Babasaheb’s Commandment
Organiser   13-Apr-2018

Babasaheb forewarned Dalits about the dangers of any proximity with Muslims. His life and works is a testimony of the same. Dalits must realise that Muslims could only fill them with a sense of victimisation

There have been recent attempts by Muslim leadership and apologists of ‘Muslim-Dalit’ syndicate to win over Dr Ambedkar. Making a strong pitch for Dalit-Muslim unity, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi said that he believes that both communities could come together. The political and intellectual forces which persistently work to break Bharat have worked out a new mantra. They suggest that ‘The Dalit is the New Muslim’.
The fundamental question remains whether imaginary economic exploitation can supersede the key question of equality, identity and dignity. Islam cannot provide dignity to Dalits, because of the inherent caste discrimination in it. Muslim League was an upper caste party and Dr Ambedkar spoke about it at length. Didn’t Dr Ambedkar suggest that, “Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin." Muslims always have discriminated against Dalits as others and never considered them as equals.
Babasaheb never contemplated and wished for a ‘Muslim-Dalit’ alliance in his lifetime. The political forces which are trying to bring together Muslims and Dalits on a same platform are actually compromising the rights and opportunities of the latter. Moreover, by willingly placing the Dalits below the Muslims, the opposition parties are working towards tearing apart the fabric of the Bhartiya society.

We must revisit the original writings of Dr Ambedkar to sum up his views on the Muslims. It must be underlined today that how Babsaheb articulated and accentuated a basic fact that by aligning with the Muslims, Dalits could end up compromising their opportunities for the worst.
On Islam
He also doubted whether Muslims could really make suitable compatriots in democratic governance. He stated that, “Islam is a system of social self-government and is incompatible with local self-government, because the allegiance of a Muslim does not rest on his domicile in the country which is his but on the faith to which he belongs. To the Muslim ibi bene ibi patria [Where it is well with me, there is my country] is unthinkable. Wherever there is the rule of Islam, there is his own country.” (Pakistan or The Partition of India, p.330) Remarkably, this observation also explains the tendency of Muslims to vote as a block. They cannot think outside their religious bracket and therefore, they have failed to represent themselves democratically in the contemporary history of Bharat.
Dr Ambedkar, in his life time, could see that Muslims could only be represented through the Mullah and those parties like, Congress which provide patronage to the inward looking medievialist clerics. He has categorically stated that, ““The Muslims have no interest in politics as such. Their predominant interest is in religion ... Muslim politics is essentially clerical and recognises only one difference, namely, that existing between Hindus and Muslims. None of the secular categories of life have any place in the politics of the Muslim community and if they do find a place - and they must because they are irrepressible - they are subordinated to one and the only one governing principle of the Muslim political universe, namely, religion.” (Ibid. p. 232)
Dalit cannot stand Muslims
During 1927-29, Dr. Ambedkar owned a Marathi newspaper called Bahishkrut Bharat. In it, he maintained that the dispute in this country is not between two societies but between two nations. He was very critical of the Nehruvian plan of separating the Sind from the Bombay province and not giving equivalent minority rights to Hindus where they were in minority. He was quite worried about the fact that in undivided India the Muslim majority provinces were on the border. He felt that due to this the borders were not safe in case of any threat to our security by a Muslim power as the Indian Muslims had no loyalty for Hindusthan.
Dr Ambedkar’s disillusion with Muslims reached its height after the partition and independence. Though as a true democrat he worked diligently to resolve the “minority” question in the Constitution, his fears on the Muslims’ imposture grew stronger than before. The experiences of Jogendra Nath Mandal made Babasaheb issue a forewarning to the Dalits about the dangers of any alliance with Muslims.
Mandal, from East Bengal, belonged to the Namahsudra (an ‘untouchable’) caste. He was long associated with the Muslim League, and had served as a minister in the Suharwardy-led government of Bengal in 1946. He moved to Pakistan after partition envisaging a better future. He believed that Muslim Pakistan would treat Dalits better than the caste-plagued Hindu Congress. This hope proved short-lived — and soon turned into a tale of betrayal. When Mandal returned to Bharat, he met Dr Ambedkar to narrate the horrors in Pakistan Dr Ambedkar was terribly upset, and he issued a statement denouncing the Pakistan Government. He also appealed to Prime Minister Nehru to take speedy steps in evacuating the Scheduled Castes from Pakistan.
It must be asked today that those who commend Dr Ambedkar for leaving the fold of Hinduism never ask why he converted to Buddhism and not Islam. American historian Eric Louis Beverly informs us in his book Hyderabad, British India, and the World (Cambridge University Press, 2015) that the Nizam of Hyderabad offered Dr Ambedkar Rs. 75 million if he and his flock converted to Islam. Babasaheb spurned the offers of Christians and Muslims. He said, “If one converts to Christianity he ceases to be an Indian. The brotherhood in Islam is confined to the Believers; that is, only to Muslims. It cannot promote universal brother-hood. I will not convert to either of these religions.” Dr Ambedkar saw conversion to Islam and to Christianity as a factor contributing to the “denationalisation” of Dalits and Bharat.
By projecting Dalits as the ‘New Muslims’, a few Ambedkarites along with communalists like Asaduddin Owaisi and the Congress, a plan is being laid down to crush down the growing potentials of Dalits. Muslims want to smother the Dalits in the same persistent caste cobweb. Despite living with high opportunities when compared to other Muslim States, Muslims in India have always accentuated a sense of false victimhood.
There are genuine fears that Dalits are being pushed on the same roadway of victimisation. Babasaheb laid down the road to freedom and opportunities for Dalits through the Constitution, and he never wanted them to side with Muslims.
{“There was no place for the Scheduled Castes in the heart of the Congress Party and added that Nehru suffered from Muslim mania and his heart was pitiless to the Scheduled Castes.”
-Dr Amebedkar delivering a public address at Jullunder, October 1951. Cited in Dr Ambedkar: Life and Mission, Dhananjay Keer, p. 438}
{“I would like to tell the Scheduled Castes who happen to be impounded inside Pakistan to come over to India by such means as may be available to them. The second thing I want to say is that it would be fatal for the Scheduled Castes, whether in Pakistan or in Hyderabad, to put their faith in Muslims or Muslim League. It has become a habit with the Scheduled Castes to look upon the Muslims as their friends simply because they dislike Hindus. This is a mistaken view.”
- Dr Ambedkar, The Free Press Journal, November 28, 1947. Cited in Dr Ambedkar: Life and Mission, Dhananjay Keer, p. 399}
{“The existence of social evils among the Muslims is distressing enough. But far more distressing is the fact that there is no organised movement of social reforms among the
Musalmans of India on a scale sufficient to bring about their eradication ... they oppose any change in the existing practices.”
-Dr Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India, p. 233}