February 26, 2008

Gandhi

We've received a lot of comments about Gandhi, who appears in our current issue, on our Who Are We? page. We've moved all these comments over here to open up the discussion.

- Philip Ryan, Web Editor

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Joshi's picture

A Fourth Turning of the Wheel?
Ambedkar Buddhism
by Christopher Queen

From a talk given at BCBS on July 3, 1997

One way of looking at the coming of Buddhism to the West, and the beginnings of the true interpenetration of these profound world views, is to see it as a fourth yana [vehicle]. If we look at "Buddhism" as a tradition and we use that term in the singular we’re really covering a multitude of practices and beliefs. To focus on the kinds of beliefs and practices that people like ourselves are attempting in the name of Buddhism raises fundamental questions about whether we’re doing something brand new, or whether in fact the seeds of what we’re doing were planted by Shakyamuni Buddha twenty-five hundred years ago.

To my way of thinking, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (1891-1956) is the most articulate and perhaps radical spokesman for a new turning of the wheel. Ambedkar, I think, really went to the heart of this problem, and left us all with a provocative vision of Buddhism for the modern world.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
He was born among the so-called "untouchables" in India, but through his remarkable genius he became one of the most prominent personalities of his time. After India achieved independence in 1947, Ambedkar became the first law minister in independent India (what we might call the Attorney General). As such, he was the principal architect of India’s Constitution. It’s the world’s longest democratic constitution, and includes many articles against the practice of untouchability. It also provides for what we call affirmative action; people from all backgrounds should have access to education, scholarships and government jobs, but the preferences would be given to the lowest people in society. Ambedkar was responsible for all that.

In the last five years of his life he made good on a promise he made in 1935, "I was born a Hindu, but I’m determined not to die a Hindu. I’m going to figure out which of the religions offers me and my community the most dignity and humanity." Many who knew him and study him think Ambedkar had Buddhism in mind all along, because he was deeply moved by a book on the life of the Buddha given him upon graduation from high school. But if he had declared himself a Buddhist in the 1930s he would have lost a lot of his clout as a negotiator with the British and with other Hindus like Gandhi in the drama of emerging independence. So he held off until 1951 when he retired from the government, and spent the last five years of his life preparing for a huge conversion ceremony on October 14th, 1956 which is the traditional date of Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism.

The year 1956 saw the worldwide celebration of the twenty-five hundredth year of the birth of Buddha Shakyamuni. So the date and the place—Nagpur in central India, a city which was associated with the preservation of Buddhist teachings by the Nagas, the serpent people— was highly symbolic of the rebirth of Buddhism in a land which had seen no Buddhism for virtually a thousand years. Nearly a half-million untouchables took refuge at Ambedkar’s conversion ceremony; and then six weeks later, he died of a long-standing illness.

In the years since his great conversion, Ambedkar had become a symbol of hope for low-caste people throughout India but his Buddhist movement since then has had to struggle along with support from outsiders like Sangharakshita and his British Buddhist followers, though it also attracted some talented leaders within India and the untouchable community. Where it’s going, and whether it’s growing and flourishing, is anybody’s guess. But we have Ambedkar’s own thoughts and writings to consider for our purposes today.

Choice and Adaptation
I’d like to mention two proposals that he made in his effort to adapt Buddhism to modern circumstances—not just for the untouchables, but really for the modern world. The first is that one must choose what religion one will follow, and the second is that one must adapt it to fit one’s needs.

One premise of Ambedkar’s religious sensibility was that as modern (or even postmodern) people we are forced to choose our belief system. It’s not only possible for people to become heretics, but we have what Peter Berger called the "heretical imperative." (The word heresy, by the way, comes from the Greek root which means simply "to choose"; it means to choose a belief and a lifestyle.) We really are forced by the world today to choose who we will be and what we will believe, because the grip of tradition on our minds has now been loosened by modern education, by science, by travel and by global communication. We are now faced with so many options for belief and practice that we have to sit down quietly with ourselves and say, "What do I believe? What shall I do with my life? Who will be my friends and allies? Where should I put my extracurricular energies?" These are things that all people in the world are now facing. (There are certainly repressive countries where those options are limited, but I think most in the world today recognize the goal of being able to make yourself, remake yourself, and point yourself in some direction.)

Following his dramatic announcement in 1935 that he would adopt a new religion, Ambedkar considered Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism as possible options for him in India. They were all active religions, except for Buddhism, which, although originating in India had vanished by the twelfth century. Ambedkar asked, "Which of these traditions offers my community the most dignity, the most inspiration, the most empowerment to move ahead and to realize a good life or a good future or a good symbolic universe, a universe that makes me feel that life is worth living and there’s a future for the world?"

Buddhism seemed to offer the most for Ambedkar and his followers because it was an indigenous religion; it wasn’t, like Christianity or Islam--something imported. It also offered something unique, a kind of reticence to lock onto fixed beliefs or practices. There was this notion within Buddhism that you must experiment within the laboratory of your own life to see what works and what makes sense.

This helped with Ambedkar’s second principle: the notion that once I’ve chosen a major tradition or body of thought, I must adjust it so that it works in the circumstances that I face or that my community faces. Ambedkar echoed the discourse in the Kalama Sutta in which the Buddha said, "Don’t blindly trust teachings and writings, but test them in your own life." This idea of testing for yourself and questioning authority has become a hallmark of Western or modern Buddhism.

The heart of Buddhism was an attitude, or, perhaps, Buddhism was an attitude of heart. The Buddha, of course, was a human being representing a potential that all human beings have. So all of that went into Ambedkar’s search for a tradition that could be adaptable to a culture in which pluralism was present, but in which a significant proportion of people felt disempowered and dehumanized. Buddhism, for Ambedkar, emerged as a model for becoming a full human being. Yet it was a model still in need of some changes.

The Limitations of Buddhism
In his final work, The Buddha and His Dhamma, Ambedkar pointed to four problems he saw with the Buddhist tradition as received from the past, four issues that conflict with our modern sensibility. We should not forget that Ambedkar was trained in the West; he was a follower of John Dewey, the eminent American pragmatist philosopher.

1) The first thing that Ambedkar questioned was the legend of the Buddha’s isolation, as a prince, from normal human experiences. How could a twenty-nine year-old man suddenly discover illness, suffering, and death, and then abandon his family in a fit of existential angst? Wasn’t that a little late for someone to discover these things? So there’s something about the Buddha’s story that’s a little odd to our way of thinking, because we know that young people today confront these realities of life during their adolescent years and we encourage them to wrestle with these things and resolve them in certain ways.

2) The second issue has to do with the causes of suffering. The second noble truth says that suffering is a result of craving and ignorance; therefore if someone is suffering we have to say, "Change your attitude. Practice meditation. Practice morality and your life will improve." But might there be circumstances in which there are innocent victims? There are children or whole communities who are marginalized and oppressed by social, political and economic forces that are essentially beyond their control, unless they somehow collectively organize a resistance to oppression. Can Buddhism encompass the notion of social change, which has both victims and oppressors?

3) The third problem was the question of karma and rebirth. Do we really believe in rebirth? Do we really believe that karma is a kind of ongoing accumulation of energy that will dictate not only the quality of our life but cause us to be reborn again and again? Must we conclude, for example, that a handicapped person is serving a sentence for past indiscretions or crimes? Ambedkar had difficulty with the place of traditional teachings of rebirth in our modern world view, not only in terms of what we now know about psychology and physics, but in light of the social issues surrounding the life of untouchables in India.

4) The final contradiction or problem Dr. Ambedkar saw in Buddhism was the role of the monk or the ordained person. What is the true role of the ideal practitioner of Buddhism? Should it be one who is renouncing and retreating from the life of family responsibilities, work, and society, living essentially apart, except for the ritualized contacts of the begging rounds or teaching? Or should those ideal practitioners of the Buddha’s teaching be seen not as sitting but as walking; that is, walking out into the community and trying to help people improve their material circumstances as well as their spiritual condition? Shouldn’t the monks be trained as social workers? This was one of Ambedkar’s core questions. And his model was the Jesuits, the Benedictines and Protestant missionaries who founded clinics and literacy programs and helped people to dig wells, build roads, and otherwise improve their situation through engaged activity.

Modifications
In looking at these issues and other basic notions of Buddhism, Ambedkar modified the tradition quite freely. One of the most important changes he made was a rather radical re-interpretation of what was meant by nirvana. According to Ambedkar, nirvana is not a metaphysical or psychological state or attainment, but a society founded in peace and justice. He brought a transcendent view of nirvana down to earth.

This is an important feature of engaged Buddhism as manifested in many parts of Asia today. A common feature of this movement is to disregard notions of another world, whether it’s a psychological world or a metaphysical world, and to translate that into a society based on equality and the free exchange of ideas and goods. This is a kind of socialism, and Ambedkar himself, though not a socialist per se, was significantly influenced by socialist thinkers.

With this different understanding, the discussion of nirvana becomes analogous to the discussion in Christianity about the kingdom of God or heaven. Is it an afterlife, or is it an ideal community on this planet? Ambedkar and his followers would vote for the latter concept. We need to create communities that unlock human potential and dignity—that’s nirvana.

If you look at the Satipatthana Sutta or the Visuddhimagga you find texts setting forth a complex set of meditation skills and ethical practices which the tradition offers us as the path to awakening. That is largely de-emphasized in Ambedkar’s writings and in his thought. For him the pursuit of education at all levels was a form of meditation and mental cultivation. This in turn supplemented the institutions of a free society--representative government, due process, and an impartial judiciary when an untouchable can go to a court and have a judge actually award the verdict to him or her. This is nirvana. All this has nothing to do with the traditional wealth of meditation practices available.

It is important to keep in mind that Ambedkar’s primary teachers were books. In this sense he shares something with Western "Buddhists" who have been brought to Buddhism by reading Alan Watts, D.T. Suzuki, Shunryu Suzuki, or Trungpa Rinpoche, rather than being trained in Buddhism by a personal teacher who is devoting his or her life to practice and teaching meditation. There are many people in America who call themselves Buddhists because they’ve read books about it—the "bookstore Buddhist" or the "nightstand Buddhist," as Tom Tweed calls them. Ambedkar had thirty thousand books, including a huge collection on Buddhism; these have marks all over the margins and underlines and crossings out, agreeing and disagreeing with elements of the tradition and deciding how Buddhism would work for him. These books were his teachers.

As a personality, Ambedkar was certainly volcanic; he didn’t have the calm demeanor of Thich Nhat Hanh. It wasn’t breathe and smile for Dr. Ambedkar. Ambedkar was deeply scarred by being an untouchable in his society all his life, and he brings the passion of that experience to his understanding of Buddhism. Educate, Agitate, and Organize—this was Ambedkar’s slogan during his years as a civil rights leaders in India. Today it is still used by his followers as Buddhists, which really irritates other Buddhists who say that agitation has no role to play in Buddhism. Well, does it? Should Buddhists be, in a certain sense, agitators for a better society, for reconciliation, or are these irreconcilable concepts?

Ambedkar’s Challenge
Given the way Buddhism is evolving in the West, with its strong emphasis upon meditation and psychology, Ambedkar’s perspective is very provocative. Many of us are drawn to Buddhism because it offers peace—inner peace and world peace. We would like to be more unperturbable, loving, compassionate and joyful, rather than the crusading radicals some of us were in the sixties. If Buddhism has to do with stilling the fires of passion, then metta bhavana [the cultivation of lovingkindness] is probably the best and highest practice for engaged Buddhism in the traditional mold—achieving peace and then projecting that peace to others. If this attainment of peace has some ripples in the world, great; but the world is really not the primary concern of a traditional Buddhist. It is rather training the monkey mind to settle down.

But it may be worth looking closely at Ambedkar’s idea that Buddhism is something we receive and then have to work with. Buddhist teachings invite us to take responsibility for ourselves, and this is being interpreted in engaged Buddhist circles as taking responsibility for the entire sangha, the larger community, and ultimately, our eco-system on this planet Earth. Ambedkar’s approach tells us that if we spend too much time in personal meditation practice, and in retreat from the world of social relationship, we will be irresponsible to our community. So we need to get off the cushion, get out of the house, get out there and start to educate, agitate and organize. This is a collectivist notion of sangha as people working together for a society of justice, wherein our Buddhist practice becomes the engaged activity of social change.

Dr. Queen is the co-editor, with Duncan Ryuken Williams, of the forthcoming American Buddhism: Methods and Findings in Recent Scholarship from Curzon Press, U.K.

Panchen Lama Too Young for Politics, Burmese and Sri Lankan 's picture

[...] may have noticed some intense activity on the blog post Gandhi. The complicated issue of how Gandhi is viewed by various constituencies in India and around the [...]

crazy monk's picture

It is time now to start the Buddhist moral police force. Lets have the buddhist blacklist. Gandhi is number one on the list. Put your creative energies and post the blacklist here.

shoman's picture

Yomama looks like Gandhi has conned everyone.

Yomama's picture

The assasin of gandhi claims Gandhi betrayed Hindus. The muslims claim Gandhi betrayed muslims. The british called him a tyrant. The untouchables say Gandhi deprived the lower classes and enriched upper classes Hindus. Some even have called the author names and threatned the author to talk to them as they feel hurt because Gandhi is put on the cover of a Buddhist magazine but they want ambedkar on the cover.
My two cents:
Stop being so touchy about being hurt. You are fooling no one here. Buddhism is not your monopoly. Be more civilized and try to see alternate view points. If you find something not good reject it. For the author - please run a cover story on Ambedkar to please this lobby.

Aryansangha's picture

Open your eyes and see the fear, the despair, the greed, and the violence that are all-pervasive. See the heinous cruelty and suffering on an unimaginable scale that humans have inflicted and continue to inflict on each other as well as on other life forms on the planet. You don't need to condemn. Just observe. That is sin. That is insanity. That is unconsciousness. Above all, don't forget to observe your own mind. Seek out the root of the insanity there. On the other hand, if action is required, you will no longer react from your conditioned mind, but you will respond to the situation out of your conscious presence. In that state, your mind is free of concepts, including the concept of nonviolence.

Aryansangha's picture

All evils are the effect of unconsciousness. You can alleviate the effects of unconsciousness, but you cannot eliminate them unless you eliminate their cause. True change starts from within, not without. If you feel called upon to alleviate suffering in the world, that is a very noble thing to do, but remember not to focus exclusively on the outer; otherwise, you will encounter frustration and despair. Without a profound change in human consciousness, the world's suffering is a bottomless pit. So don't let your compassion become one-sided. Then let your peace flow into whatever you do and you will be working on the levels of effect and cause simultaneously. This also applies if you are supporting a movement designed to stop deeply unconscious humans from destroying themselves, each other, and the planet, or from continuing to inflict dreadful suffering on other sentient beings. Remember: Just as you cannot fight the darkness, so you cannot fight unconsciousness. If you try to do so, the polar opposites will become strengthened and more deeply entrenched. You will become identified with one of the polarities, you will create an "enemy," and so be drawn into unconsciousness yourself. Raise awareness by disseminating information, or at the most, practice passive resistance. But make sure that you carry no resistance within, no hatred, no negativity. "Love your enemies," said Jesus, which, of course, means "have no enemies." Once you get involved in working on the level of effect, it is all too easy to lose yourself in it. Stay alert and very, very present. The causal level needs to remain your primary focus, the teaching of enlightenment your main purpose, and peace your most precious gift to the world.

Aryansangha's picture

The egoic sense of self needs conflict because its sense of a separate identity gets strengthened in fighting against this or that, and in demonstrating that this is “me” and that is not “me."
Not infrequently, tribes, nations, and religions derive a strengthened sense of collective identity from having enemies. Who would the “believer” be without the “unbeliever?"

nomessaih's picture

Gandhi and Ambedkar were politicians and social reformers. They headed political factions. Their support base were sectarian and they played to the gallery and crowds notwithstanding their intellects and great writings. This discussion is just dragging Buddhism to political discourses where numbers and majority speak.
If you want to understand the essence of Buddhism from a modern context sanely and rationally please read the works of J Krishnamurthi. You will find the answers.

Thapar's picture

"Mayavati is uniting all caste people together, working toward humanity and development of all, and she is ranked as the one of eight top women in the world by Newsweek, USA magazine. When majority of castes people came to know about Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh they voted against Gandhi’s political party Congress, established Mayavati’s government which supports social reformers and India’s unity. "

Mayavathi is just using caste divsions and reinforcing them to gain power. A few years ago she was banking on SC, ST, Muslim and OBC votes. Now she has come up to a new equation as the other backward classes in UP are against her. She has tied up with the Brahmins her arch enemies who are a sizable population in her state to attack the OBCs. It is all vote bank politics and all this talk of social reforms is nonsense. She is one of the most corrupt politicina in india involved in the taj corridor case. It is rubbish to talk about these oppurtunistic politicians as social reformers. UP is one of the worst governed states of India. George Bush was voted as the man of the year in the time magazine what about it. Please dont compare Ambedkar with Mayavathi.

Thapar's picture

"Mr. Gandhi finds nothing wrong in having sex with children of the age of his daughter{Read his autobiography}. Though married himself, he is involved in serveral sexual relationship with girls half his age."

Gandhi had strange views on Celibacy and was very open about his (non) sexual life. After the age of 36 Gandhi took the vow of Brahmacharya and never had sex. He did sleep with naked girls as an experiment to test his chastity. But there is no evidence that he had sex with them. He even mentions in his writings that he had a wet dream at the age of 70.
Gandhi himself was candid and honest to admit his crazy spiritual practices. There is also reference in the Tantras and the Vajrayana about a practice similar to Gandhi's practice of sleeping with naked women. Unlike the middle path of the Buddha, Gandhi had extreme views about celibacy.

Thapar's picture

"Buddhism was constantly attacked, Buddha’s teachings were constantly sabotaged by Hindus throughout the human civilization. Hindu’s like muslims and other invaders of India in the ancient period destroyed Buddhist shrines, burned the buddhist monks alive, sangaha’s were brought to ground, buddhist people were chased out of their domiciles besides got killed in huge numbers."

Can anyone provide some credible proof and evidence for this claim of Hindus destroying Buddhist Shrines and Burning Buddhists. In sri lanka Tamil hindus are fighting the sinhala buddhists but that is not about religion. Its an ethnic warfare.

Johnston's picture

Who shouts loudest wins.

vagbhatta's picture

Tricycle welcome to the world of Murky Indian caste politics.

Ambedkar’s buddhism is the very anti-thesis of the actual Buddhism taught by Gautama the Buddha and his enlightened followers in the different traditions.

The unequivocal first premise of Buddhism that can be explicitly deciphered from the tripitaka pali canons and the later scriptures in the theravada and mahayana traditions is that hatred can never be conquered by hatred and the end do not justify means. This is the unique message of the Buddha. Ambedkar buddhism is highly steeped in hatred, revenge and victim conciousness. Ambedkar’s buddhism is much closer to marxist interpretation of relgion with the substitution of class with caste than with Buddhism. Ambedkar cleverly disguised the marxist interprestation of religion to apply to Buddhism. Ambedkar literature is rife with hate speech, machiavellian politiking and sectarian propoganda to garner power than with genuine concern and compassion for the weak and suffering.

A myth perpetuated by Ambedkar and his followers is that the Buddha never beleived in the Law of Karma. The law of karma is the cornerstone of Buddhism as can be evidenced from the traditional buddhist literature and also through the current living traditional teaachings in the different schools of buddhism in china, thailand, Sri lanka, tibet, japan, korea and many others.

The third myth perpetuated by Ambedkar and his followers is that Buddhism was a social movement against Brahmins. Indeed Buddha condemned the rituals, practices of discrimination in any form and the caste system. However majority of the buddha’s disciples were from the Brahmin Clergy as they were more exposed to the theological discourses of the times and were the first people to accept and follow the Buddha. Also among the later Buddhist masters we find many Brahmins like Nagarjuna, Bodhidharma, Buddhagosha, Naropa, Saraha, TIlopa and many others. Esentially Brahmin was a caste of the clergy and the theologicians and Buddhists were the Monks and Nuns. The people who were drawn into the fold were brahmins, kshatryias and many other castes. Read also the ‘Canto of the brahmin’ from the Dhammapada, wherin the buddha extols the ideals of a Brahmin and also condems the false practices of purported Brahminism. Infact the lifestyle and rituals of so called Brahminical yogis, vedantis, Jains and some other sects have an overbearing similarity with the buddhist asceticism. Buddha is held in most of the ancient and modern yogic, vedantic and tantric traditions of Hinduism with awe and respect even by schools who are critical of Buddhist thought.

The fourth myth is that ‘hinduism’ or the culture of indians at that time which worshipped such gods as indra, brahma, shiva were antithetical to the Buddha’s teachings. Infact the Buddhist worldview and cosmology is quite similar to the popular traditions of vedas, yoga, sankya except for finer technical details which can be no subject for political discourse but rather belongs to the realm of ontology. This can be evidened in places where buddhism was exported from India like in Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, China and Japan. They have a host of ‘hindu’ gods, myths, stories which is also part of the buddhist package.

The essence of buddhism is social transformation through individual transformation by trancending the conditioning imposed by soceity like caste, class, creed, nationality, ethnic identities and so on. Ambedkar’s Buddhism just reinforces conditionings to a far greater extent and can be no means of liberation to either the followers or the ones who are targetted by them.
In a nutshell the Buddhism of Ambedkar is a sham.

NISHIKANT UKEY's picture

Dear Editor,
I happen to see the tricycle magazine current issue.
I assume tricycle believes in Buddhist principles of compassion, equality, non-violence, truth, justice and peace.
I am alarmed to see picture of Mr. Gandhi on the front page of the magazine.

Looking into his life and work, it does not take time to know that

1. He is the greatest believer and implementer of INEQUALITY.
He believes in the Brahmanical social order of Varna system. Varna system maintains airtight hierarchical division of Hindus into Brahmins, Kshtriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Brahmins being on the top of heirarchy, Shudras being at the bottom and untouchables find no place in the system. The untouchables {also called as Dalits} for several centuries were kept without education, social interaction. Heinous crimes like mass murder, rapes, ghettoization has been committed on them for several centuries.
He quotes saying untouchables should not leave their present job, and keep doing the menial job.
In the British age untouchables got opportunity to serve in military, take education in English.
British govt awarded separate electorate to the untouchables,
Mr. Gandhi systematically thru' his fast-unto death build pressure on Bodhisatta Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Ultimately Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had to reluctantly sign the Poona pact.
Mr. Gandhi is a FOX in 'Mahatma' clothing who would go to any level to restrict the progress of the suppressed people of humanity.

2. Mr. Gandhi is the killer of suppressed masses. Thru his so called non-violence means{fast unto death} brought death to the suppressed masses {untouchables}. He systematically segregated untouchables by calling them 'Harijans'.

3. Mr. Gandhi finds nothing wrong in having sex with children of the age of his daughter{Read his autobiography}. Though married himself, he is involved in serveral sexual relationship with girls half his age.

4. For the untouchables and downtrodden people of India, his freedom struggle means nothing but transfer of power from British to the socially advantageous people in India.
Through various so called non-violence means, SAINT LIKE image, media management he is systematically butchered the downtrodden.

I would like to understand, if the above qualities are the part of Buddhist principles. After analysing his life and work, does the editor feels he is an BUDDHIST icon. If his picture should be printed on the first page?

I greatly doubt the knowledge/intentions of the editor or 'Tricycle' if they fail to understand the REAL BUDDHIST icon, the crusader of slavery, THE apostle for equality, humanity, peace and justice, ...BODHISATTA DR. BABASAHEB AMBEDKAR.
How can the editor/Tricycle fail to understand who is the true Buddhist icon?

SOME OF MR. GANDHI'S QUOTES

1)
I believe in Varnashrama (caste system) which is the law of life. The law
of Varna (color and / or caste) is nothing but the law of conservation of
energy. Why should my son not be scavenger if I am one? (Harijan,
3-6-1947).

2)
The caste system, in my opinion, has a scientific basis. Reason does not
revolt against it. It has disadvantages. Caste creates a social and moral
restraint - I can find no reason for their abolition. To abolish caste is
to demolish Hinduism. There is nothing to fight against the Varnasharma
(caste system). I don't believe the caste system to be an odious and
vicious dogma. It has its limitations and defects, but there is nothing
sinful about it. (Harijan, 1933).

3)
If the Shudras (low castes) leave their ancestral profession and take up
others, ambition will rouse in them and their peace of mind will be
spoiled. Even their family peace will be disturbed. (Hind Swaraj).

The article has brought a real shame and hurt the feelings of millions of Buddhist especially those who know and are part of the REVIVAL of Indian Buddhist movement.
I hope as a true Buddhist, editor / Tricycle understand the truth and come forward with an apology.

With Metta,
Nishikant

lalit's picture

Charon raj above writes some international renowned scholars who writes for oxford, columbia press and hold prominent positions in academia are engaged in promoting terror. These statements are with sheer ignorance and hatred against the humanity.

I would like to know a single quote from these scholars which proves your statements. At least read something about these people first before making any comments. Christophe Jefrelot is the director of CERI, one of the prominent center in Europe. Dr. Gail is faculty at Pune University. Dr. Jondhale is faculty at Mumbai University, Prof. Jonannes Beltze is faculty from Europe, and most importantly Prof. Eleanor Zelliot is one of most revered faculty who is crucial in establishing south asian studies centres in US Universities.

Shobha Kandasamy should know Mayavati is uniting all caste people together, working toward humanity and development of all, and she is ranked as the one of eight top women in the world by Newsweek, USA magazine. When majority of castes people came to know about Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh they voted against Gandhi's political party Congress, established Mayavati's government which supports social reformers and India's unity.

Comments made against the truth mentioned above from references of Gandhi and government publications is not considered as truth but as politics. This too without having a discourse against any of the facts mentioned about Gandhi.

Obviously few people for whom Gandhi's ideology helped keeping them on top positions under Hindu social order would certainly talk for him.

But oppressed people believe in Buddha and Ambedkar and hate Gandhi's who propagated Hindu social order and was against inter caste marriages and inter caste dining.

World should know Gandhi's word "Harijan" for untouchables in India is officially made illegal in India as it is derogatory.

People who read and know history of Buddhism in INdia there should not be any question not knowing how it was demolished under attacks from Hindus. This does not mean all Hindus were bad but the oppressive system.

Please encourage dialogue and let us talk rationally for the welfare of masses and just society.

Please do not violet the right to dignity of oppressed communities in India by encouraging Gandhi who never stood for the rights of oppressed population India.

Saint's picture

Thanks Bhikku,

you made some comments that make sense and some are not?, but atleast I found it to be a rational discussion than abusing, such as like Jason Parks who wants to blame and trash those expressions of people as politics, what a pity.

Saint

Saint's picture

Where is Jason Parks comes with this idea of political enginnering, no body here in this forum is a politician or with political inclination, a true Buddhists do not assume or have such irrational thoughts about what is said,

Let me ask you, what do you about Buddhisms existence in India and the world?

What do you know about how Buddhism was destroyed time and again in India?

What do you know about Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, the greatest of all scholars and humanitarian of India, about whom not even many casteistic Indians do not know or act like they do not know, what do you about him?.

what do you know about Dr.Ambedkar's contribution to Buddhism and it's great revival in the last 70 years?.

What do you know about so called Mahatma's and their actions destroyed a great majority of society in the name of stratification, classification and casteism?.

Are you intellectually blind about what the arguments and points are made here?.

What kind of insights you have to say that this is politicized and people wants to control, no body wants to control no one. That is not the way Buddhists work and live their life.

Why do not you go sell this Buddhism to hindu's who time and again claim that Buddhism is part of hinduism, are you one among them?, or simply trying to turn your head and disregard a serious concerns raised by genuine, truth seeking Buddhists.

What kind of Nobility do you have to talk about a Buddhist magazine portray the images and articles of a political leader of controversy and pitpalls, you'r own words are so much of betrayl to this magazine, a nobel magazine has to reasearch on issues and matters before making it public, is it worthy of time and energy and resources of this nobel magazine.

You have no idea of the nobel work and dedication of Dr.B.R.Ambedkar that has brought the almost dieng Buddhism in India, you can't even make an acknolwedgement of such a great human and argue here is that this is noble and one must apprehensible, yes dear, thanks for your insightful abuse of truth seekers.

Jason Parks's picture

What is indeed reprehensible in this blog is the political engineering and attempt to control the Tricycle blog to publish only what a certain group of Political Buddhists in India consider their version of History. I congragulate the editors of the tricycle magazine to have not fallen prey to the designs of this faction of people who want to control, direct and propogate their version of sectarian Buddhism. Please get your politics out of this noble magazine. Watch your breath and feel the peace. Hopefully you can get more space for insights into reality due to this anapanasati.

Bhikku Sariputra's picture

Saint,

1. Lord Buddha was loved, adored and respected by all humans in the world except Hindus (some exceptions)

There was no such thing as Hinduism at the time of Buddha. There were many different groups of people with divergent beliefs and different spiritual practices in India. Buddha had many people who were his opponents and many many more who loved and revered him. He had Kings who got converted to Buddhism. There were people from all walks of life who got attracted to Buddhism including the Brahmins, Jains, Ajivikas, Shramanas etc. Even a public woman like Amarapali and a thugee like Angulimala was a disciple of Buddha. It is indeed reprehensible to generalize hatred on a huge community and religion. Most modern day Hindu Gurus in the tradition of yoga and vedanta revere Buddha as an Ideal. This has no political overtures but comes from a deep seated reverence for a meditative life.

2. Lord Buddha discovered and taught, peace, non-voilence.

This would be a spurious claim. Buddha himself never claimed to have discovered peace and non-violence. Buddha said 'Aesa Dhammo Sanathano' - This Dharma is eternal. Meaning that which existed in the past and that which will be existent in the future. Gandhi also mentioned in his autobiography that the ideals of truth and non violence are as old as the hills. Buddha's contemporary Mahavira also taught peace and Non-violence as did the Yogis and shramans.

3.Lord Buddha taught this world how to live and respect other humans as equals, he did not believe in myths, classifying humans and unscientific believes.

Yes true Buddha stood for equality and respect of all Humans. Not just Humans but also compassion for animals.

4. Lord Buddha discovered the mind and helped us understand how to look into things in this world as it is through his disciplined meditation practices, mainly aimed to understand one’s own mind.

There were philosopers in India, Greeece and China who were ancient and contemporaries to the Buddha who spoke of Mind and Self Exploration. Even as a disciple and Bhikku of the Buddha and inspite of great love towards him I tend to disagree that Buddha exclusively discovered these. Buddha also was influenced by the Sankhya classification of Mind and Matter, he was influenced by the yogis, ajivikas, aranyakas (vedantists) and shramanas in their ascetic and meditational practices. However his exposition of dependent origination and annatta is unique. In Greece there were socrates and china we had lao tzu who was a contemporary of Buddha. SO essentially it is the wisdom that matters and not from where it comes. The buddha himself gives the example of the doctor who treating a wounded patient is more concerned about the treatment and its immediate cause rather than its remote causes.

5. Lord Buddha did not believe nor he adovacted for discrimination of humans in any format, all humans are equal and have rights.

Yes true.

"In the very first comment, I made it clear that Gandhi has no attributes even distantly bear any relation to Buddhists principles or practices. It is not a question of hate or like that matters in our clarification, what is important is Gandhi has no humanitarian values"

To make a blanket statement that Gandhi has no humanitarian values is fallacious. Gandhi and Gandhians have many attributes which bear a relation to the Buddha. The key principles of Ahimsa and Satya. Truth and Non Violence is a core buddhist principle and practice. Gandhi did practice and inculcate this in great detail unless you have other versions of histories and stories which claim he did not. Gnadhi was not a perfect man and he never claimed to be one. He did make many political mistakes but the core of his philosophy is highly humanistic and inspiring. I have met many groups in India who claim that they have been meted with injustice because of Gandhi. Chief among them are the RSS and the Dalits. The RSS claims that Gandhi gave in too easily to the muslims and the Dalits claim that Gandhi belived in the caste system. Each are right in many ways. It is clear from Gandhi's writings and actions that he did not belive in inequality and he encouraged by his actions many notable things like the emancipation of the downtrodden masses of India. Blaming Gandhi for all the ills of India is extremely reductionist and silly. Thanks for the invitation to read the words of Gandhi. I have read many works of Gandhi and also many anti works against him. I personally and like many other Buddhists find a great inspiration in Gandhi for keeping up the buddhist moral percepts and feel a great connection towards him. There are few examples of people in public life who have held up to those Buddhist ideals. If Gandhi is not of much help to a Buddhist maybe they probably should forget and move on. Thats what I think the Buddha would have probably done.

Charon Raj's picture

Prof. Jonannes Beltze, Prof. Eleanor Zelliot, Prof. Gail Omvedt, Prof. Christophe Jeffrelot, and Prof. Surendra Jodhale

All the people mentioned here are in a hate campaign to malign Hinduism and Create divisions in India. Some of these people are open supporters of Terrorism in Kashmir, North East India and in Sri Lanka. SO much for their Humanism.

Saint's picture

Dear Bhikku and Shannon,
This is a Buddhist Magazine and we are here to talk about lord Buddha's teachings, preachings and his great upliftment service to the entire human society.

I will forgo all those arguments and evidences provided in those comments above to get some enlightenment from you two and your knowledge about Buddha, in what context is Gandhi relevant to us Buddhists???.

1. Lord Buddha was loved, adored and respected by all humans in the world except Hindus (some exceptions)

2. Lord Buddha discovered and taught, peace, non-voilence.

3.Lord Buddha taught this world how to live and respect other humans as equals, he did not believe in myths, classifying humans and unscientific believes.

4. Lord Buddha discovered the mind and helped us understand how to look into things in this world as it is through his disciplined meditation practices, mainly aimed to understand one's own mind.

5. Lord Buddha did not believe nor he adovacted for discrimination of humans in any format, all humans are equal and have rights.

6. Lord Buddha did not involve or propagate discriminatory or subjugating behaviors on certain people or sects...

and there are so many aspects as above are the pure qualities and gems of Buddha and Buddhists life,

Gandhi has no place in any of these qualities. Neither in real life nor in political life that he carried such relevance as above, he was completely opposite of all the above mentioned aspects.

He is of no relevance to Buddhists, let the world trumphet about him, we are not in any way against it or in favor of it, but in a Buddhist place, there should not be any room for people who discriminate humans as upper, lower or whatever.

Buddhists do not believe in Mahatmas, but simply we believe in humans, tthose humans who can uplift their own mind and those of others minds, such humans help make this world to be peacefull and live better. We can accept anyone who has those qualities or who wanted to follow to inherit those buddhist qualities1.

Shannon, from your comments it is very obvious that you did not even care to read Gandhi's own words, as to how discriminatory and how inhumane his approach to a large section of people.

If we need to discuss here with some morality, my suggestion to you both is to read Gandhi's own words (just right here in this blog), whether to reject or to accept Gandhi on an individual basis it is left to you. But on a society level or a public forum like this, unless you carry some relevance to Buddhism, it makes no sense to bring those textbook Mahatma's.

Thanks for joining this discussion,
Saint

Note:
In the very first comment, I made it clear that Gandhi has no attributes even distantly bear any relation to Buddhists principles or practices. It is not a question of hate or like that matters in our clarification, what is important is Gandhi has no humanitarian values, he was a betrayer of 360 plus million Indians, about46-50% of the population of India lives below poverty line because of the hindu beliefs and Caste pathology that is practiced and upheld by Gandhi.

Chandramohan's picture

A blogger here in the name of Gandhi has started to abuse Hinduism and claimed that Hindus destroyed the Buddhists. There is no historical proof that Hindus ever vandalized or destroyed buddhists. There are several instances of Hindus - Saivaites and Vaishnavaites who have lived in amity with Buddhists and Jains (refer: Badami-Ihole caves in S India). Also, it is amply clear that the cultural symbols of Hinduism was exported into Buddhist countries like Thailand, Tibet, Burma and Ceylon by Buddhist Monks themselves. All major historians including the Muslim historians agree that Buddhism which was the most organized religion in India became an easy target to the medeival islamic invaders. The organized monkhood crumbled under this assault and most elements of Buddhism merged into popular indian culture (hinduism) as splinter groups. Hinduism with no central organization, structure or cannon is ill equipped for such targeted designs.
There is a well orchestrated and devious campaign to malign Hinduism. I hope the tricycle magazine do not get caught in these devious designs and focus on the teachings of Buddha and his cannon and not get involved in abusing and demonizing other sects and religions. This would result in the defeat of the very purpose of Buddha's teaching.

Shobha Kandasamy's picture

The people here are overreacting and blaming the atrocities and voilence in India on Gandhi. Nothing can be more ridicolous than this. There is a claim that Gandhism has failed in India and also a contradictory claim by the same person that the increasing violence in the soceity is because of Gandhism. Gandhi is as much responsible for the violence in India as much as Buddha or Mahavira was responible for the unending wars and Invasions which followed after Buddha. There is a always a difference between percepts and practice. Gandhism could not survive because of the viciousness and hatred that exists in politics. The caste and communal elements in the indian polity would not want a Gandhi as he cannot be used by one caste/community/religion to pitch them against another caste/community/religion. Gandhi is of no use to them. They need Mayavathis and Modis to create caste and religious divides. The successful leaders in Indian politics are those who pitch one community against another and thereby breaking the unity and fraternity of the country. Gandhi stood against all this.

Shannon Amerman's picture

The status of legendary cultural heroes is always in doubt. Whether in the arena of sports, politics, or peace, once put on a pedestal they become targets of debunkers and deflators, eager to show the hero's mere humanity. The higher such a person is held in public esteem, the seemingly greater the satisfaction of bringing that person low. This can be clearly seen in the comments above in this blog.

Perhaps no one has flown higher in public regard than Mohandas K. Gandhi, who became the living embodiment of activist Humanist ideals: selfless sacrifice, principled nonviolence, and unwavering commitment to social justice. His name, inspite of so much sullying is still cultural shorthand for such values.

We find here in this blog that Gandhi the man is portrayed as an impostor who harbored racist attitudes toward South African blacks and whose efforts on behalf of Hindu "untouchables" were misguided half-measures, designed merely to build his own reputation,political influence and further oppressive caste system. This is being done by using dozens of quotes taken out of context. One such topic is Gandhi's service as the leader of an Indian stretcher-bearer corps during the 1906 "Zulu rebellion" in South Africa. The generally accepted account is that Gandhi acquitted himself honorably, helping to bring desperately needed medical attention and transport to wounded Zulus who would otherwise likely have perished. Not so, says the critiques: the laudatory accounts of Gandhi's service are lies. According to the anti Gandhi lobby, Gandhi really had no concern or sympathy for blacks but, rather, sought military service for Indians alongside white Africans simply to advance the status of the Indians. More generally, and evidence for Gandhi's racism is largely the fact that Gandhi never took up the cause of black liberation in South Africa, instead concentrating his efforts on behalf of his fellow Indians. What some might see as a forgivable sin of omission, these people interpret as equivalent to racism.

Imprisoned with black convicts for his activism, Gandhi wrote in a newspaper account of his experience: "They are troublesome, dirty, and live almost like animals." This hardly seems the Mahatma (Great Soul) who later in life claimed solidarity with all oppressed peoples, and indeed many of his Indian compatriots in South Africa were deeply prejudiced against blacks and made no secret of it. But in the same article Gandhi also said, "It was, however, as well that we were classed with the Natives. It was a welcome opportunity to study the treatment meted out to Natives, their conditions and habits." Here we have evidence of an empathetic, inquiring individual, someone who would eventually come to epitomize universal compassion, not racism. For sub-alterns, this sort of evidence doesn't count, and they make claims that Gandhi harbored lifelong prejudice against blacks. This is too far fetched and a product of their own prejudices rather than a balanced reading of the record.

For those who relish the debunking of religious impostors, the sub-alterns contentious litany of Gandhi's real and imagined faults may provide some satisfaction, but for most people their conclusion that Gandhi was a "thug" no better than Stalin or Hitler will seem overwrought and unnecessarily inflammatory. B. R. Ambedkar's 1945 classic, What Gandhi and the Congress Have Done to the Untouchables, offers a far more substantial and balanced account of some of Gandhi's shortcomings. It is quite shocking to see purported followers of Ambedkar do not see this.

In many respects Gandhi was deeply conservative in his views, constrained by his Hindu heritage.But through even a cursory look at the Gandhian body of knowledge we can see a gradual, albeit incomplete, movement toward a secular, progressive Humanism. The picture emerges of a man, immersed in a spiritual quest to save the downtrodden, who discovers his humanitarian instincts at war with the dictates of his hierarchical cultural tradition. Over the course of Gandhi's philosophical evolution , we see the development of an increasingly humanistic Gandhi. And since Gandhi was a tireless publicist for his causes, we have a wealth of material to draw upon in documenting what changed and what didn't in his views. Anyone with a brief aquantance to Gandhian thought can point out that he was an inveterate self-critic, always willing to reexamine his philosophy in the pursuit of truth and to engage in continual give and take with his many correspondents and associates. Among these was Gora, a well known progressive atheist and social activist who was well ahead of Gandhi in advocating a complete dismantling of the caste system. In their meetings and letters, Gora challenged Gandhi's conservatism in regard to caste and thus played a role in Gandhi's liberalization and secularization during his later years.

It can be said without doubt that Gandhi's lifelong concerns were: moral truth, religion, self-discipline, nonviolence, Indian self-rule, the mitigation of poverty, and the quest for moksha (spiritual enlightenment). Although Gandhi never disowned his Hindu roots, and remained spiritual in a way that Buddhists find overly theistic, through the writings of Gandhi over the years we can see his worldview gradually became more ecumenical, less supernaturalist, and more explicitly secular. This evolution seems to have been closely linked with an increasingly progressive stance on a number of social issues.

In the 1920s Gandhi rejected unequivocally the caste-based principle of untouchability but still upheld the Hindu varna precept of four inherited kinds of vocations (priest/ sage, soldier/administrator, merchant/landowner, servant/ laborer). Although he argued that this precept could coexist with equal social status for all, the reality was that varna perpetuated class divisions and economic inequality. Eventually, influenced by Ambedkar, Gora, and other progressives, Gandhi in his last years favored an altogether casteless India, realizing that his humanitarian ideals could never be achieved in the context of varna. The shows Gandhi's openness to change in controversies where lesser minds might have sought refuge in dogma.

We can also see a similar evolution in Gandhi's views on religion, atheism, and secularism. Wanting to unite his country, and having witnessed Hindu-Muslim violence, Gandhi became less sectarian in his own spirituality, and the many of his close associates conjectured that at the end Gandhi "would not be satisfied to die merely a Hindu-Moslem, but would die instead a universal humanist." Gandhi has written about his acceptance of diverse religions and beliefs as his moral peers in the fight for social progress, and indeed his own conception of divinity became increasingly abstract, ending up in the aphorism that "God is Truth." During the year before his assassination in 1948 he took a strong stand for a secular Indian state, with religion to be left as a strictly private matter. Gandhi As We Have Known Him gives us fresh insight into the development of the thought of a man many called Mahatma but who would not accept that name for himself, leaving us with a picture of a man perpetually in quest of moral truth. Ultimately, Gandhi arrived at a largely Humanist understanding of the basis for human rights. This makes him especially relevant to buddhists and humanists working for social justice. Merely a man, his extraordinary tenacity and dedication to the ethical life, informed by an open and self-critical mind, confirms Gandhi among the great Humanists of the twentieth century.
I commend tricycle for putting this great man on its Cover. Let us see goodness wherever it is found and stop wallowing in negativity.

Bhikku Sariputra's picture

It is really sad to see so many people abusing Gandhi. Gandhi was a human and he had many defects. But he was no evil minded demon as these people are making it out. Gandhi was also to some extent a victim of the political manveouring of his times. But a good study of Gandhi's writings and his life will clearly show his Humanism. I have worked in India in sabarmathi ashram and among gandhians. I know first hand the kind of work that these selfless people have done and doing for the most discriminated people on earth. The Gandians have been motivated by the ideas of social work, justice and welfare.
However there are no takers for Gandhism in India. The Hindu right wing hate Gandhi and so are the subaltern dalits. The Christians and Muslims join hands in their abuse against Gandhi. It is quite clear that abusing Gandhi helps the cause of the casteist politicians (both upper and lower caste) of India.
On most occassions of his public Gandhi rose above and cut across racial, social and religious prejudices. Quoting selectively and out of context from Gandhi can help people in scoring some Brownie points and help them in their violent political cause. But as Buddhists we need to be wary of such politically motivated backlash against a multifaceted personality like Gandhi. Gandhi was not Buddhist in his belief and practices and he was emotionally drawn towards the devotional practices of Hinduism which some call by the name of Bhakthi Yoga. The arguments in the blog to pigeon whole a powerful leader and multifaceted personality like Gandhi as racist is extremely weak. Unlike armchair intellectuals Gandhi practically worked for the well being of untouchables and the dispossesed sections of Indian soceity. He identified with them and even tried to live like them and understand them. Of course Gandhi had an element of showmanship and exhibitionism in him but it was for a good humanitarian cause. The overall message of Gandhi which can be evidenced in his followers (they are a dwindling number, who cares for Gandhi in this modern consumerist capitalistic world) is that of simplicity, equality and fraternity betwen people of all races, religions, creeds and castes. There are many who have been inspired and continue to be inspired by this great soul. The essential need for Buddhists is to recognize humanism and its practice as preached by great leaders like Gandhi. As buddhists it is important that we do not get sidetracked by hate politics and machieavillian politiciking. If Gandhi does not confirm to Humanism as taught by Buddha let us reject him. But let us not fall a prey to this hate speech and politics.

lalitkumar's picture

Let world know about Gandhi
Please have a look at Columbia University website and see in the end when Dr. Ambedkar founder of modern India wrote this classic essay on Annihilation of caste, see how Gandhi critically was against it. See their communication in the end.
Ambedkar’s Ideas on annihilation of caste along with debate with Gandhi -published by Columbia
Please also reflect on Oxford Published book. Reconstructing the World B.R. Ambedkar and Buddhism in India. With articles from World renowned Buddhist scholars Prof. Christopher Queen from Harvard University. Prof. Jonannes Beltze, Prof. Eleanor Zelliot, and others.

I wonder what can happen with such a silence on truth and reality on the part of American Magazine like Trycle. Such events will keep world ignorant about "why Buddhism started in India in India but died in India many times due to violent efforts of Hindus. Support of magazine in the crimes of Gandhi and other Hindus to sabotage Buddhism is being partner in leading world on the path of destroying the Buddhism. If that is the aim of this magazine, then I can't wish you best.

If it is not your aim, then this magazine will have to invite articles and special issue from people like Prof. Jonannes Beltze, Prof. Eleanor Zelliot, Prof. Gail Omvedt, Prof. Christophe Jeffrelot, and Prof. Surendra Jodhale who wrote extensively on Buddha and knows about Gandhi . Or and the magazine can contact jambudvipa organization who are extensively engaged in Buddhist activities, last International Engaged Buddhist Conference was organized by them.

I would be happy to contribute you in this endeavor if you ready to have rational discourse on Gandhi.

Raj's picture

My dear editor,

You are trying to represent Buddhist way of life by holding your so called post of editor for your magazine but it appears that you have not taken the pain or pleasure to learn Buddhism. Let me tell you dear editor; Buddhism is the only religion that you can't represent unless you learn and practice by yourself.

I am going to share these verses of Lord Buddha which will prove what I am trying to explain here. I am sure you will get it and you will never ever in your life will market Gandhi or his corrupt, inhumane ideology.

Here is what Lord Buddha preached to his disciples who were known as Kalamas (a tribe):

"Yes, O Kalamas, it is right for you to doubt, it is right for you to waver. In a doubtful matter, wavering has arisen,"
remarked the Buddha and gave them the following advice which applies with equal force to modern rationalists as it did to
those sceptic brahmins of yore.

"Come, O Kalamas, Do not accept anything on mere hearsay (i.e., thinking that thus have we heard it from a long time).
Do not accept anything by mere tradition (i.e., thinking that it has thus been handed down through many generations). Do not
accept anything on account of rumours ('i.e., by believing what others say without any investigation). Do not accept anything just
because it accords with your scriptures. Do not accept anything by mere supposition. Do not accept anything by mere inference.
Do not accept anything by merely considering the appearences. Do not accept anything merely because it agrees with your
preconceived notions. Do not accept anything merely because it seems acceptable (i.e., should be accepted). Do not accept
anything thining that the ascetic is respected by us (and therefore it is right to accept his word.)

"But when you know for yourselves--these things are immoral, these things are blamewothy, these things are censured
by the wise, these things, when performed and undertaken, conduce to ruin and sorrow--then indeed do you reject them.

"When you know for yourselves--these things are moral, these things are blameless, these things are praised by the
wise, these things, when performed and undertaken, conduce to well-being and happiness--then do you live and act accordingly."

The Buddha and His Teachings
By: Narada

Pardeep S Attri's picture

Against Gandhi's Ideology

http://againstgandhisideology.blogspot.com/

Pardeep S Attri's picture

Bad condition of Dalits due to Gandhi ....

Latest official police reports on average over last 5 years shows that (many crimes remain unnoticed as a fear of dominant castes or of police) daily almost 27 officially registered atrocities are being committed against Dalits, see reports below:-

• 13 Dalits are murdered every week,
• 5 Dalits home or possessions are burnt every week,
• 6 Dalits are kidnapped or abducted every week,
• 3 Dalit women are raped every day,
• 11 Dalits are beaten every day and
• A crime is committed against a Dalit every 18 minute.

Also one recent study of untouchabilty in rural India covering 565 villages in 11 states found that

• Public health workers refused to visit Dalit homes in 33% of villages,
• Dalits were prevented from entering police station in 27.6% of villages,
• Dalit children had to sit separately while eating in 37.8% of Govt. schools,
• Dalits didn’t get mail delivered to their homes in 23.5% of villages &
• Dalits were denied access to water sources in 48.4% of villages because of segregation & untouchabilty practices.
• The conviction rate under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act is 15.71% and pendency is as high as 85.37%. This when the Act has strict provisions aimed as a deterrent. By contrast, conviction rate under IPC is over 40%.

Marcus's picture

Thank you Muni.

Saint's picture

Dear Marcus,

The individuals who have made comments here are making their efforts to reach the Editor or Founder of Tricycle, because he or she is derailing the Buddhists principles, Buddhists way of life and the Lord Buddha's very teachings.

We are all perturbed by just the thought of an evil man like Gandhi is associated with Buddhism in any ways, let alone equating him to the peace lover and non-violence.

Such understanding and perception is a great danger to the world and especially to the Buddhist society. Because these good people were perturbed by "Tricycle’s recent publications, it is a genuine and natural expression of those Buddhists to warn the editor of his/her mistakes or blunder.

If you considered this as angry writing, that is how you perceived it, but that is not a Buddhist way of looking at?, if you make efforts to "See as it is (Lord Buddha's teachings)" you would not have felt they were angry writings, they were expression of disgust against a perturbed writings of your editor.

Yes, we all thank this blog and the opportunity to provide space for discussion and to continue it, but is again is nothing unusual for Buddhists to do so, "Even the most enlightened Buddha said, just because I am Tathagata saying, you should nod your head and walk away, you must ask question"?.

If we are following such greatest teacher of the world's teachings we better behave ourselves to listen to the concerns of the world.

Lord Buddha dedicated his life for the miserable and unfortunate people of India 2500 years ago, why?. Not because he wanted to be enlightened and enjoy with such insights, but because he was so terrified and sad inside that there was so much violence in India, there was so much poverty in India, there was so much miseries in India, so much killings and sabotagery, all these miseries were directly stemming from people of those years (hindus) "Discriminated, humans as low, high, untouchable and useable and what not?.
This has been going on to some extent even before Lord Buddha's time, but it was getting worst and worst, the so called Caste system of today existed in a different format and terms those days, not able to tolerate and see such cruelty and inhumane behaviors of hindus or Indians of that time, Buddha decided to find out why such miseries (all those mythical reason given by some books are simply silly and decorated reasons?), the real reason for Buddha to seek for the truth of the matter at that time was why so much of such miserable life mainly due to human discrimination among themselves.

There was no medicine to treat, no book chapter to teach, no money would have solved, no job opportunity would have solved it, and instead, he realized that something within individuals must be a causative factor or a solution, so he went on to discover what is known today as "Mind".
Just about 60-70 years ago, we did not know much about Mind or we did not know how to explain what is mind, so, imagine 2500 years ago, someone was able to find and reach the mind that was and is Lord Buddha.

Due to enormous research on Brain, we know quite a lot of about Mind and consciousness now, but no body knew anything about mind or for that matter about Brain during Buddha's period.

It was Lord Buddha who discovered Mind. He also discovered that for all those miseries and miserable life events that lead to violence and discrimination, reaching the mind can be one of the best solutions.

Millions and Millions of the Indians understood what Lord Buddha discovered and they followed his path to help themselves, it continued. So much of India benefited from such mind discovery, people's lives got better, violence and atrocities gone down and even rulers and kings started following Buddha's way of life, the greatest King Ashoka even abandoned all wars and stopped attacking nations and people, he became one of the most powerful and influential Buddhists several centuries ago. Though the human discriminating other humans as low or higher was not completely removed, so much of Indians life got better due to Lord Buddha’s teachings. However, India was again, again and again under attack of different Kingdoms, this continued wars and violence destroyed Buddhism and Buddhists stronghold. India from Buddhist nation again became a hinduized!! Nation, again became a violent nation!?, the hindus killed monks, destroyed Buddhist Sanghas, killed and chased Buddhists out to the southern India.....during all these times, the human discrimination became so worst that upper caste people started killing lower caste (this pathology of caste system in India-is a creation by hindus to subjugate people, so that those who have money and power can rule the others, they classified Varnashrama, classification based on various traits, such as color, stature, what job one is engaged in, which locality, which tribe a person belongs to which region a person belong to etc etc etc...) than they made it a religious belief (all meaningless, ruthless and insane hindu beliefs became a religious and state sponsored law of the time (manusmiriti)-it exists in a large scale even today than anytime of the Indian history). Most of those lower castes (untouchables) are the Buddhist people of ancient time, or their descendents or distantly related to those Buddhists people. They were pushed to the loweliest of low by people like Gandhi (if not physically or directly, by his politics, by his involvement with other barbaric human discriminators, including British ruling party during british invasion of India).

Those (dalits, lower class or untouchables) are actually the true Indians, the original Indians, the majority in number of 360 million, trashed to a minority and lower castes. The were treated like dogs, or much worse than animals in India today, they are under constant attack by hindus to which Gandhi belonged. He was and is, is one of the most dangerous power of hindus or India. Throughout his life, Gandhi used every single opportunity came in his way in the name of untouchables to his own benefit and casteistic people's benefit and destroyed India to an extent that about 56% people in India live below poverty line, direct result of discrimination, caste system and atrocities from people like Gandhi.

Even the most notorious minds of today, will not advocate or spread such evil Gandhi and his life to the world, let alone talk about him as a saint or whatever.

Now, tell me, how on the earth a Buddhist editor or founder publish such an article or images of such a man in a Buddhist place, this magazine is simply taking the millions of people back to animal savagery era, where Gandhi ruled and Gandhi like people ruled, and infact such people rule in many parts of India even as we speak!, you are simply giving them more and more fodder to keep continuing the human atrocity in India by promoting such people like Gandhi. He deserves no respect, especially he deserves no place among Buddhists and Lord Buddha’s principles.

Saint ( in Tamil: MUNI )
USA

Marcus's picture

Thank you

Thank you Pardeep S Attri for telling me a good deal about Gandhi that I never knew before.

And thank you to the Tricycle Blog too for allowing this thread to run and run, I think that you've shown very well indeed how to take criticism with nobility and patience.

With loving kindness to all,

Marcus

Pardeep S Attri's picture

I invite Editor to come India, where Gandhi used to live. See reality with your own eyes from the people of India.

Editor sitting abroad & publishing or preaching Gandhism to Buddhists, shameful... come to India i'll show you the reality.. Dear Editor don't accept what these terrorist organizations like RSS, BJP tell you.

In Indian society Gandhi have no place & till now Gandhi is being remembered as Congress or other political parties announce Public holiday on his b'day... otherwise people might have forgotten Gandhi.

See this

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/qotd-gandhi-vs-ambedkar/27864-3-single.html

Final Verdict: Has Ambedkar's legacy proved more durable than that of Gandhi?

81 per cent of the viewers said ‘yes it has’ and 19 per cent of them said ‘no’.

Perhaps Ambedkar’s legacy needs to be re-looked and rediscovered to understand it in its true form. Remember Babasaheb said, “Social democracy and political democracy must go hand-in-hand. And that can happen only if we manage to create a truly equitable society.”

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/qotd-gandhi-vs-ambedkar/27864-3-single.html

Pardeep S Attri's picture

Sometimes to wake up ignorants we need to tell them the reality & their place. The all cut paste is that my dear friends is saying is the reality.

Ya the editor gave a chance to discuss & forgotten this page created by them. Also this page can anyone create, even a ignorant kid will make much better page on wordpress.com

Is this a courage?

Simply editor don't wanna accept reality & hiding herself behind Gandhi's statue !!! If editor don't can't analyze things well, she has no right to publish Gandhi on Tricycle- A Buddhist Magazine. Come out dear editor & have courage to face reality.

Nobody criticize you +vely, but you can take/learn how to take criticism +vely.

Do editor know Buddhism?? Learn --

Living in a grateful world

Be grateful to those who have hurted or harmed you,
For they have reinforced your determination.
Be grateful to those who have deceived you,
For they have deepened your sight.
Be grateful to those who have hit you,
For they have reduced your karmic obstacles.
Be grateful to those who have abandoned you,
For they have taught you to be independent.
Be grateful to those who have made you stumble,
For they have strengthened your ability.
Be grateful to those who have denounced you,
For they have increased your wisdom & concentration.
Be grateful to those who have made you Firm & Resolute & Helped in your Achievement.

~ From the teachings of Ven. Master Chin Kung~

Dear editor think over this..!! All friends here are telling you the reality, it's upto you to accept the reality after realizing yourself...

Marcus's picture

"editor is visiting hell to meet Gandhi"

I don't know about that. I suspect that the editors of Tricycle magazine are somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer size and forthright tone of these comments.

Faced with such a response I suspect that they are doing what I'd do in this case.....wait till the cut-and-paste comments come to end, wait till people tire of telling them that they have insulted Buddhism, and then prepare a full response.

Someone on this thread has suggested that the editors lack courage. I think the fact that they have allowed this thread to continue is proof against that.

Like most western Buddhists I have never given Gandhi more than the briefest of passing thoughts. I'd always assumed (it's what we're taught here) that he was some kind of saint, and this thread is the first time that my ideas have been challenged.

I feel, however, that it's such a pity that that challenge has been wrapped in such emotive and angry language against a magazine and website that has always (and is) doing so much to support English-speaking Buddhists all over the world.

Raj's picture

It is pathetic to see Gandhi's picture especially on the cover of the magazine that promotes Buddhism and appreciates Buddhist way of life. Gandhi was a social discriminator, casteist and believer of having a society where people are treated differently based on their birth/caste/varna.
He never followed or supported Buddhism in his life. He even criticized religious conversion and supported discrimination against fourth varna of Hindu religion hierarchy.

Gandhi borrowed the term 'Non-violence' from Buddhism and never lived to it. He used the term of non-violence in a violent way to deny separate electorate rights for depressed classes of India by fasting to pressure Dr. B.R.Ambedkar who was representing depressed classes.

The most deserving person to be on the cover of all magazines that promote Buddhism is Dr.B.R. Ambedkar, chief architect of Indian constitution, savior of human rights who revived Buddhism in India by embracing Buddhism with his 500,000 followers in 1956.

It is an insult to Buddhism by publishing Gandhi's picture on the cover of Tricycle.

Pardeep S Attri's picture

I think we should again post these comments on the previous page of Tricycle from where these have been shifted to here.

I think editor made this blog & have forgotten about this or might be on on some Satyagraha :)

Saint's picture

One of may ultimate objective is to bring the "Truth" about "Why" a Buddhist magazine talks about the most dangerous human on earth Gandhi and equate him to Buddhist's principles?.

Gandhi knows nothing about Peace and non-voilence. Both Peace, Love and Non-Voilence is the Original creation and preachings of Lord Buddha.

If you made a mistake, just comeout and say why you are corrupting and contaminating the Buddhists world.

If you are forced to do so, who is behind you. Is it Dalai Lama or any other Lama's, or what is the Truth. I need the truth and We Need the truth from you. Come out. I will not stop writing until I speak to you in person, or phone or via e-mail or through this blog.

Saint
http://upliftthem.blogspot.com

Raja's picture

To be Buddhist you have to be Human first and that to with ability to think in unbiased way which require lot of courage and daring.Which they (editor and company lacs)

A's picture

No editor is visiting hell to meet Gandhi :)

Pardeep S Attri's picture

Editor is hibernating in Gandhi's dreams :) :) :)

Wake Up dear Editor...

vijay's picture

Dear Editor,
Why this tricycle is silent over these comments, not a single reply on any of these comments.Then what is the meaning of blog and discussion. This looks like a following gandhi's principle of don't hear wrongs in society, do not speak any wrong in the society and do not see (read here in this cotext) what wrong gandhi has committed ???
Gandhi's three monkeys ??? speak up editor please say what you feel on these comments if you are really buddhist? please say truth as truth and untruth as untruth after rational understanding of what is right and what is wrong.

Saint's picture

Dear Shrinivasan TN,

Let me thank you profusely for publishing the "TRUTH" and the evil side of Gandhi, what a Royal betrayer of Untouchables in India.

When I opened this blog to see some new comments made, I just browsed accross but preplexed when I read your comments and compilation on Gandhi.

I was aware of some of the evil facts about Gandhi, but a comprehensive compilation of it through your article and the chapter X of the book must be read by the whole world. It is insightful and painful at the same time to see that how dangerous the educated people are in this world to keep wasting their time on evil man like Gandhi?.

The effort to publish Gandhi on a Buddhist magazine like Tricycle is not an idea of the current editors alone!!??.

It is rather a brainchild of the founder and president of this Tricycle, she even has a plan to have a big Gala, she is organizing a Gala with mela, called Gandhi Mela.

She is been engulfed and suffocated by hindus of India when she visited New Delhi, may be also by some Hindus who live in New York ( the millionaires and Billionaire hindus of New York!?, who can pay money to the editor to run her Tricycle and other organizations), but she must have been forced to do this by diplomatic officials of India too is a possiblity??. And, there could be any other possiblities too. Unless she writes here, we will never know how this woman got into this pathological idea of writing about Gandhi, she seems to be very impressed by him.

If she is a real Buddhist and a person who seek truth, she should remove Gandhi's picture and cancel the Gala, this shame and pathology is going to ruin several young and old minds who constantly seeking truth in this world, who go to Buddhist places to seek Buddha's teachings to learn about this world. The founder's effort is going to destroy lots of new Buddhists minds.

How sad?, we have learned people making such a huge blunder like this magazine.

Mr.Shrinivasan, I thank again and I have learned so much in one day (today) through your writing about the tragedy of India than I would learn in months and months.

Saint

Pardeep S Attri's picture

This is height of stupidness, how can editor of a magazine be of so poor knowledge ? Editors seems to very much attracted by Stupid Gandhi without knowing facts.

Mrs. Editor open your eyes & read all the above posts before publishing anything on Gandhi (Stupid, ohh... one can call Stupid or Gandhi, one is the same thing) in Buddhist magazine.

And may you be blessed with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do things which others tell you cannot be done..

ShrinivasanTN's picture

The Brahminical Media alongwith historians potrayed the image of Mr.M K Gandhi as a Great leader of India,follower of Buddha,Peace,ahnisa etc.But in reality the most dangerous culprit for the oppression of millions of untouhables in India was Mr Mk Gandhi.
These people are very smart they know India is recognised as land of Budhha in whole world so whenver any foreigner will visit india the hypprocatic Congressman will tell them that Gandhi was follower of Buddha.Congress and Gandhi have ruined this country.So Mr Editor when you put any article or photograph do some basic reasrch and then publish it.

ShrinivasanTN's picture

WHAT CONGRESS AND GANDHI HAVE DONE

TO

THE UNTOUCHABLES

_____________________________________________

CHAPTER X
WHAT DO THE UNTOUCHABLES SAY?

Beware Of Mr. Gandhi

Congressmen never hesitate to impress upon the Untouchables that Mr. Gandhi is their saviour. Not only do Congressmen all over India hold out Mr. Gandhi as a real saviour but they go forth to persuade the Untouchables to accept the fact that he is their only saviour. When pressed for evidence, they tell the Untouchables that if any one ever took a vow to go on a fast unto death for the sake of the Untouchables it was Mr. Gandhi and none else. Indeed, without any compunction they tell the Untouchables that whatever political rights the Untouchables have got under the Poona Pact, they are the result of Mr. Gandhi's efforts. As an illustration of such propaganda I refer to what one Rai Bahadur Mehrchand Khanna is reported[f.1] to have said at a meeting of the Untouchables held at Peshawar on April 12, 1945 under the auspices of the Depressed Classes League :

"Your best friend is Mahatma Gandhi who even resorted to a fast for your sake and brought about the Poona Pact under which you have been enfranchised and given representation on local bodies and legislatures. Some of you, I know, have been running after Dr. Ambedkar, who is just a creation of the British Imperialists and who uses you to strengthen the hands of the British Government in order that India may be divided and the Britishers continue to retain power. I appeal to you in your interests, to distinguish between self-styled leaders and your real friends."

If I refer to the statement of Rai Bahadur Mehrchand Khanna it is not because he is worth taking notice of. For there cannot be any one guilty of bigger blackguardism in Indian politics than this man. In the course of one year—not in very remote time but in 1944—he successfully played three different roles. He started as Secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha, turned agent of British Imperialism, went abroad to explain India's war effort to the British and American people and is now agent of the Congress in N.W.F. Province. The opinion of a man like Rai Bahadur Khanna, who, to use Dryden's language, is so various as to be everything by starts, and nothing long, and who in the course of one revolving moon, can be a chemist, fiddler, statesman and buffoon, must be beneath contempt. If I refer to him it is only because I wish to illustrate what sort of propaganda [f.2] friends of Mr. Gandhi are carrying on in order to beguile the Untouchables.

I do not know how many Untouchables will be found prepared to swallow such a lie. But this much I think has been proved by the Nazis that if a lie is a big lie too big for the common man's intelligence to scrutinise and if it is repeated continuously, the lie has all the chances of being accepted as truth and if not accepted as truth has all the chances of growing upon, the victims of propaganda and win their acquiescence. It is, therefore, necessary for me to expose the part played by Mr. Gandhi in the movement of the Untouchables and to warn the Untouchables against succumbing to this propaganda.

I
In making a survey of the part played by Mr. Gandhi it is well to begin by ascertaining when Mr. Gandhi for the first time realized that Untouchability was an evil. On this point, we have the direct testimony of Mr. Gandhi himself. In an, address delivered as President of the Suppressed Classes Conference, held at Ahmedabad on the 14th and 15th April 1921, Mr. Gandhi said :—

"I was hardly yet twelve when this idea had dawned on me. A scavenger named Ukha, an Untouchable, used to attend our house for cleaning latrines. Often I would ask my mother why it was wrong to touch him, why I was forbidden to touch him. If I accidentally touched Ukha, I was asked to perform ablutions, and though I naturally obeyed, it was not without smilingly protesting that untouchability was not sanctioned by religion, that it was impossible that it should be so. I was a very dutiful and obedient child and so far as it was consistent with respect for parents. I often had tussles with them on this matter. I told my mother that she was entirely wrong in considering physical contact with Ukha as sinful.

"While at school I would often happen to touch the 'Untouchables' and as I never would conceal the fact from my parents, my mother would tell me that the shortest cut to purification after the unholy touch was to cancel the touch by touching any Musalman passing by. And simply out of reverence and regard for my mother I often did so, but never did so believing it to be a religious obligation. After some time we shifted to Porebandar, where I made my first acquaintance with Sanskrit. I was not yet put to an English School, and my brother and I were placed in charge of a Brahmin, who taught us Ram Raksha and Vishnu Punjar. The texts 'Jale Vishnuh' 'Sthale Vishnuh' (there is he Lord (present) in water, there is the Lord (present) in earth, have never gone out of my memory. A motherly old dame used to live close by. Now it happened that I was very timid then,' and would conjure up ghosts and goblins whenever the lights went out, and it was dark. The old mother, to disabuse me of fears, suggested that I should mutter the Ramraksha texts whenever I was afraid, and all evil spirits would fly away. This I did and, as I thought with good effect. I could never believe then that there was any text in the Ramraksha pointing to the contact of the 'untouchables' as a sin. I did not understand its meaning then, or understood it very imperfectly. But I was confident that Ramraksha which could destroy all fear of ghosts, could not be countenancing any such thing as fear of contact with the 'untouchables.'

"The Ramayana used to be regularly read in our family. A Brahmin called Ladha Maharaj used to read it. He was stricken with leprosy, and he was confident that a regular reading of the Ramayana would cure him of leprosy, and indeed, he was cured of it. 'How can the Ramayana,' I thought to myself 'in which one is regarded nowadays as an 'untouchable,' took Rama across the Ganges in his boat, countenance the idea of any human beings being ' untouchables ' on the ground that they were polluted souls ? The fact that we addressed God as the ' purifier of the polluted ' and by similar appellations, shows that it is a sin to regard any one born in Hinduism as polluted or untouchable—that it is satanic to do so. I have hence been never tired of repeating that it is a great sin. I do not pretend that this thing had crystallised as a conviction in me at the age of twelve, but I do say that I did then regard untouchability as a sin. I narrate this story for the information of the Vaishnavas and orthodox Hindus."

It is no doubt very interesting to know that in that age of blind orthodoxy Mr. Gandhi should have become aware that Untouchability was a sin and that too at so early an age as 12. What the Untouchables, however, want to know is what did Mr. Gandhi do to remove the evil. I give below an extract from a biographical note about Mr. Gandhi by the publishers, Tagore & Co., of Madras to their volume called Young India, issued in, 1922, to show the principal activities, which Mr. Gandhi launched since the time he started his public career. This is what the note says :—

"Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 5, 1869. Caste Bania; son of Karamchand Gandhi, Dewan of Porebunder, Rajkote and some other Kathiawar States; He was educated at the Kathiawad High School, later at London University and the Inner Temple. On return from London was enrolled as advocate of the Bombay High Court. Went to Natal and thence to the Transvaal on a legal mission. Was enrolled as advocate of the Natal Supreme Court. Decided to remain there. Founded the Natal Indian Congress, 1894. Returned to India, 1895. Agitation in India on behalf of the Natal and Transvaal Indians. Return to Durban. On landing attacked by the mob and narrowly escaped death; led an Indian Ambulance Corps in the Anglo-Boer War 1899 ; Returned to India in 1901 to recoup his health. Again returned to South Africa to lead the Indian deputation to place the Indian view of the South African Indian trouble before Mr. Chamberlain. Enrolled as attorney of the Supreme Court of Transvaal and founded the Transvaal British Indian Association and was its Honorary Secretary and Principal legal adviser. Founded the Indian Opinion in 1903 and the "Phoenix" Settlement. Led a Stretcher Bearer Corps in the native rebellion in 1906; Agitation against the Anti-Asiat Act 1906 ; Deputation to England for the repeal of the Act ; Passive Resistance movement begun against the Act; Negotiations between General Smuts and Mr. Gandhi and compromise. Smuts later denying the promise of repeal of the law, and again commenced passive resistance. Imprisoned twice for breaking the law. Again went to England in 1909 to lay the Indian case before the British public; Provisional Settlement in 1911 Mr. Gokhale's visit to South Africa. On the Government declining to fulfil the settlement of 1911 organised a revival of the passive resistance movement. Final settlement in 1914. Visit to England ; Raised an Indian Ambulance Corps in 1914."

From this biographical note, it is clear that Mr. Gandhi began his public life in 1894 when he founded the Natal Indian Congress. From 1894 to 1915, he was in South Africa. During this period, he never thought of the Untouchables and never even inquired after Ukha.

Mr. Gandhi returned to India in 1915. Did he then take up the cause of the Untouchables ? Let me again quote from the same biographical note which says:—

"Returned to India 1915; Founded the Satyagrah Ashram at Ahmedabad. Took part in the Settlement of the Champaran Labour troubles in 1917 and Kaira famine and Ahmedabad mill strike, 1918 ; Recruiting Campaign 1918 ; Agitation against the Rowlatt Act and the inauguration of the Satyagraha movement, 1919; Arrested at Kosi on his way to Delhi and sent back to Bombay ; Punjab disorders and the official atrocities 1919; Was member of the Congress Committee of Enquiry into the Punjab atrocities ; Took part in the Khilafat Agitation. Inauguration of the Non-Co-operation campaign, 1920; Interview with Lord Reading May 1921 ; appointed sole executive authority of the Congress in 1921 Session of the Congress; Civil Disobedience Programme, February 1922; Suspension of Civil Disobedience campaign on account of Chauri Chaura riots, February 1922; Arrested on March 10, 1922 tried and sentenced to six years simple imprisonment."

This note is obviously incorrect. It omits some very significant and quite well-known events in the life of Mr. Gandhi. To make it complete, the following items must be added :—

"1919 declared readiness to welcome Afghan invasion of India to Free India from British Imperialism ; 1920 put before the country the Bardoli Programme of Constructive work; 1921 started Tilak Swaraj Fund and collected one crore and 25 lakhs to be used for preparing the country for winning swaraj."

In these five years, Mr. Gandhi was completely absorbed in transforming the Congress into a militant organisation—a war machine fit to fight and shake British Imperialism. He took up the cause of the Khilafat with a view to bring the Muslims to join the Congress and did his level best to rally the Hindus for the support of the Khilafat.

What did Mr. Gandhi do for the Untouchables during this period ? Congressmen will of course refer to the Bardoli Programme. It is true that in the Bardoli Programme the uplift of the Untouchables was an item. But what is important is to know what happened to it? To tell the story in a summary[f.3] form the Bardoli Programme was not a programme for the removal of Untouchability. It was a programme of amelioration which was defined by Disraeli as a combination of ancient institutions and modern improvements. The pro-gramme,openly recognised Untouchability and planned to do no more than provide separate wells and separate schools for the Untouchables. The Sub-Committee appointed to draw up a programme for the uplift of the Untouchables consisted of persons, who had never shown any interest in the Untouchables and some of them were even hostile to them. Swami Shraddhanand, the one and only person in the Sub-' Committee who can be said to be charged with the desire to do something substantial for the Untouchables, was forced to resign. A paltry sum of money was allotted for carrying on the work of the Committee. The Committee was dissolved without meeting even once. The work of the uplift of the Untouchables was declared to be a work best suited to the Hindu Mahasabha. Mr. Gandhi took no interest in that part of the Bardoli Programme, which related to the Untouchables. On the contrary instead of siding with Swami Shraddhanand he sided with the reactionaries and opponents of Swami Shraddhanand, knowing full well that they did not want anything on a big scale done for the Untouchables.

So much for what Mr. Gandhi did in 1921 in connection, with the Bardoli Programme.

What did Mr. Gandhi do after 1922 ? The publication from which the previous extract from the biographical note was taken is dated 1922. It is necessary to make the following additions to bring the biographical note up to date :—

" 1924 was released from prison; Forged a compromise between the two wings of the Congress who in his absence were fighting over the issue of Council Entry versus Constructive programme; 1929 proclaimed complete independence as the political goal of India ; 1930 launched Civil Disobedience movement ; 1931 went to London to represent Congress at the Round Table Conference. 1932 was imprisoned. Declared fast unto death against the Communal Award of His Majesty's Government and saved his life agreeing to the Poona Pact 1933 planned a campaign in favour of temple-entry for Untouchables and established the Harijan Sevak Sangh; 1934 ceased to be a member of the Congress; 1942 planned 'Quit India' movement and was imprisoned; 1934 went on fast and was released; 1944 engaged in correspondence with Lord Wavell and in issuing statements explaining away the 8th August 1942 Resolution; 1945 occupied with Kasturba Fund."

The year 1924 gave Mr. Gandhi another opportunity to push forth his campaign for the removal of Untouchability and make it effective. What did Mr. Gandhi do ?

The years between 1922 and 1944 have a special significance in the history of Congress politics. The Programme of non-cooperation was accepted by the Congress at a special session held in Calcutta in September 1920. The programme included the well known five boycotts : the boycott of the Legislature, boycott of foreign cloth etc. The resolution on non-cooperation was opposed by the leaders of the intellectual classes, namely Bepin Chandra Pal, C. R. Das, Lala Lajpat Rai to mention only a few names, but was passed notwithstanding their opposition. The regular Annual Session of the Congress was held in Nagpur in December 1920. The resolution on non-co-operation again came up for discussion. Strange as it may seem the same resolution was moved by Mr. C. R. Das [f.4] and seconded by Lala Lajpat Rai and confirmed. The result was that 1921 saw non-co-operation galore. On 19th March 1922, Mr. Gandhi was tried for sedition and sentenced to six years' imprisonment. Immediately Mr. Gandhi was put behind the prison bars, Mr. C. R. Das seems to have recovered his balance and started a campaign to lift the boycott of the Legislature. In this he was joined by Vithalbhai Patel, Pandit Motilal Nehru and Pandit Malaviya. This move was opposed by the followers of Mr. Gandhi, who were not prepared to abate a jot or a tittle from the terms of the resolution on non-co-operation passed in Calcutta and confirmed in Nagpur. This led to a schism in the Congress. In 1924, Mr. Gandhi on account of his illness was released from gaol, before his time. When he came out, Mr. Gandhi found that the Congress was divided into two warring camps on the issue of the boycott of the Legislature. The quarrel was a bitter one and both sides were engaged in slinging mud at each other. Mr. Gandhi knew that if the quarrel continued the Congress would be weakened and wanted to patch it up. Neither side was prepared to give in. There were statements and counter statements. Ultimately, Mr. Gandhi made certain proposals for restoring peace between the two wings which were accepted by both sides. The proposals were intended to please both sides. To please the protagonists of Council Entry he proposed that the Congress should recognise entry in the Legislatures as legitimate part of Congress activity and the opponents of Council Entry should stop their propaganda against it. To please the opponents of Council Entry he proposed that the Congress should accept a new basis for franchise namely: {i) the Congress franchise instead of being 4 annas per annum should be a tender of 2,000 yards of hand-spun and self-spun yarn with the penalty clause attached to it by which any default in this behalf would automatically disqualify a person from being a member of the Congress and that (ii) the observance of five boycotts, of foreign cloth, Government Law Courts, schools and colleges, and of titles should be deemed as a qualification for a post within the Congress organisation and any person who did not believe in the principle of boycott and who did not carry them out in his own person must be deemed to be disqualified as a candidate.

Here was an opportunity for Mr. Gandhi to advance his anti-Untouchability campaign. He could have proposed that if a Hindu wishes to enroll himself as a member of the Congress he should prove that he does not observe untouchability and that the employment of an Untouchable in his household should be adduced in support of his claim in this behalf and that no other evidence would be allowed to be tendered. Such a proposal could not have been impracticable for almost every Hindu, certainly those who call themselves high Caste Hindus, keeps more than one servant in, his household. If Mr. Gandhi could make the Hindu accept spinning and boycott as franchises for membership of the Congress he could also make acceptable the employment of an Untouchable in a Hindu household a franchise for membership of the Congress. But Mr. Gandhi did not do it.

After 1924 till 1930 there is a complete blank. Mr. Gandhi does not appear to have taken any active steps for the removal of Untouchability or got himself interested in any activity beneficial to the Untouchables during this period. While Mr. Gandhi was inactive the Untouchables had started a movement called the satyagraha movement. The object of the movement was to establish their right to take water from public wells and public temples. The satyagraha at the Chowdar Tank situated in Mahad, a town in, the Kolaba District of the Bombay Presidency, was organised to establish the right of the Untouchables to take water from public watering places. The satyagraha at the Kala Ram Temple situated in Nasik, a town in the Nasik District of the Bombay Presidency, was organised to establish the right of the Untouchables to enter Hindu temples. There were many minor satyagrahas. These were, however, the two principal ones over which the efforts of the Untouchables and their opponents, the Caste Ilindus, were concentrated. The din and noise caused by them were heard all over India. Thousands of men and women from the Untouchables took part in these satyagrahas. Both men. and women belonging to the Untouchables were insulted and beaten by the Hindus. Many were injured and some were imprisoned by Government on the ground of causing breach of the peace. This satyagraha movement went on for full six years when it was brought to a close in 1935 at a Conference held in Yeola in Nasik District in which the Untouchables as a result of the adamantine attitude of the Hindus in refusing to give them equal social rights resolved to go out of the Hindu fold. This satyagraha movement was no doubt independent of the Congress. It was organised by the Untouchables, led by the Untouchables and financed by the Untouchables. Yet the Untouchables were not without hope of getting the moral support of Mr. Gandhi. Indeed they had very good ground for getting it. For the weapon of satyagraha —the essence of which is to melt the heart of the opponent by suffering—was the weapon which was forged by Mr. Gandhi, and who had led the Congress to practise it against the British Government for winning Swaraj. Naturally the Untouchables expected full support from Mr. Gandhi to their satyagraha against the Hindus the object of which was to establish their right to take water from public wells and to enter public Hindu temples. Mr. Gandhi however did not give his support to the satyagraha. Not only did he not give his support, he condemned it in strong terms.

In this connection reference may be made to two novel weapons for redressing human wrongs. Mr. Gandhi claims exclusive credit for forging and perfecting them. First is satyagraha. Mr. Gandhi has put into action this weapon of satyagraha many a times against the British Government for the removal of political wrongs. But Mr. Gandhi has never used the weapon of satyagraha against Hindus to get them to throw open wells and temples to the Untouchables. Fasting is another weapon of Mr. Gandhi. It is said that there have been altogether 21 fasts to the credit of Mr. Gandhi. Some were for the sake of Hindu-Muslim unity and quite a number as atonements for the immoralities committed by the inmates of his Ashram. One was against the order of the Government of Bombay refusing to give the work of a scavenger in the gaol to a prisoner by name Mr. Patwardhan although he demanded it. In these 21 fasts there is not one undertaken for the removal of Untouchability. These are very significant facts.

In 1980 came the Round Table Conference. Mr. Gandhi joined the deliberations of the Conference[f.5] in 1981. The Conference was concerned with a vital question of framing a constitution for a self-governing India. It was unanimously held that if India was to be a self-governing country then the government must be a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Everybody agreed that only when a government is in a real sense a government by the people that it could be a government of the people and for the people. The problem was how to make it a government by the people in a country rent into communities, majorities and minorities, who are charged not merely with social cleavages but also with social antagonisms. Having regard to these circumstances it was agreed that in India there was no possibility of government by the people unless Legislature and the Executive were framed on the basis of communal representation. The problem of the Untouchables loomed large at the Conference. It assumed a new aspect. The question was; Should the Untouchables be left as they were to the tender mercies of the Hindus or should they be given the means to protect themselves by extending to them the principle of communal representation? The Untouchables strongly objected to be left to the pleasure of the Hindus and demanded the same protection as was given to the other minorities. The contention of the Untouchables was accepted by all. It was just and logical. They contended that the chasm between the Hindus and Muslims, between Hindus and Sikhs, between Hindus and Christians is nothing as compared with the chasm between the Hindus and the Untouchables. It is the widest and the deepest. The chasm between the Hindus and the Muslims is religious and not social. That between the Hindus and the Untouchables is both religious and social. The antagonism arising out of the chasm existing between Hindus and Muslims cannot spell political disaster to the Muslims because the relationship between the Hindus and the Muslims is not that of master and slave. It is one of mere estrangement. On the other hand, the chasm between Hindus and the Untouchables must spell political disaster for the Untouchables because the relationship between the two is that of master and slave. The Untouchables contended that the attempts to close the gap between them and the Hindus by means of social process had been tried for ages. They had all failed. There was no hope of their success. Since power is being transferred into the hands of the Hindu majority they must have political safeguards of the same sort as, if not better, than those conceded to the Muslims and other minorities.

Here was an opportunity to Mr. Gandhi to show his sympathy to the Untouchables by lending his support to their demand and thereby strengthen their power of resistance against the tyranny and oppression of the Hindus. Instead of showing his sympathy, Mr. Gandhi used every means in his power to defeat them. He made a pact with the Muslims with a view to isolate the Untouchables. Failing to win the Musalmans to his side, he went on a fast unto death to compel the British Government to withdraw their decision for give to the Untouchables the same political rights as given to the Muslims and other minority communities. When the fast failed and Mr. Gandhi was obliged to sign a pact -called the Poona Pact—which conceded the political demands of the Untouchables he took his revenge by letting the Congress employ foul electioneering tactics to make their political rights of no avail.

In l933, Mr. Gandhi took up two movements. First was the Temple-entry Movement. [f.6] He took personal responsibility for seeing through these two measures. One was the opening of the Guruvayur temple. The other was the passing of the Temple-entry Bill sponsored by Mr. Ranga Iyer in the Central Legislature. Mr. Gandhi said that he would fast unto death if the trustee of the Guruvayur temple did not throw it open to the Untouchables by a certain date. The Guruvayur temple still remains closed to the Untouchables but Mr. Gandhi has not fulfilled his vow of going on, fast. Surprising as it may be he has done nothing to get the temple declared open to the Untouchables although it is now thirteen years since he took the vow. Mr. Gandhi virtually coerced the Governor-General to give his sanction to the introduction of the Temple-entry Bill. The Congress party in the Central legislature which was pledged to carry through the Bill refused to support it when the stage of referring it to a Select Committee came on the ground that the Bill gave offence to the Hindus and in the election that was pending the Hindus would seek revenge on the Congress and defeat it at the poll if the Congress supported the Bill. To the great chagrin of Mr. Ranga Iyer, the Congress party let him down, by leaving the Bill to die. Mr. Gandhi did not mind this. He even went to the length of justifying the conduct of the Congress Party.

The other movement which Mr. Gandhi sponsored in 1933 was the establishment of the Harijan Sevak Sangh[f.7] with a net-work of branches all over India. There were three motives which lay behind the organisation of the Sangh. First was to prove that Hindus had enough charitable spirit towards the Untouchables and that they would show it by their generous contributions towards their uplift. The second motive was to serve the Untouchables by helping them in the many difficulties with which they were faced in their daily life. The third motive was to create in the minds of the Untouchables a sense of confidence in the Hindus from whom they were estranged in matters political. None of the three objects has been. realized. In the first flush the Hindus contributed a total of about 8 lakhs of rupees for the Sangh which is of course nothing as compared to the crores they have contributed for general political purposes. After that they have gone dry. The Sangh is now depending for its finances either on Government grants or on the income derived from the sale of Mr. Gandhi's autographs or on the munificence of some wealthy merchant who makes a contribution, to the Sangh, not because he loves the Untouchables but because he thinks it profitable to please Mr. Gandhi. The branches of the Sangh are being closed every year. The Sangh is contracting and contracting so rapidly that very soon it will have only a centre and no circumference. That the Hindus have lost interest in the Sangh is not the only regrettable aspect of this activity of Mr. Gandhi. The Sangh has not been able to secure the good will and the co-operation of the Untouchables for whose benefit it is supposed to have been, started. This is due to various reasons. The work of the Sangh is of the most inconsequential kind. It does not catch anyone's imagination. It neglects most urgent purposes for which the Untouchables need help and assistance. The Sangh rigorously excludes the Untouchables from its management. The Untouchables are no more than beggars mere recipients of charity. The result is that the Untouchables feel no concern for the Sangh. They look upon. it as a foreign body set up by the Hindus with some ulterior motive. Here was an. opportunity for Mr. Gandhi to make the Sangh a real bridge between the Hindus and the Untouchables. He could make it a virile institution by improving its programme of work and by allowing the Untouchables to participate in its working Mr. Gandhi has done nothing of the kind. He has allowed the Sangh to languish. It is dying peacefully and may perish even during the life-time of Mr. Gandhi.

There need be no surprise if this survey of Mr. Gandhi's anti Untouchability campaign, of his sayings and his doings baffles and puzzles the reader. There need be no wonder if the reader were to pause and ask a few questions on the lines set out below to clear his own mind :

(1) In 1921, Mr. Gandhi collected 1 crore and 35 lakhs of rupees for the Tilak Swaraj Fund. Mr. Gandhi insisted that there was no possibility of winning swaraj unless Untouchability was removed. Why did he not protest when only a paltry sum of Rs. 43,000 was given to the cause of the Untouchables ?

(2) In 1922 there was drawn up the Bardoli Programme of constructive work. Uplift of the Untouchables was an, important item in, it. A Committee was appointed to work out the details. The Committee never functioned a lid was dissolved and the uplift of the Untouchables as an item in the constructive programme was dropped. Only Rs. 800 were allotted to the Committee for working expenses. Why did Mr. Gandhi not protest against this niggardly and step-motherly treatment of the Committee by the Congress Working Committee ? Why did not Mr. Gandhi support Swami Shradhanand who was fighting with the Congress Working Committee for large funds being assigned to the Committee ? Why did not Mr. Gandhi protest against the dissolution of the Committee ? Why did not Mr. Gandhi appoint another Committee ? Why did he allow the work for the Untouchables to drop out as though it was of no importance ?

(8) Mr. Gandhi had at the very outset of his campaign for Swaraj insisted that there were five conditions precedent for winning swaraj: (i) Hindu-Moslem Unity; (ii) Removal of Untouchability; (iii) Universal adoption of hand-spun and hand-woven khadi; (iv) absolute non-violence and (v) complete non-co-operation. Mr. Gandhi had not only laid down these conditions but had told Indians that without the fulfilment of these conditions there could be no Swaraj. In 1922, he fasted for the sake of Hindu-Moslem unity. In 1924, he made production of hand-spun yarn the basis of franchise for Congress membership. Why did he not make non-observance of Untouchability the basis of Congress franchise in 1924 or at any time subsequent thereto ?

(4) Mr. Gandhi has gone on fast many a time to achieve a variety of objects which are dear to him. Why has Mr. Gandhi nut fasted even once for the sake of the Untouchables ?

(5) Mr. Gandhi has devised satyagraha as a weapon to redress wrongs and to win freedom and has practised it against the British Government. Why has not Mr. Gandhi started satyagraha even once against the Hindus on behalf of the Untouchables for securing admission to wells, temples and other public places to which access is denied by the Hindus ?

(6) Following Mr. Gandhi's lead the Untouchables started satyagraha from 1929 onwards against the Hindus for admission to wells and temples. Why did Mr. Gandhi condemn their satyagraha ?

(7) Mr. Gandhi declared that he would fast if the Guruvayur temple was not thrown open to the Untouchables by the Zamorin. The temple has not been thrown open. Why did not Mr. Gandhi go on fast ?

(8) Mr. Gandhi in 1982 threatened the British Government with dire consequences if the Governor-General did not give permission to Mr. Ranga Iyer to introduce his Temple-entry Bill on behalf of the Congress Party in the Central Legislature. As fresh elections to the Central Legislature were announced the Congress Party withdrew its support to the Bill and Mr. Ranga lyer had to drop it. If Mr. Gandhi was earnest and sincere about Temple-entry, why did Mr. Gandhi support the action of the Congress Party ? What was more important— Temple-entry for the Untouchables or Electoral victory to the Congress ?

(9) Mr. Gandhi knows that the difficulty of the Untouchables does not lie in their not having civic rights. Their difficulty lies in the conspiracy of the Hindus who threaten them with dire consequences if the Untouchables dare to exercise them. The real way of helping the Untouchables is to have some organisation for the protection of civic rights which will undertake the duty of prosecuting Hindus who assault the Untouchables or proclaim social and economic boycott against them and thereby prevent them from exercising their civic rights. Why did not Mr. Gandhi include this as one of the objects of the Harijan Sevak Sangh ?

(10) Before Mr. Gandhi came on the scene the Depressed Classes Mission Society was formed by the caste Hindus for the uplift of the Untouchables. The moneys were subscribed by the Hindus. Yet the Society's affairs were conducted by Joint Boards consisting of Hindus and Untouchables. Why has Mr. Gandhi excluded the Untouchables from the management of the Harijan Sevak Sangh ?

(II) If Mr. Gandhi is the real friend of the Untouchables, why did he not leave it to the Untouchables to decide whether political safeguards were the best means for their protection ? Why did he go to the length of making a pact with the Muslims in order to isolate and defeat the Untouchables ? Why did Mr. Gandhi declare a fast unto death the object of which was to deprive the Untouchables of the benefit of the Communal Award by this extreme form of coercion ?

(12) After having accepted the Poona Pact, why did not Mr. Gandhi keep faith with the Untouchables by telling the Congress not to despoil the politics of the Untouchables by contesting the seats reserved for the Untouchables by getting such Untouchables elected as were prepared to become the tools of the Hindus?

(13) After having accepted the Poona Pact why did not Mr. Gandhi keep up the gentleman's agreement and instruct the Congress High Command to include representatives of the Untouchables in, the Congress Cabinets ?

(14) Why did Mr. Gandhi disapprove of the appointment by Dr. Khare of Mr. Agnibhoj—- a member of the Scheduled Castes—as a minister in the Congress Cabinet in the C. P. when Mr. Agnibhoj was in every way qualified to be a Minister ? Did Mr. Gandhi say that he was opposed to the creation of such high ambitions among persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes ?

III
What is the explanation that Mr. Gandhi has to offer ? What is the explanation that Mr. Gandhi's friends have to offer? Mr. Gandhi's anti-untouchability campaign is marked by so many twists and turns, inconsistencies and contradictions, attacks and surrenders, advances and retreats that the whole campaign has become a matter of mystery. Few have a belief in its efficacy and quite a large number hold that there is not enough earnestness and sincerity behind it. Some explanation is therefore necessary. It is more for the sake of Mr. Gandhi's reputation for earnestness and sincerity that for the sake of giving a. clear understanding of Mr. Gandhi's aims and methods to the reader that one would like Mr. Gandhi and his friends to explain the points raised in the foregoing questions.

It would no doubt be interesting to know what Mr. Gandhi and his friends may have to say in reply to these questions. Everybody interested in. this question will naturally be looking forward to it. It will not however do for anyone else to anticipate the reply and then dead with it. They 'must be left to frame it in their own way and select their own time to do so. ln the meantime one may well ask what the Untouchable have to say about Mr. Gandhi and his anti-untouchability campaign. It us not difficult to state what view the Untouchables take of Mr. Gandhi's anti-untouchability campaign.

Do the Untouchable regard Mr. Gandhi as being in earnest? The answer is in the negative. They do not regard Mr. Gandhi as being in earnest. How can they? How can they look upon, a man being in earnest who when in 1921 the whole country was aroused to put the Bardoli programme in action remained completely indifferent to the anti-untouchability part of it ? How could they look upon a man as being in earnest who, when out of 1 crore and 25 lakhs of Swaraj Fund, found that only 43 thousands rupees were allotted to the cause of the Untouchables did not raise any protest at this niggardly treatment of a long neglected cause ? How can they regard a man as being in earnest who when, in 1924 he got an opportunity to impose upon the Hindus the obligation to remove Untouchability did not do so even though he had the power and the occasion to enforce it ? Such a step would have served three purposes. It would have put the nationalism of Congressmen to test. It would have helped to remove Untouchability, and it would have proved that Mr. Gandhi was sincere in his talks about the evil of Untouchability and its being a sin and a stigma on Hinduism. Why did not Mr. Gandhi do it ? Does this not show that Mr. Gandhi was more interested in the spread of spinning than in the removal of Untouchability ? Does this not show that removal of Untouchability was the least part of Mr. Gandhi's programme and that it was not even last ? Does it not. show that the statements by Mr. Gandhi that Untouchability is a blot on Hinduism and that there will be no Swaraj without the removal of Untouchability were just empty phrases with no earnestness behind them ? How could they believe in the earnestness of a person who takes a vow to fast if the Guruvayar temple is not opened to the Untouchables but will not go on fast even when the temple remains closed ? How could they accept a. man to be in earnest when he sponsors a Bill for securing Temple-entry and subsequently becomes a party to dropping it. ? How could they accept the earnestness of a man who contents himself with saying the he will not go into a temple if it is not open to the Untouchables when what is required of him is to adopt every means to get the temples thrown open tp the Untouchables? How could they believe in the earnestness of a man who is ready to fast for everything but will not fast for the Untouchables? How can they believe in the earnestness of a man who is prepared to practise dstyagraha for everything and against everybody but who will not practise it against the Hindus for the sake of the Untouchables? How can they believe in the earnestness of a man who does nothing more than indulge in giving sermons, on the evils of Untouchability?

Do they regard Mr. Gandhi as honest and sincere ? The answer is that they do not regard Mr. Gandhi as honest and sincere. At the outset of his campaign for Swaraj Mr. Gandhi told the Untouchables not to side with the British. He told them not to embrace Christianity or any other religion. He told them that they could find salvation in Hinduism. He told Hindus that they must remove Untouchability as a condition precedent to Swaraj. Yet in 1921 when only a paltry sum out of the Tilak Swaraj Fund was allotted to the Untouchables, when the Committee to plan the uplift of the Untouchables was unceremoniously wound up Mr. Gandhi did not raise a word of protest.

Mr. Gandhi had under his command a sum of Rs. 1 crore and 25 lakhs belonging to the Tilak Swaraj Fund. Why did Mr. Gandhi not insist upon a substantial portion of this amount being ear-marked for the uplift of the Untouchables ? That Mr. Gandhi showed almost complete indifference to the cause of the Untouchables is beyond dispute. What is surprising is the explanation which Mr. Gandhi offered for his indifference. He said that he was busy in planning a campaign to win swaraj and that he had no time to spare for the cause of the Untouchables. He not only did not blush at his explanation but he offered a moral justification for his indifference to the cause of the Untouchables. He took the stand that there was nothing wrong in his devoting himself entirely to the political cause of India to the exclusion of the cause of the Untouchables for in his opinion the good of the whole includes the good of the part and that as the Hindus are slaves of the British, slaves cannot emancipate slaves. Phrases such as 'slaves of slaves' and 'greater includes the less' may be admirable dialectics, though they cannot have more truth than the saying that because the country's wealth has increased, therefore everybody's wealth has increased. But we are not considering Mr. Gandhi's ability as a dialectician. We are testing his sincerity. Can we accept a man's sincerity who evades his responsibility and contents himself with an excuse ? Can the Untouchables believe that Mr. Gandhi is the champion of their cause?

How can they regard Mr. Gandhi as honest and sincere if they consider Mr. Gandhi's conduct towards them and towards the Muslims and Sikhs in the matter of constitutional safeguards?

Mr. Gandhi used to justify his discrimination between the Scheduled Castes and other Minorities in the matter of constitutional safeguards by another plea. The plea was that there were historical reasons, which compel him to recognise the Muslims and the Sikhs. He has never explained what those reasons are. They cannot be other than those, which hold the Muslims and the Sikhs as the fragments of old ruling communities. One does not mind Mr. Gandhi having succumbed to such puerile and undemocratic arguments, though he could have insisted that he would treat all minorities on equal basis and would not give any weight to such illogical and irrelevant considerations. The question is : How could the admission of such a plea have prevented Mr. Gandhi from opposing the demand of the Scheduled Castes ? Why did Mr. Gandhi regard himself as bound by no other reasons except the historical reasons ? Why did not Mr. Gandhi think that if historical reasons were decisive in the case of Muslims and Sikhs, moral reasons were decisive in the case of the Untouchables ? The fact is that the plea of historical reasons is a hollow plea. It was not a plea at all. It was an excuse for not conceding the demand of the Untouchables.

Mr. Gandhi is never so much disgusted as he is when he is confronted with the question of Majority versus Minority. He would like to forget it and ignore it. But circumstances will not let him do either and he is often forced to deal with the issue. The last time he dealt with it was on the 21st October 1989 in the form of an Editorial in the Harijan under the heading "The Fiction of Majority." The article is full of venom and Mr. Gandhi has not hesitated to pour all the ridicule he could on those who were constantly raising the question. In the article he vehemently denied that the Muslims are a Minority. He denied that the Sikhs are a Minority and denied that the Indian Christians are a Minority. His contention was that they were not minorities in the technical sense of Oppressed Communities they were minorities they were to in the numerical sense only, which meant that they were no minorities at all. What did Mr. Gandhi have to say about the Scheduled Castes ? Could he deny their contention that they are a Minority? Let me quote Mr. Gandhi's own words. Mr. Gandhi said :— "I have endeavoured to show that there is no such things as real minorities in India whose rights can be endangered by India becoming independent. With the exception of the Depressed Classes there is no minority which is not able to Take care of itself."

Here is an, admission, on, the part of Mr.Gandhi that the Scheduled Castes are a minority in, the real sense of the word and that they are the only minority in India who will not be able to take care of themselves in, a free India governed by a Hindu Communal Majority. Notwithstanding this inner conviction Mr. Gandhi maintained in a most vehement manner that he would not concede any political safeguards to the Untouchables. How can the Untouchables accept such a man as sincere and honest ?

Mr. Gandhi opposed the demands of the Untouchables for political safeguards at the Round Table Conference. He did everything to defeat the object of the Untouchables. To weaken, the force behind their demand and isolate them he tried to buy over the Muslims by offering to concede the whole of their fourteen demands. Mr. Gandhi at the meeting of the Minorities Sub-Committee had said: " Who am I to oppose the demand of the Untouchables if the Committee gave it its approval." It was wrong for Mr. Gandhi to have tried to defeat the verdict of the Committee by offering to give the Muslims their full demand formulated in. Mr. Jinnah's fourteen points in return for their agreeing to oppose the demands of the Scheduled Castes!! His was a most subtle piece of strategy. He offered the Musalmans a most difficult choice between having their 14 points and withdrawing their support to the demand of the Untouchables or siding with the Untouchables and losing their 14 points. In the end Mr. Gandhi's strategy failed and neither did the Musalmans lose their 14 points nor did the Untouchables lose their case. But the episode remains as a witness to Mr. Gandhi's perfidy. What else can be the appropriate description of the conduct of a man who offers criminal inducement to another for getting him to break his promise, who calls a person his friend and then contrives to stab him in the back ? How can such a man be regarded by the Untouchables as honest and sincere ?

Mr. Gandhi left the decision of the communal question to the arbitration of the British Prime Minister. Notwithstanding Mr. Gandhi's efforts to defeat the Untouchables His Majesty's Government conceded them their political demands. As a party to the arbitration Mr. Gandhi was bound to abide by the decision. But Mr. Gandhi decided to defy it and he did it by going on a fast unto death. Mr. Gandhi shook India and the the world outside by his Fast unto Death. The object of the Fast was to compel the British Government to withdraw the Constitutional Safeguards which the British Prime Minister had proposed in his Award for the protection of the Untouchables under the new Constitution. One of Mr. Gandhi's disciples has described the fast as an Epic Fast. Why it should be described as an Epic Fast it is not easy to follow. There was nothing heroic about it. It was the opposite of heroic. It was an adventure. It was launched by Mr. Gandhi because he believed that both the Untouchables and the British Government would quake before his threat of fast unto death, and surrender to his demand. Both were prepared to call off his bluff and as a matter of fact did call it off. All his heroism vanished the moment Mr. Gandhi found that he had overdone the trick. The man who started by saying that he would fast unto death unless the safeguards to the Untouchables were completely withdrawn and the Untouchables reduced to the condition of utter helplessness without rights and without recognition was plaintively pleading "My life is in your hands, will you save me ?" Mr. Gandhi's over impatience to sign the Poona Pact—though it did not cancel the Prime Minister's Award as he had demanded but only substituted another and a different system of constituent safeguards—is the strongest evidence that the hero had lost his courage and was anxious to save his face and anyhow save his life.

There was nothing noble in the fast. It was a foul and filthy act. The Fast was not for the benefit of the Untouchables. It was against them and was the worst form of coercion against a helpless people to give up the constitutional safeguards of which they had become possessed under the Prime Minister's Award and agree to live on the mercy of the Hindus. It was a vile and wicked act. How can the Untouchables regard such a man as honest and sincere ?

After having gone on a fast unto death, he signed the Poona Pact. People say that Mr. Gandhi sincerely believed that political safeguards were harmful to the Untouchables. But how could a honest and sincere man who opposed the political demands of the Untouchables who was prepared to use the Muslims to defeat them, who went on a Fast unto Death, in the end accept the. very same demands—for there is no difference between the Poona Pact and the Communal Award—when he found that there was no use opposing, as opposition would not succeed ? How can an honest and sincere man accept as harmless the demands of the Untouchables which once he regarded as harmful ?

Do the Untouchables regard Mr. Gandhi as their friend and ally ? The answer is in the negative. They do not regard him as their friend. How can they ? It may be that Mr. Gandhi honestly believes that the problem of the Untouchables is a social problem. But how can they believe him to be their friend when he wishes to retain caste and abolish Untouchability it being quite clear that Untouchability is only an extended form of caste and that therefore without abolition of caste there is no hope of abolition of Untouchability ? It may be that Mr. Gandhi honestly believes that the problem of Untouchables can be solved by social processes. But how can the Untouchables regard a man as their friend who develops a fanatic and frantic opposition to political processes being employed when everyone was agreed that the use of political processes cannot mar the effect of social process and may be depended upon to help and accelerate the solution of the problem. How could a man be regarded as the friend of the Untouchables when he does not believe the Untouchables reaching to places of power and authority in the State. In this controversy over political safeguards Mr. Gandhi could have pursued any of the following courses. He could have been the champion of the Untouchables. As such, he should not only have welcomed their demand for safeguards but he should have proposed them himself without waiting for the Untouchables to do so. Not only should he have proposed them himself but he should have fought for them. For, what could give greater happiness to a genuine champion of the Untouchables than to see that provision was made to enable them to become members of the Legislature, Ministers of Executive, and occupants of high offices in the State ? Surely, if Mr. Gandhi is a champion of the Untouchables these are the very provisions he should have fought for. Secondly, if he did not wish to be the champion of the Untouchables, he could have been their ally. He could have helped them by giving them his moral and material support. Thirdly, if Mr, Gandhi did not like to play the part of a champion and was averse to be even an ally of the Untouchables, the next thing he could have done consistent with his proclaimed and much advertised sympathies for the Untouchables, was to be their friend. Again as a friend he could have taken up the attitude of benevolent neutrality—declining to fight but ready to render all help for getting the demand for safeguards accepted. Failing benevolent neutrality he could have taken the attitude of strict neutrality and could have told the Untouchables to get the safeguards if the Round Table Conference was prepared to give them and that he would neither help nor hinder. Abandoning all these sober considerations Mr. Gandhi came out as an, open enemy of the Untouchables. How can the Untouchables regard such a man as their friend and ally?

IV
That Mr. Gandhi's anti-untouchability campaign has failed is beyond cavil. Even the Congress papers admit it. I give below a few quotations from some of them :

On 17th August 1939 Mr. B. K. Gaikwad, a member of the Scheduled Castes in the Bombay Legislative Assembly, asked a question as to how many temples in the Bombay Presidency were thrown open to the Untouchables since 1932 when. Mr. Gandhi started, his Temple-entry movement. Accord.ing to the figures given by the Congress Minister the total number of temples thrown open was 142. Of these 121 were ownerless temples standing on the wayside. which were under the care of nobody in particular and which nobody used as places of worship. Another fact revealed was that not a single temple wa.s thrown open to the Untouchables in Gujarat, the district which is the home of Mr. Gandhi.

Writing on 10th March 1940 the Harijan Bandu, Mr. Gandh's Gujarathi paper, said;

"The Untouchability of the 'Harijans" in the matter of entry into schools persists nowhere so much still as in Gujarat." [f.8]

The Bombay Chronicle in its issue of 27th August 1940 reproduced an extract from a monthly letter of the Harijan Sevak Sangh. It

"States that Harijans of Godhavi in Ahmedabad District were so persecuted by caste Hindus for sending their children to Local Board School that ultimately 42 Harijan families left that place. . .and went to the Taluka town of Sanand."

On 27th August 1948, Mr. M. M. Nandgaonkar, a leader of the Untouchables residing in Thana in the Bombay Presidency and ex-Vice President of Thana Municipality was refused tea in a Hindu hotel. The Bombay Chronicle commenting upon this incident in its issue dated 28th August 1948 said :

"When Gandhiji fasted in 1932, some feverish attempts were made to have some temples and hotels opened to Harijans, Now the actual position is nearly what it used to be before with regard to temple entry and access to, hotels. The cleanest Harijan is not admitted to temples and hotels. Yet many anti-Untouchability workers take a complacent view of these disabilities and patronisingly talk of 'uplift first' for Harijans, saying that when Harijans learn to be clean, their civic disabilities will fall off automatically. This is rank nonsense."

Writing on the proceedings of the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation held in Cawnpore in January 1944 the Bombay Chronicle in its issue of 4th February 1944 said :

"But such is the passivity of Hindu society that both caste and Untouchability still thrive. Nay, several Hindu leaders. . . misguided by the interested propaganda by certain Britishers, still plead that there is some mysterious virtue in caste because Hindu culture has remained today. Else, they argue, caste would not have survived the shocks of centuries... It is most tragic to find that, in spite of all that Gandhiji and other reformers have done, Untouchability still persists to no small extent. It is most rampant in villages. Even in a city like Bombay, a person known to be a sweeper, let alone a scavenger, however clean dressed he may be, is not allowed to enter a caste Hindu restaurant, nay, even an Iran's restaurant for tea."

The Untouchables have always said that Mr. Gandhi's anti-Untouchability campaign has failed. After 25 years of labour, hotels have remained closed, wells have remained closed, temples have remained closed and in very many parts of India— particularly in Gujarat—even schools have remained closed. The extracts produced from the papers form therefore a very welcome testimony especially because the papers are Congress papers. As they fully corroborate what the Untouchables have been saying on the point, nothing further need be said on the subject except to ask one question.

Why has Mr. Gandhi failed ? According to me, there are three reasons which has brought about this failure.

The first reason is the Hindus to whom he makes his appeal for the removal of Untouchability do not respond. Why is this so? It is a common experience that the words a man uses and the effect they produce are not always commensurate. What he says has its momentum indefinitely multiplied, or reduced to nullity, by the impression that the hearer for good reason or bad happens to have formed of the spirit of the speaker. This gives a clue to know why Mr. Gandhi's sermons on Untouchability have completely failed to move the Hindus, why people hear his after-prayer sermons for few minutes and then go to the comic opera and why there is nothing more to it. The fault is not entirely of the Hindu public. The fault is of Mr. Gandhi himself. Mr. Gandhi has built up his reputation of being a Mahatma on his being an harbinger of political freedom and not on his being a spiritual teacher. Whatever may be his intentions, Mr. Gandhi is looked upon as an apostle of Swaraj. His anti-Untouchability campaign is looked upon as a fad if not a side-show. That is why the Hindus respond to his political biddings but never to his social or religious preaching. The momentum of his anti-Untouchability campaign must therefore remain a nullity. Mr. Gandhi is a political shoe-maker. He must stick to his political last. He thought he could take up the task of solving the social question. That was a mistake. A politician is not the man for it. That is why the hope held out to the Untouchables that Mr. Gandhi's sermons will do the trick has failed.

The second reason is that Mr. Gandhi does not wish to antagonise the Hindus even if such antagonism was necessary to carry out his anti-Untouchability programme. A few instances will illustrate Mr. Gandhi's mentality.

Most of Mr. Gandhi's friends give credit to Mr. Gandhi for sincerity and earnestness for the cause of the Untouchables and expect the Untouchables to believe in it on the mere ground that Mr. Gandhi is the one man who keeps on constantly preaching to the Hindus the necessity of removing Untouchability. They have lost sight of the old proverb that an ounce of practice is worth a ton of preaching and have never cared to ask Mr. Gandhi to explain why does he not cease to preach to the Hindus the necessity of removing Untouchability and launch a campaign of satyagraha or start a fast. If they would ask for such an explanation they would know why Mr. Gandhi merely contents himself with sermons on Untouchability.

The true reasons why Mr. Gandhi will not go beyond sermons were revealed to the Untouchables for the first time[f.9] in, 1929 when the Untouchables in the Bombay Presidency opened a campaign of satyagraha against the Hindus for establishing their civic rights in the matter of temple-entry and taking water from public wells. They hoped to get the blessings of Mr. Gandhi in as much as satyagraha was Mr. Gandhi's own weapon to get wrongs redressed.. When appealed to for support, Mr. Gandhi surprised the Untouchables by issuing a statement condemning their campaign of satyagraha against the Hindus. The argument urged by Mr. Gandhi was very ingenious. He stated that satyagrahs was to be used only against foreigners ; i it must not be used against one's own kindred or countrymen and as the Hindus were the kindred and countrymen of the Untouchables by rules of satyagraha the latter were debarred from using the weapon against the former ! ! What a fall from the sublime to the ridiculous ! By this Mr. Gandhi made nonsense of satyagraha. Why did Mr. Gandhi do this ? Only because he did not want to annoy and exasperate the Hindus.

As a second piece of evidence, I would refer to what is known as the Kavitha incident Kavitha is a village in the Ahmedabad District in Gujarat. In 1935, the Untouchables of the village demanded from the Hindus of the village that their children should be admitted in the common school of the village along with other Hindu children. The Hindus were enraged at this outrage and took. their revenge by proclaiming a complete social boycott. The events connected with. this boycott were reported by Mr. A. V. Thakkar, who went to Kavitha to intercede with the Hindus on behalf of the Untouchables. The story told by him runs as follows :—-

"The Associated Press announced on the 10th inst. that the Caste Hindus of Kavitha agreed to admit Harijan boys to the village school in Kavitha and that matters were amicably settled. This was contradicted on the 13th instant by the Secretary of the Ahmedabad Harijan Sevak Sangh, who said in his statement that the Harijans had undertaken (privately of course) not to send their children to the school. Such an undertaking was not given, voluntarily, but was extorted from them by the Caste Hindus, in this case the Garasias of the village; who had proclaimed a social boycott against poor Harijans-weavers, chamars and others, who number over 100 families. They were deprived of agricultural labour, their animals of grazing in the pasture land and their children of buttermilk. Not only this, but a Harijan leader was compelled to take an oath by Mahadev that he and others would not hereafter even make an effort to reinstate their children in the school. The so-called settlement was brought about in this way.

"But even after the bogus settlement reported on the 10th and the complete surrender by poor Harijans, the boycott was not lifted up to the 19th and partly up to the 22nd from the weavers, it was lifted somewhat earlier from the head of the chamars, as Garasias themselves could not remove the careasses of their dead animals, and thus had to come to terms with. the Chamars earlier. As if the enormities perpetrated so far were not enough, kerosine was poured into the Harijans' well, once on the 15th instant, and again on the 19th instant. One can imagine what terrorism was thus practised on poor Harijans because they had dared to send their children to sit alongside of the ' princely ' Garasia boys.

"I met the leaders of the Garasias on the rooming of the 22nd. They said they could not tolerate the idea of boys of Dheds and Chamars sitting by the side of their own boys. I met also the District Magistrate of Ahmedabad on the 23rd with a view to finding out if he would do something to ease the situation, but without any result.

"Harijan boys are thus practically banned from the village school with nobody to help them. This has caused despondency among the Harijans to such an extent that they are thinking of migration in a body to some other village."

This was a report made to Mr. Gandhi. What did Mr. Gandhi do ? The followings 64 [f.10] is the advice Mr. Gandhi gave to the Untouchables of Kavitha:-

'''There is no help like self-help. God helps those who help themselves. If the Harijans concerned will carry out their reported resolve to wipe the dust of Kavitha off their feet, they will not only be happy themselves but they will pave the way for others who may be similarly treated. If people migrate in. search of employment how much more should they do so in search of self-respect ? I hope that well-wishers of Harijans will help these poor families to vacate inhospitable Kavitha." Mr. Gandhi advised the Untouchables of Kavitha to vacate. But why did he not advise Mr. Thakkar to prosecute the Hindus of Kavitha and help the Untouchables to vindicate their rights?" "Obviously, he would like to uplift the Untouchables If he can but not by offending the Hindus. What good can such a man do to promote the cause of the Untouchables ? All this shows that Mr. Gandhi is most anxious to be good to the Hindus. That is why he opposes satyagraha against the Hindus. That is why he opposed the political demands of the Untouchables as he believed that they were aimed against them. He is anxious to be so good to the Hindus that he does not care if he is thereby becoming good for nothing for the Untouchables. That is why Mr. Gandhi's whole programme for the removal of Untouchability is just words, words and words and why there is no action behind it.

The third reason is that Mr. Gandhi does not want the Untouchables to organise and be strong. For he fears that they might thereby become independent of the Hindus and weaken the ranks of Hindus. This is best illustrated by the activities of the Harijan Sevak Sangh. The whole object of the Sangh is to create a slave mentality among the Untouchables towards their Hindu masters. Examine the Sangh from any angle one may like and the creation of slave mentality will appear to be its dominant purpose.

The work of the Sangh reminds one of the mythological demo-ness Putana described in the Bhagvat—a companion to the Mahabha

Pardeep S Attri's picture

"His Principle of Peace Was Bogus"
Gopal Godse, co-conspirator in Gandhi's assassination and brother of the assassin, looks back in anger--and without regret

http://dilip-acharya.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/10/his-principle-of-peac...

http://www.time.com/time/asia/magazine/2000/0214/india.godse.html

Hemant Pithwa/India Today

Fifty two years ago, on Jan. 30, 1948, Mohandas Gandhi was shot dead by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist. Godse believed that the Mahatma, or great soul, was responsible for the 1947 partition of India and the creation of Pakistan. Godse and his friend Narayan Apte were hanged. His brother Gopal and two others were sentenced to life imprisonment for their part in the conspiracy. Gopal Godse remained in jail for 18 years and now, at 80, lives with his wife in a small apartment in Pune. He is still proud of his role in the murder. Although Godse is largely ignored in India and rarely talks to journalists, he agreed to speak with TIME Delhi correspondent Meenakshi Ganguly.

TIME: What happened in January 1948?
Godse: On Jan. 20, Madanlal Pahwa exploded a bomb at Gandhi's prayer meeting in Delhi. It was 50 m away from Gandhi. [The other conspirators] all ran away from the place. Madanlal was caught there. Then there was a tension in our minds that we had to finish the task before the police caught us. Then Nathuram [Gopal's brother] took it on himself to do the thing. We only wanted destiny to help us -- meaning we should not be caught on the spot before he acted.
TIME: Why did you want to kill Gandhi?
Godse: Gandhi was a hypocrite. Even after the massacre of the Hindus by the Muslims, he was happy. The more the massacres of the Hindus, the taller his flag of secularism.

TIME: Did you ever see Gandhi?
Godse: Yes.

TIME: Did you attend his meetings?
Godse: Yes.

TIME: Can you explain how he created his mass following?
Godse: The credit goes to him for maneuvering the media. He captured the press. That was essential. How Gandhi walked, when he smiled, how he waved -- all these minor details that the people did not require were imposed upon them to create an atmosphere around Gandhi. And the more ignorant the masses, the more popular was Gandhi. So they always tried to keep the masses ignorant.

TIME: But surely it takes more than good publicity to create a Gandhi?
Godse: There is another thing. Generally in the Indian masses, people are attracted toward saintism. Gandhi was shrewd to use his saintdom for politics. After his death the government used him. The government knew that he was an enemy of Hindus, but they wanted to show that he was a staunch Hindu. So the first act they did was to put "Hey Ram" into Gandhi's dead mouth.

TIME: You mean that he did not say "Hey Ram" as he died?
Godse: No, he did not say it. You see, it was an automatic pistol. It had a magazine for nine bullets but there were actually seven at that time. And once you pull the trigger, within a second, all the seven bullets had passed. When these bullets pass through crucial points like the heart, consciousness is finished. You have no strength.

When Nathuram saw Gandhi was coming, he took out the pistol and folded his hands with the pistol inside it. There was one girl very close to Gandhi. He feared that he would hurt the girl. So he went forward and with his left hand pushed her aside and shot. It happened within one second. You see, there was a film and some Kingsley fellow had acted as Gandhi. Someone asked me whether Gandhi said, "Hey Ram." I said Kingsley did say it. But Gandhi did not. Because that was not a drama.

TIME: Many people think Gandhi deserved to be nominated TIME's Person of the Century. [He was one of two runners-up, after Albert Einstein.]
Godse: I name him the most cruel person for Hindus in India. The most cruel person! That is how I term him.

TIME: Is that why Gandhi had to die?
Godse: Yes. For months he was advising Hindus that they must never be angry with the Muslims. What sort of ahimsa (non-violence) is this? His principle of peace was bogus. In any free country, a person like him would be shot dead officially because he was encouraging the Muslims to kill Hindus.

TIME: But his philosophy was of turning the other cheek. He felt one person had to stop the cycle of violence...
Godse: The world does not work that way.

TIME: Is there anything that you admire about Gandhi?
Godse: Firstly, the mass awakening that Gandhi did. In our school days Gandhi was our idol. Secondly, he removed the fear of prison. He said it is different to go into prison for a theft and different to go in for satyagraha (civil disobedience). As youngsters, we had our enthusiasm, but we needed some channel. We took Gandhi to be our channel. We don't repent for that.

TIME: Did you not admire his principles of non-violence?
Godse: Non-violence is not a principle at all. He did not follow it. In politics you cannot follow non-violence. You cannot follow honesty. Every moment, you have to give a lie. Every moment you have to take a bullet in hand and kill someone. Why was he proved to be a hypocrite? Because he was in politics with his so-called principles. Is his non-violence followed anywhere? Not in the least. Nowhere.

TIME: What was the most difficult thing about killing Gandhi?
Godse: The greatest hurdle before us was not that of giving up our lives or going to the gallows. It was that we would be condemned both by the government and by the public. Because the public had been kept in the dark about what harm Gandhi had done to the nation. How he had fooled them!

TIME: Did the people condemn you?
Godse: Yes. People in general did. Because they had been kept ignorant.

Pardeep S Attri's picture

Mahatma divided country on caste lines: Maya

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2007/20071028/punjab1.htm#3

Chandigarh, October 27

Outrightly rejecting Gandhism, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today said she was following political philosophy of Dr B.R. Ambedkar. While Mahatma Gandhi created a division in the country on caste lines, Ambedkar made a provision of reservation for poor sections of society to raise their level and standing in society and for their ultimate merger in the mainstream, she added.
It is true that the Mahatma did struggle for freedom, but he made no struggle for the assimilation of poor sections of society, especially Dalits in the mainstream to bring about a social cohesion in society. “In fact Gandhi divided the country on caste lines by coining a new term of Harijan for Dalits to keep their separate identity,” said Mayawati, replying to a question that earlier she was deadly against ‘manuwad’ but now it appeared that she was following the political philosophy of Gandhi.
“I am against the system that perpetuated casteism but not against any individual who conceptualised theories like manuwad,” she added. “I am not following Gandhism,” she asserted. “I am a firm believer in what Ambedkar did for the country, especially for weaker sections of society,” she added. “Harijan, a term coined by Gandhi, was never included in the Constitution which only recognised the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes for whom Ambedkar had sought special concessions in 1928 from the then British rulers,” she said.
“I am working hard to free the country from all sorts of social divisions”she asserted, adding that the concept of social engineering was being used to achieve this.

Pardeep S Attri's picture

Wonder whether there was joy or sorrow on 30th January 2008, after 60 years, on immersing Gandhi's ashes. Must be joy! as it is Freedom at last after 60 years. Here is Epitaph on his murder by Babasaheb Ambedkar, (extract from his writing and letters)

------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -------
(Alipur Road)
Dated Feb.8,1948

I have been the greatest champion of the elevation and emancipation of women ... I have done my best to raise the status of women and I am very proud of it.

I entirely agree with you that Gandhi should have not met his death at the hands of a Maharashtrian. I May go further and say that it would have been wrong for anybody to commit such a foul deed. You know that I owe nothing to Gandhi and he has contributed nothing to my spiritual, moral and social make-up. The only person to whom I owe all my being is Gautama Buddha. Nonetheless, I felt very sad on hearing of his assassination. Notwithstanding his antipathy to me, I went to the Birla House on Saturday morning and was shown his dead body. I could see the wounds. They were right on the heart. I was very much moved on seeing his dead body. I went with the funeral procession for s short distance as I was unable to walk and then returned home and again went to the Rajghat on the Jamuna but could not get to burning place being unable to break the ring formed by the crowd.

My own view is that great men are of great service to their country but they are also at certain times a great hindrance to the progress of their country. There is one incident in Roman History which comes to my mind on this occasion. When Caesar was done to death and the matter was reported to Cicero, Cicero said to the messenger, "Tell the Romans your hour of liberty has come"

While one regrets the assassination of Gandhi, one can't help finding in his heart the echo of the sentiments expressed by Cicero on the assassination of Caesar. Gandhi had become a positive danger to this country. He has choked all free-thought. He was holding together the Congress, which is combination of all the bad and self-seeking elements in society who agreed on no social or moral principles governing the life of society except the one of praising and flattering Mr. Gandhi. Such a body is unfit to govern a country. As the Bible says 'that sometimes good cometh out of evil,' so also I think that good will come out of the death of Mr Gandhi. It will release people from bondage to a superman. It will make them think for themselves and it will compel them to stand on their own merits.

Yrs
Bhimrao Ambedkar