How Babasaheb was greater than Gandhi, know this fact
I am a man of straight understanding. He does not believe in moving himself a lot. In my view, Gandhi is not like Dr. Ambedkar. I don’t even respect Gandhi. For me he is a personality who led a political movement in India. Nothing more than that. Dr. Ambedkar is different. He did a bigger job than Gandhi.
By Naval Kishore Kumar
In fact, today I am seeing that many people are commenting on the absence of Gandhi’s photo along with Bhagat Singh and Dr. Ambedkar’s photo in the office of the new Chief Minister of Punjab, Bhagwant Singh Mann. Some are calling Bhagwant Singh Mann and his party (Aam Aadmi Party) the B-team of the BJP, while others are writing anything else. One gentleman even wrote that what would have happened if Gandhi’s picture had also been there.
Undoubtedly Aam Aadmi Party is a new party, what it lacks the most is ideology. It cannot compete with the BJP by adopting hardline Hindutva, on which the BJP has put its stamp. Soft Hindutva is dominated by Congress and other parties. If the Aam Aadmi Party has to do politics, it will have to find a way in between these two. According to me this party is doing the same. She knows that if she wants to make space in this country, then she will have to go among the majority class. For this there is no better face than Dr. Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh. Aam Aadmi Party cannot tolerate Periyar’s ideology. Periyar is more egalitarian than Dr. Ambedkar.
But I am thinking about those people who are criticizing the Aam Aadmi Party regarding Gandhi. Who are these people? I also consider Gandhi’s assassination as the first terrorist incident in independent India which was carried out by Nathuram Godse, a Sanghi terrorist. But that does not mean that I am a fan of Gandhi.
Although there was a time when I had less information. I read as much about Gandhi as was available to me. Now that I have studied properly, I think that Gandhi’s personality was a towering personality. Successfully leading a political movement from South Africa to Champaran in Bihar and then across India is no game. Gandhi influenced Indian politics in every way. He also made society and culture a part of his political movement. It was necessary as well. The reason is that politics cannot be done without society and culture.
Dr. Ambedkar also did the same. According to me, Gandhi achieved success in political movement and Dr. Ambedkar in social movement. The role of both was important. But I think I have the liberty to choose which of the two I consider as my ideal. Same goes for Aam Aadmi Party and Bhagwant Singh Mann.
However, today I am placing that part of Gandhi’s editorial article published in ‘Harijan’ magazine on July 18, 1936, due to which I consider Gandhi to be only and only a politician. A politician who protected casteism and Brahminism throughout his life. This excerpt has been taken from page number 132-133 of the book ‘Annihilation of Caste’ published by Forward Press-
“Caste has nothing to do with religion. This is such a practice, the origin of which I do not know and do not consider it necessary to know for the satisfaction of my spiritual hunger. But I do know that it is injurious to both spiritual and national development. Varna and Ashrama are institutions that have nothing to do with caste. The law of Varna tells us that each one of us should earn our living by following our ancestral profession. It defines our duties, not our rights. It is necessarily related to those professions which are for the welfare of humanity – and not to any other profession. It also emanates from this that no profession is neither very low nor very high. All are good and lawful and all are completely equal in status. The professions of brahmin—spiritual master—and bhangi are of equal importance and their proper performance carries equal merit before God and it seems that at one time they had equal reward before man. Both had the right to livelihood, but not more than that. In fact, there are still faint signs of healthy enforcement of this rule in the villages. I live in a village with a population of 600 and do not see much difference in the income of people engaged in different professions including Brahmins. I also find that even in these decadent days there exist real brahmins who live on generously given alms and give generously of whatever spiritual treasure they themselves have. It would be wrong and unfair to evaluate the law of varna on the basis of its caricature—found in the lives of individuals who consider themselves to be subservient to varna but openly violate its only functional law. For one varna to consider itself superior to other varnas, is to defy its rule. And there is nothing in the law of Varna which can form the basis of a belief in untouchability. (The essence of Hinduism lies in the belief that the one and only God is true and in the bold acceptance that nonviolence is the law of the human family.) I know that my interpretation of Hinduism will be opposed by many more than Dr. Ambedkar. How many people will do it. It doesn’t matter my location. It is an interpretation according to which for nearly half a century I have lived and according to which I have tried to discipline my life to the best of my ability.”
Naval Kishore Kumar, the writer is Hindi Editor, Forward Press, New Delhi.
Courtesy : Dalit Dastak
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