Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chasing Dreams: From Ambedkar to Mayawati and Luther King to Obama

Obama’s victory in the US Presidential elections has created a history in America. It was a dream envisioned by Martin Luther King when in April 1963, Obama would have been 2. Martin Luther King demanded rights and equality in the presence of two and a half lakh people. In his 16 minute long speech, Martin Luther King tried to erase the line of difference between the blacks and white and gave such a voice to world’s human rights struggle that the whole of America realized it. But this is just a dream, as the country that has raised its voice, has itself designed the world.
However, no one including Luther King ever envisaged that such a dream could be made possible in the mainstream one day. After 45 years of giving the Americans a dream, Obama is now ready to create a history. King’s contemporary, B.R. Ambedkar had a similar dream. Seven years before King’s historic speech in 1956, Ambedkar at Nagpur enlightened the masses about Dhammachakra. His goal was to make them ready for a struggle in pursuit of their dreams. A Hindu who proudly considered himself a part of this caste based divided society was questioned by Ambedkar. Not only was he challenging but also he made the then Dalit Samaj strong so that they can stand up for themselves and their self respect. He initiated something which has had effects on the political parties.

The awful struggle between blacks and whites around 1969 in America, around Luther King’s death completely changed the American society. But no one knew that Obama would bring Luther King’s dream to reality. This dream enabled America to register its victory over many decades. Keeping luxury in mind America has implemented the basic policies of food, water and shelter; no body thought so. Just like Bush, Republican McCain’s dream has been first Nation, a Nation with prosperity and peace. This quote however is being raised when America is on a verge of retardation. To raise up the falling markets, the Govt. is depending on people’s money. America’s measures against terrorism have ironically played with its own peace.

Similarly when Ambedkar had dreams of equality and rights and was giving out messages of Dhamma in Nagpur, Mayawati would have been 9 months old. Ambedkar throughout made the dalits realize that they should be in power some day some time. Ambedkar linked education and employment with the self respect of Dalits and inspired them to break the walls of caste and religion which was killing them. Ambedkar wanted dalits to be in the mainstream. He wanted to change the concept and parameters of equality as he could better relate to the agonies of dalits considering the fact that he himself was a dalit. That’s the reason why a clause on reservation was incorporated in the Constitution of India; so that a balance could be achieved between the two circumstances prevailing in the two existing societies.

Like Martin Luther King, Ambedkar never thought that his 20th century dream would ever come true in the 21st century. The base on which a Nation stood began to fall. It’s happened for the first time in American history that a President is starting his politics on an international platform. Till now the stature of the President was considered as the ultimate one. That’s why considering Obama, not only America but the whole world is creating a new dream for itself. Coincidentally, America is on the threshold where its own existence is in trouble. And the ideology which every American was proud of is disintegrating. America ruled the capitalist ideology. Hence, at this point and time, Obama has a larger responsibility than just fulfilling Luther King’s dream. Obama has to create something that no one has ever thought before. However, after 80 years in America’s history has this happened that candidates standing for posts of President and Vice-President are all new.

The world is waiting for something through Obama, however that script is more than just the black-white tension. After Ambedkar’s death there has always been a question that when and how will his dreams come into the mainstream of Indian politics? Through Ambedkar’s ideology and Kashiram’s collective thinking, Mayawati successfully brought the issue into mainstream but when that dream was considered, the politics shattered. When the dream was about to come into reality mode, it became a prerequisite to protect the integrity of Indian politics.

America for the first time in their history had a black President. Similarly, for the first time in India someone like Mayawati came into power and headed a party, being a dalit. Earlier in America, policies were implemented regarding the blacks. Every aspiring President used to bring in some ideas regarding equality in society and others. Politically, division of votes based on racist parameters is being considered as backward. Not only society, but Obama is also being considered as a liaison of Nation. Obama is considered someone who’ll take everyone along with him. Nobody ever thought of breaking into the Obama’s vote bank; not even the Republican candidate McCain. Similarly in India, no one thought of interfering with Mayawati’s politics after she entered politics, rather every political party supported her at every point. Congress- BJP-SP at some time or the other always looked up to Mayawati for help.

At the time when not only the centre but also the states are getting into coalition politics; getting power in UP is not Ambedkar’s dream but is breaking into people’s democracy and trust. Hence, in Indian politics a question regarding Mayawati is reiterated that if at all she comes into power in the centre, she’ll have a goal and a dream to follow; which is unlikely for any other politician. It’s the same as considering the fact that Bush and McCain have no dreams for America, but Obama definitely has. And may be in today’s world the time has come when the dying dreams need to be animated and enlivened.

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