2121 Sat 28 Jan 2017
Planned at a cost of about Rs.3000 crores and to stand 182 meters (597
feet) tall, this Chinese made bronze statue would be the tallest in the
world to beat the Buddha’s statue in China which is at present the
tallest. There is no doubt that this statue when completed would become a
major place of political worship like the Rajghat and Indira Gandhi
memorial in New Delhi.
But beyond tourist commerce there is another reason driving for this
project. It is to give the RSS a genealogy it doesn’t have.
Manufactured genealogy is a recurring feature of our history.
Pre-Islamic invaders from Central Asia like the Hepthalites (White Huns)
and Ahir Gatae from the region extending from Bactria to present day
Xinjiang conquered a good part of northern part and established
The greatest of these invaders was Kanishka, whose realm stretched
from Turfan in the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang to Pataliputra on the Gangetic
Plain. Kanishka was of Turushka or Turkestani origin. These new rulers,
some of whom were Buddhists, were quickly absorbed into Hindu society
and were made Agnikula Rajputs (family of the Fire God), others got more
extravagant genealogies deriving from the sun and moon, hence
Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi Rajputs. In this manner the integrity of
the chitpawan brahminical varna system was preserved.
The chitpawan brahmin dominated RSS’s government in Maharashtra has embarked on
building another gigantic statue, this one of RSSised Chhatrapati Shivaji. This
is not without some irony as the varna of the Marathas is even now a
contested issue, some arguing for their being of the Kshatriya varna,
and others for their being of Kunbi peasant origins.
This issue was the subject of antagonism between the chitpawan brahmins and
Marathas, dating back to the time of Shivaji. When it was time for
Shivaji’s coronation in 1674, the chitpawan brahmins of Poona baulked stating that
the Bhonsle’s were not Kshatriyas. The legend has it that a chitpawan brahmin
priest from Banaras, Gaga Bhatta, on receiving a generous payment
performed the ceremony.
The Chathrapati’s genealogy now showed that the Bhonsles were a branch
of the highly respected Sisodias of Mewar, the Kshatriyas of the purest
Rajput clan. Whatever might have been his caste antecedents, Shivaji
undoubtedly was one of Country’s greatest kings. His achievements didn’t
need a manufactured genealogy.
The ultra nationalist RSS is still in search of a genealogy that will
connect it to the nationalist movement that won the country its freedom.
The truth is that the contemporary writings and speeches of RSS leaders
have a very different story to tell. These leaders showed little
enthusiasm for the anti-British struggle. Though the founder of the RSS,
Dr. BR Hedgewar had an early association with the Congress and other
nationalist movements like Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad’s
Hindustan Republican Association, he left it all behind to found the
He also stopped his followers from the nationalist path. In fact a later
Sarsanghchalak, BR Deoras, wrote approvingly of how“Dr.Hedgewar saved
him and others from the path of Bhagat Singh and his comrades.” With the
death of Dr.Hedgewar in 1940, the RSS lost all interest in freedom. Its
new leader MS Golwalkar drew inspiration from Adolf Hitler’s ideology
of race purity. Paradoxically Golwalkar also admired Jews for
“maintaining their religion, culture and language.”
Golwalkar’s focus was on religion, racial purity and exclusion. Freedom
was to be left to lesser mortals like Gandhiji and his Congress. He
wanted the RSS to be involved only in “routine work.”
In the words of Golwalkar: “There is another reason for the need of
always remaining involved in routine work. There is some unrest in the
mind due to the situation developing in the country from time to time.
There was such unrest in 1942. Before that there was the movement in
1930-31. At that time many other people had gone to Doctorji (Hedgewar).
This ‘delegation’ requested Doctorji that this movement (Congress) will
give independence and Sangh should not lag behind. At that time, when a
gentleman told Doctorji that he was ready to go to jail, Doctorji said:
‘Definitely go. But who will take care of your family then?’ That
gentlemen told- ‘he has sufficiently arranged resources not only to run
the family expenses for two years but also to pay fines according to the
requirements.’ Then Doctorji said to him-’if you have fully arranged
for the resources then come out to work for the Sangh for two years.’
Golwalkar’s point was crystal clear. Dharam came before Dharma.
The BJP leadership is very keen to project the RSS as a component of the
freedom struggle. The BJP finds it embarrassing that the RSS - to which
the top leadership as well as the overwhelming majority of the cadre of
the BJP belong -was not a part of the freedom movement. The RSS lacks
the courage to categorically state that it did not participate in the
freedom struggle because its ideology prevented it from doing so.
