (rest-house)
at the edge of the family farm, which they began to use as a Dhamma
hall. Here they meditated continuously. They arranged for a woman who
lived nearby to cook two meals a day while they kept up their retreat.
U Thet persevered in this way for one year, making rapid progress in
his meditation. At the end of the period he felt the need for advice
from his teacher, and although he could not speak to Ledi Sayadaw in
person, he knew that his teacher’s books were in a cupboard at his home.
So he went there to consult the manuals.
His wife and her sister, in the meantime, had become quite angry with
him for not returning to the house after such a long absence. His wife
had even decided to divorce him. When the sisters saw U Po Thet
approaching, they agreed neither to greet nor welcome him. But as soon
as he came in the door, they found themselves welcoming him profusely.
They talked awhile and U Thet asked for their forgiveness, which they
They served him tea and a meal and he procured his books. He
explained to his wife that he was now living on eight precepts and would
not be returning to the usual householder’s life; from now on they
would be as brother and sister.
His wife and sister-in-law invited him to come to the house every day
for his morning meal and happily agreed to continue supporting him. He
was extremely grateful for their generosity and told them that the only
way he could repay them was to give them Dhamma.
Other relatives, including his wife’s cousin, U Ba Soe, came to see
and talk with him. After about two weeks, U Thet said that he was
spending too much time coming and going for lunch, so Ma Hmyin and Ma
Yin offered to send the noon meal to the sala.
Misinterpreting U Thet’s zeal, people in the village were at first
reluctant to come to him for instruction. They thought that due perhaps
to grief over his losses, and his absence from the village, he had lost
his senses. But slowly they realized from his speech and actions that he
was indeed a transformed person, one who was living in accordance with
Soon some of U Thet’s relatives and friends began to request that he
teach them meditation. U Ba Soe offered to take charge of the fields and
the household affairs and U Thet’s sister and a niece took
responsibility for preparing the meals. U Thet started teaching Anapana
to a group of about 15 people in 1914, when he was 41 years old. The
students all stayed at the sala, some of them going home from
time to time. He gave discourses to his meditation students, as well as
to interested people who were not practicing meditation. His listeners
found his talks so learned that they refused to believe that U Thet had
very little theoretical knowledge of Dhamma.
Due to his wife’s and sister-in-law’s generous financial support and
the help of other family members, all the food and other necessities
were provided for the meditators who came to U Thet’s Dhamma hall, even
to the extent, on one occasion, of compensating workers for wages lost
while they took a Vipassana course.
In about 1915, after teaching for a year, U Thet took his wife and
her sister and a few other family members to Monywa to pay respects to
Ledi Sayadaw who was then about 70 years old. When U Thet told his
teacher about his meditation experiences and the courses he had been
offering, Ledi Sayadaw was very pleased.
It was during this visit that Ledi Sayadaw gave his walking staff to U
Thet, saying: “Here my great pupil, take my staff and forward. Keep it
well. I do not give this to you to make you live long, but as a reward,
so that there will be no mishaps in your life. You have been successful.
From today onwards you must teach the Dhamma of rupa and nama (mind and matter) to 6,000 people. The Dhamma known by you is inexhaustible, so propagate the sasana (era of the Buddha’s teaching). Pay homage to the sasana in my stead.”
The next day Ledi Sayadaw summoned all the monks of his monastery. He
requested U Thet to stay on for 10 or 15 days to instruct them. The
Sayadaw then told the gathering bhikkhus: “Take note, all of you. This
layman is my great pupil U Po Thet, from lower Burma. He is capable of
teaching meditation like me. Those of you who wish to practice
meditation, follow him. Learn the technique from him and practice. You,
Dayaka Thet (a lay supporter of a monk who undertakes to supply his
needs such as food, robes, medicine, etc.), hoist the victory banner of
Dhamma in place of me, starting at my monastery.”
U Thet then taught Vipassana meditation to about 25 monks learned in
the scriptures. It was at this time that he became known as Saya
Thetgyyi (saya means “teacher”; gyi is a suffix denoting respect).
Ledi Sayadaw encouraged Saya Thetgyi to teach the Dhamma on his
behalf. Saya Thetgyi knew many of Ledi Sayadaw’s prolific writings by
heart, and was able to expound on the Dhamma with references to the
scriptures in such a way that most learned Sayadaws (monk teachers)
could not find fault. Ledi Sayadaw’s exhortation to him to teach
Vipassana in his stead was a solemn responsibility, but Saya Thetgyi was
apprehensive due to his lack of theoretical knowledge. Bowing to his
teacher in deep respect, he said: “Among your pupils, I am the least
learned in the scriptures. To dispense the sasana by teaching Vipassana
as decreed by you is a highly subtle, yet heavy duty to perform, sir.
That is why I request that, if at any time I need to ask for
clarification, you will give me your help and guidance. Please be my
support, and please admonish me whenever necessary.”
Ledi Sayadaw reassured him by replying, “I will not forsake you, even at the time of my passing away.”
Saya Thetgyi and his relatives returned to their village in southern
Burma and discussed with other family members plans for carrying out the
task given by Ledi Sayadaw. Saya Thetgyi considered traveling around
Burma, thinking that he would have more contact with people that way.
But his sister-in-law said, “You have a Dhamma hall here, and we can
support you in your work by preparing food for the students. Why not
stay and give courses? There are many who will come here to learn
Vipassana.” He agreed, and began holding regular courses at his sala in Pyawbwegyi.
As his sister-in-law had predicted, many people started coming, and
Saya Thetgyi’s reputation as a meditation teacher spread. He taught
simple farmers and laborers, as well as those who were well-versed in
the Pali texts. The village was not far from Rangoon, the capital of
Burma under the British, so government employees and city dwellers like U
Ba Khin, also came.
As more and more people came to learn meditation, Saya Thetgyi
appointed as assistant teachers some of the older, experienced
meditators like U Nyo, U Ba Soe, and U Aung Nyunt.
The center progressed year by year until there were up to 200
students, including monks and nuns, in the courses. There was not enough
room in the Dhamma hall, so the more experienced students practiced
meditation in their homes and came to the sala only for the discourses.
From the time he returned from Ledi Sayadaw’s center, Saya Thetgyi
lived by himself and ate only one meal a day, in solitude and silence.
Like the bhikkhus, he never discussed his meditation attainments. If
questioned, he would never say what stage of meditation he or any other
student had achieved, although it was widely believed in Burma that he
was an Anagami (person having achieved the last stage before final liberation), and he was known as Anagam Saya Thetgyi.
Since lay teachers of Vipassana were rare at that time, Saya Thetgyi
faced certain difficulties that monk teachers did not. For example, he
was opposed by some because he was not so learned in the scriptures.
Saya Thetgyi simply ignored these criticisms and allowed the results of
the practice to speak for themselves.
For 30 years he taught meditation to all who came to him, guided by
his own experience and using Ledi Sayadaw’s manuals as a reference. By
1945, when he was 72, he had fulfilled his mission of teaching
thousands. His wife had died, his sister-in-law had become paralyzed,
and his own health was failing. So he distributed all his property to
his nieces and nephews, setting aside 50 acres of rice fields for the
maintenance of his Dhamma hall.
He had 20 water buffaloes that had tilled his fields for years. He
distributed them among people who he knew would treat them kindly, and
sent them off with the invocation, “You have been my benefactors. Thanks
to you, the rice has been grown. Now you are free from your work. May
you be released from this kind of life for a better existence.”
Saya Thetgyi moved to Rangoon, both for medical treatment and to see
his students there. He told some of them that he would die in Rangoon
and that his body would be cremated in a place where no cremation had
taken place before. He also said that his ashes should not be kept in
holy places because he was not entirely free from defilements, that is,
he was not an arahant (fully enlightened being).
One of his students had established a meditation center at
Arzanigone, on the northern slope of the Shwedagon Pagoda. Nearby was a
bomb shelter that had been built during the Second World War. Saya
Thetgyi used this shelter as his meditation cave. At night he stayed
with one of his assistant teachers. His students from Rangoon, including
the Accountant General, U Ba Khin, and Commissioner of Income Tax, U
San Thein, visited him as much as time permitted.
He instructed all who came to see him to be diligent in their
practice, to treat the monks and nuns who came to practice meditation
with respect, to be well-disciplined in body, speech and mind, and to
pay respects to the Buddha in everything they did.
Saya Thetgyi was accustomed to go to the Shwedagon Pagoda every
evening, but after about a week he caught a cold and fever from sitting
in the dug-out shelter. Despite being treated by physicians, his
condition deteriorated. As his state worsened, his nieces and nephews
came from Pyawbwegyi to Rangoon. Every night his students, numbering
about 50, sat in meditation together. During these group meditations
Saya Thetgyi himself did not say anything, but silently meditated.
One night at about 10 pm, Saya Thetgyi was with a number of his
students (U Ba Khin was unable to be present). He was lying on his back,
and his breathing became loud and prolonged. Two of the students were
watching intently, while the rest meditated silently. At exactly 11:00
p.m., his breathing became deeper. It seemed as if each inhalation and
expiration took about five minutes. After three breaths of this kind the
breathing stopped altogether, and Saya Thetgyi passed away.
His body was cremated on the northern slope of the Shwedagon Pagoda
and Sayagyi U Ba Khin and his disciples later built a small pagoda on
the spot. But perhaps the most fitting and enduring memorial to this
singular teacher is the fact that the task given him by Ledi Sayadaw of
spreading the Dhamma in all strata of society still continues.
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Why Should We Embrace Buddhism
WHY SHOULD WE EMBRACE BUDDHISM Baba Saheb Dr BR Ambedkar From the
book Bahujan Samaj Aur Uski Rajniti by: Kumari Mayawati and The Hindu
News paper extract.
JC Vimalo ( Acharya Venerable Buddharakkhita named Jagatheesan Chandrasekharan as Vimalo a Buddhist name)
It is necessary to understand the History of the Saints and Gurus
who made significant contributions towards giving a right direction to
the Bahujan samaj from time to time. Although BSP is in favour of
Secularism as enunciated in the Constitution of India, within that we
ought to seriously consider the options available before us, if the
words of Buddha and Dhamma inspire us to reconstruct a social order into
one based on equal values, we should opt for it. In the larger interest
of the Country and the world at large, to encourage humanity and
humanism. We should not hesitate in following such religion. In other
words, since Buddhism has valuable lessons for the today’s global
village, we should take full advantage of such a religion.
This approach might be misconstrued, as if we are trying to preach a
particular Religion. All Religions have to be equally respected. But
the shortcomings of each Religion in so far as they fall short of what
is “Dhamma” have to be clearly understood and practiced. Today, all
political parties, whether they are National or Regional, have members
from all Religious denominations. Likewise, in Bahujan samaj Party also,
There are people who profess different religions. All political parties
should bear in mind the principles of secularism, and instead of
misusing Religion for political benefits, they should use Religion in
the best interests of the Country, for giving correct direction to the
Society. Now the question arises, as to which are the religions, which
help us to preserve the Unity and Integrity of the Society. To arrive at
an answer to this question, we will have to study the History of all
Religions as was done by Baba Saheb Dr Ambedkar.
After an in depth study of all Religions, he described the Teachings
of Buddha as appropriate for building an equality based social order. A
glimpse of this belief of Baba Saheb is visible in his historic speech
delivered on 14th October 1956, in Nagpur. It becomes necessary to make a
special mention of that speech so that, not only the Bahujan Samaj but
the whole society as such will realise some truths about the Teachings
of Buddha. These teachings will help in the reconstruction of the
society on equality based order.
