Friday, April 30, 2010


आम्हाला जन्म जरी आमच्या आई वडीलानी दिला असला तरी मानुस म्हणून जगण्याचा हक्क ज्यानी आम्हाला दिला तेच खरया अर्थान आमचे बाप
(Though our parents have given us a birth however the man who gave us the Right to Live as a HUMAN BEING in the real sense is our FATHER)
i.e. Bharatratna Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar
M.A.(Colombia), PH.D.(Colombia), LL.D.(Colombia), D. LITT.(Osmaniya), D. SC.(London), BARRISTER-AT-LAW(London)
who was an Indian Jurist, ,Political leader, Buddhist activist, Philosopher,Thinker, Anthropologist, Historian, Orator, prolific Writer, Economist, Scholar, Editor, Revolutionary and the Revivalist of Buddhism in India & The Chief Architect of the Indian Constitution.

"BORN TO WIN" leader who created a new world order of social equity & welfair
Rational thinker who challenged unscientific attitudes, customs,practices prevalent in contemporary society
The only charismatic leader who was expert in all domains concerned with living a qualified quality life.
The only international leader who evolved a constitutional mechanism for protection of human right of women & the under privileged section of the population.
He demonstrated through research that lack of opportunities/accessibility inequity / affordability / acceptability & economic empowerment are chief causes of poverty.
Denounced the concept of “ caste by birth” & “ attributes of past life sins” as responsible for present condition.
He “ mainstreamed” the concept of epidemiological reasoning , while comparing the progress of different social class.
Role model for world
The greatest man world ever had

JAIBHIM is word of greeting as a mark of respect towards our Great Leader Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar. JAIBHIM literally means "Victory to Bhim," i.e., to Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar.
The term JAIBHIM was coined by Babu L. N. Hardas, a strong follower of Dr. Babasaeb Ambedkar. Many alternatives, such as Jai Rama-pati and Bal Bhim, were considered before deciding on the term JAIBHIM. Babu Hardas promoted this method of greeting with the help of workers of Bhim Vijay Sangh

So be proud to say JAIBHIM










Monday, April 12, 2010


What did the Buddha teach about magic and fortune telling?
The Buddha considered such practices as fortune telling, wearing magic charms for protection, finding lucky sites for buildings, prophesising and fixing lucky days to be useless superstitions and he expressly forbade his disciples to practise such things. He called all these things 'low arts'.
"Whereas some religious men, while living off food provided by the faithful make their living by such low arts, such wrong means of livelihood as palmistry, divining by signs, interpreting dreams, bringing about good or bad luck, picking the lucky site for a building, the monk Gotama refrains from such low arts, such wrong means of livelihood".
Then why do people sometimes practise such things and believe in them?
Because of greed, fear and ignorance. As soon as people understand the Buddha's teachings, they realise that a pure heart can protect them much better than bits of paper, bits of metal and a few chanted words and they no longer rely on such things. In the teachings of the Buddha, it is honesty, kindness, understanding, patience, forgiveness, generosity, loyalty and other good qualities that truly protect you and give you true prosperity.
But some lucky charms do work, don't they?
I know a person who makes a living selling lucky charms. He claims that his charms can give good luck, prosperity and he guarantees that you will be able to pick three numbers. But if what he says is true then why isn't he himself a multi-millionaire? If his lucky charms really work, then why doesn't he win the lottery week after week? The only luck he has is that there are people silly enough to buy his magic charms.
Then is there such a thing as luck?
The dictionary defines luck as 'believing that whatever happens, either good or bad, to a person in the course of events is due to chance, fate or fortune'. The Buddha denied this belief completely. Everything that happens has a specific cause or causes and there must be some relationships between the cause and the effect. Becoming sick, for example, has specific causes. One must come into contact with germs and one's body must be weak enough for the germs to establish themselves. There is a definite relationship between the cause (germs and a weakened body) and the effect (sickness) because we know that germs attack the organisms and give rise to sickness. But no relationship can be found between wearing a piece of paper with words written on it and being rich or passing examinations. Buddhism teaches that whatever happens does so because of a cause or causes and not due to luck, chance or fate. People who are interested in luck are always trying to get something,usually more money and wealth. The Buddha teaches us that it is far more important to develop our hearts and minds. He says:
Being deeply learned and skilled; being well-trained and using well-spoken words - this is the best good luck. To support mother and father, to cherish wife and child and to have a simple livelihood - this is the best good luck


In 1935 at Nasik district, Maharashtra, Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar had declared his firm resolve to change his religion. He had declared that he was born as a Hindu but will not die as Hindu. About a year later, a massive Mahar conference was held on May 30 and 31, 1936, in Mumbai, to access the impact of that declaration on Mahar masses. In his address to the conference, Dr.Ambedkar expressed his views on conversion in an elaborate, well- prepared and written speech in Marathi. Here is an English translation of that speech by Mr.Vasant Moon, OSD to the committee of Govt. of Maharashtra for publication of Writings & speeches of Dr.B.R.Ambedkar
Conversion is not a game of children. It is not a subject of entertainment. It deals with how to make man’s life successful. Just as a boatman has to make all necessary preparations before he starts for voyage, so also we have to make preparations. Unless I get an idea as to how many persons are willing to leave the Hindu fold, I cannot start preparations for conversion.
For a common man this subject of conversion is very important but also very difficult to understand.
Class Struggle
There are two aspects of conversion; social as well as religious; material as well as spiritual. Whatever may be the aspect, or line of thinking, it is necessary to understand the beginning, the nature of Untouchability and how it is practised. Without this understanding, you will not be able to realise the real meaning underlying my declaration of conversion. In order to have a clear understanding of untouchability and its practice in real life, I want you to recall the stories of the atrocities perpetrated against you. But very few of you might have realised as to why all this happens! What is at the root cause of their tyranny? To me it is very necessary, that we understand it.
This is not a feud between rival men. The problem of untouchability is a matter of class struggle. It is the struggle between caste Hindus and the Untouchables. That is not a matter of doing injustice against one man. This is a matter of injustice being done by one class against another. This “class struggle” has a relation with the social status. This struggle indicates, how one class should keep its relation with another class. This struggle starts as soon as you start claiming equal treatment with others…
Conversion not for slaves
The reason for their anger is very simple. Your behaving on par with them insults them. The untouchability is not a short or temporary feature; it is a permanent one .To put it straight, it can be said that the struggle between the Hindus and the Untouchables is a permanent phenomena. It is eternal, because the religion which has placed you at the lowest level of the society is itself eternal, according to the belief of the Hindu caste people. No change, according to time and circumstances is possible. You are at the lowest rung of the ladder today. You shall remain lowest forever. This means the struggle between Hindus and Untouchables shall continue forever. How will you survive through this struggle is the main question. And unless you think over it, there is no way out. Those who desire to live in obedience to the dictates of the Hindus, those who wish to remain their slaves, they do not need to think over this problem. But those who wish to live a life of self-respect, and equality, will have to think over this. How should we survive through this struggle? For me, it is not difficult to answer this question. Those who have assembled here will have to agree that in any struggle one who holds strength becomes the victor. One, who has no strength, need not expect success. This has been proved by experience, and I do not need to cite illustration to prove it.
Three types of Strength
The question that follows, which you must now consider, is whether you have enough strength to survive through this struggle? Three types of strength are known to man: (i) Manpower, (ii) Finance and (iii) Mental Strength. Which of these, you think that you possess? So far as manpower is concerned, it is clear, that you are in a minority. In Mumbai Presidency, the untouchables are only one-eighth of the total population. That too unorganised. The castes within themselves do not allow them to organise. They are not even compact. They are scattered through the villages. Under these circumstances, this small population is of no use as a fighting force to the untouchables at their critical moments. Financial strength is also just the same. It is an undisputed fact that you at least have a little bit of manpower, but finances you have none. You have no trade, no business, no service, no land. The piece of bread thrown out by the higher castes, are your means of livelihood. You have no food, no clothes. What financial strength can you have? You have no capacity to get redress from the law courts. Thousands of untouchables tolerate insult, tyranny and oppression at the hands of Hindus without a sigh of complaint, because they have no capacity to bear the expenses of the courts. As regards mental strength, the condition is still worst. The tolerance of insults and tyranny without grudge and complaint has killed the sense of retort and revolt. Confidence, vigour and ambition have been completely vanished from you. All of you have been become helpless, unenergetic and pale. Everywhere, there is an atmosphere of defeatism and pessimism. Even the slight idea, that you can do something does not enter your mind.
Muslim Example
If, whatever I have described above is correct then you will have to agree with the conclusion that follows. The conclusion is, if you depend only upon your own strength, you will never be able to face the tyranny of the Hindus. I have no doubt that you are oppressed because you have no strength. It is not that you alone are in minority. The Muslims are equally small in number. Like Mahar- Mangs, they too have few houses in the village. But no one dares to trouble the Muslims while you are always a victim of tyranny. Why is this so? Though there may be two houses of Muslims in the village, nobody dares to harm them, while the whole village practises tyranny against you though you have ten houses. Why does this happen? This is a very pertinent question and you will have to find out a suitable answer to this. In my opinion, there is only one answer to this question. The Hindus realise that the strength of the whole of the Muslim population in India stands behind those two houses of Muslims living in a village and, therefore, they do not dare to touch them. Those two houses also enjoy free and fearless life because they are aware that if any Hindu commits aggression against them, the whole Muslim community from Punjab to Madras will rush to their protection at any cost. On the other hand, the Hindus are sure that none will come to your rescue, nobody will help you, no financial help will reach you. Tahsildar and police belong to caste Hindus and in case of disputes between Hindus and Untouchables, they are more faithful to their caste than to their duty. The Hindus practise injustice and tyranny against you only because you are helpless.
Outside Support
From the above discussion, two facts are very clear. Firstly, you can not face tyranny without strength. And secondly, you do not possess enough strength to face the tyranny. With these two conclusions, a third one automatically follows. That is, the strength required to face this tyranny needs to be secured from outside. How are you to gain this strength is really an important question? And you will have to think over this with an unbiased mind.
From this, you will realise one thing, that unless you establish close relations with some other society, unless you join some other religion, you cannot get the strength from outside. It clearly means, you must leave your present religion and assimilate yourselves with some other society. Without that, you cannot gain the strength of that society. So long as you do not have strength, you and your future generations will have to lead your lives in the same pitiable condition.
Spiritual Aspect of Conversion
Uptil now, we have discussed why conversion is necessary for material gains. Now, I propose to put forth my thoughts as to why conversion is as much necessary for spiritual wellbeing. What is Religion? Why is it necessary? … ‘That which govern people is religion’. That is the true definition of Religion. There is no place for an individual in Hindu society. The Hindu religion is constituted on a class-concept. Hindu religion does not teach how an individual should behave with another individual. A religion, which does not recognise the individual, is not personally acceptable to me.
Three factors are required for the uplift of an individual. They are: Sympathy, Equality and Liberty. Can you say by experience that any of these factors exist for you in Hinduism?
No Equality in Hinduism
Such a living example of inequality is not to be found anywhere in the world. Not at anytime in the history of mankind can we find such inequality, which is more intense than untouchability… I think, you have been thrust into this condition because you have continued to be Hindus. Those of you who have become Muslims, are treated by the Hindus neither as Untouchables nor as unequals. The same can be said of those who have become Christians…
That God is all pervading is a principle of science and not of religion, because religion has a direct relation with the behaviour of man. Hindus can be ranked among those cruel people whose utterances and acts are two poles apart. They have this Ram on their tongues and a knife under their armpits. They speak like saints but act like butchers…
Thus we are not low in the eyes of the Hindus alone, but we are the lowest in the whole of India, because of the treatment given to us by the Hindus.
If you have to get rid of this same shameful condition, if you have to cleanse this filth and make use of this precious life; there is only one way and that is to throw off the shackles of Hindu religion and the Hindu society in which you are bound.
The taste of a thing can be changed. But the poison cannot be made amrit. To talk of annihilating castes is like talking of changing the poison into amrit. In short, so long as we remain in a religion, which teaches a man to treat another man like a leper, the sense of discrimination on account of caste, which is deeply rooted in our minds, can not go. For annihilating caste and untouchables, change of religion is the only antidote.
Untouchables are not Hindus
What is there in conversion, which can be called novel? Really speaking what sort of social relations have you with the caste Hindus at present? You are as separate from the Hindus as Muslims and Christians are. So is their relation with you. Your society and that of the Hindus are two distinct groups. By conversion, nobody can say or feel that one society has been split up. You will remain as separate from the Hindus as you are today. Nothing new will happen on account of this conversion. If this is true, then why should people be afraid of conversion? At least, I do not find any reason for such a fear…
Revolution – Not Reform
Changing a religion is like changing a name. Change of religion followed by the change of name will be more beneficial to you. To call oneself a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist or a Sikh is not merely a change of religion but also a change of name.. Since the beginning of this movement of conversion, various people have raised various objections to it. Let us now examine the truth, if any, in such objections…
A congenital idiot alone will say that one has to adhere to one’s religion because it is that of our ancestors. No sane man will accept such a proposition. Those who advocate such an argument, seem not to have read the history at all. The ancient Aryan religion was called Vedic religion. It has three distinct characteristic (features). Beef-eating, drinking and merry-making was part of the religion of the day. Thousands of people followed it in India and even now some people dream of going back to it. If the ancient religion alone is to be adhered to why did the people of India leave Hinduism and accept Buddhism? Why did they divorce themselves from the Vedic religion?… Thus this Hindu religion is not the religion of our ancestors, but it was a slavery forced upon them…
To reform the Hindu society is neither our aim nor our field of action. Our aim is to gain freedom. We have nothing to do with anything else.
If we can gain freedom by conversion, why should we shoulder the responsibility of reforming the Hindu religion? And why should we sacrifice our strength and property for that? None should misunderstand the object of our movement as being Hindu social reform. The object of our movement is to achieve social freedom for the untouchables. It is equally true that this freedom cannot be secured without conversion.
Caste can’t be destroyed
I do accept that the untouchables need equality as well. And to secure equality is also one of our objectives. But nobody can say that this equality can be achieved only by remaining as Hindu and not otherwise. There are two ways of achieving equality. One, by remaining in the Hindu fold and another by leaving it by conversion. If equality is to be achieved by remaining in the Hindu fold, mere removal of the sense of being a touchable or an untouchable will not serve the purpose. Equality can be achieved only when inter-caste dinners and marriages take place. This means that the Chaturvarnya must be abolished and the brahminic religion must be uprooted. Is it possible? And if not, will it be wise to expect equality of treatment by remaining in the Hindu religion? And can you be successful in your efforts to bring equality? Of course not. The path of conversion is far more simpler than this. The Hindu society does not give equality of treatment, but the same is easily achieved by conversion. If this is true, then why should you not adopt this simple path of conversion?
Conversion is a simplest path
According to me, this conversion of religion will bring happiness to both the Untouchables as well as the Hindus. So long as you remain Hindus, you will have to struggle for social intercourse, for food and water, and for inter-caste marriages. And so long as this quarrel continues, relations between you and the Hindus will be of perpetual enemies. By conversion, the roots of all the quarrels will vanish… thus by conversion, if equality of treatment can be achieved and the affinity between the Hindus and the Untouchables can be brought about then why should the Untouchables not adopt the simple and happy path of securing equality? Looking at this problem through this angle, it will be seen that this path of conversion is the only right path of freedom, which ultimately leads to equality. It is neither cowardice nor escapism.
Sanctified Racism
Although the castes exist in Muslims and the Christians alike, it will be meanness to liken it to that of the Hindus. There is a great distinction between the caste-system of the Hindus and that of the Muslims and Christians. Firstly, it must be noted that though the castes exist amongst the Christians and the Muslims, it is not the chief characteristic of their body social.
There is one more difference between the caste system of the Hindus and that of the Muslims and Christians. The caste system in the Hindus has the foundation of religion. The castes in other religions have no sanction in their religion …Hindus cannot destroy their castes without destroying their religion. Muslims and Christians need not destroy their religions for eradication of their castes. Rather their religion will support such movements to a great extent.
Conversion alone liberates us
I am simply surprised by the question, which some Hindus ask us as to what can be achieved by conversion alone? Most of the present day Sikhs, Muslims and Christians were formerly Hindus, majority of them being from the Shudras and Untouchables. Do these critics mean to say that those, who left the Hindu fold and embraced Sikhism or Christianity, have made no progress at all? And if this is not true, and if it is admitted that the conversion has brought a distinct improvement in their condition, then to say that the untouchables will not be benefited by conversion, carries no meaning…
After giving deep thought to the problem, everybody will have to admit
that conversion is necessary to the Untouchables as self-government is to India. The ultimate object of both is the same. There is not the slightest difference in their ultimate goal. This ultimate aim is to attain freedom. And if the freedom is necessary for the life of mankind, conversion of Untouchables which brings them complete freedom cannot be called worthless by any stretch of imagination…
Economic Progress or Social Changes ?
I think it necessary here to discuss the question as to what should be initiated first, whether economic progress or conversion? I do not agree with the view that economic progress should precede…
Untouchability is a permanent handicap on your path of progress. And unless you remove it, your path cannot be safe. Without conversion, this hurdle cannot be removed…
So, if you sincerely desire that your qualifications should be valued, your education should be of some use to you, you must throw away the shackles of untouchability, which means that you must change your religion…
However, for those who need this Mahar Watan, I can assure them that their Mahar Watan will not be jeopardised by their conversion. In this regard, the Act of 1850 can be referred. Under the provisions of this Act, no rights of person or his successors with respect to his property are affected by virtue of his conversion…
Poona Pact
A second doubt is about political rights. Some people express fear as to what will happen to our political safeguards if we convert…
But I feel, it is not proper to depend solely on political rights. These political safeguards are not granted on the condition that they shall be ever lasting. They are bound to cease sometime. According to the communal Award of the British Government, our political safeguards were limited for 20 years. Although no such limitation has been fixed by the Poona Pact, nobody can say that they are everlasting. Those, who depend upon the political safeguards, must think as to what will happen after these safeguards are withdrawn on the day on which our rights cease to exist. We will have to depend on our social strength. I have already told you that this social strength is wanting in us. So also I have proved in the beginning that this strength cannot be achieved without conversion…
Political Rights
Under these circumstances, one must think of what is permanently beneficial.
In my opinion, conversion is the only way to eternal bliss. Nobody should hesitate even if the political rights are required to be sacrificed for this purpose. Conversion brings no harm to the political safeguards. I do not understand why the political safeguards should at all be jeopardized by conversion. Wherever you may go, your political rights and safeguards will accompany you. I have no doubt about it.
If you become Muslims, you will get the political rights as Muslims. If you become Christians, you will get the political rights as Christians, if you become Sikhs, you will have your political rights as Sikhs. In short, our political rights will accompany us.
So nobody should be afraid of it. On the other hand, if we remain Hindus and do not convert, will our rights be safe? You must think carefully on this. Suppose the Hindus pass a law whereby the untouchability is prohibited and its practice is made punishable, then they may ask you, ‘We have abolished untouchability by law and you are no longer untouchables…
Looking through this perspective, conversion becomes a path for strengthening the political safeguards rather than becoming a hindrance. If you remain Hindus, you are sure to lose your political safeguards. If you want to save them, leave this religion. The political safeguards will be permanent only by conversion.
The Hindu religion does not appeal to my conscience. It does not appeal to my self-respect. However, your conversion will be for material as well as for spiritual gains. Some persons mock and laugh at the idea of conversion for material gains. I do not feel hesitant in calling such persons as stupid.
Conversion brings Happiness
I tell you all very specifically, religion is for man and not man for religion. To get human treatment, convert yourselves.

