Saturday, 1 November 2008

RELIGIOUS REBELS IN PANJAB

The Ideology of a Political Religion
The following statement is from the detailed research thesis carried out by an American research scientist from Berkley, University of California, America, on the life of the Untouchables and a quest for equal rights under the British Rule in India. A memorandum was presented to the British establishment Sir Simon Commission by the movement leaders. A leader of 2 Million Untouchables, Mangoo Ram Maguhwal, started the movement known as Ad-dhran, on his return from America where he was a member of the Gadar Party

1st Indian edition 1988 “RELIGIOUS REBELS IN PANJAB” By Mark Juergensmeyers "Religious as a Social vision the movement against Untouchabillity in the 20th century Panjab."
The author of these pages would like to thank Mr. Juergensmeyers for the use of his work.
Mangoo Ram address his masses
We are original people of country, and our religion is Ad Dharm. The Hinndu Qaum came from outside and enslaved us. When the original sound from the conch was sounded, all brothers came together- Chamars, Chuhra, Sainis, Bhanjre, Bhil, and all the Untouchables – to make their problems, known. Brothers there are seventy Million of us listed as Hindu’s, separate us, and make us free. We trusted the Hindu’s but they turned out to be traitors. Brothers the time has come: wake the government is listening to our crises. Centuries have passed,, but we were asleep, brothers. Look at the lines that Manu has written they lived Shepard’s and hunters and had to no sense of communal identities (Qaum)

People of the world considered our land as the crown of success, and paid tribute to our achievements and us. They respected and bowed down to our Kings. There was no enemy, no foe, no fear of foreign invaders, and no signs of internal dissension-------during this time of our great achievement. But when the Aryans came and destroyed it all scattering and subjugating the original people.

There were many wars – six Hundred years of fighting – and then the Aryans defeated our ancestors the local inhabitants. Our forefathers, the inhabitants of our glorious motherland, were pushed back in to the Jungle and into the mountains. Some of them stayed and asked for mercy; they were enslaved.

In the beginning when nature created the human beings, there was no discrimination. There was no difference
And no quarrels especially; there were any such concepts as high as or low castes. God (Ishvar) was meditating; all was in harmony. Everyone believed in one Dharm (Religious Truth) which nature had given him or her through intellect and knowledge; this Dharm was Ad Dharm. Nature gave birth to these original people in the valleys of the original mountains – the Himalayas.

Later on the Adi (the original people) spread out. Some migrated to mountains, others to Plaines. As their numbers increased, so did the search for better places. Some lived in the caves, the mountains and the Plaines central Asia and the Caucasian mountains. Some groups settled in Europe. Some groups came back to the original land, after some time and known as Aryans. There was another group, which didn’t go to the Caucasian mountains or central Asia, but settled in the plains near the original mountains, in the original land, these people are the original people.

Dalitts under the British Rule in India

In many ways the enlightened British ideals for India was more appealing to theAd Dharm than Gandhi and company.

Hope from God and help from the King
A request to the British Establishment By Ad Dharm Leader Mr Mangoo Ram Mughowal Distt Hoshiarpur Panjab India
India should not be given independence until the Untouchables are freed and equal other wise it would be a disgrace to the British Rule.

I beg your Excellency to consider about the Untouchables pitiable conditions and allow them to settle in some uncultivated piece of Land, which they will cultivate and thus relieve them from severe clutches of the cruel. They will be most thankful to your Excellency and pray for the prosperity of the benign Governor through out the lives. God has certainly helped the Ad Dharmmis for when we were at the lowest pit of degration, God sent to us Lord Mont more the Governor of Panjab so kind and loving ruler, all the right s and
Hope we are being given is due to this angel of mercy of the Pannjab, we pray earnestly for his long life.

Religious as a social vision: The movement against untouhability in 20th Century of Punjab
The following memorandum was delivered to the Governor of Punjab, Sir Simon Commission

REPORT-------AD DHARM MANDAL, JULLUNDUR, PB
The proceedings, principals, and over –all activities, from January- 1926-30th April1926

Published 15th May, 1931 by Kishan Steam Press, Railway Rd

PREFACE
In Bharat (India) one quarter of the population is Achut (Untouchables), who have been enslaved by the high caste Hindus for the last 5,000 years. These poor people been dethroned from their political and religious status to such an extent that their souls have been crushed --- crushed so hard that they have lost their hasti, Identity,, or selfhood. If you reflect upon these people and their conditions, you will realize everyone knows about it, even little children, all over the world. The shed light on their beginning is like re-chewing old food. The historians have written tones of book about them, enough books to fill London. We are not concerned about the historical origins of the Achuts, we should put the Achuts on the path of progress rather then telling them their past and inflame the Achut into a Jihad (Holy war) against any Qaum, (Community). That would be twice as bad as Untouchability. That is why we do not join those organizations, which wants to do away with Achut and the whole system of the lower castes; these movements would mislead the Achut into obliteration.

