Thursday, November 4, 2010


Educate, Organise and Agitate is the most misquoted slogan of Baba Sahib Dr Ambedkar. Its true version is: Educate Agitate and Organise. Baba Sahib uttered these precious words at the end of his historic speech delivered at the All-India Depressed Classes Conference (July 18-19, 1942 at Nagpur), convened to create an All-India organization with distinct aims and purposes in co-operation with all the inter-provincial forces. It was at this very conference that a declaration was made about the formation of the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation.Below are given the exact words of the concluding part of this historic speech of Baba Sahib, as cited in his ‘fascinating biography’ authored by Dhananjay Keer:

“My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side, I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle, not for wealth or for power. It is a battle for freedom. It is a battle for the reclamation of human personality” (Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 3rd ed. 1971, p: 351, emphasis added).

Baba Sahib’ struggle for the uplift of the socially excluded was precisely spiritual in the sense that it intends to restore their lost dignity and make them equal with all the other sections of the rest of the society. For that the method he chooses was democratic-constitutional. Being educated in the oldest democracies in the world, Dr. Ambedkar imbibed the true spirit of democracy and constitutionalism. He wanted his fellow –beings and his countrymen to follow democratic ways for the peaceful resolution of all one problems including the most fatal one – the Untouchability.

In his democratic scheme of conflict resolution, education figures at the very beginning of the social struggle. Hence “educate” comes first in his three stepped slogan of educate, agitate and organise. By education Baba Sahib did not mean merely certificates and degrees. For him to educate means to become aware of ones real life conditions; to be conscious of ones surroundings; to raise objection to the inhuman existence in the society; and to ask for change for the better. “Tell the slaves he is a slave and he will revolt”, that is the real meaning of education.

It is such education that will stir agitation within, leading to what Baba Sahib called “agitate”. To “agitate” does not mean to organise guerrilla warfare, to do murda bad – murda bab. On the contrary, it means to become aware about ones social conditions and to seek viable steps for the eradications of the causes of the problems. Baba Sahib told us that only real and true education could only make us to “agitate”.

And it is this agitation, which is within, that would ultimately help us to “organize”. The true example of which is Baba Sahib himself, who after obtaining critical and rational sense through his education felt toofan within and consequently organised three political parties (Independent Labour Party, Scheduled Caste Federation and Republican Party of India) to secure Dalit human rights.

Thus the real sequence of the slogan is:
Educate, Agitate and Organise.

Thursday, April 15, 2010



22 Vows administered by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar

on 14th Oct. 1956 at

Diksha Bhoomi, Nagpur (India)

1. I shall not consider Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh as God nor shall I worship them.

2. I shall not consider Ram and Krishna as God nor shall I worship them.

3. I shall not believe in Gouri-Ganesh and other Gods and goddesses of Hindu Religion nor shall I worship them.

4. I don’t have faith incarnation of God.

5. I believe that, Buddha is incarnation of Vishnu, is a false and malicious propaganda.

6. I shall not perform shraddha, nor shall I give pind-dan.

7. I shall not practice anything which is against and different from Buddha’s Dhamma.

8. I will not perform any rituals to be performed by Brahmins.

9. I believe that all human beings are equal.

10. I shall make efforts to establish equality.

11. I shall follow the Eightfold path as told by the Buddha.

12. I shall practice ten Paramitas as told by the Buddha.

13. I shall have compassion and living kindness for all living beings and protect them.

14. I shall not steal.

15. I shall not tell lies.

16. I shall not commit any sexual misconduct.

17. I shall not consume liquor/intoxicants.

18. I shall lead a life based on Buddhist Principle of wisdom, Precepts, and compassion.

19. I denounce Hindu religion which is Harmful for my development as a human being and which has treated human being unequal lowly and I accept Buddha’s Dhamma.

20. I am convinced that Buddha’s Dhamma is Saddhamma.

21. I believe that I am taking new birth.

22. I commit that henceforth I shall act as per Buddha’s principles and teachings.

“I have never claimed to be a universal leader of suffering humanity. The problem of the untouchables is quite enough for my slender strength. I do not say that other causes are not equally noble. But knowing that life is short, one can only serve one cause and I have never aspired to do more than serve the Untouchables.”

“The basis of my politics lies in the proposition that the Untouchables are not a sub-division or sub-section of Hindus, and that they are a separate and distinct element in the national life of India.”

“My social philosophy may be said to be enshrined in three words: liberty, equality and fraternity. My philosophy has roots in religion and not in political science. I have derived them from the teachings of my master, the Buddha.”

“I also take refuge in the words of the Buddha to be your own guide. Take refuge in your own reason. Do not listen to the advice of others. Do not succumb to others. Be truthful and take refuge in the truth. Never surrender to anything. If you keep in mind this message of Lord Buddha at this juncture, I am sure, your decision will not be wrong."

“With great Difficulty, I have brought this CARAVAN where it is seen today.Let the CARAVAN march ON and further ON despite the hurdles, pitfalls and difficulties that may come in its way. If my people, my lieutenants are not able to take the CARAVAN ahead, they should leave it where it is seen today, but in no circumstances they should allow the CARAVAN to go back.”