CONVERT -for getting organised.

CONVERT -for becoming strong.

CONVERT -for securing equality.

CONVERT -for getting liberty.

CONVERT -so that your domestic life may be happy.
I consider him as leader who without fear or favour tells the people what is good and what is bad for them. It is my duty to tell you, what is good for you, even if you don’t like it, I must do my duty. And now I have done it.
It is now for you to decide and discharge your responsibility.

Reference: “Bhim Chakra 1996” published by Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. Tripura project, Agartala.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of Teachers, elders or wise men.
''Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it."
------ Bhagwan Gautam Buddha
There is lot of misunderstanding regarding the word BHAGWAN

Meaning of word Bhagwan is not the GOD[Ishwar]
Ishwar is sanskrit word which is based on Imagination,
It is said that Ishwar means which is Eaternal, Which is Infinite
on the other hand Bhagwan is a Pali word
which is made up from Bhagga + Bhava
wich means Eradication
Buddha said that
भग रागो भग दोशो भग मोहो आधो
भग अस्वा पाठ धम्मा भग्वा ते उचति
Means Who has Eradicated all his cravings/Desire,
Who has Eradicated all his Ignorance,
who has Eradicated all his Greed, lust is called a Bhagwan
Do Buddhist believe in god?
No, we do not. There are several reasons for this. The Buddha, like modern sociologists and psychologists, believed that religious ideas and especially the god idea have their origin in fear.
The Buddha says:
"Gripped by fear men go to the sacred mountains,sacred groves, sacred trees and shrines".
Primitive man found himself in a dangerous and hostile world, the fear of wild animals, of not being able to find enough food, of injury or disease, and of natural phenomena like thunder, lightning and volcanoes was constantly with him. Finding no security, he created the idea of gods in order to give him comfort in good times, courage in times of danger and consolation when things went wrong. To this day, you will notice that people become more religious at times of crises, you will hear them say that the belief in a god or gods gives them the strength they need to deal with life. You will hear them explain that they believe in a particular god because they prayed in time of need and their prayer was answered. All this seems to support the Buddha's teaching that the god-idea is a response to fear and frustration. The Buddha taught us to try to understand our fears, to lessen our desires and to calmly and courageously accept the things we cannot change. He replaced fear, not with irrational belief but with rational understanding.
The second reason the Buddha did not believe in a god is because there does not seem to be any evidence to support this idea. There are numerous religions, all claiming that they alone have god's words preserved in their holy book, that they alone understand god's nature, that their god exists and that the gods of other religions do not. Some claim that god is masculine, some that she is feminine and others that it is neuter. They are all satisfied that there is ample evidence to prove the existence of their god but they laugh in disbelief at the evidence other religions use to prove the existence of another god. It is not surprising that with so many different religions spending so many centuries trying to prove the existence of their gods that still no real, concrete, substantial or irrefutable evidence has been found. Buddhists suspend judgement until such evidence is forthcoming.
The third reason the Buddha did not believe in a god is that the belief is not necessary. Some claim that the belief in a god is necessary in order to explain the origin on the universe. But this is not so. Science has very convincingly explained how the universe came into being without having to introduce the god-idea. Some claim that belief in god is necessary to have a happy, meaningful life. Again we can see that this is not so. There are millions of atheists and free-thinkers, not to mention many Buddhists, who live useful, happy and meaningful lives without belief in a god. Some claim that belief in god's power is necessary because humans, being weak, do not have the strength to help themselves. Once again, the evidence indicates the opposite. One often hears of people who have overcome great disabilities and handicaps, enormous odds and difficulties, through their own inner resources, through their own efforts and without belief in a god. Some claim that god is necessary in order to give man salvation. But this argument only holds good if you accept the theological concept of salvation and Buddhists do not accept such a concept. Based on his own experience, the Buddha saw that each human being had the capacity to purify the mind, develop infinite love and compassion and perfect understanding. He shifted attention from the heavens to the heart and encouraged us to find solutions to our problems through self-understanding.
But if there are no gods how did the universe get here?
All religions have myths and stories which attempt to answer this question. In ancient times, when many simply did not know, such myths were adequate, but in the 20th century, in the age of physics, astronomy and geology, such myths have been superseded by scientific fact. Science has explained the origin of the universe without recourse to the god-idea.
What does the Buddha say about the origin of the universe?
It is interesting that the Buddha's explanation of the origin of the universe corresponds very closely to the scientific view. In the Aganna Sutta, the Buddha described the universe being destroyed and then re-evolving into its present form over a period of countless millions of years. The first life formed on the surface of the water and again, over countless millions of years, evolved from simple into complex organisms. All these processes are without beginning or end, and are set in motion by natural causes.
You say there is no evidence for the existence of a god. But what about miracles?
There are many who believe that miracles are proof of god's existence. We hear wild claims that a healing has taken place but we never get an independent testimony from a medical office or a surgeon. We hear second-hand reports that someone was miraculously saved from disaster but we never get an eye-witness account of what is supposed to have happened. We hear rumours that prayer straightened a diseased body or strengthened a withered limb, but we never see X-rays or get comments from doctors or nurses. Wild claims, second-hand reports and rumours are no substitute for solid evidence and solid evidence of miracles is very rare.
However, sometimes unexplained things do happen, unexpected events do occur. But our inability to explain such things does not prove the existence of gods. It only proves that our knowledge is as yet incomplete. Before the development of modern medicine, when people didn't know what caused sickness people believed that god or the gods sent diseases as a punishment. Now we know what causes such things and when we get sick, we take medicine. In time when our knowledge of the world is more complete, we will be able to understand what causes unexplained phenomena, just as we can now understand what causes disease.
But so many people believe in some form of god, it must be true.
Not so. There was a time when everyone believed that the world was flat, but they were all wrong. The number of people who believe in an idea is no measure of the truth or falsehood of that idea. The only way we can tell whether an idea is true or not is by looking at the facts and examini
ng the evidence.
So if Buddhists don't believe in gods, what do you believe in?
We don't believe in a god because we believe in man. We believe that each human being is precious and important, that all have the potential to develop into a Buddha – a perfected human being. We believe that human beings can outgrow ignorance and irrationality and see things as they really are. We believe that hatred, anger, spite and jealousy can be replaced by love, patience, generosity and kindness. We believe that all this is within the grasp of each person if they make the effort, guided and supported by fellow Buddhists and inspired by the example of the Buddha. As the Buddha says:
"No one saves us but ourselves,
No one can and no one may.
We ourselves must walk the path,
But Buddhas clearly show the way".


