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and Caste Cauldron
|by Mahesh Chandra Dewedy|
The genious that Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was, the clarity of his vision on social problems, and the courage with which he could express himself, can not be fully understood without carefully reading his thesis on ‘Annihilation of Caste’, and going through some of his speeches delivered during the first half of 20th century, when nearly one fourth of Hindu population in India was considered so low that even an accidental touch of those persons would tantamount to defiling the sanctity of any upper caste person touching him. His opponents may accuse him of being fiery in his expositions but none can deny him the extraordinary ability of clear-sightedness and undaunted courage. It is quite revealing to read his views on caste and, in order to understand the greatness of his thoughts, I consider it necessary to present some of his quotes relevant to caste system and its effects:
Dr. Ambedkar’s views on caste are very much the same as those of Lala Hardayal, who had observed,
Caste has also been condemned by some other great social reformers like Veer Savarkar, Swami Shraddhanand, P. C. Ray, and Aurobindo Ghosh. However, many social reformers have not come out with a clear cut solution to the problem. Dr. Ambedkar was clear in his mind about the only solution available for bringing in a homogenous Hindu society and that was annihilation of caste. He declared, ‘Only when Hindu society becomes a casteless society, that it can hope to have strength enough to defend itself.’ He suggested abolition of the practice of hereditary priesthood and grant of sanad of priesthood to any Hindu who passes a test. He exhibited that he was a rational nationalist when he wrote, ‘The Indians should become a nation in the social and psychological sense by discarding caste which brought about separation in social life and created jealousy and antipathy between caste and caste.’
Majority of the present day Ambedkarites, unfortunately for this country, are hell bent to do everything that Dr. Ambedkar detested. Many of them openly preach strengthening (instead of annihilation) of scheduled castes so that they can compete with upper castes. Bereft of Ambedkar’s incisive intellect and magnanimity of thoughts they mostly try to thrive on creation of hatred against upper caste Hindus in general and Gandhi in particular. It should suffice to quote certain fulminations of one such Ambedkarite – Mulchand Sonkar:
Any impartial observer of Indian society and politics can see that most of these so called Ambedkarites want to perpetuate caste system because it would perpetuate undeserved benefits to the top few of their kind who have cornered almost everything initially after independence. Reservations based on caste alone will always preclude poor entrants and, perpetual existence of large section of poor S.Cs./S.Ts. will ensure continuation of reservations ad infinitem. Dr. Ambedkar fought for integrity and impartiality throughout his life but it is a common knowledge among government officers that about two decades back the so-called staunch Ambedkarites among government servants had in a secret conclave decided to protect and promote officers of their castes irrespective of their corruption and misdemeanors. The standards of probity maintained by self-proclaimed Ambedkarites in public life are too well known to need any comments.
If the country has to remain united and become strong Dr. Ambedkar’s prescription of annihilation of caste has to be followed irrespective of the political consequences. Of course this will need vision, will, and character among the political rulers. The consequences of strengthening of caste are not far to be seen. The strengthening of caste through caste-based reservations in general and Mandalisation in particular has divided the society, services and politics in such competing groups that are always ready to sacrifice integrity, impartiality, and national interest for the sake of their own caste group. Through sheer maneuvering and numerical strength many castes such as Jats in western U. P., Yadavas in central U. P., Meenas in Rajasthan, etc., which dominate the scene economically as well as socially, have managed to ride the reservation band wagon, and some of them continue to do so even after grabbing seats in the services beyond the ratio of their population. Many leaders of these groups preach population proliferation among themselves and also indulgence in blatant casteism for strengthening their groups. The caste groups also indulge in violent agitations for increasing their share in the reservations putting the life of millions of Indians and national property in the hands of marauding mobs. What should send a chill through the spine of any Indian loving the nation that such illegal acts are rewarded by the vote-hungry governments rather than being dealt with according to the law of the land.
In order to escape the vitals of the country being eaten by the monster of reservation there can be more than one solutions- like, giving a deep thrust in efforts to educate and improve the lot of the downtrodden and scrapping the reservations gradually within a decade or, altering the basis of reservations to anything but caste; but, considering the fact that about two third voters of the country have been included among the beneficiaries of caste-based reservations rarely a political party would dare to implement such measures. Hence, only practicable solution is the one suggested by Dr. Ambedkar, that is, to destroy caste through fusion of blood.
It may seem paradoxical that in this scheme of things general category candidates are also being allowed to compete for reserved jobs but the fact remains that they are becoming instruments for uplifting a family of a lower caste to their own level. Even now large number of reserved category officers seeks unreserved category spouses and thus limit the benefit of reservation to one family only. The marriage of a general category officer with the reserved category spouse serves the social purpose of caste annihilation and social equality much more than the existing scheme of things.
Some compulsive critics may also argue that what will happen if the beneficiary government servant divorces the spouse after getting the benefit of reservation. To them my reply is that the divorce among government servants is neither easy, nor common, nor socially acceptable. Although exceptions cannot be denied, but is there any dearth of cases in which reserved category government servants have either divorced or abandoned the spouses of their caste and subsequently married with general category spouses?
Let us hope that good sense prevails among the powers that be in general and Ambedkarites in particular and everybody makes genuine efforts to implement Ambedkar’s suggestions: failing which caste wars - particularly among reserved categories - will throw the nation in a caste-cauldron of lawlessness.
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mahesh Chandra Dewedy
04/03/2013 22:07 PM
03/30/2013 07:50 AM