WHY GO FOR CONVERSION PAGE 1

 

Today the Dalits are at the cross roads. They are confused as to which road

to take to continue their journey for their emancipation. The policy of

their oppressors to divide them on the basis of sub-castes is still on.

There is a lack of unity amongst Dalits, majority of whom are poor working

as laborers. They do not have land, factories, business, trades and other

means of production except a meager representation in Govt. jobs. Even this

representation is not liked by their oppressors and a conspiracy is going on

to snatch away even this representation too. So, what Dalits should do ?

There are roads of political empowerment, economic empowerment and social

equality through religion. Some progress has been achieved in political

empowerment due to universal suffrage. But due to joint electorate the SC/ST

legislators are elected as per the wishes of caste Hindus even in reserved

constituencies. They have to follow party discipline to which they belong.

Therefore, SC/ST legislators are not able to do much in spite of sincerity

at their hearts. Economic empowerment is negligible as Dalits donít have

ownership of productive assets and means of production except labor. They

can acquire ownership either when assets are redistributed or means of

earnings are made available to them. However it requires very strong

political will to ensure economic justice which is an integral part of

social justice.

The third route is through religious conversion. Brahmanism is the root

cause of the pathetic condition of Dalits. Hindu religion as such does not

believe in spiritual and social equality. In fact, Hindu religion is root

cause of all their problems. The Hindu society is based on graded

inequality. It denies the opportunity of good education, decent living and

overall development of a person if he is a Shudra by birth.

Brahmanism which is known as Hinduism since the advent of the Muslims in

India is a foreign religion like Christianity or Islam. In ancient India

there was no religion called Hinduism. The word Hindu appeared in the

Sanskrit literature only in the post Muslim period. The word Hindu has been

the contribution of the Muslim rulers of India. Some Ambedkarites argue

that the Dalits should not follow any religion since all religions end up

with dogmas and rituals. Therefore, They should try to be rationalists

without having any faith in any organized religion. This view may be correct

for some intellectuals but difficult to accept in toto. Man does not live by

bread alone. He needs religion for spiritual progress, personality

development and above all for peaceful coexistence in the society based on

social equality. Religion teaches him to be a better human being. It affects

his inter-personal relationship with other members of his community and

society as a whole. Religion has its tremendous utility and relevance in the

formation of human society.

The antagonists of conversion argue that there exist castes and social

inequality in other religions also. But they forget that the contagion of

caste has gone to other religion from Hinduism. In other religions there may

exist sub groups based on economic status but this division of social

Page - 2

groups based on economic status are neither sanctified in their religion nor

ordained. If you are traveling by a public transport and your co-passenger

asks about your name, he is satisfied the moment you tell him a Muslim name,

Christian name or a Jain name or a Buddhist name. He wonít ask you further

whether you are a Shia or Sunni, a Roman Catholic or Protestant a Digambar

or Swetambar, a Mahayani Buddhist or a Hinyani. But the moment you tell that

you are a Hindu he will immediately ask for title or surname you write and

ultimately which caste you belong to. Your entire personality is judged not

by your worth but by birth. The dalits have no place of respect in the eyes

of socially well placed castes. Their position is like an illegitimate child

who sinks in his body and mind the moment his fatherís name is asked.

Similarly, a dalit gets depressed the moment his caste is asked. This is the

condition of millions of Dalits whom Hinduism has condemned through the

centuries. This has gone in their psyche. Majority of them have accepted the

"divine slavery". They think that their low status and poverty is as per

will of God and nobody can change it.

Many protagonists of Hinduism argue that "Varnavyavastha" and caste system

was originally determined by "Karmas" and not by birth. But they fail to

explain why "karan" in Mahabharat was treated as "Shudra" only because he

was brought up by a Shudra family, in spite of being an outstanding warrior

? Why right thumb of "Eklavya" was taken away to make his archery

ineffective in spite of his being an ace shooter ? Why Bhisma Pitamah was

not recognized as "Acharya" though he taught Dhritrashtra, Pandu and Vidur ?

Why Maryada Purushottam Ram killed Saint "Shambuka" for doing penance on the

ground of non entitlement for spiritual elevation being a Shudra by birth.

