Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Direct Action Day - The Bengal Files: Part 2


Direct Action Day - The Bengal Files: Part 2

Revenge of Hindus

Jinnah chose Kolkata (Calcutta) for his Direct Action day coz he wanted to have Kolkata in Pakistan. Kolkata was a major business city of India at that time, & Jinnah didn’t want to lose Kolkata!

The mission to Make Kolkata Hindu-free was given to Suhrawardy, who was Chief Minister of Bengal, & loyal to Jinnah.

At that time, Calcutta had 64% Hindus and 33% Muslims in 1946.

Suhrawardy started to execute his plan on 16th August - a strike was declared by him & all Muslims closed their shops, & gathered in maschid. It was Friday n 18th day of Ramzan.and after namaz, a
Muslim mob started to butcher Hindus!

And as Suhrawardy expected, Hindus didn’t show any resistance, and easily succumbed to Muslim mobs.

Suhrawardy assured the Muslim mobs, that he has instructed the Police to not come in the way of their mission.

Mobs of lakhs of Muslims, armed with iron rods, swords and other dangerous weapons, spread to several parts of Calcutta, and neighbouring areas.

A Hindu shop of arms and weapons near the Muslim League office was attacked first. it was looted and burnt to ashes. The owner and his employees were beheaded. Hindus were chopped down ike vegetables. Many Hindu women and young girls were kidnapped and taken away as sex slaves.

On 16th August thousands of Hindus were killed & Hindu women were raped.

Killings continued on 17th August also.
600 Hindu labourers, mostly from Orissa at Kesoram Cotton Mills Lichubagan were beheaded.

A dance of massacre was going on in Kolkata. Hindus were running away from Kolkata, Suhrawardy was assured about his victory by 19th August.

Thousands of Hindus had been killed till 17th August.

But on 18th August, A Hindu decided to resist the Muslim mibs!He was a Bengali Brahmin & his name was Gopal Mukherjee. His friends used to call him Patha coz he used to run a meat shop.

He used to live at Malanga Lane in the Bowbazar area of Kolkata.

Gopal was 33 year old that time, & a staunch nationalist, and firm follower of Subash Chandra Bose & critique of Gandhi’s principle of non-violence.

Gopal used to run a street organization Bharat Jatiya Bahini. He had 500 - 700 people in his team - all were well-trained wrestlers.

On 18th Aug Gopal decided that they will not run away, & will will do a counter attack on the Muslims.

He called his wrestlers, gave them weapons. A Marwari businessman decided to finance him, & gave him adequate money.

His plan was first to secure Hindu areas by counter attacks.

His words were “Kill 10 Muslims for every 1 Hindu!”

Thr Muslim League had lakhs of jihadis, while Gopal had only few hundred fighters, but they made a plan, & decided to fight till end to save Kolkata becoming a Muslim city.

They made the rules that unlike Muslims they will not touch any enemy women n children.

Gopal himself was having 2 pistols that he had got from Azad Hind Fauj. From the afternoon of 18th Aug, Hindus under leadership of Gopal, started to fight back.

On 18th, when the Muslims came to Hindu colony to kill Hindus, they were greeted by Gopal’s team.

Gopal’s team killed each n every Muslim mobster who came to kill the Hindus & by the 19th, they had secured all Hindu colonies.

It was a complete surprise for Suhrawardy.

He didn’t think that Hindus will resist in this way.

When by 19th August they had secured Hindu areas, their revenge started from 20th August.

They marked all Jehadis who killed Hindus on 16th and 17th August & attacked them on 20th August.

By 19th the Msg was reached to all Hindus, that Hindus under the leadership of Gopal, were fighting the Muslims!

So by 21st August, a lot of Hindus had joined him, now started the revenge of the Hindus!

*They killed so many Muslims in 2 days, that by 21st deaths of Muslims outnumbered the deaths of Hindus!

The game had changed by 22nd August now! The Muslims were running away from Kolkata.

Suhrawardy accepted his defeat, & rushed to Congress leaders to request them to stop Gopal Panda, who had become Yamraj for the Muslims.

Gopal got ready on the conditions that all Muslims surrender their weapons to him, that Suhrawardy accepted.

Jinnah's plan to capture Kolkata was shattered by 22nd August.

The Bhagwa Flag was flying in Kolkata.

After Kolkata, Gopal did not dissolve his organization, and kept saving Hindus of Bengal.

When everything was over, as Police comes at the end of a feature Film, Gandhi met to Gopal with his lessons of non violence, and Hindu-Muslim Unity, and asked him to surrender his Shastras (weapons).

Gopal’s words were “Gandhi called me twice, I didn’t go. The third time, some local Congi leaders told me that I should at least deposit some of my arms. I went there. I saw people coming and depositing weapons, which were of no use to anyone, out-of-order pistols, that sort of thing!

Then Gandhi’s Secretary said to me: ‘Gopal, why don’t you surrender your arms to Gandhiji?’

I replied, `With these arms, I saved the women of my area, I saved the people. I will not surrender them. Where was Gandhiji, I said, during the Great Calcutta Killing?Where was he then? Even if I’ve used a nail to kill someone, I won’t surrender even that nail!”

Suhrawardy said “When Hindus make up their minds to fight back, they are the most deadly and lethal race in the world!"

Gopal Patha and Syama Prasad Mukherjee were the two legendary heroes who saved the Hindus of Bengal from Jehadi Muslim mobsters!

But before reading this, how many of you were aware of Gopal Patha?

Since Gopal did not follow Gandhi’s principle, his name was removed from books of history.

But He is the unsung Hero of India, who saved lives of lakhs of people.

Only due to him Kolkata is part of India today.

Never forget this name – Gopal Patha!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Direct Action Day - The Bengal Files: Part 1

Direct Action Day - The Bengal Files: Part 1 

Direct Action Day is a chapter from history that was purposefully deleted so that Indians can never know what atrocities Hindus faced due to the secularism and non violence of Gandhi.Gandhi was not if favor of partition of India. Jinnah said if they don’t get Pakistan then they will destroy India. Gandhi said Hindu Muslim are bhai bhai and a Muslim will never kill his bhai.

Jinnah smiled and said : Lets see, We will start direct action on 16th August 1946 for separate country.

Direct action started from Kolkata on 16th August 1946

By Oct 1946, Jinnah brought Gandhi on knees and Gandhi started to think about partition. What happened in these 3 months? Muslim League and Congress were two main political parties in Constituent Assembly of India in 1940s. Muslim League had demanded, since its 1940 Lahore Resolution, that the Muslim-majority areas of India in the northwest and the east, should be constituted as 'independent states'.

The 1946 Cabinet Mission to India for planning of the transfer of power from the British Raj to the Indian leadership proposed a three-tier structure: -Centre -Groups of provinces -Provinces. The "groups of provinces" were meant to accommodate the Muslim League demand.

Both the Muslim League and Congress in principle accepted the Cabinet Mission's plan. That means there will be special states that will be handled by Muslims only and Central govt will take care external functions of country.

On 10 July 1946, Nehru held a press conference in Bombay and declared that although the Congress had agreed to participate in the Constituent Assembly, it reserved the right to modify the Cabinet Mission Plan.

It made Jinnah furious and he started to demand partition of India and separate country for Muslims. Gandhi rejected the proposal of Partition. The next day, Jinnah announced 16 August 1946 would be "Direct Action Day" and warned Congress, "We do not want war. If you want war we accept your offer unhesitatingly. We will either have a divided India or a destroyed India."

And here Gandhi under estimated Jinnah and overestimated his secularism and Hindu Muslim Unity.
He was in misunderstanding that Muslims will never kill Hindus for separate country. In that time there was united Bengal that consist of current west Bengal n current Bangladesh. Kolkata was capital and Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy was the CM of Bengal and loyal of Jinnah.

Bengal was then a Muslim-majority province with only 42 per cent Hindus, but Calcutta had 64 per cent Hindus and 33 per cent Muslims. Bengal was the only province in British India where a Muslim League government was in power.

Ramzan month was going on that time. Huseyn declared strike on that day. All Muslims closed their shop. The meeting began around 2 pm though processions of Muslims from all parts of Calcutta had started assembling since the midday prayers.

A large number of the participants were reported to have been armed with iron bars and lathis After the afternoon namaj. Mob of around one lakh Muslims attacked Hindus and started to butcher them. Mob were shouting “le kar rahenge Pakistan” “nara a taqrir allah hu akbar”

Though Kolkata was Hindu majority but most of Hindus were educated and were not ready for this attack. Till 20th August they kept killing. How many Hindus were killed, how many women were raped no one knows but there were streets full of dead bodies.

Though later Hindu mahasabha mobilized Hindu and gave them resistance. But the worst massacre of Hindus happened in Noakhali city that is currently at Bangladesh. Noakhali was second round of direct action day. Riots started in Noakhali from 10th Oct 1946.

30000 Muslims attacked on Hindu area and whoever they saw chopped their head. They snatched babies from mothers and chopped them in front of them. In Kolkata they raped woman but in Noakhali they raped in front of their family.

Total number no one knows but people say first day 15000 Hindus were killed and thousand of women were raped. The attack on Noakhali was led by Muslim league leader Ghulam Sarwar. Rajendralal Roychowdhury, who was the president of Hindu Mahasabha, His head was chopped and presented to Ghulam in a plate while his daughters were handed over to guards. In next 1 week, Raipur, Ramganj, Begampur, Lakshmipur, around 1 lac Hindu were killed and 1000s of women were raped and captured as sex slave, More than obe lakh people left their home.

Thousands of Hindus were forcefully fed cow meat n converted to Islam. Their plan was to Kill all Hindus of Bengal so that they can take entire Bengal n Assam in Pakistan. How many Hindu women were raped and made sex slave no one knows.

After the incident a social worker Leela Roy rescued alone 1307 hind girls from Muslims. August to October, the soil of Bengal became red by blood of Hindus.
Gandhi’s ego of false secularism and Hindu Muslim unity had broken and he was ready for partition.
Jinnah brought him down. Jinnah’s direct action day was successful, after killing lakhs of Hindus and raping unlimited Hindu women finally Pakistan was going to be formed. And today lot of Indian leader calls Jinnah secular. His photo is in AMU.

Why Jinnah chose 16th August. Because it was 18th day of Ramzan. It was on that day that Prophet Muhammad waged the bloody Battle of Badr which resulted in his first decisive victory over the heathens and the subsequent conquest of Mecca.

Islamists celebrate the victory in this battle as a decisive one for Islam and its considered pious to start Jehad in this month. Muslim League said that They were provoked by Hindu Mahasabha and due to that provocation they attacked. Nothing changed in 76 years.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

How Guru Teg Bahadur Smriti Gurdwaras were constructed in Delhi?


How Guru Teg Bahadur Smriti Gurdwaras were constructed in Delhi?

Dr Vivek Arya
The main body of the Sikhs retired from Delhi on 12th March,1784. The Sikhs received a cash present of three lakhs of rupees as karahprasad. Baghel Singh remained behind at the head of his contingent of 4,000 to build gurdwaras. First he [Baghel Singh] built a gurdwara in Teliwara in memory of Mata Sundari and Mata Sahib Devi, wives of Guru Gobind Singh. They had resided there for a time. The second gurdwara was erected in Jaisinghpura where Guru Hari Krishan had stayed in the bungalow of Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur. It is now called gurdwara Bangla Sahib. Four tombs were constructed on the bank of the Jamuna where Guru Hari Krishan, Mata Sundari, Mata Sahib Devi and Ajit Singh, the adopted son of Mata Sundari, had been cremated, and a gurdwara was erected there.
Two places were connected with Guru Tegh Bahadur. One was at the Kotwali where the Guru was beheaded, and the other was at Rikabganj where his headless body was cremated by Lakhi anjara. At both these places mosques had been erected by the Muslims. Baghel Singh first turned his attention to Rikabganj. The gurdwara could be built after demolishing the mosque. This created great excitement and sensation in the Muslim population. In a huge body they waited upon the Emperor. They represented that under no circumstances would they allow demolition of the mosques. Let the whole city be reduced to ashes, but the mosques would survive. The Emperor replied that they should have informed him of their views before he gave his approval in writing. He promised to discuss the matter with the Sikh chief.
An imperial official visited Baghel Singh, who said that Muslims had demolished gurdwara built on October 1, 1778, with Emperor's consent. Baghel Singh agreed to meet all the leaders of opposition. A body of about one hundred prominent persons including leading mullas and maulvis called on him. Baghel Singh closely studied their views, tried to pacify them and said he would discuss the affair with his Sikhs. He asked them to meet him again after a week. He made a note of the jagirs held by these leaders and the estates dedicated to the mosques. The Sikh sardars of Karnal and Ambala districts were instructed to march immediately and lay waste the jagirs which were mostly situated in the Ganga Doãb. His own troops were kept in alert to act at a moment's notice. Frightful reports began to pour into Delhi from all sides. The leaders finding their property in a grave danger called on Baghel Singh in twos or threes. Baghel Singh secured written approval from them for the dismantling of the mosque, and forwarded the papers to the Emperor who advised to execute the scheme without any further delay. Two thousand Sikhs delivered the assault on Rikabganj mosque which was completely wiped out in half the day. The foundation of the gurdwara was immediately laid amidst chanting of hymns from the holy Granth and distribution of consecrated food (karahprasad).
Baghel Singh now collected men and material for building the gurdwara of Sisganj. The Muslim population got ready to oppose this move. This time they did not depend upon the Emperor and their leaders. They made preparations to offer resistance. Baghel Singh did not know the exact place where the Guru had been beheaded. An aged Mashkan (Muslim water carrier woman) came to his rescue. She said that as told by her father who had washed the place after the Guru's execution, the Hindu Pir sat on a wooden chauki facing east inside the compound wall of the mosque, and his head had fallen in front of him. The imperial ministers intervened. They assured the audience that no harm would be done to the mosque. Duly a portion of the wall was pulled down and in the compound the gurdwara was allowed to be built. The sixth gurdwara was set up at Majnu Kā Tila where Guru Nanak and Mardana and Guru Hargobind had stayed. The seventh gurdwara was raised in Moti Bagh where Guru Gobind Singh had lived. All these gurdwaras were endowed liberally by grants of a number of villages to everyone of them.
[Reproduced from History of the Sikhs by Hari Ram Gupta, Vol 3, Page 168-169]

Guru Tegh Bahadur's Martyrdom: A story of self sacrifice for Dharma


Guru Tegh Bahadur's Martyrdom: A story of self sacrifice for Dharma

Dr Vivek Arya

Guru Tegh bahadur was settled in Anandpur Sahib in Punjab as 9h Gurus of Sikhs. He was regarded as Dharma Guru and countrymen in mass visited him to get his blessings.

Nawab Iftikhar Khan was appointed governor of Kashmir in 1671. He was chosen by Aurangzeb to convert Pandits to Islam so that the common people might follow their example. His proselytizing activities terrified the Pandits. They were in search of a guide to help them. In the Deccan Shivaji was resisting the Mughal government. In northern India the revolt of Jats of Mathura under Gokal in 1669 had been crushed. In 1672 the Satnamis had been completely wiped out. The Pandit's very existence was at stake. In the Panjab Guru Hargobind alone in six hundred year's Muslim rule had provided military leadership to Hindus and Sikhs for the first time. The Pandits thought of waiting upon his son Guru Tegh Bahadur, A 15-man-deputation of Kashmiri Pandits under Kirpa Ram Dat of Matan arrived at Anandpur on 25 May, 1675.

The Guru's heart melted at their tale of woe. He became uneasy and restless at the sad plight of innocent people. At this time 8 year old-Gobind Das appeared there. He innocently asked the cause of sadness of the Guru and the visitors. The Guru replied that the nation required a holy man to sacrifice his life. The child thoughtlessly remarked that there could be no holier person than the Guru'himself. It was enough. The Guru took the child's observation as God's word. Hisresolve was made. He informed the Pandits that they should tell the governor to convert Tegh Bahadur first, and they would follow his example.

The Pandits went back and told the Governor who conveyed it to Aurangzeb at Hasan Abdal, situated close to the borders of Kashmir. The Emperor's mind was already prejudiced against Tegh Bahadur.He issued a firman to the governor of Lahore to arrest the Guru and keep him in prison until he was called at Delhi.The Governor of Lahore passed on a copy of the imperial firman to Abdul Aziz Dilawar Khan, faujdar of Sarhind, with instructions to execute the orders in such a way as not to arouse any serious alarm in the region, and to treat it as most confidential. The faujdar instructed Nur Muhammad Khan Mirza, the Kotwal ofRupar, in whose jurisdiction Anandpur was situated, to arrest the Guru quietly and immediately send him to Sarhind.

