Amid the ongoing debate over B R Ambedkar’s criticism of Indian culture and Hindu religion, the RSS Sunday claimed that the leader had found the Indian culture “great” and that he “wanted to preserve the original philosophy” of the country.
Claiming that “from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Ambedkar found one people and one race”, the Sangh compared Ambedkar with Gautam Buddha, Lord Mahavira and Kabir, and said that they all “held together the original philosophy and foundation” of the country.
Speaking at an event organised by the RSS here to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar, and attended by several Dalits, Sah-Sarkaryavah Krishna Gopal said the Dalit icon “did not give the slogan of class struggle”, because he “was looking for threads of harmony to take everyone together”.
“Marx and Hegel are not the gurus of Ambedkar,” Gopal said, adding that his gurus were those who brought everyone together. “Ambedkar said that old traditions and sanskars are to be preserved. (He said) that the original philosophy of this country is extremely glorious, but it has some evils. This system is to corrected, but original philosophy is to be held together. Therefore he says ‘I see all positive attributes in (Hindu) religion’,” he quoted Ambedkar as saying.
Over the last few years, the RSS has repeatedly described Ambedkar as a Hindu leader who had been proud of the country’s culture. Gopal on Sunday extensively “quoted” Ambedkar to establish that he was never against Indian culture.
The “quotes” apparently contradict ideas that recur in Ambedkar’s works, including in his famed work the Annihilation of Caste, where he makes a devastating attack on Hinduism, the Hindu nation and Indian culture. The salvation of untouchables like him, Ambedkar repeatedly said, is not in Hinduism, but outside it.
“The feeling of fraternity, equality and liberty I have kept in the Constitution is not taken from the French Revolution, but I have gained it from Bhagwan Buddha and the great culture of this country,” Gopal quoted Ambedkar.
In his “research thesis”, Gopal further said, Ambedkar had said that “my country is such a great country”, and described India’s glorious geography.
“Ambedkarji writes that the unity of my country is fundamental. Behind several diversities lies the original unity of my country. The original unity of my country is cultural,” the RSS leader again quoted Ambedkar, adding that “he said that my country constitutes one race. It is not divided into several races.”
“From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, it is one race, one people. One geography, one culture, one race,” Gopal quoted Ambedkar as saying, adding, “Only a patriot can write this.”
He urged people to remove all kinds of discrimination, including socio-economic, from society to pay true tribute to Ambedkar. “Anyone born on Bharat bhoomi can never be untouchable. Discrimination against them is not acceptable,” he said, adding that the RSS had declared from the first day of its formation that all are equal in all respects.
“Despite facing a variety of insulting behaviour, Ambedkar did not have any enmity in his heart,” Gopal added.
He said Ambedkar followed Buddha’s philosophy, that “there is no opponent. Even the tyrant is not an opponent.” Further, he quoted the Dalai Lama to say Buddhism had emerged from Hinduism, and said Ambedkar believed in the same philosophy.
The RSS leader admitted that several problems still remained, but claimed that evils such as “child marriage, parda pratha among women, marriage at night, untouchability” surfaced during “foreign rule”. That these were not present during the Vedic period, he said.