Some people also argue that with the process of modernization the caste

system is bound to get diminished. Social lives in the metropolis and big

cities are cited as examples. Our friends however, fail to see that in all

Hindu temples even in the cities, the management is in the hands of

Brahmins. You will find hardly any good publicly recognized temple where the

priest is non Brahmin. They are the Brahmins who finally decide and control

customs and traditions and interpretation of scriptures. You go to any

Govt./Public sector office and ask Dalit Officers how they are treated in

promotions and postings and writing of annual confidential reports. The

caste plays its dominant role. The situation in villages where more than 70%

population lives is worse. Dalits are still not free from the social

disabilities in spite of constitutional provisions and social legislations.

The social disabilities still do not allow them free temple entries and

drawl of water from the same well. On the contrary, casteism, Hindu

fanaticism and Hindu orthodoxy are showing signs of renewed strength and

vigor. Protest against screening of film "Fire", shooting of film "water" in

Varanasi and demonstration against Dilip Kumar, M F Hussein and Jatin Das,

demolition of Babri Mosque, organized attacks on Christians, burning father

Staines alive along with his innocent children, murder of brother George in

Mathura and rape of nuns in Madhya Pradesh are clear manifestations of Hindu

fundamentalism. The infallible and indestructible character of the caste

system could not be wiped out in spite of egalitarian influence of Buddhism,

Jainism, Islam and Christianity. Even the modernization and sanskritisation

in the society could not diminish the effect of monster of caste. It remains

intact in its nature and contents.

Page - 3

In spite of so-called liberalism claimed by protagonists of Hinduism, its

real form i.e., Brahmanism is still a negation of liberty, equality and

fraternity. Some people argue that the Dalits should try to reform the

Hinduism from within. This is not a simple task. It is not a question of

modifying the features of an idol made out of stone. The idol of caste

inbuilt in religion is harder than stone since the genesis is imperceptible.

As such it is not practically possible for the Davits to modify it or reform

it. On the contrary fundamentalists supporting and glorifying the caste

system are publishing a lot of literature.

There is no salvation for Dalits in Hinduism. The religion, which does not

recognize human being as human being, is a curse. Therefore for annihilating

castes, the change of religion is the only antidote.

Now the question arises as to which religion Dalits should embrace? The

major religion in the world today is Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.

Let us examine Christianity first. A lot of Dalits have converted to

Christianity during last few centuries i.e. since the advent of British

power in India.

Has Christianity been able to save the converts from the sufferings, which

is the misfortune of everyone who is born as an untouchable? Conversion to

Christianity has not brought about any change in the social status of the

untouchable converts. To the general mass of the Hindus the untouchable

remains an untouchable even though he becomes a Christian. A change in the

social status of the convert may be the result of change in the attitude of

the Hindus or in the mentality of the convert. Christianity has neither done

anything to make the Hindus to rethink about social relationship nor they

have witnessed much change in the rural society. Christian missionaries have

never thought that it was their duty to work for securing social justice to

Dalits. The Dalit Christians themselves have remained inactive. There is no

movement against injustice. The Christianity believes that the fall of a man

is due to his original sin and the reason why one must become Christian is

because there is promise of forgiveness of sins. The Dalit Christians

instead of being energized to conquer his environment contends himself with

belief that there is no use in struggling for the simple reason that his

fall is due to the sin committed by Adam. When he was a Hindu, he was told

that his pathetic condition was due to his karmas in earlier births and

wishes of God. When he becomes a Christian he learns that his fall is due to

the sins of his ancestors. In either case there is no escape and no

salvation for him. One may well ask whether conversion gives birth to new

life and a condemnation of the old. Though the Dalit Christians have

achieved much progress educationally and economically compared to their

Hindu Dalits brothers, socially their status still remains low in the eyes

of Caste Hindus. There are no inter caste marriages. No elite Christian will

marry in the families of Dalit Christians. Even then, they deserve

congratulations for breaking the clutches of Caste based religion.

