Todo, Modo, and Fodo (Train, Mobilise, and Federate)


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No force on the earth can stop the rise of Ambedkarism. The force that Babasaheb Ambedkar unleashed was not a violent force, but the force that emerged from his compassionate and powerful mind. The nature of this force is strong and gentle, it is wider and focused. It is fast and slow. In fact, it is difficult to capture in a few words, except that we have to create the whole system of symbols and words and definitions to capture it. The underlining nature of this force is that it does not treat anything as eternal. There is nothing eternal and as a corollary, everything is inherently flexible.

Being the worst affected by the inflexible system of caste forced upon the untouchables by the Brahminical political system, they will be naturally at the forefront in destroying it. And that is where Babasaheb Ambedkar concentrated to generate that force. It is also true that majority of the ex-untouchables are caught up in the same value system that makes them untouchables, but there is a strong movement among them to break the system. The day is not far that they will liberate not only themselves but all the slaves in the world. That day is not far. However, every generation must carry out its responsibility to the world in which they find themselves despite themselves by understanding it fully. After the demise of Babasaheb Ambedkar, so many positive things have happened. Lives of millions have changed drastically and millions have escaped from the hell of the caste. But it is not enough for a few communities to escape from the so-called hell of the caste, but it is equally important to help others to come out it.

The Dalits of the present generation are well equipped with intelligence, wealth, and connections. These are important requisite for any change and transformation. However, if the changes are confined to only local areas and regions they loose their potency for a larger change and global transformation. In the case of Dalits, there is no village in India where the Dalits have not organised either for celebration of Jayanti or to fight for their rights. I reckon that there is no single village where the people have not asserted one way or another. There are millions of organisations run by the Dalits all over India. They are doing excellent work for their communities. the next step in the strategy can be summarised in three Hindi words which are also acronyms: Todo (Training of Dalit Organisations), Modo (Mobilisation of Dalit Organisations), and Fodo (Federation of Dalit Organisations).

TODO

Most of the Dalit organisations are run by the people who have often read and are inspired by Babasaheb Ambedkar. The quest for knowledge is important element in the Ambedkarite movement. In all the important gatherings of the movement, nothing is sold as much as the books are. The Ambedkarite society is a knowledge-seeking society. This process must go on to seek knowledge and understand the life and mission of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Babasaheb Ambedkar pointed out to an important tool to train not only the individuals but also the communities, that is, Buddhism. Even the basic understanding of Buddhism can help to train the Dalit organisations as to what are the principles of organisation and how to create community.

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MODO

The Dalit organisations all over India and increasingly have shown that they can be easily mobilised. Be it Khairlanji movement or Una movement, or Post-Rohith movement which set universities on fire, and current Saharanpur movement. The Dalits have the capacity to mobilise. It is the remarkable capacity of a community to mobilise on unprecedented scale with a shorter reaction time.

FODO

Of all the important positive changes mentioned above are not able to create power because of the lack of federation among the Dalit Organisations. Therefore FODO is perhaps the most opportune strategy at this moment in the Ambedkarite history. Federation of Dalit Organisations (FODO) will create unprecedented power to dismantle any negative force. The Fodo must happen at the national level. If one can just imagine if the Dalit organisations are federated, what a powerful force that would be! This federation is possible. It is not impossible at this juncture as people across the Dalit organisatioms are moving freely and sharing resources. The first step towards that would get the important organisations on a platform where they can talk freely and associate freely, nothing should pose the barrier in this free interaction on the issue of common concern.

Babasaheb Ambedkar never recommended the dissolution of All India Scheduled Caste Federation (AISCF). Our ancestors did it and we are seeing its results. The Republic Party of India (RPI) that Babasaheb conceived was not to be the replacement of AISCF, the AISCF as the force in itself was important, and is still important and urgently required. Of course, the Dalits (Scheduled Castes) will take up all agendas, but the most important agenda before them is how they can federate at the national level. Once the process of FODO is unleashed, other suffering masses can be easily brought into its orbit of operation.

I used the word Dalit to underscore the historic fact of the discrimination faced by communities all over India. If any word will replace it in the future that word will be “democratic” with its 100 shades and nuances that Babasaheb Ambedkar taught us.

Author – Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist

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