The Guru accompanied by three devoted Sikbs, Mati Das, Sati Das and Dyal Das left Anandpur on 11 July, 1675. After covering about 40 kms, the Guru halted for the night at Muslim Ranghar village, Malakpur Rangbaran, Pargana Ghanaula, near Rupar, and put up with his disciple named Nagahia. At about 3 o'clock next morning on 12 July, the Guru and his three companions were taken prisoners, and were hurriedly whisked away to Sarhind. After four months the faujdar put the Guru in an iron cage and fastened it on the back of an elephant. His companions were fettered and handcuffed, and were carried in a bullock cart to Delhi.

Aurangzeb asked him to embrass Islam. The Guru replied that as for embracing Islam he considered his own religion as good as Islam, and therefore the change of religion was not necessary.The emperor ordered that the Guru be put to the severest tortures.After five days of persecution Aurangzeb tried to forcibly change the mind of GuruJi.

Dyal Das, Mati Das and Sati Das, Mohiyal Brahmins from jhelum as well as the Guru were brought to the open space in front of the Kotwali where now stands a fourtain. First of all Bhai Mati Das was asked to become a Musalman. He replied that Sikhism was true and Islam was false. If God had favoured Islam, He would have created all men circumcised. He was at once tied between two posts, and while standing erect, was sawn across from head to loins. Dyal Das abused the Emperor and his courtiers for this atrocious act. He was tied up like a bundle with an iron chain and was put into a huge cauldron of boiling oil. He was roasted alive into a block of charcoal. Sati Das condemned the brutalities. He was hacked to pieces limb by limb.

All this happened before the very eyes of Tegh Bahadur. He was all the time repeating 'Wah Guru'. He knew his turn was coming next. He remained stonelike unruffled and undismayed. His energy, thoughts, ideas, feelings and emotions hadconcentrated on Wah Guru, and dazzling divine light was beating upon his face. He realized that such immortal sacrifices could not go in vain. Their name wouldlive for ever.On November 11, 1675, at 11 o'clock in the morning was the time fixed for the Guru's to reply. Keeping in mind his promise to the Kashmiri Pandits, the Guru continuallychanted the following hymn:Bāhen Jināhn di pakariyeSar dije bāhen na chhoriyeTegh Bahadur bolyāDhar payae dharma na chhoriye.(Give up your head, but forsake not those whom you have undertaken to protect. Says Tegh Bahadur, sacrifice your life, but relinquisb not your faith.)

A little before 11 O'clock Guru Tegh Bahadur was brought to the open place of execution in Chandni Chauk, where now stands Gurdwara Sis Ganj. The Qazi, several high officials, and the executioner, Sayyid Jalal-ud-din of Samana with a shining broad sword in hand were already there. A contingent of Mughal soldiers stood on guard. A large crowd of spectators had gathered outside the barricade. The Guru stood in front. The Qazi asked him either to show a miracle or embrace Islam or face death.The blow was given and the head of the Guru rolled on the floor.
After the execution Guru's head and body were placed on the back of an elephant and paraded into the streets and bazars of Delhi. They were kept at the Kotwali in Chandni Chauk after demonstration Aurangzeb then ordered that parts of his body be imputated and hung about the city.

Guru body lay at the gate. Jaita slipped out quietly, picked up the head and fled away towards Sabzi Mandi. He tied the head in a sheet, fastened it on his back and covered his body in an old, dirty blanket. Lakhi's son and a servant lifted the body, hid it in cotton and rushed off to Raisina, and to their home in Rikab Ganj village. Lakhi set fire to the house to avoid detection to perform cremation of Guru's body. After two days the Guru's ashes were collected. They were put in a bronze pot, and buried under ground at that very spot. Gurdwara Rakab Ganj marks this site. Jaita carried the head. he went from Azadpur to sonipat to Karnal. From Karnal he took the pathway to Pebowa, Ismailabad and Ambala. He reached Kiratpur on the afternoon of Tuesday, 16 November, 1675. He had covered 320 kms in five days.Gobind Das performed the ceremonial cremation of the head on 17 November.

Hindus, Sikhs in the Panjab were deeply shocked at execution ofthe Guru and his three brave companions.Guru Tegh Bahadur's execution turned the tide of history of the Panjab. His son and successor Guru Gobind Singh reflected on the history of India especially the history of the Punjab. Guru Nanak had described the rulers of his time as tigers and dogs. His great-grandfather, the fifth Guru, Arjan, was executed at Lahore. His grandfather, the sixth Guru, Hargobind, had been imprisoned in the Gwalior fort for twelve years. His father was beheaded simply because he happened to be the head of a religious body. There had been nochange in the attitude of rulers as described by Guru Nanak even after two hundred years. The Guru came to the conclusion that if the king was bad, people must rise in revolt and follow the example of Shivaji (1628-1680)

Under the direction of the Guru, the Khalsa took up to the profession of arms. The down-trodden people who had lived for centuries under complete servility turned into doughty warriors. In the course of one hundred years they not only ended the foreign rule but also put a stop for ever to the foreign invasions from the north-west.

[This article is based on book History of the Sikhs by Hari Ram Gupta, The Sikh Gurus, 1469-1708, Vol.1]


Friday, April 15, 2022

Ambedkar Criticised Muslims For Rioting Over Hindu Processions; Nothing Has Changed A Century Later


Ambedkar Criticised Muslims For Rioting Over Hindu Processions; Nothing Has Changed A Century Later

-Swati Goel Sharma
The season of Hindu religious processions is here. Along with it, back on the streets are communal riots over the processions playing music near the mosques.
Such violence is hardly new, and has been a feature of Hindu religious processions for at least over a century.
In his seminal book, Pakistan, or the Partition of India, Dr B R Ambedkar noted that the three main reasons for communal discord between Hindus and Muslims were cow slaughter, music outside mosques and religious conversions.
Additionally, Hindus and Muslims rioted, which they did often, mainly over two issues: playing of music by Hindus in the neighbourhood of mosques or slaughter of cows by the Muslims.
Ambedkar cited several incidents of communal violence in West Bengal in the first two decades of the twentieth century to eventually support the idea of a separate Hindu and Muslim nation.
“The year 1926-27 was one continuous period of communal riots,” he wrote.
He said that the “examination of the circumstances of these numerous riots and affrays shows that they originated either in utterly petty and trivial disputes between individuals”. These included “playing of music by Hindu projection in the neighbourhood of Mahomedan places of worship”. These incidents were common not only in Bengal, but also Punjab and United Provinces, he said.
Ambedkar narrated an incident from Bengal. On a Hindu religious festival, a group took out a procession, playing bands. When it reached the neighbourhood of a mosque, it resulted in a conflict in which 14 people were killed and 116 injured.
The next day was Muharram. Riots broke out that day too. This was followed by more rioting over the week. Overall, about 28 people died and 226 were injured.
Ambedkar criticised the Muslims on both counts. He said that Muslims in India insist on stoppage of music outside mosques for no other reason except that the Hindus claim a right to it.
He wrote,
“…noticeable among the Muslims is the spirit of exploiting the weaknesses of the Hindus. If the Hindus object to anything, the Muslim policy seems to be to insist upon it and give it up only when the Hindus show themselves ready to offer a price for it by giving the Muslims some other concessions…
“Another illustration of this spirit of exploitation is furnished by the Muslim insistence upon cow-slaughter and the stoppage of music before mosques. Islamic law does not insist upon the slaughter of the cow for sacrificial purposes and no Musalman, when he goes to Haj, sacrifices the cow in Mecca or Medina. But in India they will not be content with the sacrifice of any other animal. Music may be played before a mosque in all Muslim countries without any objection. Even in Afghanistan, which is not a secularized country, no objection is taken to music before a mosque. But in India the Musalmans must insist upon its stoppage for no other reason except that the Hindus claim a right to it.”
Little Has Changed A Century Later
Source Swarajyamag

Hindutva And Dr Ambedkar

 Hindutva And Dr Ambedkar

By Aravindan Neelakandan

For years, the Left has tried to project Ambedkar as the antithesis of Hindutva. But the truth is that his life, work and philosophy were built on an Indic sensibility, a passionate desire for Hindu unity, and cultural nationalism. The sixth part of our history of Hindutva.

Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956), the chief architect of the Indian Constitution, is viewed in modern political discourse as the antithesis to Hindutva. Particularly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the academic-activists of South East Asian studies departments in the West discovered Dr Ambedkar and reinvented him as the icon against the Indian State in general and Hinduism in particular. Curiously, the left wing embraced this reinvented image of Dr Ambedkar wholeheartedly.

However, the irony is that if there is one organization in India outside the Dalit movements that has embraced Dr Ambedkar consistently since the 1930s till date, it is the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Some mainstream academicians of the left persuasion have attempted to portray this longstanding fascination of Hindu nationalists—particularly the so-called Sangh Parivar—with Dr Ambedkar as well as other local Dalit icons as an attempt at appropriating them for the saffron agenda. However, such studies have ignored the long term relation of Hindu nationalists with not only Dr Ambedkar but general anti-caste reform movements and their historical points of convergence.

Cultural Nationalism

As early as 1916, in his famed paper presented at an anthropology seminar of Columbia University, Dr Ambedkar made an observation that may well become the definition of what is today called “cultural nationalism” in the Indian context:

“It may be granted that there has not been a thorough amalgamation of the various stocks that make up the peoples of India, and to a traveller from within the boundaries of India, the East presents a marked contrast in physique and even in colour to the West, as does the South to the North. But amalgamation can never be the sole criterion of homogeneity as predicated of any people. Ethnically all people are heterogeneous. It is the unity of culture that is the basis of homogeneity. Taking this for granted, I venture to say that there is no country that can rival the Indian Peninsula with respect to the unity of its culture. It has not only a geographic unity, but it has over and above all a deeper and a much more fundamental unity— the indubitable cultural unity that covers the land from end to end.”
In this context then, caste becomes a problem for Dr Ambedkar, not as part of this “homogeneity”, but because it is a “parceling” of an “already homogeneous unit”. In other words, it fragments the cultural unity of Indian society and thus inhibits the development of national feeling among Indians. Dr Ambedkar would return to the same topic in 1940. While discussing the problem of Partition, he became, as he labeled himself, “the philosopher of Partition”. And here, rejecting the idea of territorial nationalism, he would emphasize a qualitatively different type of nationalism:

“If unity is to be of an abiding character, it must be founded on a sense of kinship, in the feeling of being kindred. In short, it must be spiritual. Judged in the light of these considera-tions, the unity between Pakistan and Hindustan is a myth. Indeed there is more spiritual unity between Hindustan and Burma than there is between Pakistan and Hindustan.” (Thoughts on Pakistan, 1941)

He had justified Partition because, as he puts it in the same article, even the Sikh axe could not resist the Islamist imperialism which was preventing the return of “Northern India to that spiritual and cultural unity by which it was bound to the rest of India before Hwen Thasang”. Dr Ambedkar always insisted on this “spiritual and cultural unity” as the basis of modern nation-state formation, and he emphasized the Vedic as well as Buddhist contribution to it. Thus, he was reinforcing what Hindu Sanghathanis have been asserting: the Buddhist-Vedic organic fraternity as part of a greater pan-Hindu identity.

The contribution of Dr Ambedkar lies in taking forward the historical reality of Indian cultural unity, and based on it, creating centralized national structures that would reinforce India’s unity in concrete tangible terms. In 1939, delivering the Kale Memorial Lecture at the Gokhale School of Politics, he confessed that he was partial towards a Unitary form of Government. “I think India needs it,” he had said.

Sangathan Rationale for Caste Annihilation

His “annihilation of caste” project was always underscored by the Hindu Sangathan (unity) perspective. “Hindu Sangathan” was a term popularized by Hindu nationalist Swami Shraddhanand. Dr Ambedkar cautioned Hindus that in the coming battles, they would be a disunited force and their unity, even if achieved, would be unsustainable if Hindu society remained casteist.

In 1933, Mahatma Gandhi asked Dr Ambedkar to write a message for his magazine Harijan. Ambedkar wrote a crisp statement which was published in the February 11 issue. It was blunt and—more importantly—prophetic:
“The Outcaste is a byproduct of the Caste system. There will be outcastes as long as there are castes. Nothing can emancipate the Outcaste except the destruction of the Caste system. Nothing can help to save Hindus and ensure their survival in the coming struggle except the purging of the Hindu Faith of this odious and vicious dogma.”

The “coming struggle” that he had visualized was the Partition and the pre-Partition riots which were part of a well-planned strategy unleashed on a population of disunited Hindus. It was his quest for justice and his constant worry about the survival of Hindus which led him on a search for an alternative that would bring unity among the Hindus of India.

In his classic work Annihilation of Caste (1944), Dr Ambedkar makes it clear that it was caste which was making the conversion of other religionists to Hinduism impossible. His vision of Hinduism is a united strong Hinduism—battle-ready and prepared to take on Abrahamic religions. To realize this vision, there is only one major crucial obstacle and that is caste. So it has to go, not only for Hinduism to survive but for it to prosper:

“So long as caste remains, there will be no Sangathan, and so long as there is no Sangathan, the Hindu will remain weak and meek…Indifferentism is the worst kind of disease that can infect a people. Why is the Hindu so indifferent? In my opinion, this indifferentism is the result of Caste System which has made Sangathan and co-operation even for a good cause impossible.”

The Sangathan perspective of the abolition of caste was a persistent theme in his articulation. He ended his long essay on the annihilation of caste thus:

“There is no use having Swaraj if you cannot defend it. More important than the question of defending Swaraj is the question of defending the Hindus under the Swaraj. ln my opinion, only when the Hindu society becomes a casteless society, then it can hope to have the strength enough to defend itself. Without such internal strength, Swaraj for Hindus may turn out to be only a step towards slavery.”

It is in this context that one could understand how he was extremely appreciative of all genuine reform work by Hindu nationalists—rather than seeing them as competition or appropriating his domain. He expressed open appreciation for the works of “Veer” V.D. Savarkar and Swami Shraddhanand—both Hindu Mahasabha leaders.

The King-Rebel connection

Perhaps for the seeds of this, one should look at the Hindu nationalist influences on one of the earliest and most crucial benefactors of Dr Ambedkar. Sayajirao Gaekwad III (1863-1939), the Maharajah of Baroda, had been influenced by the achievements of Hindu state builder Shivaji and he was seen to manifest some of the qualities of the illustrious Maratha in his own administration. The king also had sympathy for the nationalist revolutionary movement of Savarkar. It was through Shankar Wagh, the Maharajah’s barber, that Savarkar and Sayajirao were in contact.

The Maharajah’s zeal for social reform can be directly linked to his Hindu nationalism. In 1905, he had employed Pandit Atmaram, an emissary of the Arya Samaj, who was charged with the task of conducting shuddhi ceremonies for Hindus forcibly converted to Islam and Christianity. The pandit was also given the responsibility of empowering Dalits. The activities of the Arya Samaj had resulted in creating institutions that neglected caste divisions to create a pan-Hindu identity. By 1911, the Samaj was even able to establish a boarding house in Surat with the aim of dismantling the deeply entrenched practice of caste segregation.
The earliest support to Dr Ambedkar had come from the king, whose zeal for reform had roots in his concern for Hindu Sangathan. Incidentally, the king of Baroda also employed nationalist thinker and latter-day spiritualist Sri Aurobindo as his personal secretary and then made him the Vice Principal of Baroda College. Sri Aurobindo himself had the concept that the rigid caste system was undemocratic. And he saw in the Upanishads a spirituality of liberty, equality and fraternity—a concept we would see repeatedly in Dr Ambedkar’s attempts to provide an Indic restructuring of Hinduism.

Savarkar and Ambedkar

Savarkar had diagnosed without mincing words that “the scripture-based caste system is a mental illness”, and he offered a cure to this disease plaguing the Hindu psyche, “the disease gets cured instantly when the mind refuses to accept it.” While the whole traditional orthodoxy of Hindu leadership was making a fetish out of the varna system as the basis of Hindu Dharma, Savarkar had declared:

“Both chaturvarna and caste divisions are but practices. (we differ in dr ambedkar views on varna vyavastha.Ed) They are not coterminous with Sanatana Dharma…Sanatana Dharma will not die if the present-day distortion that is caste division is destroyed.”

