Friday, December 06, 2013

Manifesto of a common Ambedkarite in face of the legacy of Gandhi

The Pune pact between Gandhi and Ambedkar resulted in the current dispensation of joint electorates instead of the separate electorates in exchange for reservations based on caste.

Ambedkar wanted separate electorates to elect representatives to a common parliament to given better quality representatives to dalits. Such representatives would have conducted the large scale social bargaining that happens through the parliamentary process necessary for the much required social change at a very high pace. Despite this device seeming to sustain the divisions between dalits and non-dalits, it would have achieved the right amount of social change much faster and reduced the divisions removing the need for separate electorates within a few generations itself

Instead Gandhi blackmailed Ambedkar to give up this demand in exchange for reservations based on caste. Pressurised by an unenlightened Bharat and India, despite knowing that this was a poorer choice for the nation, Ambedkar relented. After all India social rhetoric since independence has been about  eliminating poverty and social inequality, but the choice of Gandhian means to achieve this objective has led to failure., The fact that Gandhianism was a poor social choice is best illustrated in the quality of representatives that reservations under joint electorates have given too dalits, all  these years.

Given this legacy of Gandhi, what is the manifesto of the common Ambedkarite and why does it matter for all Indians.

The manifesto of the common Ambedkarite is to engage in social bargaining in his day-to-day personal and professional life. It is to find the Ambedkar in himself and develop the Ambedkar in himself to the stellar level that the real Ambedkar achieved in his own life. It is this manifesto of every dalit that each Ambedkar statue across the length and breadth of India expresses. Denied the social bargaining through fair representative bargaining in the Indian parliament, it is the day-to-day struggle of the each dalit whether he/she is a student, wage-labourer, private/government employee/executive/entrepreneur that seeks justice and dignity through participation on equal and fair terms in the mundane affairs of this nation. It is the slow march of such Ambedkarites distinguishing themselves through the highest Ambedkarite values (those of learning and wealth through moral means and hard work that Ambedkar embodied), that social change will eventually sweep the nation.

Why this matters to all Indians is that many Indians have lost the values that Ambedkar embodied and while following Ambedkar, the common Ambedkarites will find and create a social path not tread till this date by this nation which will finally rid it of its age-old problems. Despite allowing Ambedkar to write the laws, Indians are guilty of not giving these laws the jurisprudence they need for them to impact these age-old problems. It is the growing enlightenment and spiritual strength of the common Ambedkarites which will demonstrate to all Indians that the best interests of India lie in not obstructing the formation of proper jurisprudence and in fact encouraging more jurisprudence so that the pot of gold embedded in the Indian constitution helps India solve its age old problems without detriment to anyone. Denying justice (social as well as constitutional) to dalits and non-dalits creates a load on Indian hearts. Most Indians carry a lot of load on their hearts. It is the common Ambedkarites who through their life and work will show these Indians the way to get rid of their burdens and become free. As dalits become the elite, they will show the way to all Indians.

It is in this context that I wrote the following lines around 2004/2005.

Manifesto of a common Ambedkarite

I see pain n misery
exploitation sustainin treasury
My means are pure, my end is pure
Of my success, I am sure

Harsh words ! not my way
Immoral action ! far away
Skillful action, skillful life
Are my tools in my strife

I hate not u, I fear not u
My chains undone, I see u tied
U say u tried, I know u lied
I'll set u free, I'll be ur guide

--- Pratap Tambay 
Post a Comment