Pawar: Ambedkar had to take ‘bitter decision’ of leaving Hinduism

NCP Chairman Sharad Pawar said in Pune on Friday that Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar had to make a “bitter” decision to leave Hinduism in the 1930s because the social situation in the country was not acceptable to him.

The veteran politician was speaking at an event where a book on Ambedkar was released, written by lawyer Jaydev Gaekwad.

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Throughout his life, Pawar said, Ambedkar raised his voice against injustice and, among other things, sought equal rights for women. When he launched the “Satyagraha” to enter Dalits at the Kalaram temple in Nashik in 1930, Ambedkar asked the participants to write that they did not believe in Chaturvarnia (the ancient hierarchical organization of Hindu society) and would act. Towards eliminating untouchability, which is a stigma on the Hindu religion, according to the head of the National Congress Party.

But in the end, Ambedkar was forced to make the decision to abandon Hinduism altogether, he said.

“…There is only one pain. In the end, he had to make a decision, and it was a bitter decision. He had to leave the Hindu religion and embrace Buddhism. The reason was that everything that was happening in the country was not acceptable to him,” Pawar said.

He said that Ambedkar had a dialogue with Mahatma Gandhi when they entered into the “Puni Pact” on the political reservations of Dalits.
“On some points, he agreed (with Gandhi) but there were differences on some points. But after all these things, Babasaheb came to a single decision, and on October 13, 1935, he declared that though he was born a Hindu, he would not die a Hindu,” Pawar also said, adding that this culminated in Ambedkar’s formal conversion to Buddhism in 1956.

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