The violence perpetrated by the so-called Thakurs on the followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar in Saharanpur is not the first of its kind. It is happening all the time and all over India. But the violence in Saharanpur was instigated by the Adityanath”s militia of Thakurs called “Hindu Yuva Vahini”: it is the organisation he founded to increase his political clout through Hindutva politics. His politics is no different from Shiv Sena, but it is more lethal and organised around Thakurs, who got unprecedented power after Adityanath came to power.
In the surprise rise of the thakurs in the Gorakhnath math of Gorakhpur, the thakurs have got not only muscle power but also religious power. However, the followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar have mobilised the people, particularly youths, under the auspices of Bhim Sena: the army of Bhim!! But this is not a violent group as Thakur-led Adityanath and Brahmin-led RSS/BJP is claiming them to be. They run special classes for the students and they have 30 percent participation of women in their social mobilisation.
They can be equated with the black panther initiative which was not only striving to protect the black lives but also started health care centres and provisions for education with developing alliance with other oppressed communities, including the poor and working class whites.
The followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar in forming the Bhim Sena and demonstrating what is possible through the effective organisation are showing the path to other followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Babasaheb Ambedkar was the greatest proponent of the non-violent social transformation. He could gain so much for his community through non-violent methods.
There is no parallel in the history of the world of the movement that Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar led. But at the same time, he knew that some kind of force in the form of deterrence is a must. He mobilised youths under the “Samata Sainik Dal” and the Dal was perhaps the most effective force in countering the violence unleashed by the caste Hindus. But like the Bhim Sena in Saharanpur, the Dal founded by Babasaheb Ambedkar was not only a disciplined mass of youths, but also they were trained in ethics, philosophy, and politics.
The greatest step taken by the movements run in the name of Babasaheb Ambedkar is the embracing the Buddha: the prince and the emperor of Peace. After the Una atrocity, the followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar in Gujarat did not turn to violence, but they embraced the Buddha and his teachings. The followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar after the Saharanpur violence started by the Thakurs under the umbrella of “Hindu Yuva Vahini” did not choose any violent path, but they embraced the Buddha and his teachings. It has happened all over the places.
The followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar took refuge in the reasons, compassion, and community. There is a long way to go for consolidating the movement nationally, but with the beacons like the Generals, Majors, and fighters of Bhim Sena and the 180 families of Saharanpur which took refuge in the Buddha, no one can stop the rising tide of Ambedkarism not only in India but throughout the world.
Author – Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist