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LESSON 4013 Sun 27 Jun 2021 Swim Mindfully Propagate growing vegan and dwarf fruit bearing trees in homes and spread all over the world like Samrat Ashoka did 8800662528 Registration to be part of largest Kushinara NIBBĀNA reclining Awakened One with Awareness Universe for Welfare, Happiness and Peace for all Societies by 3-12-2021 and for them to attain Eternal Bliss as their Final Goal As per the report by CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) COVID-19 does not spread through water. In fact, the report clearly states that chlorine water is one of the best disinfectants. We have explained the same to the CM and the health minister in our appeal,” he added. According to the University of Singapore survey/review based on 131 countries. From June 18, world will be 100% free and happy from December 8th. Their predictions about Italy and Spain fit exactly.
Filed under: General, Theravada Tipitaka
Posted by: site admin @ 2:45 pm

LESSON 4013 Sun 27 Jun 2021

Swim Mindfully

Propagate growing vegan and dwarf fruit bearing trees in homes and spread all over the world like Samrat Ashoka did

8800662528 Registration to be part of largest Kushinara NIBBĀNA reclining Awakened One with Awareness Universe for Welfare, Happiness and Peace for all Societies by 3-12-2021 and for them to attain Eternal Bliss as their Final Goal

As per the report by CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) COVID-19 does not spread through water. In fact, the report clearly states that chlorine water is one of the best disinfectants. We have explained the same to the CM and the health minister in our appeal,” he added.

According to the University of Singapore survey/review based on 131 countries. From June 18, world will be 100% free and happy from December 8th. Their predictions about Italy and Spain fit exactly.
10 SECRETS TO GROWING VEGETABLES AND FRUITS IN CONTAINERS | URBAN GARDENING

10 SECRETS TO GROWING VEGETABLES AND FRUITS IN CONTAINERS | URBAN GARDENING

10 SECRETS TO GROWING VEGETABLES AND FRUITS IN CONTAINERS | URBAN GARDENING
By GARDEN TIPS

free online step by step guide to grow nutritious vegetables and fruits in pots to practice mindful swimming with pictures and videos

Learn to grow organic vegetables in containers and make it sustainable

Learn to grow organic vegetables in containers and make it sustainable
If you want to learn to grow organic vegetables in containers in your balcony, terrace, backyard or anywhere else you have reached the right place. You can learn from this blog, or our book or video course. Choose the option that suits you.

Learn to grow organic vegetables in containers and make it sustainable

Learn to grow organic vegetables in containers and make it sustainable
If you want to learn to grow organic vegetables in containers in your balcony, terrace, backyard or anywhere else you have reached the right place. You can learn from this blog, or our book or video course. Choose the option that suits you. Read on t

Learn to Grow Your Own Fresh Organic Food

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Long time back when I started this blog I had never imagined that I would be writing this post. I had started my blog to document and share my experience and findings on growing vegetables in container using locally available waste and recycled organic waste. But soon I started getting requests for making specific posts related to organic terrace gardening. While I kept sharing my finding I also started to make posts on readers’ requests. And thus this blog grew into a learning resource for people who wanted to learn to grow organic vegetables in a sustainable manner.

But it had grown in an unplanned and unorganized manner. And that led me to write my book ‘Organic Urban Farming, The Indian Way’, which is a complete and crisp guide for growing your own food at home. But there are a lot of people who are visual learners and do not read books. Hence I have created an online video course titled ‘Organic Container Gardening, The Indian Way’ for all kind of learners to easily lean container gardening.
If you ever wanted to learn how to create you own food garden that is organic and sustainable, you have three options to choose from now. You can learn directly from this blog if you are looking for anything specific. And if you want to learn in a holistic manner about organic container gardening, you can choose between book and video course.
Choose the learning method that suits you and sow the seeds of a healthy, content and joyful life.

Related Posts:
1 Growing These Four Herbs in Your Garden is Super Easy
2 Terrace Gardening Workshop Announcement

Author
Prabal
Posted on
June 21, 2020
Categories
How of Terrace Gardening, Planting Guide, Workshop and Training
Tags
Benefits of Organic Terrace Gardening, Organic Terrace Gardening, organic urban farming training, urban farming book, Urban Farming Course, urban farming training, urban farming workshop

How to Preserve Tomatoes in The Most Delicious Way

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Tomato is one plant which never disappoints in terms of produce, if basics are done right. In our organic terrace garden tomato is in fact one of the most highly producing plants (here is my earlier post on how to grow tomatoes). Generally we grow around eight to ten regular tomato and four to five cherry tomato plants every winter and we have never had to buy tomatoes from the market. In fact there is a lot of surplus and even after sharing some of it with our neighbors we are still left with lots and lots of fresh and juicy tomatoes. And that is when my sister Smita Mallick who is a budding chef and food blogger comes to rescue. She preserves the tomatoes in various way which makes them even more delicious and I really mean it. She has been kind enough to write the following post on How to Preserve Tomatoes.