Most of the people who believe in astrology do not have any knowledge of the structure of astrology.Many of them might have found that some sort of predictions made by astrologers did come true in either their own case or in the case of their acquaintances. That is usually the main reason why they believe in it. Unquestioning belief in age-old traditions is also an important reason. The funny part of this belief is that the predictions that went wrong are ignored or easily forgotten by them. The excuses put up for wrong predictions are commonplace. Pro-astrology people argue that astrologers who have full knowledge of astrology are very rare. The average astrologers who do not have enough knowledge of it can make wrong predictions. And moreover, the time of birth provided to them is often incorrect, which makes their predictions go wrong; but that is no fault of astrology itself! It is obvious that nobody can eliminate such vague factors, and consequently, real assessment of astrology becomes an impossible task.

Movement against astrology
Dr.Abraham Kowoor was the First man who practically brought the rationalism in to movement. He used a popular tool of challenge of Rs 100 000 against the Godmen’s miracles in 1972. In the List there was Challenge regarding Astrology. Ten palm-prints or horoscopes having birthplace with correct latitude & longitude, time of birth correct up to minutes will be given to astrologer. He is supposed to tell only two things.
· Whether the person is Male or Female
· Dead or alive
Nobody had accepted the challenge at that time. ANS further enhanced this amount up to Rs 200 000 and now it is Rs 500 000. Media has given wide publicity to this challenge from time to time. The prediction tolerance was even relaxed to 20%. But still nobody has accepted it. However, challenge achieved goal, making people to start thinking and questioning. Is it not really possible to forecast even present? Why even single learned astrologer throughout India could not predict exactly for so many years? May not be for money but for image of astrology? In fact in-depth knowledge of astrology is not required for simple predictions. On logical level if one cannot tell even present correctly how can he forecast the futuristic events of some importance?With reference to past,“present” is always a future.
The unknown mystery always develops curiosity to make it known. This is the reason why science has reached to such developed state. Future is also unknown to us and human being tries hardto have a glimpse of it. If we could know the future at present it is possible to manage disaster. This thought lead to develop the astrology in different way.Man tried to correlate the terrestrial events with celestial events,
ANS always questions astrology on every possible level i.e. challenge level or education level or experimental level. Challenge level is a popular and glamorous tool for the movement. It gets support of media.Educational level is a process to educate people giving details of failed predictions.To let people think regarding counter part of Astrology which is generally not available for them.To show internal contradictions of astrology in Siddhanta level or postulate level. Apart from the challenge the experiments were made on astrology.Experimental level is to let the people get the experience of predictions to check possible claims of astrology.We tell the people to experience the experiment of past events. A horoscope of newly born baby but dead within hours was given to astrologer. Doctor even queried whether is there possibility of short life? Astrologer emphatically told that baby was going to live long years. This is the wisdom of the astrology! .
Let people choose any astrologer of their belief.Elderly people have at least three – four incidents in their life which are very objective e.g. marriage, major accidents, promotions, sudden death in family etc.Tell astrologer either year of event or event.And let the astrologer tell the remaining part.We don’t want even month or date just year is sufficient.If astrologer could tell it correctly you may say there is something in astrology.
We have found that these themes made good atmosphere to make people think. But acceptance on practical level found very difficult.To digest uncertainty of life is not a simple thing.The education is slow process but the only way. We understand man is not a machine.
Maharashtra ANS has handled the matter of astrology on various levels.
Dr. Narendra Dabholkar had given challenge to All India Astrological Convention, Late Dr. B.N. Purandare famous gynecologist in Mumbai and strong advocate of astrology, Late Shahu Modak – Astrologer as well as film-star, Dr. Bhavana Mehta from Kolhapur,Girish Shah from Sangali etc. But all these matters remained unknown to media.Actual process of challenge never started.
Because of this strong opposition, astrologers now admit that male or female, dead or alive are limitations of astrology.They claim that they just guide with the help of astrology.It is divine science not a modern science. It is, in fact, an occult science.
Astrology works only because of uncertainty in life.It is a psychiatric treatment on astrological background.It is a type of counseling. It is never been proved on statistical & scientific level. But in our society mental health is paid least attention.
Of Palmists, Astrologers and Stock Market Analysts
Foretelling is an enigmatic business.For long years I have been an observer of forecasters and I, myself, have been one for a few years.I used to be an equity researcher, predicting the price movements of stocks linking the prices to the performance of the underlying companies and the state of the markets.When I look back to my old writing, which have rightfully found place in the attic, I get an amazing mix of predictions gone both ways – right and wrong.
I have also been checking on the buy/sell/hold recommendations of various fellow analysts, to find a more or less similar pattern.Yet the business goes on.Nobody has ever been blamed for ruining investor’s wealth and taken to the court.Most analysts do not even get fired for predicting market movements that did not happen.
With due apologies to their MBA degrees, these forecasters could well be grouped with palmists and astrologers, who find themselves in more or less the same state, except that they do not earn salaries and bonuses like analysts working for transnational broking houses.But a few of them have become stars, thanks to TV and newspaper appearances.I have even purchased annual forecasts, detailed month by month, for the sun signs, my wife and I belong to.We carefully read the forecasts and I even went to the extent of noting down the summaries into my palm pilot, so that on the first of each month I would know how the rest of the month would behave with me.The analysis of the results is as predictable as Paneer in a Delhi banquet.
And I believe your experience is no worse than mine.Remember that I am not proposing that all forecasting is horseshit.All I am saying is that, it is not a product or service which will perform like a pressure cooker or a refrigerator, which when turned on will cook and chill respectively, always, in a working condition.Forecasts are not reliable like these simple gadgets.And all of us know this.

