My views on "Annihilation of Caste" By Dr. B R Ambedkar


“He agreed that equality is not possible but reiterated that discrimination is crime. While equality depends upon the wealth, social status, education, awareness, willingness and courage of an individual the discrimination is just an act of callous injustice”
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I salute to his courage when he said “Just because the good is not availed I will never settle with bad”: Jitendra Rajaram


"Annihilation of Caste" By Dr. B R Ambedkar 1936AD is the second book I took longest time to read (First was "Brief History of Time" By Dr. Stephen Hawkins some two years ago). Like the former, I read all the endnotes, footnotes, anecdotes and references of this book. This version of Navayana Publication  (2014) contained two more beautiful things i.e. an introduction of the book by Arundhoty Roy titled “The Doctor & The Saint” and “A Note on the Poona Pact” by S. Anand to complete the references and objectivity of the subject.
I was always sympathetic to the caste struggle and sufferings of the minority in India. But this book has lead me to actualize that all the religions are politically ill intentioned. This book has recorded all the testimonies of the tyrannies of Hindus and their incisive fence to keep a large section enslaved. These testimonies are recorded from the sources highly revered by the Hindus themselves i.e. Vedas, Smrities and Stuties written by Aryans so it discards any possibility of its being fiction. Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar prescribed the most radical treatment that Hindu society (if not religion) needed since long. It was left to the Hindus if they wanted to undergo this treatment which they did not. Gandhi by his weak attitudes sensitized the untouchability but decided not to provide any acceptable solution to it. He never wanted to dent his own Saint cum politician identity. His approach to be either neutral or inclined to caste Hindus has done maximum assault to the struggle of the suppressed class of India.
‘Annihilation of Caste’ is the most conscious reasoning of why untouchability persists in India. It is the most logical debate upon why Caste in India should be abolished. One should regard to the courage of Ambedkar who did not hesitated a dime to put his views upon Hindus Laws. He knew in advance what will happen to him. The disgrace, outcaste and humiliation were the only reward possible for his stupid audacity but he was ready.
While solution suggested by Ambedkar is radical and may draw anger of elites the diagnosis must be acceptable to all. When I say the suggested solution is radical it still means that it is the only possible solution. Here is the diagnosis

The exponential decay of the radioactive atom of caste means that Brahmanism is practiced not just by the Brahmin against the Kshatriya or the Vaishya against the Shudra, or the Shudra against the untouchable, but also by the untouchables against the unapproachable or the unapproachable against the unseeable. It means there is a quotient of Brahmanism in everybody regardless of which caste they belonged to. It is the ultimate means of control in which they concept of pollution, purity and the perpetration of social as well as physical violence is not just outsourced but implanted in everybody’s imagination. It’s like an elaborate enforcement network in which everybody polices everybody else. Brahmanism makes it impossible to draw a clear line between victims and oppressors. Brahmanism as said by Ambedkar “is the very negation of the spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity”1.

Ambedkar boldly commented in the beginning of his undelivered speech that “They hate me! To them I am the snake in their garden because I have questioned the authority of the Mahatma they so eloquently revere”2.
He compared Indian struggle of independence from the struggle for republic in Rome. In Rome, spite the big revolution and policy reforms the Plebian3 of Rome did not able to free themselves from the shackles of Patricians4. Simply because in all those policy reforms it was mentioned that God i.e. priests of highest church will have the final verdict upon the validity and invalidity of every decisions taken by the lower and upper house of Parliament. This illusion of God worked out against suppressed class there too at it has been working with Indians since ages.
His remarks like “My quarrel with Hindus and Hinduism is not the imperfections of their social conduct. It is more fundamental. It is over their ideals.5” has inflamed the anger of elite Hindus but left them bemused and mute. He consciously debated his stand on universal consciousness of class struggle. He called upon the notion of Equality & Justice to which socialists consider the supreme objective. He justified that only economic equality will never serve the purpose as long as social and religious equality is not achieved. He referred to Indian Caste to prove his point that even if a section is economically poor still contains the power to hate Dalits. How else a Brahmin possessing no wealth can command a Kshatriya or a touchable Shudra can refuse to service an untouchable Shudra?
He agreed that equality is not possible but reiterated that discrimination is crime. While equality depends upon the wealth, social status, education, awareness, willingness and courage of an individual the discrimination is just an act of callous injustice. He demanded answers to few questions like “Should anyone be treated unequal just because he is not equal? Can inequality be justified by the argument that recourses are scarce and everyone cannot have it? Can finish line be same for all healthy, malnourished, handicapped, blind and disgraced?” If even the little of these is justified than all the books, epics and Holy Scriptures should be burned and flushed because they allow double standard treatments.
After completion of every book that I read, I try to imagine that how much a book can do to a human! This book has surpassed my level of this imagination too. I don’t know what or how much exactly I have got from this book but one point I am certain of that now I know and love one more people who went to war each day, knowing in advance that they will fail. True, he was less “successful” in the most vulgar sense of the word, but by no means less fulfilled6.

Notes taken from
1. Roy, A. “The Doctor & The Saint” Issue One Publication Navayana Page 54
 2. Ambedkar, BR. “Annihilation of Caste” Issue One Publication Navayana Page 200
 3. Plebian means the common people born in common families or ordinary breed
 4. Patricians means the royal blood born in impearl families are the ancestors of Gods.
 5. Ambedkar, BR. “Annihilation of Caste” Issue One Publication Navayana Page 353
6. Roy, A. “Pokhran the end of imagination” on 14th May 2014, 12:00 Noon accessed the link http://www.dianuke.org/pokharan-the-end-of-imagination-arundhati-roy/

2 comments:

deendayal ahirwar said...

Sir...i improved and changed my knowledge by reading your views....thanks a lot

Anonymous said...

Ambedkar has no doubt done a fine analysis in this book.With due respect,I submit Ambedkar has not fully understood the intricacies of caste system.The caste system is actually a varna(color) system.It is not exactly hereditary always.However hereditary factors cannot be ignored.Why is it that intelligent men have been born only in certain communities and negligible in others?Take the case of North Americans.The best professors or politicians have always been from the white american community.Why almost no one from the blacks?The manusmriti marriage restriction seeks to maintain this predictability of genes for the sake of society's progress.Ambedkar here asks why do you need a label like 'kshatriya'.The fact is society needs intellectuals,military men etc for its own prosperity.You need to maintain almost equal numbers of each of them.But say an intelligent person marries another not so intelligent one,the resultant offspring may either be one of them or mixture.In which case predictability is hampered also is the balance of varna numbers for the benefit of society.True as ambedkar says unity takes a beating due to differentiation.However even today you have people labelling themselves as bankers,IT people etc.4 varnas with mutual cooperation does not amount to disunity.That said it would be better if a man introspects himself and tells his varna based on his interests and abilities.Like a man with business likings should call himself vaishya irrespective of his fathers caste.And must marry accordingly.The heirarchy was not exactly part of varna system initially.

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