Smita Mallick
Though tomato is grown only in winter, we have been enjoying the taste of our own home grown produce throughout the year because of her preserves. I am sure this post will enable you to do the same. Please don’t forget to follow Smita at Instagram and let her know whether you liked the post or not.

Smita Mallick’s Post Starts Here. All images in this post are © Smita Mallick.
There are multiple ways of how to preserve tomatoes for a longer time. The easiest way is to store them is to freeze them in a zip pouch after blanching and taking out skin and seeds. Cherry tomatoes can be directly frozen and stored in a zip pouch. In this post however I am going to show you two step by step methods of preserving tomatoes which do involve a little effort. But in these ways tomatoes can be stored up to a year and also makes the tomatoes even tastier. The first preservation method is making tomato paste and the second one is to sun dry the tomatoes.

How to Make Sun Dried Tomatoes at Home

Tomatoes need to be de-seeded before drying
For this recipe you can use any type of tomatoes. Working with cherry tomatoes for this recipe can be a little tiresome as each tomato needs to be de-seeded by hand. Hence you can choose to use regular tomatoes for this recipe. Sun dried tomatoes can be used directly in pasta and other dishes. To use them in salads you need to soak them in warm water for 3 to 4 minutes before use. You need now throw away the seeds. They can be stored for the next season.
Ingredients
1 Fresh Tomatoes – 1 kg
2 Olive oil – 2 tbsp
3 Dried mixed herbs – 1 tbsp
4 Salt to taste
Process

Process

Arrange the tomatoes skin side down
1 Wash the tomatoes and pat dry with kitchen towel.
2 Cut them into two halves and take out all the seeds and the juice.
3 Add dried mix Italian herb, salt and olive oil to the tomatoes and mix well.
4 Grease any plate or tray with olive oil and put the tomatoes skin side down.
5 Arrange the tomatoes such that each individual piece is separated. This way all pieces will get access to sunlight.
6 Sun dry it for 4 to 5 days or till the moisture evaporates. Sun rays not only help evaporate the moisture, they also help in killing bacteria.
7 Store the sun dried tomatoes in an air tight jar and keep it in refrigerator.
8 These can be stored up to a year

Sun dried Tomatoes

How to Make Tomato Paste at Home

Cut Tomatoes into halves
For this recipe you can use any kind of tomatoes. Tomatoes are not de-seeded individually; hence cherry tomatoes can also be used without much fuss. Tomato paste is typically used in stews, soups, pilaf, pasta etc. The flavors are concentrated and hence just one spoons can change the flavor profile of your dish completely; in a good way of course.

Ingredients

Arrange tomatoes skin side down in the baking tray
1 Fresh tomatoes – 1 kg
2 Dried Italian Herbs – 1 tbps
3 Vinegar – 1 tsp
4 Olive Oil – 1 tsp for baking and 3 tbsp for cooking

Process
1
2 Strain the seeds and skin out

Wash the tomatoes and pat dry with kitchen towel. Cut them into two halves.
3 Add dried Italian herb mix and drizzle olive oil. Don’t add much Olive oil; it is just to coat the herbs.
4 Grease baking tray with olive oil and arrange the tomatoes skin side down. You can add some fresh herbs (optional) at this point. Here we added some fresh Italian basil from our organic terrace garden.

1 Add more herbs before reducing the paste

2 Bake the tomatoes for 30 to 40 mins on 180-200 degree centigrade and then take out the tomatoes from the oven and cool.
3 Blend the tomatoes using a food processor or blender. Make sure that you do not add any water to it.
4 Strain the tomato paste using a strainer and put the pureed tomato in a deep pan with a thick base. Add some more dried herbs at this point if you need more flavor.
5 Add vinegar to the tomato paste at this point.
6 Cook it in a low-med heat till about 90% of the water evaporates.Keep

1 Keep stirring the tomato paste to avoid burning

stirring in between so that the paste does not burn at the bottom.
2 Add olive (3tbsp) oil to it. Cook for another 10 min in a low heat while stirring.
3 Switch of the flame, when the oil separates from the paste.
4 Let it cool. Tomato paste is now ready to be stored.
5 Transfer to an air tight glass jar and label the jar with date.
6 Store it in refrigerator. You can store it for a year.

Label the jar with date
I hope this post on how to preserve tomatoes will be useful for you and if you use these recipes to make sun dried tomatoes of tomato paste, don’t forget to post the pics and tag me on instagram.

