D. K. KHAPARDE SAHAB – AN IDEOLOGUE*
Talk delivered at the 2nd Death Anniversary of D.K.Khaparde Sahab
on February 29, 2008 at Nagpur.
By Dr. P.D.Satya Pal
National President, Mulnivasi Sangh
Respected National President of BAMCEF, Members of the Central Executive Committee, Functionaries of the Off Shoot Wings of BAMCEF, colleagues from different States of India, Jai Bheem Jai Mulnivasi.
We have gathered here to pay our tributes to a great personality – the person who is responsible for our attachment to the movement – Hon’ble D.K.Khaparde. He was a ‘Great Man’. As per definition given by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in Ranade, Gandhi & Jina (1943), “Great Man must be motivated by the dynamics of a social purpose and must act as a scourge and scavenger of the society”. Khaparde Sahab surely acted as a scourge against the oppressive Brahminical forces and built up laboriously, a sound platform to establish a new, humane social order.
It is indeed a great tribute as this meeting is being held at Nagpur. This place has special significance in our revolutionary movement. Khaparde Sahab once said “Nagpur unit of BAMCEF was never a unit. It always functioned as the center of the activities”.Many people partaking in this momentous occasion had the esteemed privilege of not just knowing Khaparde Sahab, but also working with him hand in hand. Unfortunately, my association with him is very limited. However, as a child of his movement, I will try to analyse his accomplishments and thoughts as an ideologue par excellence.
An ideologue is a person who imbibes the ideals and devises appropriate methods and strategies, implements them in the existing social order, to realize the idea of desirable society. In other words, an ideologue is the bridge and negotiating point between the vision and reality.Khaparde Sahab, as we see in the initial stages, has not just imbibed the ideals of our forefathers but espoused their crucial mission of change of social system.
Synthesizer of Ideals
The original genius of Khaparde Sahab lies in bringing the ideals of all our forefathers in a coherent sequence. According to him, any movement in its initial stage starts in the form of an idea, like a seed. Slowly, it grows up into a sapling and tree, bearing the fruit in the due course and transforms into reality. The Bahujan movement was started by Lord Buddha, who identified the fraud and conspiracy of Brahminical ideology based on myths, illusions, half truths and outright lies. As the first social revolutionary, he demolished these Brahmanical conspiracies by using the twin parameters of reason and experiences as the touchstone of formulating a new way of life.Khaparde explains that this spirit of rebellion and subversion revived again in the 19th and 20th century in the form of Phule-Ambedkarite idealism of a new society based on democratic foundations. This idealism was intellectually shaped and fashioned by Babasaheb, which is finally enshrined in the constitution. Khaparde Sahab had also picked up from the movements of social revolution by Narayana Guru, Sahu Maharaj, Periyar, Birsa Munda and channelized them in a continuum of liberation struggles of Mulnivasis from Phule to Ambedkar, and stressed upon the need to take this movement to its logical end.
Therefore, we understand that Khaparde Shahab as an ideologue, was able to synthesize the spiritual heritage of Lord Buddha, intellectual acumen of Babasaheb and vigor of Mahatma Phule. Those who know him will also find that these three components were properly shaped in the personality of Khaparde Sahab.
Formation of Ideology
We know that Ideology is a kind of praxis – ideals and strategies are blended according to the demands of the situation and the goals to be reached. As the originator of Phule-Ambedkarite Ideology, Khaparde Sahab declared that “Phule-Ambedkarism is the Ideology of Annihilation of Caste”.He has converted the idealism of our forefathers into a field strategy and methodology for propagating and implementing it among Mulnivasis to awaken them to their lost rights. He made an in depth and analytical study of contemporary society and devised the contours of the Mulnivasi Bahujan Movement. He declared that unless we bring about Ideological polarization as well as social polarization, we cannot move forward. He said “Bahujan Samaj cannot achieve anything as it desires, without ideological polarization. And ideological polarization is not possible without ideological movement and the ideological movement cannot be a reality without ideology”.