Then why do I buy this defective product, which will not always work?
What Dr Narlikar says
Describing astrology as urban superstition, noted astrophysicist Jayant Narlikar expressed concern over the growing number of young people being influenced by it. Narlikar was speaking in the context of creating a society with scientific temper, at a public interview on his latest book Scientific Edge.
Belief in astrology should be re-examined; said Narlikar “It is not just older generation. It is worrying to see that more young people have belief in astrology today. I suggest every person examine it individually and come to a rational decision about it.” he said.
In what was an engaging one-hour interview by friend and director of IUCAA Narendra Dadhich, Narlikar responded to questions on his book, which details the highs and low of growth of science in India during the millennium.
Speaking of the need for a change in social mindset for the development of a scientific temper in India , Narlikar highlighted the role of reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy, one of the personalities whose contribution to science has been recognized in the book. Raja Ram Mohan Roy is remembered for his role in abolishing sati. He was social reformer who promoted modern scientific education and understood that progress an only come by changing mindset.
Responding to questions on science and religion, which form the concluding chapter of the book, Narlikar emphasized that the two were separate spheres and that one should not trespass other.
While religion, said Narlikar, must accommodate scientific facts, science must accept that it cannot explain everything. Creation of Universe, for instance, is still unexplained. “This is a big challenge. Science for its part, must learn humility” said Narlikar.
Astrolgy to be Taught in Educational institutions
“The idea of having or allowing astrology taught in educational institutions is a regressive one,” thundered Mr.Yechuri. He remembered Murli Manohar Joshi as having said that astrology must be taught, as we must rely on our faith -(vishwas) - also. Recently in Chennai, a delegation of ministers was being received at a function. On the podium table were many water glasses filled with water and one of them had coloured water. This glass was actually used as a flower-vase: the gardener had just taken out the old flowers and was searching for new ones from the garden. Meanwhilethe minister drank the coloured waterthinking it to be some juice or soft drink. The minister was in hospital for 3 days, for his blind faith in the contents of the glass. So, deduced Mr.Yechuri, there is at least one difference between "vishwas" and scientific thinking: three days in hospital!
“The Government's changing of history records is a cause of concern,” said Mr.Yechuri. The BJP and allies, to prove that Hinduism is a "pure" and native religion, have also to prove that the Aryans did not come from outside. For that, they have to further prove that Mohenjodaro and Harappa had some Aryan culture. One mark of Aryan culture is horses, which they needed for travel and warfare. They found a horse's bone near the site, so, it proves, they said, that they were Aryan settlements and that further proves that the Aryans are from here! However, when the bone was analysed, it was found to be only 200 years old!”
Mr.Yechuri pointed out another ridiculous gaff of the BJP - appointed historians. In the sites, a statue of a bull-like creature with long hair and mane was found. They fed a picture of it into computers, and one computer concluded that it looks like a horse! So, they said, it is actually a statue of a horse, and so it proves that they were fromAryan civilization, and so Aryans are from here. Well, Yechuri said with a smile, “When you call a bull a horse, and try to convince everyone that a statue of a bull is actually that of a horse, we can imagine what sort of ideologies and theories you have!”
Mr.Yechuri recalled a joke from his university professorship days. A professor digs in his garden about 10 feet deep, and finds some sort of wire. So he rushes to a colleague and exclaims, "Look what I found. It proves that the ancient Indians were very advanced - they had telephone!" "Excellent," says the colleague, and begins to dig deeper in the same spot. He finds nothing, so he rushes to the first professor and exclaims, "See, I didn't find anything, so it proves that the very, very ancient Indians were still more advanced - they had wireless!"
On measuring "true Hinduism", Mr.Yechuri had something to say. He hails from Andhra Pradesh, where, in some regions a girl is automatically married off to her mother's brother as soon as she comes of age. In North India such a practice would be considered despicable, and the offenders probably lynched. The question is, who is the true Hindu, the North Indians for condemning it, or the Andhraites for allowing it?
The futility of measuring "true Hinduism" can also be seen from the "Mahabali" example. In Kerala and among Keralites, the Onam festival is celebrated. Its theme is that a good and benevolent king Mahabali visits his subjects once a year on that day. The subjects are happy that the king lives at least one day a year for them. In North India , Mahabali is a rakshash who is killed by Vishnu, and whose death was necessary so that the world may exist. So, now, who is the true Hindu, the North Indians for condemning Mahabali, or the Keralites for worshipping him?
Preventing religious beliefs is like Ram telling Krishna-worshippers not to follow Krishna , and Krishna telling Ram-worshippers not to follow Ram. From this we can see that even God does not have the authority to tell you whom to worship and whom not to worship. Atheism is also a belief, so God has no right to condemn anyone for being an atheist. And if even God has no authority in religious matters, who are these saffronites, the BJP and its allies, to tell us?
Sitaram Yechuri ersity should introduce such a subject, which will take the students to Middle Ages.Pourohitya should not be taught in Indian universities since it will promote the age-old and outdated rituals, which do not have any scientific or ethical basis.
(Excerpts from the speech of Mr. Sitaram Yechuri, a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of India , Marxist, New Delhi on
11th October 2003
at Nigdi, Pune. Nigel J. Shaughnessy prepared the transcript)