Related Posts:
1 Growing These Four Herbs in Your Garden is Super Easy

Author
Prabal
Posted on
March 13, 2020
Categories
How of Terrace Gardening, Recipe, Tomato and Eggplant Family
Tags
Food Preservation, How to Preserve Tomatoes, Organic Terrace Garden, Preserving Tomatoes, Sun Dried Tomato, Sun Drying Tomatoes, Tomato Paste Recipe

Growing There Four Herbs in Your Garden is Super Easy

Growing There Four Herbs in Your Garden is Super Easy
Herbs which are essential part of our meals and nutrition are best eaten fresh from the garden. This post will guide you on how to grow four popular herbs; coriander, mint, basil and dill. And if you are a beginner there is no better way to learn tha

Growing These Four Herbs in Your Garden is Super Easy

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Sometime earlier I got a request from one of my readers to write a post on how to grow coriander from seeds. I was a little surprised that I had not made a post on it already. And when I checked I found out that I have not made any post on growing any herb whatsoever. Herbs are integral part of a terrace vegetable garden; not only they are easy to grow and pack loads of flavors for your food, but also because they act as pest repellents and thus help in pest management of your garden organically. So I thought of doing a post on how to grow different herbs. In this post I am going to show you how you can grow coriander, mint, basil and dill easily in your container garden.
Growing Condition for Herbs
Item
Coriander
Mint
Basil
Dill
Growing Temperature
15 – 30 °C
15 – 25 °C
10 – 25 °C
15 – 25 °C
Germination Temperature
20-22 °C
20-22 °C
20-22 °C
20-22 °C
Germination Time
5-20 days
7-15 days
3-10 days
7-15 days
Soil pH
6 to 7
6.5 to 7.5
5.5 to 6.5
5.5 to 6.5
Sunlight Need
4-8 hours per day
4-8 hours per day
6-8 hours per day
6-8 hours per day
Preferred Planting Method
Direct sowing
Direct sowing/From Cutting
Direct sowing/ Transplanting
Direct sowing/ Transplanting
Container type/size
6-8 inch deep Broad container
4-6 inch deep broad container
10 liter
10 liter
Time to Harvest from germination
25 days
40 days
40 days
40 days
Harvest Period
10-15 days
30-50 days
30-40 days
40-50 days
Edible Parts
Whole Plant
Leaves
Leaves
Leaves, stem, Flowers
Typical Pests
None observed
None observed
None observed
None observed
Typical Diseases
Leaf spot
Leaf spot, Rust
Wilting
Powdery Mildew
Best season to grow in India
November to March
November to February
November to February
November to February

How to Grow Coriander in Container

Young coriander plants
Coriander is grown from seeds; but you don’t need to get coriander seeds from your gardening store. Just grab some whole coriander seeds from your kitchen shelf and you are good to go. For faster germination you can soak the seeds for 12-15 hours in water or Amrut Jal. For the container you do not really need a deep one as coriander has shallow roots. And shallow container is ideal for growing coriander. Just fill the container with potting mix. Spread the seeds all over the container and top it with quarter inch of potting mix. Then water carefully so as not to disturb the seeds. To keep the soil moist check everyday and water if necessary. In a few days time you should see coriander seedlings bursting out of the soil. Sometimes. it can take up to 20 days for coriander seeds to germinate. So you need to be patient and wait if the seeds do not germinate early.

Ready to harvest coriander
After coriander seeds have germinated all you need to do is to water them as needed. You can water with Amrut Jal every 10-15 days for better growth of the plant; but its not absolutely necessary. To harvest you can cut the mature stalks and leave the rest of the plant in place. When coriander plant starts flowering or a little before it you can harvest the whole plant. All parts including the roots can be used in cooking.

How to Grow Mint in Container

Mint growing in a six inch container
Of all the herbs mentioned in this blog, mint is probably the easiest to grow. Though seeds are available in the market you don’t really need them. Just take a few mature stalk from a mint plant, remove the leaves except 2-4 top leaves and bury the lower part of the stalk in your pot. Water to make the soil moist and in about 10-12 days the stalk would have taken roots. Yes it is as simple as that.
Mint grows like a weed. You’ll see mint spreading everywhere in your pot even from a single stalk. In about 30-40 days after your plant has taken root you can start harvesting. To harvest just nip the mature stalks at the bottom. You can use the leaves and stalks in salads, soups, tea and other beverages

How to Grow Basil in Container

Basil can be started in seed trays
Basil has become a much sought after herb now a days. Stores are stocking it up in their shelves, but it is expensive and also not fresh most of the time. Ironically what most people are not aware is that it can be easily grown at home even by a five year old kid. All you need is good quality seeds which are available in most online stores.

