B. R. Ambedkar
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (April 14, 1891 – December 6, 1956), an Indian polymath: jurist, economist, politician, and writer. He pioneered revival of Buddhism in India and inspired the modern Buddhist movement. He was independent India's first law minister, and the major architect of the Constitution of India.
- Nothing is infallible. Nothing is binding forever. Everything is Subject to inquiry and examination.
- B. R. Ambedkar quoted from Indigenous Indians, Elst K. , 1993:390
- It is an incontrovertible fact that Christianity was not enough to end the slavery of the Negroes in the United States. A civil war was necessary to give the Negro the freedom which was denied to him by the Christians. The dependence of those in charge of Christian endeavour to make the parties move on? A consideration of this question will enable us to understand why Christianity has failed to raise the status of the untouchable convert.
- On Christianity in Essays on Untouchables and Untouchability: Religious.
- The Communists say that there are the only two means of establishing communism. The first is violence. Nothing short of it will suffice to break up the existing system. The other is dictatorship of the proletariat. Nothing short of it will suffice to continue the new system.
- On Communism, Thoughts of Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar, p. 107
- My own view is that great men are of great service to their country but they are also at certain times a great hinderance to the progress of their country. There is one incident in Roman History which comes to my mind on this occasion. When Caesar was done to death and the matter was reported to Cicero, Cicero said to the messengers, "Tell the Romans your hour of liberty has come." While one regrets the assassination of Mr Gandhi, one can't help finding in his heart the echo of the sentiments, expressed by Cicero on the assassination of Caesar. Mr Gandhi had become a positive danger to this country. He had choked all free-thought. He was holding together the Congress, which is a combination of all the bad and selfseeking elements in society who agreed on no social or moral principle governing the life of society except the one of praising and flattering Mr Gandhi. Such a body is unfit to govern a country. As the Bible says 'that sometimes good cometh out of evil', so also I think that good will come out of the death of Mr Gandhi. It will release people from bondage to a superman, it will make them think for themselves and it will compel them to stand on their own merits.
- European students of Caste have unduly emphasised the role of colour in the Caste system. Themselves impregnated by colour prejudices, they very readily imagined it to be the chief factor in the Caste problem. But nothing can be farther from the truth, and Dr. Ketkar is correct when he insists that "All the princes whether they belonged to the so-called Aryan race, or the so-called Dravidian race, were Aryas. Whether a tribe or a family was racially Aryan or Dravidian was a question which never troubled the people of India, until foreign scholars came in and began to draw the line. The colour of the skin had long ceased to be a matter of importance"
- Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development, reproduced in his Writings and Speeches, Gvt. of Maharashtra, 1986, vol. 1, p. 21, with reference to S. V. Ketkar: History of Caste in India, Low Price Publ., Delhi 1990 (1909), p. 82.
- In the Hindu religion, one can[not] have freedom of speech. A Hindu must surrender his freedom of speech. He must act according to the Vedas. If the Vedas do not support the actions, instructions must be sought from the Smritis, and if the Smritis fail to provide any such instructions, he must follow in the footsteps of the great men.He is not supposed to reason. Hence, so long as you are in the Hindu religion, you cannot expect to have freedom of thought
- As quoted in What Path to Salvation?
- Why then do the caste Hindus get irritated? The reason for their anger is very simple. Your behavior with them on a par insults them. Your status is low. You are impure, you must remain at the lowest rung; then alone they will allow you to live happily. The moment you cross your level, the struggle starts. The above instances also prove one more fact. Untouchability is not a timely [=transient] or temporary feature. It is a permanent one. To put it straight [=plainly], it can be said that the struggle between the Hindus and the Untouchables is a permanent phenomenon. It is eternal, because the religion which has given you the lowest level in the society is itself eternal, according to the belief of the high-caste people. No change according to times and circumstances is possible. You are the lowest of the rungs today. You shall remain the lowest forever. This means the struggle between Hindus and Untouchables will continue forever. How you will survive through this struggle, is a main question. And unless you think it over, there is no escape... Those who desire to behave in obedience to the wishes of the Hindus, those who wish to be their slaves, need not think over this problem. But those who wish to live a life with self-respect and equality, will have to think it over. How should we survive through this struggle? For me, it is not difficult to answer this question. Those who have assembled here will have to agree that in any struggle, one who holds strength becomes the victor. One who has no strength need not expect success. This has been proved by experience, and I do not need to cite examples to prove it.
- As quoted in What Path to Salvation?
- Not only this, but the Hindus have no sense of bortherhood towards you. You are treated by them worse than foreigners. If one looks at the relations of the neighbouring Hindus and the Untouchables of the village, no one can say that they are brothers. They can rather be called two opposite armies in warring camps.
- As quoted in What Path to Salvation?
- The Hindus have not the slightest affinity towards you, as they have towards Muslims. They consider Muslims closer than you. Hindus and Muslims are helpful to each other in local boards, in legislative councils, and in business. But is there a single instance of such sympathetic consideration shown towards you by the caste Hindus? On the contrary: they always cultivate hatred against you in their minds. What dreadful effects this hatred has produced, can be heard from those who have had occasion to go to the court for justice or to the police for help.
- As quoted in What Path to Salvation?
- The principle of equality as taught in Christianity and Islam has no concern whatsoever with knowledge, wealth, or dress, as outward aspects. Both these religions consider a sense of humanity as the mean feature of religion. They preach that the sense of humanity should be respected by all; and none should disrespect others, none should treat others as unequals. These teachings are completely wanting in the Hindu religion. What is the use of such a religion, in which man's sense of humanity has no value? And what is the good in clinging to it?
- As quoted in What Path to Salvation?
- There is no place for an individual in Hindu society. The Hindu religion is constituted on the class concept. The Hindu religion does not teach as to how an individual should behave with another individual.
- As quoted in What Path to Salvation?
- If the depressed classes join Islam or Christianity, they not only go out of the Hindu religion, but they also go out of the Hindu culture…What the consequences of conversion will do to the country as a whole is well worth bearing in mind. Conversion to Islam or Christianity will denationalize the depressed classes.
- quoted in Dhanajay Keer: 'Dr Ambedkar: Life and Mission', p.279).
- The Hindus criticise the Mahomedans for having spread their religion by the use of the sword. They also ridicule Christianity on the score of the Inquisition.But really speaking, who is better and more worthy of our respect—the Mahomedans and Christians who attempted to thrust down the throats of unwilling persons what they regarded as necessary for their salvation, or the Hindu who would not spread the light, who would endeavour to keep others in darkness, who would not consent to share his intellectual and social inheritance with those who are ready and willing to make it a part of their own make-up? I have no hesitation in saying that if the Mahomedan has been cruel, the Hindu has been mean; and meanness is worse than cruelty.
- quoted in Annihilation of Caste
- Under the rule of the Peshwas in the Maratha country,11 the Untouchable was not allowed to use the public streets if a Hindu was coming along, lest he should pollute the Hindu by his shadow. The Untouchable was required to have a black thread either on his wrist or around his neck, as a sign or a mark to prevent the Hindus from getting themselves polluted by his touch by mistake. In Poona, the capital of the Peshwa, the Untouchable was required to carry, strung from his waist, a broom to sweep away from behind himself the dust he trod on, lest a Hindu walking on the same dust should be polluted. In Poona, the Untouchable was required to carry an earthen pot hung around his neck wherever he went—for holding his spit, lest his spit falling on the earth should pollute a Hindu who might unknowingly happen to tread on it.
