Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (April 14, 1891 – December 6, 1956), commonly known as Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar (Marathi: बाबासाहेब Babasaheb "Respected Father"). He was an Indian polymath: jurist, economist, politician, philosopher, anthropologist, sociologist, educationist, editor, journalist, historian and writer. He pioneered revival of Buddhism in India and inspired the modern Buddhist movement. He was the champion of human rights, independent India's first law minister, the architect of the Constitution of India and founding father of republic India.
- 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.
- The greatest thing the Buddha has done is to tell the world that the world cannot be reformed except by the reformation of the mind of man and the mind of the world.
- Every progress has its bill of costs and only those who pay for it will have that progress.
- I was born a Hindu but will not die one.
- I prefer Buddhism because it gives three principles in combination, which no other religion does. Buddhism teaches prajna (understanding as against superstition and supernaturalism), karuna (love), and samara (equality). This is what man wants for a good and happy life. Neither god nor soul can save society.
- Caste is not just a division of labour, it is a division of labourers.
- As quoted in The Annihilation of Caste
- The Brahmin of Panjab is racially of the same stock as the Chamar of Punjab". ... "Caste system does not demarcate racial division. Caste system is a social division of people of the same race.
- Annihilation of Caste. See p.49 of his Writings and Speeches, vol.1, Education Dpt., Government of Maharashtra 1979. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (1991). Ayodhya and after: Issues before Hindu society.
- Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man's life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.
- As quoted in Book Of Happiness, by Jagdish Gupta
- In every country the intellectual class is the most influential class. This is the class which can foresee, advise and lead. In no country does the mass of the people live the life for intelligent thought and action. It is largely imitative and follows the intellectual class. There is no exaggeration in saying that the entire destination of the country depends upon its intellectual class. If the intellectual class is honest and independent, it can be trusted to take the initiative and give a proper lead when a crisis arises. It is true that the intellect by itself is no virtue. It is only a means and the use of a means depends upon the ends which an intellectual person pursues. An intellectual man can be a good man but he may easily be a rogue. Similarly an intellectual class may be a band of high-souled persons, ready to help, ready to emancipate erring humanity or it may easily be a gang of crooks or a body of advocates of narrow clique from which it draws its support.
- So long as you do not achieve social liberty, whatever freedom is provided by the law is of no avail to you.
- Speech delivered to the Bombay Presidency Mahar Conference (31 May 1936)
- Religion must mainly be a matter of principles only. It cannot be a matter of rules. The moment it degenerates into rules, it ceases to be a religion, as it kills responsibility which is an essence of the true religious act.
- There can be no doubt that the fall of Buddhism in India was due to the invasions of the Musalmans. Islam came out as the enemy of the 'But'. The word 'But' as everybody knows, is the Arabic word and means an idol. Thus the origin of the word indicates that in the Moslem mind idol worship had come to be identified with the Religion of the Buddha. To the Muslims, they were one and the same thing. The mission to break the idols thus became the mission to destroy Buddhism. Islam destroyed Buddhism not only in India but wherever it went. Before Islam came into being Buddhism was the religion of Bactria, Parthia, Afghanistan, Gandhar, and Chinese Turkestan, as it was of the whole of Asia. In all these countries Islam destroyed Buddhism.
- "The Decline and Fall of Buddhism", in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, Vol. III (1987), Government of Maharashtra, p. 229
- The Mussalman invaders sacked the Buddhist universities of Nalanda, Vikramshila, Jagaddala, Odantapuri to name only a few. They raised to the ground Buddhist monasteries with which the country was studded. The monks fled away in thousands to Nepal, Tibet and other places outside India. A very large number were killed outright by the Muslim commanders. How the Buddhist priesthood perished by the sword of the Muslim invaders has been recorded by the Muslim historians themselves.
- "The Decline and Fall of Buddhism", in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, Vol. III (1987), Government of Maharashtra, p. 238
- Summarizing the evidence relating to the slaughter of the Buddhist Monks perpetrated by the Musalman General in the course of his invasion of Bihar in 1197 AD, Mr. Vincent Smith says, "....Great quantities of plunder were obtained, and the slaughter of the 'shaven headed Brahmans', that is to say the Buddhist monks, was so thoroughly completed, that when the victor sought for someone capable of explaining the contents of the books in the libraries of the monasteries, not a living man could be found who was able to read them. 'It was discovered,' we are told, 'that the whole of that fortress and city was a college, and in the Hindi tongue they call a college Bihar.' " Such was the slaughter of the Buddhist priesthood perpetrated by the Islamic invaders. The axe was struck at the very root. For by killing the Buddhist priesthood, Islam killed Buddhism. This was the greatest disaster that befell the religion of the Buddha in India.
- "The Decline and Fall of Buddhism", in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, Vol. III (1987), Government of Maharashtra, p. 229-388
- I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.