Basil transplanted in a pot
You can start your basil seeds directly in your pot. But if the weather is on the cooler side, then you can start your seeds in a seed tray and place it in a warm area in your house for faster and better germination. You can grow basil in a 10 liter pot, but even a 3-4 liter container would work fine. If you are planning to keep the plant near the kitchen window then smaller container works better from handling and space point of view. Fill the pot with good quality potting mix and put 3-4 seeds at the center of the pot. Cover with a thin layer of the mix and water gently. Good basil seeds germinate in 2-3 days; but sometimes they take about 7-10 days depending on the weather conditions.
Just like coriander you do not really need to do anything extra except watering the plant with a good soil conditioner every 10-15 days. Also make sure your plant gets enough sunlight. Basil does really well if it gets full sun. In approximately 40-50 days time after germination you can start harvesting basil.

How to Grow Dill in Container

Two dill plants planted in a ten liter pot
Dill is not as popular as other three herbs I have listed in this post, but once you get used to its subtle flavor, you just cant do without it. Dill belongs to the carrot family and is grown from seeds and just like basil you can choose to grow it directly in the soil or start it indoors in a seed tray depending on the temperature. Dill can take a long time to germinate; so you need to be patient.
In case you have started the seeds in a seed tray, transfer it to a container after 10-15 days after germination. Dill grows well in a ten liter container, but anything around 7 liter will also work out fine. You can even plant two plants in a ten liter pot. In 40-50 days after germination you can start harvesting the leaves. The stems and leaves are edible parts of the plant. Even the flower is eaten and is often used as decorative garnish. The root is eaten too, though we have never used it in cooking yet.

End Note

Ready to harvest basil
Herbs are sold in bunches in the stores and even by your friendly neighborhood vegetable vendor. Most often than not we use a part of the bunch and rest of the bunch is left in the refrigerator to rot. Instead of buying not so fresh bunches of your favorite herb and then leaving it to rot, it is always a better idea to grow your own fresh herb at home and use them as needed. Herbs are the easiest to grow and they can be grown almost everywhere; even on your windowsill. And if you are a gardening enthusiast, but don’t know where to start, you can always start by growing herbs.
So get up your ath and grow some herbs..

Related Posts:
1 How to Grow Cluster Beans in Containers

Author
Prabal
Posted on
December 28, 2019
Categories
Herbs, How of Terrace Gardening, Planting Guide
Tags
basil, cilantro, container gardening, coriander, dill, grow herbs, herbs, herbs in pots, italian basil, mint, organic terrace, Organic Terrace Garden, pudina, Urban Farming

Green Ninja - Organic Urban Farming Workshop for Kids

Green Ninja - Organic Urban Farming Workshop for Kids
Organic Terrace conducted Green Ninja - Organic Urban Farming Workshop for Kids on 24 November, 2019 at Aikyam, Bhubaneswar. This post recounts the proceedings of the workshop in which children learnt how to grow their own leafy greens while having f

Green Ninja – The Urban Farming Workshop for Kids

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Green Ninja – The Urban Farming Workshop for Kids
Date – 24.11.2019, Venue – Aikyam

Green Ninjas fooling around
I am very excited about this post. A few days earlier I got an opportunity to conduct my very first Organic Urban Farming Workshop for kids. The workshop was organized by Aikyam located in Old Town area of Bhubaneswar. Surrounded by canopies of different trees of varying shades of green, the open terrace of Aikyam provided the ideal setting for the workshop. But having never conducted any programs for children earlier I was nowhere near being the ideal instructor. So I really had to prepare well. There were multiple iterations on the content of the workshop, but finally I knew what I had to deliver. But the biggest challenge of the workshop was not what, but how it had to be delivered.

Container Prep demo in progress
The children for the workshop were going to be aged between 7 and 12. So I knew I had to capture their attentions right from the word go and then keep them interested for a good four hours after that. I researched a little on what cartoon characters, activities, nursery rhymes kids are familiar with and used them to set the flow of the workshop. I even wrote funny rhymes and songs that the children could sing along and learn. The measurements of the potting mix recipe also had to change so that kids could easily do it. It took me a good 7-8 days to get prepared for the workshop. Then a few iterations later I was ready with the presentation and flow of the workshop. Yet I was nervous.

Making the perfect potting mix
Finally the day of the workshop arrived and it was time for action. The workshop started with Vinita Mitra of Aikyam teaching ‘Garden Yoga’ to the kids, which was not only enjoyed, but performed extremely well by them. Next was a awareness quiz which was conducted by me. It was heartening to see the awareness level of the children who answered 9/10 questions correctly. By this time the children were already involved in the workshop. And then for the next one hour through animations, rhymes, songs and stories they learned about the features of good soil, vermicompost, neem cake and how to make a good potting mix. A short muffin and milkshake break later they did some seed identification and then it was time to get their hands dirty. All of them followed the potting mix recipe to the T, prepared their own pots, planted seeds in their containers and watered them.

