Ambedkar,Women movement And Buddhism


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Ambedkar,Women movement And Buddhism

  1. 1. Ambedkar, Women and Buddhism Mangesh Dahiwale and Lokamitra The Jambudvipa Trust Pune
  2. 2. A word on words <ul><li>Caste, Varna, Dalits, Scheduled Caste, Manus Smriti </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>It is very difficult to define caste due to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty in finding common physical attributes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For example, it is difficult to categorize people in different castes on the basis of color and other visible attributes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is a notion of mind, an idea, a concept </li></ul><ul><li>It creates detrimental patterns of behaviour and unhealthy social relations </li></ul>What is caste?
  4. 4. The population of SCs/STs <ul><li>The Scheduled Castes (SCs) people are also known as Dalits constitute 16.2 % </li></ul><ul><li>The Scheduled Tribes (STs) people are also referred to as Adivasis constitute 8.2 % </li></ul><ul><li>SCs/STs make up upwards of 25% of India’s population, over 250 million people </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><ul><ul><li>Endogamy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Matrimonial sites/newspapers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2. Control over sexuality through arrange marriages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3. Discrimination, which makes people from the low caste feel shameful even if they are educated </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>4. Voting behavior </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Indians do not cast their votes, they vote for their caste </li></ul></ul></ul>Understanding caste: by its manifestations (1/2)
  6. 6. Understanding caste: by its manifestations (2/2) <ul><ul><ul><li>5. Atrocities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recent Khairlanji massacre </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>6. Fractured societies and lack of social capital </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>7. Caste based settlements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-separate places outside villages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-slums in cities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>8. Caste has also entered into Islam, Christianity and Sikhism in India </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Every 18 minutes: </li></ul><ul><li>A crime is committed against a Dalit </li></ul><ul><li>Every day: </li></ul><ul><li>3 Dalit women are raped </li></ul><ul><li>2 Dalits are murdered & 2 Dalits Houses are burnt in India </li></ul><ul><li>11 Dalits are beaten </li></ul><ul><li>Every week: </li></ul><ul><li>13 Dalits are murdered </li></ul><ul><li>5 Dalits home or possessions are burnt </li></ul><ul><li>6 Dalits are kidnapped or abducted </li></ul>Caste based Atrocities: Visible Manifestations at its worst
  8. 8. Crimes against SCs/STs according to Government of India: The Holocaste <ul><li>26,127 crimes were committed against Dalits (SC/ST) including 1172 rape against Dalit women and 669 cases of murder reported (India's National Crime Records Bureau, 2005) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Caste based Atrocities: Invisible Manifestations at its worst <ul><li>Millions feel dehumanised and less than a human due to discrimination they face in public places such as schools, hotels, temples and government offices </li></ul><ul><li>This results into deep psychological sufferings that can never be measured </li></ul>
  10. 10. Forced apart <ul><li>Dalits are forced to live separately from caste Hindus. In cities like Kanpur (left), the Dalits are made to live in crowded slums on the fringes of the city. Caste Hindus refuse to enter these slums and the majority of Dalit living areas do not come under the jurisdiction of city police. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Living outcastes
  12. 12. Caste and gender <ul><li>Caste discrimination and gender discrimination interlinked </li></ul><ul><li>All women are slaves according to sacred scriptures of Hinduism </li></ul><ul><li>The Dalit women face three forms of discrimination: caster, class and gender based </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Legal political </li></ul><ul><li>Social and Economic </li></ul><ul><li>Ideological/philosophical </li></ul>Mechanisms to fight caste: Dr. Ambedkar’s method
  14. 14. Legal Political <ul><li>Constitutional Rights (Chief architect of Indian constitution in India is Dr. Ambedkar) </li></ul><ul><li>The Hindu Code Bill </li></ul><ul><li>Prevention of Atrocities Act </li></ul><ul><li>Reducing “Democracy Deficit” by promoting social and economic democracy </li></ul>
  15. 15. Social and Economic <ul><li>Affirmative Action </li></ul><ul><li>Reservation in Education </li></ul><ul><li>Political reservation </li></ul><ul><li>Reservation in Services </li></ul><ul><li>(However, most of the seats reserved for SCs/STs are not filled) </li></ul><ul><li>Special safeguards </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom to discard religion </li></ul><ul><li>However, some state government are trying to take away this freedom </li></ul>
  16. 16. Ideological/philosophical <ul><li>Fighting wrong notions which are supported by religion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New ideas, such as social democracy, have not yet been thoroughly disseminated, absorbed and utilized </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenging authority of scriptures and culture that supports and sustains caste ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting secularisation and democratisation of society as mandated in the constitution </li></ul><ul><li>Buddhism as a method to transform self and world </li></ul>
  17. 17. Buddhism: Dr. Ambedkar’s message for establishments of Democracy in India in 1941 <ul><li>… . India is like a sick man. When we think of India, we imagine a picture of a man whose belly is big, his hands and feet reduced to mere bones, face paled, eyes deeply buried in the socket. He is just like a skeleton. He has no power to run the Democracy but he has a great desire to run it….. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Only , the Buddha can help in establishing Democracy. Therefore it is important to remember the Buddha and take his medicine for cleansing the political and social lifeblood [of the Hindus]. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore we think that people should chant this greatest mantra (Mahamantra) for establishment of Democracy: </li></ul><ul><li>Buddham Saranam Gacchaami! </li></ul><ul><li>Dhammam Saranam Gacchaami!! </li></ul><ul><li>Sangham Saranam Gacchami!!! </li></ul>
  19. 19. Peaceful social revolution <ul><li>“ Positively, my social philosophy may be said to be enshrined in three words: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Let no one, however, say that I have borrowed my philosophy from the French Revolution. I have not. My philosophy has roots in religion and not in political science. I have derived them from the teachings of my master, the Buddha.” </li></ul><ul><li>(October 3,1954, Dr. Ambedkar) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Liberation from the hell of caste in October 1956
  21. 21. In 1956
  22. 22. Celebrating 50 years of Buddhism in 2006
  23. 23. <ul><li>Jai Bhim!! </li></ul><ul><li>Victory to Bhim!! </li></ul>