- I will choose only the least harmful way for the country. And that is the greatest benefit I am conferring on the country by embracing Buddhism; for Buddhism is a part and parcel of Bhâratîya culture. I have taken care that my conversion will not harm the tradition of the culture and history of this land.'
- Quoted in Dhananjay Keer: Ambedkar, p.498. (Dr. Ambedkar, Life and Mission. Popular Prakashan, Bombay 1987 (1962).)
Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)
- The Muslim invaders, no doubt, came to India singing a hymn of hate against the Hindus. But, they did not merely sing their hymn of hate and go back burning a few temples on the way. That would have been a blessing. They were not content with so negative a result. They did a positive act, namely, to plant the seed of Islam. The growth of this plant is remarkable. It is not a summer sapling. It is as great and as strong as an oak. Its growth is the thickest in Northern India. The successive invasions have deposited their ‘silt’ more there than anywhere else, and have served as watering exercises of devoted gardeners. Its growth is so thick in Northern India that the remnants of Hindu and Buddhist culture are just shrubs. Even the Sikh axe could not fell this oak. (pp. 65)
- It is a notorious fact that many prominent Hindus who had offended the religious susceptibilities of the Muslims either by their writings or by their part in the Shudhi movement have been murdered by some fanatic Musalmans.... This is, of course, a very short list and could be easily expanded. But whether the number of prominent Hindus killed by fanatic Muslims is large or small matters little. What matters is the attitude of those who count towards these murderers. The murderers paid the penalty of law where law is enforced. The leading Moslems, however, never condemned theses criminals. On the contrary, they were hailed as religious martyrs and agitation was carried on for clemency being shown to them. As an illustration of this attitude, one may refer to Mr. Barkat Ali, a Barrister of Lahore, who argued the appeal of Abdul Qayum. He went to the length of saying that Qayum was not guilty of murder of Nathuramal because his act was justifiable by the law of the Koran. This attitude of the Moslems is quite understandable. What is not understandable is the attitude of Mr. Gandhi. (p. 157)
- Everybody infers that Islam must be free from slavery and caste. Regarding slavery nothing needs to be said. It stands abolished now by law. But while it existed much of its support was derived from Islam and Islamic countries. (228-230)
- Thus the Koran, in this matter of slavery, is the enemy of mankind ... While the prescriptions by the Prophet regarding the just and humane treatment of slaves contained in the Koran are praiseworthy, there is nothing whatever in Islam that lends support to the abolition of this curse. (p. 228)
- The existence of these evils among the Muslims is distressing enough. But far more distressing is the fact that there is no organized movement of social reform among the Musalmans of India on a scale sufficient to bring about their eradication. The Hindus have their social evils. But there is relieving feature about them-namely, that some of them are conscious of their existence and a few of them are actively agitating for their removal. Indeed, they oppose any change in their existing practices. It is noteworthy that the Muslims opposed the Child-Marriage Bill brought in the Central Assembly in 1930, whereby the age for marriage of a girl was raised to 14 and of a boy to 18 on the ground that it was opposed to the Muslim cannon law. Not only did they oppose the bill at every stage but that when it became law they started a campaign of Civil Disobedience against that Act. (p. 233)
- Muslim politicians do not recognize secular categories of life as the basis of their politics because to them it means the weakening of the community in its fight against the Hindus. The poor Muslims will not join the poor Hindus to get justice from the rich. Muslim tenants will not join Hindu tenants to prevent the tyranny of the landlord. Muslim labourers will not join Hindu labourers in the fight of labour against the capitalist. Why? The answer is simple. The poor Muslim sees that if he joins in the fight of the poor aginst the rich, he may be fighting against a rich Muslim. The Muslim labourer feels that if he joins in the onslaught of labour against capitalist he will be injuring a Muslim mill-owner. He is conscious that any injury to a rich Muslim, to a Muslim landlord or to a Muslim mill-owner, is a disservice to the Muslim community, for it is thereby weakened in its struggle against the Hindu community. (p. 236)
- The third thing that is noticeable is the adoption by the Muslims of the gangster's method in politics. The riots are a sufficient indication that gangsterism has become a settled part of their strategy in politics. They seem to be consciously and deliberately imitating the Sudeten Germans in the means employed by them against the Czechs. So long as the Muslims were the aggressors, the Hindus were passive, and in the conflict they suffered more than the Muslims did. But this is no longer true. The Hindus have learned to retaliate and no longer feel any compunction in knifing a Musalman. This spirit of retaliation bids fair to produce the ugly spectacle of gangsterism against gangsterism.