Getting their hands dirty
After a super energetic four hours, the workshop concluded with feedback sessions from the children and distribution of certificates. They were also handed over a plant care instruction card each. As the kids proudly carried away their own containers now filled with potting mix and seeds sown in it and waiting in anticipation for them to germinate, I felt contentment, joyful and a sense of achievement.

Garden Yoga by Vinita Mitra

Containers lined up

Seed Sowing in Progress

Kids receiving certificates

When kids talk everyone listens

Green Ninja Group Pic

Organic Farming for Mitigating Climate Change

Organic Farming for Mitigating Climate Change
Industrial Agriculture is the biggest contributor of green house gasses.This post discusses Organic Farming for Mitigating Climate Change with soil carbon sequestration being the technique for reversing climate change.

Organic Farming for Mitigating Climate Change

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Thanks to Greta Thunberg, people around the world have been woken up to climate change crisis. Some critics have already termed it as just a passing fad and some have also harshly criticized the demands of climate strike group as lop sided and even French media has warned that her radical ways could end up depressing a generation. Despite the criticism, we can not ignore the passion and effort of a young 16 year old, which for sure has brought about a much needed disruption in the collective slumber of the world.
Along with climate activists there has also been the rise of climate change deniers. In fact the deniers claim that the earth is actually in the middle of a cooling period. Though it is suspected that these groups are backed by fossil fuel companies to spread misinformation based on fringe science, the climate change data is also not without it share of suspicion. There are claims cthat the Global Warming data has actually been faked by NASA to aid politically vested interests. Such contradictory reports can be very confusing and its very difficult to really understand the truth. But we can always look around and see how things have changed around us. We need also to understand both Global Warming/Cooling and Climate Change independently even though they are linked.

Devastation caused by Cyclonic Storm Fani in May 2019
Climate Change can be defined as unexpected and unpredictable change in weather pattern. It can be either in the direction of cooling or warming. Agriculture, economy, cultures and societies are dependent very heavily on predictability of climatic conditions. When weather pattern is disrupted on a continuous basis it leads to break down of societies and civilization irrespective of whether we are cooling or warming. From the data of past few years it can be seen that there has been unexpected changes in climatic conditions and weather stability has been an issue. Closer home monsoons have become irregular. The agricultural system of India is largely dependent on the predictability of monsoons. But with errant maze of downpours and droughts the agrarian crisis has gone from bad to worse in the last decade. Sea level rise has inundated villages in the coastline and at few places entire village has been abandoned. There has been unprecedented rise in temperature even in what are supposed to be cooler months. Cyclonic storms have become very common and stronger. Ground and surface water availability has become a big issue. Our oceans are becoming poisonous and ecosystems around us are failing. All these facts tell us that there is a definite change in weather cycle and also rise in over all temperature. Greenhouse gasses and deforestation have been found to be a major cause of these changes. It really does not matter what different groups are saying about the temperature of the earth; climate is surely changing and we need to be concerned about it.

Agriculture and Climate Change

GHG Emission per Economic Sector (Source EPA-IPCC-2014)
The demands of the climate strike group focus on reducing emission in transport and electricity production sectors and rightly so. But there is little focus on another significant contributor to global greenhouse gasses which is the Agriculture sector. According to IPCC data in 2014 Agriculture is a close second to Electricity and heat production sector in effecting climate change (Some latest statistics also suggest that GHG emission from agricultural sector is now at 29% as opposed to 24% according to 2010 data) . To some it may come as a shock; after all we are growing plants in farming and how can that contribute to climate change! It sounds so counter intuitive. But the fact is that modern industrial agriculture is one of the biggest culprits of increasing global green house gasses. And this is how it happens.
1 According to a 50 year long study by university of Illinois carbon loss from soil is accelerated when synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is used. Average carbon loss in fields where synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is applied is 10,000 kg per hectare which is 36,700 kg of CO2 per hectare.
2 Intensive industrial agriculture practices such as tilling, mono cropping and removing crop residue expose the carbon soil to oxygen which combines with the carbon to become atmospheric carbon dioxide. In fact it is estimated that some 25-40% of the excess carbon in air is due to destruction of soil organic matter.
3 Intensive agriculture practices are used for growing animal feed and cash crops. About 90% of the soy and 50% of the grain of the world is actually used as animal feed to grow meat and dairy. In addition industrial animal husbandry by itself it a huge contributor of green house gasses especially methane.
4 Forests are being destroyed for agriculture. About half of forest land in the world has been converted into croplands and pastures. The cooling effect caused by moisture transpired from plants and trees is hence gone. This causes compounded warming along with the greenhouse effect.
5 Heavy usage of fossil fuels in industrial farming causes further GHG emission.
6 Last but not the least, the carbon footprint of making and transporting chemical fertilizers and pesticides also contributes to the over all role of organic farming for mitigating climate change.

