While reading an author, one invests his time and energy. It demands attention to understand the point of views of any author. It creates an unusual bonding and if you do not have a strong reason then the chances are low to get that bonding. The reason for me to read Ambedkar is the partiality of our system. As far I can remember, during our school life, we never got expose to Ambedkar as compared to other Indian leaders like Gandhi, Nehru, Shivaji, Savarkar.

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India is a congeries of communities. There are in it Parsis, Christians, Mohammedans and Hindus. The basis of these communities is not racial.

It is of course religious. This is a superficial view. With regard to the Parsi, the Christian and the Muslim, it is smooth sailing. Ask a Parsi why he calls himself a Parsi, he will have no difficulty in answering the question. He will say he is a Parsi because he is a follower of Zoroaster. Ask the same question to a Christian. He too will have no difficulty in answering the question.

He is a Christian because he believes in Jesus Christ. Put the same question to a Muslim. He too will have no hesitation in answering it. He will say he is a believer in Islam and that is why he is a Muslim. Now ask the same question to a Hindu and there is no doubt that he will be completely bewildered and would not know what to say.

If he says that he is a Hindu because he worships the same god as the Hindu community does, his answer cannot be true. All Hindus do not worship one god. Some Hindus are monotheists, some are polytheists and some are pantheists. Even those Hindus who are monotheists are not worshippers of the same gods.

Some worship the god Vishnu, some Shiva, some Rama, some Krishna. Some do not worship the male gods. They worship a goddess. Even then they do not worship the same goddesses. They worship different goddesses. Some worship Kali, some worship Parvati, some worship Lakshmi. Coming to the polytheists, they worship all the gods.

They will worship Vishnu and Shiva, also Rama and Krishna. They will worship Kali, Parvati and Lakshmi. A Hindu will fast on the Shivaratri day because it is sacred to Shiva.

He will fast on Ekadashi day because it is sacred to Vishnu. He will plant a bel tree because it is sacred to Shiva and he will plant a tulsi because it is dear to Vishnu. Polytheists among the Hindus do not confine their homage to the Hindu gods.

No Hindu hesitates to worship a Muslim Pir or a Christian goddess. Thousands of Hindus go to a Muslim Pir and make offerings. The worship of the Christian or Muslim gods is only on occasions. But there are more permanent transfers of religious allegiance. There are many so-called Hindus whose religion has a strong Mohammedan content. Notable amongst these are the followers of the strange Panchpiriya cult, [4] who worship five Mohammedan saints, of uncertain name and identity, and sacrifice cocks to them, employing for the purpose as their priest a Mohammedan Dafali fakir.

Speaking of the Malkanas, Mr Blunt [7] says that they are converted Hindus of various castes belonging to Agra and the adjoining districts, chiefly Muttra, [8] Ettah and Mainpuri. They are of Rajput, Jat and Bania descent. They are reluctant to describe themselves as Musalmans, and generally give their original caste name and scarcely recognise the name Malkana.

On the other hand, they sometimes frequent a mosque, practise circumcision and bury their dead; they will eat with Mohammedans if they are particular friends. In Gujarat there are several similar communities such as the Matia Kunbis, [11] who call in Brahmans for their chief ceremonies, but are followers of the Pirana saint Imam Shah and his successors, and bury their dead as do the Mohammedans; the Sheikhadas at their weddings employ both Hindu and Mohammedan priests, and the Momnas, [12] who practise circumcision, bury their dead and read the Gujarati Koran, but in other respects follow Hindu custom and ceremony.

The beliefs of persons who are by all admitted to be Hindus often differ more widely from each other than do those of Christians and Mohammedans. Limiting the issue to cardinal beliefs, [13] the Hindus differ among themselves as to which beliefs are of cardinal importance.

Some say that all the Hindu scriptures must be accepted, but some would exclude the Tantras, [14] while others would regard only the Vedas as of primary importance; some again think that the sole essential is belief in the doctrine of karma and metempsychosis. A complex congeries of creeds and doctrines is Hinduism. If he says that he is a Hindu because he observes the same customs as other Hindus do, his answer cannot be true. For all Hindus do not observe the same customs. In the north, near relatives are forbidden to marry; but in the south cousin marriage is prescribed, and even closer alliances are sometimes permitted.

As a rule, female chastity is highly valued, but some communities set little store by it, at any rate prior to marriage, and others make it a rule to dedicate one daughter to a life of religious prostitution. In some parts they wear skirts; in others trousers.

Again if he said that he is a Hindu because he believes in the caste system, his answer cannot be accepted as satisfactory. It is quite true that no Hindu is interested in what his neighbour believes, but he is very much interested in knowing whether he can eat with him or take water from his hands. In other words it means that the caste system is an essential feature of Hinduism and a man who does not belong to a recognised Hindu caste cannot be a Hindu.

