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WHAT CONGRESS AND GANDHI HAVE DONE TO THE UNTOUCHABLES - 7 - Chapter 3 Summary "A MEAN DEAL" Part-4 "Congress Refuses To Part With Power" by DR. BR Ambedkar

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WHAT CONGRESS AND GANDHI HAVE DONE TO THE UNTOUCHABLES - 7 - Chapter 3 Summary "A MEAN DEAL" Part-4 "Congress Refuses To Part With Power" by DR. BR Ambedkar

Post  Admin on Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:13 pm


Chapter 3 Summary


(Part 3- )

Acting on the suggestion of the Prime Minister the minorities met to consider if they could produce a settlement. They tried and produced a settlement which was submitted to the Prime Minister in the evening before the next meeting of the Minorities Committee which took place on 13th November 1931. In his opening remarks the Prime Minister said :—

"The work of this Committee, therefore, was from the very beginning of supreme importance, and I am sorry that you have been unable to present to us an agreed plan.

"Last night, however, I received a deputation representing the Mohammedans, the Depressed Classes, at any rate a section of the Indian Christians, the Anglo-Indians and the British Community. I think that is the complete range. They came and saw me in my room in the House of Commons last night with a document which embodied an agreement that they had come to amongst themselves. They informed me, in presenting the document to me, that it covered something in the region of 46 per cent. of the population of British India.

"I think the best thing would be, as we have had no time to consider this, to treat this document as a document which is official to the records of this Committee and in order that that may be done I shall ask His Highness The Aga Khan formally to present it here, so that it may be entered in our official record."
His Highness The Aga Khan then got up and said :—

"Mr. Prime Minister, on behalf of the Mohammedans, the Depressed Classes, the Anglo-Indians, the Europeans and a considerable section of the Indian Christian groups, I present the document embodying the agreement which has been arrived at between them with regard to the inter communal problem with which the Round Table Conference in general and the Minorities Committee in particular are concerned. We desire to make it clear that this agreement has been arrived at after careful and anxious consideration of this difficult and complicated problem and must be taken as a whole. All parts of the agreement are interdependent and agreements stand or fall as a whole."
This document was known as the Minorities Pact.

In the general discussion that followed Mr. Gandhi's speech no doubt attracted the greatest attention. Mr. Gandhi was furious. He attacked everybody who had taken part in producing the Minorities Pact. He was particularly furious for the recognition given to the Untouchables as a separate political entity. This is what Mr. Gandhi said :—

"I would like to repeat what I have said before, that, while the Congress will always accept any solution that may be acceptable to the Hindus, the Mohammedans and the Sikhs, Congress will be no party to the special electorates for any other minorities. One word more as to the so-called Untouchables. I can understand the claims advanced by other minorities, but the claims advanced on behalf of the Untouchables, that time is the 'unkindest cut of all.' It means the perpetual bar-sinister. I would not sell the vital interests of the Untouchables even for the sake of winning the freedom of India. I claim myself in my own person to represent the vast mass of the Untouchables. Here I speak not merely on behalf of the Congress, but I speak on my own behalf, and I claim that I would get, if there was a referendum of the Untouchables, their vote, and that I would top the poll. And I would work from one end of India to the other to tell the Untouchables that separate electorates, and separate reservation is not the way to remove this bar-sinister, which is the shame, not of them, but of orthodox Hinduism.

"Let this Committee and let the whole world know that today there is a body of Hindu reformers who are pledged to remove this blot of untouchability. We do not want on our register and on our census Untouchables classified as a separate class. Sikhs may remain as such in perpetuity, so may Mohammedans so may Europeans. Will Untouchables remain Untouchables in perpetuity ? I would far rather that Hinduism died than that Untouchability lived. Therefore, with all my regard for Dr. Ambedkar, and for his desire to see the Untouchables uplifted, with all my regard for his ability, I must say in all humility that here the great wrong under which he has laboured and perhaps the bitter experiences that he has undergone have for the moment warped his judgement. It hurts me to have to say this, but I would be untrue to the cause of the Untouchables, which is as dear to me as life itself, if I did not say it. I will not bargain away their rights for the kingdom of the whole world. I am speaking with a due sense of responsibility, and I say that it is not a proper claim which is registered by Dr. Ambedkar when he seeks to speak for the whole of the Untouchables of India. It will create a division in Hinduism which I cannot possibly look forward to with any satisfaction whatsoever. I do not mind Untouchables, if they so desire, being converted to Islam or Christianity. I should tolerate that, but I cannot possibly tolerate what is in store for Hinduism if there are two divisions set forth in the villages. Those who speak of the political right of Untouchables do not know their India, do not know how Indian Society is today constructed, and therefore I want to say with all the emphasis that I can command that if I was the only person to resist this thing I would resist it with my life."

The Chairman knowing that there was no hope of getting an agreed solution before adjourning the Minorities Committee sine die made a suggestion to the delegates. He said :—

"Will you, each of you, every member of this Committee, sign a request to me to settle the community question and pledge yourselves to accept my decision ? That, I think, is a very fair offer. I do want any section, or any one man. Will the members of this Committee sign a declaration asking me to give a decision, even a temporary one, on the community question, and say that you will agree ? I do not want it now. I say, will you put your names to it and give that to me, with the assurance that the decision come to will be accepted by you and will be worked by you to the best of your ability in the course of the working of the new constitution ? I have asked several sections—at least, individuals—from time to time for that, and I have never got it. That would certainly straighten out the position, but apart from that, do, please, not forget what I said in opening this meeting—that the Government will not allow community differences to prevent it from carrying out its pledges and producing a constitution. Therefore do not make the community difference more important than it is."

Part 8 -

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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काँग्रेस और गाँधी ने अछूतों के लिए क्या किया? : लेखक: डा बी आर आंबेडकर : यह पुस्तक अवश्य पढने योग्य है. मात्र इस पुस्तक को पढने से न सिर्फ आप भारत की राजनीती को समझते हैं बल्कि यह पुस्तक आपके मस्तिक्षक को इतना विकसित कर देगी जिससे कि न सिर्फ आपको भारत में बदलती राजनीती को समझने में मदद मिलेगी बल्कि आप में यह सामर्थ्यता भी आएगी है कि आप खुद को देश कि राजनैतिक व्यवस्था में किस प्रकार दिशा देते हैं. बाबा साहेब जी द्वारा लिखी यह एक ऐतिहासिक और दुर्लभ राजनैतिक कृति है. - निखिल सबलाणिया

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