Why is Non-Discrimination the Highest Principle?


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In the beginning of the Buddha and His Dhamma, Babasaheb Ambedkar describes the qualities of young Siddhartha. One of those qualities of Siddhartha is his meditation to remove the line of discrimination that separates himself and others. This is the highest realisation in Buddhism that one cannot discriminate others based on any attribute. The Buddha embraces all irrespective of their backgrounds. The principle of equality is highest, which does not mean mathematical equality, but the mind that does not discriminate on any grounds.

In the Annihilation of Caste, Babasaheb Ambedkar refuted any basis of classifying human beings based on any attributes in the strict compartments. He refuted Plato and his theory of forms. The society that does not discriminate evolves into happy and prosperous society. This is what we see throughout the world. This is true about India. In India, there is not only discrimination, but the discrimination is gross and inhuman. In India, there is not only inequality, but the inequality is codified and made into a strict regime where the gap between the haves and have-nots is wider. In such society, the suffering and poverty is the only outcome.

In the movement of Babasaheb Ambedkar, so long gross inequalities and discrimination exist within, it cannot become a strong force to transform the world and the societies around. The non-discriminatory mind is the root cause of pain and suffering in the world. The movement of Babasaheb Ambedkar is the movement for equality, it is the movement against discrimination, it is the movement for no discrimination. If this is treated as the highest principle in the movement, the movement will leap bound many steps ahead in a shorter period.

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In the scheme of the trinity of the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity, the principle of liberty if not rooted in non-discrimination, then it becomes individualism and hence anti-social that leads to suffering. In such case, liberty becomes an abstract principle. On the other hand, non-discrimination is a tangible and concrete principle. One has to act, speak, think in a non-discriminatory way that leads to the creation of the harmonious society.

Author – Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist

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