India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all – Will Durant, American Historian
‘Freedom from fear is the freedom, I claim for you my motherland!’ was the earnest zeal of Gurudev Rabindranath Thakur. This yearning for Bharat being a ‘Motherland’ is not a modern phenomenon but flowing down from the spirit of Vedas and Ramayan. Many foreign scholars like Will Durant also considered it as the cradle of civilisation. This is possible not just because it is one of the oldest living civilisations, but because it has provided with the life based on the principle of ‘spiritual democracy’ where everyone is allowed to find his or her own path to reach to the Supreme Divine. It is hailed as a motherland not just because it has allowed diversity of faiths to originate and flourish but also connecting the geographical and cultural diversities in an integral whole. This is the land where all aggressions ended in assimilation. But most importantly, the ethos of this nation can be considered as the Motherland because of the children who tried to serve this society and people with the spirit of being a family based on human interests rather than parochial ones. And feather in the cap in this tradition of devout children is Dr Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar.
It is unfortunate that the people who thrive on a foreign, divisive and violent ideology, conveniently trying to appropriate the legacy of Dr Ambedkar, forgetting the fact that it was Babasaheb who revived the reformist zeal of our ancient civilisation in the modern era, along with Dr Hedgewar. The people, who considered him as the most ‘outstanding bourgeois revolutionary democrat’ in his lifetime, are trying to convert him into another divisive figure for political ends. On the other hand, a more sinister attempt is being made by the people who were responsible for the Partition of this motherland, to forge an alliance with some Ambedkarite groups. While dealing with both these forces we have to remind them that though Babasheb criticised and denounced the rotten customs of Hinduism, when he had to find an alternative path, instead of going for foreign originated Semitic religions or divisive ideologies, he preferred the path of Buddha, simply because he was aware of the cultural spirit of his Motherland.
It was not a coincidence that along with justice, liberty and equality, fraternity was the most cardinal belief in Ambedkar’s constitutionalism. Unless there is this spirit of brotherhood, the desired results of Constitution can not be achieved was his firm conviction. While devising the instrument of reservation on the basis of caste also, his main goal was to avoid the feeling of alienation and separation on the basis of caste. To ascertain the social and economic democracy, he was well aware of the prerequisite, the core cultural principle of this land that is ‘Spiritual Democracy’, and therefore, the temple entry movement and the reformist path of Buddha was carried forward.
When heinous attempts are being made to combine Ambedkar with Marx or to limit his leadership to a caste group, there is a need to develop a spirit of consensual legacy. There is a need to implement the spirit of reservation more vigorously and genuinely, beyond short term political considerations, so that we can attain the social equality and fraternity expected by Babasaheb as early as possible. From Vedas to the Modern Constitutionalism propounded by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, is our collective legacy, it is the heritage of this Motherland. As children of this revered tradition, it is our duty not only to cherish but to nurture this legacy.