Let us examine conditions of Dalit Muslims. The conversion to Islam has been

a continuous process from the beginning of arrival of Muslims in India. A

lot of people including dalits have embraced Islam which is by all means is

a noble religion because of its deep faith in universal

Page - 4

Brotherhood. Islam stands for socio-economic equality. The Quran has

directed the socially and economically forward Muslims to come to the rescue

of the educationally and economically backward Muslims and assist them in

all manners so that they are brought on par with other advanced Muslims. The

Quran prohibits distinction and discrimination amongst human beings. But,

elite Muslims have failed to support the downtrodden amongst Muslims. Though

there is common dinning, there are no inter caste marriages. No elite Muslim

family will marry in the families of a Dalit Muslim. The Dalit converts to

Islam have achieved little economically and educationally. There may not be

a practice of untouchability among them but castes and sub castes do exist

not only in the forms of Shiya and Sunni but also in form of Gori Pathan,

Butcher, and Zhozhe etc etc. Moreover, it being a foreign religion, many

Dalits hesitate to embrace it. Therefore, it cannot be a prescription for

Dalits.

The third major religion of the World is Buddhism, which is a native

religion of India. Buddhism was the religion of Mohenjodaro-Harappa cities

as evident from Buddha Stupa in the cities of Harappa-Mahenjodaro and

Vaishali. Buddhism was also called Satyadharma. The barbaric Aryan Vandals

destroyed the Mohenjodaro-Harappa culture during 1600 to 1500 BC and ushered

in the Vedic culture annihilating and assimilating the vestiges of the

glorious ancient Mohenjodaro-Harappa culture in this process. The negative

people were forced to worship the gods of conquerors. Buddhism was pushed

under debris of history through treacherous mechanism of Brahmins. Vedas are

full of battle events between Aryan Devtas, Rishis, Vipras and Brahmins on

the one side and Assuras, Dasas, Rakshas, Dasyus, Panis, Manusyas and Kinsas

on the other side. The invaders became victorious and the native were

vanquished. This brought a change in the ancient culture. Yajna culture

became dominant. Yoga culture given by the former Buddhas was subjugated.

Chaturvarna Vyavastha was established. The natives were humiliated,

persecuted, killed and established as shudras.

Sakyamuni Gautama the Buddha revived Buddhism in 6th Century to 5th Century

BC. He spoke against caste system and challenged Brahminical supremacy.

Buddha opened the doors of Bhikkhu Sangha to all persons irrespective of

their caste and Varna. He proclaimed that anybody could achieve salvation

and place of honour according to his deeds. Man is not high or low by virtue

of birth but by worth. He denied existence of soul and God. He emphasized

life of morality (Sheel) mastery over mind (samadhi) and wisdom (Prajna).

His Dhamma brought a non-violent social revolution in India. Gautama the

Buddha emphasized spiritual brotherhood in place of Vedic revelation, moral

life in place of ceremonial piety and the perfect saga above the Vedic God.

The Buddhism again became main religion of India during the reign of King

Ashoka the great, Kusans, Guptas, Brihadrath, Kanishka and Harshvardhan.

India witnessed all round progress economically and socially. But Brahmin

commander-in Chief of Army, Pushyamitra Sunga assassinated king Brihdrath,

the grandson of Ashoka. He thus established Sunga dynasty by his treacherous

act. Kanishka was smothered to death in his bed. Several attempts on the

life of Harshavardhan were made by the Brahmins to assassinate him. King

Sasank ordered genocide of Buddhist Monks and followers. He announced a

reward of 100 gold coins per head of Buddhist monks. Mihirkula who was a

worshipper of Shiva, killed thousands of Buddhists. If this was the

condition of the rulers, one

Page - 5

can imagine the sorrowful plight and misery of the common people and the

Bhikkhus. The Brahmins tortured, killed and humiliated them. There was

complete reassertion of the Brahminical tyranny under the advancing shield

of Arabian Army. Shankracharya also took advantage of this situation. By

this process Buddhism was crushed to death. In these circumstances, those

Buddhist who could escape the tyranny of Brahmins became shudras. Due to the

atrocities committed on Buddhists by Brahmin fanatics, the Buddhism

disappeared from India as a community but the spirit of Buddhism never died.