Soil Carbon and the Carbon Cycle

Agricultural Productivity Impact of Climate Change (Source-UNCTAD-2013)
The graphics here released by United Nations show the predicted agricultural productivity loss due to climate change. But we now know that modern agriculture is not just an innocent victim of climate change, but is a major contributor to it too. But unlike other sectors Agriculture also has the ability to become a solution to mitigate climate change. According to FAO (Food and Agriculture organization of the UN) – “Agriculture not only suffers from the effect of climate change, it is also responsible for 14% of greenhouse gas emission. But agriculture has the potential to be an important part of the solution through mitigation – reducing and/or removing a large part of global emissions.” To understand this we need to understand how carbon is stored in the soil by nature.
Plants pull out carbon dioxide from atmosphere and then convert the carbon to stems leaves etc. They do give some of the carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere through respiration, but it is smaller comparable to what they absorb from the atmosphere. When plants die they decompose and turn into soil carbon. Some amount of carbon dioxide is also released during the decomposition process and microbes break down plant matter into their food. When this decomposed plant matter stabilizes as humus (well decomposed organic matter) it stays in the soil for hundreds of years. I guess now we are beginning to see how soil can become a good sink for atmospheric carbon.

Soil is the key to climate change mitigation
Currently soil stores more than three times the amount of carbon in atmosphere. But there has been a significant loss in soil carbon in post industrial era. Soil have lost 50-70% of their carbon according to studies. But that also tells us that there is a potential of removing atmospheric carbon and returning the lost carbon back to soil and thus help fight climate change. The process of returning carbon to soil is known as carbon sequestration of soil and according to a study in 2017 it was found that global croplands can store up to 1.85 giga tonnes of carbon per year. This process could continue upto 40 years till soil becomes saturated. According to an GRAIN (NFO) soil organic matter could be restored to pre-industrial cultivation era in roughly 50 years offsetting approx 30% of current global GHG emission. It is these numbers of soil carbon sequestration which makes organic agriculture a front line candidate for mitigating climate change.
Organic Agriculture for Mitigation of Climate Change
Organic agriculture most of the time is referred to as replacing chemical inputs with natural ones in the current industrial mode of agriculture. But that is a huge mislead. In spirit organic farming is a different practice of agriculture which runs in sync with nature and natural conditions. Though the practices vary slightly with geography as it should, in approach it remains same and is based on the core philosophy of regeneration, nutrient cycling and balance. Some of the features of organic farming are
1 Integrated approach (trees, animals and croplands) for better nutrient recycling
2 Closed loop agriculture with locally available inputs and resources
3 Soil regeneration through composting and ground covers
4 Use of locally adapted sturdy varieties and seed saving
5 Bio-diverse agriculture
6 Efficient nutrient and water management
7 Integrated with larger social and cultural systems and managed by local small scale farmers
The following sections examine how Organic Farming practices can be used to offset green house gasses and also combat climate change issues.

Soil Carbon and GHG Management through Organic Agriculture

Farm waste is composted and given back to soil
Every year during winters the smoke from crop residue burning creates a smog situation in the national capital of India. Crop residue burning is a common practice in conventional agriculture which not only creates a lot of smoke, it adds significant amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. In fact it is the largest contributor of GHG in agriculture. In contrast in organic farming crop residue is composted as farm yard manure or FYM to be applied to soil and thus returning carbon back to soil. Additionally crop residue is also used as a mulch or ground cover to protect the soil from further carbon loss. Crop residues also serve as a great food for the farm animals in integrated farming.

Organic agriculture integrates forests with farming
No tilling agriculture is an extreme form of organic farming in which soil is not tilled. Soil organisms are encouraged to act as the natural tillers and with presence of enough organic matter soil structure also becomes good enough so as not to require tilling. Bio-diversity in cropland is one of the main features of organic farming and mono cropping is discouraged. Thus with reduction in tilling and absence of mono cropping soil carbon losses are minimized. Also As synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are not used in organic farming, the soil carbon loss due to nitrogenous fertilizer is arrested.
Infertile lands have low quantities of carbon and hence a lot of carbon can be sequestered in it. But generally they are abandoned leading to further carbon loss. But using organic agriculture techniques of soil carbon sequestration, the soil can be rejuvenated and used as croplands within a span of 2-5 years. This will also bring down the pressure on forest land which is being cleared for farming.
Though unfairly compared with transport sector in terms of GHG emission, commercial live stock farming is one of the major contributors of methane gas in agriculture sector. The effect of methane on climate change is estimated to be about 23-25 times that of Carbon Dioxide. Additionally feed grown for the cattle separately using industrial agriculture practices add their own carbon to the atmosphere. Organic farming follows an integrated approach whereby ruminants are a part of the agricultural system. This combination of animal husbandry and farming at a single place produces the most efficient nutrient cycling and reduces the total GHG emission. The total agricultural land in the world is approximately 1.5 billion hectare while the total number of ruminants are also estimated to be around the 1.5 billion mark which is one cow per hectare of agricultural land. Mathematically at least the numbers look great for GHG emission reduction.