- quoted in Annihilation of Caste
- The application of the Hindu Code to Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains was a historical development, and it would be too late, sociologically, to object to it. When the Buddha differed from the Vedic Brahmins, he did so only in matters of creed, but left the Hindu legal framework intact. He did not propound a separate law for his followers. The same was the case with Mahavir and the ten Sikh Gurus
- quoted in Dhanajay Keer: 'Dr Ambedkar: Life and Mission', p.427)
- You must not only discard the Shastras, you must deny their authority, as did Buddha and Nanak. You must have courage to tell the Hindus that what is wrong with them is their religion—the religion which has produced in them this notion of the sacredness of Caste. Will you show that courage?
- quoted in Annihilation of Caste
- Every progress has its bill of costs and only those who pay for it will have that progress.
- I was born a Hindu but will not die one.
- But have you ever thought as to how the efforts toward the abolition of castes can be made successful? Castes cannot be abolished by inter-caste dinners or stray instances of inter-caste marriages. Caste is a state of mind. It is a disease of the mind. The teachings of the Hindu religion are the root cause of this disease. We practise casteism, we observe untouchability, because we are asked to do it by the Hindu religion in which we live. A bitter thing can be made sweet. The taste of anything can be changed. But poison cannot be made Amrit [=nectar]. To talk of annihilating castes is like talking of changing poison into Amrit. In short, so long as we remain in a religion which teaches man to treat man as a leper, the sense of discrimination on account of caste, which is deeply rooted in our minds, cannot go. For annihilating castes and untouchability from among the Untouchables, change of religion is the only antidote.
- As quoted in What Path to Salvation?
- “The history of India is a history of mortal conflict between Buddhism and Brahmanism.”
- As quoted in The Radical in Ambedkar: Critical Reflections
- I prefer Buddhism because it gives three principles in combination, which no other religion does. Buddhism teaches prajna (understanding as against superstition and supernaturalism), karuna (love), and samara (equality). This is what man wants for a good and happy life. Neither god nor soul can save society.
- "Why I like Buddhism and how it is useful to the world in its present circumstances", BBC (May 1956). As quoted in "Why Dr. Ambedkar renounced Hinduism?"
- Caste is not just a division of labour, it is a division of labourers.
- As quoted in The Annihilation of Caste
- As a matter of fact the Caste system came into being long after the different races of India had co-mingled in blood and culture. To hold that distinctions of Caste are really distinctions of race and to treat different Castes as though they were so many different races is a gross perversion of facts. What racial affinity is there between the Brahmin of the Punjab and the Brahmin of Madras? What racial affinity is there between the untouchables of Bengal and the the untouchables of Madras? What racial difference is there between the Brahmin of Punjab and the Chamar of Punjab? ... The Brahmin of Punjab is racially of the same stock as the Chamar of Punjab, and the Brahmin of Madras is the same race as the Pariah of Madras. Caste system does not demarcate racial division. Caste system is a social division of people of the same race.
- Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man's life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.
- As quoted in Book Of Happiness, by Jagdish Gupta
- Religion must mainly be a matter of principles only. It cannot be a matter of rules. The moment it degenerates into rules, it ceases to be a religion, as it kills responsibility which is an essence of the true religious act.
- There can be no doubt that the fall of Buddhism in India was due to the invasions of the Musalmans. Islam came out as the enemy of the 'But'. The word 'But' as everybody knows, is the Arabic word and means an idol. Thus the origin of the word indicates that in the Moslem mind idol worship had come to be identified with the Religion of the Buddha. To the Muslims, they were one and the same thing. The mission to break the idols thus became the mission to destroy Buddhism. Islam destroyed Buddhism not only in India but wherever it went. Before Islam came into being Buddhism was the religion of Bactria, Parthia, Afghanistan, Gandhar, and Chinese Turkestan, as it was of the whole of Asia. In all these countries Islam destroyed Buddhism.
- "The Decline and Fall of Buddhism", in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, Vol. III (1987), Government of Maharashtra, p. 229
- The Mussalman invaders sacked the Buddhist universities of Nalanda, Vikramshila, Jagaddala, Odantapuri to name only a few. They razed to the ground Buddhist monasteries with which the country was studded. The monks fled away in thousands to Nepal, Tibet and other places outside India. A very large number were killed outright by the Muslim commanders. How the Buddhist priesthood perished by the sword of the Muslim invaders has been recorded by the Muslim historians themselves.
- "The Decline and Fall of Buddhism", in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, Vol. III (1987), Government of Maharashtra, p. 238
- Summarizing the evidence relating to the slaughter of the Buddhist Monks perpetrated by the Musalman General in the course of his invasion of Bihar in 1197 AD, Mr. Vincent Smith says, "....Great quantities of plunder were obtained, and the slaughter of the 'shaven headed Brahmans', that is to say the Buddhist monks, was so thoroughly completed, that when the victor sought for someone capable of explaining the contents of the books in the libraries of the monasteries, not a living man could be found who was able to read them. 'It was discovered,' we are told, 'that the whole of that fortress and city was a college, and in the Hindi tongue they call a college Bihar.' " Such was the slaughter of the Buddhist priesthood perpetrated by the Islamic invaders. The axe was struck at the very root. For by killing the Buddhist priesthood, Islam killed Buddhism. This was the greatest disaster that befell the religion of the Buddha in India.
- "The Decline and Fall of Buddhism", in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, Vol. III (1987), Government of Maharashtra, p. 229-388
- I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.
- I will choose only the least harmful way for the country. And that is the greatest benefit I am conferring on the country by embracing Buddhism; for Buddhism is a part and parcel of Bhâratîya culture. I have taken care that my conversion will not harm the tradition of the culture and history of this land.'
- Quoted in Dhananjay Keer: Ambedkar, p.498. (Dr. Ambedkar, Life and Mission. Popular Prakashan, Bombay 1987 (1962).)
- [W]hat should be the policy of the State, how the Society should be organised in its social and economic side are matters which must be decided by the people themselves according to time and circumstances. It cannot be laid down in the Constitution itself because that is destroying democracy altogether.
- Quoted in "Secularism: Why Nehru dropped and Indira inserted the S-word in the Constitution" by Adrija Roychowdhury, New Delhi, August 5, 2018.
- Unfortunately for the minorities in India, Indian Nationalism has developed a new doctrine which may be called the Divine Right of the Majority to rule the minorities according to the wishes of the majority. Any claim for the sharing of power by the minority is called communalism while the monopolizing of the whole power by the majority is called Nationalism. Guided by such a political philosophy the majority is not prepared to allow the minorities to share political power nor is it willing to respect any convention made in that behalf ... under these circumstances there is no way left but to have the right to the Scheduled castes embodied in the Constitution.
- States and Minorities, vol. 1. Quoted in Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, a Study in Just Society (2003) by James Massey, p. 72.
- The Prime Minister has practically helped the Chinese to bring their border down to the Indian border. Looking at all these things, it would be an act of levity not to believe that India, if it is not exposed to aggression right now, is exposed to aggression and that aggression might well be committed by people who are always in the habit of committing aggression.
