All the generations have borne enough risks in writing. At times, people got arrested, their books got buried or burnt, other times they absconded. BR. Ambedkar in the history of India is a name who always stood his ground and said whatever he wanted to. It was perhaps extreme discrimination towards his family and him, which led him to accept the truth the way it was.
But it appears like his name was wiped out from our history textbooks. While each year we studied less and less of Ambedkar, his name was reduced to merely being the Father of Indian Constitution. Every year on his birthday, we are also seeing the upholders of Hindutva celebrating Ambedkar’s Birthday which you’ll realize is the biggest irony when you read what he wrote. If you read him, you’ll realise he was much more. I had previously written a post on Ambedkar’s Message to Women, which is nothing smaller than an awakening! Here are some excerpts to his different other views. You may read the book, The Essential Ambedkar for full context and deeper understanding.
Caste and Endogamy (Marrying only within the caste)
Caste in India means an artificial chopping off of the population into fixed and definite units, each one prevented from fusing into another through the custom of endogamy. Thus, the conclusion is inevitable that endogamy is the only characteristic that is peculiar to the caste, and if we succeed in showing how endogamy is maintained, we shall practically have proved the genesis and also the mechanism of caste.
Ambedkar about Manu (the king)
I may seem hard on Manu, but I am sure my force is not strong enough to kill his ghost. He lives, like a disembodied spirit, and is appealed to, and I am afraid will yet live long. One thing I want to impress upon you is that Manu did not give the law of caste and that he could not do so. Caste existed long before Manu. He was an upholder of it and therefore philosophised about it, but certainly, he did not and could not ordain the present order of Hindu Society. His work ended with the codifications of existing caste rules and the preaching of caste dharma. The spread and growth of the caste system is too gigantic a task to be achieved by the power or cunning of an individual or of a class.
No Pure Caste
Some have dug a biological trench in defence of the caste system. It is said that the object of caste was to preserve the purity of race and purity of blood. Now ethnologists are of the opinion that men of pure race exist nowhere and that there has been a mixture of all races in all parts of the world. Especially this is the case with the people of India. Mr D.R. Bhandarka, in his paper on ‘Foreign Elements in the Hindu Population’, has stated that ‘There is hardly a class, or caste in India, which has not a foreign strain in it. There is an admixture of alien blood not only among the warrior classes— the Rajputs and the Marathas— but also among the Brahmins who are under the happy delusion that they are free from all foreign elements.’
Karl Marx or Buddha
Because there is no use in pursuing a certain path if that path is not going to be a lasting path, if it is going to lead you to a jungle, if it is going to lead you to anarchy, there is no use pursuing it.
Ambedkar about Brahmin Sadhu vs Shudra: How Hindus Behave with Each
The Hindus maintain a large army of sadhus and able-bodied beggars and believe that they acquire merit by feeding and clothing them and giving them cash for indulging in luxuries. The Hindu philosophy teaches the doctrine of the all-pervading soul, and the Gita exhorts them to make no distinction between a Brahmin and a Chandal. The question, therefore, arises why the Hindus, having such traditions of charity and humanity and possessing such grand philosophy, should behave so heartlessly towards their fellow human beings and in such unreasonable ways.
These quotes are excerpts from Bhalchandra Mungekar’s The Essential Ambedkar (Free Kindle Edition)