There is the well-known concocted story of how the RSS tried to lionize
Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s role in the 1942 movement. This ended up in a
huge fiasco when it was discovered that Vajpayee actually made a
confessional statement disassociating himself from the event at his
hometown Bateshwar. In this confessional he wrote: “Ten or twelve
persons were in the Forest Office. I was at a distance of 100 yards. I
did not render any assistance in demolishing the government building.
Thereafter, we went to our respective homes.” Clearly this was leading
Hence the RSS is trying to attach themselves the legacy of RSSised Vallabhbhai
Patel, to get a leg into the nationalist movement. They forget that it
was Sardar Patel who had banned the RSS after learning that its workers
were distributing sweets to celebrate Gandhiji’s assassination.
In the run up to the 2014 elections Modi displayed his lack of
knowledge of history or willingness to distort it by saying that the
Congress Party wanted Patel to be the first PM. The fact is that
Jawaharlal Nehru became the President of the Congress in 1946, after
Maulana Azad was dissuaded from offering himself on the basis of the
system of rotation that the Congress informally followed. Patel was
never in the run. Given Nehru’s overwhelming popularity, even if Patel
contested Nehru would have defeated him.
Both, LK Advani and Narendra have tried to create a fissure between
Nehru and Patel. They seem to be confused between dissent and
dissidence. Dissent is a genuine difference of opinion, and there were
many between Nehru and Patel, as should be between two independent
minded individuals. Dissidence is a result of competing ambitions.
On this Patel was clear. He wrote: “It was, therefore, in the fitness of
things that in the twilight preceding the dawn of independence he
(Nehru) should have been our leading light, and that when country was
faced with crises after crises, following the achievement of our
freedom, he should have been the upholder of our faith and the leader of
our legions.” Patel tellingly added: “Contrary to the impression
created by some interested persons and eagerly accepted in credulous
circles, we have worked together as lifelong friends and colleagues,
adjusting ourselves each other’s advice as only those who have
confidence in each other can.”
Now the RSS is trying to make Sardar Patel its own. In this modern
version of the RSS’s history it tries to give itself an indirect lineage
deriving from RSSised Sardar Patel. The colossal statue is supposed to rewrite
its history. But it will only end up as a parvenu wanting in patriotism
when it mattered most
But Modi won’t know all this. History is not his forte, or else
he would not think that Alexander died on the west bank of the Ganges!
(Mohan Guruswamy, a scholar from Harvard, is a well known political commentator)
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar always feared that the Hindus,
specifically the caste Hindus, whom he often addressed with the cold
appellation—Touchables—would gang up communally, pose as a political
majority, and run away with what he called the ‘title deeds’ of
democracy. The usage of this heaped category that lumps close to 65 per
cent of the subcontinent’s population (52 per cent obcs plus the rest
of the privileged dwija/twice-born communities), problematic though it
is, indicates a shift from an earlier, more nuanced position Ambedkar
held in 1931. That was when he saw the various jatis belonging to the
four varnas—Shudra, Vaishya, Kshatriya, brahmin—as “a gradation of
castes forming an ascending scale of reverence and a descending scale
of contempt”, a system he believed “gives no scope for the growth of
that sentiment of equality and fraternity so essential for a democratic
form of government”.
A lot had
changed from 1931 to 1945, but Ambedkar was still smarting
from the defeat inflicted on him by the blackmail fast his principal
adversary, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, undertook in Poona in 1932. Till
the success at the Round Table Conference in 1931, Ambedkar was coasting
along. With the Mahad Satyagraha (1927) and stellar performances in the
Bombay Legislative Council behind him, he had come to be seen as the
distinctive voice of the Untouchables. He consistently argued that the
Untouchables should not be clubbed with Touchable Hindus. This
position—echoed previously by Panditar Iyothee Thass (1845-1914), the
radical Tamil Buddhist thinker—was first articulated by Ambedkar during
his submission to the South borough Franchise Commission in 1919,
he submitted that the Untouchables formed “a separate element in
Country’s social life”, and hence were a social minority. “That was
Ambedkar’s first political statement.”
After eight years, when Ambedkar led 3,000 SC/STs to drink water from
a tank in Mahad maintained with public funds, and thus establish “the
norm of equality”, the obduracy of the caste Hindus and Gandhi’s
conspicuous silence on the thirst of the Untouchables for equality made
him arrive at a conclusion historians of the Left, Right, Congress and
Subaltern Studies have refused to acknowledge: “The satyagraha movement
started by Gandhi was backed by the people as it was against foreign
domination. Our struggle is against the mass of caste Hindus and
naturally we have little support from outside.” All his life, Ambedkar
identified the Hindus (which translated into the brahmin-baniya
Congress) as the principal adversaries of SC/STs in the social and
Yet, Ambedkar convinced the British to accept the fact
that Untouchables deserved separate electorates and the double vote.