How to meet this problem must exercise the minds of all concerned. (p. 269)
- According to Muslim cannon Law the world is divided into two camps, Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam) and Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war). A country is Dar-ul-Islam when it is ruled by Muslims. A country is Dar-ul-Harb when Muslims only reside in it but are not rulers of it. That being the Cannon Law of the Muslims, India cannot be the common motherland of the Hindus and the Musalmans-but it cannot be the land of the ‘ Hindus and Musalmans living as equals’. Further, it can be the land of the Musalmans only when it is governed by the Muslims. The moment the land become subject to the authority of a non-Muslims power, it ceases to be the land of the Muslims. Instead of being Dar-ul-Islam it becomes Dar-ul-Harb. (294)
- It might also be mentioned that Hijrat is not the only way of escape to Muslims who find themselves in a Dar-ul-Harb. There is another injunction of Muslim Cannon Law called Jihad (crusade) by which it becomes “incumbent on a Muslim ruler to extend the rules of Islam until the whole world shall have been brought under its sway. The world, being divided into two camps, Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam), Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war), all countries come under one category or the other. Technically, it is the duty of the Muslim ruler, who is capable of doing so, to transform Dar-ul-Harb into Dar-ul-Islam. The fact remains that India, if not exclusively under Muslim rule, is a Dar-ul-Harb and the Musalmans according to the tenets of Islam are justified in proclaiming a Jihad. Not only can they proclaim Jihad but they can call the aid of a foreign Muslim power to make Jihad success, or if the foreign Muslim power intends to proclaim a Jihad, help that power in making its endeavor a success. (295-296)
- To the Muslims, a Hindu (and any non-Muslim) is a Kafir. A Kafir (non-believer in Islam) is not worthy of respect. He is a low born and without status. That is why a country ruled by the kafir (non-muslim) is a ‘Dar ul harb’ (i.e. the land of war) to a Muslim, which must be conquered, by any means for the Muslims and turned into ‘Dar ul Islam’ (i.e., land of Muslims alone). Given this, not further evidence seems necessary to prove that the Muslims will not obey a Hindu (or for that matter any non-Muslim) government. (p. 301)
- Islam is a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is the brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only. There is fraternity but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity. (pp. 330-331)
- In other words, Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin. That is probably the reason why Maulana Mahomed Ali, a great Indian but a true Muslim, preferred to be buried in Jerusalem rather than in India. (pp. 330-331)
Political Science for Civil Services Main Examination (2010)
- N.D. Arora. Political Science for Civil Services Main Examination. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. p. 1–25. ISBN 978-0-07-009094-1.
- Every man who repeats the dogma of Mill that one country is not fit to rule another country must admit that a class is not fit to rule another class.
- For a successful revolution, it is not enough that there is enough discontent. What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of justice, necessity and importance of political and social rights.
- History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vs vested interests have never been be known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them.
- In Hinduism, conscience, reason, and independent thinking have no scope for development.
- Indians today are governed by different ideologies. Their political ideal set in the Preamble of the Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them.
- I was born a Hindu because I had no control over this, but I shall not die a Hindu.
- A great man is different from an eminent one in that he is ready to be servant of the society.
- It was not enough that India should get Swaraj. It was more important in whose hands the Swaraj would be.
- Freedom of mind is the real freedom. A person whose mind is not free though he may not be in chains, is a slave, not a free man. One whose mind is not free, though he may not be in prison, is a prisoner and not a free man. One whose mind is not free though alive, is no better than dead. Freedom of mind is the proof of one's existence.
- Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man's life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self too.
- Indifferentism is the worst kind of disease that can affect people.
- History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them.
- On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which is Assembly has to laboriously built up.”
- If I find the constitution being misused, I shall be the first to burn it.
- Equality may be a fiction but nonetheless one must accept it as governing principle.
- Majorities are of two sorts: (1) Communal majority and (ii) political majority. A political majority is changeable in its class composition. A political majority grows. A communal majority is born.The admission to a political majority is open. The door in a communal majority is closed. The politics of political majority are free to all to make and unmake. The politics of community majority are made by its own members born in it.
Quotes about Ambedkar
- Ambedkar stands as the fountainhead of wisdom and knowledge in modern India.
- But though Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar had been a Buddhist for only seven weeks, during that period he had probably done more for the promotion of Buddhism than any other Indian since Ashoka. At the time of this death three quarters of a million Untouchables had become Buddhists, and in the months that followed hundreds of thousands more took the same step – despite the uncertainty and confusion that had been created by the sudden loss of their great leader… This was Ambedkar’s last and greatest achievement, so that even though it was as the Architect of the Constitution of Free India and the Modern Manu that he passed into official history and is today most widely remembered, his real significance consists in the fact that it was he who established a revived Indian Buddhism on a firm foundation.
- Sangharakshita, Ambedkar and Buddhism
- Dr. Ambedkar, the creator of Indian Constitution, spread awareness about the religion in 1956. Today, we need to understand the real meaning of Buddha, Buddhism.
- His contributions are great.
- Asserting that Dr.Ambedkar, maker of Indian Constitution was a great scholar, in "Secular ethics is the light of hope: Dalai Lama" by Vaishali Balajiwale, in dnaIndia (4 Janurary 2015)
- At Sangh Parivar functions, a picture of Ambedkar is mostly displayed along with pictures of Maharana Pratap, Shivaji, Guru Govind Singh, Hedgewar, Golwalkar and other more obvious Hindutva heroes. During BJP President L.K. Advani's flopped Rath Yatra (car procession) before the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, his car carried just two pictures: of freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose and of Dr. Ambedkar.
- Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
- Ambedkar took a cool and hard look at Islam as a sworn enemy of Hindu society, even while being bitterly critical of the latter. Dr. Ambedkar was particularly outspoken about the social injustices in Islam, especially in his book Pakistan or the Partition of India (1940). According to his biographer Dhananjay Keer, “some penetrating and caustic paragraphs were deleted, it is said, at the instance of Ambedkar’s close admirers” for the sake of his own safety; but what remains is still quite radical. Dr. Ambedkar also rejected Islam because it had destroyed Buddhism in India and other countries... But Dr. Ambedkar has also written: “There can be no doubt that the fall of Buddhism was due to the invasions of the Muslims.”... Many of Dr. Ambedkar’s observations on Islam would now be branded as “Hindu communalist” by the very people who claim his heritage. in fact, the literature of the RSS Parivar offers no counterpart to Ambedkar’s strong language about Islam: he was more openly anti-Islamic than Savarkar, Golwalkar or any Hindutva stalwart who is regularly accused of being just that. From the Hindu Revivalist point of view, Ambedkar, in writing his incisive criticism of Islam, did the homework which the Hindutva ideologues neglected.
- Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism, with quotes from Dhananjay Keer and Ambedkar
- We believe that the future is what we make it. We believe that no matter who you are or where you come from, every person can fulfill their God-given potential. Just as a Dalit like Dr. Ambedkar could lift himself up and pen the words of the constitution that protects the rights of all Indians. We believe that no matter where you live – whether a village in Punjab or the by lanes of Chandni Chowk, an old section of Kolkata or a new high-rise in Bangalore – every person deserves the same chance to live in security and dignity, to get an education, to find work, and to give their children a better future.
- There was one portrait. And interestingly, it was not of the leader of the Shiv Sena or of Shivaji, the Sena's warrior god, but of the long-dead Dr. Ambedkar (...) Popular-and near-ecstatic-movements like the Shiv Sena ritualize many different needs. The Sena here, honouring an angry and (for all his eminence) defeated man, seemed quite different from the Sena the newspapers wrote about.
- V.S. Naipaul: A Wounded Civilization, p.65., writing about a Shiv Sena centre in Mumbai.
- Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was fearless. He propogated love and humanity. He loved people and gave them a thought of humanity. Babasaheb never gave up he was fearless. So today I have had difficulties, problems or situation is bad I remember Babasaheb. That's why I get inspiration from him. That's why Babasaheb is my role model"
- I have seen people who are born in the lowest category of Hindu law, the sudras, the untouchables, so intelligent: when India became independent, the man who made the constitution of India, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, was a sudra. There was no equal to his intelligence as far as law is concerned — he was a world-famous authority... Ambedkar was educated in England, and he became the world-famous authority as far as constitutions are concerned. And when he came back to India, India became free and there was no choice; nobody was even close to him...
- Ambedkar is my Father in Economics. He is true celebrated champion of the underprivileged. He deserves more than what he has achieved today. However he was highly controversial figure in his home country, though it was not the reality. His contribution in the field of economics is marvelous and will be remembered forever..!
- Amartya Sen, "Dr. BR Ambedkar: As an Economist." International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention 2.3 (2013): 24-27.
- Dr. Ambedkar never got disappointed with difficult tasks, but faced the situation with great courage. I am especially appealing to the younger generation of students to take a leaf out of Dr. Ambedkar's life. At difficult times, his life can be a great inspiration.... [Ambedkar] came to the RSS camp in Pune and appreciated its patriotism, discipline and complete absence of untouchability. But he said he was in a hurry and Sangh work appears to be a little slow.... We salute the Architect of our Constitution, his erudition and hard work, his great patriotism and practical outlook. But it was natural that he could not stomach the indignities heaped on the Dalits and the attitude of our upper castes in the Hindu society appeared to change too slowly. Let us take a vow on this occasion to make the Hindu society free from aberrations, a society full of harmony, self-confidence and knowledge, so that it can carry the message of the great Rishis to the whole world.
- RSS Sarsanghchalak Prof. Rajendra Singh: Abroad, p.62-64 (SINGH, Rajendra: Sarsanghchalak Speaks Abroad. Suruchi Prakashan, Delhi 1996.)