It continued in the small social groups in all provinces and States in

India. The spirit of Buddhism found expression in the teaching and works of

saint Ravidas, Kabir, Guru Nanak, Chokhamela , Nandaner, Jotirao Phule,

Maharshi Shahuji Maharaj, Periyar Ramaswamy Naikar, Dr. Ambedkar and many

others.

The present day shudras including Dalits were the persons who became the

followers of the Buddha who raised their voice against the Brahminical

supremacy and sacredness of the Vedic literature. Therefore, for Dalits,

Buddhism is like going back to their old Home.

Buddhism is the religion of this motherland since Indus Valley Civilisation.

Buddhism gives the principles in combination which no other religion does.

Buddhism teaches Prajna (understanding and wisdom) as against superstition

and supernaturalism. It teaches compassion, samta, brotherhood, morality,

mastery over mind, non-violence and welfare of all beings in this very life.

This is what man wants for a good and happy life. Noble Laureate Prof.

Amartya Sen has established that human development Index (HDI) in Buddhist

countries is much higher than India and Pakistan where Hinduism and Islam

are dominant religions.

By embracing Buddhism, there will be unity amongst Dalits as they will

become one by loosing caste identity. Inter caste marriages will become

easy. It will improve their social status. Of all human resources, the most

precious is the desire to improve. Buddhism will change the psyche of Dalits

to improve. It will give them confidence which will lead to economic and

spiritual progress. Therefore, for the emancipation of Dalits, embracing

Buddhism appears to be the ultimate solution.

Having concluded that Buddhism is the only answer to the problem of Dalits,

next question is how to go for conversion ? After the passing away of

Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar, there has not been any major conversion movement.

There have been conversion in small groups such as in Tamil Nadu, Bihar,

U.P. and Delhi. However, its impact was marginal. Therefore, it is necessary

to organize the conversion on a large scale and that too in a prominent city

like Delhi in the gaze of international media and observers so that the

problem of human right violation by Brahmins is also exposed. Accordingly,

we have decided to organize conversion of one million Dalits to Buddhism on

October 14, 2001. All the Ambedkarites and Buddhists all over world are

requested to send their suggestions for this historical event.

Namo Buddhaya Jai Bhim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY GO FOR CONVERSION Page - 1

 

Today the Dalits are at the cross roads. They are confused as to which road

to take to continue their journey for their emancipation. The policy of

their oppressors to divide them on the basis of sub-castes is still on.

There is a lack of unity amongst Dalits, majority of whom are poor working

as labourers. They do not have land, factories, business, trades and other

means of production except a meagre representation in Govt. jobs. Even this

representative is not liked by their oppressors and a conspiracy is going on

to snatch away even this representation too. So, what Dalits should do ?

There are roads of political empowerment, economic empowerment and social

equality through religion. Some progress has been achieved in political

empowerment due to universal sufferage. But due to joint electorate the

SC/ST legislators are elected as per the wishes of caste Hindus even in

reserved constituencies. They have to follow party discipline to which they

belong. Therefore, SC/ST legislators are not able to do much inspite of

sincerity at their hearts. Economic empowerment is negligible as Dalits doní

t have ownership of productive assets and means of production except labour.

They can acquire ownership either when assets are redistributed or means of

earnings are made available to them. However it requires very strong

political will to ensure economic justice which is an integral part of

social justice.

The third route is through religious conversion. Brahminism is the root

cause of the pathetic condition of Dalits. Hindu religion as such does not

believe in spiritual and social equality. In fact, Hindu religion is root

cause of all their problems. The Hindu society is based on graded

inequality. It denies the opportunity of good education, decent living and

overall development of a person if he is a Shudra by birth.

Brahmanism which is known as Hinduism since the advent of the Muslims in

India is a foreign religion like Christianity or Islam. In ancient India

there was no religion called Hinduism. The word Hindu appeared in the

Sanskrit literature only in the post Mulsim period. The word Hindu has been

the contribution of the Muslim period. The word Hindu has been the

contribution of the Muslim rulers of India. Some Ambedkarites argue that

the Dalits should not follow any religion since all religions end up with

dogmas and rituals. Therefore, They should try to be rationalists without

having any faith in any organized religion. This view may be correct for

some intellectuals but difficult to accept in toto. Man does not live by

bread alone. He needs religion for spiritual progress, personality

development and overall for peaceful coexistence in the society based on

social equality. Religion teaches him to be a better human being. It affects

his inter-personal relationship with other members of his community and

society as a whole. Religion has its tremendous utility and relevance in the

formation of human society.

