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Upendra Bharti | Haridwar | HENB | Oct 25, 2017:: Dissatisfied with the casteism in Hindu society, proncipal architect of the Indian Constitution and the Dalit Messiah in modern age, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, converted himself to Buddhism with approximately 600,000 followers on Ashok Vijaya Dashami on 14 October 1956.
After 61 years after that historic conversion from Hindu faith to another in a single, perhaps a record in the world history of conversion, a woman Dalit leader in India has announced to abandon Hinduism on the same ground Ambedkar created a new group of Neo Buddhist people in India.
On Tuesday, Ex Chief Minister Uttar Pradesh, long time Dalit face in Indian Parliament and present Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati warned that like dalit icon BR Ambedkar, she, too, would convert if “iniquitous practices” against dalits and tribals in Hinduism were not abolished permanently.
Addressing BSP supporters from Azamgarh, Varanasi and Gorakhpur divisions, Mayawati said, “Some reasons compelled Ambedkar to quit as law minister in the Nehru government, and he resigned as MP in 1951 when he was not allowed to speak in the Lok Sabha. Ambedkar later gave time to Shankaracharyas and other Hindu authorities to end ill practices, untouchability and discrimination against dalits. When they failed, he converted to Buddhism with lakhs of supporters.” The BSP leader said she was not against Hinduism as such. “But the fact is that iniquitous practices and atrocities against dalits, tribals, converts and Muslims still continue. The construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya will not solve problems of poor and deprived people. BJP and RSS are making all efforts to mobilise votes by playing the Hindutva card,” she said. Mayawati said that before abandoning Hinduism, she will give sufficient time to the Shankaracharyas and BJP-RSS to end all prevailing unethical practices. “If they fail, I will follow the path of Ambedkar,” she warned.
Attacking the Hindutva organisations, Mayawati said, “BJP-RSS are all casteists, Hindutvavadi and antiquota”. She alleged that BJP conspired to get her killed during caste violence in Saharanpur in April-May. She called upon the cadres to avenge her resignation from Rajya Sabha by ensuring BSP’s victory in the forthcoming municipal and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Targeting UP CM Aditya Nath Yogi, she said he should focus on development “Yogi is only visiting temples and worshipping“. She also told, “UP CM holds cabinet meetings frequently and takes decisions but fails to implement any of them. CM Yogi has failed to do nay good for the Dalit and SC-ST people in the state“.
While Mayawati accused RSS and BJP about their Hindutva Politics, the present day Dalit icon never explained the trends in India in the name of reservation and dalit politics.
The conversion of six lakh dalit Hindus into Buddhism led by Dr Ambedkar could not fetch any benefit of the converted people as far as their change in faith was concerned, but the slow progress of Dalits in India from the time of Ambedkar to Mayawati depended upon the various improvements related of their educational, economical and social changes, but not tagged with their religious faith at all.
Practically, the Mission Conversion at Deekshaboomi in 1956 has no record to show the practical development of the Dalits in India.
If had any land mark change of the status of Dalits due to abandoning Hinduism and accepting Buddhism by Ambedkar and his followers, Kumari Mayawati would not make a tantrum for her declaration to abandon Hindu Dharma again.
Such rejection of Hinduism will make a stunt for the Dalits by their leader, but will not be helpful to change their status in reality.
The Mission of Ambedkar for abandoning Hindusim and accepting Buddhism had a greater social implication apart from any vested political interest, though the mission was underachieved.
But, before general election in 2019, the mode of Mayawati to abandon Hinduism is nothing but a political gimmick to regain her lost political bastion in Uttar Pradesh.
__inputs from TNN.