`It is important to throw some light on the significant things which
are essential for reconstructing the social order on the basis of
equality, and which Gautam Buddha emphasised in his sermons, before we
come to the principles highlighted by Baba Saheb in his speech at
Nagpur. Gautam Buddha said, ” Do not believe in traditions merely
because they have been handed down, for many generations and in many
places Do not believe in anything because it is rumored and spoken by
many. Do not believe because the written statement of some old sage is
reproduced. Do not believe in fancies, thinking that because they are
extraordinary, they must have been implanted by a deva, or a wonderful
being. Only after careful observations and analysis, when a thing agrees
with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all,
accept it and live up to it.” (Kalma Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya)
Gautam Buddha announced a social revolution for the first time in
India. He taught the lesson of equality, comradeship, mercy and
brotherhood to the entire human society, and laid the foundations for an
independent conscience, delivering the society from the slavery of
spiritualism. Atamvad, Ishwarvad, Shastravad, and religious scriptures.
It is due to his saddharma that the Country scaled heights of art and
culture. But those professing Brahmimism did not like it since the
interest of their section of society were served only by perpetuating
inequalities, through Ishwarvad and Shastravad.
As a result, Brahmins used all possible conceits and even State
power, to extinguish Saddharma and Buddhism from the very land on which
it was born, while it kept flourishing abroad, beyond the boundaries of
our Country. Not only this, the Brahmins executed hundreds of Buddhist
Monks, broke many statues of Buddha, destroyed many Monasteries, and
killed thousands of Buddhist people, and converted most of the
hardworking Buddhists of this Country into Untouchables, through the
instruments of Manuvad, This oppressed class of Untouchables had to
suffer inhuman cruelties and extreme exploitation for a long time. As a
result, this class of working people was forced to forget its own
culture and religion - in other words Buddhism itself. But on 14th
October 1956, Baba Saheb Dr Ambedkar gave a call to this oppressed and
deprived class to return to their own culture, namely Buddhism. He
showed the path to comprehensive Dalit Revolution and Independence. By
leaving Hindu religion, and returning to Buddhism alone, is emancipation
and progress of Dalits possible. Not only this, the welfare of entire
society of India and the welfare of the whole Country as such, lies only
in adopting the high human values professed by Buddhism. The Historic
words, which Baba Saheb uttered in his speech, are as follows:
WHY SHOULD WE EMBRACE BUDDHISM? - BABA SAHEB DR BR AMBEDKAR
“Followers of Buddhist Faith, I want to explain in my address to you
today, why I have assumed the mighty responsibility of Revival and
Propagation of the Gospel of Lord Buddha. Many intellectual friends and
myself feel that the” induction” ritual, which took place yesterday on
Conversion, should have preceded the Induction Ceremony, yesterday. But
what has happened, is history, and it will be of no significance to
ponder over this question of sequence now.
Why only Nagpur?
Many people have been curious to know, why did I select only Nagpur
for this monumental task, and why did I not think some other location.
Some believe that, since this town is a hub of the Rashtriya Swayam
Sevak, I have deliberately selected this venue to embarrass them, by
executing a spectacular right in their view. But it is not so. I have no
such ambition. I have neither the time nor the intention to provoke
them with such meaningless ploys. The enormous task that I have taken
upon myself is important that every minute that I spend on it is
valuable to me. The thought of RSS has not even remotely touched my mind
while selecting this venue.
Those who have studied the ancient history of India, and the
Buddhist connection, know that the credit for propagating Buddhism in
the beginning goes to Nagas. Nagas were non-Aryans, and there existed a
fierce enmity between the Aryans and the Nagas. Many battles were fought
between the Aryans and the non-Aryans. Aryans wanted to completely
annihilate the Nagas. There are many legends, to be found in the puranas
in this connection. The Sage ‘Agastya’ is said to have saved one snake
deity, symbolic of Nagas. You are all supposed to be the descendents of
naga. The Nagas, who were suppressed and oppressed by the Aryans, were
on the look out for a great man to liberate them, and they found that
great man in the person of Lord Buddha. Nagas spread the Religion of the
Buddha throughout India. Nagas were predominantly the inhabitants of
Nagpur. A river flowing at a distance of 27 miles from Nagpur is also
named Nag. It appears that the Nagas lived in the banks of this river.
This is mainly the reason for selecting Nagpur for this occasion.
Conflict is possible with the RSS on any other issue, but none has
selected this venue to provoke them.
Frustration among critics
Severe criticism has been made by some NewsPapers, of this great
moment launched by me, and followed by you. According to some of my
critics, I am misguiding my own brethren. According to them, the
Untouchables will continue to remain Untouchables. Conversion will not
Many News papers even went to the extent of suggesting that whatever
Political Privileges are being enjoyed by the Untouchables at present,
will also be taken away after conversion. All this is absurd propaganda.
These people are of the view that, instead of exploring new avenues, we
should follow the beaten path for amelioration of our condition. This
kind of mischievous talk is likely to cause doubts in the minds of
young, as well as the older people. Therefore, I cannot desist from
answering this question. Our Movement will gain strength if such doubts
are removed. Therefore, I wish to speak on this question at length.
Mahars and Chamars should stop removing the dead bodies of buffaloes
and cows. ‘Mahars and Chamars. Don’t eat carryon’ was a slogan, which
was raised by me. Some thirty years ago, I launched this Movement on
these issues. This somehow immensely offended our Hindu friends. I asked
them, “You take the milk from the cows and buffaloes, and when they are
dead you expect us to remove their dead bodies. Why? If you can carry
the dead bodies of your mothers to cremate, why do you not carry the
bodies of your ‘mother-cows’ yourself? When I put this question to the
Hindus, they felt offended I told them, if you let us remove the dead
bodies of your mothers, we will very gladly remove the dead bodies of
your cows and buffaloes as well. A ‘Chitpavan Brahmin’ tried to prove,
through a number of letters published in ‘Kesri’, a Brahmin journal,
that if the Untouchables stopped removing the dead bodies of animals,
they would be put to a great financial loss. He augmented his point, by
furnishing statistical data in support of his argument. According to
him, every Chamar, who removed the dead bodies of the animal, earned
between Rs.500 and Rs.600 per annum from the sale of proceeds of skin,
horns, teeth, hoofs and bones of the dead cows. He accused me that I was
trying to deprive them, of their livelihood by preaching against this
practice. My Untouchable brethren felt confused, as to where I was
Once I happened to visit Sangmaner, a Tehsil in the District of
Belgaum. The author of those letters, which had appeared in Kesri, met
me and repeated the same questions. I told him that, I would answer his
questions at an appropriate time. I answered the questions published in
‘Kesri’ in a public meeting in the following manner. ‘My people do not
have sufficient food to eat. Women have no clothes to cover their
bodies. No roof over their heads to give them shelters. No land to grow
food -grains. So they are drown-trodden and poverty stricken. They are
oppressed and exploited. ‘ I asked all those present, if they knew the
reason why? None replied from among the congregation; not even the
person who had written those letters to the ‘Kesri’. I told them, to
better leave us alone, and allow us to worry about ourselves. ‘If you
are so much anxious about our losses, why don’t you send your friends
and relatives to live in the villages, and do this dirty job of dragging
the dead bodies of animals so that they may earn Rs.500/- per annum. In
addition to that amount, I will pay Rs.500/- from my pocket as prize.
They will gain doubly. Why miss this opportunity? True, we will suffer a
loss, but you stand to gain. No caste Hindu has come forward to
undertake this job and claim the prize. Why do they feel perturbed on
seeing us making progress? I can take care of my people for the food,
clothing, houses and other things they need. You Hindus need not worry
about these things.
If we do this dirty work, it is said to be profitable, and if they
do it, it becomes non-profitable. They were welcome to remove the dead
animals and earn profit. Similarly, some people say that, some seats
have been reserved for us in the Legislature. Why are we keen to give up
that advantage by converting to Buddhism? My reply to them is that they
should let the Brahmins, Rajputs and other caste Hindus come forward,
and fill these up by becoming Chamars, sweepers and mahars.
Why should they moan over our loss, if seats Reserved for us are
left vacant? Self-Respect is more important to a man than material gains
There is an area in Bombay known for prostitution. Women of easy
virtue who live there wake up at about 8 O’clock in the morning, and
call for boys who work in the cheap restaurants, ‘O boys; Get a plate of
‘kheema’ and ‘Roti. They take ‘Kheema roti’ and tea. But our women do
not get ‘Kheema roti’ to eat. They eat ordinary ‘Roti’ and ‘Chatni’, and
remain content with that. They too can opt to live the life of
prostitutes, but they are fond of their self-respect. And Dignity is
one’s birthright. Our ambition is to do our utmost towards achieving it
completely. No sacrifice will be enough to achieve this. Journalists
have been after me for the last forty years. I want to tell them now
that, they ought to write in a mature and considered language. We do
deserve to live with fuller Dignity, which the Hindus have hitherto
denied to us. We will achieve that fullness, after we have embraced
I have been liberated from Hell
I am surprised that our Conversion is being discussed everywhere.
But, I am surprised to see that nobody has asked me the Reason why of
all the religions I have chosen Buddhism. In any Movement of Conversion,
this is a significant question to be asked. Which religion should be
adopted and why? I started the Movement of renouncing the Hindu Religion
in 1935, and since then I have been continuing the struggle. A mammoth
public meeting was held at Yeola, District Nasik in 1935, in which it
was resolved in the congregation that, we shall renounce the Hindu
religion. I had resolved then, that although I am born as a Hindu, I
would not die a Hindu. I had taken that pledge 21 years ago, and I have
fulfilled it today. This Conversion has given me enormous pleasure. I
feel as if I have been liberated from Hell. L does not want any blind
followers. Those who want to embrace Buddhism should do so after careful
thinking so that they hold on firmly to this Religion for future.
Karl Marx and Dalits
Religion is a must for the progress of mankind. I am deeply aware
that, according to a new interpretation given by Karl Marx, Religion is
an opiate. According to him, Religion has no place in life. They believe
in ‘eat, drink and be merry.’ All that they want is bread and butter
for breakfast, delicious meals in the afternoon, nice comfortable bed to
sleep on, and cinema to while away their time. I do not somehow agree
with them. Owing to the poverty of my father, I did not have the
opportunity to enjoy any of these luxuries. None would have labored in
life as much as I have. But this ahs not made me irreligious. I known
myself what sort of hardships the poor have to bear. We must launch our
struggle keeping in view the economic aspects. I am not against this
idea. We should progress economically too. I have been struggling
throughout my life to that end. Not only this, I very much desires the
entire mankind to become economically strong.
Animal and Man
But I have my own views in this regard. There is difference between
man and animal. Whilst the beast needs nothing except its daily food for
existence, the human being is endowed with a Body and a Mind. Mind must
be developed side by side with body. Mind should also be filled with
pure and cultured thoughts. I do not consider it advantageous to have
anything to do with the Countries where people believe that eating and
drinking is separate from Development of mind. One should bear in mind
that, just as we have a healthy body in order to be able to remain free
from disease, so in order to keep the body healthy, we must also develop
a healthy Mind. Without this, all human progress will become meaning
A developed Mind - the Main Force Behind Enthusiasm
What causes the disease in human body or mind? So long as the body
is in suffering, Mind cannot be happy. If the mind is not happy, there
cannot be any enthusiasm in life. Nothing can be achieved if there is no
What causes this lack of enthusiasm? It is a state of hopelessness.
If one begins to believe that there is no hope of ones’ elevation in
life, one looses enthusiasm. There can be no enthusiasm without hope.
The mind becomes diseased. When one is assured of enjoying the reward of
ones’ labour, only then one feels enriched by enthusiasm and
inspiration. If the teachers in school start commenting, “Oh! This is a
Mahar boy. How did he secure the first position in the class? What
business has he to stand first in the class? Only the Brahmins are
entitled to secure the first position.” Now what enthusiasm can the
Mahar boy have in these circumstances? How will he advance in life? Mind
is the main source of generation of enthusiasm. One who has a healthy
body and a healthy mind has confidence and courage. He can fight with
all kinds of odds in life. This generates enthusiasm in him. Hinduism is
founded on ideologies and such principles of inequality and injustice,
as leave no room for the development of enthusiasm. If this religion
thrives for another thousand years, it will only produce clerks who will
do nothing except filling their bellies. Then we shall need super
clerks to protect them from injustices and various kinds of atrocities.
Common masses of Untouchables will not gain anything. If there is one
foundation for enthusiasm it is the mind. Manager is appointed in mills
to extract work from labour. Their job is only to get work from the
labour. The proprietors remain engrossed in their business, and get no
time to develop their minds. How did I get my education? Owing to
poverty, I used to attend school with nothing more than loin clothes on
my body. I was not allowed to get even water to drink in the school. I
had to go without water for many days. Untouchability was observed even
in Elphinstone College, Bombay. What can be expected in this kind of
circumstances? Untouchability cannot be removed if education produces
only slavish clerks.
Be Rulers, not Clerks.
I was an Executive Councilor in Delhi during British Rule. Lord
Linlithgow was the viceroy of India at that time. Once I asked that he
allocated Rs 3 Lacs for Aligar Muslim University for the sake of
Muslims, and Rs 3 Lacs to the Benaras Hindu University for the sake of
Hindus. But we are neither Hindus nor Muslims. An amount proportionate
to the population of the Scheduled Castes should be allocated for us.
Since that proportionate amount would be quite high you should allocate
an amount equal to that allocated to Muslims. Lord Linlithgow asked me
to give in writing whatever I wanted to say. As desired by him, I
submitted a Memorandum. Europeans were generally sympathetic in their
outlook. He agreed to my proposal, and granted a sum of Rs. 3 Lacs for
the Scheduled Castes. But the question, as to how the amount thus
allocated should be spent, could not be resolved. Viceroy wanted this
amount to be spent on education of the girls belonging to Scheduled
Castes, and suggested Boarding Houses be built for them. If this money
is spent in this manner to build Boarding Houses, in order to make the
illiterate girls belonging to the Scheduled castes educated. I thought
we should soon require money for providing them with good food too. Poor
as our people are, how shall they get these things for their daughters?
What will be the result of this education? Since these questions could
not be resolved, the Viceroy withheld the money earmarked for the
education of the Scheduled castes.
I went to Lord Linlithgow again and had a straightforward talk with
him on the topic. I put this question to the Viceroy Lord Linlithgow.
‘Am I not equal to 500 graduates?’ ‘Yes, of course, you are.’ Replied
Lord Linlithgow. Then I asked him, ‘Do you know the reason why I say
so?’ He did not know. I told the Viceroy that my education that my
education is so thorough that I am capable of holding any office of the
Govt. with confidence. I need such learned men who should be capable of
holding key position whence they should work in the most effective
manner for the betterment of the community.
If you really want to do something for the betterment of the
‘untouchables’ you will have to produce such people as would be able to
ameliorate their condition. How will it help to merely help produce
clerks? Lord Linlithgow acceded to my suggestion, and sent 16 boys
belonging to Scheduled castes abroad for higher education.
“Chaturvarna, Gandhi and Religion
We have been living in this country for thousands of years, in a
hopeless system, which generates no enthusiasm. So long as the present
system continues, there is no scope for generation of any enthusiasm for
our progress. Smarting under Hindu religion, which is founded on
inequality and injustice, we can achieve nothing. Manusmriti describes
the ‘Chaturvarna’. This ‘Chaturvarna’ is disastrous for the progress of
mankind. Under this system, the Shudras are restricted to performance of
drudgeries only. They have nothing to do with education. Who would be
interested in ameliorating their lot? Brahmins, Kshatriyas and vaishyas
benefit alike from the slavish condition of Shudras. Shudras have
nothing but slavery to share. Chaturvarna cannot just be blown away. It
is not only a part of tradition; it has become a religion.
There is no equality in Hinduism. I once went to see Gandhiji.
Gandhiji told me that he believed in CHATURVARNA. ‘What kind of
Chaturvarna’? I enquired, pointing towards my hand with the little
finger in the bottom and thumb on the top or this way - with the palm
lying flat on the surface of the table and fingers lying side by side.
‘What do you mean by the Chaturvarna? Where does it begin and where does
it end?’ I asked Gandhiji. Gandhiji could not reply.
Those who have ruined us, this unjust religion of theirs will be
annihilated in front of them. I do not accuse the Hindu religion in
vain. This sinful religion cannot save any body. It has no life left in
Bahujan Samaj Party under the able Ms. Mayawati, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Don’t Delude: They deliver
The Facts Speak for Themselves
· 69% reduction in crime.
· Rs. 7000 crore Water Restructuring Project Launched
· Rs. 3000 Crore State Roads Project initiated.
· Highest external aid received and utilised in last 5 years.
· Construction of Rs. 2500 crore first accesses controlled expressway of India between Greater Nouda & Agra started.
· 650 crore PM Rural Roads Projects implemented.
· First State to provide legal framework for SEZs.
· Proposal of Rs. 1900 crore for new industries.
· 1.87 lakh landless dalits provided ownership of village land.
· 89,000 landless given new land leases.
· 1001 new urban development projects launched.
· 96 crore Dr.Ambedkar Memorial dedicated to people.
…And all this happened in just One Year It needed courage with Vision to realise it.
Mayawati moots reservation in cabinet
The Bahujan Samaj Party today advocated reservation in the Council
of Ministers in order to ensure adequate reservation for Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
While supporting the move to limit the size of Ministries both at
the Centre and the States, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP
vice-president, Mayawati said that she had instructed her party leaders
in the Lok Sabah to seek a clause providing reservation for the SCs and
the STs, “keeping in mind their population”.
Addressing the media at NEW DELHI on 03-04-2003, on completion of
one-year of her coalition Government, Ms Mayawati said the BSP would
also support the Centre’s move to introduce legislation to tackle the
problem of defection. “We will vote in favour of both the Bills and help
in their passage.” To a question on the BSP’s viewpoint to ban
religious conversion, Ms Mayawati said there was no objection to the
move to check forcible conversions. Otherwise the constitution permitted
the freedom to practice any religion. Incidentally, Ms Mayawati had
warned at the Lucknow rally on April 14, that unless Hindu religion
leaders eliminated discriminatory practices, the ‘Bahujan ‘ samaj led by
her would embrace Buddhism.
The BSP would also support Central ligislation to ban cow slaughter
and such a law was already in place in Uttar Pradesh. Asked about her
Government’s stand on the VHP’s ‘trishul’ (trident-anodized plastic)
distribution programme, Ms.mayawati said she agreed with the Deputy
Prime Minister, L.K.Advani’s remarks that it marred the organisation’s
image. However, she said the VHP had already carried on some ‘minor’
programme in the state. “I would not commit the mistake of carrying out
(their) arrest like Rajastan did and make him (VHP leader Praveen
Togadia) a hero,” she said.
In the same breath, she warned that if the Samajawadi Party
attempted to distribute swords, as the party leaders did at a rally in
Delhi, they would be proceeded against under the Arms Act.
The BSP would go it alone in the Assembly elections in Madya
Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Delhi and Rajastan later this year. Talks on
seat-sharing arrangement with the BJP for U.P. ahead of the next general
elections would take place only after the Assembly polls.
The BSP would field a candidate against the Mahashtra Chief Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde.
‘I will be the best PM and Mayawati is my chosen heir’
“I will be the best Prime Minister. I have already declared at the Lucknow rally that Mayawati is my chosen political heir.”
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Kanshi Ram appeared out of the blue
in the mid-70s to pose a challenge to the powerful and influential
leaders of Indian politics. The former employee of a steel plant set out
to rid society of its most potent evil - the caste system - and give
dignity and freedom to his constituency, the Dalits. It has been two
decades since he began, and Kanshi Ram is still energetic despite a
Today, the BSP rules India’s largest state, UP, and is a national
party. Kanshi Ram spends his time Travelling in states as far flung as
Punjab, AP, and MP and Gujarat ‘’addressing the public, creating leaders
for his party and building the future’’. His views on why he aligned
with ‘’casteist’’ and ‘’communal’’ parties like BJP are well known - for
Dalit empowerment -
‘Yes, I was influenced by the writings on the caste struggle of
Ambedkar, Jyotibhai Phule and Shahu Maharaj, who were all from
Maharashtra. I am a chamar from Punjab but we were an educated people
because of the Sikh religion. We even had an IAS officer from our
village soon after Independence. It became clear that if I had to take
the fight of the chamars against upper caste oppression, I should first
mobilise educated and employed chamars like me, because they have the
resources and the ability to comprehend. And, so, Bamcef, a federation
representing them, was born in Pune around 1975, but I shifted my
headquarters to Delhi. The majority of chamars are in north India.
Yes. I saw the Congress was the most powerful in the chamar belt -
extending from Jammu in the north to Dhanbad in the east including
Madhya Pradesh in the south. The Congress had cleverly got a stooge in
Jagjivan Ram, a chamar leader, whose only job was to keep the community
in the Congress fold and to ensure that the radical writings of Ambedkar
did not enter the region. I decided to break Jagjivan Ram’s grip and
finish the manuvadi (upper caste) Congress here.
Nothing in my life is immediate. When word got around that there was
a new chamar leader, Indira Gandhi began strengthening the hands of
Jagjivan Ram, but it proved costly. It finally led Jagjivan Ram to
challenge her leadership by wanting to become PM and he was forced to
leave the party.
The BSP was founded in 1984 and in 1985, it contested the UP
assembly elections by fielding more than 200 candidates. We did not win a
single seat but the Congress lost 165 seats because we split its votes.
It was the beginning of the end.
Is it wrong for the chamars to have their own leader and party to
fight for dignity and justice? The BSP represents the chamars and we had
got 18 varieties of chamars under one umbrella
But ours is a strange Country. If all Kasatriyas get killed, all the
warriors get killed. This has been happening in the past. That is why
our Country became slave, so many times. If we were allowed to bear
arms, this Country would never have been subjugated, as no invader would
have been able to conquer this Country.
Buddhism has hope for this Country
There is no salvation for anybody in Hinduism. According to the
tenets of Hinduism only the so-called higher castes have been benefited.
There is no exaggeration in my statement. What has the Shudras or the
Ati-Shudras gained? As soon as the wife of a Brahmin conceives, she
thinks oh the High Court, whether any post of a Judge has fallen vacant,
but when our woman becomes pregnant, she cannot think anything better
than a sweeper’s post under the Municipal Committee. This deplorable
situation exists only because of Hinduism. How can we gain by staying in
this system? It is only by embracing Buddhism that we can hope to gain
Brahmins and Shudras alike embraced the religion of Lord Buddha.
While delivering a Sermon to the original Bhikkus, Lord Buddha said, “O’
Bhikkus, you have come from different Countries and various Castes,
Great rivers when they flow in different Countries maintain their
individual flow, but, after falling into the ocean, they loose their
separate identities. Buddhism is like that ocean. All are one and equal
in this ocean. It is not possible to identify the waters of Ganga or
Yamuna when they have merged. Similarly after embracing Buddhism, you
are all one.” Such was the teaching of Lord Buddha.
I have a grave Responsibility on my Shoulders
Some people ask me why I have taken so long to take a decision to
Change of Religion? What was I doing all these years? This is a very
serious question. It is an enormous task to persuade people about the
merits of a Religion. It is not a task only one man can perform. You
will understand the enormity of the matter, if you meditate on the
principles of the Dhaka. I have a great responsibility on my shoulders.
No other person in the world has had to shoulder such an enormous
responsibility. If I live for a few more years, I will bring this task
that I have undertaken to a successful end. (Slogans of Baba Saheb
Zindabad) We will not be Untouchable Buddhists
Some people will naturally ask this question, what will the
Untouchables gain by embracing Buddhism? My only assertion in this
regard is that, you should not ask this question since, it is worthless
to ask it. Religion is not necessary for the well to do. Those who are
holding high positions in life, have nice bungalows to live in. money to
buy all comforts of life, and servants to attend on them. Practicing a
Religion or thinking about it has no use for them.