The fact of the matter is that before the British all other groups ruling Hindustan (India) mistreated the Achut. The present plight and population of the Achut are due to these invaders treatment of the Achut. The Achut are the descendants of the original people: they are the original children of Dharm-Khand (Paradise) and the mother land and were living a peaceful and spiritual life in their own land, when they were attacked and slaughtered with a double edge sword by the bloodthirsty invaders. However as kabir has said whoever cuts someone else’s throat, will some day have his own throat cut

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Today having been slaughtered with nature’s double –edged sword, the slayers are now lying along with their victims; because now they are under the of a government which has taken practical steps to crush the old order. But it is so well entrenched that no power in the world can shake it. As Guru Nanak ji said, he does whatever is done,, there in the hands of us human beings.

Anyone with an inclination to oppress the Achutt has gotten, is getting, and will get his punishment from Qidrat kamila(Nature Perfect) It is our belief that all creatures are created by parm-atma ( The Universal) Soul ), and if the strong oppress the weak. Then let the task of punishment in the hands of Ishvar(God) and we should go about our work. Unfortunately the proud people of the high castes are miles away from these ideals.

For this reason there have not been any significant achievements by the organization, which claimed to assist the Achut. The problems of the Achut cannot be understood by the high caste Hindu’s so the Achut lies in the same miserable conditions as before.
Facts do not:
Antaj Udhar
Patat Udhar
Achut Udhar
Dayanand Dalat Udhars

These organizations run by high caste Hind’s. They collect the money like beggars but then spend it for themselves. They do not spend money ffor the Achut. 99% of the Achut people do not even know the names of these organizations. But if you read their reports, they give exaggerated claimed of their achievements. The truth is that these organizations are compassed of selfish people.

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The Achut have three powers.
Qaumiat (nation hood, or communal pride)
Mazhab (religion)
Majlis (organization)

These powers are what every body wants. Whenever they can these generous reform groups try to destroy these powers so that the Achut will be absorbed into them. The Ad Dharm Mandal, which was founded in 119225 as a collective organization from all Achut in the Panjab has been actively opposing all these selfish organizations. This Mandal is the protector and defender of these three powers. It has a concrete program. These high caste Achut organizations that simply shed crocodile tears over the Achut, have tried to destroy the ad dharma Mandal. They have seduced and bribed some of our prcharaks. But the Ad Dharam Mandal’s for roots go too deeply: this cannot shake us.

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Example, a deputation was sent in 1928 to Simon, Royal commission. Another deputation was sent to His Excellency, Sir Geoffrey Fitzroy de Montmorency, KCIE, KCVOC, BEMA, ICS, Governor of Panjab, Lahor, in Jullunder, 12th October 1929. This day may be marked as the birthday of Achut; for we were recognized as human. We received rights we never had before: we got 8~ quota for legislative seats from the legislative assembly of India, and from many provincial assemblies. The local government also has recommended lO7~. The round table con­ference also mentions the need for the rights of the Achfit. The Education Department has also provided many facilities and has been very helpful.

All these items are facts, not exaggerated claims on paper. These are resolutions, which have been passed, and regulations, which have been put into effect. The day is not far away when the British government will, implement these plans.

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In addition to the political aspect of Ad Dharm Mandal, Jullundur, which has been very successful, there is even a greater emphasis on social reform. The religious and organizational status of the Achut has been raised due to our efforts. For example, we are getting education for Achut children. As one wise man of the Punjab put it, “Ad Dharm has performed miracles beyond imagination.” To us, no talk is worthwhile without action. We are not interested in simply collecting money, the way the others are doing. They collect money for their own luxuries, for their own names. Our principle is solely humanitarian. As someone has said, “it is only the struggle for humanity’s improvement, which is worth the pain of having been cre­ated.” And as Sri Guru Ravi Däas-Ji has said, in one of his kathans “for the spirit of sympathy, the whole body is created.”

