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Dr. B.R.Ambedkar’s Contribution

Dr. B.R.Ambedkar’s Contribution

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Dr. B.R.Ambedkar\u2019s Contribution
To Buddhist Education In India
By Nishikant Waghmare
16 February, 2007

\u201cNoble is your aim and sublime and glorious is your mission. Blessed are those who are
awakened to their duty to those among whom they are born. Glory to those who devote
their time, talents and their all to the amelioration of slavery. Glory to those who would
reap their struggle for the liberation of the enslaved in spite of heavy odds, carpine
humiliation, storms and dangers till the downtrodden secure their Human Rights.\u201d-

Bharat Ratna Babasaheb Dr.B.R.Ambedkar.

Today\u2019s Ambedkarites may have reduced their mentor to a symbol to center their
electoral campaign on, but history will view Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar differently
\u2014as a man whose genius extended over a diverse arrange of human affairs. Born to
Mahar parents, Babasaheb would have been one of the many Untouchable of his times
condemned to a life of suffering and misery, had he not doggedly overcome the
oppressive circumstances of his birth to rise to pre-eminence in India\u2019s public life.
Ambedkar was, of course, a towering leader of the Untouchables, but he was also much
more- patriot, scholar, thinker and Founding Father of the Indian Constitution.

Ambedkar started the Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha and the Samaj Samanta Sangh for the
uplift of untouchables. He led processions and dharnas for his community, demanded
separate electorates for them, parted ways with Gandhi, violently differing with Gandhi\u2019s
approach toward the Untouchables, and finally, left the Hindu fold, embracing with
thousands of his followers the more egalitarian faith of Buddhism.

India got Independence 55 years ago, till today Dalit has to suffer for basic needs for
their day to day living i.e. Drinking water, food, shelter and Right to live as human being
in society. The Untouchables \u201cDalit\u201d were denied even Human Rights, which are
essential for a bare existence of human life. They were not allowed to drink water from
public well; and even their shadow was supposed to pollute the so- called upper Castes.
The Hindu social order made the life of the Dalit miserable in every sense of the term.
The Hindu Dharmashastra gave sanction to this evil Caste system and the practice of
Untochability. This continued for the Centuries.

Then arose on the horizon Dr. BabaSaheb Ambedkar, the liberator of the Millions of
downtrodden in India. He made abolition of the Caste system and Untouchability a
mission of His life. Perhaps it would take a rebirth by the Mahatma Gandhi to end the
abominable evil of Caste. As he he had said: \u201cIf I do not want to attain moksha, I do not
want to be reborn. But if I were to be reborn, I should be born an Untouchable\u2026 not as
a Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya or Shudra But as an Atishudra, a Bhangi.\u201d

Babasaheb Ambedkar raised the banner of Buddhism and brought back to his
motherland the Buddha who suffered an exile for over twelve hundred years. Ambedkar,
a man of provocative learning, challenged opponents of Buddhism to hold discussions
with him, and was confident that he would defeat all Pandits. He propagated Buddhism
in India. He made the provision for the study of Pali in the Indian constitution. The

Government of India had declared Buddha Jayanti a holiday mainly through his efforts.
Dr. Ambedkar was the greatest Pioneer of Buddhist revival in India.

India, no doubt, continues to be proud of its Buddhist heritage. Since regaining
independence, Buddhist symbols like the Wheel of Dhamma and the Asoka Capital,
have become national symbols and the Mathura Buddha adorns the house of
Parliament and inspires Indian lawmakers.

The Buddha established a classless society by opening the gates of the Sangha to all
deserving individuals, making no distinction between caste and class. The fundamental
principle of Buddhism is equality\u2026 Buddhism was called the religion of the Shudra\u2019s\u2026 \u201d
There was only one man who raised his voice against separatism and Untouchability
and that was Lord Buddha... Buddhism is the only religion, which does not recognize
caste and affords full scope for progress.

Dr. Ambedkar\u2019s speech on the Eve of the great conversion at Nagpur on October14,
1956, Dr. Ambedkar said Buddhism can serve not only this country, India, but the whole
World at this juncture in the world affairs; Buddhism is indispensable for world peace
you must pledge today that you, the followers of Buddha, will not only work to liberate
yourself, but will try to elevate your country and the world in general.

Dr. Ambedkar declared: \u201cBy discarding my ancient religion which stood for inequality
and oppression today I am reborn. I have no faith in the philosophy of incarnation; and it
is wrong and mischievous to say that Buddha was an incarnation of Vishnu. I am no
more a devotee of any Hindu god or goddess. I will not perform shradha. I will strictly
follow the eightfold path of Buddha. Buddhism is a true religion and I will lead a life
guided by the tree principles of knowledge, right path and compassion. Dr. Ambedkar
denounced Hinduism, its customs and traditions and declared that from that moment
onwards he would strive for the spread of equality among human beings.