Mulching helps protect soil
Conventional agriculture practices require forests to be cleared off to make way for agriculture. But organic agriculture integrates forests and trees into the agricultural system. Farm land is seen more as a ‘food forest’ rather than crop field. The shade of the trees and cooling effects due to transpiration provide a more suitable micro climate for agriculture. Additionally their leaves and other parts are used in compost, pest management, animal feed etc. They also help to arrest soil and nutrient erosion caused due to rain and wind.
Thus Organic Farming not only has a low carbon foot print, it also helps in better nutrient cycling, animal management, soil rejuvenation and most importantly it has the capability to offset atmospheric GHG through soil carbon sequestration.
Climate Change Resilience of Organic Agriculture
The advantages of organic farming does not stop at just reducing atmospheric carbon in the context of climate change. The practices of organic farming are also resilient to climate variations. Some of the major ones are,
1 Use of locally adapted crops and their varieties makes the crops grown naturally resilient to local pests, diseases and climate variations as their tolerance level of local climate is high.
2 As soil biomass content increases the water holding and retention capacity of the soil increases. This makes organic agriculture less prone to drought and flooding. During flooding the soil can absorb excess moisture and during droughts the moisture retained in the soil helps to hydrate the plants.
3 Pest and weed management is better done through practices like crop rotation, companion planting, mulching etc.
4 In bio diverse farming the total crop loss due to a climatic event is very rare. In case of an extreme weather event some crops are lost while other manage to hang on. Thus bio diverse farming increases the resilience of the agricultural system itself.
5 Low dependency on non-local inputs and resources makes sure that production is never disturbed due to any external events. It also lowers the cost of production.

Comparison of Organic Agriculture with AI’s of the UN

Soil carbon loss has been found to be significantly higher when nitrogen based chemical fertilizers are used
The 2013 annual report of United Nation Commission for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) dramatically titled ‘Wake up before its too late’ had suggested that small scale sustainable agriculture is the only way forward to feed the world in the context of climate change and not GMO or any other such technologies. While sustainable farming is defined by the UN as “Production of more and better quality food with less inputs most of which are locally available based on closed nutrient cycles”, the following action items are given for climate change mitigation through sustainable agriculture.
1 Technical (Direct)
1 Reduction of Nitrogen inputs
2 Agro forestry
3 Organic fertilizers instead of synthetic fertilizers
4 Soil carbon sequestration through organic matter and compost
5 Storage loss minimization
6 Integrated system with closed nutrient cycle
7 Climate resilient food and varieties
2 Technical (Indirect)
1 Reduction in use of fossil fuels
2 Reduction in transport
3 Social
1 Reduction of food wastage
2 Reduction of meat consumption
In the Technical (direct) AI’s organic agriculture ticks all boxes except point no 5 which is not really related to the agricultural process as such. In the Indirect technical AI’s too organic agriculture meets both the demands. The nature of organic agriculture itself (non industrial nature) does not allow much mechanization and hence use of fossil fuels. As there is very low dependency of external inputs, there is reduction in transport too.

Can Organic Agriculture Feed the World
As per the definition of sustainable agriculture given by UN Organic agriculture produces food with less inputs most of which are local and is based on closed nutrient cycle. The quality of food produced is also better in terms of nutritional value and being safe from pesticides and other chemicals. But the big question is that can it produce more quantity of food! In other words ‘Can Organic Farming Feed the World?’
Inherent in the above question is an assumption, that the current form of industrial agriculture is able to feed the world. And if we switch to organic farming the quantity of food produced will not be enough to meet the demands. But the fact is that under current system of industrial agriculture, where 40% of the world’s food is wasted, about 1 billion people still go un-nourished and poverty stricken. 70% of such people live in rural areas. The main reason for this is not actually lack of production, but lack of access to affordable diet, means of production and resources for small holders (UNCTAD report 2013).
The cost of food production shows an upward graph in conventional agriculture. Soil fertility decreases with repeated chemical fertilizer application. Water holding capacity of the soil reduces putting more stress on ground water. Use of pesticides breaks the natural balance of predators and hence every year the money spent on pesticides also goes up. Farmers also have to buy seeds which is manufactured by third party. To get similar production from a piece of land a farmer has to invest more on fertilizers (The per hectare fertilizer consumption in India has increased from 100 kgs in 2002 to 165 kgs in 2014), pesticides, higher yield seeds and energy to pump out ground water. All these make the soil condition even worse and this chain reaction makes agricultural land turn completely infertile. The production keeps decreasing consistently w.r.t. the investments made. Thus in the long run the quantity of food produced not only decreases, it becomes less affordable and accessible for the poor. This is the reason why the farmer who produces food, can not afford it himself.
By contrast, in organic agriculture as soil regeneration is the focus, fertility of the land is maintained. This is how the same land has been giving consistent production for thousands of years for those practicing traditional agriculture. As the inputs and resources used are local and cheap the cost of production is also much lower, making the food not only safe and nutritious, but also affordable.