In short, the founding of the Ad Dharm Mandal is for humanitarian purposes, and to fill our duty to humanity. We carry the banner of the downtrodden people; and we devote out entire lives to the cause, so that future generations may follow in our footsteps, and follow the cause, a cause that has long been neglected. We have neglected this report for the sole reason of explaining our purposes. So if people ask, “who are these people? Where did they ca from? What are they doing?” they will be able to know. As someone has said, “those who are truthful do not shout about it; the. Truth alone is witness to their achievements •“

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SECTION 1. The Rise and Fall Of the Ad Dharm.

Nature (Qodrat Kamila) created human beings from Adi (the original source] at the time that it reated all beings in the earth. The knowledge of karm-dharum(moral behavior] was also given to them at that time by nature. Nature made humans superior to animals. But among humans, all were equal.

In the beginning when nature created the human beings, there was no discrimination. There was no difference
And no quarrels. Especially, there were no such concepts as high as or low castes. God (Ishvar) was meditating; all was in harmony. Everyone believed in one Dharm (Religious Truth) which nature had given him or her through intellect and knowledge; this Dharm was Ad Dharm. Nature gave birth to these original people in the valleys of the original mountain’s – the Himalayas.

Later on the Adi (the original people) spread out. Some migrated to mountains, others to Plaines. As their numbers increased, so did the search for better places. Some lived in the caves, the mountains and the Plaines central Asia and the Caucasian mountains. Some groups settled in Europe. Some groups came back to the original land, after some time and known as Aryans. There was another group, which didn’t go to the Caucasian mountains or central Asia, but settled in the plains near the original mountains, in the original land, these people are the original people.

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Before the Aryans, our forefathers had great success in such fields as industry, arts, and science, liberal. Arts physical and spiri­tual arts In brief they were the most civilized people, when other peoples in the world at that time knew nothing of civilization or of science. Our people excelled in knowledge but in those places where the rivers of knowledge are flowing today, those people were primitive. The other people lived in trees, cave, ate bark and leaves and had no spiritual life. They lived as shepherds and hunters, and had no sense of qaum (nationhood]. This was their condition when the original land--Hindustan...was at the peak of civilization. Peoples of the world considered our land as the crown of success, and paid tribute to our achievements and us. They res­pected and bowed down to our kings. There was no enemy, no foe, no fear of foreign invaders and no signs of internal dissention. As great Kabir has said, in one of his kathano (sayings]: “First, God created his light, and from that, every human being was created.”

During this time of our great achievement, the Aryans heard about the original land’s civilization, and they came there. They learned the art of fighting from the local inhabitants; and then turned against them. There were many wars. 600 years of fighting. And then the Aryans finally defeated our ancestors, the local inhabi­tants. Our forefathers, the inhabitants of our glorious motherland, were pushed back into the jungle, and into mountains. Some of them stayed, and asked for mercy; they were enslaved. We do not regret that our forefathers were defeated, for in the future, this country was invaded many times, and the invaders were victorious.

Our forefathers were not only enslaved; they were mistreated. The victors acted like conquerors. The Aryan government practiced so much cruelty and injustice that the original people forgot their awn hasti (identity]. Whatever signs of their glory remained, was destroyed. The Aryans exaggerated their own achievements, and the achievements of the local inhabitants were tossed into the dust.

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In this period of time, Manü-ji was born. Manu made some regu­lations fatwah) and imposed them on the original people. For example, it was he who started the idea of discrimination, about how different people are to be treated differently. Aryans, to enslave the local people, adopted such principles of injustice as values. Books were written to teach humiliation, and taught in the schools as text­books. Every means for humiliation was used.

From that time onwards, hundreds of governments have come and gone, but the original people are still not free. From then on, Hindu Aryans still suppressed the original people. Not a single Hindu Aryan has shown the correct path of freedom to these suppressed and oppressed people. On the contrary, each generation was worse than the one before. The condition of the original people went from bad to worse. They followed the. Rules of Manu-bhagvan (God Mania].

Finally, Nature decided to change the conditions of these poor people. After the Hindu Aryan rule, which was tyrannical, unjust and discriminatory, the age of Islam came. They destroyed the unjust Aryan Hindu control, and ended Manu’s
a philosophy. They became Sympthizers. Rather then tyrants. They tried their best to get rid of discrimi­nation--this caste system. But unfortunately, Hinduism affected Islam and it too became the prey of discrimination.

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After the rise and fall of Islamic government, the flag of British rule began waving in this country. Why they took power, they tried to end the tyranny of injustice, and lay the foundations of peace. At about the same time, there was a Sikh government in the Punjab. But it did not last very long, because of their tyranny. The people would rather have the rule of the British than the Sikhs.

