Educate agitate and organize concept of Dr. Ambedkar has given meaningful massage to the people in the mode of development. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was born in a class considered low and outcast. Dr. Ambedkar fought untiringly for the downtrodden. The man who suffered bitter humiliation became the first Minister for Law in free India, and shaped the country’s Constitution. He was strong-minded fighter, a deep scholar, human to the tips of his fingers. Educate, Agitate, Organize are three final words of our saviour Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Being a Buddhist Babasaheb gave these slogans based on Buddhist philosophy. These commandments must be kept in this order. We are not trying to find responsibility in others who may have used different order by changing second commandment (Agitate) as third and changed this order to Educate, Organize and Agitate. It is highly suggested to all Ambedkarites across the world to use these final words in the same order as our saviour gave us. They should not only be use in this order but also experienced in this order: Educate, Agitate, Organize.
One may question as to why we must follow a particular order of these final words of Dr. Ambedkar. It is Dr. Ambedkar’ well thought that strategic order of action to make the movement successful. One must get educated first before he can have agitated thoughts for the movement so that people can organize with his support. A changed order of these final words of Babasaheb may not only wait the group to reach its purpose; it may also divert the direction of the group, which can be harmful for the movement.
History of society
The status of communities as Dealits in the Hindu caste system was the most serious impediment to their education. While stringent social taboos conscribed their behaviour, severe strictures were laid down to prevent their access to knowledge. It was treatment for some communities that they were taboo from walking on the road in daylight because even their shadow was considered polluting. On the pathetic condition of untouchables, Ambedkar had given lot of facts. He writes that , “Under the rule of the Peshwas in the Maratha country the untouchables was not allowed to use the public street if a Hindu was coming along lest he should pollute the Hindu by his shadow. The untouchable was required to have a black thread either on his wrist or on in his neck as a sign or a mark to prevent the Hindus from getting them polluted by his touch through mistake. In Poona, the capital of the Peshwa, the untouchables was required to carry, strung from his waist, a broom to sweep away from behind the dust he treaded on lest a Hindu walking on the same should be polluted. In Pune, the untouchable was required to carry an earthen pot, hung in his neck wherever he went, for holding his spit falling on earth should pollute a Hindu who might unknowingly happen to tread on it. The children of untouchables were not allowed to study in public school. Untouchables were not allowed to use public wells, to wear apparel or ornaments they like and to eat any food they like. The list of atrocities is even longer than this. In post-independent India, this list is lessen but not completely exhausted.
The singular role that Ambedkar played in the upliftmant of the untouchables in the early 20th century and the importance that he give to modern education for their betterment deserves special emphasis. In conferences, lecture and meetings, Ambedkar encouraged untouchable youth to acquire education in order to raise their social status and image. As early as 1924, he established the Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha, which had among its objectives the opening of hostels, libraries, social centres and classrooms where the untouchable youth could study. Ambedkar ideas for the untouchables was ‘to raise their educational standards so that they may know their own conditions, have aspirations raise to the level of highest Hindu and be in position to use political power as a means to that end’( Zelliot 1972.77) . This is best reflected in Ambedkar’s famous slogan Educate, Agitate and Organize.’
Education has an immense impact on the human society. One can safely assume that a person is not in the proper sense until he is educated. It trains the human mind to think and take the right decision. In other words, man becomes a rational animal when he is educated.
It is through education that knowledge and information received and spread throughout the world. An uneducated person cannot read and write and hence he closed to all the knowledge and wisdom he can gain through books and other mediums. In other words, he shut off from the outside world. In contrast, an educated man lives in a room with all its windows open towards outside world.
The quality of human resource of a nation is easily judge by the number of literate population living in it. This is to say that education is necessary if a nation aspires to achieve growth and development and more importantly sustain it. This may well explain the fact that rich and developed nations of the world have very high literacy rate and productive human resource. In fact, these nations have started imparting selective training and education programs to meet the new technical and business demands of the 21st century.
