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Dr. Ambedkar's Invaluable Advice on the Sikh Right to Self-rule

 

Sardar Ajmer Singh

This article is an excerpt from S. Ajmer Singh's book "Biswi Sadi Ki Sikh Rajneeti: Ek Ghulami Se Dusri Ghulami Tak" (The Sikh Politics of the 20th Century: From One Slavery to Another)

s ajmer singh

On the circumstances emerging after the partition of Punjab, and the creation of a Self-ruled Sikh state

After the partition of India, there was a significant shuffling of the various classes in proportion to the overall population in East Punjab. The Hindus and Sikhs of Western Punjab and the northwestern border areas were forced to leave their homes and cross the border into the newly formed Indian state. And from this side of the border, the Muslim population of Eastern Punjab moved en masse to West Punjab. The displaced or uprooted Sikh families from Lyallpur, Mintgumri and Sheikhupura came and settled in their ancestral villages in the Jalandhar division. A large part of the displaced Hindu population from Pakistan went and settled in the areas lying on the other side of the river Ghaggar. This shuffling or change in the population severely affected the relations between both the Hindu and Sikh communities. In the total population of East Punjab which stood at 1 crore 25 lakhs, the population of the Hindus reached about 62 percent and the Sikhs about 35 per cent. In this manner, for the first time in the history, the Hindus became a majority in Punjab. Similarly, for the first time in history the Sikh brotherhood achieved a majority in a united area (the areas between the rivers Ravi and Ghaggar).

There is no doubt that the Sikh community suffered a lot, both in terms of lives lost and material losses as a result of the partition of Punjab, but the political avenues that this catastrophe opened up for the Sikh community, is something only an astute mind like Dr. Ambedkar's could properly assess. In February 1948, when a deputation of Sikhs apprised Dr. Ambedkar of the difficulties being faced by the Sikh community due to partition, his researched and prescient reply* was:

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Caste can be destroyed only through caste war: V. T. Rajshekar

 

V.T. Rajshekar

(Dalit Voice)

In the past 68 years that India has been independent, we have spent all our time quarreling. Something is seriously going wrong with country's uppercaste rulers. They are in terrible confusion. They are afraid of their own shadows. This ruling class or caste may be small in numbers (less than 15 percent of Indian population) but they are no ordinary people. They not only control the country's entire, property and privileges but they also control the brains of the rest of 85% of the population. They own & run the mass media, write books, produce films & serials, manage educational institutions, hospitals, industries etc. They only are the most educated. In sum, they set values.

vt rajshekar

 With gods in their pocket & sacred scriptures on the tip of their tongue they can make & unmake things. Inspite of enjoying such a privileged position, why are this people are in such a terrible confusion?

Because the confusion is reservation.

Uppercaste rulers who are in charge of implementing the constitutional provisions of reservation to SC/STs have sabotaged the whole thing.

In every government office, government educational institutions, a varitable war is going on today between the 'non-reserved category' employees & 'reserved employees' who are nick named 'government brahmins'. Though the public services form a small part & the private sector doesn't have any reservations for SC/STs, the upper caste rulers have converted the reservation issue into a " national crisis ".

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Forget the Raj. Who’ll say sorry for millennia of abuse of dalits?

 

Surendra Kumar

With his rousing speech at Oxford Union, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has silenced his detractors. Ironically, his own party seeks his silence. Obviously, they don't take his gift of gab and exceptional oratorical skills seriously. What a pity.

What a huge difference a single speech can make! Shashi Tharoor's 15-minute stirring intervention at Oxford Union on July 14 was by far the most passionate, incisive and scathing critique in recent times of 200 years of British colonial rule in India. It has touched the right chord, both in India and abroad, cutting across generations. So, Tharoor, who has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons for the last two years, has suddenly become the darling of Indians, especially the Twitterati. Nearly a million Netizens "liked" his speech in less than 48 hours.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly applauded his oratory, as did many MPs from different political parties. With a huge sixer, Shashi has silenced his detractors. Ironically, his own party seeks his silence. Obviously they don't take his exceptional oratorical skills seriously. What a pity.

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Beyond the Fairy Tales of India

 

Braj Ranjan Mani

Braj R ManiThere is little awareness about a more or less institutionalised arrangement of normalising, if not glorifying, the oppressive past from which the privileged continue to derive profit and pleasure. Invented histories, myth-making, and armoury of stereotypes merge to create convenient narratives and myths which masquerade as the history of India. The suppressed stories fester the lies and keep the people away from the oppressive reality. That is why, history and culture should be debrahmanised—reconstructed—by the subjugated majority, with the understanding that 'the master's tools will not bring down the master's house'.

