The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history, Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster. The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. - Milan Kundera.
In the month June 2012, the Government of Punjab announced that it will set up a ‘cow memorial‘ at a factory site in Joga town, Mansa District, where recovery of cow carcasses had sparked off riots. And a day after announcing a ‘cow memorial’, the Badal Government further announced it will constitute a ‘cow commission‘ to ‘prevent cruelties against the holy animal’. Mr. Badal even made a visit to the factory where cow slaughter was supposedly taking place and instructed the DGP to look into the cases of cow slaughter with interest and thoroughly. Mr. Badal and his party members didn’t even have the time to pay a visit to the blanket factory at Jalandhar which collapsed in April 2012 and which left more than 10 people dead and 100s badly injured. Not even a single statement came in favor of dead or injured in the one of worst factory accidents of Punjab’s history. Was it because people working at that factory were poor and their lives were not as important as the lives of cows? And recently, when a madman at a Wisconsin Sikh Gurdwara killed 6 people, Mr. Badal, CM of Punjab, decided to visit Wisconsin! Isn’t it strange that when in his home state, thousands Dalits are being tortured and when the crime rate against Dalits is going up day by day, he decided to visit Wisconsin to comfort Sikhs of Wisconsin? Is it because these people living abroad finance him and support his party during the election time and the poor Dalits don’t have as much money to donate? So Dalit voices are left unheard.
All these announcements didn’t come to me as surprise as I know who are working behind all these. For centuries, Hindu fundamentalists have always taken a keen interest in destroying Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. RSS’s ‘secret agenda‘, (published by “New Age” weekly of Communist Party, dated 18th-24th June 2000, same was also reproduced by Aajka Surekh Bharat, Nagpur, Oct. 2000, P-44,) shows the same, ‘secret agenda’ in which it was advocated to members that they “teach false history, misguide minority communities, compel them to chant ‘Om’, divide Dalit unity, keep converting Dalits, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists into Hindus etc. There were 34 such points in that ‘secret agenda’, points which were against humanity, mankind & full of hatred. These days, Sikh organizations, Sikh temples etc are hijacked by Hindu fundamentalists and they are running these organizations as they want. Sikh leaders can be seen at Hindu functions, celebrating Hindu festivals, visiting Hindu temples and performing Hindu pujas. How can Dalits, who protected Sikhism at each and every step, trust such Sikh leaders who attend such Hindu functions where Sikhism is being ruined?
Recently, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar has been ranked as “The Greatest Indian”. You can watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J48dmpKoyPo or you can read about it at http://www.outlookindia.com/content10894.asp
An Appeal from Sakya Hostels
Visuddhaloka Welfare Association,
Manali New Town, Chennai
Greetings with love and compassion!
We are obliged for all your support to the Sakya hostels, without which it would not have been possible to turn this dream into a reality. In the year 2005, the people of Karuna Trust, UK came forward to support the Tsunami affected Dalit (Scheduled Caste) children who did not receive due attention during the relief and rehabilitation work undertaken by the NGOs and government. With Karuna Trust support through Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha Sahayaka Gana (TBMSG), Nagpur, two hostels, one for 25 boys and one for 25 girls, were started in Thiruvallur District, Tamil Nadu.
We, the NTI Alumni Tamil Nadu, South India, initiated Visuddhaloka and take care of these children in the Sakya hostels. We provide food, educational materials, bedding, clothes, health care, sports and cultural items. For the last several years we have received no support from Karuna or Taiwan and are managing entirely on our own. It is not easy but we are managing and the hostels are still doing well.
However we are now faced with an emergency situation which is why we are writing to you. Since the beginning, we have run the hostels in rented houses. At present, we have been informed by the house owner that he wants to sell the main building where we have been running the boys’ hostel for the last 7 years.
If you want to destroy a society, destroy its history and the society will get destroyed automatically – Dr. Ambedkar.
On 26th July, a statue of Behan Mayawati was broken in Lucknow; a day later, three statues of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar were broken in Azamgarh and on 30th July, another statue of Dr. Ambedkar was vandalised in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. All this is not new and has been happening to Dalit leaders’ statues, Dalit idols or icons, Dalit places and Dalit history since ages. Numerous Dalit saints/gurus were killed – such as Sant Chakardhar, Sant Namdev, Sant Tukaram, Guru Ravidas, Sant Chokhamela; people even tried to kill Mahatma Jyotiba Phule & Shahuji Maharaj. Dalit history has been maligned and distorted since ages. Historians are supposed to be free from fear, to be sincere, open minded, open hearted truth seekers & also courageous enough to show the truth at any cost. But it is the misfortune of Dalits of India that historians have shown a distorted picture & never showed truth to the people. Being Dalit, we have been taught to hate ourselves, we have been taught that Dalits’ don’t have any history; we have been taught Dalits can’t do any good. Who taught you all this? Upper caste people did.
Dr. Ambedkar’s followers were putting up statues of him in slums and villages even when he was alive but the first official statue of Dr. Ambedkar was set up in 1962, in Mumbai (Bombay) at the Institute of Science crossing. And then came the moment when Dalits started asserting and in 1966, Dr. Radhakrishnan (President of India) inaugurated Dr. Ambedkar’s statue in the Parliament building complex (New Delhi). In Uttar Pradesh, one research study shows that the very first Dr. Ambedkar statue was installed with the contribution of Dalits in around 1966 on the outskirts of Allahabad, and Dalits of Kanpur didn’t take much time to install another statue on the same lines. We must not forget that many installations of Dr. Ambedkar’s statues were opposed by upper caste people with stone pelting or boycotts but Dalits showed courage and didn’t move back. Dalits knew that statues of Dalit idols will stand as a major feature in the Dalit-Bahujan movement. And in all those statues Dr. Ambedkar will stand aloft. How can we forget the struggle and sacrifice of our forefathers?
Statues of Dalit icons are built by Dalit people with their own money and contributions, not with the money from the state as Gandhi-Nehru statues are being made in India. So, why are Dalit icons’ statues being broken and damaged? Statues represent a crucial point in the aspirations of Dalits towards democracy, aspirations of Dalits towards equality and justice. Dalits gather around these statues, get organised, organising functions and all these gatherings give them strength to believe in themselves and get inspired by other fellow Dalits. All these attempts to demolish Dalit icons’ statues is an attempt to demoralise Dalits, deprive Dalits of their rich history and rob them of what Dalits have been able to gather after years of struggle.
It’s just like when you’ve got some coffee that’s too black, which means it’s too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won’t even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep –Malcolm X.
After I wrote the last article on Untouchability & Satyamev Jayate, I got an email asking me -so do I think no upper caste person does any good for Dalits? It is a perfect time for this question. I had wanted to write on the same topic for some time now as there was a discussion going on in a forum on almost the same topic – do organisations owned/run by upper caste people really do any work for Dalits?
Before, I answer this question; can anyone tell me an instance in history where upper caste people ‘collectively’ have done anything for the upliftment of Dalits? You may point to some individuals who have done their bit but if you check out the history of India, there is no such instance where upper caste people ‘collectively’ have done anything for the betterment of Dalits. All that upper caste people want is power and upper caste people have perfected the art of projecting themselves as friends of Dalits. By winning the friendship/support of the Dalits, so called ‘progressive upper caste people’ are able to use Dalits as a pawn in the social-economic-political game. Dalits are nothing but a game played by ‘progressive upper caste people’, based on tokenism or false promises of equality. In this game, played on the rules of deception, only upper caste people have gained and Dalits have remained on the bottom rung.
Many so called ‘progressive upper caste people’ are just like foxes, they keep hiding their true nature and they misguide till the time comes to put their jaws on the misguided. Such people are more dangerous than the people who snarl openly against Dalits. I have never seen a ‘sincere’ upper caste person helping Dalits without any real motive.
Mumbai’s Way: Buddhism in the Daravi slums (Visits to Daravi slums with Dr. Arun Kamble)
You can also watch the same video from this link https://vimeo.com/9441279
My final words of advice to you are Educate, Agitate and Organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is a battle for freedom. It is a battle for the reclamation of the human personality. - Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
Abidhamma = Pertaining to Dhammas
Pariyatti = Study of the theoretical aspects of the Dhamma.
Sama-sam-buddha = One who rediscovers the teachings and teaches the masses as the historical Buddha did.
Vinaya Pitaka = The Vinaya Pitaka contains the rules for monks and nuns, monastic jurisprudence & the early history of the Sangha.
Tipitaka = “Path” or “Way of Dhamma”. This book consists of a collection of 423 verses grouped into 26 chapters.
Paccekabuddha = A silent Buddha.
Arahant = Fully enlightened person.
Dhamma = Teaching & doctrines of the Buddha, called as Dhamma because they explain & describe nature of things, the way things are, and the way they operate.
Bodhisatta = A person who is seeking to be a Buddha
Nibbana = A Bliss of No-Craving
4 Stages in the realization of Nibbana
Sotapanna – Stream-entrant
Sakadagami – Once returner
Anagami – Non returner
Arahant – The Holy One
Buddha = Gyan/Vigyan/Tarq/Bodhi,
Dhamma = Gyan ka Marg/Astangik Marg/Madhyam Marg,
Sangha = Gyan ke Marg par chal rahe/chalchuke log
Today, I got stumbled upon news that RBI is considering national iconsfor Indian currency. The name of Dr. B R Ambedkar has been recommended for Indian currency. It reminded me of the time of my childhood, when first time in my life I had seen the Rs. 1 coin with Dr. Ambedkar’s photo on it. I was filled with the joy and kept that coin in the closet, never to lose it. I know this is not only with me but millions other Dalits also want to see Dr. Ambedkar on Indian currency and experience same joy. Few years back, I even came in contact with family who had actually provided RBI the picture of Dr Ambedkar for Rs. 1 coin. It was wonderful feeling knowing the journey and I’m sure almost same feeling evokes in Dalits when they see picture of Dr. Ambedkar on coins. I’ll say if any person deserves to be on Indian currency then that person should be Dr. Ambedkar. Nobody else deserves that place on Indian currency. We must make sure RBI don’t forget Dr. Ambedkar’s name in later stage. So, I request everyone in capacity to make our voice reach higher authorities that we love Dr. Ambedkar more than any other icon in India so we want Dr Ambedkar’s picture on Indian currency.
Dr Ambedkar’s Role in the Formation of Reserve Bank of India
Did you know Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came into picture according to the guidelines laid down by Dr Ambedkar? RBI was conceptualized as per the guidelines, working style and outlook presented by Dr Ambedkar in front of the Hilton Young Commission. When this commission came to India under the name of “Royal Commission on Indian Currency & Finance”, each and every member of this commission were holding Dr Ambedkar’s book named “The Problem of the Rupee – Its origin and its solution.”
(The legislative assembly passed this under the name of RBI act 1934, its need, working style and its outlook was presented by Dr Ambedkar in-front of Hilton Young Commission. Read, “Evidence before the Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance” and “The Problem of the Rupee – Its origin and its solution.”)
Now, walking through the streets of India, on most of the “State Bank of India’s” (SBI’s) street hoardings it shows Rabindranath Tagore as “The banker to this nation”, as if Rabindranath Tagore is the brand ambassador of SBI!
What hurts many of us is the picture of Mr. Gandhi on the Indian currency. We need to ask everyone what’s the contribution of these two leaders (Rabindranath Tagore and Mr. Gandhi) towards Indian currency, finance and economics, and who deserves to be there on the signposts or on Indian currency?
If a man with God’s name on his tongue and a sword under his armpit deserved the appellation of a Mahatma, then Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a Mahatma. – Babasaheb Ambedkar
Writing about who deserves the place on Indian currency reminds me of a Hollywood movie “Do the Right Thing” directed a way back in 1989 by Spike Lee. Movie revolves around the demand of Afro-Americans to place some pictures of black heroes on the “Wall of Fame” in a pizza shop (where all pictures are of Italian heroes as pizza shop owner is from Italy and very proud of that) as the pizzeria is situated in a black neighbourhood and sells pizza to black people.
At the end of the struggle Afro-Americans succeeded to have a picture of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, shaking hands on the “Wall of Fame.”
(excerpts from article “Why weren’t we told?”)
P.S. Please spread the message, Like the post and share it with your friends. We want picture of Dr Ambedkar on Indian currency!
Almost everyone is talking about new T.V. serial ‘Satyamev Jayate’, Aamir Khan and dowry system. Though I have not seen a single episode of this serial but I think I am somehow connected with the discussions because my parents are worried about my marriage and are searching a ‘perfect match’. Few weeks ago; I and my friend, Ravi, were talking about the marriage and why shouldn’t we? Everyone is getting married; many of my and his college friends got married and even produced offspring! My friend seemed quite worried as he was ‘turning 30’ within weeks and was still unmarried. We were discussing, teasing and chuckling over all the aspects of marriage, yes all the aspects, if you get me right. While discussing we reached to a point where ‘dowry’ came to picture.
“On my marriage, I will never ask for dowry or even a single paisa.” I only need a good girl, who can understand me. I said to my friend.
“Yes, then you will never get married. Why don’t you need money, you are an engineer so you have price tag. If you will not ask for dowry, get your facts right that you will probably not get married.” He nonstop told me a story that one of his engineer friend said to his future parents-in-law that he don’t want a single paise as dowry and his future parents-in-law got suspicious if boy really work as an engineer or not or if something is wrong with the boy? And finally his parents-in-law-to-be broke the marriage.
Further trying to be serious my friend told me that there is no need to demand, there are ways devised since our forefathers to extract money from the girl’s parents. You just need to be up to date and move with the world!
I couldn’t understand the meaning of ‘up to date’ and asked him to let me know how to be up to date and move with the world?
He replied, okay, now suppose you want money and you are not able to ask it directly from the girl’s parents. You don’t even need to say it, you just mention your bank account number few times and give your bank account number, all will be set and her parents will understand! And yes, while giving bank account number don’t forget to say. “Main to Sadhu aadmi hu, paise ko hath nai lagata.” (I am a saint and I don’t touch money!)
Next, before marriage just tells your parents-in-law that if you want that your daughter don’t travel on feet, you know that how hard it is to walk these days in sun, if you want that your daughter don’t travel in crowdy buses, please give car to her. And yes, Maruti is not a good brand these days and has lost its share value, I love General Motors. Don’t forget to mention – I don’t need car and I can do it without it, or I will only be driver for your daughter.