This was granted by the Communal Award of August 16, 1932. What did this
entail? The Scheduled Castes were to have their own electorates and
exclusively choose their representatives. Additionally, they would
have a second vote—to choose who among the Touchables would be the
least inimical to them. Untouchables, regarded habitually by Touchables
as lesser humans unfit for association, needed such protection if they
were to be treated as equal. Democracy, premised on ‘one person one
vote’, needed to be modified to suit the subcontinental context composed
of multiple minorities. Ambedkar was making an immense moral demand of
the Hindus: for the crime of practising untouchability over centuries,
Hindus will not be allowed to vote for Untouchables for 10 years. But
the Scheduled Castes will have a say in choosing who among the Hindus
could possibly be their friend. This was a modest price he was seeking
of Touchables who owed an unrepayable debt for generations of slavery
and dehumanisation of 15 per cent of the population whose very shadow
they were afraid of.
After Gandhi stymied this scheme, Ambedkar faced one electoral
humiliation after another. He found it impossible to get
self-respecting, independent SC/STs into legislatures. Several times,
his own defeat was inevitable. In fact, his election to the Constituent
Assembly required a miracle.
Padma-award-friendly court historians and Films Division-style propaganda by the likes of Shyam Benegal (his Samvidhan
series for Doordarshan) would have us believe that it was at Gandhi’s
benevolent and large-hearted suggestion that Ambedkar was made chairman
of the drafting committee of the Constitution. The truth is every effort
was made to ensure that Ambedkar did not even enter the Constituent
Assembly. In the 1946 elections to the provincial assemblies, Ambedkar’s
Scheduled Caste Federation suffered crushing defeats. The
first-past-the-post (FPTP) system led to only pliable SC/STs—‘Harijans’—being elected from reserved constituencies. In the
July 1946 elections to the Constituent Assembly, then Bombay prime
minister B.G. Kherat engineered Ambedkar’s defeat at Vallabhbhai
Patel’s behest. Jogendranath Mandal, SCF leader from Bengal, stepped in
to get Ambedkar elected to the Constituent Assembly from Bengal where
Mandal had forged an alliance with the Muslim League.
It was at this juncture that, unsure of his place and role in the
Constituent Assembly, Ambedkar prepared a memorandum in March 1947: States and Minorities: What are Their Rights and How to Secure them in the Constitution of Free India.
This ‘Constitution of the United States of India’ offered a unique
solution so that a communal majority did not wear the garb of political
majority. The minorities—Muslims, SC/STs or Sikhs—if they were not to be
“crushed and overwhelmed by the communal majority”—ought to have
greater representation in a legislative body than their actual share in
Had Ambedkar’s formula been accepted, we wouldn’t have had the aberration of a party with 31% voteshare winning.
States and Minorities echoed Ambedkar’s
presidential address to the SCF in 1945, where he said: “In our country, the
majority is not a political majority. In this country, the majority is born; it
is not made. That is the difference between a communal majority and a
political majority.” He offered a prescient formula to thwart the
communal majority from claiming a political majority. In the Central
Assembly, the Hindus, who form 54.68 per cent of the population, should
get 40 per cent representation; Muslims with 28.5 per cent should get 32
per cent; Scheduled Castes with their 14.3 per cent should get 20 per
cent; 1.16 per cent Christians 3 per cent; 1.49 per cent Sikhs 4
per cent; and 0.05 per cent Anglo-Indians 1 per cent. In Bombay, the
Hindus, who are 76.42 per cent of the population, should get 40 per cent
representation in the legislature; Muslims, 9.98 per cent of the
population, 28 per cent; 9.64 per cent Scheduled Castes, 28 per cent,
and so on. The minorities must get representation positively
disproportionate to their ratio in population while for the majority
community it is capped at 40 per cent. That is, less should have more,
and more should have less. Where Hindus were outnumbered, like in
pre-partition Punjab, Muslims comprising 57.06 per cent would get 40 per
cent representation; Hindus at 22.17 per cent, 28 per cent, and so
forth. This formula could well have even prevented Partition.
