– Mitej Teji
Dr B R Ambedkar dedicated his life to bring an end to the caste system; the caste system has caused pain and suffering to millions since the Aryan arrived in India.
It was introduced to establish Aryan supremacy in India. The Native Kings fell into the trap of Dharma and the Brahmins used it as a platform to promote the caste system. They represented the Native Kings as Gods and took control of running the country. It is noteworthy that the Gods of today once were the rulers in India.
They divided the citizens into four groups (Varnas). They used Brahma as the foundation for their lay out. From his head came the Brahmins, from his arms the Kshatriyas, from his stomach the Vaishyas and from his thighs came the Shudras.
There is another group were classed as the “Untouchables”. These Untouchables, today are also known as the Dalits and they are the true inhabitants and indigenous people of India; same as the Aborigines of Australia and the Red Indians of the USA.
To hide the native origin and to establish control in India, the Aryans introduced the caste system. It spread hatred and prejudice against the lower castes.
Indigenous people are often marginalized and face discrimination in the country’s legal system, leaving then vulnerable to violence and abuse. Anyone who stands up for the oppressed or speaks out for them faces intimidation and violence often supported by the state. This is certainly true of India today.
We must fight discrimination; discrimination is the reason why indigenous people are still the world’s extreme poor. In India lower castes suffer higher landlessness, malnutrition and internal displacement.
The Adhivasi need to turn to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted in 2007. The UN deals with indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.
This spreading of hate against the indigenous people, in return gave the Aryans the opportunity to establish themselves as God’s purest breed on this earth. The Kshatriyas and the Vaishyas have always been close to the Brahmins but the Shudras have been kept at a distance.
The Untouchables were classed as the outcast and the Brahmins were totally against them. They made them lowest of the low in society and are adhering to the same policy today. They were not permitted to stay in or near the villages. They lived on the outskirts or in the jungles. Even today the AdhiVasi population is living in the same conditions and is still being targeted with abuse.
The untouchable had to drag branches behind them so as to not leave their foot-prints behind. They had to wear a spit pot around their necks when passing through the higher caste areas. This was done to degrade them and suppress them and prevent them from rising again and put any claim toward their mother land.
Even today, in some areas under Hindutva control, when passing through the Untouchables have to take off their footwear and place it on their head whilst passing through the higher caste area.
Dr B R Ambedkar was born on the 14th April in the year 1891. When he was about eight years old, his father who was employed by the British Army lost his job. The family financially came under a lot of pressure and Bhim Rao was receiving primary education in the village school. He was experiencing hatred and prejudice at a very young age.
In the year 1899 and even during the British Raj; the Untouchables in the villages were made to drag brooms behind them. The brooms had replaced the branches and the spit pots were still being worn. These were the early years of experience for the young Dr B R Ambedkar.
One day with a group of hooligans, the landlord through whose land the young Dr B R Ambedkar use to walk to school. He stopped him and his father Ramji and said “you can only walk through my land if you will tie the broom to the waist and wear the spit pots I have supplied.”
He did this to stop Bhim Rao gaining education from the village school. Such treatment and prejudice were the impetus that made him stand and fight the injustice shown towards his people.
Dr Ambedkar did not only fight for the unprivileged people, he also fought for the women’s rights. The Manu Code had stated that the Untouchables and the women should be starved from gaining any education.
Dr Ambedkar through drafting the Constitution of India, has opened doors to equal respect for both genders and today we have women professionals in all fields. Today we also have women astronauts going into space. Today there is global recognition of Dr Ambedkar human rights principles; it is very humbling to see his statues erected all around the world.
However, it seems that some members in the Indian Parliament are committed to replacing the Indian Constitution by the Manusmirity and revert back to the retrograde treatment of the lower castes. The fate of the Aadi-Vasis in those days was controlled by the religious Gurus. Now it is being controlled by the politicians.
The Manusmirity has been outlawed but many Hindutva MPs still openly support it.
If the Manusmiriti becomes significant, then it will be the dawn of the Dark Age in India. A lot of struggle and strive has been endured for India to reach where it is today. With introduction of the Manusmirity all the gains and advances will be lost; we will return back to zero.
This will only benefit the religious organisations. The women will suffer most because the benefits given by the Indian Constitution will be withdrawn.
Dr B R Ambedkar brought happiness to billions in India. He stood fast for them and when India put out a survey to find the Indian celebrity of the 19th Century, they all voted for him and he was voted the outright winner. Since then the Indians in India and all over the world have given him the title of Son of India.
Sadly, he failed to get respect and recognition which he deserved when he was alive. He was overshadowed by the other leaders because he was from the Dalit community.
Today his name ranks amongst the greats like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King; all fighting for human rights and human dignity.
In Canada on APRIL 6, 2020, the Council of the City of Burnaby proclaimed April 14 as the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Day of Equality.
We must celebrate Dr B R Ambedkar 129th birthday and show the same courage he did in fighting inequality. India cannot be a global player with an intolerable on-going record of human rights breaches that go on daily against the suppressed.
The rest of the world is promoting equality, opportunity, gay rights, voice of the child and women’s rights etc.; if India wants to participate in global politics and economy, it must align its human rights of the Adhivasi with the UN charter.
The world today is ready to support the plight of Adhivasi and they do not need to suffer in silence. Their fate is not in the hands of the Gods/politicians but with powerful global organisations.
India must abide by the Constitution written by Dr B R Ambedkar, it is a very powerful, progressive and forward thinking.
Let us not go back to the Dark Age. Dr B R Ambedkar has pulled us out of it and now a unified effort is needed to stop it sipping back into it.
“With great Difficulty, I have brought this CARAVAN where it is seen today. Let the CARAVAN march ON and further ON despite the hurdles, pitfalls and difficulties that may come in its way. If my people, my lieutenants are not able to take the CARAVAN ahead, they should leave it where it is seen today, but in no circumstances they should allow the CARAVAN to go back.” – Dr B R Ambedkar
Congratulations to all on the 129th Birth anniversary of Dr. B R Ambedkar.
Jai Bharat, Jai Bheem