B. R. Ambedkar Quotes

Indian Politician



Hero-worship in the sense of expressing our unbound admiration is one thing. To obey the hero is a totally different kind of worship. There is nothing wrong in the former while the latter is no doubt a most pernicious thing. The former is man's respect for which is noble and of which the great men are only an embodiment. The latter is the serf's fealty to his lord. The former is consistent with respect, but the latter is a sign of debasement. The former does not take away one's intelligence to think and independence to act. The latter makes one perfect fool. The former involves no disaster to the state. The latter is a source of positive danger to it.

Hero-worship in the sense of expressing our unbound admiration is one thing. To obey the hero is a totally different kind of worship. There is nothing wrong in the former while the latter is no doubt a most pernicious thing. The former is man's respect for which is noble and of which the great men are only an embodiment. The latter is the serf's fealty to his lord. The former is consistent with respect, but the latter is a sign of debasement. The former does not take away one's intelligence to think and independence to act. The latter makes one perfect fool. The former involves no disaster to the state. The latter is a source of positive danger to it.

B. R. Ambedkar Indian Politician
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Law and religion are two forces which govern the conduct of men. At times they act as handmaids to each other. At other times they act as check and counter-check. Of the two forces, Law is personal while religion is impersonal. Law being personal it is capable of being unjust and iniquitous. But religion being impersonal, it can be impartial, it is capable of defeating the inequity committed by law. Religion is believed to ennoble man and not degrade him. Hinduism is an exception.

Law and religion are two forces which govern the conduct of men. At times they act as handmaids to each other. At other times they act as check and counter-check. Of the two forces, Law is personal while religion is impersonal. Law being personal it is capable of being unjust and iniquitous. But religion being impersonal, it can be impartial, it is capable of defeating the inequity committed by law. Religion is believed to ennoble man and not degrade him. Hinduism is an exception.

B. R. Ambedkar Indian Politician
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My religious conversion is not inspired by any material motive. This is hardly anything I cannot achieve even while remaining an Untouchable. There is no other feeling than that of a spiritual feeling underlying my religious conversion. Hinduism does not appeal to my conscience. My self-respect cannot assimilate Hinduism. In your case change of religion is imperative for worldly as well as spiritual ends. Do not care for the opinion of those who foolishly ridicule the idea of conversion for material ends. Why should you live under the fold of that religion which has deprived you of honor, money, food and shelter?

My religious conversion is not inspired by any material motive. This is hardly anything I cannot achieve even while remaining an Untouchable. There is no other feeling than that of a spiritual feeling underlying my religious conversion. Hinduism does not appeal to my conscience. My self-respect cannot assimilate Hinduism. In your case change of religion is imperative for worldly as well as spiritual ends. Do not care for the opinion of those who foolishly ridicule the idea of conversion for material ends. Why should you live under the fold of that religion which has deprived you of honor, money, food and shelter?

B. R. Ambedkar Indian Politician
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The second thing we are wanting in is the recognition of the principle of fraternity. What does fraternity mean? Fraternity means a sense of common brotherhood of all Indians, all Indians being one people. It is a principle that gives solidarity to social life. It is difficult thing to achieve. It seems to me that there lies a heavy duty to see that democracy does not vanish from the earth as a governing principle of human relationship. If we believe in it, we must both be true and loyal to it. We must not only be staunch in our faith in democracy but we must resolve to see that whatever we do, we do not help the enemies of democracy to uproot the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. It follows that we must strive along with other democratic countries to maintain the basis of democratic civilization. If democracy lives we are sure to reap the benefit of it. If democracy dies it will be our doom. On that there can be no doubt.

The second thing we are wanting in is the recognition of the principle of fraternity. What does fraternity mean? Fraternity means a sense of common brotherhood of all Indians, all Indians being one people. It is a principle that gives solidarity to social life. It is difficult thing to achieve. It seems to me that there lies a heavy duty to see that democracy does not vanish from the earth as a governing principle of human relationship. If we believe in it, we must both be true and loyal to it. We must not only be staunch in our faith in democracy but we must resolve to see that whatever we do, we do not help the enemies of democracy to uproot the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. It follows that we must strive along with other democratic countries to maintain the basis of democratic civilization. If democracy lives we are sure to reap the benefit of it. If democracy dies it will be our doom. On that there can be no doubt.