Religion has use for the poor
It is the poor who need Religion. The suffering and the oppressed
need Religion. The poor live on Hope. Hope is Foundation of Action in
Life. Life cannot go on if Hope is demolished. Religion affords this
Hope to everyone. Religion gives solace to the poor and the oppressed,
and assures that life is full of Hope. This is the reason why the poor
cling to Religion.
Some people will, no doubt, say that the Buddhism is the Religion of
the untouchables. Brahmins used to irreverently address Lord Buddha as
‘Bho-Gautama’. They used to insult and disrespect him with such names.
But as you know, if the idols of Rama, Krishna, or Shankara are kept for
sale in foreign countries, nobody would buy them. But if the images of
Buddha are kept for sale none will be left. So much has happened and has
been witnessed in India. Let us look outside the Country also. If there
is an Indian God whose name is popular abroad, it is Lord Buddha.
We shall follow our path, undaunted. Let others follow their own
path. We have found a new way to life and we shall follow it. This path
symbolises Hope. This path leads to progress. In fact we have not
imported it from outside. Buddhism is the Religion of this country. It
is more than two thousand years old.
I feel sorry for the fact that I did not embrace this Religion
earlier. The teachings of Buddha are eternal, but even then Buddha did
not proclaim them to be infallible. The Religion of Buddha has the
capacity to change according to times - a quality, which no other
Religion can claim to have.
The decline of Buddhism
Main reason for the decline of Buddhism in India, was the invasion
of India by the Moslems. Thousands of images were mutilated and
destroyed. Viharas were desecrated and thousands of Bhikkus were
massacred. Terrified by these ghastly events, the Bhikkus fled to the
adjoining Countries. Some went to Tibet. Some went to China. They spread
throughout the world. The result was that, the Bhikkus disappeared from
There was a Greek King in North West Province, called King Menander.
He was an expert on the religious Discourses. He had defeated the
Brahmins many a time during the religious Discourses. He asked his
servants to invite Bhikkus and the scholars of Buddhism to his court.
The Bhikkus approached Nagasena, a learned versatile Bhikku, to discuss
the Religion of Buddha. Menander asked him a question, as to what leads
to downfall of a Religion. In his answer, Nagasena listed three causes
of the ruination of a Religion. Firstly, if a Religion is not based on
Truth, and its basic principles are not cogent, it does not last long.
It has only temporary existence. Secondly if its preachers are not
learned enough, the Religion cannot be sustained. Thirdly, if the
Religion and its principles do not get translated into the Temples and
other modes of worship among common people, then also that Religion
You must bear in mind, some facts while accepting Buddhism. You must
not think that the Teachings of Buddhism are of temporary value, and
are not likely to last longer. Even after a lapse of 2,500 years, the
world respects the Teachings of Buddha. There are as many 2000
Institutions of the followers of Buddhism in the United States of
America. In England, a Buddhist Vihara has been built at a cost of Rs.3,
00,000. There are some 3000 or 4000 Institutions founded in the name of
Buddha in Germany. The Principles of Buddha are Eternal, but in spite
of this fact Buddha did not claim any Divine Status for himself, nor did
he claim his Faith to be Infallible. Buddha did not say that he was the
Son of God, or the last Prophet Messenger of God. On the contrary he
said, “My Father and my Mother are ordinary mortals”. Only those people
should embrace this Religion who earnestly believe in it. For such high
principles are not to be found in any other Religion.
There is a world of difference between this Religion and other
Religions of the world. Main Principles of Buddhism form no part of
theistic Religions. According to other Religions, God created the world,
this Earth, and thereafter he created Heaven, Air Moon and other
planets. God has done all that was required to be done, and there
remains nothing for us to do. All that we are required to do is, just to
sing the praises of Almighty God. According to Christianity, there will
be a day of Judgement after death. Everything will be determined on the
basis of that Judgement. This does not appeal to rational man today.
Buddhism denies the existence of God and Soul. The real basis of
Buddhism is, rational way to eradicate suffering. ‘There is’ Buddha
said, ’suffering in the world-suffering wide spread’. Ninety- percent
people are afflicted with suffering or misery of some kind or other. The
main object of Buddhism is to emancipate the suffering humanity. The
question arises then, what is the use of Das Kapital? I believe that
Karl Marx was behind Buddha. For, he did not say anything that had not
been brought to light by the Buddha himself, some two thousand and four
hundred years before Karl Marx was born. Whatever Buddha said was
simple, and the path he showed was straight.
Brothers and Sisters, that is all I had to say. This Religion is the best of all. It is an all-comprehensive Religion.
There are some such ingredients in Hindu religion as inhibits any
kind of enthusiasm. This Religion has not permitted any member of our
samaj, to become a scholar for thousands of years.
I do not hesitate to tell you, some of the bitter facts about my
childhood. There was a Maratha maid in our school. She was herself
uneducated, but she never used to teach me. My mother had taught me to
address every senior person with respect. I used to address, even the
postman of the school with respect. Once I felt thirsty in School. I
requested the teacher for water. The teacher called the peon, and asked
him to open the tap, and I drank the water. If the peon used to be
absent from School, I used to go without water for days together in
School. I used to return home thirsty, and drink water after reaching
home. When I returned after receiving higher Education, I was offered
the post of District Judge. But I did not accept this offer, considering
that if I accepted this post, I would not be able to serve my people.
It is only on these considerations that I did not accept Government
With the education, intelligence, knowledge and experience that I
have, it is not difficult for me to oppose or fight against any evil.
But there is a mountain - colossal mountain of caste hierarchy,
vaishyas, Brahmins, Kshatriyas sitting on our heads. The question before
us is how to topple it down and blast it. To be able to do so, I will
write books, remove all your doubts and acquaint you fully with the
Religion of Buddha. I owe it as a duty. Have full faith in me and follow
Some people say that, Buddhism is on its deathbed or practically
dead. If it is so, it is our duty to awaken it to better status. We
should act in a manner so as to enthuse, inspire respect among other
people. We should arrange discourses.
Elevate yourself and the world
A great responsibility has fallen on your shoulders now. It is a
significant matter. Don’t think that this Religion is like the dog
collar tied around your neck. Buddhism considers that this Country is
ours, has become a desert. Now it has fallen on you that you should
endeavor to follow this Religion sincerely. If you do not do so, people
will laugh at this Conversion. Pledge today, to liberate yourself, and
to elevate your Country and the World in general. Buddhism can alone
salvage the World. Until Justice Rules the World, World peace cannot be
Donate 1/20th of your Income
The task you have taken in hand is of immense responsibility. You
have resolved to labor hard, to complete it. The young among us have to
work hard. This thing you have to bear in mind. Do not be interested in
your bread. You must resolve to contribute at least 1/20th of your
income for the propagation of the Dhamma. I am to carry you all with me.
Bhagwan Buddha used to carry out Initiation Ceremony himself. When it
became unmanageable for one person, he allowed that work to be shared by
other competent persons among his followers. You might have heard the
name of one ‘Yasha’. He was the scion of a rich family. Yasha became his
Disciple, and there were forty more men who followed him. Bhagwan told
them, ‘My Religion is for the good of many; for in the good of many,
lies the happiness for many. This is good in the beginning; this is good
in the middle, and this is good in the end’.
Buddha adopted the method of preaching according to circumstances
then prevailing. Accordingly, we too should adopt the method, which is
most suitable to the existing circumstances. There are no Bhikkus in
this Country now to do this work. So every one of us has to take
“deeksha”. Every Buddhist has the right to initiate others, by
administering the 22 vows, which are as follows:
The 22 Vows of Buddhism
1. I shall have no faith in Brahma, Vishnu and mahesh, nor shall I worship them.
2. I shall have no faith in Rama and Krishna, nor shall I worship them.
3. I shall have no faith in ‘Gauri’, Ganapathi and other gods and goddesses of Hindus, nor shall I worship them.
4. I do not believe in the incarnation of God.
I do not and shall not believe that, Lord Buddha was the incarnation
of Vishnu. I believe this is to be sheer madness of false propaganda.
6. I shall not perform ’shraddha’, nor shall I give ‘pind-dan’.
7. I shall not act in a manner, violating the Principles and Teachings of Buddha.
8. I shall not allow any Ceremonies to be performed by Brahmins. 9. I shall believe in the Equality of Man.
10. I shall endeavor to establish Equality.
11. I shall follow the ‘noble eight path’ of the Buddha. 12. I shall follow the ‘paramitas’ prescribed by the Buddha.
13. I shall have compassion and loving kindness, for all living beings, and protect them.
14. I shall not steal.
15. I shall not tell lies.
16. I shall not commit carnal sins.
17. I shall not take intoxicants.
18. I shall endeavor to mould my life, to the practice of compassion and loving kindness in every day life.
19. I renounce Hinduism, which is harmful for humanity, and which
impedes the advancement and development of humanity, because it is based
on inequality, and adopt Buddhism as my Religion.
20. I firmly believe the Dhamma of the Buddha is the only true Religion.
21. I believe that I am having re-birth.
22. I solemnly declare and affirm that, I shall hereafter lead my
life, according to the Principles and teachings of the Buddha and his
Dhamma. Baba Saheb Dr. Ambekar
Thus, on 14th October 1956, Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar, the true
Buddhist, underwent the Initiation Ceremony into Buddhism, the Religion
founded by Lord Buddha, along with Lacs of followers. Some people call
it Conversion, and some describe it merely as modification of Religious
Belief. As a matter of fact, this was not a Conversion. What happened is
that, thanks to the guidance of Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar, a very large
number of people returned to the Religion practiced by their
forefathers. They returned to a Religion, to coax the masses to abstain
from which, the conservative Brahmins had conspired for ages. We have
escaped mirage set out by them, and have adopted the right path. This
will be recorded, as the most important convention Free Revolution. When
in the remote future, History is recalled, this day the 14th of October
will be recalled as the day of the Emancipation of the dalits.
Here, the author of the book ‘BAHUJAN SAMAJ AUR USKI RAJNITY’ Kumari
Mayawati clarified that ‘Baba Saheb Dr.Ambedkar did prefer Buddhism on
account of certain values vouched by this Religion, but this should not
be taken to mean that he was against other religions. Even about
Hinduism Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar had said that if fundamentalist Hindus
purge this religion of its objectionable principles, even this religion
can prove to be beneficial to mankind. These ideas of Baba Saheb Dr.
Ambedkar became abundantly clear from his utterances while introducing
the Hindu Code Bill in the Parliament in his capacity as the first Law
Minister of India. He said, “If you wish to protect the Hindu-system,
the Hindu-culture and the Hindu-society, do not hesitate to remove the
evils that have crept into them. This Bill intends nothing beyond
removing such evils”. He held respect for all Religions likewise.
The significance of the above event is, however, much larger. By
embracing Buddhism, Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar made the poor and the
oppressed, the repositories of the richest Culture of the World.
Much before Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar, Mahatma Jotiba Phule, goaded by
the tyranny and oppression perpetrated by caste system, had begun the
struggle to transform the manuvadi social order, based on inequalities,
into an order based on equality. But Jotiba Phule expired in 1890. Dr.
Ambedkar was born after one year of the death of this founding father
and pioneer of the Social Revolution. Baba Saheb sacrificed his entire
life, for the establishment of society based on equality, based on the
inspiration he received from the life of Mahatma Jotiba Phule and Lord
Buddha. Simultaneously, Sri. Harichand Thakur and Shri.
Guruchand Thakur, who belonged to the Chandal Community of the
Scheduled castes, and graduated to be barristers, thanks to the British
Rule, started work on social reforms. Chatrapathi Shauji Maharaj of
Kholapur, made his own contributions towards ushering a Revolution in
the Bahujan samaj. Periyar Ramaswamy and Narayan Guru, also struggled
against manuvad. Similarly, our saints and Gurus, also spread the
message of humanism and human brotherhood and fought against manuvad.
