Ambedkar And Democracy

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  • 1.Ambedkar, Democracy and peaceful social Revolution

2.

  • Vedic Creationismthat supports that men were created from different parts of the body of a cosmic being: Bramha (Purush Sukta, Mandala X)
  • Head: Brahmans/Priestly Class
  • Shoulders: Warrior Class
  • Thighs: Business Class
  • Foot: The slaves or Shudras
  • The untouchables: unknown origin, some claim that they are degraded Buddhists
  • What about women?
  • They are too inferior to be taken into account in the divine creation and have the same status as Shudras, if they have any.

Source of discrimination? 3. Caste and gender: discriminations mutually re-enforcing

  • Caste discrimination and gender discrimination are interwoven
  • All women are slaves according to sacred scriptures of Hinduism
  • Control over sexuality of women keeps the caste alive
  • The Dalits (The untouchables) women face three forms of discrimination based on: caste, class and sex

4. The population of Dalits

  • They constitute upwards of 25% of Indias population, over 250 million people

5.

  • Every 18 minutes:
  • A crime is committed against a Dalit
  • Every day:
  • 3 Dalit women are raped
  • 2 Dalits are murdered & 2 Dalits Houses are burnt in India
  • 11 Dalits are beaten
  • Every week:
  • 13 Dalits are murdered
  • 5 Dalits home or possessions are burnt
  • 6 Dalits are kidnapped or abducted

Caste based Atrocities: Visible Manifestations at its worst 6. Crimes against Dalits: The Holocaste

  • 26,127 crimes were committed against Dalits (SC/ST)including 1172 rape against Dalit women and 669 cases of murder reported (India's National Crime Records Bureau, 2005)

7. Forced apart

  • Dalits are the segregated humanity

8. Living outcastes 9.

  • Legal/political
  • Social and Economic
  • Ideological/philosophical

Mechanisms to fight caste/discrimination:Dr. Ambedkars methods 10. Legal/Political

  • Constitutional Rights (Chief architect of Indian constitution is Dr. Ambedkar)
  • Special provisions for ensuring equality not only between man and man, but also between man and woman
  • The Hindu Code Bill
  • Challenging the codes of Manu, liberating women from the clutches of sacred laws.
  • Prevention of Atrocities Act
  • Initially, called Protection of Civil Rights to stop violence

11. Social and Economic

  • Affirmative Action
  • Special safeguards
  • Freedom to discard religion
  • However, some state government are trying to take away this freedom
  • Encouraged organisations of women
  • Equal wages for women when he was a Labour Minister and brought welfare schemes for women

12. Ideological/philosophical

  • Indian history is the history of conflict between Buddhism and Brahmanism: Two contrasting worldviews about the world
  • Therefore,
  • Fight wrong notions which are supported by Bramhanism such as caste system and gender discrimination
  • Challenge authority of scriptures and culture that supports and sustains caste ideas.
  • Dr. Ambedkar burnt Manu Smriti in 1927. This day is celebrated as womens liberation day

13. Efforts for democratisation, secularisation and promotion of equality

  • Promoting secularisation and democratisation of society
  • Buddhism as a method to transform self and world, Dhamma is the governing principle for the majority
  • 1. The greatest thing that the Buddha has done is to how the world that world can only be reformed by the reformation of the mind of the man and mind of the world
  • 2. Interpreted the Pali Texts to prove that Buddha supported equality between man and woman in his famous article The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women: Who is responsible for it?

14. Dr. Ambedkar: Democracy and Buddhism in India (1941)

  • . India is like a sick man. When we think of India, we imagine a picture of a man whose belly is big, his hands and feet reduced to mere bones, face paled, eyes deeply buried in the socket. He is just like a skeleton. He has no power to run the Democracy but he has a great desire to run it..

15.

  • Only , the Buddha can help in establishing Democracy. Therefore it is important to remember the Buddha and take his medicine for cleansing the political and social lifeblood [of the Hindus].
  • Therefore we think that people should chant this greatest mantra (Mahamantra) for establishment of Democracy:
  • Buddham Saranam Gacchaami!
  • Dhammam Saranam Gacchaami!!
  • Sangham Saranam Gacchami!!!

16. Peaceful social revolution

  • Positively, my social philosophy may be said to be enshrined in three words: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Let no one, however, say that I have borrowed my philosophy from the French Revolution. I have not. My philosophy has roots in religion and not in political science. I have derived them from the teachings of my master, the Buddha.
  • (October 3,1954, Dr. Ambedkar)

17. Liberation from the hell of caste in October 1956: beginning of era of equality 18. In 1956 19. Celebrating 50 years of Buddhism in 2006 20.

  • The peaceful social transformation is on.