This is because Ambedkar believed “majority rule is untenable in
theory and unjustifiable in practice. A majority community may be
conceded a relative majority of representation but it can never claim an
absolute majority”. In Thoughts on Linguistic States (1955),
he says, “It would be enough to have plural member constituencies (of
two or three) with cumulative voting in place of the system of
single-member constituency embodied in the present Constitution.”
Had the FPTP system been modified according to Ambedkar’s formula,
we would not have had the gross statistical aberration in the 2014
general election: with just 31 per cent of the total voteshare (not the
share of the total population), the BJP won 282 Lok Sabha seats. No
party ever has won so many seats with so less a voteshare. The Hindus
have ganged up communally. In the 2007 Gujarat election, Muslims at 9
per cent of the population could elect only five MLAs (2.7 per cent) to
the 182-member assembly. In 2012, only two got elected. For 25 years
now, Gandhi’s Gujarat has not elected a single Muslim to the Lok Sabha.
The ‘Gujarat model’ Ambedkar feared is now being experimented with in
Uttar Pradesh. Caste has found a perfect fit with parliamentary
Had Ambedkar had his way, someone like Narendra Modi would have found
it difficult to get elected even to a panchayat. And we would not have
had Amit Shah’s mug staring at us from every hoarding in the capital.
(Anand is publisher, Navayana.)
BR Ambedkar and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the BJP and the
government’s latest totems. A few days ago, Murderer of democratic
institutions (Modi) commissioned Patel’s statue at Kevadia in Gujarat,
which is billed
as being the tallest in the world.But not for Ambedkar.
Meanwhile, Hardik Patel, who has rapidly become somewhat of a rather
painful pinprick for the BJP, continues to agitate for scrapping the
system of reservations altogether, or to accede to his demand for the
Patel quota. While the celebrations and commemoration is on today, he,
presently behind bars for arson and vandalism, and his supporters are
raring to play a disruptive role.
Thus, in this perplexing crucible, it would be worthwhile to
delve into the tomes of history and see whether both the icons –
Ambedkar and Patel – saw eye-to-eye on caste and reservations.
The Constituent Assembly Debates,
which took place from 9 December 1946 to 24 January 1950, provide the
richest source of material for pursuing this inquiry. This is because
reservations, which are now enshrined in the Constitution as a part of
the fundamental right to equality and non-discrimination, were one of
the most hotly debated issues.
On 24 January 1947, the Advisory Committee on Rights of
Citizens, Minorities, and Tribal and Excluded Area was set up, with
Patel as the head, and Ambedkar a member of one of the sub-committees,
the one on Fundamental Rights. On one hand, the Committee was clear that
the scourge of the caste-system and all the oppression it brought in
its wake has to be eradicated, and there must be constitutional and
legal safeguards to ensure that discrimination and practice of
untouchability in any form was disposed of in the trashcans of history.
Ambedkar was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the
Constituent Assembly, but he also had a very determined agenda – to
safeguard the rights of SC/STs and ensure that their continued
subjugation was brought to an end, even if it required a persistent and
‘combative’ approach. He was in no doubt that it would not be possible
without securing political and economic rights – that is, through quotas
in public education and employment. Therefore, he proposed that the
government must set aside, by prescription, a certain percentage of
posts for the backward and depressed classes.
Patel, on the other hand, and many members of the Congress,
predominantly upper-castes, especially KM Munshi and Pandit Thakur Das
Bharghava, were vehemently opposed to this. Munshi and Bharghava
insisted that the SC/STs were part of Hinduism, and they should eschew
their demands for quotas and separate electorates, because that would
make them stand out as separate, thereby causing a schism in the Hindu
community and polity.
Ambedkar, who had demanded separate electorates for guaranteeing equal
opportunities in political representation resolutely pressed ahead. He
did so in spite of being forced on the backfoot by Gandhi to accede to
the Poona Pact of 1932 (which considerably diluted the stakes of the Scheduled Castes).
At this moment, one could perhaps pause and wonder who all Patel had in
mind while insisting that the reality of centuries of slurs, torture,
and abject deprivation be ‘forgotten’? Just because Ambedkar and a few
other SC/STs, whose tales of overcoming seemingly insurmountable
barriers are legion, had made their way to the Constituent Assembly ?
Also, doesn’t his stance resonate exactly with what Hardik and his
cohorts are demanding – that economic status should be the sole
criterion for deciding upon reservations?
in any discussion or debate on reservations, “merit” is bound to
feature. Demands that it should be the only criterion for opening doors
to opportunities in both education and employment are rampant. By merit,
those who oppose reservations, mean ‘performance’ – in terms of
examination scores and professional accomplishments. They fervently
believe that any other factor – social discrimination and exclusion –
which have a significant bearing on an individual or a group’s
performance in certain spheres, must be left at the wayside.
