Slamming the “tendency” to project B R Ambedkar as merely a Dalit leader, a pro-RSS journal has said he was a nationalist who consciously kept himself away from western thoughts, organisations and influences.
Recalling the works of Ambedkar, an article in pro-RSS publication ‘Panchjanya’, said the father of the Constitution challenged American writer Katherine Mayo when she argued that while the Hindu religion was replete with social discriminations, Islam offered space for brotherhood.
“When Katherine Mayo wrote in a book that the Hindu religion was ridden with the evils of caste discrimination while Islam allowed brotherhood, B R Ambedkar challenged her saying Islam too was not free from slavery and casteism,” the article said.
The article in Hindi , titled “Mahaj Dalit neta nahin the Ambedkar” (Ambedkar was not merely a Dalit leader), further goes on to quote Ambedkar on the nature and scope of Hindu religion vis-a-vis Islam to argue how Ambedkar thought Hinduism was a more flexible religion than Islam when it came to acceptance of inherent evils and the need to eradicate them.
Quoting Ambedkar, the article said, “Ambedkar clearly said, Hindu religion is afflicted with evils but the good part about Hindus is that within this society there are people who acknowledge their weaknesses and proactively work to eradicate their evils. However Muslims don’t acknowledge they are afflicted by evils and therefore don’t try to eradicate these evils.”
The article also refers to the 10th chapter of Ambedkar’s book titled, “Bharat Vibhajan ya Pakistan (1940)” to claim that Ambedkar compared the Hindu and Muslim societies at length and used empirical evidence and data to analyse the status of women in Hindu and Muslim societies.
The article adds that “Since some time now a clear conspiracy is underway to dilute the legacy of Ambedkar and diminish his personality by ignoring the core of his messages and philosophy”.
“Dalits across Indis should stay warned of this tendency to diminish the leader and to use his name to spread lies. This serious tendency was best evidenced in the Hyderabad case,” the article said, adding while Ambedkar was more seriously concerned about the welfare of Scheduled Castes, he was a national leader who always kept western influences at bay in his pursuit to keep national interest supreme.
Ambedkar along with several of his followers had renounced the Hindu religion and embraced Buddhism on October 14, 1956 in Nagpur.