The Antagonists of conversions argue that there exist castes and social

inequality in other religions also. But they forget that the contagion of

caste has gone to other religion from Hinduism. In other religions there may

exist sub groups based on economic status but this division of social

Page - 2

groups based on economic status are neither sanctified in their religion nor

ordained. If you are travelling by a public transport and your co-passenger

asks about your name, he is satisfied the moment you tell him a Muslim name,

Christian name or a Jain name or a Buddhist name. He wonít ask you further

whether you are a Shia or Sunni, a Roman Catholic or Protestant a Digambar

or Swetambar, A Mahayani Buddhist or a Hinyani. But the moment you tell that

you are a Hindu he will immediately ask for title or surname you write and

ultimately which caste you belong to. Your entire personality is judged not

by your worth but by birth. The dalits have no place of respect in the eyes

of socially well placed castes. Their position is like an illegitimate child

who sinks in his body and mind the moment his fatherís name is asked.

Similarly, a dalit gets depressed the moment his caste is asked. This is the

condition of millions of Dalits whom Hinduism has condemned through the

centuries. This has gone in their psyche. Majority of them have accepted the

"divine slavery". They think that their low status and poverty is as per

will of God and nobody can can change it.

Many protagonists of Hinduism argue that "Varnavyavastha" and caste system

was originally determined by "Karmas" and not by birth. But they fail to

explain why "karan" in Mahabharat was treated as "Shudra" only because he

was brought up by a Shudra family, inspite of being an outstanding warrior ?

Why right thumb of "Eklavya" was taken away to make his archery ineffective

inspite of his being an ace shooter ? Why Bhisma Pitamah was not recognized

as "Acharya" though he taught Dhritrashtra, Pandu and Vidur ? Why Maryada

Purushottam Ram killed Saint "Shambuka" for doing penance on the ground of

non entitle ment for spiritual elevation being a Shudra by birth.

Some people also argue that with the process of modernisation the caste

system is bound to get diminished. Social lives in the metropolis and big

cities are cited as examples. Our friends however, fail to see that in all

Hindu temples even in the cities,the management is in the hands of

Brahamins. You will find hardly any good publicly recognized temple where

the priest is non Brahamin. They are the Brahamins who finally decide and

control customs and traditions and interpretation of scriptures. You go to

any Govt./Public sector office and ask Dalit Officers how they are treated

in promotions and postings and writing of annual confidential reports. The

caste plays its dominant role. The situation in villages where more than 70%

population lives is worse. Dalits are still not free from the social

disabilities inspite of constitutional provisions and social legislations.

The social disabilities still do not allow them free temple entries and

drawal of water from the same well. On the contrary, casteism, Hindu

fanaticism and Hindu orthodoxy are showing signs of renewed stength and

vigour. Protest against screening of film "Fire", shooting of film "water"

in Varanasi and demonstration against Dilip Kumar, M F Hussain and Jatin

Das, demolition of Babri Mosque, organized attacks on Christians, burning

father Staines alive alongwith his innocent children, murder of brother

George in Mathura and rape of nuns in Madhya Pradesh are clear

manifestations of Hindu fundamentalism. The infallible and indestructible

character of the caste system could not be wiped out inspite of egalitarian

influence of Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and Christianity. Even the

modernisation and sanskritisation in the society could not diminish the

effect of monster of caste. It remains intact in its nature and contents.

Page - 3

Inspite of so called liberalism claimed by protagonists of Hinduism, its

real form i.e., Brahaminism is still negation of liberty, equality and

fraternity. Some people argue that the Dalits should try to reform the

Hinduism from within. This is not a simple task. It is not a question of

modifying the features of an idole made out of stone. The idole of caste

inbuilt in religion is harder than stone since the genesis is imperceptible.

