CONTROVERSY OF CONVERSIONS

Dr. K. Jamanadas, "Shalimar", Main Road, Chandrapur,

(Maharashtra), 442 402, India

Tel: (07172) 55346

E-mail: kjdas@nagpur.dot.net.in

--------------------

This has a reference to M. V. Kamath's:

Subject: Upper casteism and liberation of dalits

http://features.samachar.com/291101-fpj.html

M. V. Kamath is a big name in Writer Scholars, but his writing

about Ramraj's conversion of 4th Nov. 01, is full of lies, half

truths and distortion of History. What is the purpose?

 

Purpose of perverting history

Why the talk of writing a wrong history is insisted upon these

days would be clear from views of Govind Pansare who, writing on

Shivaji, explains that the corruption of history is not without a

purpose. There is partly ignorance and partly mischief but mostly

selfishness. Shivaji who was respected in north, M.P., Gujarath,

and south India has now been confined to Maharashtra. Criticizing

Shivsena, he says,

"They did everything against non-marathi speaking population

or Muslims or Dalits in the name of Shivaji. Shivaji who was

of whole Maharashtra, is now restricted to Hindus of

Maharashtra. Now he is not of even all Hindus, they made him

"go brahman pratipalak". Establishing Maratha

Mahasangh they made him of Marathas alone. While opposing

reservations of seats they shouted "Jay" of Shivaji, in

Marathawada and elsewhere, while attacking the Dalit

colonies, they shouted slogans of "Jay Shivaji - Jay

Bhavani" thus making Shivaji of only higher caste Hindus,

the Brahmins and real or imaginary "96 kuli" Marathas."

["Shivaji kon hota?", p.48, Mumbai, 1998 tr. from Marathi]

Ramraj has converted one hundred thousands

Kamath admits that authorities did put obstacles, but blames it

was Congress Govt. of Delhi and not Central Govt. of BJP, a fact

refuted by people like Dr. Opeh. What is the difference? Both are

two faces of the same coin. What difference does it make to a

fish whether it is fried in oil or ghee?

Though the Government had put restrictions and disrupted the

programme of Conversion, about one hundred thousands, got

converted, Kamath admits. Many people have given much lower

figures. May be Kamath is correct. He blames Ramraj: "What

business does the All India Christian Council have in the matter

of conversion of Dalits to Buddhism?"

The organizers had averred that they would get help from all

available and willing sources. There is nothing wrong with that,

one sufferer helping the other co-sufferer, but I wish Ramraj

should have politely declined to accept such help and should have

conducted ceremony on his own.

But the real agony of Kamath seems to be the blame put on

Hindutvavadi organizations, and denying the charges, he asks:

"And why on earth should the Vishwa Hindu Parishad get

embroiled with the issue?"

Why indeed? Had they not earlier organized "Buddhist Conventions"

at various places and depicted Buddha as a Hindu in front of

world Buddhist leaders? If these organizations did not get

wild, so far the better. But is it the truth? Kamath should ask

this to himself. Actually the aim of writing by Kamath seems to

be to deny such allegations. And the main purpose seems to advise

Bahujans that conversion to Buddhism or Islam is of no use.

Bahujans have been having the heads of Brahmins on their

shoulders all these centuries, but now in future they would think

with their own brains, and can now do without any advice from

Kamath's ilk, aver OBC scholars like Salunkhe.

Kancha Ilaiah criticized

I do not hold a brief for Kancha Ilaiah. He is competent enough

to defend himself. I do not even agree with all what Kancha had

opined in the past. But the question remains that what Kancha has

asked is not irrelevant, and I like to stress that Kamath has

failed to satisfy a common man in being unable to reply him.

Kamath refers to Kancha in derogatory words. What Kamath is doing

is exactly what he is enjoined to do by his religion, as Manu

says, respect should not be shown to people of castes lower than

yours. Just calling the question irrelevant is no answer to

Kancha's question:

"what right do Hindutva organizations like the VHP and RSS

have to claim dalits as Hindus when they are not given the

right to religion, priesthood and food culture within the

temples and other religious institutions?"

Kamath could not refute the charges leveled by Kancha. If Kamath

does not know, which I doubt, Kancha is not a Dalit. Manuvadis

are not worried about Dalits, who are no threat to them as OBCs

are. Kamath's wrath on Kancha seems to be because he is an OBC,

and still talks of being a non-hindu and of dalitization of the

"Hindu temples".

What ever may be opinion of others about Kancha, he has given two

revolutionary ideas about the movement of masses against the

classes; one is the term "dalitbahujan" and second is the concept

of "hanuman". What Kanshiram calls Bahujans i.e. SC/ST/OBC and

minorities converted from them, Kancha calls "Dalitbahujan" to

describe their oppressed condition.

As a matter of fact, the relationship of Dalitbahujans to 'upper'

castes in all the political parties run by Brahmins, as various

teams from A to E of Brahmanism in Kanshiram's terms, is like

Rama and Hanuman, as put forward by Kancha Ilaiah, himself an

OBC, whose observation about Congress applies to all parties

under control of BSO (Brahmanical social order). He laments that

at such a time, when Ambedkarism was creating a small force of

conscious people among Dalitbahujans, a large number of OBCs

were perhaps for the sake of fringe benefits - the fell down

crumbs of spoils, willing to be trustworthy Hanumans. He

describes the relationship as:

"... The relationship between an 'upper' caste man and a

Dalitbahujan caste man within Congress was like that

between Rama and Hanuman. It is a common knowledge that

Hanuman was a South Indian Dalit who joined the

imperial army of Rama to fight against the South Indian

Nationalist ruler - Ravana. Hanuman worked day in and day

out in the interest of 'Ramrajya' (an anti-Dalitbahujan and

anti-woman kingdom), yet his place in the administration was

marginal and subservient. ..." [Kancha Ilaiah, "Why I am

not a Hindu", Samaya, Calcutta, 1998, p.58]

This is a new terminology and a new concept, for which the people

who wish to have change, would always be thankful to him.

