Ambedkar*'s Political Evaluation

Ambedkar*'s Political Evaluation

Disclosure: Extracted from the June 2022 issue of People's March

CPI (Maoist) Central Committee enriched its document on “The Caste Question in India - Our Perspective”. There have been significant changes in the understanding of BR Ambedkar, the advocate of the Dalit people and a part of the writing of the Constitution of India. Here we give the relevant part.

Ambedkar fought not only for the equality of Dalits, who were the most oppressed in the caste hierarchy, but also for workers and women. According to him, equality, independence and sovereignty coexist in Indian society. As for imperialism, his understanding is that we can by no means enter an effective war against imperialism without fighting against the friends of imperialism, such as the landlords, factory owners, and usurers in the country. Ambedkar always took a neutral stance towards colonial rule from a purely strategic point of view. According to him, Dalits, who do not have any tools, cannot fight all these powerful enemies at the same time. He basically saw Congress as the representative of the landlords and urban capitalists, challenging the view that they were waging an anti-imperialist war. He criticized the caste system as Hindu imperialism and stated that it is worse compared to British imperialism.

Ambedkar is truly representative of the oppressed classes. He addressed all untouchables, oppressed castes, oppressed people and women as one class. He called all repressed people the "depressive classes". He called them “Dalit” in Marathi. This 'depressive class' concept has the content that the caste system can only be destroyed by organizing from a class point of view. But the idea of ​​this people cleverly uniting the social class is contrary to Marx's concept of class. Ambedkar has repeatedly said that Brahmanism and capitalism are the two enemies of the Indian oppressed masses. This depressed class became part of the popular mobilization and popular movements led by him. They were concerned first with social and civic rights and self-respect, and then with the democratic rights of Dalits, peasants, workers and women. He spearheaded many anti-caste struggles, which were an important part of the anti-feudal struggle. He and the movement under his leadership thus formed an important part of the democratic forces and movement of that period.

Ambedkar devoted his life mainly to ensuring the rights and well-being of Dalits. But to achieve his goal, he approached parliamentary democracy. This attitude has practically diverted them from the path of militant struggle and created illusions on the Parliamentary system. On the other hand, his services helped the British imperialists after 1941 and the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and feudal classes after 1947. In general, Ambedkar chose the extermination of caste as the aim of his life and sincerely tried to use every opportunity he got for the benefit of Dalits and oppressed people. There was always a search for a struggle and a method of struggle. He was always ready for change. It is a historic friendly force in the vast Indian New Democratic Revolution. From this point of view, we should consider its positive aspects for social transformation. We must throw out those who stand in the way of revolution. The movement and literature led by Ambedkar certainly inspires the struggle for the eradication of caste and the building of a democratic society. We must examine them critically. At the same time, we must fight against those who use Ambedkar for their own benefit, those who make false inferences from his ideas, and those who mislead the public. Ambedkar's theory of extermination of caste is an important part of the long process of building a democratic society. But not the final one. This theory alone will not suffice. This process started before Ambedkar and still continues. We have to make it to the end. To this end, we must specifically address the political propaganda that the only correct way to the liberation of Dalits is the united militant struggle of the oppressed classes, Dalit and other oppressed castes and other oppressed sections under the leadership of the proletariat and the united militant struggle under the leadership of the proletariat and this New Democratic Revolution and all to organize as a great power.

Many institutions and associations have been working to solve the problems of Dalits for a long time. Political parties are established and work on behalf of Dalits on the basis of the ruling class, petty-bourgeois, caste and lower caste. These organizations, associations and parties interpret Ambedkarism according to their own wishes and claim that they have their own theories. Among them, we need to publicly expose the ruling class character/pro-administration political opportunism of the ruling class Dalit parties, the Dalit organizations and associations that oppose and benefit our Party on behalf of Ambedkar; In doing so, we must separate the leadership from the people. We will have to make an effort to maintain other Ambedkarite, Dalit organizations and associations in a broad democratic movement, to work with them in a friendly manner. The party must support their struggle. We have to unite with them and fight together. At the same time, we must build strong independent movements and organizations on a broad basis on Dalit problems for the purpose of emancipation of the Dalit people.

Ambedkar's ideology

Ambedkar was not theoretically opposed to Marxism. He spread Marxism as much as possible. He did his work according to the standards of Marxism. He would say that if there is a philosophy close to him, it is Marxism. However, while studying at the "London School of Economics", he was influenced by Camel Fabianism. He called these theoretical ideas pragmatism or instrumentalism. Instrumentalists realize scientific ideology.

Due to Ambedkar's chosen and pragmatist perspective on 'Extermination of Caste', he did not attach importance to the social and economic basis. Regarding this problem, he presented the misconception that caste characteristically arises from adherence to religious theories, that the way to eliminate caste discrimination is to destroy the religious feelings that are the basis of this discrimination, and that caste did not arise from the old productive relations of Indian society, but from the Hindu religion. Therefore, he thought that caste could be eradicated by reforming the Hindu religion rather than changing the social system. Thus, he proposed laws for the appointment of priests through open examinations in any caste, etc., to abolish the Vedas and establish a common authority Hindu religious text acceptable to all Hindus, etc. Thus, he thought that only changes in the thoughts and ideas of men would bring about the end of the caste system. Therefore, he did not realize that despite the constant promotion of inter-caste marriages, it would only help partially abolish the caste system without disrupting the social and economic basis of caste. The proposal for reform and subsequent conversion to the Hindu religion did not answer the question of why caste persisted in various forms in Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and even Buddhism in India. So, naturally, his final conversion to Buddhism failed to show a way out of the caste system.

Moreover, this idea caused him to rely heavily on the British administration in the fight against the castes. He viewed the British as believers in western Christian philosophy, opposed to Hindu caste ideology. Therefore, in practice, he failed to understand that the British imperialists were dependent on the feudal caste fundamentalist forces for their exploitative and oppressive rule in the country.

Finally, Ambedkar had a wrong understanding of the nature of the state because of his bourgeois liberal ideas. Believing in the bourgeois concept of a neutral state and not seeing its class nature and being a tool of oppression, he thought that the character of the state could be changed by changes in laws and constitutional reforms. Although inspired by the bourgeois democratic principles of "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity", he failed to define the basic bourgeois class dictatorship character of bourgeois democracy. He especially failed to recognize the reactionary character of imperialism and its representative, the Comprador Bureaucratic Bourgeoisie and the Indian state. It therefore relied mainly on laws, Parliament, courts and the Constitution to bring about social change.

The Brahmanic Hindu fascist BJP in the central government and all ruling parties and revisionist parties ceaselessly for their own benefit Ambedkar is ideologically opposed to violence and revolution, considering that Ambedkar is the founder of the Indian Constitution, he is the creator of Parliamentary democracy, and his immense recognition with the Dalit people and other oppressed castes. propaganda among them. All these parties are racing to spread what Ambedkar says that Dalits must patiently strive to improve their lives through structural changes and democratic means. Thus, all exploiting class parties use the name Ambedkar and limit the Dalits to bourgeois and petty-bourgeois reforms, and try diligently to ensure that they do not engage in militant class struggles and organize in the New Democratic Revolution. In an unprecedented manner since 1947, the Modi government is fascistizing the state and Brahmanic Hindu communal caste chauvinist forces far more than the agenda of the Brahmin Hindutwa fascist Sangh Parivar. On the one hand, the Modi government and various provincial governments are intensifying their multi-pronged attacks against the revolutionary movement, on the other hand, it is enjoying the theoretical, political, cultural and physical attacks of the Sangh Parivar forces against Dalit, Adivasi, Minority, Secular, Democratic and Revolutionary groups. They apply ruthless repression of the revolutionary forces and other militant democratic forces who are fighting uncompromisingly against the fascist governments. These fascists are trying to exploit and oppress the people of the country and to push the people of the country into slavery, by surrendering the other forces of the movement with the policy of carrots and sticks. The BJP government led by Modi hailed Ambedkar in celebration of his 125th birth anniversary.

We must expose the evil behind this symbolization of Ambedkar, which the ruling class has adopted for its own benefit. We must preserve and strengthen Ambedkar's place as an active force in the broad democratic struggle, remove him from the stronghold of the ruling classes and place him as a true symbol of those for whom he has dedicated his life.

* Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar is also known as Babasaheb. Indian politician, philosopher, anthropologist, economist and historian (April 14, 1891 - December 6, 1956). (QN)

** The untouchables refer to the segment at the lowest level of the caste system in India. (QN)

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