Ambedkar’s work ‘revolution and counter revolution’ is an alternative version of Indian history. This version is a necessary alternative to the Vedic and puranic interpretation of Indian history. The work revolution and counter revolution is a piece of subaltern history. Indian history which is written from the viewpoint of Brahmanism and patriarchy, is rewritten by Ambedkar through the lens of oppressed and marginalized of course good amount of reading, observation and research have been invested by Babasaheb in this venture. It also points to the fact that one needs to correct and reinterpret the history for a social change in favor of the oppressed. This is a complete deconstruction a reformation that starts from the very root of oppression.
There are many interesting revealing in this book to Ambedkar there was a period of time when Shudras were kings to him the first turning point in India’s political history is the emergence of kingdom of Magadha in 642 b.c. founder was Sisunag and he belonged to the non-aryan race of nagas it grew to an empire and then in 413 b.c nagas were succeeded by nandas in 322 b.c nanda king was deposed by chandragupta who established the maurya dynasty under emperor Ashoka the empire became so vast and Ashoka made Buddhism the religion of the state this became a blow to Brahmanism. Brahmins lost the state patronage and means of occupation the revolution that happened amid brahminism was Buddhism for almost 140 years of maurya rule brahmins lived as depressed class. Pushyamitra who was a samvedi brahmin brought an end to maurya empire and thus happened the decline of buddhism this was the counter revolution that happened. History of India is not uniform it has a brahminic phase, Buddhist phase and Hindu phase.
Buddhism emerged as an answer to the evils that existed in brahminic society, buddhism was the revolution against brahminic society. Decline of Buddhism emerged as a result of the revival of brahminism under the king Pushyamitra, with the help of Manusmirti this lead to the establishment of hindu religion with its rigid caste system and suppression of women.varna system was replaced by rigid caste system with strict division of labour and endogamy. Manu smriti was the gospel of counter revolution against Buddhism. ‘If the Revolution of Pushyamitra was a purely political revolution there was no need for him to have launched a campaign of persecution against Buddhism which was not very different to the campaign of persecution launched by the Muhammad of Gazni against Hinduism. This is one piece of circumstantial evidence which proves that the aim of Pushyamitra was to overthrow Buddhism and establish Brahmanism in its place. Another piece of evidence which shows that the origin and purpose of the revolution by Pushyamitra against the Mauryas was to destroy Buddhism and establish Brahmanism is evidenced by the promulgation of Manu Smriti as a code of laws. ‘(Revolution and counter revolution in ancient India, Ambedkar, b.r,)(date unknown)
Muslim invasions starting from 7th century AD lead to the fall of Buddhism. Even the muslim invasions targeted hinduism but it survived because of state support Buddhism was badly affected because of lack of state support and mass murders of monks. Indian history prior to Muslim invasion was the history of struggle between Buddhists and brahmins.
if Buddhism was the revolution and establishment of hindu religion was the counter revolution then in the modern times Indian history witnessed the revival of this revolution. This revolution was lead by Babasaheb Ambedkar, his revolution was the greatest revolution that India ever witnessed. He revolutionized Buddhism and rejected Hinduism with its very basis of Vedas and shastras and he burned manusmriti that emerged as a counter revolution to Buddhism. When the reformation he aimed didn’t materialize from within he went outside the frame work and challenged the structure by the mass conversion. His period and the times after that witnessed the greatest dalit assertion and constitution of India became the gospel for the revolution renewed by Babasaheb Ambedkar if Buddhism, the revolution was the thesis then Hindu religion, the counter revolution was the antithesis. Buddhism was a proposition then hindu religion, the counter thesis negated it then Babasaheb’s revolution, is it a synthesis? certainly not, because synthesis is a stage where conflict is resolved between synthesis and antithesis by reconciling their common truth and arriving at a new proposition, this didn’t happen Babasaheb went out of the hindu structure completely and the conflict was not resolved and it’s still going on. The struggle in front of all of us who believes in this revolution is to keep this revolution lively till Buddhism gets the recognition it deserves, it’s not even recognized as a historical phase in Indian history by society.
Babasaheb officially destroyed the authority of manusmriti by drafting the Indian constitution that established rights of Dalits and women as human rights. As a part of the fieldwork a survey was conducted to know the awareness of second year MSW students regarding constitution of India. The questionnaire consisted of three parts. First part was to analyze the knowledge of students regarding the history of constitution like, when did it come into force, drafting committee chairman etc. Second part was to figure out the knowledge of students regarding the structure of the constitution like number of parts, schedules etc. third part was to analyze the knowledge of students regarding the themes like which part abolishes untouchability, which part talks about right to education etc, sample size was 123,.survey was conducted in Mumbai, Pune , Satara, among the MSW students.
For the question, when did the constitution of India came into force only 36 were able to give the correct answer, the most rightly answered question was who was the chairman of Indian constitution drafting committee 91 answered it rightly as Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar compared to the awareness regarding history, awareness on structure and themes were very less. For example only 17 gave right answer for the question, how many parts are there in Indian constitution, only 21 gave the right answer for the question, which part consist of fundamental rights. not even 10 were able to write all our fundamental rights correctly, only 37 mentioned correctly 73rd and 74th amendment, only 40 answered correctly the article that abolishes untouchability, 44 didn’t answer the question, ‘do you think it’s important to know Indian constitution’.
My argument is that students even from MSW course have a very general understanding of constitution. This is because of the way it’s taught. In our schools and colleges only some primary information regarding constitution is shared. In-depth and organized knowledge should be provided regarding constitution right from school level and this knowledge should be organized around history, structure and themes because as Indians we owe our obligation to constitution of India. It is the document that replaced manusmriti and also it is the origin of any policy, legislation and reform for social change.
Deepika (MSW 2nd year)