No movement can be judged by one standard. Even the standards to judge the movement are not fixed in the space and time. The movement like evolution is a continuous process, sometimes changed drastically and dramatically by the unforeseen contingencies. The Ambedkarite movement cannot be judged by one standard or on one parameter.
The media has been in the forefront to sound the death knell of the BSP after its defeat (?) in the last assembly election, however, the BSP, as the potential ideology and movement, is far from dead. Some of the species can come into being and die, but the principles that beget the species remains the same. In case of the BSP, which acquired the political form of the much deeper principles, it has still a full course to run.
The deeper principles are the liberty, equality, and fraternity and these principles can manifest in the form of politics, social movements, and the religious bodies. They are inviolable. However, the society undergoes many changes, in terms of demography, sociology, but also psychology. We must factor in as many factors as we can to create new organs to ensure liberty, equality, and fraternity.
If we study the Ambedkarite movements (the use of the plural is deliberate), we can feel the vibrancy of it. Far from dead, the Ambedkarite movements are making a lot of progress which just cannot be measured through the political processes. The Ambedkarite movements are becoming increasing national and expanding internationally.
The new possibilities exist in the Ambedkarite movements which did not exist before. There is a growing sense of solidarity at the national level, but there is an absence of any political container to take advantage of it at the national level. But the new media like Whatsapp and Facebook are increasingly creating new platforms for the Ambedkarites to share their views and sense of solidarity. Though they are no substitute for the person to person interaction, potentially they can lead to more communicative community.
The youths have been playing important roles in the campuses, particularly in the central universities, the students have been in the forefront in organising the students’ movement. This youthful energy and churning in will ensure the brighter future for the community.
Some members of the community are considering businesses as the next possibilities to pursue and there is a growing interest in this area. Though it still remains one of the unexplored areas, there are signs that new initiatives are taking place in this direction.
The Ambedkarites have seen the highest achievements in the last few years starting from entrance examinations to the competitive examinations. The community was always destined for the excellence, but it was deterred by the social factors, but the second and third generations of the Ambedkarite society are reaching to the heights and they will continue to reach the heights.
A significant number of young Ambedkarites are not only studying in the prestigious universities in India, but a significant chunk of them have made into universities abroad.
In this changing paradigm, there is a need to invent new ways of bringing people together, new ways of organising the organisation, and perhaps new ways of doing politics.
Author – Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist