MK Gandhi purportedly opposed candidature of Sardar Patel for Prime Ministership on two grounds howsoever flimsy, that Muslims (so dear to ‘Mahatma-Bapu’) were hostile to him and that he was incapable of dealing with international affairs, in spite of landslide support in favour of Sardar Patel from Pradesh Congress Committees. Let us now dive deep into history to ferret out real reasons for Gandhi not proposing Dr. Ambedkar for the position and vehemently supporting his dear protégé Jawaharlal Nehru.
Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was an erudite and gifted scholar of subjects as diverse as History, Theology, Economics, Politics, Sociology, Law, Education, Foreign Policy, even Islam, Communism and Hinduism. His erudition was so formidable that so-called stalwarts like Gandhi, Nehru were mortally afraid of being exposed to smithereens by him. While Gandhi was given to narcissism of pathological variety, Dr. Ambedkar’s entire life swung between two extremes of meritocracy and discriminative oppression blended with humiliation. By the dint of his supreme erudition, Dr. Ambedkar was a complete Army in himself before numerous Kaurava-s of Indian National Congress under the debilitating influence of MK Gandhi whose erudition if any, was so shallow that he was unable to respond to questioning even by the famous Hindi poet Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’ on the language issue, had to escape on the pretext of ‘lack of time for discussion’.
Gandhi and Dr. Ambedkar were almost always poles apart on various issues. If Gandhi was a dogged conservative, Ambedkar an enlightened liberal endowed with multiple horizons; if Gandhi had scores of cheer-leaders to chant ‘Bapu, Bapu’ either out of sheer ignorance or downright innocence, Dr. Ambedkar was a lone warrior roaring by the dint of irrefutable facts and sacrosanct principles; if MK Gandhi was a certain personality, it was Dr. BR Ambedkar who happened to be his anti-personality; if the liliputian in Gandhi disliked Sardar Patel, he feared Dr. Ambedkar; if Gandhi visualised himself as Dronacharya determined to assure victory for his ‘Duryodhana’ in Nehru, Ambedkar was the ‘Arjuna’ who could smash his dreams into smithereens; if Gandhi was a certain thesis of abject cowardice in the name of Ahimsa, Dr. Ambedkar was the revised edition of ‘Standard Operating Procedures’ to re-attain lost glory of Bharata; if Gandhi used the vice of ‘untouchability’ to further his dubious theological imagery, Dr. Ambedkar stood for a Hindu community on resurgence and renaissance; if Gandhi ensured weak and undernourished Hindu-s were savagely beaten with British-Indian lathis during Dandi March without receiving even a single blow on his bare back, Dr. Ambedkar stridently warned the nation against machinations of Congress and abject defeatist disposition prevalent in Hindu minds.
Gandhi could not hide his intellectual hollowness and shallowness from piercing eyes and razor-sharp intellect of Dr. Ambedkar. Quite interestingly, this fact too, was not hidden from Gandhi !! Yet quite brazenly, Gandhi and his Congress-minions incessantly struggled to hold the fort in the fond hope of Dr. Ambedkar collapsing by the weight of his own intellectual erudition. In every piece of discussion with Ambedkar, Gandhi always foolishly commented and remarked to demean an intellectual giant in Ambedkar who deftly used to reverse direction of his unguided missives to pierce him into self-humiliation. So-called ‘Bapu’ neither deserved the accolade of ‘Mahatma’ nor does he deserve his Rajghat even today. When Gandhi arrogantly expected of Ambedkar to have accepted his self-imposed greatness snatched away from those heroes of the War Of Freedom who actually deserved it, Ambedkar punctured his balloon of arrogance with a surgical finesse. Ambedkars rational deductions devoid of contempt or anger for Gandhi, showed him the place he deserved and to the world too.
When Gandhi unnecessarily adopted Khilafat Movement to push it forward much to the surprise of Muslim bigots, it was Ambedkar only who declared it a ‘pernicious political stunt’ with a potential to corrode the nation deeply. History proved him right when Hindu-genocide and brutal savagery with women were staged and history proves him right even today, every day. Ottoman Caliphate was demolished by Bharatiya soldiers only under British occupation though never acknowledged or admired even today by them. While Gandhi squarely blamed ‘volatile’ Moplah Hindu-s for the genocide and savagery, Ambedkar categorically identified it as an Islamic-Jehad and warned the nation about the impending crisis of pro-Islamic secularism. If Gandhi had been declared ‘worst enemy’ of Hindu-s based on his post Hindu-genocide statements like “I see nothing impossible in asking the Hindus to develop courage and strength to die before accepting forced conversion, I was delighted to be told that there were Hindus who did prefer the Moplah hatchet to forced conversion.”, it would have been a great service to the nation and Hindu-genocide during Partition-1947 could have been prevented.
Gandhis declaration on Ambedkar, “I repudiate his claim to represent them. I am the representative of the depressed classes. Get a mandate and I may not be elected but Ambedkar cannot be returned.” smacks of his arrogant pettiness and narcissism over a gentleman crusader.
