Why Ambedkarism is considered different from humanism? Is it that Ambedkarian ideology is associated with dalit identity always? And dalits and non dalits who are scared of such an identity keep themselves away from Ambedkarian ideology? Because they are afraid of the fact that they will be considered dalits there after and there will be shrinkage in their social world or they will be vulnerable to discrimination’s?
Is it that Marxism and Weberian are a safer shelter when people talks about ideologies? Do they have a clear reason why there is Marxist? Is it that they adopt a Marxist label because they feel it’s something western and intellectual and so it is elitist? I argue that many dalits who claims themselves as Ambedkarite do so because they are Dalits and they haven’t understood Ambedkarian ideology outside the casteist framework from a humanist perspective, and the non Dalits rejects Ambedkarism also for the same reason.
What is happening to Ambedkarian ideology in our country? Identity is becoming closer and this closeness is becoming constructed. I mean empowerment for some community means de-alienating from the Varna label.de-alienating from the so-called lower caste label. Thus they start practicing untouchability against castes down the caste so-called caste hierarchy. There effort is to shed the dalit identity and hence forth they stops talking about Ambedkar and hide themselves from his thoughts.
There are many misinterpretations that have been prevalent all these years. What does the word dalit mean? Yes it meant broken. But it’s not the case now, dalit the term has a revolutionary assertion associated with it. It means disagreeing and delineating oneself from the elitism, from the dominant ideology, from the oppressors. In that sense the term dalit is not only associated with the so-called lower castes, although the concept is a challenge to Brahmanism. Dalit is a word that reflects the multiple voices of the oppressed. It is a word that signifies the protesters, anyone who dares to challenge the hegemony.
The first problem is that the term dalit is always associated with those castes which are at the bottom of the hierarchy, it has become a narrow term, dalit identity the mental and physical state if being a dalit thus naturally became the identity of the weak and broken in a society like India where the dominant reality is caste, wherever you go. Thus upgrading once social status became the process of delineating oneself from the dalit identity.
Ambedkar is the greatest revolutionary that India has ever seen; when the whole India was fighting against the slavery from the external source he stood alone against internal slavery that a group of people was undergoing. To him India’s political freedom is useless unless and until it attains social justice inside its boundaries. India’s experience till now has proved it right. He proclaimed his aim is the recovery of human dignity of a group of people who were considered worse than animals by the brahminical society, he was the most learned person of the time and through his careful scrutiny of Vedic literature he arrived at the conclusion that India’s history is written from the brahminical perspective and brought into light all the Brahmin conspiracy against Shudras women and nature. Through his through engagement with knowledge he arrived at a point where he defined what an ideal religion should be like, his idea of reforming Hindu religion was deconstruction and reconstruction. He questioned the base of Hindu religion by rejecting the authority of Vedas and shastras, when he felt this transformation can’t be possible from within he went outside, through the mass conversion to Buddhism. He was the mass leader, the great human right activist, subaltern historian and enlightened man that India has ever seen. His ideology was based on equality, liberty and fraternity, his fight was for human dignity. Then how Ambedkar’s ideology is always associated with the so called lower castes only?
The Brahminical society has a role in stigmatizing the term dalits and also the efforts and ideology of Dr. Ambedkar. As G. Aloysius says, ‘within the mainstream social sciences the man is considered as the leader of the Mahar caste at worst and the drafter of constitution at best…….keeping Ambedkar as far away as possible from the sacred/secretive subject of nation and nationalism ,(many among the intelligentsia would not hesitate considering him even as an anti national)is part and parcel of the overall élite strategy to maintain the dominance of its ideology over knowledge-production and knowledge- circulation in this country’.(Aloysius’s, 2009)
Dominant voices made him the messiah of untouchables, and his ideology became their ideology, a great example is how Ambedkar ideology which is a universal ideology is prevented from being institutionalized in Indian universities and schools. Can anyone explain me the relevance of Marxism in Indian context when the workers themselves are divided on the basis of caste? How can class be the dominant reality in India? But still, Marxism continuous to give an intellectual face to many of the premier universities of India, and people considers themselves enlightened and intellectual after grabbing hold on Marxism. It has become an ideology of the socialists and people who don’t have any particular ideology to say.
What is needed is an intellectual activism; it’s an activism through pen, voice and your way of life and thinking. Ambedkarian ideology is an ideology misinterpreted; every dalit should be able to proclaim loudly that s/he is a dalit, understanding, what the meaning of dalit is your caste is not the only aspect that is making you a dalit. Your experiences, your attitude and your courage make you a dalit. Ambedkarian ideology is your ideology not only because you belong to a particular caste, but also, you believe in Equality, Liberty and Fraternity. Because you are progressing spiritually, you want to be in an India the Babasaheb visualized you have the courage to stand against the dominant voice.