Ambedkar’s Ideology: Religion, Nationalism and Constitution - Ram Puniyani

29 April 2015
IN ORDER to gain larger legitimacy, RSS has been making claims of sorts. One of that which was made few months back was that Gandhi was impressed by functioning of RSS. Now on the heels of that comes another distortion that Ambedkar believed in Sangh ideology (Feb 15, 2015). This was stated by RSS Sarsanghchalak, Mohan Bhagwat. Recently on the occasion of Ambedkar’s 124th anniversary many programs were held by RSS combine giving a pro-Hindutva tilt to presentation of Ambedkar. There cannot be bigger contrasts between the ideology of Ambedkar and RSS. Ambedkar was for Indian Nationalism, Secularism and social justice while the RSS ideology is based on two major pillars. One is the Brahmanic interpretation of Hinduism and second is the concept of Hindu nationalism, Hindu Rashtra. Where does Ambedkar stand as for as ideology of Hinduism is concerned? He called Hinduism as Brahminic theology. We also understand that Brahminism has been the dominant tendency within Hinduism. He realized that this prevalent version of Hinduism is essentially a caste system, which is the biggest tormentor of untouchables-dalits. Initially he tried to break the shackles of caste system from within the fold of Hinduism. He led the Chavadar Talab movement (right to access to public drinking water for dalits), Kalaram Mandir agitation (movement for access to temples). He also went on to burn Manu Smriti, the holy Brahmanic- Hindu text saying that it is a symbol of caste and gender hierarchy. His critique of Hinduism, Brahminism was scathing and in due course he came to the conclusion that he will give up Hinduism. In his book ‘Riddles of Hinduism’ published by Govt. of Maharashtra (1987) he elaborates his understanding about Hinduism i.e. its Brahmanical version. Introducing his book he writes, “The book is an exposition of the beliefs propounded by what might be called Brahminic theology...I want to make people aware that Hindu religion is not Sanatan (eternal)...the second purpose of the book is to draw the attention of Hindu masses to the devices of Brahmins and make them think for themselves how they have been deceived and misguided by Brahmins” (from Introduction of the book).
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