B. R. Ambedkar Indian Politician
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We want our own people, people who will fight tooth and nail for our interest and secure privilege for the under-privileged; people who will undo the wrongs done to our people ;people who will voice our grievances fearlessly; people who can think, lead and act; people with principles and character. Such people should be sent to the legislatures. We must send such people to Legislatures who will be slaves to none but remain free to their conscience and get our grievances redressed.

We want our own people, people who will fight tooth and nail for our interest and secure privilege for the under-privileged; people who will undo the wrongs done to our people ;people who will voice our grievances fearlessly; people who can think, lead and act; people with principles and character. Such people should be sent to the legislatures. We must send such people to Legislatures who will be slaves to none but remain free to their conscience and get our grievances redressed.

B. R. Ambedkar Indian Politician
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Emerson has said that consistency is a virtue of an ass. No thinking human being can be tied down to a view once expressed in the name of consistency. More important than consistency is responsibility. A responsible person must learn to unlearn what he has learned. A responsible person must have the courage to rethink and change his thoughts. Of course there must be good and sufficient reason for unlearning what he has learned and for recasting his thoughts. There can be no finality in rethinking.

Emerson has said that consistency is a virtue of an ass. No thinking human being can be tied down to a view once expressed in the name of consistency. More important than consistency is responsibility. A responsible person must learn to unlearn what he has learned. A responsible person must have the courage to rethink and change his thoughts. Of course there must be good and sufficient reason for unlearning what he has learned and for recasting his thoughts. There can be no finality in rethinking.

B. R. Ambedkar Indian Politician
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Why does a human body become deceased? The reason is that as long as the human body is not free from suffering, mind cannot be happy. If a man lacks enthusiasm, either his body or mind is in a deceased condition.... Now what saps the enthusiasm in man? If there is no enthusiasm, life becomes drudgery - a mere burden to be dragged. Nothing can be achieved if there is no enthusiasm. The main reason for this lack of enthusiasm on the part of a man is that an individual looses the hope of getting an opportunity to elevate himself. Hopelessness leads to lack of enthusiasm. The mind in such cases becomes deceased.... When is enthusiasm created? When one breaths an atmosphere where one is sure of getting the legitimate reward for one's labor, only then one feels enriched by enthusiasm and inspiration.

Why does a human body become deceased? The reason is that as long as the human body is not free from suffering, mind cannot be happy. If a man lacks enthusiasm, either his body or mind is in a deceased condition.... Now what saps the enthusiasm in man? If there is no enthusiasm, life becomes drudgery - a mere burden to be dragged. Nothing can be achieved if there is no enthusiasm. The main reason for this lack of enthusiasm on the part of a man is that an individual looses the hope of getting an opportunity to elevate himself. Hopelessness leads to lack of enthusiasm. The mind in such cases becomes deceased.... When is enthusiasm created? When one breaths an atmosphere where one is sure of getting the legitimate reward for one's labor, only then one feels enriched by enthusiasm and inspiration.

B. R. Ambedkar Indian Politician
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Given the time and circumstances, nothing under the sun shall stop this country from becoming a super power.Being grateful has limitations, no man can be grateful at the cost of his dignity, no woman at the cost of her chastity and no country at the cost of its freedom.I hope that Mr. Gandhi will not drive me to the necessity of making a choice between his life and rights of my people, for I shall never consent to deliver my people bound hand and foot to the orthodox for generations to come.

Given the time and circumstances, nothing under the sun shall stop this country from becoming a super power.Being grateful has limitations, no man can be grateful at the cost of his dignity, no woman at the cost of her chastity and no country at the cost of its freedom.I hope that Mr. Gandhi will not drive me to the necessity of making a choice between his life and rights of my people, for I shall never consent to deliver my people bound hand and foot to the orthodox for generations to come.

B. R. Ambedkar Indian Politician
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