- in D. Keer, Ambedkar, p. 453-5. Dhananjay Keer: Ambedkar, (Dr. Ambedkar, Life and Mission. Popular Prakashan, Bombay 1987 (1962).) and quoted in Indigenous Indians, Elst K. , 1993:391
- Nehru's foreign policy had made India a friendless country, that Nehru had bungled the Kashmir issue and had sheltered men who were dishonest, and that India was encircled by a kind of United States of Islam on one side and on the other side Russia and China in a combination for the conquest of Asia.
- D. Keer, Ambedkar, p. 453-5. quoted in Indigenous Indians, Elst K. , 1993:391
- in D. Keer, Ambedkar, p. 453-5. Dhananjay Keer: Ambedkar, (Dr. Ambedkar, Life and Mission. Popular Prakashan, Bombay 1987 (1962).) and in Indigenous Indians, Elst K. , 1993:391
- So long as you do not achieve social liberty, whatever freedom is provided by the law is of no avail to you.
- Speech delivered to the Bombay Presidency Mahar Conference (31 May 1936)
- In every country the intellectual class is the most influential class. This is the class which can foresee, advise and lead. In no country does the mass of the people live the life for intelligent thought and action. It is largely imitative and follows the intellectual class. There is no exaggeration in saying that the entire destination of the country depends upon its intellectual class. If the intellectual class is honest and independent, it can be trusted to take the initiative and give a proper lead when a crisis arises. It is true that the intellect by itself is no virtue. It is only a means and the use of a means depends upon the ends which an intellectual person pursues. An intellectual man can be a good man but he may easily be a rogue. Similarly an intellectual class may be a band of high-souled persons, ready to help, ready to emancipate erring humanity or it may easily be a gang of crooks or a body of advocates of narrow clique from which it draws its support.
- It is not that India was never an independent country. The point is that she once lost the independence she had. Will she lose it a second time? It is this thought which makes me most anxious for the future. What perturbs me greatly is the fact that not only India has once before lost her independence, but she lost it by the infidelity and treachery of some of her own people. . . . Will history repeat itself? It is this thought which fills me with anxiety. This anxiety is deepened by the realization of the fact that in addition to our old enemies in the form of castes and creeds we are going to have many political parties with diverse and opposing political creeds. Will Indians place the country above their creed or will they place creed above country? I do not know. But this much is certain that if the parties place creed above country, our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost forever. This eventuality we must all resolutely guard against. We must be determined to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood.
- — Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s concluding speech at the Constituent Assembly of India, 25 November 1949. Quoted in Malhotra, R., Nīlakantan, A. (2011). Breaking India: Western interventions in Dravidian and Dalit faultlines
Who were the Shudras? (1946) edit
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches, Volume 7 edited by Vasant Moon, Education Department, Govt. of Maharashtra Publications, Mumbai, 1990. Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
- “There is not a particle of evidence suggesting the invasion of India by the Aryans from outside India… The theory of the Aryan race set up by Western writers falls to the ground at every point… the theory is based on nothing but pleasing assumptions and inferences based on such assumptions… Not one of these assumptions is borne out by facts… The assertion that the Aryans came from outside and invaded India is not proved and the premise that the Dasas and Dasyus are aboriginal tribes of India is demonstrably false… The originators of the Aryan race theory are so eager to establish their case that they have no patience to see what absurdities they land themselves in… The Aryan race theory is so absurd that it ought to have been dead long ago.”
- “the support which this theory receives from Brahmin scholars”.... “ is a very strange phenomenon. As Hindus they should ordinarily show a dislike for the Aryan theory with its expressed avowal of the superiority of the Aryan races over the Asiatic races. but the Brahmin scholar has not only no such aversion, but he most willingly hails it. The reasons are obvious. The Brahmin… claims to be a representative of the Aryan race and he regards the rest of the Hindus as descendants of the non-Aryans. The theory helps him to establish his kinship with the European races and share their arrogance and their superiority. He likes particularly that part of the theory which makes the Aryan an invader and a conqueror of the non-Aryan races. For it helps him to maintain his overlordship over the non-Brahmins.”
- “The theory of invasion is an invention. This invention is necessary because of a gratuitous assumption which underlies the Western theory. The assumption is that the Indo-Germanic (sic) people are the purest of the modem representatives of the original Aryan race. Its first home is assumed to have been somewhere in Europe. These assumptions raise a question: how could the Aryan speech have come to India? This question can be answered only by the supposition that the Aryans must have come into India from outside. Hence the necessity for inventing the theory of invasion.”
- [the invasionist interpretation of the Rigveda is] “a perversion of scientific investigation.”
- [Western scholars] “proceeded to invent the story of the invasion of India by the Aryans and the conquest by them of the Dasas and Dasyus”,... “they start on a mission to prove what they want to prove, and do not hesitate to pick such evidence from the Vedas as they think is good for them.”
- [These scholars assume] “that the Aryans are a European race”... “the European races were white and had a colour prejudice against the dark races” [...they try] “to find evidence for colour prejudice in the Aryans who came into India.”
- [varNa,] “it originally meant a class belonging to a particular faith and it had nothing to do with colour or complexion.”
- “there is no evidence to show that the term [Dasa, Dasyu] is used in a racial sense indicative of a non-Aryan people” ...“it was the word of abuse used by the Indo-Aryans for the Indo-Iranians (sic)”...[the battles in the Rigveda Were not between Aryans and non-Aryans but between] “different communities of Aryas who were not only different but opposed and inimical to each other.”
- “(1) The Vedas do not know any such race as the Aryan race. (2) There is no evidence in the Vedas of any invasion of India by the Aryan race and its having conquered the Dasas and Dasyus supposed to be the natives of India. (3) There is no evidence to show that the distinction between Aryas, Dasas and Dasyus was a racial distinction. (4) The Vedas do not support the contention that the Aryas were different in colour from the Dasas and Dasyus.”
- “The theory of the Aryan race is just an assumption… based on a philological proposition… that a greater number of languages of Europe and some languages of Asia must be referred to a common ancestral speech… (From this) are drawn two inferences: (1) unity of race, and (2) that race being the Aryan race. The argument is that if the languages are descended from a common ancestral speech, then there must have existed a race whose mother tongue it was... From this inference is drawn another inference, which is that of a common original habitat. It is argued that there could be no community of language unless people had a common habitat, permitting close communion.”
- [the idea that the Aryan languages must originally have been spoken in a common homeland is] “an inference from an inference.”
- “the Aryan race in the physiological sense is one thing and an Aryan race in the philological sense quite different, and it is perfectly possible that the Aryan race, if there is one, in the physiological sense, may have its habitat in one place, and the Aryan race, in the philological sense, in quite a different place.”
- “The racial theory of Mr. Rice contains two elements: (1) That the Untouchables are non-Aryan, non-Dravidian aboriginals. (2) That they were conquered and subjugated by the Dravidians. This raises the whole question of the invasion of India by foreign invaders, the conquests made by them, and the social and cultural institutions that have resulted therefrom. According to Mr. Rice, there have been two invasions of India. First is the invasion of India by the Dravidians. They conquered the non-Dravidian aborigines, the ancestors of the Untouchables, and made them Untouchables. The second invasion is the invasion of India by the Aryans. The Aryans conquered the Dravidians. He does not say how the conquering Aryans treated the conquered Dravidians. If pressed for an answer he might say they made them Shudras. So that we get a chain. The Dravidians invaded India and conquered the aborigines and made them Untouchables. After Dravidians came the Aryans. The Aryans conquered the Dravidians and made them Shudras. The theory is too mechanical, a mere speculation, and too simple to explain a complicated set of facts relating to the origin of the Shudras and the Untouchables.”