After the British government was established, the Hindu Aryans and the Sikhs did not change their attitudes. They continued to dis­criminate against people on the basis of so-called “high caste” and “low caste.” They continued to trap people in the case of discrimi­nation. At this time, Christianity came to India. Christianity tried to attract all Qaum, and especially the low castes, because the Achuts are an orphan-kind of people.

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Swami Dayanand saw the progress of Christianity and considered it a threat to Hinduism. He realized that Christianity was digging a hole in the foundation of Hinduism, which would destroy the whole buildings of Hinduism. The swami tried to think of a way to keep the Achut in Hinduism. The swami had to face much resentment but other by other upper caste Hindu’s in trying to do this, and they did not succeed in his purpose. Swami was intelligent, far –sighted and a true patriot of the Hindu mat (religion). He realized that there was not a Hindu government, which could keep the Achut under Hindu power. So he founded an organization called Arya Smaj; its sole purpose was to bring all of the Hindu organization together, so that the Achut would not leave their faith. They used many false fronts to keep the foundation of the Hindu caste system together.

Many other organizations were established. Preaching was done; Societies were formed and the whole movement of shuddhi (recon version) was started. They tried everything to obliterate the Achut. They seduced thousands of Achuts in the net of Shuddhi. They made allsorts of hypocritical arguments – which Achut was over; there was no discrimination. The poor Achut was trapped again by the Hindu Aryan, just like falling into the clutches of elephants’ teeth. In fact the Hindu Aryans were still followers of Manu, full of discrimination. The Achut realized these Hindu Aryans trapped them.
So they wanted organization of their own. The Achut themselves started taking interest in their own welfare; they did not trust the high the high caste Hindu. Organizations were made; societies were formed. They chose their own Gurus.

So in the beginning of 1925, a society was formed with the name, Ad Dharm: Rishi Balmik, Ravi Dass, Maharaj Kabir , Bhagwan Sat Guru Nam Dev were named as leaders. The first meeting was held in the village of Mughowal , Thana Mahalpur , Tehsil Gahrshankar , Hoshiarpur district , on 11-12 June, 1926, under the chairmanship of Sriman Babu Mangoo Ram. All section people of Punjab attended the meeting. All Achuts attended: Chuhrae, Chamar , Ravidasia , Sansi , Bhanjre , Ghadhilia , Burr , Julahae , Megh , Chambar , Kabirpanthi , Mahashae , Dom , Jatiyae. Also, other respectable people in ddition to Achut , from other quam: Christians , Sikhs , Muslims , Arya Samaj , Sanatani’s. With all groups present, it was a great success.

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Representatives of the Achut presented their positions eloquently and loudly. They exposed and told about all the hypocritical religions [mazhab]. The representatives of societies of the other religions criticized strongly the Ad Dharmis. After a lot of debate and argument, as inspired by the teachings of Rishi Balmik, Ravi Dass, Kabir, and Nam Dev, it was decided that the Achut should be called “Ad Dharm”

The society took the name “Ad Dharm” from this day. Everyone praised the decision; they shook the heavens with cheers. It seemed as if an old tree had come alive, or as if an old flower had burst into bloom. From this day, a completely downtrodden quam began calling itself Ad Dharm.

One hundred distinguished committee members were appointed, and JulIundur was chosen as the headquarters. The full name: “Ad [harm Mandal of Punjab, Jullundur City.”

The Resolutions gassed at Mughowäl:

I. a . We declare to the government and all the Achat brother­hood, that the Ad Dharm Mandal. is formed.
b. Our greeting: “Jai Guru Dcv”
c. Our faith (Itqad) is according to the sayings of Sri Guru Ad Prakigh Asankh Deep Granth.
d. Our sacred word is “Soham .“

2. The founders of our religion are Rishi VaImik, Guru Ravidas Maharaj kabir, and Bhagwan Sat Guru Nam Dev. And the Naam of the Granth (scriptures] of the founder has been established as Ad Prakaah.

3. This conference represents all districts of? Punjab, and it appeals to all Achüt in Punjab to call themselves only Ad Dharmis.

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4. All, the Achut brotherhood should forget about caste and quarrels, and get along together. They should not fight with each other. Rather, all. Achut should start eating together, and have social relations with each other. They should practice kan-pan together (eating/drinking together).

5 • If some other qaum attacks an Ad Dharmi, the Ad Dharmis should defend each other.