 

Savarkar on Babasaheb's Conversion

Much higher authorities than Kamath have criticized the

conversion of Dr. Ambedkar like Veer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

The points raised by Kamath are already raised by many others,

including Savarkar and are all replied from time to time.

Savarkar's reaction to the Mass Conversion of Dalits by Dr.

Ambedkar in 1956 is not widely known outside Marathi speaking

region. He wrote in the "Kesari" of 30th October 1956, (pp.17-

18), an article, bitterly criticizing Ambedkar in venomous

language. [Khairmode: vol.12, p.81 ff.] Ignoring the polemics of

Hindutva, the main points of his article are worth remembering.

He mentions the number of people embracing Buddhism was hardly

one lakh, for which he was not surprised, because of the

propaganda in "Maharwadas" of Maharashtra for last eight

years and the direct indirect financial help from rulers like

Nehru, and help from foreign Buddhists, and as this help would

continue in future, Savarkar was afraid that the number within

ten years could reach a million. "Worry not- but think", he said,

claiming that when Buddha himself and Ashoka could not make any

dent in "Sanatan dharma", what is an Ambedkar? But such

movements, being disruptive and anti-national, they must be

prevented at the start, he warned. Further he said:

No obligations

That Ambedkar did not become Christian or Muslim, is no

obligation on us. Ambedkar had threatened to embrace Islam,

Christianity or Sikhism for many years. Now that he hankers after

saying that Buddhism is the greatest religion in the world, did

he not know this, that time? It was a sign of immature intellect

or misguiding declarations. Ambedkar knew the untouchability

practiced in Islam, Christianity and Sikhism. And also because of

some other internal reasons, the bargain could not be struck that

time. Therefore he could not embrace these religions and not

because of his soft feelings about Hindus, as some Hindu leaders

seem to think.

It is shameless for the Hindus to admire the "batage"

(a derogatory word for Converts)

For last many years Ambedkar and his followers are showering such

abuses in dirty language against Hindu religious books,

practices, gods and customs. No other people than the tolerant

Hindus would have tolerated such words. They have no guts to

criticize the other religions for similar practices. Excepting a

few sayings of the Buddha, which were probably borrowed from

Hindu sages, the rest of Buddhist books are full of same rubbish

like any other religion.

Ambedkar's vow is broken

He said he would not die as a Hindu. His vow is already broken,

as he will have to die within Hinduism. His jump outside the

sphere of Hinduism has fallen within the boundary of Hinduism. As

a Hindu is one whose father-land and holy-land (pitru-bhu

and punya-bhu) is Bharat, Ambedkar will live and die as a

Hindu, irrespective of his repeatedly denying it, and

irrespective of his saying that he is denouncing Hinduism, and

irrespective of including vows in conversion ceremony condemning

Hindu religion, like an arrogant child denying his own parentage.

 

It is not possible for him to break the bondage of Hindutva

and also the fetters of Untouchability will not break just by

embracing Buddhism.

Untouchability is dying out in Indian cities, and would gradually

disappear in villages. Just by embracing Buddhism, their

untouchability has not been reduced a bit, and they would not be

accepted as 'touchable' by the 'touchable' Hindus in villages. On

the other hand, they would be treated as outsiders. Therefore,

the leaders like Jagjivanram, Tapase, Kajrolkar, Rajbhoj etc. do

not wish to be entrapped in this net and fall in the pit of

Conversion.

A warning! - Boudhasthan and Naga kingdoms

Ambedkar embraced Buddhism, not because of any love for it, but,

in a dark corner of his mind, there is one more treacherous,

anti-national, political ambition. And that is, to establish an

Independent "Boudha Sthan", an Independent "Naga Sthan", by

uniting all the divisive split forces, like Zarkhand, if he could

raise enough strength of Buddhists under his religious dominance.

This is evident from the speeches of his followers and his own

writings. So let not Hindus admire this conversion. Now that,

they are bringing back the dug out bones of Buddha from foreign

lands and carry these reverently on their head, we must analyze

the increasing influence of Buddhism from religious and political

situation angle, and read again the ancient history from Yavana,

Saka, Kushana, Pallava and Huna invasions to Muslim conquest, and

how Indian Buddhists have joined hands with these invaders. It is

better to be safe than sorry and not test the poison by drinking

it.

 

Kamath's agony

Savarkar said, worry not, but Kamath seems to be worrying. Why?

This, I think is because of threat of OBC shift to Ambedkarism.

He says Full implementation Mandal Commission's Report, which he

calls "Mandalization", a nice word, is not the answer to Dalit

problem. One can see the cunningness in this statement! Every OBC

today knows, that "Mandalization" is for the benefit of OBCs and

not of Dalits.

Kamath says Chaturvarnya is hard to be defined. Is it a

fact? May be it is hard to define. But certainly not hard to

describe. Every so called scripture of Brahmanism has enjoined

it and Manu has elaborated the thesis. Even then, let us, for

satisfaction of Kamath and his ilk, express what

Chaturvarnya is, in our own humble understanding.

 

The cardinal tenets of "Hindutva"

There are some who classify "Hindutva" in three types, (1)

of Aribindo and Vivekananda, (2) of Savarkar and (3) of RSS

propounded by Golwalkar. We feel all this talk is an eyewash to

hoodwink the masses. Neither of them started it, and their

interests in interpreting it differently, if at all they did as

claimed, had arisen out of political needs of the time. Those

interested may see writings of Raosaheb Kasbe against this

thinking. For our purpose, "Hindutva" of any and all types

have certain cardinal points, and Chaturvarnya is the main crux.

Chaturvarnya enjoins that the society must be divided into four

water tight compartments called Brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya and

shudra, and that the entry to them is only through birth. It is

like a tower with four floors without any staircase. These

originated from different parts of God's body and hence must be

unequal in status. It is a divinely ordained system, it was made

by god. It is the duty of human beings to follow this system

without expecting any returns from it. Your duty is only to do

the "karmas," i.e. the deeds related to following the

"Chaturvarnya". This is the divinely ordained

"dharma". When this "dharma" gets dormant, god

takes birth to punish the evil, i.e. those who disturbed the

"dharma" and preserve those who are "sadhus", i.e.

those who follow this "dharma". It must not be confused

with the division of labour. This is not the division of labour

but is the division of labourers.

