“Pay back to the society after self-introspection”

December 07, 2011 01:15 pm | Updated 01:15 pm IST - MADURAI:

Pramod Kureel, MP,  addressing a convention in the city on Tuesday on the occasion of B.R.Ambedkar's 55th death anniversary. Photo: R. Ashok

Pramod Kureel, MP, addressing a convention in the city on Tuesday on the occasion of B.R.Ambedkar's 55th death anniversary. Photo: R. Ashok

“There is some progress on education in our society. By acquiring education, some people have reached to the higher positions; but these educated people have deceived me. I was hoping from them that after acquiring higher education they will serve the society; but what I am seeing is that a crowd of small and big clerks has gathered around, who are busy feeding themselves and their families.”

This historic public speech in Agra on March 18, 1956 by B.R.Ambedkar, just nine months before his death, formed the crux of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe/Other Backward Classes/Religious Minorities Employees Convention held here on Tuesday. Pramod Kureel, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, and National Secretary, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and Standing Committee member, Ministry of Human Resource Development, was the special speaker of the convention.

His speech revolved around how the educated classes among Dalits and other oppressed castes who have reached some position in life through reservation in education and employment, largely because of efforts taken by leaders such as B.R. Ambedkar, Jothirao Phule and Periyar failed to pay back to the society.

Stating that Ambedkar's Agra speech was full of pain and anguish of an unimaginable level over how government employees had their own selfish agenda instead of carrying forward the struggle of emancipation of the oppressed. After Ambedkar's demise, the movement was in a shambles and left a big vacuum which was later filled by Kanshi Ram, who not only internalised Dr.Ambedkar's ideology but also his Agra speech, and in 1978 formed the BAMCEF-Backward (SC/ST and OBC) and Minority Community Employees' Federation, an organization that was “of the employees, by the employees and was ‘not' for the employees but for the society,” said Mr. Kureel.

He also said that December 6 and April 14 had become days that witnessed a sort of ritualistic exercise — garlanding of Ambedkar's statues and portraits. “It is important that his Agra message on paying back to the society is fully understood and complied with; it could be the best tribute to Messiah of the downtrodden.”

Mr. Kureel called for a serious self-introspection and asked the educated classes among the oppressed to shed their psychological reticence and emancipate themselves from mental slavery and work towards the goals of annihilation of caste, to ensure self respect and social justice as dreamt by Dr.Ambedkar.

Speaking earlier, P. Jeevan Kumar, general secretary, BSP, Tamil Nadu unit, said that, at a time when Ambedkarism had been spreading across the globe as an ideological tool for the oppressed to fetter themselves from the clutches of oppression, Dalit leaders here were guiding the people towards narrow language- based identity politics.

A book titled ‘Educate Agitate Organise,'authored by Siddarth S.Vasan and brought out by Sanghamitra publications was released on the occasion.

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