Chapter 19: Relish the Mystery in the Depths of Your Heart
After Gandhi had been fasting for twenty-one days, and his health had started to fall fast, the doctor said, “Do something; otherwise the old man will be gone.” Ambedkar was much pressurized by all the Indian national leaders who said to him, “Go to Mahatma Gandhi. Ask for his forgiveness, offer him a glass of orange juice to break his fast.and renounce your movement; otherwise you will be remembered always as the one who killed the greatest man of this country, the great religious man.” And Ambedkar had to do it, although unwillingly.
I would not have done it! I would have accepted the blame, I would have accepted history’s condemnation. Who cares when you are dead what is written in history about you? At least you don’t know what is written, and you don’t read. Let them write anything..
But I would have insisted that this was not a nonviolent method. It was absolutely violent but in a very subtle way. I threaten to kill you - this is violence. And I threaten to kill myself if you don’t accept me - is this logical? The standpoint that Gandhi was taking was absolutely illogical, but he supported it by threatening. It is blackmail to say, “I will kill myself.”
Ambedkar managed another way. He started converting the sudras to Buddhism. That’s why now there are a few lakhs of Buddhists, but they are not in any way religious. It was just a political maneuver.
This man in Raipur went to the girl’s house with a bed, and declared that if the girl was not married to him, he was going to fast to death. It became the talk of the whole city; photographers and journalists were there, and the whole day the crowd was there. The father became afraid, and pressure was put on him, “Why take the responsibility of his death?” But the father said, “This is absolutely ugly. This man is my age and he’s a criminal. I cannot give my daughter to him.”
I knew the father and the girl - the girl was my student in the college. The girl suggested to her father to consult me as to what could be done. I had not known him before. He came to me and he told the whole story. I said, “It is very simple. You just find some old, rotten prostitute.”
He said, “What?”
I said, “Just listen to the whole point: find a very rotten, old bitch, and put another bed in front of the house. The bitch should declare, ‘I’m going to fast to death unless this man marries me.’ Other than this nothing will work.”
That gangster man escaped in the middle of the night. He was never seen again, he never asked again! This is the Gandhian methodology, a very religious thing.
The Buddhists were burned, driven out of the country, and the whole country was absolutely cleaned of all the impact that Buddha had left. Even in the temple that had been raised in memory of his enlightenment in Bodhgaya, there was not even one Buddhist to take care of the temple. A brahmin has been taking care of it for two thousand years, the same family, generation after generation.