Politics of Go-maans and Romance; BR Ambedkar’s view on Hindu Intolerance!

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DR. BR Ambedkar's Quote from Annihilation of Caste (1936)

Intolerance! Do you remember this word? There have been prime time debates over ‘Hindutva Intolerance’ soon after Narendra Modi led Bharatiya Janta Party has come to power, to an extent that the term ‘Intolerance’ has to be patented for Hindu group organizations. Be in Dadri Lynching, Cow vigilantism in Una & Udhampur etc., or attacks by Anti-Romeo squads in Uttar Pradesh after Yogi Adityanath swears in as CM, Intolerance has always been in debates, especially since 2014.

B.R. Ambedkar, who was one of the biggest critiques of Hindu Caste system also coined this term ‘Intolerance’ in his famous writing “Annihilation of Caste” in 1936. Though Dr. Ambedkar used this term at a few instances, his agitations have always been against the caste system which he calls ‘the disease of mind’. It is generally argued by the Hindus that the Caste system is ‘Division of Labour’ but Dr. Ambedkar said in his book, its ‘Division of Labourers’ not division of labour.

Also Read: It is High Time that India Learned about Dr. BR Ambedkar

Ambedkar opined that if the Hindus are tolerant, that is only in some occasions which ‘they are too weak to oppose or too indifferent to oppose’. Kumar Kale, noted Ambedkarite and OBC leader from Maharashtra said that “now the Brahminical groups do not care whether they are weak or strong in their stand, it is only a game of polarisation of OBC on the name of religion in which they made Minorities as tools to project as an enemy. No enemy, no polarization – no Brahminical rule.”…“Though it appears that the Scheduled Caste and Minorities are physically tortured, the actual victims are the OBC who are engaged in the Brahminical Trap of intolerance, setting aside their own issues like OBC reservation in legislation, creamy layer, etc.,” he added .

Here is the text extract from Annihilation of Caste, which reads about the Hindu Intolerance.

“The Hindus claim to be a very tolerant people. In my opinion this is a mistake. On many occasions they can be intolerant and if on some occasions they are tolerant that is because they are too weak to oppose or too indifferent to oppose. This indifference of the Hindus has become so much a part of their nature that a Hindu will quite meekly tolerate an insult as well as a wrong. You see amongst them, to use the words of Morris, ” The great reading down the little, the strong beating down the weak, cruel men fearing not, kind men daring not and wise men caring not.” With the Hindu Gods all forbearing, it is not difficult to imagine the pitiable condition of the wronged and the oppressed among the Hindus. Indifferentism is the worst kind of disease that can infect a people. Why is the Hindu so indifferent? In my opinion this indifferentism is the result of Caste System which has made Sanghatan and co-operation even for a good cause impossible.”

Ambedkar, in his lengthy speech has concluded by saying Caste is no doubt primarily the breath of the Hindus. But the Hindus have fouled the air all over and everybody is infected, Sikh, Muslim and Christian. You, therefore, deserve the support of all those who are suffering from this infection, Sikh, Muslim and Christian (....) In my opinion only when the Hindu Society becomes a casteless society that it can hope to have strength enough to defend itself. Without such internal strength, Swaraj for Hindus may turn out to be only a step towards slavery. Good-bye and good wishes for your success."

Possibly, this could be the reason why Ambedkarites all across are against the very principle idea of RSS and BJP – a Hindu nation. It is now left to the Hindu nationalists whether they adopt Ambedkar’s sayings or just his photographs/statues in fighting the evil of caste and intolerance.