Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, otherwise known as the Father of the Indian constitution wrote & published the 𝘈𝘯𝘯𝘪𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦 in 1936. Champion of & a vociferous advocate of Human rights in general. In particular, he contributed a lot to the upliftment of backward class-castes in India. Namely, the Dalit/Adivasi/minorities & women populace of the country. A people’s representative. Also, one of the most well-read & intelligent minds across the globe.
In Book Review, Riddles in Hinduism by Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar we will review it from the Bahujan perspective. The author has some purpose behind writing any book, there are some goals, the author wants to put his words in front of the public or his readers and the books are a very good way to express their views, but nowadays apart from books also, there are many several mediums to communicate with a larger audience. However, books are immortal. It is difficult to eliminate them.
Babasaheb Ambedkar also wrote this book for the same purpose. But his purpose was much broader. His aim was not only to reach his words to a few readers, not he wanted to make his name one of the best writers as well. His priority was to make about 80 percent of the people of this country realize their conditions of slavery. That slavery is probably the ancient and most dangerous slavery in the world. Which, the contemporary Bahujan author Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd, through his various writings, also gives the name of spiritual slavery. However, Babasaheb Ambedkar has not used the word spiritual slavery anywhere in his book. But I firmly believe that a large part of Babasaheb’s struggle was the struggle from this spiritual slavery towards freedom of the oppressed.
History of conflict & dissent
Before we get to Book Review Riddles in Hinduism, we should definitely take a look at the politics around this book. This will make it easier for all of us to understand the essential core of the book.
This book is one of those books on which Babasaheb Ambedkar worked during his last days. One of the many concerns of Babasaheb during his last days was that no one would be able to complete his incomplete works after his departure. And the concern came true. After his Mahaparinirvaan, many of his works remained incomplete. In this book, too many riddles remain incomplete.
After the Mahaparinirvaan of Babasaheb Ambedkar, many of his books could not be published due to the order of the court. Later on, after a long wait, the Education Department of Maharashtra took up the task of getting Babasaheb’s works published in English in 1987. But the subject matter of this book was not liked by the Brahmanical people/forces of India. It was quite natural to get such a sharp reaction from such sections. A Mahar had done the post-mortem of his religion in such a way that the Brahmins didn’t expect to be the case in the first place. Due to this, lakhs of people came out on the streets in protest against this book and some political parties also wanted to bake their bread on this fire of utter hate.
However, Ambedkarites of Maharashtra also responded with full force and declared that removing even “a single comma” from Babasaheb’s compositions is not acceptable to Ambedkarites. And lakhs of Bhima soldiers came out on the streets to show their dissent. They also warned that if our integrity & dignity is not respected, then we will protest again with 10 lakh Bhim soldiers. The people associated with RPI and Samta Sainik Dal played a major role in this entire movement.
In Riddles in Hinduism, Babasaheb Ambedkar tried to find answers to such questions related to Brahmanism, whose answers have not been given by Brahmin authors. Due to which no average Hindu individual is not able to reach answers to such ridiculed questions.
Some important questions like who is/are Hindu? Who wrote the Vedas? How did the Vedas originate? Why did the Upanishads, which are part of the Brahmanical scriptures, oppose the Vedas? What is the riddle of the mutual conflict between Tridev? What is the riddle of Vedanta? What is the riddle of Kaliyuga? Babasaheb tried to solve a total of 24 such puzzles/riddles in this book. This book also talks openly about the contradictions found in the religious texts of the Brahmin religion on different subject matters.
Some of the riddles in this book are also incomplete due to the unexpected death of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Nevertheless, after reading this book, your understanding will increase on how the Brahmin religion, which we know today as Hindu religion, misleads the people of this country. How the Brahmin religion, allegedly called Sanatan, worked against its own ancient principles, forgetting its own ancient gods and creating new false Gods. When needed, the Brahmin religionists declared those Vedas which they called eternal, as insignificant. Sometimes proved Upanishads and Smritis above them or in a bizarre hegemonic hierarchy. And sometimes gave birth to such gods who declare themselves above the Vedas too. Such was the manipulation brought forth in the writing of this work.
While reading the Riddles in Hinduism, you will also come across the politics between Shiva pant (Shivites) and Vaishnava pant(Vaishnavites). How from time to time brahmins made their trinity fight among themselves and did not leave even Brahma(the supreme) to be worshipped. Perhaps, this is the reason why the temples of Brahma are not found anywhere in India.
Every Indian must read this book. Not because this book has been written by the most revered Babasaheb Ambedkar. But because by reading this book, we were able to break our thousands of years old shackles of slavery, spiritual slavery, mental slavery of blind faith.
Book quality & availability
We are reading a book published by Samyak Prakashan. Which has been translated from English to Hindi by Dr Surendra Kumar Agyaat. The main reason for this is, when the government gets Babasaheb Ambedkar’s books translated, such words are selected so that the edge & direct message of Babasaheb’s arguments should be reduced. Sometimes the meaning of the word is misinterpreted and manipulated too. In such a situation, our priority is to trust a reliable publishing house. Samyak Prakashan has been publishing Ambedkarite literature for many decades.
Reviewed by Rajat Mourya and Translated & Edited by Shilpi Kishore.