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WHAT CONGRESS AND GANDHI HAVE DONE TO THE UNTOUCHABLES - 2 - Chapter 2 Summary "A SHABBY SHOW" Part-1 "Congress Abandons Its Plan" by DR. BR Ambedkar

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WHAT CONGRESS AND GANDHI HAVE DONE TO THE UNTOUCHABLES - 2 - Chapter 2 Summary "A SHABBY SHOW" Part-1 "Congress Abandons Its Plan" by DR. BR Ambedkar

Post  Admin on Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:28 am


Chapter 2 summary (Chapter 1 -


Congress Abandons Its Plan

Part - 1.

MR. GANDHI Entered Indian, politics in 1919. Very soon thereafter, he captured the Congress.

The new Congress changed all this. It made the Congress a mass organisation by opening its membership to all and sundry. Any one paying four annas a year could be a member of the Congress.

To finance its activities it started a fund of one crore of rupees. It was called the Tilak Swaraj Fund. the uplift of the Untouchables, the Working Committee (of Congress) passed the following resolutions: -

"This Committee hereby appoints a Committee consisting of Swami Shradhanandji, Mrs. Sarojini Naidu and Messrs. 1. K. Yajnik and G. B. Deshpande to formulate a scheme embodying practical measures to be adopted for bettering the condition of the so-called Untouchables throughout the country and to place it for consideration before the next meeting of this Committee, the amount to be raised for the scheme to be Rs.2 lakhs for the present. "

It seems that before the resolution appointing the Committee was adopted by the Working Committee, one of its Members Swami Shradhanand tendered his resignation of the membership of the Committee.

"May 1923 at its meeting held in Bombay. This resolution ran as follows: —

''Resolved that while some improvement has been effected in the treatment of the so-called Untouchables in response of the policy of the Congress, this Committee is conscious that much work remained yet to be done in this respect and in as much as this question of untouchability concerns the Hindu community particularly, it requests the All-India Hindu Mahasabha also to take up this matter and to make strenuous efforts to remove this evil from amidst the Hindu Community."

It will be seen how the Congress washed its hands of the problem of the Untouchables. It need not have added insult to injury by relegating it to the Hindu Mahasabha. There could not be a body most unsuited to take up the work of the uplift of the Untouchables than the Hindu Mahasabha. If there is any body which is quite unfit for addressing itself to the problem of the Untouchables, it is the Hindu Mahasabha. It is a militant Hindu organisation. Its aim and object is to conserve in every way everything that is Hindu, religious and cultural. It is not a social reform association. It is a purely political organisation, whose main object and aim are to combat the influence of the Muslims in Indian politics. Just to preserve its political strength, it wants to maintain its social solidarity, and its way to maintain social solidarity is not to talk about caste or untouchability. How could such a body have been selected by the Congress for carrying on the work of the Untouchables passes my comprehension. This shows that the Congress wanted somehow to get rid of an inconvenient problem and wash its hands of it. The Hindu Mahasabha of course did not come forth to undertake the work for it had no urge for it and also because the Congress had merely passed a pious resolution recommending the work to them without making any promise for financial provision. So the project came to an inglorious and an ignominious end.

Before closing this chapter, it would not be unprofitable to ascertain why did the Congress abandon the work of social amelioration of the Untouchables of which it had made so much show? Was it because the Congress intended that the scheme should be a modest one not costing more than two to five lakhs of rupees but felt that from that point of view they had made a mistake in including Swami Shradhanand in the Committee and rather than allow the Swami to confront them with a huge scheme which the Congress could neither accept nor reject? The Congress thought it better in the first instance to refuse to make him the convener5[f.1] and subsequently to dissolve the Committee and hand over the work to the Hindu Mahasabha. Circumstances are not quite against such a conclusion. The Swami was the greatest and the most sincere champion of the Untouchables. There is not the slightest doubt that if he had worked on the Committee he would have produced a very big scheme. That the Congress did not want him in the Committee and was afraid that he would make big demand on Congress funds for the cause of the Untouchables is clear from the correspondence 6[f.2] that passed between him and Pandit Motilal Nehru, the then General Secretary of the Congress, and which is printed in the Appendix. If this conclusion is right, then it shows how empty of sincerity were the words of the Congress, which passed that resolution.

Comment f.1 The foot that the Congress was keen on having Mr. Deshpande as the convenor shows that they did not like to leave matters in the hands of Swami Shradhanand. The choice of Mr. Deshpande also indicates that they did not want anything to be done for the simple reason that Mr. Deshpande was an Orthodox Brahmin who had taken no interest in the welfare of the Untouchables

Part 1 Ends. (Part 3 -

Note: Untouchables by constitution of India are called as Schedule Castes (SC) and Schedule Tribes(ST).

To read complete Chapter or book or more literature of DR. BR Ambedkar click

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