 It is no secret that there are intellectual weapons in the arsenal of the oppressors of the world—in theology, in philosophy, in social sciences. Their function is to conceal systemic violence or injustice in order to maintain the established power and cultural equilibrium. Even fair-minded intellectuals who come from the top of the social pyramid (in which the many are miserable at the bottom) take safety in academic subterfuge. A social psychology made worse by inherited traditions of classicism, cultural conservatism, and obfuscatory religiosity does not allow the pandits to see the obvious. For example, even a cursory familiarity with the ancient brahmanic texts leaves little doubt that the Itihasa–Purana and Dharmashastras were written by the enemies of dalit-bahujans who were stigmatised as shudras and atishudras. The shudra (the debased caste of servants) was so constructed by the historical power of brahmanism. But the scholars who spend a life-time in researching the past remain forever blind to this reality, and the historical truth of upper-caste violence, both social and ideological. Their scholarship somehow never comes to grasp the point that brahmanical forms of knowledge were critical in the establishment and maintenance of caste. The pattern does not change when we move forward to the history of modern India. A benign amnesia shrouds the conservative and anti-dalit-bahujan strands of Indian nationalism, which permits academic and popular projections of the essentially upper-caste leaders such as Gandhi, Nehru and Tilak-Savarkar as non-partisan leaders.

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Holi - A Festival To Commemorate Bahujan Burning

 

Dr. K. Jamanadas

Holi - What is it and how did it originate?

It is well known that Holi forms one of the important festivals among the Hindus. It is supposed to be festival of Shudras, and is one of the three most important ones in India, the others being Dasera and Diwali. The Dasera is in honour of killing of Ravana and Divali is in honour of killing of Narakasur and noted pesant king Bali. The purpose of Holi, indirectly, is concerned with killing of Hiranyakashyap. The important elements of the festival of Holi are as follows:-

1. A pyre is burnt.
2. Abuses are showered on people, and other obscenities are observed. Dirt, mud etc., is smeared.
3. Festivities are indulged in to celebrate the victory.

 Traditional Account

The puranas give an account of Holika burning. The traditional story is that a powerful King Hiranya Kashyapu sent his sister Holika to kill his ten year old only son Prahlad, as he was worshipping Barhmnic god Vishnu against his wishes. Holika had a cloth which could resist burning. She sits with Pralhad on a pyre. The wind blows wrapping Pralhad with the cloth and Holika is burnrd to death. Holi is supposed to be celebrated to commomorate this event.

Purpose of writing puranas

Dr. Ambedkar avers that "This literature arose during the period subsequent to the triumph of Brahmins under the leadership of Pushyamitra" (p.257 W&S vol.3) Original authors were non-brahmin sutas, but later they were ousted by brahmins who made monopoly of it. At that time they were finally edited and extra new subjects, apart from five traditional ones, were incorporated. [W&S vol 3, p.255]. But if you consider the fact that the majority of people were only allowed to know either by reading or hearing, and mostly by hearing, only these so called scriptures and nothing else, it becomes evident that the purpose of these books was rather more for false appeasement rather than information or enlightenment, let alone their progress and liberation, so that they don't aim and strive for any higher literature. The real purpose of Puranas was to misled the dalitbahujan masses regarding their aspirations to knowledge, to curb down their desire for more information and limit their desires to their paltry needs. BSO has always done that and even now, we see that. An example of Gandhi admonishing the savarna leaders for accepting Agnibhoj, an untouchable in the Congress ministry by saying that this will increase the aspirations of these lowly born harijans is well known.

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Saving Modi’s Image, BJP’s Way

 

Vivek Kumar

vivek kumarBJP is very, very weak in Delhi elections? This can be proved on the basis of the fact that it has inducted individuals who do not have any party experience and who have crossed over from other political parties. Kiran Bedi has no political experience. However she has been declared as CM candidate in place of seasoned BJP functionary Harsh Vardhan. Vinod Kumar Binny had contested elections of Delhi in 2013 from AAP and was thrown out from AAP has been given BJP ticket to contest again in this Vidhan Sabha election. Krishna Tirath, a former Congress Central Minister who lost MP election, is contesting on BJP ticket.

What is happening? Where is ideology of BJP - CHAL aur CHARITRA, both have changed. There is no ideology, there is no morality and there is no discipline in the party. This is the character of our leading national party. Your means also define your goals. What will happen to our nation?

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