Getting educated does not mean only to acquire academic designations. One must get educated about Babasaheb’s mission and his thoughts. We must read and learn about Dr. Ambedkars ideology and strategy to strengthen our people. We have people running organizations under Dr. Ambedkars name for years and years but one can tell from the way they think and how they work that they have no hint about Dr. Ambedkars mission. The knowledge they posses about Dr. Ambedkar is their borrowed knowledge of telephone conversations with others and they make us believe that they are the most committed followers of Dr. Ambedkar. It could be fine if they only keep this borrowed knowledge to themselves but they should not start preaching to others while they hold positions in their organizations, which actually hurt the movement instead of helping it.
The second step ‘agitate’ does not mean to agitate physically; it is a mental revolution in its place. It does not mean to go out and start protesting violently on the streets without getting educated first, which most probably our enemy wants us to do. After getting educated about Babasaheb’s thoughts and strategy: we should start agitating mentally. We need an agitation of thoughts in our mind in order to move to the next stage: organize.
Educated and agitated minds will easily organize for a common mission. We must get ourselves educated and let our thoughts agitate so that we can collectively organize. Agitated minds for a common mission will help them to unite and struggle for their common goal as one force.
When it comes to organize, one must be honest with his intentions and mission. A simple agenda never produces any results and people stay ununited. My personal experience taught me that being honestly sensible about resolving any issue contributes completely. I have known people making announcements individually and in large gatherings to unite and work together. But in practice, their hidden agendas don’t let them or others unite. Their personal interests interfere in their way to make right decision and they not only remain ununited with others but they also create obstacles for others to unite. Since they cannot walk their own talk, they do not produce any effective results.
In Caste system, an individual is confined only to his or her traditional occupation. Therefore, there is a little scope to grow. But in Class, as it is open, an individual can grow as per his or her capability. Only education can bring this change. Ambedkar had also given lot of emphasis on getting education. He said that, “Educate, Organize and Agitate”. Here he had given prime importance to education. He further added that, “The backward classes have come to realize that after all education is the greatest material benefit for which they can fight. We may forego material benefits of civilization but we cannot forego our rights and opportunities to reap the benefits of the highest education fully. That the importance of this question from the point of view of the backward classes who have just realized that without education their existence is not safe.” He suffered a lot due to this caste system. Still in that system of discrimination, he succeeded to well educate himself.
In my field experience, I have taken various Social Work Colleges students views on the Ambedkars idea on educate agitate and organize. Students are thinking reason behind this Ambedkars idea for giving education and equal opportunity to the people, for removing Indian Hindu religious caste system and development of backward caste as well as all marginalized communities. According to the social work students educate agitate and organize means create power in people for achieve basic rights in the society for life, Achieve success in the life, and struggle for social justice. In the social work field Ambedkars idea about educate agitate and organize is very much relevant in the current context because in the Indian society people are illiterate and they are not aware about education as well as their basic rights of the life, still people are facing caste discrimination in society, and lack of support and motivation. Social worker should work on these issues while doing social work. In the social work field this statement can be operationalized through awareness of education and basic rights of life, through motivation and opportunity, through social movement and work against caste system.
Educate, Agitate, and organize: this order must be maintained to see the effective results of the movement for the upliftment of our people. Babasaheb had a strategically thought and well-defined process for his mission to be successful. Following this order, can positively result in achieving more outcomes that are beneficial not only for our community but for the society as a whole.
Dr. Ambedkar said, my final words of advice to you is “Educate, Agitate, Organize” have faith in yourself. With justice on our side, I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is a battle for freedom. It is a battle for reclamations of the human personality.
- Ambedkar and Buddhism, by, Sangharakshita (Bhikshu) Motilal Banarsidass Published, 2006.
- Dr. Baba Sahib Ambedkar Writings and speeches Bombay 1979, Vol.14, part 2.
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar – – “Annihilation of Caste”
- Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writing and Speeches, Vol. 1, p. 15, Bombay: The Education Department, Government of Maharashtra, (1979)