Why Hindu society lacks unity – Dr. B R Ambedkar Perpective

Ethnology has witnessed various societies that have survived through the primitive and advanced times but is it just about survival or do the quality of survival matter?

Caste defenders have always tried to glorify the Hindu heritage but did they question their ignorance behind unnatural discrimination with untouchables? Have Hindus ever tried to think why it’s so important to get addressed by your caste than contribution? These questions are not asked to challenge the Hindu culture or their survival but their ethics, discrimination, and why it’s important to have high attachment with one’s caste?

Hindu Society lacks unity

Ambedkar witnessed that division of labour is even seen in modern times but the people who defend the working of chaturvarnya neglected that this is based on the division of labourers, not labour. The gradation of labourers leads to disintegration between the Hindus. The second direct effect of this segregation is based on the dogma of predestination which also has no choice for individual sentiment and preferences. But why this segregation in Hindu society? Why is the cleaning of pits and drainage which are used by all is predestined to the Dalits? This is the clear way for the higher caste to escape from the degrading occupation. This social division of people from the same race not only completely disorganised but demoralised Hindus.

According to Dr.B.R. Ambedkar Hindu society is a myth and the second reason for their disunity is that there is a lack of ” kind consciousness”. He explained that the consciousness of people of goodness is restricted to one’s caste only. They feel responsible, dutiful, and kind towards their caste only. Ambedkar had questioned, Is it only diffusion of beliefs, customs, and thoughts enough to constitute society? Not at all because their lack of consciousness of kind kills the public spirit and public charity. He had explained that the “caste system prevents common activity and by preventing common activity it has prevented the Hindus from becoming a society with a unified life.”

The unity is lacking because of its worst feature of anti-social spirit as there are no efforts for the cultivation of fellow being and public association. Abstractly arguing like in the construction of home the essential element is cement similarly in the construction of unified Hindu society they must need social cement, strong Sangathan and reformation. Another barrier to attaining changes in Hindu society is neglecting attitudes towards any change. There is still a continuation of caste labelling which enables to put people in the separate packed boxes of high and low. From where does the Sikh or the Muslims derive strength, it is from bravery? Why there is a fundamental difference between the caste significance between Hindus and non-Hindus? There is no superiority in the physical characteristics of non-Hindus but they have an associated mode of life that directly produces the sense of fellow feeling. If one Muslim is in trouble everyone will unite as a community, if one Hindu is in trouble firstly his/her caste will be searched. Among the Hindus, the caste makes their Sangathan weak and immortal.

Many caste defenders have dragged the question that caste exists in all the religious communities. B.R Ambedkar had tried to tear their mask with his astonishing agreement that if you ask a Muslim who he is? He will definitely say I am Muslim, but if you will ask a Hindu who is he? You will not be satisfied with the fact that he is Hindu but will get salvation only when you will enquire about his caste. Therefore among the non-Hindus caste is only a practice, not a sacred institution but among Hindus, it’s a mirror of religious sacredness.

The ideas which are seen revolting in the beginning only turn out to be revolutionary. Reformation and questioning are a part of civilization. Dr B.R Ambedkar had tried to address the question, how to bring reform in the Hindu social order? The to abolish the sub-castes, promoting intercaste dining but the real remedy only lies in the intercaste marriages. The real cause of intercaste marriages is that it will promote the kinship ties and fusion of blood together which will directly not only kills the caste practice but establishes the humanitarian society. The destruction of caste is not just a physical change but a notional change.

Also Read: 10 Famous Inter-caste Marriages in India

Many reformers, scholars, and caste defenders have misinterpreted the meaning of annihilation of caste which is proposed by Dr B.R Ambedkar. He questioned shastras authority to seek truth and reason behind its practice. He argued that grammatically reading or logical interpretation is not a matter of fact, what matters is how shastras are understood. This abolition of discrimination, differentiation is a national cause as he quoted reason and morality are the two most powerful weapons in the armoury of a reformer. Dr B.R Ambedkar had always understood the necessity of religion but it must be a matter of principles only, not rules. There is a tremendous urge made by him to the intellectual class of the society as they are upholders of the change and are the only ones to look beyond the superstitions and make their society a unified one.

The real solidity of Hindu society depends upon the presence of networks of communication and interactions among all Hindus. The ideal society must need to be built upon the ideas of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Liberty is seen as a free consciousness of one’s to seek the truth to establish one’s independence without thinking of caste boundaries. Fraternity is defined as another name of democracy itself but firstly democracy needs to be established on community grounds, lastly, equality demands the need for abolition of labelling people by their birth in specific castes but all must be seen as equal. We need to remind ourselves with the words used by Morris “The great reading down the little, the strong beating down the weak, Cruel men fearing not, kind men daring not and wise men caring not.”

Reference :

Book titled “Essential works of Dr B.R Ambedkar edited by valerian Rodrigues published by Oxford University Press 2002, Annihilation of caste,1:47-80; Reply to the Mahatma,1:86-96

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Deeksha is pursuing her bachelor's degree in Sociology at Delhi University. When she's not talking to dogs, you can find her reading, talking about Human Rights and Ambedkar!