(Note: This is Dr. Ambedkar’s historical speech (18th March, 1956) in which he had put forward his experiences and the future strategy. In this speech he had addressed different sections of society. In fact it was a guideline for future Dalit movement but it is quite agonising to say that Dalits have forgotten it. It is reflected in a sharp fall in growth rate of Buddhists as shown by Census 2011 population statistics. Today Dalit society has moved away from Dr. Ambedkar’s agenda of annihilation of caste and conversion to Buddhism. Unprincipled and opportunistic Dalit politics has pushed back social and religious movement. Today Dalit society is infected with caste divisions. It appears that caravan of Babasaheb is moving backward in place of moving forward. It should be a cause for worry for all Ambedkarites.)- SR Darapuri I.P.S.(Retd)
To the Public
I have been struggling for the last 30 years to get you political rights. I have got you reserve seats in Parliament and State Legislatures. I have got proper provisions made for education of your children. Now it is your duty to carry on a united struggle for removal of educational, economic and social inequality. For this purpose you should be ready for all kinds of sacrifice even to shed blood.
“If somebody calls you to his palace, you are free to go. But do not set your hut on fire. If tomorrow the owner of the palace throws you out, then where will you go? If you want to sell yourself, you are free to sell yourself but do not harm your organisation in any manner. I have no danger from others but I feel endangered from my own people.”
To the Landless Labourers
“I am much very much worried about landless labourers. I could not do enough for them. I am not able to bear with their sorrows and hardships. The main cause of their vows is that they do not own land. That is why they are victims of insults and atrocities. They won’t be able to uplift themselves. I will struggle for them. If the government creates any hurdles in it I will give them leadership and fight their legal battle. But I will make every possible effort to get them land.”
To his Supporters
“Very soon I am going to take refuge in Buddha. It is a progressive religion. It is based on liberty, equality and fraternity. I have discovered this religion after many years search. I am soon going to become a Buddhist. Then I will not be able to live among you as an Untouchable. But as a true Buddhist I will continue to struggle for your uplift. I will not ask you people to become Buddhists with me. Only those persons, who aspire to take refuge in this great religion, can adopt Buddhism so that they remain in it with a strong belief in this religion and follow its code of conduct.”
To Buddhist Bhikkhus
“Buddhism is a great religion. Its founder Tathagat preached this religion and it reached far and wide due to its goodness. But after its great rise it disappeared in 1293. There are many reasons for it. One of the reasons is that Buddhist Bhikkhus became addicted to a life of luxury. Instead of going from place to place to preach religion they took rest in Viharas and started writing books in praise of royal persons. Now for reviving this religion they will have to work very hard. They will have to go from door to door. I see very few Bhikkhus in the society. Hence good persons from the society will have to come forward for preaching this religion. “
To Government Servants
“Our society has progressed a little bit with education. Some persons have reached high posts after getting education. But these educated persons have betrayed me. I expected that they would do social service after getting higher education. But what I see is a crowd of small and big clerks who are busy in filling their own bellies. Those who are in government service have a duty to donate 1/ 20th part of their pay for social work. Only then the society will progress otherwise only one family will be benefitted. All hopes of society are centred on a boy who goes for getting education from a village. An educated social worker can prove to be a boon for them.”
“My appeal to the students is that after completing education instead of becoming a petty clerk they should serve their village and nearby people so that exploitation and injustice arising out of ignorance may be ended. Your rise is included in the rise of society.”
“Today I am just like a pole which is supporting huge tents. I am worried about the moment when this pole will not be in its place. I am not keeping good health. I do not know when I may leave you people. I am not able to find a young man who could defend the interests of these millions of helpless and disheartened people. If some young man comes forward to take up this responsibility I will die in peace.”
PS: So far this speech was available in Hindi only. I have translated it into English.