Lahore : Evacuee Trust Property Board Chairman Sidiq-ul-Farooq has said that Dr Ambedkar was an economist, jurist, social reformist and a politician. He struggled for a classless society till his last breath.
He was addressing an international seminar on Ambedkar’s Mission of Annihilation of Caste and Present Situation has been organized by the Sir Ganga Ram Heritage Foundation (SGRHF) and Centre for South Asian Studies in collaboration with Department of Political Science at Al Razi Hall here on Thursday.
Indian human rights activists Ms. Manjula Pradeep, Ahmedabad, Dr. Pramod Kumar, Manisha Mashal and PU Dean Faculty of Arts and Humanities Prof Dr Iqbal Chawla, Director CSAS Prof Dr Umbreen Javaid, SGRHF Director Shaheen Hassan, faculty members and a large number of students were present on the occasion.
Highlighting provision of equal rights in Islam, He said that before the advent of Islam, women were buried alive however, our beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad SAW preached the message of equality and his life is an enlightened example of provision of equal rights to all.
He said that Hazrat Bilal (R.A), a negro, after he embraced Islam, was treated reverently by our four Caliphs. He said that in Islam all the people are treated equally. In his concluding remarks, he said that the Buddhist, who are considered the most peaceful community are butchering the Rohingyian Muslims brutally and in Iraq, Afghanistan and in Kashmir, people are ferociously being killed.
He appreciated the efforts of Sir Ganga Ram, who worked for humanity despite different religion. He said that country and religion are personal, but humanity is universal.
Ms. Manjula Pradeep said that caste system was a sensitive South Asian problem. She said it did not have any scientific basis and had destroyed the public sense of charity and freedom of speech.
She proclaimed that caste system had destroyed the democratic ideals of the state, space for dialogue and debate and prevailed the sense of hatred in the society. She said the roots of categorization on the basis of caste, class, gender, and colour were very firm.
She mentioned Baba Sahib quoting “caste system is not the division of the labour but the division of labourers”. She said Hindu society was structurally divided and fragmented as a purely Hinduist nation, it was no longer a secular state.
Dr. Pramod Kumar emphasized the phenomenon of marginalization of society on the basis of the caste system. He accentuated that it was the need of the hour to solidly raise the voice against it. He echoed the same fact that caste system killed public spirit of unity, charity and freedom of opinion.
He said it had become the ritualistic paradigm of structured Hindu society. “Ambedkar gave radical and futuristic ideas of liberty, fraternity and equality to make the society much better. The youth should take the duty to change the world radically following the ideas of Ambedkar,” he added.
Manisha Mashal, Kurukshetra, another human rights activist in India, said that Dalit condition in India is worse especially Dalit women were considered inferior and shoddier.
She said that Baba Sahib gave Dalits the rights of freedom of education and speech. “Regretfully, today in India, Dalits are the worst victims of violence. They have been beaten and flogged and the women are sexually molested with impunity.She said that we are all humans and it is our identity,” she said, adding we would have to fight for the rights of the Dalits altogether till the justice attained.
Prof. Dr. Iqbal Chawla said that there was no caste system in Hinduism in ancient times. The basis of superiority was by profession and then the four castes came into being. “Shudras were deemed inferior that are now Dalits.
We have to fight for our rights collectively,” he said Syed Shaheen Hassan in inaugural session warmly greeted all the guest speakers form India, and the participants. He also appreciated Prof. Dr. Umbreen Javaid for her efforts and continuous and encouraging support to organize a seminar on such an important topic.
He said that Annihilation of Caste is an undelivered speech written in 1936 by B. R. Ambedkar who fought against the country’s practice of untouchability and it was later self-published by the author.
He said that we still have not accomplished his mission for a stable, peaceful and prosperous nation. Later, souvenirs were distributed among speakers.