- [Western scholars who] “do not hesitate to pick such evidence from the Vedas as they think is good for them” and who “are so eager to establish their case that they have no patience to see what absurdities they land themselves in.”
- So far as the Rig Veda is concerned, there is not a particle of evidence suggesting the invasion of India by the Aryans from outside India... So far as the testimony of the Vedic literature is concerned, it is against the theory that the original home of the Aryans was outside India.
Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946) edit
- Republished in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Writings and Speeches: Pakistan or the partition of India. Education Department, Government of Maharashtra. 1979.
- The Muslim invaders, no doubt, came to India singing a hymn of hate against the Hindus. But, they did not merely sing their hymn of hate and go back burning a few temples on the way. That would have been a blessing. They were not content with so negative a result. They did a positive act, namely, to plant the seed of Islam. The growth of this plant is remarkable. It is not a summer sapling. It is as great and as strong as an oak. Its growth is the thickest in Northern India. The successive invasions have deposited their ‘silt’ more there than anywhere else, and have served as watering exercises of devoted gardeners. Its growth is so thick in Northern India that the remnants of Hindu and Buddhist culture are just shrubs. Even the Sikh axe could not fell this oak. (pp. 65)
- It is a notorious fact that many prominent Hindus who had offended the religious susceptibilities of the Muslims either by their writings or by their part in the Shudhi movement have been murdered by some fanatic Musalmans.... This is, of course, a very short list and could be easily expanded. But whether the number of prominent Hindus killed by fanatic Muslims is large or small matters little. What matters is the attitude of those who count towards these murderers. The murderers paid the penalty of law where law is enforced. The leading Moslems, however, never condemned theses criminals. On the contrary, they were hailed as religious martyrs and agitation was carried on for clemency being shown to them. As an illustration of this attitude, one may refer to Mr. Barkat Ali, a Barrister of Lahore, who argued the appeal of Abdul Qayum. He went to the length of saying that Qayum was not guilty of murder of Nathuramal because his act was justifiable by the law of the Koran. This attitude of the Moslems is quite understandable. What is not understandable is the attitude of Mr. Gandhi. (p. 157)
- Such is the record of Hindu-Muslim relationship from 1920 to 1940. Placed side by side with the frantic efforts made by Mr. Gandhi to bring about Hindu-Muslim unity, the record makes most painful and heart-rending reading. It would not be much exaggeration to say that it is a record of twenty years of civil war between the Hindus and the Muslims in India, interrupted by brief intervals of armed peace. [...] These acts of barbarism against women, committed without remorse, without shame and without condemnation by their fellow brethren show the depth of the antagonism which divided the two communities. The tempers on each side were the tempers of two warring nations. There was carnage, pillage, sacrilege and outrage of every species, perpetrated by Hindus against Musalmans and by Musalmans against Hindus—more perhaps by Musalmans against Hindus than by Hindus against Musalmans. Cases of arson have occurred in which Musalmans have set fire to the houses of Hindus, in which whole families of Hindus, men, women and children were roasted alive and consumed in the fire, to the great satisfaction of the Muslim spectators. What is astonishing is that these cold and deliberate acts of rank cruelty were not regarded as atrocities to be condemned but were treated as legitimate acts of warfare for which no apology was necessary. [...] Nothing I could say can so well show the futility of Hindu-Muslim unity. Hindu-Muslim unity up to now was at least in sight although it was like a mirage. Today it is out of sight and also out of mind.
- pp. 184-187
- Everybody infers that Islam must be free from slavery and caste. Regarding slavery nothing needs to be said. It stands abolished now by law. But while it existed much of its support was derived from Islam and Islamic countries. (228-230)
- Thus the Koran, in this matter of slavery, is the enemy of mankind ... While the prescriptions by the Prophet regarding the just and humane treatment of slaves contained in the Koran are praiseworthy, there is nothing whatever in Islam that lends support to the abolition of this curse. (p. 228)
- …the Hindus are right when they say that it is not possible to establish social contact between Hindus and Muslims because such contact can only mean contact between women from one side and men from the other.
- The existence of these evils among the Muslims is distressing enough. But far more distressing is the fact that there is no organized movement of social reform among the Musalmans of India on a scale sufficient to bring about their eradication. The Hindus have their social evils. But there is relieving feature about them-namely, that some of them are conscious of their existence and a few of them are actively agitating for their removal. Indeed, they oppose any change in their existing practices. It is noteworthy that the Muslims opposed the Child-Marriage Bill brought in the Central Assembly in 1930, whereby the age for marriage of a girl was raised to 14 and of a boy to 18 on the ground that it was opposed to the Muslim cannon law. Not only did they oppose the bill at every stage but that when it became law they started a campaign of Civil Disobedience against that Act. (p. 233)
- Muslim politicians do not recognize secular categories of life as the basis of their politics because to them it means the weakening of the community in its fight against the Hindus. The poor Muslims will not join the poor Hindus to get justice from the rich. Muslim tenants will not join Hindu tenants to prevent the tyranny of the landlord. Muslim labourers will not join Hindu labourers in the fight of labour against the capitalist. Why? The answer is simple. The poor Muslim sees that if he joins in the fight of the poor aginst the rich, he may be fighting against a rich Muslim. The Muslim labourer feels that if he joins in the onslaught of labour against capitalist he will be injuring a Muslim mill-owner. He is conscious that any injury to a rich Muslim, to a Muslim landlord or to a Muslim mill-owner, is a disservice to the Muslim community, for it is thereby weakened in its struggle against the Hindu community. (p. 236)
- Unless there is unification of the Muslims who wish to separate from the Hindus and unless there is liberation of eachfrom the fear of domination by the other, there can be no doubt that this malaise of social stagnation will not be setright. Even a superficial observer cannot fail to notice that a spirit of aggression underlies the Hindu attitude towards the Muslim and the Muslim attitude towards the Hindu. The Hindu's spirit of aggression is a new phase which he has just begun to cultivate. The Muslim's spirit of aggression is his native endowment, and is ancient as compared with that of the Hindu. It is not that the Hindu, if given time, will not pick up and overtake the Muslim. But as matters stand to-day, the Muslim in this exhibition of the spirit of aggression leaves the Hindu far behind.
- p. 249
- The third thing that is noticeable is the adoption by the Muslims of the gangster's method in politics. The riots are a sufficient indication that gangsterism has become a settled part of their strategy in politics. They seem to be consciously and deliberately imitating the Sudeten Germans in the means employed by them against the Czechs. So long as the Muslims were the aggressors, the Hindus were passive, and in the conflict they suffered more than the Muslims did. But this is no longer true. The Hindus have learned to retaliate and no longer feel any compunction in knifing a Musalman. This spirit of retaliation bids fair to produce the ugly spectacle of gangsterism against gangsterism. How to meet this problem must exercise the minds of all concerned. (p. 269)
- According to Muslim cannon Law the world is divided into two camps, Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam) and Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war). A country is Dar-ul-Islam when it is ruled by Muslims. A country is Dar-ul-Harb when Muslims only reside in it but are not rulers of it. That being the Cannon Law of the Muslims, India cannot be the common motherland of the Hindus and the Musalmans-but it cannot be the land of the ‘ Hindus and Musalmans living as equals’. Further, it can be the land of the Musalmans only when it is governed by the Muslims. The moment the land become subject to the authority of a non-Muslims power, it ceases to be the land of the Muslims. Instead of being Dar-ul-Islam it becomes Dar-ul-Harb. (294)
- It might also be mentioned that Hijrat is not the only way of escape to Muslims who find themselves in a Dar-ul-Harb. There is another injunction of Muslim Cannon Law called Jihad (crusade) by which it becomes “incumbent on a Muslim ruler to extend the rules of Islam until the whole world shall have been brought under its sway. The world, being divided into two camps, Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam), Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war), all countries come under one category or the other. Technically, it is the duty of the Muslim ruler, who is capable of doing so, to transform Dar-ul-Harb into Dar-ul-Islam. The fact remains that India, if not exclusively under Muslim rule, is a Dar-ul-Harb and the Musalmans according to the tenets of Islam are justified in proclaiming a Jihad. Not only can they proclaim Jihad but they can call the aid of a foreign Muslim power to make Jihad success, or if the foreign Muslim power intends to proclaim a Jihad, help that power in making its endeavor a success. (295-296)
- To the Muslims, a Hindu (and any non-Muslim) is a Kafir. A Kafir (non-believer in Islam) is not worthy of respect. He is a low born and without status. That is why a country ruled by the kafir (non-muslim) is a ‘Dar ul harb’ (i.e. the land of war) to a Muslim, which must be conquered, by any means for the Muslims and turned into ‘Dar ul Islam’ (i.e., land of Muslims alone). Given this, not further evidence seems necessary to prove that the Muslims will not obey a Hindu (or for that matter any non-Muslim) government. (p. 301)
- While it is necessary to admit that the efforts at Hindu-Muslim unity have failed and that the Muslim ideology has undergone a complete revolution, it is equally necessary to know the precise causes which have produced these effects. The Hindus say that the British policy of divide and rule is the real cause of this failure and of this ideological revolution. There is nothing surprising in this. The Hindus having cultivated the Irish mentality, to have no other politics except that of being always against the Government, are ready to blame the Government for everything including bad weather. But [the] time has come to discard the facile explanation so dear to the Hindus. For it fails to take into account two very important circumstances. In the first place, it overlooks the fact that the policy of divide and rule, allowing that the British do resort to it, cannot succeed unless there are elements which make division possible, and further if the policy succeeds for such a long time, it means that the elements which divide are more or less permanent and irreconcilable and are not transitory or superficial.
- p. 328
- Secondly, it forgets that Mr. Jinnah, who represents this ideological transformation, can never be suspected of being a tool in the hands of the British even by the worst of his enemies. He may be too self-opinionated, an egotist without the mask, and has perhaps a degree of arrogance which is not compensated by any extraordinary intellect or equipment. It may be on that account he is unable to reconcile himself to a second place and work with others in that capacity for a public cause. He may not be overflowing with ideas although he is not, as his critics make him out to be, an empty-headed dandy living upon the ideas of others. It may be that his fame is built up more upon art and less on substance. At the same time, it is doubtful if there is a politician in India to whom the adjective incorruptible can be more fittingly applied. Anyone who knows what his relations with the British Government have been, will admit that he has always been their critic, if indeed he has not been their adversary. No one can buy him. For it must be said to his credit that he has never been a soldier of fortune. The customary Hindu explanation fails to account for the ideological transformation of Mr. Jinnah. What is then the real explanation of these tragic phenomena, this failure of the efforts for unity, this transformation in the Muslim ideology?
- pp. 328-329
- The real explanation of this failure of Hindu-Muslim unity lies in the failure to realize that what stands between the Hindus and Muslims is not a mere matter of difference, and that this antagonism is not to be attributed to material causes. It is formed by causes which take their origin in historical, religious, cultural and social antipathy, of which political antipathy is only a reflection. These form one deep river of discontent which, being regularly fed by these sources, keeps on mounting to a head and overflowing its ordinary channels. Any current of water flowing from another source, however pure, when it joins it, instead of altering the colour or diluting its strength becomes lost in the main stream. The silt of this antagonism which this current has deposited, has become permanent and deep. So long as this silt keeps on accumulating and so long as this antagonism lasts, it is unnatural to expect this antipathy between Hindus and Muslims to give place to unity.
- p. 329
- For Islam divides as inexorably as it binds. Islam is a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is the brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only. There is fraternity but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity. (pp. 330-331)
- In other words, Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin. That is probably the reason why Maulana Mahomed Ali, a great Indian but a true Muslim, preferred to be buried in Jerusalem rather than in India. (pp. 330-331)
- The relations between the two communities were strained throughout 1923-24. But in no locality did this tension produce such tragic consequences as in the city of Kohat. The immediate cause of the trouble was the publication and circulation of a pamphlet containing a virulently anti-Islamic poem. Terrible riots broke out on the 9th and 10th of September 1924, the total casualties being about 155 killed and wounded... As a result of this reign of terror the whole Hindu population evacuated the city of Kohat... A feature of Hindu-Muslim relations during the year which was hardly less serious than the riots was the number of murderous outrages committed by members of one community against persons belonging to the other. Some of the most serious of these outrages were perpetrated in connection with the agitation relating to Rangila Rasul and Risala Vartman, two publications containing most scurrilous attack on the Prophet Muhammed, and as a result of them, a number of innocent persons lost their lives, sometimes in circumstances of great barbarity... An event which caused considerable tension in April was the murder at Lahore of Rajpal, whose pamphlet Rangila Rasul, containing a scurrilous attack on the Prophet of Islam, was responsible for much of the communal trouble in previous years, and also for a variety of legal and political complications... In Madras a riot, on the 3rd September resulting in one death and injuries to 13 persons was occasioned by a book published by Hindus containing alleged reflections on the Prophet... On the 19th March 1935 a serious incident occurred in Karachi after the execution of Abdul Quayum, the Muslim who had murdered Nathuramal, a Hindu, already referred to as the writer of a scurrilous pamphlet about the Prophet. Abdul Quayum's body was taken by the District Magistrate, accompanied by a police party, to be handed over to the deceased's family for burial outside the city. A huge crowd, estimated to be about 25,000 strong, collected at the place of burial. Though the relatives of Abdul Quayum wished to complete the burial at the cemetery, the most violent members of the mob determined to take the body in procession through the city... Forty-seven rounds were fired by which 47 people were killed and 134 injured. (Chapter 7)
- The Frontier tribesmen are acutely sensitive to the appeal of religion and when a well-known Mullah started to preach against the Hindus..., his words fell on fruitful ground. He called upon the Afridis and Shinwaris to expel all the Hindus living in their midst unless they declared in writing that they dissociated themselves from the doings of their co-religionists down country... . This expulsion and voluntary exodus from tribal territory were without parallel. Hindus had lived there for more generations than most of them could record as valued and respected, and, indeed, as essential members of the tribal system, for whose protection the tribesmen had been jealous, and whose blood feuds they commonly made their own. (Chapter 7)
- Seven of these 22 riots, or roughly one-third of them, occurred on the day of the celebration of the annual Muslim festival of Bakr-i-Id at the end of May. The celebration of this festival is always a dangerous time in Hindu-Muslim relations. The Muslim regard it as a day of animal sacrifice, and as the animal chosen is almost always a cow the slightest tension between the two communities is apt to produce an explosion. (Chapter 7)
- There can thus be no manner of doubt that the Muslim Society in India is afflicted by the same social evils as afflict the Hindu Society. Indeed, the Muslims have all the social evils of the Hindus and something more. That something more is the compulsory system of purdah for Muslim women. As a consequence of the purdah system, a segregation of the Muslim women is brought about. The ladies are not expected to visit the outer rooms, verandahs, or gardens; their quarters are in the back-yard. All of them, young and old, are confined in the same room. ...She cannot go even to the mosque to pray, and must wear burka (veil) whenever she has to go out. These burka women walking in the streets is one of the most hideous sights one can witness in India. Such seclusion cannot but have its deteriorating effects upon the physical constitution of Muslim women. They are usually victims to anaemia, tuberculosis, and pyorrhoea. Their bodies are deformed, with their backs bent, bones protruded, hands and feet crooked. Ribs, joints and nearly all their bones ache. Heart palpitation is very often present in them. The result of this pelvic deformity is untimely death at the time of delivery. Purdah deprives Muslim women of mental and moral . Being deprived of healthy social life, the process of moral degeneration must and does set in. Being completely secluded from the outer world, they engage their minds in petty family quarrels, with the result that they become narrow and restricted in their outlook. They lag behind their sisters from other communities, cannot take part in any outdoor activity and are weighed down by a slavish mentality and an inferiority complex. They have no desire for knowledge, because they are taught not to be interested in anything outside the four walls of the house. Purdah women in particular become helpless, timid, and unfit for any fight in life. ... Not that purdah and the evils consequent thereon are not to be found among certain sections of the Hindus in certain parts of the country. But the point of distinction is that among the Muslims, purdah has a religious sanctity which it has not with the Hindus. Purdah has deeper roots among the Muslims than it has among the Hindus, and can only be removed by facing the inevitable conflict between religious injunctions and social needs. The problem of purdah is a real problem with the Muslims—apart from its origin—which it is not with the Hindus. Of any attempt by the Muslims to do away with it, there is no evidence.
- If Hindu Raj becomes a reality then it would be greatest menace to this country. Whatever may Hindus say, actually it does not make a difference that Hinduism is a danger to Independence, Equality and Brotherhood. Thus it is an enemy of democracy. We should make all out efforts to stop Hindu Raj from becoming a reality.
- In all matters, the determining question with the Muslims is how it will affect the Muslims vis-a-vis the Hindus. If representative government can help the Muslims, they will demand it, and fight for it. ... The dominating consideration with the Muslims is not democracy. The dominating consideration is how democracy with majority rule will affect the Muslims in their struggle against the Hindus. Will it strengthen them, or will it weaken them? If democracy weakens them, they will not have democracy. They will prefer the rotten state to continue in the Muslim States, rather than weaken the Muslim ruler in his hold upon his Hindu subjects.
- Even a superficial observer cannot fail to notice that a spirit of aggression underlies the Hindu attitude towards the Muslim and the Muslim attitude towards the Hindu. The Hindu's spirit of aggression is a new phase which he has just begun to cultivate. The Muslim's spirit of aggression is his native endowment, and is ancient as compared with that of the Hindu. It is not that the Hindu, if given time, will not pick up and overtake the Muslim. But as matters stand to-day, the Muslim in this exhibition of the spirit of aggression leaves the Hindu far behind.
- It will thus be seen that every time a proposal for the reform of the constitution comes forth, the Muslims are there, ready with some new political demand or demands. The only check upon such indefinite expansion of Muslim demands is the power of the British Government, which must be the final arbiter in any dispute between the Hindus and the Muslims. Who can confidently say that the decision of the British will not be in favour of the Muslims, if the dispute relating to these new demands was referred to them for arbitration? The more the Muslims demand, the more accommodating the British seem to become. At any rate, past experience shows that the British have been inclined to give the Muslims more than what the Muslims had themselves asked.
- Another illustration of this spirit of exploitation is furnished by the Muslim insistence upon cow-slaughter and the stoppage of music before mosques. Islamic law does not insist upon the slaughter of the cow for sacrificial purposes and no Musalman, when he goes to Haj, sacrifices the cow in Mecca or Medina. But in India they will not be content with the sacrifice of any other animal. Music may be played before a mosque in all Muslim countries without any objection. Even in Afghanistan, which is not a secularized country, no objection is taken to music before a mosque. But in India the Musalmans must insist upon its stoppage for no other reason except that the Hindus claim a right to it.
- In the first place, it should be admitted that every possible attempt to bring about union between Hindus and Muslims has been made and that all of them have failed.
- Looking back on the history of these 30 years, one can well ask whether Hindu-Muslim unity has been realized? Whether efforts have not been made for its realization? And whether any efforts remain to be made? The history of the last 30 years shows that Hindu-Muslim unity has not been realized. On the contrary, there now exists the greatest disunity between them: that efforts—sincere and persistent—have been made to achieve it, and that nothing now remains to be done to achieve it except surrender by one party to the other. If anyone who is not in the habit of cultivating optimism where there is no justification for it, said that the pursuit of Hindu-Muslim unity is like a mirage and that the idea must now be given up, no one can have the courage to call him a pessimist or an impatient idealist. It is for the Hindus to say whether they will engage themselves in this vain pursuit in spite of the tragic end of all their past endeavours, or give up the pursuit of unity and try for a settlement on another basis.
- Like the Christians and Muslims in the Turkish Empire, the Hindus and Muslims of India have met as enemies on many fields, and the result of the struggle has often brought them into the relation of conquerors and conquered.
- The second thing that is noticeable among the Muslims is the spirit of exploiting the weaknesses of the Hindus. If the Hindus object to anything, the Muslim policy seems to be to insist upon it and give it up only when the Hindus show themselves ready to offer a price for it by giving the Muslims some other concessions.
- But Mr Gandhi has never protested against such murders. Not only have the Musalmans not condemned these outrages but even Mr Gandhi has never called upon the leading Muslims to condemn them. He has kept silent over them. Such an attitude can be explained only on the ground that Mr Gandhi was anxious to preserve Hindu-Moslem unity and did not mind the murders of a few Hindus if it could be achieved by sacrificing their lives. This attitude to excuse the Muslims any wrong, lest it should injure the cause of unity, is well illustrated by what Mr Gandhi had to say in the matter of the Mopla riots.
- The realist must take note of the fact that the Musalmans look upon the Hindus as Kaffirs, who deserves more to be exterminated than protected. The realist must take note of the fact that while the Musalman accepts the European as his superior, he looks upon the Hindu as his inferior.
- He has never called the Muslims to account even when they have been guilty of gross crimes against Hindus.
- On Gandhi. (Thoughts on Pakistan by Dr BR Ambedkar, Bombay, 1941).
- But I always say that as I met Mr Gandhi in the capacity of an opponent I have a feeling that I know him better than most other people, because he had opened his real fangs to me, I could see the inside of the man, you see while others who generally went there as devotees, saw nothing of him, except the external appearance, which he had put as Mahatma. But I saw him in his human capacity, the bare men in him, and so I say that I understand him better than most of the people who have associated themselves with him, you can say.
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s Interview to BBC in 1955- Dr. Ambedkar Speaks on M.K. Gandhi and Poona Pact (BBC Radio) – 1955 
- Well, I must say at the outset that I feel quite surprised you see the interest the outside world western world particularly seems to be taking in Mr Gandhi. I can’t understand that so far as India is concerned, He was in my judgement, he was an episode in the history of India, never an epoch-maker. Gandhi has already vanished from the memory of the people of this country, His memory is kept up because Congress party you see annually gives holiday, either on his birthday or some other day connected with some event in his life, has a celebration every year going on for seven days in a week, naturally people's memory is revived, but if this artificial respiration were not given, I think Gandhi would belong long forgotten.