Emancipation and empowerment of Dalits is possible only through education. The
present Dalit leadership, unlike Spartacus or Ambedkar, is suffering from intellectual
bankruptcy. It fails to criticize the ruling classes or follow Ambedkar\u2019s philosophical and
ideological roots. Nearly 60 to 70 per cent of India\u2019s wealth belongs to Dalits. It is their
blood and sweat. But they are the principle victims of the system.

Dr. Ambedkar explained to his people that \u201ca great responsibility had fallen on their
shoulders in connection with the upholding of Buddhism; and if they would not follow
rigidly and nobly the principles of Buddhism, it would mean that the Mahars reduced it to
a miserable state, no other person under that the sum was burdened with such
unparalleled responsibility as he was, he concluded.

Dr. Ambedkar set the wheel of Dhamma in motion once again, spreading the message
of his Master to all the corners of the world. The Buddhists said the \u201cthe Dhamma
Chakra was set revolution by Dr.Ambedkar and it was the greatest religious revolution
which India had witnessed in modern times.\u201d

Dr. Ambedkar dedicated himself to the propagation of the Buddhist faith in India. He wrote a book on Buddhism titled \u201cBuddha and His Dhamma\u201d explaining its tenets in simple language to the common man. His two other books \u201cRevolution and Counter Revolution in India\u2019 and \u201cBuddha and Karl Marx\u201d

The malafide intentions of including the Buddha in the Avatara pantheon are also clear
from the fact that the Brahmins never worshiped the Buddha and no temples were built
in his honour. Logically, the theory that Buddha is an incarnation of Vishnu is dubious
one. Therefore, Dr. Ambedkar exhorted Buddhists not to believe that the Buddha was
an incarnation of Vishnu. Now even a Brahmin Priest agrees that the Buddha was not
an incarnation of Vishnu. Principal Vipassana Teacher, Shri S.N.Goenka and
Sankaracharya of Kanchikam Kote Peetham Sri Jayendra Saraswati made a joint
declaration on 11.11.1999 at Sarnath that Gotama the Buddha was not an incarnation
of Vishnu.

\u201cI am reported to be against peace. This is not correct. I am for peace. But, the peace,
which is, based on justice not the peace of a graveyard. So long as justice is not
respected in the world there cannot be any peace. Buddhism and Buddhism alone can
save the World.\u201d

Dr. B.R.Ambedkar a great scholar, Lawyer and freedom fighter along with hundreds of thousands of Mahar\u2019s an untouchable caste, converted to Buddhism and changed the face of Buddhism in India. Dr. Ambedkar\u2019s conversion was a symbolic protest to the oppressions of caste inequality. His conversion was an intellectual decision that would meet with the least opposition from the Hindu majority.

India, have no leader of the kind Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Indian Crusader for Social
Justice and Champion of Human Rights. One of the greatest contributions of Dr.
Ambedkar was in respect of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy
enshrined in the Indian Constitution. The fundamental Rights provide for freedom,
equality, abolition of Untouchability and remedies to ensure the enforcement of rights.

Fifty-five years after independence, Caste prejudices in India have not erased very
much. And now there is a deliberate attempt to revive these prejudices to their former
position.

Grundtvig\u2019s conception about Nordic mythology and Christian \u201cAnskuelese\u201d may be
compared with Ambedkar\u2019s views on the original tradition of Buddhism as a source of
inspiration. In describing the work of on Buddhism he said\u201d we have started this
movement to develop and educate our minds\u201d Explaining the need for religion among
the poor as a need arising for hope, Ambedkar referred to a German professor of his,
Professor Wintermitz.

\u201cThe Watergang Rabelan Depth was the book which he recommended and by which I was much inspired. It is only the poor, he said who need religion.\u201d Hope is the spring of action in life. Religion affords hope. Therefore, mankind finds solace in the religion, and that is why the poor cling to religion.\u201d

Those who are turned to Buddhism, but remained within Hinduism but wanted Hinduism
to change, Ambedkar made the following suggestion:
\u201cYou must give a new doctrinal basis to your religion-a-basis that will be in consonance
with Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, in short, with Democracy.\u201d

Dr. BabaSaheb Ambedkar once commented, \u201cDalit representatives elected from
reserved seats open their mouth in the Indian parliament only when they have to yawn.\u201d
-

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Really it is inspiring and vision & mission oriented to get positive results which India need now in the form Buddism. Jai Bheem.
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