Destiny has an inherent tendency to favour rascals while erudite, foresighted wise men have to invariably toil their way into oblivion, relegated into back pages of history. So was the instance of Ambedkar too. Gandhi was too conscious and obsessed with Ambedkars erudition, always contrived how to humiliate him in the game of one-upmanship before others. Everytime he interacted with Ambedkar, Gandhis stature was diminished by a few notches. Gandhi did not hesitate to reveal his Ambedkar-predilections even in response to innocuous questions lobbed at him by anyone without even invoking Ambedkars name. When Dalits once asked Gandhi, “To what extent can we consider you as our man” Gandhi responded brazenly “Since before Ambedkar was born, I have been your man.”
Ambedkar abhorred Gandhis patronising attitude towards Dalits, told him once bluntly he was least interested in Hindu-temples being thrown open for Dalit-entry, would not be angry even if Gandhi spat on his face and challenged him to destroy the caste system as outcastes are direct products of caste system alone. And ‘Mahatma’ was so vocal in supporting caste system after claiming to be an undisputed leader of Dalits, “Caste system has its limitations and its defects, but there is nothing sinful about it as there is about untouchability, and, if it is a by-product of the caste system it is only in the same sense that an ugly growth is of a body, or weeds of a crop. It is as wrong to destroy caste because of the outcastes as it would be to destroy a body because of an ugly growth in it, or a crop because of the weeds.” And probably to soothe frayed nerves, he submitted thus about Ambedkar, “His exterior is as clean as that of the cleanest and the proudest Brahmin.” Gandhi’s understanding of Varnashrama and principles of Manusmriti was entirely wrong and weird, “All occupations should be hereditary. Millions of people are not going to become prime ministers and viceroys.” According to Gandhian doctrine, family of a scavenger must continue in the occupation of scavenging for generations! Gandhi would not have allowed Narendra Modi to become Chief Minister or Prime Minister of the country had he been alive today. Gandhi’s comments on Manusmriti unravelled the reality that he had read distorted and contaminated version of Manusmriti and not the original one and relied on that in entirety.
The genius in Dr. Ambedkar only knew too well that the ‘apostle’ of Ahimsa, casteism would soon be deified and sainthood conferred upon him by a Bhakti-crowd relegating egalitarianism into hibernation for long. To postpone that as much as possible if not outright prevention, Dr. Ambedkar had exercised himself and explained it in so many words, “I am not in the habit of entering into controversy with my opponents unless there are special reasons which compel me to act otherwise. Had my opponent been some mean and obscure person, I would not have pursued him. But my opponent being the Mahatma himself, I feel I must attempt to meet the case to the contrary which he has sought to put forth.” He authored ‘What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables’ with chapters like “Beware of Mr Gandhi”, “Gandhism: The Doom of the Untouchables” etc. In an interview to BBC, Dr. Ambedkar exposed deviousness of MK Gandhi ruthlessly, “I knew Gandhi better than most people because he opened his real fangs to me, and I could see the inside of the man. Gandhi was all the time double-dealing. He ran a paper in English and another in Gujarati, and if you read them both you will see how he was deceiving the people. In the English paper he posed himself as an opponent of the caste system and of untouchability and that he was a democrat, while in the Gujarati one he supported the caste system and professed all the orthodox dogmas that have kept India down all through the ages…Gandhi never wanted real upliftment of the Dalits. All he cared about were issues of absolutely no consequence to us like temple entry. Gandhi was never a reformer.” He further explained, “I am no worshipper of idols. I believe in breaking them. I insist that if I hate Mr Gandhi and Mr Jinnah—I dislike them, I do not hate them—it is because I love India more. That is the true faith of a nationalist. I have hopes that my countrymen will some day learn that the country is greater than the men, that the worship of Mr Gandhi or Mr Jinnah and service to India are two very different things and may even be contradictory of each other.” Whether Gandhi succeeded in influencing core-conscience of Bharata, is an issue for intense debate. However, Dr. Ambedkar appears to have succeeded in influencing awakened mind of Bharata with these exposes of Gandhi’s shenanigans.
With this kind of prolonged, subtle hostilities between MK Gandhi and Dr. Ambedkar, Gandhi proposing and supporting Dr. Ambedkars claim to Prime Ministership of Bharata instead of Nehru was more than an impossibility howsoever qualified and eligible Dr. Ambedkar happened to be on two purported counts of acceptability to Muslims and proficiency in international affairs. On the contrary, if and only if MK Gandhi had overcome his enormous ego, narcissism and predilections, delved into national interest alone, he would have certainly pressed for either Sardar Patel as the first or Dr. Ambedkar as second option as Prime Minister instead of Nehru. However he didn’t as probably the nation was destined to witness yet another variety of treachery through Nehru not yet undergone by innocents and ignoramuses of Bharata so far.
(Views expressed by the author are personal)