While all this is true it must not be forgotten that observance of caste is not enough. Many Musalmans and many Christians observe caste, if not in the matter of inter-dining certainly in the matter of inter-marriage.

But they cannot be called Hindus on that account. Both elements must be present. He must be a Hindu and he must also observe caste. This brings us back to the old question: who is a Hindu? It leaves us where we are. Is it not a question for every Hindu to consider why, in the matter of his own religion, his position is so embarrassing and so puzzling?

Why is he not able to answer so simple a question which every Parsi, every Christian and every Muslim can answer? Is it not time that he should ask himself what are the causes that has brought about this religious chaos? The title: For most of the riddles in the Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches BAWS edition, the editors begin with a note about where and in what state the riddle was found. Riddles 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 do not however carry an explanatory note from the BAWS editors.

The word "Hindu", derived thus, did not indicate a religious group but was used as a geographical demarcator for the inhabitants of the land near and east of the Indus. Later, the word may have been adopted by those inhabitants to distinguish themselves from the Muslims who came to initially rule the northern parts of India. The ancient texts that the so-called Hindus today claim their roots from — the Vedas, Ramayana , Mahabharata , Bhagavad Gita , Upanishads — do not ever use the terms Hindu or Hinduism.

Kalidasa circa fifth century CE or the absolute-monist Sankara ninth century or the qualified non-dualist Ramanuja twelfth century , simply no one — fictional characters, poets or philosophers — could have understood anything by the term Hindu. Yet, while expounding upon them it is customary today to prefix the word Hindu to their works. Recent research argues that the term came into vogue with Orientalist and colonial scholarship. For an overview of the debates around "Hindu" and "Hinduism" and a nuanced counter-argument see D.

Lorenzen , 7— Ambedkar, for his times, was far-sighted in seriously interrogating a term around which Indian nationalism and anticolonialism came to be constructed. Thanks to colonial taxonomy, the notion of the "Hindu" became fixed: suddenly it came to stand for all those Indians who were not Muslim or British by birth.

See Note 7 there. Besides Christians, Hindus, Parsis and Muslims throng it. Muslim "deities" have been incorporated into the pantheons of many rural Hindu and subordinated castes. Over time, there was a dilution of Islamic elements and the inclusion of local Hindu deities and deified dead Hiltebeitel , —6. One of the most important shuddhi campaigns, according to Christophe Jaffrelot, was of the Muslims Rajputs from the Malkana caste, which may explain their reluctance to identify as Muslim, despite the social fluidity Jaffrelot , —1.

While the jati has Shudra origins, claims have been made to Kshatriya status and the hyphenated Maratha-Kunbi identity since the colonial period. The seventeenth-century Marathi saint-poet Tukaram identified himself as a Kunbi. See Lokhandwalla , — On the role of the Census and other colonialist methods that sought to freeze fluid, evolving communities into fixed lists, see Dirks For instance, though there are several Christian denominations, there are some core beliefs accepted as common such as the trinity, the divinity of Christ and his bodily resurrection that are foundational to all.

A person who rejects any of these beliefs cannot be called a Christian. In Islam, there are seven articles of faith such as belief in Allah and Judgment Day that every Muslim believes in. It is traditionally believed that the girls are "serving" the society and have been ordained to do so. For her services to the temple, the Devadasi enjoyed grants made either to her personally or to the temple Nair , Communities like the Basavi, Matangi and Jogini connote similar practices in other regions.

Devadasis are usually from Dalit and other oppressed castes, and the custom continues to this day, according to the National Human Rights Commission. See Kannabiran for a discussion on women, religion and the state in colonial and post-colonial India. I am not going to tell you that.

There are hundreds of ways of doing it. But I insist that you give up this degraded life. You marry and settle down to normal domestic life as women of other classes do and do not live under conditions which inevitably drag you into prostitution. The annotations The title: For most of the riddles in the Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches BAWS edition, the editors begin with a note about where and in what state the riddle was found.


Pragmatist riddles in Ambedkar’s ‘Riddles in Hinduism’

There is no reason either to call them sacred or infallible … The time has come when the Hindu mind must be freed from the hold which the silly ideas propagated by the Brahmans have on them. Hinduism claims one billion adherents worldwide. To all those who hold this religion dear, B. Ambedkar poses many riddles: Is it even a religion? Who is a Hindu?


The Riddle Of Riddles In Hinduism

India is a congeries of communities. There are in it Parsis, Christians, Mohammedans and Hindus. The basis of these communities is not racial. It is of course religious. This is a superficial view.


Riddles in Hinduism

Riddles in Hinduism is one of his many works B. Ambedkar did not get to publish in his lifetime. As I began the process of selecting and annotating Riddles , the book itself posed a major riddle. While the first and second editions of an iconic work like Annihilation of Caste , that Ambedkar oversaw to the last detail could be traced, we had no choice but to base our edition of Riddles on the version that appears in Vol.

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