Ambedkar quotes that will make many Indians squirm
30 quotes of Ambedkar that would ‘shock the BJP’, a new website on Ambedkar and marginal communities and a reminder that all’s not well marked Ambedkar Jayanti on Friday
Even as tributes poured in on 126th Jayanti of Dr BR Ambedkar on Friday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the nation and declaring at Nagpur, “We are unwavering in our efforts towards creating a strong, prosperous & inclusive India of Dr Ambedkar s dreams," the plight of Dalits and tribals in the country continues to be grim.
- 31.5 % of Scheduled Castes and 45.3 % of Schedule Tribes in rural India remain below the poverty line.
- Average monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE) of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe households in rural India are still pegged at Rs 475 and Rs 426 respectively. (Source: questforequity.org)
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury held that Dr BR Ambedkar's vision on social justice was "under threat". "Today there is an even greater need to fiercely uphold equality, social justice and constitutional democracy,” he added, while Congress president Sonia Gandhi said in a statement that the Constitution of India remains a living affirmation of the inclusive cohesiveness and guarantee for equality.
The All India Congress Committee launched a new website on the occasion, which has over 300 archival pictures of Ambedkar and a copy of the original Constitution of India. The website has over 300 archival pictures of Dr Ambedkar, 97 scans of his correspondence, a copy of the original Constitution of India and the full transcripts of the Constituent Assembly debates.
It hosts the most comprehensive and longitudinal data set, in categories such as ‘Discrimination’, ‘Economic Data’, ‘Education’, and ‘Employment in Public & Private sectors’, among others, on the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities. It also reproduces 200 papers and reports from diverse scholars and organisations working on issues of inequality, discrimination and poverty.
While Bharatiya Janata Party and its leaders sought to embrace Ambedkar, a tongue-in-cheek compilation of 30 of Dr Ambedkar’s quotes ‘likely to shock the BJP’ appeared on the portal huffingtonpost.in An abridged version is reproduced here:
- “Mr. Savarkar and Mr. Jinnah instead of being opposed to each other on the one nation versus two nations issue are in complete agreement about it. Both agree, not only agree but insist that there are two nations in India—one the Muslim nation and the other Hindu nation."
- "Every man who repeats the dogma of Mill that one country is no fit to rule another country must admit that one class is not fit to rule another class.”
- “I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity.”
- "Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship."
- "I do not want that our loyalty as Indians should be in the slightest way affected by any competitive loyalty whether that loyalty arises out of our religion, out of our culture or out of our language. I want all people to be Indians first, Indian last and nothing else but Indians."
- "If Hindu Raj does become a fact, it will, no doubt be the greatest calamity for this country. No matter what the Hindus say, Hinduism is a menace to liberty, equality and fraternity. It is incompatible with democracy. Hindu raj must be prevented at any cost."
- "They want to exclude the Muslims from place and power, as they have done to the lower class Hindus. This trait of the high caste Hindus is the key to the understanding of their politics."
- "The first and foremost thing that must be recognised is that Hindu Society is a myth. The name Hindu is itself a foreign name. It was given by the Mohammedans to the natives for the purpose of distinguishing themselves [from them].”
- "...no one can doubt that there was a time when Hindus, both Brahmins and non-Brahmins, ate not only flesh but also beef."
- "No Hindu community, however low, will touch cow's flesh. There is no community which is really an Untouchable community which has not something to do with the dead cow. Some eat her flesh, some remove the skin, some manufacture articles out of her skin and bones."
The full article with all the quotes can be read here.
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- Narendra Modi
- Constituent Assembly
- Sitaram Yechury
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- Sonia Gandhi
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- Dr BR Ambedkar
- Ambedkar quotes
- Ambedkar Jayanti
- All India Congress Committee