Action taken by ANS
UGC has circulated a note to all vice-chancellors of Indian Universities to introduce courses in Astrology at under-graduate, post-graduate and doctorate levels. ANS has strongly opposed this saffron move of the ruling Government since it gives sanction to dubious science. Our activists contacted vice chancellors of PuneUniversity , Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, BombayUniversity , NagpurUniversity and UttarMaharashtraUniversity in this regard and suggested that the course on astrology should not be introduced as directed by UGC since it is following the path of partisanship and regression. It is high time they called the bluff of astrology and other such spurious ‘sciences’, and revealed them for the fraud they are. Almost all the vice chancellors agreed to our stand and promised us that no courses will be introduced in their respective universities. In fact ANS activists of Aurangabad filed a case in the court to direct UGC not to introduce such courses in educational institutions.
ANS also arranged lectures at various places opposing the move of UGC to elevate astrology as an academic discipline. On one hand we have talented workforce in the field of information technology and still we are trying to pursue the studies already proved defunct. We are trying to laud our obsession with pseudo sciences such as astrology. We should endeavor to change our image that of ‘a land of astrology, mysticism, spiritualism and all that hocus pocus’ as perceived by people outside India. ANS invited staunch supporters of astrology on the public platform to debate on the issue. A number of debates took place in various places and both sides presented their views. In this way the audience was able to make up their mind and convince themselves of the futility of astrology.
We also arranged conferences at selected places and the gathering passed following resolutions unanimously:
Astrology should not be taught in the Indian colleges and universities.
The consumer protection act to be applied to all astrology practitioners since consumers incur heavy losses due to false predictions.
The weekly column on astrology in newspapers and magazines should contain a statutory warning “ For Entertainment Only”.
Horoscopes will not be consulted while arranging the marriages.
Fatalism should be completely eradicated.
While this issue is going to press, the All India Astrologers Conference might have been held at Solapur sometime in December. This was also one more Jamboree trumpeting their own glory especially while UGC has introduced astrology as a subject in a few universities. ANS utilized this occasion to bring home its point against such pseudo-science.We wrote letters to leading astrologers requesting them to submit the proof that astrology meets at least postulates. Past experience shows that none of the experts come forward to put-forth their arguments, or at least a common sense explanation in support of their belief, perhaps it is not a debatable issue as far as they are concerned. We also organized a state-level competition to narrate the horrifying experience faced due to false predictions by astrologers. In any other country this daylight robbery would have been prevented by the state itself under some law and the culprits involved would be put behind the bars.
ANS units all over the state have been instructed to organize pledge ceremony for students who will publicly take oath condemning such malpractices and vow not to believe in astrology or horoscopes. This will enthuse the students to do hard work instead of relying on fate, chance or coincidence. We have also requested the eminent personalities in Maharashtra to come forward and take firm stand about this issue before it is too late. Perhapsa joint statement may be made in this regard condemning astrology as a pseudo science, which goes against our cherished human values.
A statistical test of astrology
Jayant V. Narlikar, Sudhakar Kunte, Narendra Dabholkar and Prakash Ghatpande
This paper describes a recent test conducted in Maharashtra to test the predictive power of natal astrology. It involved collecting 200 birth details of 100 bright school students (group A) and 100 mentally retarded school students (group B). These details were used to cast horoscopes or birth charts for these children. After recording these details the charts were mixed and randomized and astrologers were invited to participate in a test of their predictive ability. Fifty-one astrologers participated in the test. Each participant was sent a random set of 40 birth charts and asked to identify to which group each chart corresponded. Among the initial 51 participants, 27 sent back their assessment. Statistical analysis of the results showed a success rate marginally less than what would be achieved by tossing a coin. The full sample of 200 birth charts was given to the representatives of an astrology institute for identification. They also did not fare any better. The limited but unambiguous procedure of this test leaves no doubt that astrology does not have any predictive power as far as academic ability is concerned. Ways of extending the scope of this test are discussed for
future experiments.
In the popular mind astrology is often confused with astronomy. Since both subjects talk about stars, constellations, planets and the sun and the moon, it is usually assumed that both are branches of science dealing with the cosmos. An example of this was the announcement by the University Grants Commission in 2001, that a subject called ‘Vedic astrology’ should be introduced in the science stream of the university syllabus.
Is astrology a science? A closer examination suggests that the answer to this question is ‘no’. A subject claiming to be part of science needs to satisfy certain minimum criteria. First, it should be based on postulates or assumptions that are clearly defined and are unique so far as the practitioners of the subject are concerned. Secondly, from these postulates the subject should come up with testable and disprovable deductions, that do not depend on who makes them. Finally, there should be tests for deciding whether a particular deduction is validated or disproved.
regarding their own self-assessment. A variation in this technique using California Personality Inventory (CPI) for the person was used instead iAstrology, when subjected to these conditions, has always been found to be wanting. The basic tenets of the subject show considerable variation, such as the way a horoscope is to be cast. Even with a given horoscope two astrologers may differ in their interpretation or prediction. Finally, often the predictions are vague and not disprovable.
Nevertheless, in the West, tests have been conducted of astrological predictions, to the extent that they can be tied down to definitive statements. We mention two examples which will illustrate
how one may proceed. The first relates to the belief (common in India) that unless the horoscopes of an eligible boy and girl match astrologically, they should not marry.
Bernie Silverman, a graduate student from the Michigan State University, USA, had the following experiment as part of his Ph D thesis (received in 1971). His study picked out (A) 2978 couples who were happily married and
(B) 478 couples who were divorced or separated. Their horoscopes were cast and given to two astrologers who were asked to agree between themselves as to whether the horoscopes belonging to a couple matched or not. The astrologers were not told to what class (A or B) each pair belonged. Accordingly, they made the classification using the astrological criteria they mutually agreed upon. Their classification was then compared with reality by applying statistical tests. These tests showed that there was no significant overlap between the two classifications. Thus astrological compatibility of horoscopes did not correspond to compatibility in real life. Details of this study have been published elsewhere1,2. A double-blind approach was used in our second example of a test of astrology. Carlson3 used birth charts to test the astrological claim that the positions of the ‘planets’ (as assumed in astrology) at the moment of birth can be used to determine the subject’s general personality traits and tendancies in temperament and behaviour, and to indicate the major issues the subject is likely to encounter. In this test astrologers were invited to make
such interpretations for the birth charts of all the persons chosen for the study. Each person was given three such interpretations: the first being based on his/her real birth chart and two others chosen at random from this collection. The person was asked to rank them with marks out of ten depending on how accurate they weren a second associated test. Here, the participating astrologers were each given a birth chart and three CPIs. One CPI corresponded to the birth chart given, while two others were randomly drawn from the sample. The astrologers were asked to rank the three CPIs according to how well they described the person with that birth chart.
If there is no correlation between the birth chart and personality, then, in the first experiment, one-third of the actual interpretations should be chosen as number 1. The astrologers claimed that if they are right at least half the actual interpretations should be correct. The experimenters allowed a 2.5s variation above the chance expectation: anything higher would support the astrological hypothesis. A double-blind procedure was used so that neither the participant nor the experimenter knew what they were looking at. All details of birth charts vis-à-vis the persons they corresponded to were coded. Details are given in the paper referred to above. We simply state that in the first analysis the correct interpretation was obtained with a
probability of 0.337 and with an error 0.052, very close to the chance value of 1/3.
With this background we now come to our experiment.
The Pune experiment
While designing a suitable test we were conscious of the need that the outcome has to be beyond any ambiguity of interpretation. Thus in the Carlson experiment one could say that reading a person’s personality may not be clear-cut. Indeed, as it was discovered in the course of the Carlson experiment, the CPI may not be recognized by the person to whom it belonged. The Silverman method of marriage compatibility is better, except that in the Indian context the rate of broken marriages is still rather low and collecting a large enough sample may pose difficulties. We will return to this point at the end of this paper.
For our experiments we chose a different but clear criterion, namely whether a person is intellectually bright or mentally handicapped. Astrologers claim to be able to tell this difference from the person’s horoscope. So from amongst school children we collected a sample of 200 cases, with 100 each belonging to the above two classes. The intellectually bright children constituting group A were known from their school records as certified by their teachers. The mentally retarded children making up group B came from special schools for such children. Certified information from the parents about the birth details of their wards, necessary for casting their horoscopes was obtained. This field work was done by the volunteers of the Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti, Satara.
The next job was to cast their horoscopes. This was done using standard software by one of us (PG) who possessed enough experience in astrology, having been a practising astrologer a few years back.
The data were then codified with a code number assigned to each case. By deciphering the code number the concerned case could be fully identified; otherwise it remained an unknown entity. This was therefore a double-blind procedure since neither the experimenter nor the participant of the experiment could identify the case from the code number only. The data thus obtained and codified were
stored in safe custody with the Statistics Department, Pune University.
Meanwhile, through public announcements and a press conference in Pune on 12 May 2008, practising astrologers were invited to participate in the experiment, the procedure for which was also explained. Of the 200 cases in our sample, each participant would be given a randomly drawn set of 40 birth charts along with the birth records. The participants had then a stipulated time limit by which they would have to identify each case as belonging to group (A) or (B), and send us their conclusions. For the initial set, the participants were asked to send a stamped registered envelope. Additionally, we also invited established astrological organizations to participate as institutions. In such cases we offered to make the entire sample of 200 cases available.
The nature of the statistical test is simple. We have two hypotheses to compare. The chance hypothesis H0 is that the selection between groups A and B is like tossing a coin with probability 0.5 attached to each mode. The alternative hypothesis H1 is that the classification using astrological prediction has success probability more than 0.5. For such a testing hypothesis problem, in order to reject H0 in favour of H1, the success rate has to exceed the mean expectation on the basis of H0 by an amount equivalent to 2.32s. This procedure ensures that the probability of wrongly rejecting H0 is not more than 1%. For a binomial distribution with success probability P = 0.5, the mean for a sample size N is 0.5N and s = (N/4)1/2. For a sample size N = 40, we get the mean as 20 and s = 3.16; so 2.32s = 7.3. In short, for our typical sample size the success rate of the astrologers to reject H0 had to be at least
28. In the institutional case, the corresponding figures were mean = 100 and the required success rate for H1 to hold was 117 or more. Response of the astrologers
When this framework was announced, the response of the astrologers was varied. Some agreed to take up the challenge, others asked for additional conditions which had no relevance to the nature of the test being conducted, while some called upon the astrological community to boycott the test. We met several astrologers individually and also partici
pated in a seminar where we explained the nature of the test, its objective and the precautions we were taking to prevent any rigging. We also pointed out that if the astrologers wished to claim that their subject was a science, then they need to face such tests. While on the whole the response was positive, some leading astrologers distanced themselves from the test.
In the end, 51 astrologers sent stamped envelopes as asked for and the sets were sent to them. Only 27 replied, sending their answers. These were then examined in the light of the data. The best performance was 24 out of 40, achieved by one astrologer only and this fell below the stipulated minimum for H0 to be rejected in favour of H1. The overall average success per sample for all 27 participants was 17.25, less than but consistent with the average of 20 predicted by H0. So far as institutional participation was concerned, two organizations had agreed to participate. Eventually only one responded with answers. Its success rate was 102 out of 200, again well below the stipulated minimum of 117.
Thus we find on the basis of this test that the predictions given by the astrologers did not fare better than pure chance toss of a coin.
Concluding remarks
We feel that our test asked a well-focused question and the astrologers could not point to any ambiguity of interpretation. Many astrologers looked upon the success they had achieved (even though at a rate less than 50% expected by tossing a coin) as a testimonial to their predictive ability. We had to explain to them that real predictive success could be claimed only at 70% level for their sample size.
The test clearly demonstrated the hollowness of the basic claim of astrology as stated earlier. Diehard believers, of course, would not change their mind. However, it would be worthwhile conducting a similar double-blind test to check other aspects of astrological predictions. One important aspect has been the one tested by Silverman. Since a large fraction of marriages is arranged (or forbidden) on the basis of matching of horoscopes, a statistical study of this aspect will be useful. There may be several difficulties in gathering these data, but the effort would be well worth it.
1. Silverman, B., J. Psychol., 1971, 77, 141– 149. 2. Silverman, B., J. Psychol. 1974, 87, 89–95. 3. Carlson, S., Nature, 1985, 318, 419–425. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. We thank the Department of Statistics, Pune University, and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, for infrastructural
help while this experiment was being conducted.
Jayant V. Narlikar* is in the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Post Bag 4, Pune 411 007, India; Sudhakar Kunte is in the Department of Statistics, Pune University, Pune
411 007, India; Narendra Dabholkar is in the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti, c/o Parivartan, Sahyog Hospital ‘Annex’, Sadarbazar, Satara 415 001, India; Prakash Ghatpande is in the Faljyotisha Chikitsa Mandal, D 202 Kapil Abhijat Dahanukar Colony, Kothrud, Pune 411 029, India. *e-mail:

Saturday, April 10, 2010


The History of Reservations:
CasteBased Reservation in India Started in 2nd Century BC. In Manusmriti -the law book of Brahmins all the laws were based on Caste and no Merit was ever considered. It divided people into High and Low Castes on the basis of their birth and not on the basis of Merit. Wealth, Political power, Spiritual leadership, Education, Ownership of Land, Trade and all lucrative aspects were reserved purely to the higher castes.
The Concept:
The correct term used for reservation in the Indian Constitution is Representation. Those who have benefited from reservation and are enjoying the fruits of reservation must first of all understand the true meaning of reservation. It is not given to anyone in his individual capacity. It is given to individual as a representative of the underprivileged community. Thebeneficiaries of reservations are in turn expected to help their communities to come up. Reservation is a democratic principle to provide representation to the castes hitherto remained unrepresented in the governance of the country. Justice Reddy observed "While we agree that competitive skill is relevant in higher posts, we do not think it is necessary to be apologetic about reservation in posts, higher or lower, so long as the minimum requirements are satisfied."On the other hand, we have to be apologetic that there still exists a need for reservation. "Article16 (4) is not a poverty alleviation programme. Its singularaim is to redistribute power to those who have been kept out of the state apparatus so as to end their educational, social and economic backwardness and this class is not less than 77 1/2 % of thepopulation of the country.-Justice P.B.Sawant.
The Intellectual Class:

Dr Ambedkar Said "In every country the intellectual class is the most influential class. Themasses are largely imitative and follow the intellectual class.There is no exaggeration in saying that the entire destination of the country depends upon its intellectual class. If the intellectual class is honest and independent, it can be trusted to take the initiative and give a proper lead when a crisis arises. Similarly an intellectual class may be a band of high-souled persons, ready to help, ready to emancipate erring humanity or it may easily be a gang of crooks or a body of advocates of narrow clique from which it draws its support. Is the Intellectual Class doing this Work? After thorough analysis, it is observed that this intellectual class does not take active part in any such activity of change of system. Not only that, it is also observed that this intellectual class looks at the society, to which it belongs with contempt and keep themselves away from it. Dr. Ambedkar had experienced this, at the fag end of his life and therefore on 18 March 1956 at Ramlila Ground, Agra he said with a heavy heart that, "The educated people have betrayed me. I was thinking that after education they will serve their society. But I find that a crowd of clerks had gathered around me, who are engaged in filling their belly". This heart burning is a proof that educated and intellectual class is alienated from the society and is going away from its brotherhood. Because of this reason, atrocities and discrimination have increased on the people living in villages. The class, who was expected to lead the society, became the most obedient servant of the government, and the movement was left for half hearted and immature people.
What the Intellectual Class Should Do?The intellectual class should do that work, which was expected, from their creators. The system of inequality is continuing in the country. The representatives created by virtue of reservation must organize themselves for bringing about a change of the system. They must organize the people and create an honest and influential movement.

