Meher Baba’s Talk to Ambedkar of 06 Sep 32

The following is from Lord Meher,p. 1712ff THE UNTOUCHABLES

“I am very pleased to see you,” Baba began. “I have wanted to meet you for a long time.”

“I was also eager to see you, but I had not been able to manage it,” replied Ambedkar.

Baba then spelled out to him, “Let me clearly explain to you in detail what I want you to do. First of all, let it be quite clear that I have nothing to do with politics. My concern in this matter is purely from the spiritual point of view, and out of my regard and feeling for the depressed classes. Apart from any politics, I have already done much for them during my time in Meherabad, where I made the high-class Brahmins live and eat in my ashram with Untouchables. Not only that, I made my Brahmin disciples bathe the Untouchable boys. I have the cause of the depressed classes at heart, and I quite understand and appreciate your efforts on their behalf.

“Now, the situation is such that the settlement of self-rule for India rests on the delicate question of joint or separate electorate for the depressed classes. Now is the time and place for those who fight for the cause of these Untouchables to strike while the iron is hot, getting as much as possible for them. So, the time of this golden opportunity for the poor Untouchables has come. I would advise you, for reasons I am about to explain, to accept the joint electorate with a reservation of seats, and other rights and details to be settled with Mahatma Gandhi and the other leaders.

“I had a long meeting with Gandhi the day before his arrest. He explained things and asked me to tell you and the other leaders of the depressed classes to accept a joint electorate.

He promised me, if you and the other leaders accept, that he would meet with you and be most sympathetic to the rights of the Untouchables, using his influence on all political leaders to insure justice in the new arrangement.

“There are reasons why I want you to accept a joint electorate and join with Gandhi in this. By having the aid of the government for a separate electorate of the depressed classes, you run the risk of forever clashing with Hindu society and establishing yourself as a separate class, branded Untouchable forever and least desired. The stigma of Untouchability is to be uprooted once and for all, and all classes are to be united. This is the time and place for such a golden opportunity to tell your non-Hindu brethren to include the oppressed and all their legitimate rights; otherwise, they will lose and make them enemies forever, which no well-wishers of Hindu independence would want.

“Therefore, join hands with Gandhi and go along with him for a joint electorate. He has already promised to do his utmost for their representation and rights in the new government. Gandhi is sincere and will keep his word, and his influence will carry weight with other classes. I will also internally help your fight for the depressed classes, whose cause is always in my heart.”

Dr. Ambedkar responded, “I understand what you mean and would like to do as you say, but I must explain that I alone cannot do it. I have to consult my colleagues in the party, provincial and all-India before acting.”

Baba replied, “You can still exercise your influence on them and I will help internally.”

“That I will,” replied Dr. Ambedkar. “But I cannot say if they will accept or not.”

“You need not worry,” Baba assured him. “It is enough that you remember what I have told you. You try to persuade those in your party and bring them around through your influence. I will see to the rest. Will you do so?”

“Yes, I will,” Dr. Ambedkar verbally promised.

“I am so glad,” Baba concluded. “You will be doing the greatest service for your people. So, remember, I am very, very pleased to have seen you.”

“So am I,” said the doctor.

All three of these people, Mahatma Gandhi, Meher Baba and Dr. Ambedkar, had independently vowed to put an end to the evils of untouchability, and how is it that we did not know before this that the three of them were also talking to each other? This untouchability issue has been as stubborn and wrong in India as the plight of blacks in America has been. The issue is still there, and is still a huge social problem, but there has been progress, and Ambedkar’s giving Buddhist Refuge to the untouchable class in general, and the Dalits in particular, has been the major engine of progress. Ambedkar was the Dr. Martin Luther King of India, and it’s unimaginable, yea unbelievable, yea stupid that he continues to be unknown in the west.

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