Under this system you are allowed to marry only within your own

caste, and you are also required to follow the calling of your

ancestors, how so ever it may be fearsome. It is better to die in

the calling of your ancestors than to follow others' profession.

Because it is always better to die in your own inferior

"dharma" than a better one of others', which is always

fearsome. It means the daughter of a prostitute must become a

prostitute and son of a pimp must become a pimp, as Ambedkar put

it. A scavenger's son may take education and become a doctor but

he must earn his living not by working as a physician but must

earn his livelihood by scavenging. Only he must become an expert

in scavenging, as Gandhi had advised a Dalit graduate. This is

the summary of "Chaturvarnya." Even now there are

supporters to this theory.

How is this theory put into action by god? Of course according to

"Karma Siddhanta", the Law of Karmas. The deeds of the past life

regulate your status in this life. If you have followed the

"Chaturvarnya" in the past life, you have accumulated

enough virtue to make you, that is your "atma", to have a

body of a higher "varna". After all, you are of no

consequence. It is your "atma" that is the thing of great

importance. It is your "atma" which is "real you". It is

separate from your body. Though you are not your "atma",

the "karmas", that is the deeds of Chaturvarnya, have to

be followed by the body. It is very simple theory. When you die,

it is the body that dies. The "atma" goes to another body,

just like you change your shirt, "atma" changes its

garment. This "atma" does not die, it can not be cut by

weapons, neither it can be burned by fire, nor it can be

desiccated by wind. What ever physical birth you are having now

is due to your deeds in previous birth. If you did "good deeds"

meaning respecting caste rules, you would be born in higher

caste, otherwise you would be born in a lower one. The idea is

that you must not grumble about your present situation, it is all

arranged by the God himself taking into consideration the deeds

of your previous birth. Belief in Infallibility of "Shastras" is

very essential, because all the above is stored in Brahmin's

books, prohibited to others.

Gita Reading

Kamath asks 'which law prevents Dalits from reading Gita and

Upnishads.' See the cunning! He avoids the word Vedas. He could

be politely replied why the hell, Dalit would want to read

"Gita", the gospel of counter-revolution. Dr. Ambedkar has

already declared that the Vedas and other books of Brahmanism

need to be blasted by dynamite, if Hindu society is to progress,

in "Annihilation of Caste". Anyway, let us ask Kamath, which was

that law which prevented Ambedkar from learning Sanskrit in

College, though it was then a British Rule, and Peshavai had

ended much to the satisfaction of general masses? And what about

those hundreds of generations of non-brahmins who were not

allowed to learn anything, let alone Sanskrit? And let us also

ask why Saint Tukaram was punished by drowning his writings in

river. If one calls this attitude of Kamath as hypocritical, will

one be blamed?

Swastic Temples

Kamath says:

"Furthermore there is nothing to prevent the dalits, from

among themselves, to set up their own priesthood, to cater

to their needs. Many tribes have their own priests and

nobody challenges their rights."

Either he seems to have missed the point, or may be he is

pretending. The Satyagrahas at Mahad, Kalaram Mandir or Vicom,

were not to obtain facilities to worship. Kamath well understands

these were the fights not for facilities but for rights of

equality, respect and dignity. Savarkar had also tried and failed

to get equal rights and then turned to separate temples for

Dalits. Present day Brahmins learning from old experiences,

already are talking of Swastika Temples. They know, those who

undergo "shuddhi" would not be tolerated by the rest. Even

Dayanand's Arya Samaj movement of "shuddhi" had failed. It is

only a rare person like Shivaji who had courage to reconvert a

Muslim soldier back and get him married to his daughter. For

today's reformers it is "Swastika temples".

Religion of Saints - was it Hinduism?

Saints' religion did not preach equality in society. It preached

"equality in the eyes of god", a totally harmless thing for the

custodians of Chaturvarnya

All the saint poets emerged after the fall of Buddhism. They owe

their origin to Vajrayani Buddhists, who were forerunners of

religion of

Saints. Shahjiya Vaishnavas, whom Kamath mentions, are visible

remnants of Buddhism. [Nagendranath Basu, "bhakti margi buddha

dharm", p.12 ff.]

Kamath mentions about Nammalwar. But forgets to mention the

insult caused to him by Brahmins by refusing to recognize him as

"Kulpati" of Vaishnavas, only because of his low caste. We are

told:

"Sri Nammalvar was born in the fourth caste and whatever may

be the merits of his work and philosophy there would have

been a natural hesitation on the part of the members

of the three higher castes to acknowledge him as the

'Kulapati' of all Sri Vaishnavas." [Veera Raghavacharya,

"History of Tirupati", vol. II, p. 948]

Remember there is no image of any of the Alvars on the top of

hill at Tirumala temple, because of low caste of these saints,

observes Krishnaswami Aiyangar. ["History of Tirupati", vol. 1,

p.151, TTD, 1952]

Kamath also ignores how poems of Nammalwar were gone into

oblivion but preserved by his low caste followers and how

Brahmins accepted the poems when Nath Muni was in yoga for 340

years to resurrect his Tiruvoymouli.

If Kamath wishes to create an impression that these south Indian

saints and all other saints were treated with respect by the

Brahmins of those times, it is a false propaganda.

It is well known that Basavaraj got a son of a cobbler disciple

married to the daughter of a Brahmin disciple; for this act a war

was started in which he lost his life.

Chakradhara preached equality and he was beheaded. Raidas was

drowned in the Ganges. Mira who became disciple of an untouchable

Raidas, was given a bowl of poison and declared she got absorbed

in feet of god; so was declared about Goda a.k.a. Sri Andal, one

of the Alvars. Chokhamela was buried alive in the trench of a

fort under construction. Nandanar got "himself" burnt alive "to

purify himself". Dyandeva had to take "samadhi" at a very young

age by entering into a cave which was permanently sealed. Eknatha

was tortured all his life. Tukarama, the crown of anti-Brahmanic

saints, was tortured all his life, his property was looted, he

was ordered by brahmanic court to stop writing poetry, existing

books of poetry were drowned and ultimately he was killed on the

day of 'Holi' and it was declared that he had a rare honour of

getting a "vimana" sent for him from heaven and "went alive to

Vaikuntha", suggesting his dead body also was not found.