The Educated Elite:
In his book "Annihilation of Castes" he has stated that "our educated elite always fly high away from the society. The more he is high, the more he would keep-off the society. He hides his caste and is eager to associate with the oppressors. He forgets his place in his stage and position in the society. Caste is by birth and remains to the end of life. This is forgotten by our people. Our association and contacts with high caste people is seen in the behaviors of our people. The Oppressors humiliate this class of educated people".Dr Ambedkar Observed "Nobody can dare to exploit and dominate any society which has 10 doctors, 20 Engineers and 30 Lawyers". Today there are thousands and lakhs of Doctors, Engineers and Lawyers among the SC's and ST's in our society. But question arises as to have the exploitation and harassment stopped? The answer is a big No, because those benefitted from reservation are not aware of their duty towards society.
The Present Scenario:
The reservation policy has no doubt played an important role in the advancement of sc/st's. But after almost 60 years of Independence and after becoming self sufficient are the beneficiaries of reservation aware enough or are they enlightened towards their duty towards society or community to which they belong ? Are they paying back to society???? If we look at majority of central government, state government or public sector employees who have taken the benefits of reservation the answer is a big "No" Most of the beneficiaries are busy in their daily routine work and home. They don't even have time to think about their community as such. Their children are well off, some taking education in best engineering colleges even in payment seats, best management colleges, some working abroad in MNC's. With whatever within their reach, they should have paid back to the world they belong to. Collectively, top dalit bureaucrats, central govt, public sector officers possess more than the required strength to build up their community. Yet nothing is emerging from them. Dr. Ambedkar expected much succour and help to come from those who used benefits like reservation in acquiring positions in the higher echelons of the power structure. That did not happen at all. Instead large-scale alienation is taking place and they are slowly drifting away from their community to form their own elite class. They have forgotten that they owe their prosperity to the community in which they were born.
Some of them are so afraid of their caste identity that they don'teven want to discuss about SC/ST's, about their current status etc.I remember an incident when I along with some of my colleagues went to a senior officer who was a SC to distribute some handbills for a meeting of sc/st officers. He was sitting in his cabin with some other officers; he immediately came out of his cabin, took the handbill from us, crushed it in his pocket and hurriedly said 'ok ok I will come'.The Fear Factor is such that even our persons at top most positions in central govt/psu's try to show that they are neutral towards all, that they don't favour only sc/st's, they rely more on upper castes bosses and subordinates. If such is the level of fear factor among those drawing salary of around 1 Lakhs + p.m one can imagine theplight of untouchables in villages who have to face discrimination every day. Still there are poor and self respecting sc-st's who never compromise when it comes to following the teachings of DrAmbedkar while some elite beneficiaries of reservation can be found supporting the oppressors in the anti-reservation debate just to maintain good relations with them.There is a class of babu mentality officers who get kicked on their butt daily by their masters. This class of babus is more concerned about their promotions and postings rather than the upliftment of their downtrodden brethren through social transformatory movement.This is the class of dalits which has not bothered to read about the struggle of Mahatma Phule and Babasaheb Ambedkar which brought the mout of the hell of untouchability in Hinduism. This class of dalits has no identity of their own, they have no self respect and therefore they are treated like menial servants by their masters.
Then there are many elite beneficiaries of reservation who don'teven have time to pay tributes to their great leader on his jayanti or Mahaparinirvan day. Last year on 14th April I asked one of my busy colleague from our community that why he was not present at the statue of Dr Ambedkar today morning, he asked' what was there? Any meeting? Then he said "today as it was a holiday I got up very late. The same fellow on vishwakarma puja day gets up early in the morning, thoroughly washes his car, and performs all rituals andpuja's throughout the year. There are the other ones from our elite class who keep on saying that reservation is a baisakhi, we should stop taking it, now the scenario is changed, our country is progressing like anything etc etc. The irony is that the same people talk about harassment and atrocities on sc/st's after being denied promotions or right postings/transfers.Some take the plea that there are so many groups and leaders both in politics and associations, they are confused and say that it is better to keep off from this whole thing. The least can be expectedis a sms from them on a TV channel in favour of some discussion on reservation or atrocities on dalits. But then they should have time to watch it sacrificing their favourite soaps.
Of course not all are betrayers. There is a dedicated and committed workforce also who are relentlessly working towards fulfillment of Dr. Ambedkars dream. There are workers who work day and night just to take the mission of babasaheb forward. My salute to them. But they are very few.
The Political Reservation:
While the political reservation has given us 131 MPs and 1050+ MLA's, most of them echo their master's voice i.e they dare not disobey the party high command to which they belong.
Fresh Lease of Life:
The Oppressors are surely getting a fresh lease of life to continue their hegemony, manipulate and dominate as more and more psu's being privatized either through disinvestment or back door privatization through joint venture route investing huge money from parent companies to subsidiary companieswith no reservation policy.
The Khairlanji Incident:
The failure of SC/ST individuals in the Khairlanji case indicate either the dereliction of duty, lack of true empowerment, awareness, absence of feeling of paying back to society of SC/St officers. The report on the khairlanji atrocity is a ringing bell to learn that our own Dalit officers and Dalit Govt Servants are party to such atrocities. Even though it is an Atrocity, they are just numb of the pain and sufferings of their poor dalit brothers and sisters.
Role of Welfare Associations & Organisations :
Today there are more than 10 Lakh sc-st welfare Associations and organisations. Most of these organizations are driven by the individual personalities of the people controlling them rather than the rich and powerful ideological force of thePhule Ambedkarite thoughts supplemented by revolutionary teachingsof Lord Buddha. In such personality driven organizations the personal aspirations and ambitions of the leaders gain paramount importance over the larger societal interests. The leaders of such organizations try to optimize their short term personal gains at the cost of long term societal interests. These numbers of small organizations compete with each other for the limited resources in terms of manpower, money, infrastructure, intellectual resources etcthus cannibalizing each other. The result of this cannibalization is that the output in terms of larger social or political objectives has been very very sub optimal. This has prevented in achieving the economies of scope and economies of scale in terms of input we put in and output we get.In a zeal to do something for the society they land up dealing with the peripherals i.e. treating the symptoms without diagnosing the disease. Unless and until we strike at the root cause of the problems, all our actions will be mere exercises in futility.Treatment of symptoms will give temporary relief to be soon inflicted by other viruses. If these numerous so-called all India organizations allegedly representing the reserved category employees are left unchecked they will, under the garb of protecting the interest of the employees,continue dealing with peripheral issues. Where as, majority of us due to apathy, merely become spectators. Not only this, we allow them to represent us without our concurrence. This drama takes the nature of the famous epic story of a nude emperor. Every spectator knowingly hailed the imaginary fabrics of the Every spectator knowingly hailed the imaginary fabrics of the emperor.
It took the innocence of a child to call the bluff and point out at the dangling genetalia. However, in most of the cases, we don't even seem to have that innocence to call a spade a spade.While majority of them have either lost their voice or it has been chocked by the managements. The complete absence of fear of action and prosecution, the divisions among the associations which gives the managements further advantage of denying the legitimate rights has left the implementation of reservation policy half hearted. Also in the absence of feeling of paying back to the society extending the policy to other castes and categories will be of no use. The only result it will produce is the bunch of high class babus engaged in filling their belly. The constitutional authorities like National Commission for Scheduled Castes have bulk of complaints pendingwhich compelled even the chairman of NCSC to write to the PM about his helplessness and Non Cooperation of the concerned ministries in redressing the grievances.The community as such has to face and fight with double discrimination and subjugation - one from the identified oppressors and another from the representatives of own community who through their indifference and callousness leave the innocent and ignorant masses at the mercy of Oppressors.Holding seminars and symposiums on reservation policy will yield no results if those responsible for implementation and those representing the masses are not honest andsincere.
The ethos of privatisation and the excuse of global competition,superimposed on the traditional caste prejudice, will never allow reservations to happen, any more.
Dr Ambedkar had said during a debate in parliament on the questionof efficiency of governance by the system of reservation that "A representative government is better than an efficient government"He added this on the upper castes: "It is your claim to equality which hurts them. They want to maintain the status quo. If you continue to accept your lowly status ungrudgingly, continue to remain dirty, filthy, backward, ignorant, poor and disunited, they will allow you to live in peace. The moment you start to raise your level, the conflict starts."Those arguing against reservation must understand that 50 years ofaffirmative action is nothing as compared to 3000 years of subjugation. Those crying foul over Merit know very well that there is not enough fruit in the garden hence those who are already in want to keep out those who are already out.Those responsible for implementing the policy of Reservation must undoubtedly understand that "Reservation is neither a policy matter, a political gimmick nor a matter of Charity. It is a Constitutional Obligation "In a country like India where power, wealth and opportunities are the monopoly of microscopically small and scandalously overprivileged community, political Revolution is the only Panacea aspointed by even Dr Ambedkar.
While the atrocities on SC-ST's keep on rising and recorded as if they are the performance parameters of some blue chip company, While those who want to finish the whole idea of Reservation are working overtime, round the clock 365 days a year, the complacent beneficiaries are busy watching their favourite TV shows or criticizing the serious activists of the movement accusing them of selfish interests.
Dr B. R. Ambedkar had said on Tuesday July 31st 1956; at his residence 26 Alipur Road , New Delhi at 05-50P.M. to his Personal secretary Mr. Nanak Chand Rattu...Tell my people Nanak Chand. "You people do not know what is troubling me and what makes me so sad.The first worry to my mind is that I have not been able to fulfill my life's mission. I wanted to see my people a governing class in my lifetime, sharing the political power in terms of equality with other communities. I am now almost crippled and prostrate with illness. Whatever I have been able to achieve is being enjoyed by the educated few, who with their deceitful performances have proved to be the worthless lot, with no sympathies for their downtrodden brethren. They have surpassed my imagination; they live for themselves and their personal gains. Not one of them is prepared to do the social work. They are treading the path of their ruination. I now wanted to divert my attention towards the vast illiterate masses in the villages that continue to suffer and remained almost unchanged economically. But life seems short....My lieutenants, in whom I had full faith and confidence to run the movement, are fighting among themselves for leadership and power,unmindful of the heavy responsibility that is going to fall upon them... Any how I have done a lot in spite of the abuses hurled at me from all sides and I will continue to do so till my death."So saying, with tears rolling down his cheeks, he looked at me and I had also no alternative but to look at him with tears in my eyes. ...
And with a pained expression on his countenance whispered: "Take courage, don't get upset. Life is to come to an end one day or the other." After a little pause, wiping his tears,raising his hand a little above his glowing eyes, he said: "Tell my people Nanak Chand: Whatever I have done, I have been able to do after passing through crushing miseries and endless troubles all my life fighting with my opponents. With great difficulty, I have brought this caravan where it is seen today. Let the Caravan march on and further on despite the hurdles, pitfalls and difficulties that may come in its way. If my people, my lieutenants are not able to take the caravan ahead, they should leave it where it is seen today, but in no circumstances should they allow the Caravan to goback?"

Courtesy- Sanjay samant
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For why there is no economic condition on dalits, pls refer to the below:
Caste and faith first in Private companies, merit next
Who all should avail reservation: