Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Advice to Christians of India, Which They Have Ignored


Speaking to Christians at Sholapur in January 1938, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar declared that he could say from his study of comparative religion that only two personalities had been able to captivate him – the Buddha and Christ. Here are some parts of the Dr. Ambedkar’s speech.

Excerpt from the speech delivered to Indian Christians of Sholapur and published in ‘Janata’ on 05.02.1938, reproduced from ‘Dnyanodaya’ –

From the available religions and personalities in the world, I consider only two- Buddha and Christ for conversion. We want a religion for me and my followers which will teach equality freedom among men, and how man must behave with men and God, how a child should behave with father etc.

Missionaries feel they have done their duty when they convert an untouchable to Christianity. They do not look after their political rights. I find this is a big fault in Christians because they have not entered into politics until now. It is difficult for any institution to survive without political support. We, Untouchables, though are ignorant and illiterate, we are in movement. That is why we have 15 seats in the Legislative Assembly. Students are getting scholarships, there are government hostels. Such is not the case of Christian students. If an untouchable student getting scholarship gets converted, his scholarship is stopped though his financial status remains same. If you were in politics, things would have been opposed.

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Ambedkar to Christians

“Your society is educated. Hundreds of boys and girls are matriculated. These people have not agitated against this injustice, unlike the uneducated Untouchables. If any girl becomes a nurse or any boy becomes a teacher they are involved in their own affairs, they do not get involved in public affairs. Even clerks and officers are busy in their work, he ignores the social injustice. Your society is so much educated, how many are District judges or magistrates? I tell you, this is because of your neglect towards politics because there is nobody to talk of the fight for your rights. …” [Ganjare vol. III. p.142]

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  1. 1
    ranjan kumar

    perhaps you are very right, nonetheless, in jharkhand its a bit different.the first tribal late Jaipal singh munda, the captain of indian olympic hockey team 1928 ,he was a member of oxford hockey team too.He was a christian by faith but still an adivasi and he was the member of the constituent assembly,and thus the adivasis/indigenous/tribals who are christains have retained the land rights such as, CNT & SPT and also all the affirmative facilities. there are christain politicians in jharkhand, as a matter of fact the christians played a vital role in the creation of jharkhand,iinterestingly, the rss is playing a very evil and malicious game by trying to emphasize that the christian adivasis are loosing there culture etc etc, there has been an attempt to divide the tribal society along religious lines by enacting the anti conversion bill.the tribal call and demand for a separate ‘sarna code’ / tribal religion is on the rise. churches run over a hundred NGo’s and they offer their services to the poor, most important is the universal education and that is what pricks the bjp. having said all this the tribals need to unite regardless of their faith after all the foundation which binds them togather are the above mentioned CNT/SPT land acts.through which the can have the bargaining power in politics, and by mobilizing and uniting tribals are building a force to reckon with

  2. 2

    Very true though over the years there have been Christians in places of influence such as IAS officers etc, but by and large, Christians have remained away from politics – which is a mistake.

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