To talk of tolerance of Hindu religion is absurd, says Salunkhe,

describing the cruelty of punishments for petty offenses of non-

brahmins, while Brahmins were exempted, enacted by Hindu Law

books creating a terror in the minds of non-brahmins. [p. 118]

All know, as Kamath says, Vivekananda was a Kayastha, a caste

always despised by the Brahmins, there being many abuses showered

on them in Puranas. Was this the reason he was called a mere

"swami"? He preached all over the world, why was he not called a

"jagat-guru"? Was there any non-brahmin "jagat-guru" might be the

subject matter for research, which Kamath should think about.

Even in modern times hatred against Bahujans did not disappear.

The day Dr. Ambedkar was converting half a million of his people,

on Dasera day in 1956 at Nagpur to Buddhism, the Brahmins did not

welcome it, contrary to the recent statement of RSS "boudhik"

chief M. G. Vaidya; they celebrated first ever "Ravan Dahan" at

Nagpur on Kasturchand Park.

Modern examples of discrimination

It may be noted that Raghavacharya calls the hesitation

"natural". The tendency of caste discrimination continues even in

modern times. For example, when Dr. Ambedkar was trying for

"Hindu Code Bill", which was to remove the injustice on Hindu

women, Jereshastri the then Shankarachrya of Sankeswara Pitha,

wrote:

"... Milk or Ganges water may be holy, but if it comes

through a nallah or a gutter, it can not be

considered sacred. Similarly, the 'Dharmasastra' howsoever

it may be authentic, it can not be considered authentic

because it has come from a 'Mahar' like Dr. Ambedkar.

Ambedkar is a scholar, it is said that his study of

scriptures is great, but he is an 'antyaja'. How

can the Ganga of Scriptures coming from the nallah of

Ambedkar be holy? It must be discardable like milk

coming from the gutter..."

Quoting this passage from 'Nav Bharat', daily, 21 Jan.

1950, Yashwant Manohar observes, even the women for whose

liberation this Bill was intended, opposed it. We see today

these women participating in hindutwavadi organizations. They

opposed Mandal Commission, and they still oppose the reservation

of OBC and other women, however, they demand right to priesthood.

[Yashwant Manohar: 1999: p.73]

Why do you renounce Hindu religion?

This was the question asked to Dr. Ambedkar on 13th October, 1956

at Shyam Hotel Nagpur by the journalists. [Khairmode: vol. 12, p.

51] Ambedkar was angry and annoyed and furiously asked him,

"Why don't you ask this question to yourself? Ask this to

your forefathers. They will reply you. You Hindus, have you

come here to ask only this to me? Where have you been hiding

before this? You have tortured me whole my life and now you

ask me why I am leaving Hindu religion."

To other questions, he replied that for centuries, forward caste

Hindus and specially Brahmins misbehaved with us. All those whose

noses can smell foul odour of Hinduism would embrace Buddhism.

Buddhism is a world religion. We have to bring about religious

conversion all over India. The Buddha never said that one must

accept, for ever. He enjoined to make changes appropriate to

changing times. One has to make changes in the thoughts, then

only ones behaviour can change.

Difference between Hinduism and Buddhism

One journalist asked, "Apart from Caste discriminations, what is

the difference between Hinduism and Buddhism?" Ambedkar replied,

"This question is like asking what remains in the body after

Life is gone. Are you not the people who observe Caste

distinctions? Who have developed this discrimination? The

Brahmins never gave us and to the Marathas any freedom of

thought and action."

To the question that caste distinctions are there among the

untouchables also, he replied that, "this was borrowed by us from

you only. We can oppose this. I am brave and courageous. I will

tell people how to behave and eradicate it." [Ibid]

Has conversions of Dalits to Islam or Christianity

done any good to them in the past?

This is the question asked by Kamath. Well, why should the

forward castes worry about welfare of the Dalits? Those who do

not see the vast change occurring in the Dalit converts, through

the ages, must either be blind or hypocrites.

During Muslim rule, a vast population escaped from the tyranny of

untouchability. Many low caste people became high officers in

Muslim kingdoms. Remember Malik Kafur, he was an untouchable.

Khusro Khan, who belonged to a bhangi caste, even became

the Sultan at Delhi, and his brother Governor of Gujarath. He had

made many of his old caste men high officers.

Kancha Ilaiah has observed:

" ... The birth of Islam ... put the religious equality of

the people who embraced it on much more solid foundations.

This could have been one of the reasons why more and more

SCAs (Shudras, Chandalas and Adivasis) embraced Islam in

India in the second millennium. If Muslim rulers were to

force the Indians to embrace Islam they would have easily

changed this country into an Islamic one. Or had they forced

all the BKVs (Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas) to convert

to Islam, their job would have been accomplished. But even

in their eight hundred years of hegemonic rule, they did not

do that. What attracted SCAs to Islam is its religious

democratic culture - the culture of aa gale milna."

["Meantime", Jan. 11, 2000, p.38]

 

Kashmir problem

As is well known, Kashmir was a Buddhist country, and how it

became a predominantly Muslim country is a illuminating story of

Brahmanic arrogance. Ramdhari Simha Dinkar ["Hindu Sanskruti" -

ch.4, p.269] describes it. From the story, it appears, in

thirteenth century, a boy of tender age by name Ratanju, probably

a Buddhist, came to Kashmir and got a high rank in the court of

king Sahadeva. Developing love for Hindu religion, he wanted to

embrace it. But the Pundits were not ready to accept him in their

society. A Muslim fakir, by name Bulbulshah, convinced him

that he would be respectfully accepted by Islam as the door of

Islam is open to all human beings. Ratanju became Muslim. His son

Shahamir usurped the throne. It is said, unwilling pundits, were

drowned in river Jehlam by Ratanju and Shahamir. The place in

Shrinagar where they were drowned, is famous even now by the name

of 'watta mazaar'." [ q/b Santram, Sarita Mukta Reprint

series, (Hindi) vol. 8, p.162.]