With regard to untouchability, Savarkar’s voice, though a lone one in the wilderness, was clear and categorical:

“To regard our millions of co-religionists as ‘untouchables’ and worse than animals is an insult not only to humanity but also to the sanctity of our soul. It is my firm conviction that this is why untouchability should be principally eradicated. Untouchability should go also because its eradication is in the interests of our Hindu society. But even if the Hindu society were to partially benefit from that custom, I would have opposed it with equal vehemence. When I refuse to touch someone because he was born in a particular community but play with cats and dogs, I am committing a most heinous crime against humanity. Untouchability should be eradicated not only because it is incumbent on us but because it is impossible to justify this inhuman custom when we consider any aspect of dharma. Hence, this custom should be eradicated as a command of dharma. From the point of view of justice, dharma and humanism, fighting untouchability is a duty and we Hindus should completely eradicate it. In the present circumstances, how we will benefit by fighting it is a secondary consideration. This question of benefit is an aapaddharma (duty to be done in certain exceptional circumstances) and eradication of untouchability is the foremost and absolute dharma. (Essays on the Abolition of Caste, 1930)

When Savarkar was at Ratnagiri, his movements, as well as participation in political activities, were both restricted. Yet he championed the cause of the Dalits and presided over the Mahar conference held at Ratnagiri. In his letter to Savarkar, expressing his inability to visit him owing to previous engagements, Dr Ambedkar wrote:

“I, however, wish to take this opportunity of conveying to you my appreciation of the work you are doing in the field of social reform. If the Untouchables are to be part of the Hindu society, then it is not enough to remove untouchability; for that matter you should destroy ‘Chaturvarna’. I am glad that you are one of the very few leaders who have realised this.” (From letter quoted by Dhananjay Keer, Veer Savarkar, 1950)

In April 1933, Dr Ambedkar’s Janata magazine, in a special issue, paid a tribute to Veer Savarkar to the effect that his contribution to the cause of the Dalits was as decisive and great as that of Gautama Buddha himself.
In 1948, Dr Ambedkar would come to the rescue of Veer Savarkar, when Savarkar was arrested for the Gandhi assassination. The most authoritative historian on the murder, Manohar Malgonkar, the author of the definitive volume on the subject, The Men Who Killed Gandhi (1978), revealed in 2008 that it became “incumbent upon him to omit certain vital facts such as, for instance, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar’s secret assurance to Mr L.B. Bhopatkar, that his client, Mr V.D. Savarkar, had been implicated as a murder suspect on the flimsiest ground.” (From the author’s introduction to the 2008 edition)

Shraddhanand and Ambedkar

Another person held in high esteem by Dr Ambedkar was Swami Shraddhanand. The Swami was at the forefront of the Hindu Sangathan movement. He was one Hindu leader who fully realized that to achieve Sangathan in the truest sense, casteism had to die. As an uncompromising patriot, he was one of the foremost leaders of the Gandhian movement during the Khilafat agitation. Just after the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre, when none in the Congress was ready to preside over the Congress session in Punjab, he came forward and bravely presided over the Congress Committee session at Amritsar. He repeatedly attacked casteism and upheld the rights of Dalits. He went on to establish the Dalit Uddhar Sabha in Delhi. He continued to work for the upliftment and liberation of Dalits till his life was cut short tragically by the bullets of an Islamist fanatic in 1926. He was also initially an active supporter of the Gandhian movement to win Dalits their rights. However, he soon discovered that Gandhian leadership was not as committed to Dalit liberation as the Swami had expected it to be. In frustration, he wrote to Gandhi on 9 September 1921:

“The Delhi and Agra Chamars simply demand that they be allowed to draw water from wells used by the Hindus and Mohammedans and that water be not served to them (from Hindu water booths) through bamboos or leaves. Even that appears impossible for the Congress Committee to accomplish…At Nagpur, you laid down that one of the conditions for obtaining Swarajya within 12 months was to give their rights to the depressed classes and without waiting for the accomplishment of their uplift, you have decreed that if there is a complete boycott of foreign cloth up till the 30th September, Swarajya will be an accomplished fact on the 1st of October…I want to engage my limited energy in the uplift of the depressed classes. I do not understand whether the Swarajya obtained without the so-called Untouchable brethren of ours joining us will prove salutary for the Indian nation.”

In 1922, he had to resign his position from the Depressed Classes Sub-Committee of the Congress. Subsequently on 19th August 1923, at the Hindu Mahasabha annual session, the Swami unveiled a grand action plan to remove the stigma of untouchability from Hindu society forever. He tabled a resolution, which was attacked by the orthodoxy so vehemently that the session almost collapsed. The resolution the Swami brought was for the basic dignity and fundamental human rights of Dalits:

“With a view to do justice to the so-called Depressed Classes in the Hindu Community and to assimilate them as parts of an organic whole, in the great body of the Aryan fraternity, this conference of Hindus of all sects holds:
a. That the lowest among the depressed classes be allowed to draw water from common public wells,
b. That water is served to them at drinking posts freely like that as is done to the highest among other Hindus,
c. That all members of the said classes be allowed to sit on the same carpet in public meetings and their ceremonies with higher classes, and
d. That their children (male and female) be allowed to enter freely and at teaching time to sit on the same form with other Hindu and non-Hindu children in Government, National and Denominational education institutions.”

Dr Ambedkar openly admired Swami Shraddhanand. Though critical of the Hindu Mahasabha as a political party, (for there were many prominent Mahasabha leaders who were very orthodox and socially stagnant), he found the Swami a very sincere fighter for the Dalit cause. In his highly critical book What Congress and Gandhi Have Done to the Untouchables, Dr Ambedkar examines the hasty way in which the Congress leadership abandoned their Dalit upliftment programme:

“Was it because the Congress intended that the scheme should be a modest one not costing more than two to five lakhs of rupees but felt that from that point of view they had made a mistake in including Swami Shraddhanand in the Committee and rather than allow the Swami to confront them with a huge scheme which the Congress could neither accept nor reject? The Congress thought it better in the first instance to refuse to make him the convener and subsequently to dissolve the Committee and hand over the work to the Hindu Mahasabha.

Circumstances are not quite against such a conclusion. The Swami was the greatest and the most sincere champion of the Untouchables. There is not the slightest doubt that if he had worked on the Committee he would have produced a very big scheme. That the Congress did not want him in the Committee and was afraid that he would make big demand on Congress funds for the cause of the Untouchables is clear from the correspondence that passed between him and Pandit Motilal Nehru, the then General Secretary of the Congress.”

That Dr Ambedkar found in Shraddhanand “the greatest and most sincere champion of the Untouchables” is very interesting for this is a title which the good doctor never claimed for himself, though Gandhi would have dearly loved to have this title for himself. This also belies the Congress propaganda that the Ambedkar-Gandhi conflict was because the former did not want someone else to be called the leader of the Untouchables.

Temple of Hindutva

This holistic vision of understanding Dalit liberation as crucial for Hindu Sangathan always shaped Dr Ambedkar’s attitudes and actions. His statement issued on the temple entry rights for Dalits in 1927 approaches the issue from a cultural-historical point of view and rejects any theistic need from his side:

“The most important point we want to emphasize is not the satisfaction you get from the worship of the image of God…Hindutva belongs as much to the untouchable Hindus as to the touchable Hindus. To the growth and glory of this Hindutva contributions have been made by Untouchables like Valmiki, the seer of Vyadhageeta, Chokhamela and Rohidas as much as by Brahmins like Vashishta, Kshatriyas like Krishna, Vaishyas like Harsha and Shudras like Tukaram. The heroes like Sidnak Mahar who fought for the protection of the Hindus were innumerable. The temple built in the name of Hindutva, the growth and prosperity of which was achieved gradually with the sacrifice of touchable and untouchable Hindus, must be open to all the Hindus irrespective of caste.” (Bahiskrit Bharat, 27 November 1927; quoted in Dhananjay Keer, Dr Ambedkar: Life and Mission, 1990)

The important element of the statement is that Dr Ambedkar replaces the term “Hinduism” with “Hindutva”. In doing this, he attempts to make the Hindus realize that the issue of Dalit liberation should be at the core of Hindu nationalist politics, for that should be the logical development of the larger historical processes shaping Indian history. It was an appeal to do away with obscurantist traditional casteism and embrace a dynamic Hindu nationalism. Unfortunately, Hindu orthodoxy and Hindu leadership failed him. So on 13 October 1935, Dr Ambedkar declared that while it was beyond his power to have been born an untouchable, it was within his power to make sure that he would not die a Hindu, and he resolved that he would not die a Hindu.

This was indeed a well-calculated blow to Hindu orthodoxy. But only Hindu nationalists actually understood both the seriousness of the situation as well as the just nature of Dr Ambedkar’s reaction. Despite the despicable treatment meted out to Dalits by the Hindu orthodoxy, Dr Ambedkar still respected “the temple built in the name of Hindutva” and made national interest paramount in his choice of an alternative religion. He had a detailed discussion with Dr B.S. Moonje, the mentor of Dr K.B. Hedgewar, the founder of the RSS.

After this, Dr Ambedkar observed:

“What the consequences of conversion will be to the country as a whole is well worth bearing in mind. Conversion to Islam or Christianity will denationalize the Depressed Classes. If they go over to Islam the number of Muslims would be doubled; and the danger of Muslim domination also becomes real. If they go over to Christianity, the numerical strength of the Christians becomes five to six crores. It will help to strengthen the hold of Britain on the country. On the other hand if they embrace Sikhism they will not only not harm the destiny of the country but they will help the destiny of the country. They will not be denationalized.” (Dr Ambedkar, The Times of India, 24 July 1936)

Dr Ambedkar always took care that he should never allow his people to get denationalized in their quest for justice and liberation. Closely related to this is the definition of the term “Hindu”. He wanted the Dalits to go out of the oppressive orthodoxy-infested “Hindu religion” but remain within “Hindu culture”.

More Savarkarite than Savarkar

In discussing the problem of Partition, Dr Ambedkar observed that the definition of the term “Hindu” by Savarkar was made with “great care and caution” to achieve the exclusion of binary religions of non-Indic origin and inclusion of “Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, etc, by not insisting upon belief in the sanctity of the Vedas as an element in the qualifications”. Dr Ambedkar was perhaps the only person who understood the sociological implication of this definition for nation-building. In “Thoughts On Pakistan”, he observed: “Consequently the so-called aboriginal or hill-tribes also are Hindus: because India is their Fatherland as well as their Holy Land whatever form of religion or worship they follow.” Later in formulating to whom the Hindu Code Bill would apply, Dr Ambedkar used the same frame of definition that Savarkar had used in his definition of “Hindu”. When sectarians complained about Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs being grouped together with Hindus in his Bill, he replied:

“Application of Hindu code to the Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains was a historical development and it would be too late sociologically to object to it. When the Buddha differed from the Vedic Brahmins, he did so only in matters of creed and left the Hindu legal framework intact. He did not propound a separate law for his followers. The same was the case with Mahavir and the ten Sikh Gurus.”

In his Thoughts On Pakistan, one finds another curious fact that in a way transcends even a radical conception of Hindutva. When discussing Savarkar’s proposed alternative to Pakistan, he finds in it “a frankness, boldness and definiteness”, but rejects it as “illogical if not queer”, and as “creating a most dangerous situation for safety and security of India”. Because once the two-nation theory has been accepted, then with one dominant nation (the Hindu) and the other minor nation (the Muslim), Ambedkar finds co-existence absolutely impractical and dangerous. Dr Ambedkar points out that Savarkar “does not propose to suppress the Muslim nation” while at the same time “does not consent to divide the country”. He states tantalizingly: “One can understand and even appreciate the wisdom of the theory of suppression of the minor nation by the major nation because the ultimate aim is to bring about one nation.”

In the 1940s, the Hindu-Muslim problem was one crucial issue where the stand of Ambedkar is more Savarkarite than that of Savarkar himself.