The Way Forward

Organic waste can be composted easily at home using an old bucket
Now that we have justification for adopting organic farming for mitigating climate change, the next natural question is how do we move forward. And this happens to be the most difficult question to answer. There are two facets to this question. First is collective action and second is individual action. Collective action will be governed more by socioeconomic conditions and national and international policies and their implementation while individual action is completely dependent on a person, family and community.
At the policy level changes need to be brought about encouraging soil carbon sequestration and climate resistant agriculture. Some examples are as follows.
1 Reduce/remove subsidy from chemical fertilizer and pesticides
2 Reward farmer financially for soil carbon sequestration
3 Encourage farming of climate resistant crops and varieties through subsidies, insurance and consumer awareness
4 Levy meat tax on industrially produced meat
5 Handhold farmer during conversion from conventional to organic farming through insurance and free training
6 Increase awareness about organic food among consumers
And here are some suggestion, to be practiced at an individual level in the context of organic farming for mitigating climate change.
1 Support your local farmer and create incentives for him to grow organic food
2 Include more millet and local varieties of crops in your diet

3 Reduce meat and diary consumption
4 Get your food waste down to zero
5 Compost your home’s organic waste and put it back into soil. Use dry leaves from your nearby park in the composting process (They are usually incinerated by municipality)
6 Start your own kitchen garden using locally available inputs and waste materials
7 Generate awareness in your community

End Note

Layers of Climate Change Crisis
Climate change is not just an environmental issue. At present it is causing hunger and nutrition issues and social disruptions, but will soon turn into a survival and sustainability issue having repercussion for the entire human civilization. Greta has surely manged to make people sit up and take notice of this crisis and hence this is a great starting point. But now its time for well directed action.
A few days earlier there was a climate strike organized here in Bhubaneswar. People marched together shouting slogans and demanding action from the municipality for properly disposing waste (esp organic waste as it emits methane when dumped in landfills). But I wonder if it could have been for something else that is beyond individual action. Every individual can segregate organic waste at home and compost it. Then the municipality really does not have to deal with all that waste. By this I don’t mean to undermine the value of the strike. What I am worried about is the purpose of the strike. There is individual action and there is organizational action and every problem is better solved in one domain than the other. Collective individual action more doable and probably has better impact in waste handling than organizational action while policy level changes and incentives has better impact in lowering industrial pollution. Individual action is as important as government’s action. What every individual practices also affects carbon emission levels in the world.
Any disruptive measure always helps in generating attention. But if such disruptions are not followed up by solid well directed action or are followed by more such disruptions then it ends up becoming theatrical and flimsy. And I hope this moment created by Greta goes up to become the exact opposite through collective and individual action with Organic Farming being at the center of all actions and demands for managing climate change.

http://www.ambedkar.org/News/News062403.htm

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 benefit us.

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 leading them.

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 only.

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 Buddhism.

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 less.

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 enthusiasm.

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.

YESTERDAY

“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 it.” Dr.B.R.Ambedkar

TODAY

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.

TOMORROW

‘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 debilitating illness.

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
in UP.

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 anything.

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 this Country.

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 declines.

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 Service.

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 me.

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 there.

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.

5.

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 received.
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 were ‘untouchables’.
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.

शिक्षित बनो
Educate
संगठित रहो
Organise
संघर्ष करो
Agitate,

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 independent.
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 of India.
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. (Economics).
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 achievements.

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 his studies.
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 caste.
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 secret.
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 his caste.
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 entrance.

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 its Constitution.
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 Bihar.
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 day.
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 be demonetized.”
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 धर्मांतरण था।
-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 सके हैं|
-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 joint electorate.
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 society.
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 across India.
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
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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 our battle.
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
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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, writes Siddharth

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, and lawyer.

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

The Untouchables

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.

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Poona Pact

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

K
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 cultural revival.
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 meetings.
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 equality.

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 sphere.
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 personal.
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