As such it is not practically possible for the Dalits to modify it or reform

it. On the contrary a lot of literature is being published by

fundamentalists supporting and glorifying the caste system.

There is no salvation for Dalits in Hinduism. The religion which does not

recognize human being as human being is a curse. Therefore for annihilating

castes, the change of religion is the only antidote.

Now the question arises as to which religion Dalits should go ? The major

religion in the world today are Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.

Let us examine Christianity first. A lot of Dalits have converted to

Christianity during last few centuries i.e. since the advent of British

power in India.

Has Christianity been able to save the converts from the sufferings which is

the misfortune of everyone who is born as an untouchable ? Conversion to

Christianity has not brought about any change in the social status of the

untouchable converts. To the general mass of the Hindus the untouchable

remains an untouchable even though he becomes a Christian. A change in the

social status of the convert may be the result of change in the attitude of

the Hindus or in the mentality of the convert. Christianity has done nothing

either to make the Hidus to rethink about social relationship nor they have

witnessed much change in the rural society. Christian missionaries have

never thought that it was their duty to work for securing social justice to

Dalits. The Dalit Christians themselves have remained inactive. There is no

movement against injustice. The Christianity believes that the fall of man

is due to his original sin and the reason why one must become Christian is

because there is promise of forgiveness of sins. The Dalit Christians

instead of being energized to conquer his environment contends himself with

belief that there is no use in struggling for the simple reason that his

fall is due to the sin committed by Adam. When he becomes a Christian he

learns that his fall is due to the sins of his ancestors. In either case

there is no escape and no salvation for him. One may well ask whether

conversion gives birth to new life and a condemnation of the old. Though the

Dalit Christians have achieved much progress educationally and economically

compared to their Hindu Dalits brothers, socially their status still remains

low in the eyes of Cast Hindus. There are no intercaste marriages. No elite

Christian will marry in the families of Dalit Christians. Even then, they

deserve congratulations for breaking the clutches of Cast based religion.

Let us examine conditions of Dalit Muslims. The conversion to Islam has been

a continuous process from the beginning of arrival of Muslims in India. A

lot of people including Christians have embraced Islam which by all means is

a noble religion because of its deep faith in

Page - 4

brotherhood. Islam stands for socio-economic equality. The Quran has

directed the socially and economically forward Muslims to come to the rescue

of the educationally and economically backward Mulsims and assist them in

all manners so that they are brought on par with other advanced Mulsims. The

Quran prohibits distinction and discrimination among human beings. But,

elite Muslims have failed to support the downtrodden amongst Muslims. Though

there is common dinning, there are no inter caste marriages. No elite Muslim

family will marry in the families of Dalit Muslims. The Dalit converts to

Islam have achieved little economically and educationally. There may not be

a practice of untouchability among them but castes and sub castes do exist

not only in the forms of Shiya and Sunni but Gori Pathan, Butcher, Zhozhe

etc etc. Moreover, it being a foreign religion, many Dalits hesitate to

embrace it . Therefore, it cannot be a prescription for Dalits.

The third major religion of the World is Buddhism, which is a native

religion of India. Buddhism was the religion of Mohenjodaro-Harappa cities

as evident from Buddha Stupa in the cities of Harappa-Mahenjodaro and

Vaishali. Buddhism was also called Satyadharma. The barbaric Aryan Vandals

destroyed the Mohenjodaro-Harappa culture during 1600 to 1500 BC and ushered

in the Vedic culture annihilating and assimilating the vestiges of the

glorious ancient Mohenjodaro-Harappa culture in this process. The negative

people were forced to worship the gods of conquerors. Buddhism was pushed

under debris of history through treacherous mechanism of Brahmins. Vedas are

full of battle events between Aryan Devtas, Rishis, Vipras, Brahmins on the

one side and Assuras, Dasas, Rakshas, Dasyus, Panis, Manusyas and Kinsas on

the other side. The invaders became victorious and the native were

vanquished. This brought a change in the ancient culture. Yajna culture

became dominant. Yoga culture given by the former Buddhas was subjugated.

Chaturvarna Vyavastha was established. The natives were humiliated,

persecuted, killed and established as shudras.