In this context, historian Christophe Jaffrelot’s seminal treatise
on Ambedkar’s battle against untouchability provides illuminating
insights into how he could even make it to the Constituent Assembly in
the first place. It assumes all the more significance because of late,
there have been consistent efforts to “whitewash” Ambedkar – scrub him clean of his SC/ST identity
and present him as a shining constitutional scholar and statesman
(which he undoubtedly was) only. Efforts are also underfoot to present
him as someone who is given more respect than he deserves, and someone who hugely benefited from Gandhi and Patel’s magnanimity. These have come mostly from the BJP, whose Arun Shourie heaped scorn on Ambedkar.
Here, one needs to read Jaffrelot, who shows how the Indian National Congress scuttled his election
to the Constituent Assembly, and Patel, who always maintained a cordial
demeanour, did have a hand in it. Ultimately it was Jogendra Nath
Mandal, a SC leader from Bengal, who later went on to become
Pakistan’s first Law Minister, who helped him get elected.
as the BJP and its allies surge ahead, Hardik rages on, and the Congress
clambers on to the criticism bandwagon, a travel into the past rakes up
some revelatory truths.
Maharashtra CM drops letter banning religious photos in govt offices
State government employees’ union has strongly protested actions being taken against the officer.
Mumbai: Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered the withdrawal of a
letter by the state rural development department banning religious
pictures in government offices after meeting Shiv Sena ministers. But
the said letter is based on a government circular issued in June 2002.
The Asian Age has copies of the 2002 circular as well as the recent
letter issued by the department reiterating the former’s contents. But
overlooking the 2002 circular, the government has sought explanation
from the concerned desk officer who issued the guidelines afresh earlier
this month. The state government employees’ union has strongly
protested actions being taken against the officer, against whom a show
cause notice was served today. The desk officer, A.V. Warkade, was asked
to give his explanation in writing by his superiors. When contacted by
The Asian Age, Mr Warkade however refused to talk. “I am not authorised
to speak to media,” he said.
On Friday morning, Mr Fadnavis
ordered an inquiry into the said letter sent sent by Mr Warakade on
January 4 of this year. “Any pictures of Gods, as well as religious
festivals, writing slogans in government offices is not permitted under
government rule and according to the Constitution,” stated the letter.
The ruling Shiv Sena party strongly objected the letter reaching its
peak on Thursday when Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray raised the issue
in his political rally as well.
However, the issue of the letter
was not a manifestation of a single man’s whim. In a government circular
of rural development ministry from 2002, a copy of which is in
possession of The Asian Age, clearly instructed their employees not to
post any religious pictures in offices.
However, Mr Warakade
issued the letter in his capacity as a desk officer, after receiving it
from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO). Maharashtra Cast Tribe
Government Employees Welfare Union as well as Secular Movement
Organisation had sent the letters to CMO demanding issuance of
instructions on religious pictures in government offices.
asked if blaming the officer was justified, Shiv Sena leader and
Industry Minister Subhash Desai said, “There is no issue of
generalisation. Be it circular from 2002 or 1947. This rule was not in
actual implication, then why pushing it now? It is an emotional issue
for us and till we are in the government we will never allow officers to
disrespect emotions of Hindus.”
The State Government Employees
Union has also showed their discontent for taking actions against the
officer. The union’s general secretary G.D. Kuthe said, “The officer
shall not be punished as the letter was sent with good intentions. Union
will see that there won’t be an injustice.”
Once The EC had passed orders to drape all the BSP symbols Elephant in the last assembly elections for ‘level playing ground’. But noe the same order is not passed to drape the cycles the symbol of SP or its ally Congress’s Hand. The BJP’s lotus symbol must also be draped and in Maharashtra gods pictures must not be displayed because most of the gods or either sitting or standing on Lotus which is the symbol of BJP and also the national flower Lotus must be frozen for level playing ground.
Abki Baar BSP Ki Sarkar
BSP का विदेश में भी बजा डंका, ऑस्ट्रेलिया के अप्रवासी भारतीयों ने की मायावती को जीताने की अपील
सच्चे भीम सिपाही का क्या है फर्ज । Bheem Mission Song by Haryanvi Bhim
सपना को दिया मुँह तोड़ जवाब । Manjeet Mehra Song for Sapna Nalayak | Bheem Jagran Jhajjar
कैलाश खेर का बहुजन समाज पार्टी के लिए गाना । BSP UP