Ambedkar was definitely a Rebel – when he had himself chosen to lead a crusade against the well-established & accepted social norms of the Society. In that, he chose to question & violate the clearly defined roll & well delineated prescribed & earmarked rights, privileges, discrimination, duties, prohibitions and burdens of the various classes of the people in the Indian Society. Thus he showed and had very scant regard to the prevailing age-old historic peace in the Indian Communities, where all aberrations are firmly contained in the clear-cut class jackets of castes. But at the same time, the same man the Baba Sahib becomes a great social Reformer par excellence for the same act, when in the process of these very same actions is seen seeking, and to a very large extent successfully too, through off the yokes of injustices and break the inconsistencies and unfair sanctions placed on the large productive toiling masses of the Nation.
He is, without doubt, a Rebel, when he questions to violate & break the till then unquestioned, in fact said to be the unquestionable, unchangeable, unreadable laws, given by the greatest evil minds ever produced by the Indian Society, who had in many ways cleverly & subtly codified & gave unjust norms as the basic social laws of the land and unsurpassed political wizardry! Thus he chose to throw off the pedestal the revered imageries of Manu and Chanakya, and their laws and principles. Hence he raises up as almost the evil unthinkable Rebel the Indian Society could ever think of. But once again he becomes more than a social, legal & political Reformer when he compiled the beautiful voluminous fundamental laws of the land, the Constitution of India. That Constitution repeals specifically in an unquestionable and undebatable manner, without any ambiguity what so ever, all the old laws, practices & norms, as they are inconsistent with the provisions contained, and laws made under the Indian Constitution.
Baba Saheb thus is a Rebel & Reformer at the same time for the same act. But in this, there are no inconsistencies or contradictions. Is this a dilemma for us, or is he an enigma to the Indian Society? He is neither, when seen from Dalits’ points of views, and also academic & rational points of views. But he is a puzzle, in fact, an incarnation of the Devil for those who believe in incarnations. Those who cannot understand him, his logic, his questions, and his challenges to the Indian society that had long ago degenerated to the shallows of semantic confusions of the history to believe and consider itself as a unique mystic, distinctly different Hindu community, different and far removed from the rest of the Indian Society, hate him beyond words. When they see him with their jaundiced eyes & study his works and actions with myopic outlook, they find him to be nothing less than a satan on earth who had disturbed the social peace and destroyed the solidarity of the Hindu community by tearing apart the Indian (Hindu) Fabric.
So is Baba Saheb a Rebel or a Reformer? Before one attempts to answer this question & take a specific stand on his works, his life, and the emerging issues of social change, advancement, progress, intellectual growth, ideologies and Social Reconstruction that he had triggered off, one must try and first attempt to answer to oneself as to what is understood by the ‘Rebel’ and ‘Reformer.’
As long as one is not out to violate every norm to break the social fibre and the fabric of the Nation, with a clear destructive action & totally confused distorted mind as an irresponsible lawbreaker, then that person is really a ‘Rebel.’ On the other hand, when one does conform oneself to mere preachings, pleadings and prayers for change with a fond hope to modify the ways and norms of the Society, its outlook and behaviour, then the individual qualifies to be rated as a (Social) Reformer. But then Baba Saheb does not fit in any one of these clear-cut jackets. Nor did he lead any open Revolution – like the once the world had seen in France, America, Russia, China and elsewhere!
What then do we say of an individual who has been on the one hand Rebelling to be a Reformer? Rebelling to break all evil decadent unjust and unfair, in fact, inhuman social norms, and at the same time been meticulously studious, analytical, hardworking, struggling against the times of the day and also the time available, and still be uniquely creative? What do we call a man who tore and wanted to throw away lock, stock and barrel, all structures, foundations and edifices of injustices? How do we rate one who proved to be an outstanding great and that too fair and just lawgiver? Then the Rebel and Reformer become the two sides of the same coin!
A great soul like Baba Saheb who ceaselessly fought against all forms of injustices appeared to the common man and ordinary mortals to be Rebelling against the whole system and social peace and order. He was therefore considered to be an evil incarnation on the earth. To the liberal ‘Reformers’ of the times, he was a very volatile impatient Revolutionary. Some of them consider that he achieved nothing and succeeded nowhere in life. In reality, he was fighting a great battle single-handedly almost against the great walls of historic traditions, unfair and unjust beliefs and faith of the mystic confused Hindu minds. He launched himself tirelessly, unmindful of the personal harm that he might suffer and other consequences, against the conceptually nebulous, abstract religion (?) full of aberrations, referred to as Hinduism! But at the same time, he deeply dwelt on the questions of religion, studied the comparative merits of different religions, weighed their suitability and acceptability to his people, and the subject of human peace and emancipation. He then, at last, chose to lay down and took great pains to prescribe a modern scriptural Bible to revive in the mainland of the country, the decimated Buddhist Religion. He thus goes beyond the issue of injustices meted out and suffered by his troubled Dalit Communities. He comes out with innumerable Labor Laws and Laws for the Welfare and Restructuring of the whole Society such as the Hindu Code Bill etc. Thus he goes beyond the realms same time. ‘In fact, he crosses the boundaries of existence, living and work of mortals.’
By his Long public political and private intellectual works and social religious actions associated with his constructive, creative and re-constructive works, he goes beyond our visions and grows taller than any Statesman.
Baba saheb thus becomes a Visionary par excellence. He is indeed a great Visionary who mastered everything he surveyed, came across or chose and touched upon. That was, is and will be what Baba Saheb to the entire Humanity – not only to his own Dalits, the Indian society, the people and the Nation but to the whole world! Therefore if we are to think, refer and see Baba Saheb, we have to always approach him with great humility as the most real Visionary of all times, for which this Nation should be rightly proud of!
Author – Unknown to us, in case you know the name of the person who wrote this please let us know in the comments section and will update along with the post.