Therefore, the battle lines were drawn, the language of the movement was developed and the friends and foes were identified. This ideological polarization led to the conception of Bahujanvad Vs Brahminvad, and marched towards social polarization.He declared “without awakening the Bahujan Samaj against Brahmins and Brahminical spirit of graded inequality- penetrated in every caste of Bahujan Samaj- social polarization cannot occur”.
Drawing insights from Babasaheb, his diligent explanation shows that in the caste society, we find every caste as a minority, and no majority. Khaparde Shahab told us that the ruling Brahmanical forces are however creating an artificial majority of Hindus to sustain their rule. Hence, the oppressed castes- being the Mulnivasis- should shed their caste identities and form the natural majority. He emphasized that “this natural majority…or what we call a ‘Bahujanvad’ is the real need today, without which our struggle and movements cannot go ahead”.Khaparde Shahab has clearly outlined the history and development of Bahujanvad and its crucial phases. Lord Buddha, in the first phase as the originator of Bahujanvad, (Alpajan Vs Bahujan). Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, as the one who gave birth to the concept and ideology of Bahujanvad (Setji-Bhatji Vs Shudra-Atisudra) building upon the tradition of Buddha in modern India. This is referred as the second phase. He places Babasaheb as the heir of Phule’s call for a movement of Shudras & Atisudras. He explains “Dr.Ambedkar accepted the concept and ideology of Bahujanvad but he could not give it a concrete shape in his life time. Because the situation was not ripe and there were other overriding priorities”. But during the last years, Babasaheb was broad basing his movement … certainly on the basis of Bahujanvad”.This exposition of Khaparde Sahab leads us to the correct reading of Babasaheb, especially when he talks about “how to make these heterogeneous groups come together” and tells us the importance of “pulling Caravan ahead”.
Khaparde Shahab says “third phase of development of the concept and ideology of Bahujanvad, began with the inception of BAMCEF in decades of 1970-80, at all India level”. When the Arya Brahmins started a counter strategy of Hindutva, claiming the Aryans as the natives of India, Khaparde Sahab proclaims “it is in this context, the fourth phase of the development of the concept and ideology of Bahujanvad must begin. And this should begin with the concept and ideology of Bahujanvad of Mulnivasis (Original inhabitants) of India”.
He stressed upon this Mulnivasi concept saying “this concept of Mulnivasi Bahujan Samaj or Mulnivasi Bahujanvad … needs to be propagated and established in the society with renewed zeal and enthusiasm”. He cautions that “the entire future of anti-caste movement against Brahmins and Brahiminism rests on the propagation and establishment of this concept and ideology in the society.” Visualizing the potential of this Phule-Ambedkarite Ideology or Mulnivasi Bahujanvad to destroy Brahminical forces, he says “we must remember that this ideology is out of the periphery of Brahminical circle”. We should note here that Khaparde Sahab was very particular about proper use of this ideological weapons.
Dimensions of the Praxis
Basically, the vision and ideology of Khaparde Shahab can be factorized into three dimensions: Reactive, Reflexive and Pro-active.
The Reactive Facet: In the reactive dimension, we can observe that Khaparde Sahab identifies and presents the hypnotizing enemy in concrete forms. The concealing identities of Brahmanism are unmasked. He tells that Hinduism is nothing but Brahmanism, Brahmins are the creators, philosophers, priests and writers of Hindu scriptures. He shows that the use of words Hindu and Hindutva is only to cover and divert their foreign antecedents. Portraying Brahmanism as the cultural colonization, he presents a simple and fundamental explanation to the dilemma between Brahmins and Brahmanism. To those who argue that, not all Brahmins are bad, Khaparde Shahab puts things plainly as explained by Babasaheb – “just because the maker of bombs is a good man, will he make bombs that do not explode, gas that do not poison?” He clarifies that Brahmins as a caste are the originators, protectors, maintainers and beneficiaries of the system.
He unveiled different forms and facets of Brahmanism in our contemporary society – Hindutva, Gandhism, Lohiyaism, Socialist & Communist Brahmanism (the most dangerous variety), Maulanavad among Muslims and several other manifestations. He has also identified the areas of operation of Brahmanical forces in the form of media as the 4th pillar of Brahmanocracy, the OBC political leaders as the second line of Brahmanism, Brahminisation of judiciary, educational policies, review of the constitution, census operations, terrorism, etc., Through his incisive analytical power he could see through the façade of their patriotic and nationalistic jingoism. He declared Brahmanism as the root cause of all the problems of our society, branding Brahmanism as the poison.
We can perceive that this reactive dimension as the vigorous and relentless criticism of existing Brahmanical social order, which is hampering the progress and well-being of Mulnivasis.
The Reflexive facet: In this premise, Khaparde Sahab’s work deals with the assessment of existing ‘Ambedkarite’ organizations and other such outfits and their role in working towards the goal of Phule-Ambedkarite Movement. In this regard we see Khaparde Sahab as fearless and constructive critic. He had the guts to call different strands of RPI as forming the Harijan cells of Congress. He brought to light the ideological confusion among different organizations working with low aims, unmindful of being used up by the Brahminical forces in the guise of Congress, social reform and social justice. He has illustrated several times the ideological ignorance prevailing among the OBCs, calling them as a ‘hanging class’. He said that OBCs are unable to understand their enslaved conditions under Brahmanism. “The biggest trouble with the OBCs is … they are opposed to Brahmins, but at the same time, they want to appease and follow Brahmanism”, Khaparde Sahab said.
The sporadic efforts of SC, ST and OBC’s do not match the mechanizations of the Brahminical forces and even the educated employees among these sections are incapable of understanding the nature of their problems, source of their problems and the way out. Khaparde could decipher the reasons behind this deplorable situation and worked towards a perfect remedy.
The Pro-active facet: This dimension of Khaparde Sahab is revealed in building a strong organization of committed workers to match the sound ideology. “This long, hard and difficult journey of social revolution covers and imbibes the continuous process of institutionalization and systematization of organization, press and publications and the creation of capable and genuine leaderships” he said.
Identification of ‘educated employees’ as the beneficiaries of the Phule- Ambedkarite movement and holding these people socially responsible to awaken the ignorant society itself is the hallmark of superior organizational craftsmanship of Khaparde. The formulation of the concept of Pay Back to Society is the brilliance of his organizing skills. Establishment of a Cadre-based Organization-the BAMCEF- to realize the noble ideal of change of social system shows his immaculate assessment of the means for the noble cause.
The original organizational skills of Lord Buddha, training a team of social volunteers committed to the welfare of the society can be seen reflecting in the formation of BAMCEF and in the molding of social preachers by Khaparde Sahab. “BAMCEF is an organization of intellectual class of oppressed castes. We want to first prepare these intellectuals ideologically; develop some basic understanding in them and through them, prepare the entire Bahujan Samaj for the movement” he said.
In his simple yet pointed declaration, the task is explained: “We are bringing social awakening in the society against Brahminical system and preparing society for fighting against the system. The SC, ST and OBCs, who have been slaved by Brahmins and Brahmanism-physically and mentally- must first liberate themselves from this mental slavery. For this purpose there must be an ideological awakening in these communities. All forefathers from Phule to Ambedkar in their life time brought this awakening in the society. But their mission is unaccomplished. They wanted to destroy Brahminical system and establish a new system. So their movement was for Vyavastha Parivarthan (Change of System). So, we must keep on doing this work of social awakening among these communities, continuously and constantly, as the Brahmanism, though has become weak, is yet to be uprooted. This task of awakening can be done by educated people. BAMCEF as an organization of educated people of SC, ST, OBC and Converted Minorities is committed to bring awakening in the society for Vyavastha Parivartan”.
The formula of psychological awakening, leading to social revolution and radical transformation in the economic and political aspects of society was consciously ingrained and Khaparde prepared the cadres for social emancipation against the tide. He was convinced that this movement of awakening through BAMCEF cannot be achieved unless and until we become self dependent and self reliant.He adopted the strategy of collective, organized and cumulative social activism and achievement in BAMCEF. He stressed upon the merits of cumulative action among the cadre. Taking cue from Babasaheb’s editorial of Bahishkrit Bharat in 1929, he wrote that ‘collective activism and achievement is greater in quality and quantity by 100 times than personal and individualistic achievement and activism. Personal achievement may touch even to sky, but it cannot be compared with a small achievement through collective activism.”He was also very particular about the change of personality among the cadre. Discarding their old personality and assuming the personality of the organization was considered important by him as he felt that organization is visible only through the behavior of the cadre.
The cardinal functions of BAMCEF as espoused by Khaparde Sahab are to create thinking people among the Bahujans and to establish platforms of dialogue among the victim castes of the Brahminical social order.He said, “BAMCEF is creating awareness among the people who do not think at all … the tragedy of our people is that they have produced good administrators, doctors, engineers and scientists but not good leaders and preachers. Why? Because, we have not yet made our society capable of thinking.”
Taking stock of things after two decades of work, he said “after 20 years of our effort, we have created some handful of people who can think. The philosophers have said that creating people who can think is a revolution of the sort. We have brought this revolution in the society. This is our achievement”.He was emphasizing upon creating congenial atmosphere in the society so that the victim castes could think and realize the root cause of their slavery. He was confident that this awareness leads to the communication among the hither to quarrelling castes and to their unity. “Create ideological churning. Encourage dialogue among Mulnivasis. Hasten the work so that samvad (dialogue) among the 6000 castes becomes susamvad (fruitful dialogue). This should be our priority “, he said.
D. K.Khaparde, commanding the flagship of BAMCEF, could bring about a paradigm shift in the way of thinking of our educated people. The wrong mass psychology of ‘demanding’ was corrected and converted into the position of ‘commanding’ the rightful claim of the Mulnivasis over the resources of their motherland.
Power Game vs Survival Game
We are made to realize the distinction between employee from Brahmanical sections and Mulnivasis. Due to unequal access to resources, the later spends his entire life energies and time to procure the ordinary decencies and comforts of his time (car, house etc.,) there by exhausting his life span, whereas the employee from Brahminical sections acquires them by birth as a matter of right and always attempt to control the reins of power. Thus they not only maintain the monopoly over resources but also prevent the Mulnivasis from having access to resources or brain wash us to stop thinking about making claims on the resources of nation. The summum bonum of Khaparde Sahab’s struggle is to Uproot Brahmanism and reestablish Mulnivasi culture which paves the way for the democratic social order ensuring real freedom and existential dignity to Mulnivasis in their motherland. He dedicated his entire life for propagating the ideas of our forefathers, formulating suitable concepts and building relevant movement, himself undergoing sufferings and sacrifices in the process.
In my view, the greatest contribution of Khaparde Sahab is to translate the highly intellectual, abstract and prudent arguments of our forefathers into the common man’s language, perception and understanding. He is the vital link between great visionaries and common men for realization of the ideals of our forefathers. And it is our basic responsibility to carry forward the mission of Khaparde Sahab.
Looking back at the performance of BAMCEF over 20 years, Khaparde Shahab said “I am confident, in the coming 25 years or so, we can bring revolutionary changes in the country, which will be visible to everybody and entire world”. In my opinion, unless we become intellectually clear and deeply committed to propagate the ideology, awaken the masses and build strong movement, we may not realize that hope which Khaparde Shahab had from us. Babasaheb said “without creating sacrificial goats, the society cannot progress”. And Khaparde Sahab also reiterated “without dedicated and devoted workers, it is not possible to take the movement of Phule and Ambedkar ahead”.
My dear colleagues, on this second death anniversary of our mentor, Khaparde Sahab, let us rededicate our selves to this noble task so that the future of the Mulnivasi Liberation Movement can be made bright and stable.
JAI BHEEM! JAI MULNIVASI !! JAI BHARAT!!!
*All quotes of Khaparde Sahab are taken from the editorials of journals published by BAMCEF and speeches of Khaparde Sahab.