To be able to transform the brahminical social order, the members of
Bahujan Samaj must understand their own History, apart from the History
of manuvad samaj. Otherwise, they will continue to be exploited by a
handful of dominant caste hindu people, who constitute only 15% of the
total population. Besides it is necessary for them to understand their
own History in order to consolidate and organise the Bahujan samaj. They
cannot capture Political Power at the Centre and the States, even
though Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar had cleared their way to Political Power,
through the Constitution of India. A colleague of Baba Saheb asked a
question about this, sometimes before he died in 1956. The collegue
asked as to why he did he remain cheerful and happy those days. To this
Baba Saheb replied that, he had pledged to restore the reins of the
Country to its original rulers, and that with the promulgation of the
Constitution on 26th January 1950, he had won the battle. How do you say
that, the inquisitive colleague retorted, since the Prime Minister and
most of the Ministers then belonged to the dominant hindu castes. To
this Baba Saheb Ambedkar replied stating that, so far as he was
concerned, by introducing the Democratic System of Governance and
Universal Adult Franchise, he had handed over the potential capacity to
capture Political Power to the majority community of Bahujan Samaj.
That, as on date, the Samaj was not capable of controlling the Reins of
the Government, but in the coming 30 years the Samaj will get educated,
and will grow strong enough to gain political control of the Country.
Keeping in view the above facts, my appeal to the Members of the
Bahujan Samaj is that, if they aspire to stand on their own feet, the
first thing for them is to understand their own History and the
struggles of their Ancestors. Failing this, the Members of the manuvad
samaj will continue to exploit our ignorance, and will make it difficult
for us to progress in any walk of life’.
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Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891–1956) popularly known as Babasaheb, was
an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who
inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social
discrimination against Untouchables (Dalits), while also supporting the
rights of women and labour He was Independent India’s first law minister
and the principal architect of the Constitution of India.
His Birth and Greatness Foretold
On April 14th, 1891 a son was born to Bhimabai and Ramji Ambadvekar. His
father Ramji was an army officer stationed at Mhow in Madhya Pradesh –
he had risen to the highest rank an Indian was allowed to hold at that
time under British rule. His mother decided to call her son Bhim. Before
the birth, Ramji’s uncle, who was a man living the religious life of a
sanyasi, foretold that this son would achieve worldwide fame. His
parents already had many children. Despite that, they resolved to make
every effort to give him a good education.
Early Life and First School of Ambedkar
Two years later, Ramji retired from the army, and the family moved to
Dapoli in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, from where they came
originally. Bhim was enrolled at school when he was five years old. The
whole family had to struggle to live on the small army pension Ramji
When some friends found Ramji a job at Satara, things seemed to be
looking up for the family, and they moved again. Soon after, however,
tragedy struck. Bhimabai, who had been ill, died. Bhim’s aunt Mira,
though she herself was not in good health, took over the care of the
children. Ramji read stories from the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana to
his children, and sang devotional songs to them. In this way, home life
was still happy for Bhim, his brothers and sisters. He never forgot the
influence of his father. It taught him about the rich cultural tradition
shared by all Indians.
The Shock of Prejudice – Casteism
Bhim began to notice that he and his family were treated differently. At
high school he had to sit in the corner of the room on a rough mat,
away from the desks of the other pupils. At break-time, he was not
allowed to drink water using the cups his fellow school children used.
He had to hold his cupped hands out to have water poured into them by
the school caretaker. Bhim did not know why he should be treated
differently – what was wrong with him?
Once, he and his elder brother had to travel to Goregaon, where
their father worked as a cashier, to spend their summer holidays. They
got off the train and waited for a long time at the station, but Ramji
did not arrive to meet them. The station master seemed kind, and asked
them who they were and where they were going. The boys were very
well-dressed, clean, and polite. Bhim, without thinking, told him they
were Mahars (a group classed as ‘untouchables’). The station master was
stunned – his face changed its kindly expression and he went away.
Bhim decided to hire a bullock-cart to take them to their father – this
was before motor cars were used as taxis – but the cart-men had heard
that the boys were ‘untouchables’, and wanted nothing to do with them.
Finally, they had to agree to pay double the usual cost of the journey,
plus they had to drive the cart themselves, while the driver walked
beside it. He was afraid of being polluted by the boys, because they
However, the extra money persuaded him that he could have his cart
‘purified’ later! Throughout the journey, Bhim thought constantly about
what had happened – yet he could not understand the reason for it. He
and his brother were clean and neatly dressed. Yet they were supposed to
pollute and make unclean everything they touched and all that touched
them. How could that be possible?
Bhim never forgot this incident. As he grew up, such senseless insults
made him realise that what Hindu society called ‘untouchability’ was
stupid, cruel, and unreasonable. His sister had to cut his hair at home
because the village barbers were afraid of being polluted by an
‘untouchable’. If he asked her why they were ‘untouchables’, she could
only answer -that is the way it has always been.” Bhim could not be
satisfied with this answer. He knew that -it has always been that way”
does not mean that there is a just reason for it – or that it had to
stay that way forever. It could be changed.
An Outstanding Scholar
At this time in his young life, with his mother dead, and father working
away from the village where Bhim went to school, he had some good
fortune. His teacher, though from a ‘high’ caste, liked him a lot. He
praised Bhim’s good work and encouraged him, seeing what a bright pupil
he was. He even invited Bhim to eat lunch with him – something that
would have horrified most high caste Hindus. The teacher also changed
Bhim’s last name to Ambedkar – his own name.
When his father decided to remarry, Bhim was very upset – he still
missed his mother so much. Wanting to run away to Bombay, he tried to
steal his aunt’s purse. When at last he managed to get hold of it, he
found only one very small coin. Bhim felt so ashamed. He put the coin
back and made a vow to himself to study very hard and to become
Soon he was winning the highest praise and admiration from all his
teachers. They urged Ramji to get the best education fro his son Bhim.
So Ramji moved with his family to Bombay. They all had to live in just
one room, in an area where the poorest of the poor lived, but Bhim was
able to go to Elphinstone High School – one of the best schools in all
In their one room everyone and everything was crowed together and the
streets outside were very noisy. Bhim went to sleep when he got home
from school. Then his father would wake him up at two o’clock in the
morning! Everything was quiet then – so he could do his homework and
study in peace.
In the big city, where life was more modern than in the villages, Bhim
found that he was still called an ‘untouchable’ and treated as if
something made him different and bad – even at his famous school.
One day, the teacher called him up to the blackboard to do a sum. All the other boys jumped up and made a big fuss.
Their lunch boxes were stacked behind the blackboard – they believed
that Bhim would pollute the food! When he wanted to learn Sanskrit, the
language of the Hindu holy scriptures, he was told that it was
forbidden for ‘untouchables’ to do so. He had to study Persian instead –
but he taught himself Sanskrit later in life.
Educational qualifications of Dr.B R Ambedkar
1 .Elementary Education, 1902 Satara, Maharashtra
2. Matriculation, 1907, Elphinstone High School, Bombay Persian etc.,
3. Inter 1909, Elphinstone College,Bombay
4. B.A, 1913, Elphinstone College, Bombay, University of Bombay, Economics & Political Science
5. M.A, 1915 Majoring in Economics and with Sociology, History
Philosophy, Anthropology and Politics as the other subjects of study.
6. Ph.D, 1917, Columbia University conferred a Degree of Ph.D.
7. MSc. 1921 June, London School of Economics, London. Thesis –
‘Provincial Decentralization of Imperial Finance in British India’
8. Barrister-at- Law 30-9-1920 Gray’s Inn, London Law
(1922-23, Spent some time in reading economics in the University of Bonn in Germany.)
9. DSc. 1923 Nov London School of Economics, London ‘The Problem of the
Rupee – Its origin and its solution’ was accepted for the degree of DSc.
10. L.L.D (Honoris Causa) 5-6-1952 Columbia University, New York For HIS
achievements, Leadership and authoring the constitution of India
11. D.Litt (Honoris Causa) 12-1-1953 Osmania University, Hyderabad For
HIS achievements, Leadership and writing the constitution of India
12. NO 1 scholar in the World 13/9/2015 Columbia University , New York
His coursework during his three years (including summers) at Columbia
consisted of: 29 courses in economics, 11 in history, 6 in sociology, 5
in philosophy, 4 in anthropology, 3 in politics, and 1 each in
elementary French and German.
(Source: Office of the Registrar, Columbia University.)
Matriculation and Marriage
In due course, Bhim passed his Matriculation Exam. He had already come
to the attention of some people interested in improving society. So when
he passed the exam, a meeting was arranged to congratulate him – he was
the first ‘untouchable’ from his community to pass it.
Bhim was then 17 years old. Early marriage was common in those days, so
he was married to Ramabai the same year. He continued to study hard and
passed the next Intermediate examination with distinction. However,
Ramji found himself unable to keep paying the school fees. Through
someone interested in his progress, Bhim was recommended to the Maharaja
Gaekwad of Baroda.
The Shahu Maharaja granted him a monthly scholarship. With the help of
this, Bhimrao (‘rao’ is added to names in Maharashtra as a sign of
respect) passed his B.A. in 1912. Then he was given a job in the civil
service – but only two weeks after starting, he had to rush home to
Bombay. Ramji was very ill, and died soon afterwards. He had done all he
could for his son, laying the foundations for Bhimrao’s later
Studies in the USA and the UK
The Maharaja of Baroda had a scheme to send a few outstanding scholars
abroad for further studies. Of course, Bhimrao was selected – but he had
to sign an agreement to serve Baroda state for ten years on finishing
In 1913, he went to the USA where he studied at the world-famous
Columbia University, New York. The freedom and equality he experienced
in America made a very strong impression on Bhimrao. It was so
refreshing for him to be able to live a normal life, free from the caste
prejudice of India. He could do anything he pleased – but devoted his
time to studying. He studied eighteen hours a day. Visits to bookshops
were his favourite entertainment!
His main subjects were Economics and Sociology. In just two years he had
been awarded an M.A. – the following year he completed his Ph.D.
thesis. Then he left Columbia and went to England, where he joined the
London School of Economics. However, he had to leave London before
completing his course because the scholarship granted by the State of
Baroda expired. Bhimrao had to wait three years before he could return
to London to complete his studies.
Return to India – Nightmare in Baroda
So he was called back to India to take up a post in Baroda as agreed. He
was given an excellent job in the Baroda Civil Service. Bhimrao now
held a doctorate, and was being trained for a top job. Yet, he again ran
into the worst features of the Hindu caste system. This was all the
more painful, because for the past four years he had been abroad, living
free from the label of ‘untouchable.’
No one at the office where he worked would hand over files and papers to
him – the servant threw them onto his desk. Nor would they give him
water to drink. No respect was given to him, merely because of his
He had to go from hotel to hotel looking for a room, but none of them
would take him in. At last he had found a place to live in a Parsi guest
house, but only because he had finally decided to keep his caste
He lived there in very uncomfortable conditions, in a small bedroom with
a tiny cold-water bathroom attached. He was totally alone there with no
one to talk to. There were no electric lights or even oil lamps – so
the place was completely dark at night.
Bhimrao was hoping to find somewhere else to live through his civil
service job, but before he could, one morning as he was leaving for work
a gang of angry men carrying sticks arrived outside his room. They
accused him of polluting the hotel and told him to get out by evening –
or else! What could he do? He could not stay with either of the two
acquaintances he had in Baroda for the same reason – his low caste.
Bhimrao felt totally miserable and rejected.
Bombay – Beginning Social Activity
He had no choice. After only eleven days in his new job, he had to
return to Bombay. He tried to start a small business there, advising
people about investments – but it too failed once customers learned of
In 1918, he became a lecturer at Sydenham College in Bombay. There, his
students recognised him as a brilliant teacher and scholar. At this time
he also helped to found a Marathi newspaper ‘Mook Nayak’ (Leader of the
Dumb) to champion the cause of the ‘untouchables’. He also began to
organise and attend conferences, knowing that he had to begin to
proclaim and publicise the humiliations suffered by the Dalits – ‘the
oppressed’ – and fight for equal rights. His own life had taught him the
necessity of the struggle for emancipation.
Completion of Education – Leader of India’s Untouchables
In 1920, with the help of friends, he was able to return to London to
complete his studies in Economics at LSE. He also enrolled to study as a
Barrister at Gray’s Inn. In 1923, Bhimrao returned to India with a
Doctorate in Economics from the LSE – he was perhaps the first Indian to
have a Doctorate from this world-famous institution. He had also
qualified as a Barrister-at-Law.
Back in India, he knew that nothing had changed.
His qualifications meant nothing as far as the practice of
Untouchability was concerned – it was still an obstacle to his career.
However, he had received the best education anyone in the world could
get, and was well equipped to be a leader of the Dalit community. He
could argue with and persuade the best minds of his time on equal terms.
He was an expert on the law, and could give convincing evidence before
British commissions as an eloquent and gifted speaker. Bhimrao dedicated
the rest of his life to his task.
He became known by his increasing number of followers – those
‘untouchables’ he urged to awake – as Babasaheb Ambedkar. Knowing the
great value and importance of education, in 1924 he founded an
association called Bahiskrit Hitakarini Sabha. This set up hostels,
schools, and free libraries. To improve the lives of Dalits, education
had to reach everyone. Opportunities had to be provided at grass roots
level – because knowledge is power.
Leading Peaceful Agitation
In 1927 Babasaheb Ambedkar presided over a conference at Mahad in Kolaba
District. There he said: -It is time we rooted out of our minds the
ideas of high and low. We can attain self-elevation only if we learn
self-help and regain our self-respect.”
Because of his experience of the humiliation and injustice of
untouchability, he knew that justice would not be granted by others.
Those who suffer injustice must secure justice for themselves.
The Bombay Legislature had already passed a Bill allowing everyone to
use public water tanks and wells. (We have seen how Bhim was denied
water at school, in his office, and at other places. Public water
facilities were always denied to ‘untouchables’ because of the
superstitious fear of ‘pollution.’)
Mahad Municipality had thrown open the local water tank four years
earlier, but so far not one ‘untouchable’ had dared to drink or draw
water from it. Babasaheb Ambedkar led a procession from the Conference
on a peaceful demonstration to the Chowdar Tank. He knelt and drank
water from it. After he set this example, thousands of others felt
courageous enough to follow him. They drank water from the tank and made
history. For many hundreds of years, ‘untouchables’ had been forbidden
to drink public water.
When some caste Hindus saw them drinking water, they believed the tank
had been polluted and violently attacked the Conference, but Babasaheb
Ambedkar insisted violence would not help – he had given his word that
they would agitate peacefully.
Babasaheb Ambedkar started a Marathi journal Bahishkrit Bharat (‘The
Excluded of India’). In it, he urged his people to hold a satyagraha
(non-violent agitation) to secure the right of entry to the Kala Ram
Temple at Nasik. ‘untouchables’ had always been forbidden to enter Hindu
temples. The demonstration lasted for a month. Then they were told they
would be able to take part in the annual temple festival. However, at
the festival they had stones thrown at them – and were not allowed to
take part. Courageously, they resumed their peaceful agitation. The
temple had to remain closed for about a year, as they blocked its
Round Table Conferences
Meanwhile, the Indian Freedom Movement had gained momentum under the
leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. In 1930, a Round Table Conference was held
by the British Government in London to decide the future of India.
Babasaheb Ambedkar represented the ‘untouchables’.
He said there: -The Depressed Classes of India also join in the
demand for replacing the British Government by a Government of the
people and by the people… Our wrongs have remained as open sores and
have not been righted although 150 years of British rule have rolled
away. Of what good is such a Government to anybody?”
Soon a second conference was held, which Mahatma Gandhi attended
representing the Congress Party. Babasaheb Ambedkar met Gandhi in Bombay
before they went to London. Gandhi told him that he had read what
Babasaheb said at the first conference. Gandhi told Babasaheb Ambedkar
he knew him to be a real Indian patriot.
At the Second Conference, Babasaheb Ambedkar asked for a separate
electorate for the Depressed Classes. -Hinduism”, he said, -has given us
only insults, misery, and humiliation.” A separate electorate would
mean that the ‘untouchables’ would vote for their own candidates and be
allotted their votes separate from the Hindu majority.
Babasaheb was made a hero by thousands of his followers on his return
from Bombay – even though he always said that people should not idolise
him. News came that separate electorates had been granted. Gandhi felt
that separate electorates would separate the Harijans from the Hindus.
The thought that the Hindus would be divided pained him grievously. He
started a fast, saying that he would fast unto death.
Only Babasaheb Ambedkar could save Gandhi’s life – by withdrawing the
demand for separate electorates. At first he refused, saying it was his
duty to do the best he could for his people – no matter what. Later he
visited Gandhi, who was at that time in Yeravda jail. Gandhi persuaded
Babasaheb that Hinduism would change and leave its bad practices behind.
Finally Babasaheb Ambedkar agreed to sign the Poona Pact with Gandhi in
1932. Instead of separate electorates, more representation was to be
given to the Depressed Classes. However, it later became obvious that
this did not amount to anything concrete.
In the Prime of His Life
Babasaheb had by this time collected a library of over 50,000 books, and
had a house named Rajgriha built at Dadar in north Bombay to hold it.
In 1935 his beloved wife Ramabai died. The same year he was made
Principal of the Government Law College, Bombay.
Also in 1935 a conference of Dalits was held at Yeola. Babasaheb told
the conference: -We have not been able to secure the barest of human
rights… I am born a Hindu. I couldn’t help it, but I solemnly assure you
that I will not die a Hindu.” This was the first time that Babasaheb
stressed the importance of conversion from Hinduism for his people – for
they were only known as ‘untouchables’ within the fold of Hinduism.
During the Second World War, Babasaheb Ambedkar was appointed Labour
Minister by the Viceroy. Yet he never lost contact with his roots – he
never became corrupt or crooked. He said that he had been born of the
poor and had lived the life of the poor, he would remain absolutely
unchanged in his attitudes to his friends and to the rest of the world.
The All-India Scheduled Castes Federation was formed in 1942 to gather all ‘untouchables’ into a united political party.
Architect of the Indian Constitution
After the war Babasaheb Ambedkar was elected to the Constituent Assembly
to decide the way jthat India – a country of millions of people –
should be ruled. How should elections take place? What are the rights of
the people? How are laws to be made? Such important matters had to be
decided and laws had to be made. The Constitution answers all such
questions and lays down rules.
When India became independent in August 1947, Babasaheb Ambedkar became
First Law Minister of Independent India. The Constituent Assembly made
him chairman of the committee appointed to draft the constitution for
the world’s largest democracy.
All his study of law, economics, and politics made him the best
qualified person for this task. A study of the Constitutions of many
countries, a deep knowledge of law, a knowledge of the history of India
and of Indian Society – all these were essential. In fact, he carried
the whole burden alone. He alone could complete this huge task.
After completing the Draft Constitution, Babasaheb fell ill. At a
nursing home in Bombay he met Dr. Sharda Kabir and married her in April
1948. On November 4, 1948 he presented the Draft Constitution to the
Constituent Assembly, and on November 26, 1949 it was adopted in the
name of the people of India. On that date he said: -I appeal to all
Indians to be a nation by discarding castes, which have brought
separation in social life and created jealousy and hatred.”
“My friends tell me that I have made the Constitution. But I am quite
prepared to say that I shall be the first person to burn it out. I do
not want it. It does not suit anybody. But whatever that may be if our
people want to carry on they must not forget that there are majorities
and there are minorities and they simply cannot ignore the minorities by
saying, “Oh, no. To recognize you is to harm democracy.” I should say
that the greatest harm will come by injuring the minorities.
Dr Br Ambedkar in the Rajya Sabha on 2 September 1953
Later Life – Buddhist Conversion
In 1950, he went to a Buddhist conference in Sri Lanka. On his return he
spoke in Bombay at the Buddhist Temple. -In order to end their
hardships, people should embrace Buddhism. I am going to devote the rest
of my life to the revival and spread of Buddhism in India.”
Babasaheb Ambedkar resigned from the Government in 1951. He felt that as
an honest man he had no choice but to do so, because the reforms so
badly needed had not been allowed to come into being.
For the next five years Babasaheb carried on a relentless fight against
social evils and superstitions. On October 14, 1956 at Nagpur he
embraced Buddhism. He led a huge gathering in a ceremony converting over
half a million people to Buddhism. Presently the place is known as
“Deekshabhoomi”. He knew that Buddhism was a true part of Indian history
and that to revive it was to continue India’s best tradition.
‘Untouchability’ is a product only of Hinduism.
Parinirvan of Babasaheb Dr B.R Ambedkar
Only seven weeks later on December 6, 1956 Babasaheb Ambedkar died at
his Delhi residence. His body was taken to Bombay. A two-mile long crowd
formed the funeral procession. At Dadar cemetery that evening, eminent
leaders paid their last respects to him. The pyre was lit according to
Buddhist rites. Half a million people witnessed it. Presently the place
is known as “Chaitya Bhoomi”.
Thus ended the life of one of India’s greatest sons. His was the task of
awakening India’s millions of excluded and oppressed to their human
rights. He experienced their suffering and the cruelty shown to them. He
overcame the obstacles to stand on an equal footing with the greatest
men of his time. He played a vital role in forming modern India through
His work and mission continue today – we must not rest until we see a
truly democratic India of equal citizens living in peace together.
Unknown facts about Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was the first Indian to get a Doctorate (PhD) degree in Economics from abroad.
Dr. Ambedkar is the only Indian whose statue is attached with Karl Marx in the London Museum.
The credit of giving place to “Ashok Chakra” in the Indian Tricolour also goes to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Nobel Prize winner Prof. Amartya Sen considered Dr. B. R. Ambedkar as his father in economics.
For the better development of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, Babasaheb had
proposed division of these states in 50s, but only after 2000
Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were formed by splitting Madhya Pradesh and
Babasaheb’s personal library “Rajgirh” consisted more than 50,000 books and it was world’s largest private library.
The book “Waiting for a visa” written by Dr. Babasaheb is a textbook in
Columbia University. Columbia University made a list of world’s top 100
scholars in 2004 and first name in that list was Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar.
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was master in 64 subjects. He had knowledge of 9
languages like Hindi, Pali, Sanskrit, English, French, German, Marathi,
Persian and Gujarati. Apart from this, he studied all the religions of
the world in comparative way for almost 21 years.
In the London School of Economics, Babasaheb completed 8 years of
studies in just 2 years 3 months. For this, he studied 21 hours in a
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s initiation in Buddhism with his 8,50,000
supporters historical in the world, because it was the largest
conversion in the world.
“Mahant Veer Chandramani”, a great Buddhist monk who initiated Babasaheb
to Buddhism, called him “the modern Buddha of this age”.
Babasaheb is the first and only person in the world to receive a
valuable doctorate degree named “Doctor All Science” from London School
of Economics. Many intelligent students have tried for it, but they have
not been successful till now.
Worldwide, highest number of songs and books written in the name of the leader is Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Governor Lord Linlithgow and Mahatma Gandhi believed that Babasaheb is
more intelligent than 500 graduates and thousands of scholars.
Babasaheb was the world’s first and only Satyagrahi, who did Satyagraha for drinking water.
In 1954, in the “World Buddhist Council” held in Kathmandu, Nepal,
Buddhist monks had given Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar highest title of
Buddhism “Bodhisattva”. His famous book “The Buddha and his Dhamma” is
the “scripture” of Indian Buddhists.
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar had considered three great men, Lord Buddha, Saint Kabir and Mahatma Phule as their “instructor”.
The highest number of statue in the world is of Babasaheb. His birth anniversary is also celebrated all over the world.
Babasaheb was the first lawyer from backward class.
Based on a global survey called “The Makers of the Universe” a list of
top 100 humanist people of the last 10 thousand years was made by Oxford
University, in which fourth name was Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Babasaheb Ambedkar has given many suggestions in the book “The
Problem of Rupee-Its Origin & its solution” about the demonetisation
that is being discussed all around in the present time. He has
described in his book that “If any country has to eliminate black money
and fake currency, then after every 10 years Country’s currency should
Everywhere in the world, Buddha’s closed-eyed statues and paintings are
visible, but Babasaheb, who was also a good painter, made the first
painting of Buddha in which Buddha’s eyes were opened.
The first Statue of Babasaheb was built in the year 1950, when he was alive and this statue is established in Kolhapur city.
-डॉ. बाबासाहेब अम्बेडकर विदेश जाकर अर्थशास्त्र में डॉक्टरेट (PhD) की डिग्री हासिल करने वाले पहले भारतीय थे।
-डॉ. अम्बेडकर ही एकमात्र भारतीय हैं जिनकी प्रतिमा लन्दन संग्रहालय में कार्ल मार्क्स के साथ लगी हुई है।
-भारतीय तिरंगे में “अशोक चक्र” को जगह देने का श्रेय भी डॉ. बाबासाहेब अम्बेडकर को जाता है।
-अर्थशास्त्र का नोबेल पुरस्कार जीत चुके अर्थशास्त्री प्रो. अमर्त्य सेन,
डॉ. बी. आर अम्बेडकर को अर्थशास्त्र में अपना पिता मानते हैं।
-मध्य प्रदेश और बिहार के बेहतर विकास के लिए बाबासाहेब ने 50 के दशक में
ही विभाजन का प्रस्ताव रखा था, पर सन 2000 में जाकर ही इनका विभाजन कर
छत्तीसगढ़ और झारखण्ड का गठन किया गया।
-बाबासाहेब के निजी पुस्तकालय “राजगृह” में 50,000 से भी अधिक उनकी किताबें थी और यह विश्व का सबसे बडा निजी पुस्तकालय था।
-डॉ. बाबासाहेब द्वारा लिखी गई पुस्तक “waiting for a visa” कोलंबिया
विश्वविद्यालय में टेक्स्टबुक है। कोलंबिया विश्वविद्यालय ने 2004 में
विश्व के शीर्ष 100 विद्वानों की सूची बनाई थी और उसमे पहला नाम डॉ. भीमराव
अम्बेडकर का था
-डॉ. बाबासाहेब अम्बेडकर कुल 64 विषयों में मास्टर थे| वे हिन्दी, पाली,
संस्कृत, अंग्रेजी, फ्रेंच, जर्मन, मराठी, पर्शियन और गुजराती जैसे 9
भाषाओँ के जानकार थे| इसके अलावा उन्होंने लगभग 21 साल तक विश्व के सभी
धर्मों की तुलनात्मक रूप से पढाई की थी|
-बाबासाहेब ने लंदन स्कूल ऑफ इकॉनॉमिक्स में 8 वर्ष में समाप्त होनेवाली
पढाई केवल 2 वर्ष 3 महीने में पूरी की थी| इसके लिए उन्होंने प्रतिदिन
21-21 घंटे पढ़ाई की थी|
-डॉ. बाबासाहेब अम्बेडकर का अपने 8,50,000 समर्थको के साथ बौद्ध धर्म में
दीक्षा लेना विश्व में ऐतिहासिक था, क्योंकि यह विश्व का सबसे बडा
-बाबासाहेब को बौद्ध धर्म की दीक्षा देनेवाले महान बौद्ध भिक्षु “महंत वीर चंद्रमणी” ने उन्हें “इस युग का आधुनिक बुद्ध” कहा था।
-लंदन स्कूल ऑफ इकॉनॉमिक्स से “डॉक्टर ऑल सायन्स” नामक अनमोल डॉक्टरेट पदवी
प्राप्त करनेवाले बाबासाहेब विश्व के पहले और एकमात्र महापुरूष हैं। कई
बुद्धिमान छात्रों ने इसके लिए प्रयास किये परन्तु वे अब तक सफल नहीं हो
-विश्व में जिस नेता के ऊपर सबसे अधिक गाने और किताबें लिखी गई है वह डॉ. बाबासाहेब अम्बेडकर हैं|
-गवर्नर लॉर्ड लिनलिथगो और महात्मा गांधी का मानना था कि बाबासाहेब 500 स्नातकों तथा हजारों विद्वानों से भी अधिक बुद्धिमान हैं|
-विश्व में हर जगह बुद्ध की बंद आंखो वाली प्रतिमाएं एवं पेंटिग्स दिखाई
देती है लेकिन बाबासाहेब जो उत्तम चित्रकार भी थे, उन्होंने सर्वप्रथम
बुद्ध की ऐसी पेंटिंग बनाई थी जिसमें बुद्ध की आंखे खुली थी।
-बाबासाहेब का पहला स्टेच्यु (Statue) उनके जीवित रहते हुए ही 1950 में बनवाया गया था, और यह Statue कोल्हापूर शहर में है।
हिंदू कोड बिल
1. हिंदुओं में बहू विवाह की प्रथा को समाप्त करके केवल एक विवाह का प्रावधान, जो विधिसम्मत हो.
2. महिलाओं को संपत्ति में अधिकार देना और गोद लेने का अधिकार देना.
3. पुरुषों के समान नारियों को भी तलाक का अधिकार देना, हिंदू समाज में पहले पुरुष ही तलाक दे सकते थे.
4. आधुनिक और प्रगतिशील विचारधारा के अनुरूप हिंदू समाज को एकीकृत करके उसे मजबूत करना.
डॉ. आंबेडकर का मानना था-
सही मायने में प्रजातंत्र तब आएगा, जब महिलाओं को पिता की संपत्ति में
बराबरी का हिस्सा मिलेगा. उन्हें पुरुषों के समान अधिकार मिलेंगे. महिलाओं
की उन्नति तभी होगी, जब उन्हें परिवार-समाज में बराबरी का दर्जा मिलेगा.
शिक्षा और आर्थिक तरक्की उनकी इस काम में मदद करेगी.
भारतीय महिला क्रांति के मसीहा थे ‘आंबेडकर’
आंबेडकर यह बात समझते थे कि स्त्रियों की स्थिति सिर्फ ऊपर से उपदेश देकर
नहीं सुधरने वाली, उसके लिए क़ानूनी व्यवस्था करनी होगी| इस संदर्भ में
महाराष्ट्रीयन दलित लेखक बाबुराव बागुल कहते है, ‘हिंदू कोड बिल महिला
सशक्तिकरण का असली आविष्कार है|’
हिंदू कोड बिल पर अधिक जानकारी
हिंदू कोड बिल प्रस्तुति के बिंदु निम्न थे –
• यह बिल हिंदू स्त्रियों की उन्नति के लिए प्रस्तुत किया गया था|
• इस बिल में स्त्रियों को तलाक लेने का अधिकार था|
• तलाक मिलने पर गुज़ारा भत्ता मिलने का अधिकार था|
• एक पत्नी के होते हुए दूसरी शादी न करने का प्रावधान किया गया था|
• गोद लेने का अधिकार था|
• बाप-दादा की संपत्ति में हिस्से का अधिकार था|
• स्त्रियों को अपनी कमाई पर अधिकार दिया गया था|
• लड़की को उत्तराधिकार का अधिकार था|
• अंतरजातीय विवाह करने का अधिकार था|
• अपना उत्तराधिकारी निश्चित करने की स्वतंत्रता थी|
इन सभी बिंदुओं के अवलोकन से स्पष्ट होता है कि ‘हिंदू कोड बिल’ भारतीय
महिलाओं के लिए सभी मर्ज़ की दवा थी| क्योंकि आंबेडकर समझते थे कि असल में
समाज की मानसिक सोच जब तक नहीं बदलेगी तब तक व्यावहारिक सोच विकसित नहीं हो
सकेगी| पर अफ़सोस यह बिल संसद में पारित नहीं हो पाया और इसी कारण आंबेडकर
ने विधि मंत्री पद का इस्तीफ़ा दे दिया| इस आधार पर आंबेडकर को भारतीय
महिला क्रांति का ‘मसीहा’ कहना कहीं से भी अतिश्योक्तिपूर्ण नहीं होगा|
About the Poona Pact
The background to the Poona Pact was the Communal Award of August 1932.
This Communal Award of August 1932, among other things, had reserved 71
seats in the central legislature for the depressed classes.
Gandhi’s opposition to Communal Award of August 1932: Gandhi was opposed
to the award as he saw it as a British attempt to split Hindus, and
began a fast unto death to have it repealed.
Agreement between Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar,1932
In line with the status of communal award, in late September 1932, B.R. Ambedkar negotiated the Poona Pact with Mahatma Gandhi.
Provisions in Poona Pact,1932
Joint Electorate for depressed classes: In a settlement negotiated with
Gandhi, Ambedkar agreed for depressed class candidates to be elected by a
Increased number of seats for depressed classes in legislature: Slightly
over twice as many seats (147) were reserved for the depressed classes
in the legislature than what had been allotted under the Communal Award.
Fair representation in the public services: The Pact also assured a fair
representation of the depressed classes in the public services while
earmarking a portion of the educational grant for their uplift.
Significance of the Poona pact:
The Poona Pact was an emphatic acceptance by upper-class Hindus that the
depressed classes constituted the most discriminated sections of Hindu
Realization of the need of taking urgent steps:
It was emphasized during the Poona pact that something concrete had to
be done to give depressed classes a political voice as well as to lift
them from a backwardness they could not otherwise overcome.
Poona pact acted as precursors to many initiatives launched for depressed classes later on in independent India.
New identity of depressed class as a political force:
The Poona Pact had several positive outcomes for Ambedkar. It
emphatically sealed Ambedkar’s leadership of the depressed classes
Ambedkar made the entire country, and not just the Congress Party, morally responsible for the uplift of the depressed classes.
Ambedkar also became successful in making the depressed classes a formidable political force for the first time in history.
More about Poona Pact
Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean,
man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s
life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society
alone, but for the development of his self.
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
For a successful revolution it is not enough that there is discontent.
What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of the justice,
necessity and importance of political and social rights.
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict,
victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known
to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force
to compel them.
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
That the caste system must be abolished if the Hindu society is to be
reconstructed on the basis of equality, goes without saying.
Untouchability has its roots in the caste system.
They cannot expect the Brahmins to rise in revolt against the caste
system. Also we cannot rely upon the non-Brahmins and ask them to fight
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
Famous books written by the Dr. Ambedkar
Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development
was a paper read by B. R. Ambedkar at an anthropological seminar of
Alexander Goldenweiser in New York on 9 May 1916. It was later published
in volume XLI of Indian Antiquary in May 1917
The Problem of the Rupee: its origin and its solution
This book raises “Currency question” in British India, which led to the
Creation of Reserve Bank of India. One of the best book on economics by
the “Father of Economics of India”.
The Annihilation of Caste
Annihilation of Caste is an undelivered speech written in 1936 by B. R.
Ambedkar who fought against the country’s practice of untouchability. It
was later self-published by the author.
Thoughts on Pakistan
The Muslim League’s Resolution on Pakistan has called forth different
reactions. There are some who look upon it as a case of political
measles to which a people in the infancy of their conscious unity and
power are very liable. Others have taken it as a permanent frame of the
Muslim mind and not merely as a passing phase and have in consequence
been greatly perturbed.
Mr. Gandhi and Emancipation of Untouchables
What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables
Pakistan Or Partition Of India
Who were the Shudras
Manu and the Shudras
Mook Nayak (weekly)
As word of Ambedkar’s newspaper spread, Kolhapur’s Chhatrapati Shahu
Maharaj himself visited Babsaheb in his chawl in Mumbai. The first issue
was printed on 31 January 1920. It included a scathing takedown of the
Hindu caste structure and its despicable advocacy of inequality.
Bahishkrit Bharat (India Ostracized)
On 3 April 1927, Ambedkar launched the Marathi fortnightly ‘Bahishkrit
Bharat’. In one of its many editorials severely critical of upper-caste
Hindu society, Ambedkar likened the British rule and the Brahmanical
rule to two leeches incessantly sucking the blood of the Indian people,
Federation Versus Freedom
Ambedkar was a prolific student, earning doctorates in economics from
both Columbia University and the London School of Economics, and gained a
reputation as a scholar for his research in law, economics and
political science. In his early career he was an economist, professor,
Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah
Address delivered by the author on the 101st birthday celebration of Mahadev Govind Ranade, held at Poona on 18th January 1943
Maharashtra as a Linguistic Province
Buddha Or Karl Marx
The Buddha and his Dhamma
Riddles in Hinduism
However good a Constitution may be, if those who are implementing it
are not good, it will prove to be bad. However bad a Constitution may
be, if those implementing it are good, it will prove to be good.
Bahan Kumari Mayawati ji
Shri Satish Chandra Misra
Shri R. S. Kushwaha
Shri Kunwar Danish Ali
Baba Saheb Dr B.R. Ambedkar
Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj
Periyar Lalai Singh Yadav
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Kanshi Ram’s Bahujan movement was cultural, not just political
Kanshi Ram’s Bahujan movement was cultural, not just political
BSPs diminishing political power doesnt mean all is lost for the Bahujan
movement. Kanshi Ram Jayanti is a reminder the anti-caste revolution is
alive among the masses.
Kanshi Ram’s Bahujan movement was also cultural, not just political
BSP’s diminishing political power doesn’t mean all is lost for the
Bahujan movement. Kanshi Ram Jayanti is a reminder the anti-caste
revolution is alive among the masses.
Kanshi Ram releasing cassette of DS4 singer Harnam Singh during a meeting | Photo: Harnam Singh
anshi Ram, a charismatic Bahujan leader, believed that a society in
which the non-political roots are not strong, is bound to fail in its
political aspirations as well. It is easy to write off the Bahujan Samaj
Party because of its recent political misfortunes, but it would be a
grave error to look at Kanshi Ram’s Bahujan revolution as merely
political. The bedrock of all his meetings and mobilisations was a
Kanshi Ram’s Hegelian premise of raising rational consciousness among
Bahujans can well be drawn from his efforts towards debunking Brahminism
and raising anti-caste awareness through everyday practices. So, Kanshi
Ram Jayanti, which falls on 15 March, holds a special place among those
who identify themselves as Bahujan. Its celebration becomes a reminder
of the shared cultural-political history of being part of the Bahujan
movement that began in the 1980s.
This cultural re-imagination was present in BAMCEF (All India
Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation), DS4 (Dalit
Shoshit Samaj Sangharsh Samiti) and BRC (Buddhist Research Center).
The three pillars
BAMCEF, DS4, and BRC can be considered the three cultural pillars
holding up the Bahujan movement. Kanshi Ram, in one of his interviews,
said that while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was aimed towards
political gratification, the other three were the most important
vehicles to achieve it (Collected Interviews of Kanshi Ram).
The manifesto of BAMCEF had specifically called for creating a literary
wing to bring together different thought processes. An engagement with
the Bahujan literary tradition was an attempt to understand the social
history and the experiential reality of the Bahujan community as well.
Similarly, the manifesto also discussed the creation of Jagriti Jatha to
raise anti-caste consciousness among Bahujans.
In BAMCEF meetings, cultural presentation was an integral part and
it included displaying posters, musical performances, and poetry
recitation. One of the earliest BAMCEF meetings in Delhi’s Shahdara on
17 May 1980 was themed as Chalta Firta Ambedkar Mela, which involved an
art gallery displaying the life and philosophy of Dr Ambedkar. Kanshi
Ram’s practice of the carnivalesque weaved together Bahujan masses at
both individual and collective levels. The early BAMCEF participants
still recall the collective memory of participating in different BAMCEF
Harvinder Kaur recalls her association, “My memory with BAMCEF is as old
as when I was 14 years old. I had participated in the third BAMCEF
meeting at Chandigarh and sang a Punjabi song dedicated to the mission.”
Similarly, a Bahujan singer Taranum Baudh recalled singing her first
song on the BAMCEF platform when she was barely three years old.
Residents of Punjab, Harnam Singh Bahelpuri and Poonam Bala, were
closely associated with singing and had also performed during several
BAMCEF meetings convened by Kanshi Ram. Kanshi Ram himself had released
cassettes of many of these singers.
The Dalit Shoshit Samaj Sangharsh Samiti, or DS4, was launched on 6
December 1981. It laid particular emphasis on the struggles of students,
youth, and women. This cultural wing started from Punjab and spread to
several states in north India including Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and
Uttar Pradesh. Kanshi Ram started DS4 with the aim of giving Bahujans a
platform to share their anti-caste consciousness. In one of the
editorials of The Oppressed Indian, 1982, Kanshi Ram said that DS4 is
one of the foremost steps to organise 85 per cent of Bahujan voters and
prepare them for politics so that they can take up leadership roles.
Buddhist Research Centre, or BRC, was also established by Kanshi Ram
and he was ever willing to take up Buddhism. In 2003, Kanshi Ram had
announced that he along with his protege Mayawati would convert to
Buddhism in 2006, the year that marked the golden jubilee of Ambedkar’s
conversion. He had also said that the conversion of people from the
Chamar community In Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh alone will create
three crore Buddhists in India (Bahujan Sanghtak, 2003).
Contemporary cultural practices of Bahujan
The Bahujan movement is still fresh in the minds of those who were
associated with Kanshi Ram through BAMCEF, DS4, BRC, or BSP. They recall
even the smallest memories they have of meeting Saheb or his visit to
their houses to share a meal. The charismatic leader is graciously
remembered by them every 15 March.
In north India, the modern anti-caste struggle goes back to Swami
Achyutananda, B.A. Santram, Chandrika Prasad Jigyasu, Jagdeo Prasad,
Lalai Singh Yadav, Mangu Ram, and many others. While the intellectual
wave generated by them is worth appreciating, it was Kanshi Ram who
translated the Bahujan idea into popular imagination. Kanshi Ram’s
personality was such that he instantly connected with the masses,
particularly Bahujan women. There were several women who led Kanshi
Ram’s Bahujan struggle, but they are hardly known today. But Kanshi Ram
knew the importance of everyone who was associated with the movement. He
would often visit the homes of cadre members, stay with them and have
long conversations. It won’t be an exaggeration to call him a bottom-up
leader who had a dynamic relationship with the masses. He was a mass
leader in the true sense.
Nirmala Dasua with Kanshiram in 2001, at Guru Ravidas Jayanti, Hoshiarpur | Nirmala Dasua personal archive
Ishwar Kaur Narwal, giving speech. Kanshiram can be seen on the stage too | Ishwar Kaur Narwal personal archives
Besides political milestones, Kanshi Ram had an important role in
reviving the socio-cultural icons in north India. Kanshi Ram Jayanti is
marked by paying reverence to Dalit-Bahujan icons like Jyotiba Phule,
Savitri Bai Phule, Dr Ambedkar, Sahuji Maharaj, Fatima Sheikh, Birsa
Munda, and Periyar E.V. Ramasamy to mention a few. It is done by
circulating their images, wall-art, calendar prints, pamphlets, etc.
The occasion also sees a carnival organised by different groups. It
involves a discussion on Kanshi Ram’s thoughts and struggle, cultural
performances like plays, songs and poetry recitation, circulation of
popular prints and pamphlets, sloganeering, and taking out marches.
This annual carnival is one of the many ways through which the Bahujan
society remains connected today, sharing each other’s thoughts, passing
on their individual experiences of fighting the anti-caste struggle.
This carnival is a new space for the emergence of a counter-culture.
Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin’s carnivalesque discussed the
importance of cultural spaces like carnivals in the Renaissance. The
Bahujan carnival, like Kanshi Ram Jayanti, is also a new space for
anti-caste imagination, which seeks to assert its claim on dignity and
Kanshi Ram Jayanti’s meaning and its cultural prospects
Kanshi Ram’s Jayanti means an anti-caste worldview for the
Dalit-Bahujan. It is the day of remembrance of Saheb’s struggle to claim
political consciousness and uproot caste practices from the public
Interestingly, the conceptual category like Bahujan has brought together
different caste-based oppressed identities together. The idea of
Bahujan is culturally rooted. This Bahujanhood marks its visibility
through celebrating Bahujan icons, discussing historical gaps and
absences, musical re-imagination, etc.
The music industry has engaged with Kanshi Ram through songs like Kanshi
Ram Saheb Ka Alha sung by Seema Azad. Her song brings out the life
history of Kanshi Ram through the Alha genre of music, which is popular
in regions of Uttar Pradesh. Other songs include The Great Leader Kanshi
Ram by Raju Bharti and Manywar Kanshi Ram Saheb Ki Yaad Mein by Malti
Rao. Publication houses like Samyak Prakashan, which was started by
Shanti Swaroop Baudh, have played an important role in popularising
Kanshi Ram’s ideas. Similarly, there has been an effort by activists
like A.R. Akela to put together Kanshi Ram’s speeches and bring them out
through his home-grown publication Anand Sahitya Sadan in Aligarh.
Each of these cultural facets displayed in events like Kanshi Ram
Jayanti has played a significant role in assembling the collective
memories of Bahujan. The Bahujan movement started by Kanshi Ram was a
well-structured plan that spread into social, cultural, and political
spheres. Even though in recent times, the Bahujan movement has reflected
political fragility, the idea of Bahujan remains alive with fresh life
being breathed into it by members both on the ground and on social
media. It has all the potential to return to the political sphere with
the same zeal and fervour because of the sentimentality involved in the
Bahujan movement, borne out of people’s life-long struggle against
oppression. Kanshi Ram’s vision of engaging with cultural parameters so
that people are emotionally attached to the movement gives him a unique
position as a Bahujan leader in India’s socio-political firmament.
Kalyani is a PhD scholar at the Center for the Study of Social Systems,
Jawaharlal Nehru University. She tweets at @FiercelyBahujan. Views are
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Religions, Races,Castes,Inequalities, Were there Are there And Will continue to be there! Dr B.R.Ambedkar thundered “Main Bharat Baudhmay karunga.” (I will make this country Buddhist) All
Aboriginal Awakened Societies Thunder ” Hum Prapanch Prabuddha
Prapanchmay karunge.” (We will make the whole world Prabuddha Prapanch This will happen through Free
Online Prabuddha Intellectuals Convention in Awakened One’s own words
For the Welfare, Happiness and Peace for All Societies
That number is constantly in flux, because we’re
learning more about the world’s languages every day. And beyond that,
the languages themselves are in flux. They’re living and dynamic, spoken
by communities whose lives are shaped by our rapidly changing world.
This is a fragile time: Roughly 0% of languages are now endangered,
often with less than 1,000 speakers remaining. Meanwhile, just 23
languages account for more than half the world’s population.
a just born baby is kept isolated without anyone communicating with the
baby, after a few days it will speak and human natural (Prakrit)
language known as
Classical Magahi Magadhi/
Classical Chandaso language
Classical Hela Basa (Hela Language),
are the same. Buddha spoke in Magadhi. All the 7111 languages and
dialects are off shoot of Classical Magahi Magadhi. Hence all of them
are Classical in nature (Prakrit) of Human Beings, just like all other
living speices have their own naturallanguages for communication. 116
languages are translated by https://translate.google.com
in 01) Classical Magahi Magadhi,
02) Classical Chandaso language,
04) Classical Hela Basa (Hela Language),
05) Classical Pāḷi,
06) Classical Devanagari,Classical Hindi-Devanagari- शास्त्रीय हिंदी,