After this it did not take long for the whole Kashmir to become

Muslim. Thus we see that because the leaders of perpetuators of

inequality did not consider even the people of high ability who

have gained prominence on account of their bravery and heroism,

fit to become kings, unless they are born in higher caste.

Similar thing happened in Maharashtra in 17th century, when king

Shivaji was refused by the brahmins of Maharashtra to be

coronated as a king because of low caste. One must only imagine,

what would have been the fate of India, had Shivaji met somebody

like Bulbulshah that time.

Similar is the story of Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur in late 19th

century, when he was insulted by the priest on account of caste,

and his insult was accentuated by the so called 'national' lobby

of the great "Lokamanya" Tilak from Poona supporting the cause of

the priest against the Maharaja. Fortunately for the Hindus,

Shahu did not turn to Islam or Christianity, he turned to Arya

Samaj, which he thought, rather naively, was a remedy of ills of

Brahmanism. But he also strongly supported "Satya Shodhak"

Movement started by Mahatma Jotirao Phule and also brought

forward Dr. Ambedkar and presented him to the Dalits as their

leader. The movement started by Shahu later gave rise to a

powerful "Non-brahmin Party" which grew in prominence till early

30s when Gandhiji got it merged in Congress.

 

Christian Rule

During Christian rule, the converts had better education and

better status than their old caste men. Why Christianity did not

progress is a different subject, one has to see Ambedkar's

writings on the subject for details.

But as Kamath says, it is true that even among Christians, there

is discrimination in Church graveyards, and marriages. But that

is legacy of Hinduism carried by "upper caste" converts to

Christianity, and is due to incomplete conversion. This is a

point in favour of granting them Reservations like "Hindu" SC/ST,

and also to recognize that we all, including the State, must

differentiate between the lower castes Christians and upper caste

ones.

 

Fundamental rights

In old Hindu kingdoms, as Ambedkar said [Khairmode vol 11, p.

147], only cows and Brahmins had the fundamental rights, under

Muslim rule these rights of cows and Brahmins were taken away and

the Muslims only had rights. Even under the British, there were

no fundamental rights from 1772 till 1935. It is very strange,

says Ambedkar, that even in the foreign British rule, not even

Congress, existing from 1885, ever agitated for fundamental

rights. This was because in spite of the colonial rule, "the

administration of this country was governed by what was called

the rule of justice, equality and good conscience".

Human rights were promulgated after second world war by the UNO.

Similarly, in India, the demand for Fundamental rights grew, and

it is for the first time in our constitution, the fundamental

rights are included. Everybody felt there was some sense of

security during the British rule. When Swaraj presented around

1947, everybody became insecure because political authority was

passing in the hands of the majority, whose doctrine being

Chaturvarnya, believed in inequality and "their caste

system is a sword of political and administrative

discrimination". So for the protection of people, the Fundamental

rights were incorporated in the Constitution. Ambedkar averred

that these rights must be protected and respected and their

infringement would be dangerous to this country in future.

Now the right to practice and propagation of ones faith is a

fundamental right. If the Buddhists or the Muslims or the

Christians wish to convert others to their faith, the State

should protect these people. Then why this prevention of

conversion of dalits to Buddhism at the Delhi Ram Lila grounds on

4 November by the State?

Kamath says the State, of course through the Delhi police,

apparently cited two reasons for preventing the holding of the

meeting, one, that it was being organized with the help of the

All India Christian Council and two, that some organizations like

the Vishwa Hindu Parishad were opposed to it. He rightly calls

these reasons as ridiculous, but fails to understand the rights

of the Buddhists or the Christians or the Muslims. He does not

condemn the authorities because they are acting according to

whims of VHP and against the rights of All India Christian

Council. He is on the contrary blaming Kancha Ilaiah for

complaining against the State action. Is it not time that one

should ask oneself whether one was more secure under the British

than under the Swaraj headed by people of Kamath's ilk?

Scientists in western countries were from lower professions

Kamath wishes to imply that inequalities exist in all countries,

and feels it as a great consolation, when he says,

"As in any society, social intercourse is dictated by one's

social and economic status or why would Bernard Shaw have

written My Fair Lady?"

Nobody denies the existence of classes. But class is different

from caste, and has no sanction of the scriptures for the

inequality it has. A person can easily transgress the class but

not the caste. It would be naive to think that Kamath does not

understand the difference in caste and class. Still let us tell

him some facts about the people who wrote "My fair lady", apart

from producing people like Mother Teresa.

While in India, Mahabharata declared all those people who were

engaged in productive arts and crafts such as medicine,

sculpture, music, acting, architecture, handicrafts, pottery,

weaving, seliculture, horticulture, agriculture and animal

husbandry as low grade shudras, the western countries treated

these with great respect. For example James Watt was son of a

carpenter, Edison's father was making wooden planks, Benjamin

Franklin was a son of one who was making candles and soap, Louis

Pasture was son of poor fellow making hide from leather in a

tannery, father of Dewey, the inventor of safety lamp, was a

sculptor working on wood. Faraday was son of a blacksmith. Father

of George Stephenson was a poor fireman, Newton was son of a

farmer and so was Marconi. Father of Darwin was a man of

medicine. Nobel, the promoter of Nobel Prizes and inventor of

dynamite was maker of weapons. Arch wright in his earlier days

was a barber. The crux of the matter was that all such vocations

were not treated as mean, and all those people were respected as

others. The men engaged in productive crafts arts and pursuits

were given due respect, whereas in our Chaturvarnya

society, all such people were degraded to be shudras and deprived

of education, were not allowed to bear arms and were not allowed

to enter commercial trading,they had but only duty that was the

serve the elites, the warriors and property holders. Still Kamath

asks about caste discriminations in western countries. India had

no classes but castes and all those discriminations going with

them.

Ram Raj became Udit Raj

I was one of the first ones to criticize Ramraj, not for arranging

conversions - a noble cause - but for his way of functioning. He

declared that this is the second great conversion after Ambedkar,

so posing as a second Ambedkar. Earlier Maikuram had converted

lakhs without much fanfare and publicity unlike Ramraj. There

were and still are thousands of conversions going on all over the

country all these days after Ambedkar, who converted

about five lakhs at

Nagpur and two lakhs at Chandrapur, but the present official

strength is 68 lakhs - and there are many who did not register as

Buddhists. So Ramraj has no credit. The publicity and fanfare of

Ramraj, who was unknown in Ambedkarite movement except as a trade

union activist, was arranged by the media alone, suggesting a BSO

support, perhaps to create a rival for Bahujan leadership in U.P.

politics. These political motives of Ramraj became evident by

his criticizing Bahujan leaders from religious stage.

But I definitely support his rights. One may not agree with Ram

Raj's activities, but the fact remains that he, like anybody

else, has a right to convert - himself as well as others. That is

the fundamental right. But why should he change his name? Is it

because he dislikes Rama? If he really detested the name of

Rama, he could have selected a name of "Ravan Raj". But the

name, we are told, was searched by his upper caste wife, which he

accepted. It was also not necessary to tonsure his head.

Worshiping by Brahmins

Kamath tries to show the magnanimity of Brahmins by saying:

"Krishna is a Yadav; Rama, a kshatriya. Both are honoured by

all castes, including brahmins!"

What is so strange about it? Brahmins always worshipped anything

and anybody if suited their social purpose of subverting other

castes. How the gods and goddesses of Brahmins have changed

during the course of history is well depicted by Dr. Ambedkar in

his "Riddles in Hinduism". They created a sandstorm over the

Riddle Rama and Krishna with enough shedding of blood over the

issue, but none of the scholars of Brahmanism has, until now, to

the best of my knowledge, explained the "Riddles" raised by him.

In any case, they worshiped a fish, a tortoise, a boar, a half-

lion half-man, two brahmins before two non-Brahmins Rama and

Krishna. Brahmin Saint Ramadas of Maharashtra in 17th century has

lamented about the degraded condition of Brahmins. He said:

 

"Brahmin buddhi pasun chevale

Achara pasun bhrashtale

Gurutva sandun zale shishy shishya che

Kityek Daval malkas jati

Kityek pirasi ch bhajati

Kityek turuk hoti

Aapalya ichhene"

The nearest English rendering of this would be: Brahmins have

departed from their intellect, have corrupted from their enjoined

behaviour. Giving up the status of 'guru' have become the

disciples of the disciples. So many go to Durgah of Sufi saint

Dawal Malik. So many worship the "Pir". So many have become

Muslims of their own wish.

Everybody knows that Brahmins have written "Allah Upnishad"

during the reign of Shahjehan.

Gail Omvedt has aptly remarked that there is no Hindu temple of

any deity, in Maharashtra at least, which is older than seven

hundred years. In any case the worship of Rama is very recent.

Let anybody make a list of temples in his own town, he would find

the Rama temples are most recent ones, (excluding those of

Saibaba and Sanotshi Mata during last fifty years.)

How did the other castes support Brahmins?

Dr. Ambedkar, a long time back, ["Asha Pramod" - 21.4.1940, q/b

Khairmode, vol 8, p.29 ff.] has given the reason, why Brahmins

started worshiping Rama and Krishna. He averred that he never

accepted "Gita", it is "a compromise of all errors" and "It is an

irresponsible book of Ethics." It gained importance after the

fall of Buddhism. He said the main reason of Buddhism being

unsuccessful was the strong opposition by the Brahmins whose

supremacy was threatened due to Buddhist principles of liberty

and equality. It was not so much for financial gains, but for

their social vested interests, they opposed Buddhism. If Buddhism

had succeeded, there would have been no discrimination of caste

and religion and Brahmins would have lost their supremacy in

society.

Buddhism being beneficial to Bahujans, how the minority Brahmins

gained supremacy over majority to defeat Buddhism, and how did

the Bahujan castes support Brahmins? To this, Ambedkar replied:

"The minority class of Kshatriyas who had political and

military power was an hurdle to the Brahmins. Brahmins

plotted and conspired to win them over by accepting the

deities Rama and Krishna of Kshatriya clans. Thus they

cunningly diverted the Bahujans to their side and opposed

Buddhism. If this move of Brahmins had failed, today there

would have been a Buddhist era and today's picture of India

would have been different." [Ibid, p.32]

Gods of Bahujans are different from those of Brahmins

After describing how the various cultural differences exit with

Hindus and Bahujans regarding Caste Training of boys and girls,

sexual mores, caste language, god consciousness, school

education, ideals, marriages, priests, production, cooking, male

and female domains, Baniya economy, man and woman relations,

emergence of neo-Kshatriyas caste power and their consciousness,

Dalitbahujan democracy and their revolts, caste in college

education, different hotels, post colonial political parties,

post colonial universities, Brahmanical colonies etc., Kancha

Ilaiah has given vivid description of culture and traditions of

various gods of Brahmins and explained how they are entirely

different from those of non-brahmins. He has further correlated

the ancient gods used to build up consent systems of non-Brahmins

towards Brahmins with the present day consent systems, going

through various historical periods. It is worth reading from

original. I will only mention about Saraswati, about whom, he

says:

"... The source of education, Saraswati, did not write any

book as Brahmins never allowed women to write their texts.

Nowhere does she speak even about the need to give education

to women. How is it that the source of education is herself

an illiterate woman? This is diabolism of highest order.

Brahmanism never allowed women to be educated. The first

woman who worked to provide education for all women was

Savithribai Phule, wife of Mahatma Phule, in the mid

nineteenth century. To our Dalitbahujan mind, there is no

way in which Saraswathi can be compared to Savithribai

Phule. In Savithribai Phule one finds real feminist

assertion. ..." ["Why I am not a Hindu?", p.74]

Stressing the need for debate of Dalitbahujans with Brahmin

scholars, he talks of traditions of gods / goddesses of Hindus,

Brahma and Saraswati, Vishnu and Lakshmi, Shiva and Parvati, and

Avatara gods like Vamana, Krishna, Rama and Sita, and contrasts

them with Dalitbahujan gods / goddesses like Pochamma,

Kattamaisamma, Polimeramma, Potaraju, Beerappa etc. and

concludes:

"... These Brahmanical scholars and leaders who talk about

Hindutva being the religion of all castes must realize that

the Scheduled Castes, Other Backward Classes, and Scheduled

Tribes of this country, have nothing in common with the

Hindus. For centuries, even when Dalitbahujans tried to

unite all castes, the Brahmins, the Baniyas and the

Kshatriyas opposed the effort. Even today, no Brahmin adopts

the names of our goddesses / Gods; even today, they do not

understand that the Dalitbahujans have a much more humane

and egalitarian tradition and culture than the Hindu

tradition and culture. Even today, our cultural tradition is

being treated as merit-less. If the Brahmins, the Baniyas,

the Kshatriyas and the neo-Kshatriyas of this country want

unity among diversity, they should join us and look to

Dalitization, not Hinduization." [p.101]

I wish Kamath should have used his scholarly intelligence to

refute Kancha's arguments one by one on merit rather than just

condemning his views outright. But that has always been the

tactics and strategy of these people. The vagueness is their

greatest cunning virtue and strength.

Brahmins and non-brahmins are two different nations

Kancha Ilaiah is not the only OBC scholar pronouncing that the

Bahujans are not Hindus. There are many others. Prominent among

them is Salunkhe. Dr. A. H. Salunkhe, an OBC scholar, orator and

writer, from Maharashtra, in his Marathi book, "vaidik dharma

sutre aani bahujana chi gulamgiri", explains how these

scriptures enjoined that Brahmins are not under the rule of

kings. Brahmin from the even the defeated opponent king's side

must not be killed. King must not kill Brahmin of even enemy side

even in war even if he is likely to face defeat thereby. A

Brahmin belongs to neither party in war, he is his own party, and

hence even the defeated king's brahmins should be employed. This

explains why Kautilya says not to build an army of Brahmins. Even

a crowned Kshatriya King has no right to punish Brahmins even if

they break the Laws. King must obey Brahmins, otherwise his

generations would suffer, scriptures threaten. This Law was

exercised by Brahmins against Shivaji and Shahu, Salunkhe says.

No king can be king of Brahmins. Brahmins' king is different.

Soma is their king. Soma means, a Brahmin having right to drink

Soma implying that if it becomes necessary to give orders to a

Brahmin, that is not the right of a king but is the right of

Brahmins only. Vashistha feels the king of Brahmins is different

from ruler of others. Explaining all this in great detail,

Salunkhe observes:

"... In a way, Brahmins is a separate society from the rest

of non-brahmin society. Brahmins' nation is an independent

Nation and there is the arrangement of a parallel

alternative administration for them. This is what Vashistha

impressed on the minds of people. ... These days, we talk of

rule by a remote control. The king was always working under

the control, scare and terror of Brahmins moving around him

in his court with an equal status, and exercising a non-

parliamentary ultra-legal remote control over the king"

[p.37]

The Law of Karmas

"Karma-Siddhanta" is the part of theory of

Chaturvarnya. The roots of long lasting slavery of

Bahujans lie in this theory, Salunkhe explains. Apparently, it

appears to be nice pleasant admirable great and just theory.

Bahujans easily got lured by it thinking it to be moral, but they

could not realize that it is venomous and disruptive and

responsible for their downfall and ruin leading to their poverty,

weakness and loss of power. Because of this theory the Bahujans

do not consider the injustice done to them as injustice. It seems

moral to them because it says fruits of "good" deeds would be

good and fruits of "bad" deeds would be bad. The cunningness here

is that the terms "good" karma does not mean a moral, humane,

just or wise deed. It is a technically defined word and the word

"good" really means "as defined by Shastras". Salunkhe gives

example: Presuming a mediocre Brahmin accepts a noble learned

non-brahmin as guru, this would be "good" deed in the eyes of an

average wise man, but for the scriptures, it is a bad deed

amounting to sin. To say that fruits of deeds in this life would

be granted in next birth and your present status is because of

deeds in past birth, is the second cunning part of this theory.

Bahujans became so full of blind faith that they could not

recognize the cunningness and became slaves. [Salunkhe, p. 24]

It must be remembered here that the Buddha also used the

terminology of karma and rebirth, but the concept is entirely

different as explained at length by Dr. Ambedkar. [The Buddha and

His Dhamma] He considers Hindu doctrine of past karma to be

regulator of future life to be iniquitous and was invented with

the only purpose of enabling the state or society to escape the

responsibility for the condition of the poor and the lowly.

[p.247]

Chaturvarnya was not hereditary?

Salunkhe has quoted many scriptures to prove that Chaturvarnya

was always based on birth. [p.28] Practically, everybody knows

this. But that, originally, the concept of Chaturvarnya

was not hereditary and later it got corrupted to present status,

is a popular ploy of BSO to boost up morals of manuvadis.

Kamath also takes that plea. But he admits that:

"It is true that in some `backward' states, dalits and

girijans have been at the receiving end of the caste stick."

He also admits that "The SCs/STs (Prevention of Atrocities)

Act and the Protection of Civil Rights Act have turned out

to be toothless legislations to bring the culprits to book."

There is some more cunningness here. He wishes to create an

impression that these atrocities are few and far between and

limited to certain "backward" areas. This is a blatant lie. Is

Maharashtra a backward state? Is Tamilnadu or Gujarath or

Karnataka a Backward state? Has he not heard of Marathwada Caste

war or Gujarath Caste War or Kambanpalli Carnage? Has he not

heard of Ghatkopar or Karanja Ghadge? Kamath does not mention the

ill implementation of the Act due to caste prejudices.

Who did it?

Taking it for granted, for the moment, just for the sake of

argument, that the Chaturvarnya, originally was not

hereditary, and hereditary element has been a introduced in

religion as a corruption of pure religion later, two questions

emerge:

(1) When, how, by whom and why was it corrupted?

(2) Who is responsible now for correcting it if it was a

corruption of pure pristine religion?

The first question involves a lengthy discussion, but there

should be no dispute that non-brahmins had no part in corrupting

the pristine religion. Salunkhe says right from the time of fall

of Harrapan civilization, the Brahmins were trying to tighten

their grip over the non-brahmins through the Vedas and

Dharmasutras. The Buddha and his later followers tried to loosen

this grip. The Buddhist struggle against the tyranny and slavery

imposed by Brahmins through the Vedas, was, no doubt, the

greatest struggle in the social history of India. The Brahmanic

efforts started during the period of Dharmasutras became mostly

successful after four hundred years in the times of Manusmruti,

which codified the rules of Dharmasutras, and the "Great War"

(maha yudhha) declared by the Buddha, for the benefit of

Bahujans and on their behalf, became ineffective. The tragedy of

all this is that, the Bahujans, whom the Buddha had taken to the

zenith of victory, did not remain on the top but were toppled

down by the tricks of Brahmins and started treating the very same

Brahmins who were responsible for their downfall, as their

sacrosanct objects of worship and started despising and hating

the Buddha. The books, with the assistance of which, the Brahmins

managed to overthrow the great revolution of the Buddha, were the

Dharmasutras. Unless the Bahujans know the realistic history of

Gotama the Buddha, they would not understand their own real

cultural heritage, concludes the OBC scholar, Dr. Salunkhe, in

advice to Bahujan masses. [p. 143, appendix]

Whose responsibility is it anyway?

Kamath, in his rather benign innocent cunning cleverness,

declares that RSS observes no caste restrictions and that neither

the VHP is an apex body nor even the Shankaracharya can exercise

power even to admit Dalits to temples. It is, therefore, futile

to expect that they have authority to correct the "corruption" in

original Shastras. This is another example of power of vagueness

of Brahmanism. When some fruits are to be enjoyed, everybody

comes forward, but when some rights of Brahmins are to be

renounced and surrendered to Bahujans, it is nobody's

responsibility. Those Bahujans who are supporting the building of

the temple should remember this.

What is the authority of Brahmanism. The first and foremost

authority is the Vedas. Second is the Smritis based on Vedas. The

third authority is the "shistachar", the behaviour of the council

of shistas, who of course must be Brahmins following the

Vedas- the ultimate authority. These book expound the "Karma

Siddhanta". [Salunkhe, p.18]

Are the scriptures outdated?

When confronted with the injunctions of the Shastras, the

protagonists of these books conveniently proclaim that these are

now out of date and need not be considered. This is not true.

When Sharad Pawar, the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, had

promised to ban some books on demand of some Bahujans, Ram

Shevalkar, the President of Marathi Sahitya Sammelan held in Goa

had condemned this decision going out of the way of written

speech, on the ground of "freedom of speech". The same

intellectual is now awarded an honorary degree of D. Litt. by

Nagpur University.

Salunkhe avers that this claim of Shastras being "outdated" is

the trick to hoodwink the masses. These scriptures are not

declared "outdated" by any of those who are scriptural

authorities and custodians of these books. None from

Shankaracharyas, or mathadhipatis, or heads of different cults,

or religious heads at centers like Kashi, have ever declared as

such. None of those who claim to be leaders of Hindu religion,

doing their 'sanghatan' and working for their welfare, have ever

declared these books as such. [Salunkhe, p. 122] And now Kamath

tells us that these people have no authority even to allow temple

entry of Dalits. Then what should the masses do?

What should the Bahujans do?

If the people in authority are not going to oblige, the sufferers

have to strengthen themselves to shed away their own slavery.

Salunkhe asks the Bahujans, when somebody tells you that our

ancient Indian culture is greatest in the world, and avers that

all our traditions are holy, are we supposed to believe in this?

The interests of those who believe it as great and holy are

different from the interests of the Bahujans. Are we going to

understand this or not? He says there is no end to these

questions. Many such could be asked. He avers:

"... There is only one answer to all these questions. These

Dharmasutras are not the sutras of religion of Bahujans.

These can not be subject matter of their identity or pride.

They can not be objects of their worship. The religion of

slaves and their enemies who made them slaves can not be the

same. The scriptures, on the basis of which these people are

made slaves, it is certain that, such scriptures can not

belong to the religion of the slaves themselves. If the

Bahujans have some affinity for their own liberty, if they

are ready to declare that they are not slaves of anybody

else, then they should openly and unequivocally proclaim

that these scriptures were never ours, these are not ours

and these will never be ours. These books may be kept in

libraries to understand history of old society religion etc.

but the Bahujans must stop considering, from the bottom of

their hearts, these as holy scriptures for guidance in their

duties." [Salunkhe, p.120]

Let us Welcome Kamath

Kamath's generosity is overwhelming that he accepts the need for

change. And he believes new Hindu religion must annihilate caste.

But unfortunately, he thrusts the responsibility on very same

people, whose vested interests are involved in maintaining the

status quo. He says:

"Yes, Hinduism needs to be changed. That should be the main

aim of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the BJP. Hindutva must

get a new definition. It must signify rebellion against

casteism as practised, especially in rural areas. When will

BJP leaders wake up to the fact that Hinduism calls for

special efforts towards its regeneration?"

Dr. Ambedkar has long time back in 1936, declared in

"Annihilation of Caste", [W&S vol.1, p. 78] how Caste can be

annihilated. Anybody who likes to follow Kamath's wish, must read

Ambedkar who observed:

"... you must give a new doctrinal basis to your Religion, a

basis that will be in consonance with Liberty, Equality and

Fraternity, in short, with Democracy. ... This means a

complete change in the fundamental notions of life - it

means a complete change in the values of life. It means a

complete change in outlook and in attitude towards men and

things. It means conversion but if you do not like

the word, I will say, it means new life. But a new life

cannot enter a body that is dead. New life can center only

in a new body. The old body must die before a new body can

come into existence and a new life can enter into it. ..."

Well let Kamath and his friends know what conversion is.

- o o O o o -

Dear sir,

Kindly give the above article place in your web-site and oblige

Thanks! With Regards Dr. K. Jamanadas