other day, the Chief Minister of Bombay was lavish in
his advices—not of course for his partymen, for he has
to cajole them now-a-days—but to the down-trodden! They
are here to meekly submit to any and all kinds of advices
and admonitions from all and sundry. That seems to be
one of the tolls that the downtrodden is forced to pay
to those who are perched on seats of power
The late lamented Dr. Ambedkhar embraced Buddhism and
along with him many many thousands of the Scheduled
Caste people. This created quite a stir in the Hindu
fold! Some who are interested in maintaining the numerical
superiority of the Hindus just for the sake of political
domination were even shocked.
Whenever the members of this depressed community take
this course—of quitting the Hindu fold and embracing
some other religion—the Hindu leaders are thrown into
frenzy and begin a hasty show of sympathy and succour.
Of course the late lamented Doctor Ambedkhar was motivated
by something higher than mere political bargaining when
he embraced Buddhism. In fact he had very definite views
about the ennobling thoughts and ways of life, unfolded
But, alas he passed away—his mission so well begun was
left unfinished—and there were some, sinister scheming
men who heaved a sigh of relief as it were.
But the mission started by Dr. Ambedkhar has not come
to a complete stand-still. There are others, though
not endowed with as much of the indomitable courage
which the Doctor had, still possess energy and enthusiasm
enough to carry on the message to the nooks and corners
of the land.
And now, to ‘stem the tide’ the Congress leaders who
are terribly afraid of the Leaders of Hindu Religion
and ‘Rashtra’—have taken the big stick to beat down
The Scheduled Castes, do enjoy now certain special concessions
and these are to be withdrawn as soon as they embrace
To say the least, this is a nefarious way of crushing
down, the already downtrodden people.
For many a century they have been treated in a brutal
way—they were kept in degradation and dirt—and after
much agitation and heart-searchings, certain concessions
are doled out to them for some time past. This is an
attempt at uplifting them, it is said. Having been chained
to poverty and tyranny for centuries, it is the barest
minimum of justice.
But it seems that there is this unwritten clause!
We offer you this helping hand, just on this condition—you
are to take these small mercies, and remain in the Hindu
fold to thank us, for ever and ever afterwards!!
The concessions are granted not in the nature of amends
made for the inhuman treatment meted out to these unfortunate
people but just as a bait!
They have been kept so long under an unjustifiable subjucation,
that they need special care and concession. There is
here no question of religion. But what was all this
time in their innermost thoughts, comes out now! The
cat is out—and since the crown is on its head its mewing
is devastating. Millions of these unfortunate people
are to be deprived of the small mercies shown till now.
And, the Hon’ble Chavan, Chief of Bombay State, hurls
an accusation at them. “These people,” says Mr. Chavan,
“are thinking and talking in terms of Buddhisthan—a
seperate state for themselves.”
We have not come across any such statement from any
responsible leader of that community. Perhaps, the Congress
is trying to cook up some accusation, so that the punishment
meted out on these unfortunates might be justified.
It is only such inhuman treatments and unsympathetic
attitudes that drive any people to despair.
Bhadant Ananda Kausalyanan, a renowned Buddhist priest,
commenting during a talk with pressmen on the Bombay
Government’s decision to withdraw all facilities given
to the Scheduled Castes in the matter of employment
and education for the Neo-Buddhists, opined that "these
facilities were not based on religion but on the backwardness
of these people, and therefore there was no question
of the facilities being withdrawn after their conversion”.
This is healthy logic and comes from one who has no
political axe to grind.
Kausalyanan cited the case of the Punjab where he said
converts to Sikhism continued to enjoy the privileges
they had as members of the Scheduled Castes.
If what is above stated is true, the attitude shown
towards those who are converted to Buddhism becomes
untenable, unjustifiable and looked at from any angle,
this is most unpolitic.
The idea will gain ground in lands far and near where
Buddhism prevails, that even though ‘India’ is said
to have a secular government, Buddhists are kept at
a disadvantage and denied such concessions as are enjoyed
by the poorer section in the Hindu fold.
That such an impression gets currency is neither good,
nor can it contribute credit to the sense of fairplay
and justice that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is so laboriously
attempting to inculcate in places far and near.
We would urge upon those concerned to give up peevishness
and pettiness of mind and treat the Neo-Buddhists with
the care and sympathy that their backwardness and poverty
We do not know whether there is a demand for Buddhisthan
as Mr. Chavan asks us to believe—but we are sure and
certain that the Chief of Bombay State will accept that
people of any religion should be assured of the fact,
not by words, but by deeds, that they are living in
Nyayasthan—the land of justice.