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s Interview to BBC in 1955- Dr. Ambedkar Speaks on M.K. Gandhi and Poona Pact (BBC Radio) – 1955 
- Not at all, not at all, In fact, he was all the time double-dealing. He conducted two papers, one in English the Harijan, before that young India, and in Gujarat, he conducted another paper you see, which is called the Deen Bandhu, something like that. If you read these two papers you will see how Mr Gandhi was deceiving the people. In the English newspaper, he posed himself as an opponent of caste system, and of untouchability, and that he was the democrat. But if you read his Gujarati magazine you will see him more orthodox man, he has been supporting the caste system, the varanaashrama dharma, or all the orthodox dogmas which have kept India down all through ages. Infact someone ought to write Mr Gandhi biography by making a comparative study of the statements made by Mr Gandhi made in his Harijan and the statements made by Mr Gandhi in his Gujarati paper, there are seven volumes of it. The western world only reads the English paper, where Mr Gandhi in order to keep himself in the esteem of western ppl who believes in democracy was advocating democratic ideals. But you gotta see also what he actually talked to the people in his vernacular paper, no body seems to have made any reference. All the biographies that have been written of him you see are based on his Harijan and the young India not upon in Gujarati writings of Mr Gandhi.
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s Interview to BBC in 1955- Dr. Ambedkar Speaks on M.K. Gandhi and Poona Pact (BBC Radio) – 1955 
Political Science for Civil Services Main Examination (2010) edit
- N.D. Arora. Political Science for Civil Services Main Examination. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. p. 1–25. ISBN 978-0-07-009094-1.
- Every man who repeats the dogma of Mill that one country is not fit to rule another country must admit that a class is not fit to rule another class.
- For a successful revolution, it is not enough that there is enough discontent. What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of justice, necessity and importance of political and social rights.
- History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vs vested interests have never been be known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them.
- In Hinduism, conscience, reason, and independent thinking have no scope for development.
- Indians today are governed by different ideologies. Their political ideal set in the Preamble of the Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them.
- I was born a Hindu because I had no control over this, but I shall not die a Hindu.
- A great man is different from an eminent one in that he is ready to be servant of the society.
- It was not enough that India should get Swaraj. It was more important in whose hands the Swaraj would be.
- Freedom of mind is the real freedom. A person whose mind is not free though he may not be in chains, is a slave, not a free man. One whose mind is not free, though he may not be in prison, is a prisoner and not a free man. One whose mind is not free though alive, is no better than dead. Freedom of mind is the proof of one's existence.
- Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man's life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self too.
- Indifferentism is the worst kind of disease that can affect people.
- History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them.
- On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which is Assembly has to laboriously built up.”
- If I find the constitution being misused, I shall be the first to burn it.
- Equality may be a fiction but nonetheless one must accept it as governing principle.
- Majorities are of two sorts: (1) Communal majority and (ii) political majority. A political majority is changeable in its class composition. A political majority grows. A communal majority is born.The admission to a political majority is open. The door in a communal majority is closed. The politics of political majority are free to all to make and unmake. The politics of community majority are made by its own members born in it.
Quotes about Ambedkar edit
- Ambedkar stands as the fountainhead of wisdom and knowledge in modern India.
- Dr. Ambedkar, the creator of Indian Constitution, spread awareness about the religion in 1956. Today, we need to understand the real meaning of Buddha, Buddhism.
- His contributions are great.
- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, asserting that Dr. Ambedkar, maker of Indian Constitution was a great scholar, in "Secular ethics is the light of hope: Dalai Lama" by Vaishali Balajiwale, in dnaIndia (4 January 2015)
- Ambedkar took a cool and hard look at Islam as a sworn enemy of Hindu society, even while being bitterly critical of the latter. Dr. Ambedkar was particularly outspoken about the social injustices in Islam, especially in his book Pakistan or the Partition of India... Many of Dr. Ambedkar’s observations on Islam would now be branded as “Hindu communalist” by the very people who claim his heritage. In fact, the literature of the RSS Parivar offers no counterpart to Ambedkar’s strong language about Islam: he was more openly anti-Islamic than Savarkar, Golwalkar or any Hindutva stalwart who is regularly accused of being just that. From the Hindu Revivalist point of view, Ambedkar, in writing his incisive criticism of Islam, did the homework which the Hindutva ideologues neglected...
At Sangh Parivar functions, a picture of Ambedkar is mostly displayed along with pictures of Maharana Pratap, Shivaji, Guru Govind Singh, Hedgewar, Golwalkar and other more obvious Hindutva heroes. During BJP President L.K. Advani's flopped Rath Yatra (car procession) before the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, his car carried just two pictures: of freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose and of Dr. Ambedkar.
- Dr. Ambedkar has become a saint, and his opinions can now only be recited and quoted as final authority, but not subjected to any criticism on penalty of being dubbed "Brahminical reactionary".
Dr. Ambedkar was a complex personality, not fit for simple glorification, nor of course for vilification. Undoubtedly, he was a very strong man, who stood his ground, and who rendered sterling services to the nation. On his intellectual achievements, our judgment will be more diversified.
He was essentially a Western-educated man, and had imbibed some of the condescending incomprehension so typical of westernized Natives. Yet, among this class of Western-educated Indians, there is hardly any who has to such extent freed himself from pervasive prejudices and fashionable beliefs, such as the claim of a racial basis of caste. Because he himself had suffered the humiliation which many caste Hindus kept on inflicting on the untouchables, it is not abnormal that he was intemperately bitter against Hinduism. Nevertheless, he remained loyal to Hinduism in the broad sense, and rejected eager offers to take his followers into mass conversion to soul- greedy and imperialist religions.
If we have uttered some criticism of his intellectual shortcomings regarding specific subjects, we could do so in a spirit of respect because we are also aware of his substantial intellectual qualities and merits, apart from his well-known political achievements for his country and his community. As an independent thinker, Dr. Ambedkar contrasts brightly with wind-bags like M.N. Roy and Jawaharlal Nehru, whose parrotting of fashionable slogans has not prevented them from remaining trendsetters for the secularist elite which is still ruling India. If he was not perfect in every respect, we would say that there is only so much which a man can do in a lifetime, so if a busy politician could not always find the time to seek out all the historical facts about complex subjects, it is really not abnormal.
- Elst K. Indigenous Indians: Agastya to Ambedkar (1993)
- Ambedkar was a nationalist, and he saw through the anti-national, colonial inspiration of the Aryan Invasions theory (which the British called the furniture of Empire).
- Elst K. Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991)
- The year 1940 was coming to an end when Ambedkar's magnum opus, Thoughts on Pakistan, was published. Written at a psychological moment, it fell like a bombshell on the heated atmosphere of the day... This historic book castigates the anti-reformist tendency of the Muslims... Some penetrating and caustic paragraphs describing the regressive bent of the Muslim mind, however, were deleted, it is said, at the instance of Ambedkar's close admirers. Otherwise [Ambedkar] would have experienced what H.G. Wells experienced at the hands of Muslims in London!... Thoughts on Pakistan is a masterpiece in which learning and thinking are blended and displayed at their highest order. It is entracing in its magic, intriguing in its construction, terse in its style, and provocative in its manner. It is a model in scientific propagation.... The effect of this book was terrible... It was applauded as an epitome of the political and social history of India; and it rocked Indian politics for over a decade. The Muslims rejoiced at this support to their ideal.
- Dhananjay Keer, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Life and Mission (1954)
- Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was fearless. He propogated love and humanity. He loved people and gave them a thought of humanity. Babasaheb never gave up he was fearless. So today I have had difficulties, problems or situation is bad I remember Babasaheb. That's why I get inspiration from him. That's why Babasaheb is my role model"
- He [Ambedkar] was quite clear that Muslims proposed to hold to their demands for 50:50 and so gradually lay the foundation of Pakistan, and he was perfectly content himself, he said, with that state of things, and in favour of the Pakistan idea quite frankly because it meant the British would have to stay in India. He saw not the least prospect of our overcoming difficulties here by guarantees of any sort and (like most minorities) he has, I suspect, little interest in constitutional progress....
- Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar like God to me, I am President because of him. I feel happy and privileged that I am attending the convocation ceremony of the Dr Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University which is named after Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. His life was full of struggles and so it was with notable works.
- There was one portrait. And interestingly, it was not of the leader of the Shiv Sena or of Shivaji, the Sena's warrior god, but of the long-dead Dr. Ambedkar (...) Popular-and near-ecstatic-movements like the Shiv Sena ritualize many different needs. The Sena here, honouring an angry and (for all his eminence) defeated man, seemed quite different from the Sena the newspapers wrote about.
- V.S. Naipaul: A Wounded Civilization, p.65., writing about a Shiv Sena centre in Mumbai.
- We believe that the future is what we make it. We believe that no matter who you are or where you come from, every person can fulfill their God-given potential. Just as a Dalit like Dr. Ambedkar could lift himself up and pen the words of the constitution that protects the rights of all Indians. We believe that no matter where you live – whether a village in Punjab or the by lanes of Chandni Chowk, an old section of Kolkata or a new high-rise in Bangalore – every person deserves the same chance to live in security and dignity, to get an education, to find work, and to give their children a better future.
- I have met Doctor Ambedkar. He was one of the intelligent men I have ever met.
- I have seen people who are born in the lowest category of Hindu law, the sudras, the untouchables, so intelligent: when India became independent, the man who made the constitution of India, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, was a sudra. There was no equal to his intelligence as far as law is concerned — he was a world-famous authority... Ambedkar was educated in England, and he became the world-famous authority as far as constitutions are concerned. And when he came back to India, India became free and there was no choice; nobody was even close to him...
- Dr. Ambedkar is considered very wise not only because of his erudition and intellectual acumen, but because his learning and ability are being used for the good of the common people. Others use their knowledge and ability for the selfish or sectarian benefit.
- You have given me the opportunity of unveiling the portrait of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. I am happy and feel honored to carry out your pleasant request. Ambedkar is one of the greatest geniuses of the world. How has be become so great in his wisdom? His education and intellectual ability are only of secondary importance. There are people who are better educated and abler than him. Ambedkar is considered very wise not only because of his erudition and intellectual acumen, but because his learning and ability are being used for the good of the common people. Others use their knowledge and ability for the selfish or sectarian benefit.
- He (Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar) had pioneered the renaissance of Buddhism in India and was responsible for millions embracing Buddhism in the land of its birth.
- ...though Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar had been a Buddhist for only seven weeks, during that period he had probably done more for the promotion of Buddhism than any other Indian since Ashoka. At the time of this death three quarters of a million Untouchables had become Buddhists, and in the months that followed hundreds of thousands more took the same step – despite the uncertainty and confusion that had been created by the sudden loss of their great leader… This was Ambedkar’s last and greatest achievement, so that even though it was as the Architect of the Constitution of Free India and the Modern Manu that he passed into official history and is today most widely remembered, his real significance consists in the fact that it was he who established a revived Indian Buddhism on a firm foundation.
- Sangharakshita, Ambedkar and Buddhism
- His (Dr. Ambedkar's) personality, erudition and capacity to lead and organise-would have by themselves marked him out as an outstanding asset to our nation. But in addition to that the in-estimable services he has rendered to our motherland in trying to stamp out untouchability and the result he has achieved in instilling a manly spirit of self-confidence in millions of the depressed classes, constitute an abiding, patriotic as well as humanitarian achievement. The very fact of the birth of such a towering personality among the so-called untouchable castes could not but liberate their souls from self-depression and animate them to challenge the super-arrogative claims of the so-called touchables.
- Ambedkar is my Father in Economics. He is true celebrated champion of the underprivileged. He deserves more than what he has achieved today. However he was highly controversial figure in his home country, though it was not the reality. His contribution in the field of economics is marvelous and will be remembered forever..!
- Amartya Sen, "Dr. BR Ambedkar: As an Economist." International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention 2.3 (2013): 24-27.
- There is not one instance, not one single, solitary instance in which Ambedkar participated in any activity connected with the struggle to free the country. Quite the contrary- at every possible turn he opposed the campaigns of the national movement, at every setback to the movement he was among those cheering for failure.
- Arun Shourie, Worshipping False Gods, 1997, ASA Publications, p. 1.
- Dr. Ambedkar never got disappointed with difficult tasks, but faced the situation with great courage. I am especially appealing to the younger generation of students to take a leaf out of Dr. Ambedkar's life. At difficult times, his life can be a great inspiration.... [Ambedkar] came to the RSS camp in Pune and appreciated its patriotism, discipline and complete absence of untouchability. But he said he was in a hurry and Sangh work appears to be a little slow.... We salute the Architect of our Constitution, his erudition and hard work, his great patriotism and practical outlook. But it was natural that he could not stomach the indignities heaped on the Dalits and the attitude of our upper castes in the Hindu society appeared to change too slowly. Let us take a vow on this occasion to make the Hindu society free from aberrations, a society full of harmony, self-confidence and knowledge, so that it can carry the message of the great Rishis to the whole world.
- Rajendra Singh: Abroad, p.62-64 (SINGH, Rajendra: Sarsanghchalak Speaks Abroad. Suruchi Prakashan, Delhi 1996.)
|Modern Buddhist writers 19th century to date
|Theravada / Vipassana movement
|B. R. Ambedkar • Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu • Ajahn Chah • Anagarika Dharmapala • Joseph Goldstein • Henepola Gunaratana • Noah Levine • Nyanaponika Thera
|Daisaku Ikeda • Yin Shun • Alfred Bloom
|Pema Chödrön • Kelsang Gyatso • Tenzin Gyatso • Matthieu Ricard • Robert Thurman • Chögyam Trungpa
|Taisen Deshimaru • Thích Nhất Hạnh • Philip Kapleau • D. T. Suzuki • Han Yong-un • Hsing Yun
|Other and Secular Buddhism
|Stephen Batchelor • Robert Wright
|Lokesh Chandra • Walter Evans-Wentz • Richard Gombrich • Thomas Rhys Davids
|Non-Buddhists influenced by Buddhism
|Edwin Arnold • Helena Blavatsky • Fritjof Capra • Leonard Cohen • Alexandra David-Néel • Hermann Hesse • Carl Jung • Jon Kabat-Zinn • Friedrich Nietzsche • Henry Steel Olcott • Rajneesh • Helena Roerich • J. D. Salinger • Arthur Schopenhauer • Gary Snyder • Alan Watts • Alfred North Whitehead