Quite some time since my series of blogs on Aurobindo Ghose stopped for temporary reprieve , many friends suggested to me to write on the other-side of the historical spectrum and views held by personalities in conflict. As a democrat groomed by Aringnar Anna, I felt I must place for public consumption historical moments in India.
Q: Describe the views of Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar on the day of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination ?
A: “Great men are of great service to their country but they also, after certain time, a great hindrance to the progress of their country. There is one incident in Roman history which comes to my mind on this occasion. When Caesar was done to death and the matter was reported to Cicero, Cicero said to the messengers : Tell the Romans that your hour of liberty has come. While one regrets the assassination of Mr.Gandhi and one cannot help finding in his heart the echo of the sentiments expressed by Cicero on the assassination of Cicero.’
“Mr.Gandhi had become a positive danger to this country. He had choked all free thought. He was holding together the Congress which is a combination of all the bad and self seeking elements in society who were agreed on no social or moral principle governing the life of society except the one praising and flattering Mr.Gandhi. Such a body is unfit to govern the country. As the Bible says that sometimes good cometh out of evil so also I think that good will come out of the death of Mr.Gandhi. It will release people from bondage to a superman , it will make them think for themselves and it will compel them to stand on their own merits”…..Ambedkar
Q: How come Dr.Ambedkar was entrusted with the task of Drafting the Constitution of India ?
A: In his book Reminiscences of Nehru Age by M.O.Mathai page 24, the words of Ambedker on accomplishment of the task is mentioned thus : The Hindus wanted Vedas, and they sent for Vyasa, who was not a caste Hindu. The Hindus wanted an epic , and they sent for Valmiki, who was an untouchable. The Hindus wanted a Constitution and they have sent for me….’ Ambedkar.
Q:Mahatma Gandhi only strongly recommended Dr.B.R.Ambedkar to draft the Constitution of India , is it so ?
A: In his thesis titled Socio and Political philosophy of Dr.Ambedkar [page 50] P.V.Rathnam states “ Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel wanted to invite Sir Ivor Jennings , an internationally known constitutional expert, who had drafted the Constitution of many Asian countries. Mahatma Gandhi, however advised them not to look for a foreigner when they had within India an outstanding legal constitutional expert Dr.B.R.Ambedkar.” Thus the task was entrusted to Dr.Ambedkar. Yes Gandhiji recommended Dr.Ambedkar.
Q; Is it true that Dr.Ambedkar single handedly drafted the Constitution of India ?
A: Yes, let me quote from the Constitution Assembly Debate dated November 5 of 1948 wherein T.T.Krishnamachari narrates “ The House is perhaps aware that of the seven members nominated by you, one had resigned from the House and was replaced. One died and was not replaced. One was away in America and his place was not filled up and another person was engaged in State Affairs and there was void to that extent. One or two people were away from Delhi, and perhaps reasons of health does not permit them to attend. So it happened ultimately that the burden of drafting the Constitution fell on Dr.Ambedkar and I have no doubt we are grateful to him for having achieved this task in a manner which is undoubtedly commendable”
Q: Is it true that Dr.Ambedkar found it difficult to print his book Buddha and His Dhamma ?
A: Yes it took 5 years for him to write the book. He sought financial help from the Trustees of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Bombay. On March 17 of 1956 writing to the Chairman of Tata Industries Limited Mr.M.R.Masani “ Mr.Tata must have returned by now and so there could be no difficulty in your communicating his mind. I am dreadfully in a hurry and if Mr.Tata refuse my request I like to go with my bowl to another door. On May 1st of 1956 Trustees of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust informed that the book on the life and teaching of Buddha will land them in trouble and controversy, hence sanctioned a donation of Rs 3000 towards publication of the book.
Q: What was Jawaharlal Nehru’s response to Dr.Ambedkar’s request to buy 500 copies of his book for libraries ?
A: Ambedkar thought Jawaharlal Nehru will buy atleast 500 copies for libraries and distribution to scholars who would be attending the Buddha’s 2500 th anniversary celebration. He wrote to Nehru “ I know your interest in Buddhism. That is why I am writing to you. I hope you will render some help in the matter.” The Great Prime Minister of India replied on September 15th of 1956. “ It will be impossible for us to buy a large number of copies of your book as suggested by you. We had set aside a certain sum for publication on the occasion of the Buddha Jayanti. That sum has been exhausted and in fact exceeded.”
General Secretary Dravida Peravai