Buddhism was revived in 6th Century to 5th Century BC by Sakyamuni Gautama

the Buddha. He spoke against caste system and challenged Brahminical

supremacy. Buddha opened the doors of Bhikkhu Sangha to all persons

irrespective of caste and Varna. He proclaimed that anybody can achieve

salvation and place of honour according to his deeds. Man is not high or low

by virtue of birth but by worth. He denied existence of soul and God. He

emphasised life of morality (Sheel) mastery over mind (samadhi) and wisdom

(Prajna). His Dhamma brought a non-violent social revolution in India.

Gautama the Buddha emphasised spiritual brotherhood in place of Vedic

revelation, moral life in place of ceremonial piety and the perfect saga

above the Vedic God. The Buddhism again became main religion of India during

the reign of King Ashoka the great, Kusans, Guptas, Brihadrath, Kanishka and

Harshvardhan. India witnessed all round progress economically and socially.

But Brahmin commander-in Chief of Army, Pushyamitra Sunga assassinated king

Brihdrath, the grandson of Ashoka. He thus established Sunga dynasty by his

treacherous act. Kanishka was smothered to death in his bed. Several

attempts on the life of Harshavardhan were made by the Brahmins to

assassinate him. King Sasank ordered genocide of Buddhist Monks and

followers. He announced a reward of 100 gold coins per head of Buddhist

monks. Mihirkula who was a worshipper of Shiva, killed thousands of

Buddhist. If this was the condition of the rulers, one

Page - 5

can imagine the sorrowful plight and misery of the common people and the

Bhikkhus. The Brahmins tortured, killed and humiliated them. There was

complete reassertion of the Brahminical tyranny under the advancing shield

of Arabian Army. Shankracharya also took advantage of this situation. By

this process Buddhism was crushed to death. In these circumstances, those

Buddhist who could escape the tyrannyof Brahmins became shudras. Due to the

atrocities committed on Buddhists by Brahmin fanatics, the Buddhism

disappeared from India as a community but the spirit of Buddhism never died.

It continued in the small social groups in all provinces and States in

India. The spirit of Buddhism found expression in the teaching and works of

sant Ravidas, Kabir, Guru Nanak, Chokhamela , Nandaner, Jotirao Phule,

Maharshi Shahuji Maharaj, Periyar Ramaswamy Naikar, Dr. Ambedkar and many

others.

The present day shudras including Dalits were the persons who became the

followers of the Buddha who raised their voice against the Brahminical

supremacy and sacredness of the Vedic literature. Therefore, for Dalits,

Buddhism is like going back to their old Home.

Buddhism is the religion of this motherland since Indus Valley Civilisation.

Buddhism gives the principles in combination which no other religion does.

Buddhism teaches Prajna (understanding and wisdom) as against superstition

and supernaturalism. It teaches compassion, samta, brotherhood, morality,

mastery over mind, non-violence and welfare of all beings in this very life.

This is what man wants for a good and happy life. Noble Laureate Prof.

Amartya Sen has established that human development Index (HDI) in Buddhist

countries is much higher than India and Pakistan where Hinduism and Islam

are dominant religions.

By embracing Buddhism, there will be unity among Dalits as they will become

one by loosing caste identity. Intercaste marriages will become easy. It

will improve their social status. Of all human resources, the most precious

is the desire to improve. Buddhism will change the psyche of Dalits to

improve. It will give them confidence which will lead to economic and

spiritual progress. Therefore, for the emancipation of Dalits, embracing

Buddhism appears to be the ultimate solution.

Having concluded that Buddhism is the only answer to the problem of Dalits,

next question is how to go for conversion ? After the passing away of

Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar, there has not been any major conversion movement.

There have been conversion in small groups such as in Tamil Nadu, Bihar,

U.P. and Delhi, however its impact was marginal. Therefore, it is necessary

to organize the conversion on a large scale and that too in a prominent city

like Delhi in the gaze of international media and observers so that the

problem of human right violation by Brahmins is also exposed. Accordingly,

we have decided to organize conversion of one million Dalits to Buddhism on

October 14, 2001. All the Ambedkarites and Buddhists all over world are

requested to send their suggestions for this historical event.

Namo Buddhaya Jai Bhim