6. All. Ad Dharmis should follow the Rishimanis, the Gurus, the Bhagats, the Mahatma all the great religious leaders. True worshipers of these saints will not believe in idol worship, the caste-system, or superior and inferior practi­ces.

7. All girls and boys of the Achut brotherhood should have com­pulsory primary education.

8. The Granths and Sashtra, which show Achut as slaves should be boycotted. To follow such books is a mortal sin.

9. It is legal to eat with Ad Dharmis. Others should eat from Ad Dharmis’ hands. And Ad Dharmis should be willing to eat with those who are also willing.

10. The Minister of Education, Panjab Government, Lahore, should give special scholarships and education for Achut children. We cannot bear the expenses of our children due to our poverty.

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Our children should be taken care of by the Government since private schools do not help us, or encourage the admission of our children. We should get grants that others get. And special schools ‘should be set up for Achut.

12. We are agriculturalists. We know our work well; but we are not paid enough in agriculture. Rural wages. We cannot take care of our families properly. Vacant lands should be given to the Achut qaum.

13. Agriculturalists from the Achut class should be treated equally by the Government to other qauui, especially in Lyallpur,Shekhupura, Sargoda, Montgomery, and Multon. En these districts, there should be more land for Ach6t, more employment.

14. Achut should be able to own the houses where they live, the term rayatnämma and similar terms, should be eliminated. (Rayat Namma) was the term used for servant/ Master, similar to Jajman / Kamin). Achut should not be included in the land transfer Act.
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15. We are not Hindus. We strongly request the government not to list us as such. Our faith is not Hindu, but Ad Dharm. We are not a part of Hinduism, and Hindus are not a part of us.

16. Ad Dharm should be listed separately in the census, and in other ways be given rights equal to Hindu.

17. We want proper representation on municipal councils, dis­trict councils, Legislative Assembly, police and military, and in every other department. We should get separate representation for officers as well.

18. India should not be given swaraj until the Achut are free and equal. Otherwise, it would be a disgrace to the British rule.

19 • The Dayanand Dalat Udhãr Mandal, Hoshiirpur; Patat Udhar Mandal, Antaj Udhir Mandal, Achut Udhär Mandal, Lahore Achut-­they do not represent Achut. They are simply used by upper castes for their own power. 997~ of the Achut have never heard. Of these organizations. They have been formed by the upper castes for their own interests, and the government should be aware of it. The government should not consider these people g~ our representatives.

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20. Red color i~ the symbol of the Ad Dharm. It Ls the color of the original inhabitants; the Aryans took it and pro­hibited Achut from wearing it. We request the government to allow us to wear red colors; we are going to have it; for this is our rightful color.

21. Those sastras, like Manusamiti, which treat Achut as slaves, should be banned and removed. These books have been obsta­cles in our progress.

22. The city of Jullundur has been chosen as the headquarters, and the government is notified to send any announcements, important documents and correspondence for us to the Ad Dharm Handel, Jullundur City.

23. This conference assures the government that we Achut are the well-wishers and true patriots of the English govern­ment. We have been, we are, and we will in the future, remain loyal well-wishers of the government.

24. All Ad Dbarmis should act on these principles and it is their duty to ask their Ad Dharmi brothers to also follow them.

25. The government of Punjab should issue strict warnings to all the branches of government that no one has the right to use Achut people without any wage., or to utilize their services without money payment.

(End of the 25 resolutions passed at the first Ad Dharmi conference, held in Jullundur, 1926.)

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After this conference, many conferences were held. Memorable especially were those at Adatnpur, Jullundur district. They also passed similar resolutions. In November 1926, the Ad Dharm Mandel, Punjab, opened an office in the city of Jullundur, where all the con­ferences of all the districts of Punjab were called, and similar reso­lutions were passed, unanimously. Also, the conferences made sugges­tions for running the Mandal permanently. A newspaper was initiated:
it was called “Adi Denka.” This is the official newspaper of Ad Dharm

To get financial aid, we appealed to all, the organizations and societies in India; but unfortunately, with the exception of the

Jat Path Thorak Mandal,
Lahore, no other organization encouraged us or helped us. We are very grateful to the JPTM for their encourage­ment. But our workers and administrators did not consider it fair to get their money, because we wanted to stand on our own feet.

Five hundred members were appointed as the administrative com­mittee for all the provinces of Punjab, and the names of these members are as follows:

(On pages 16-30 of the Report, each of the 500 hundred names are listed, by village and district. For the sake of brevity, these names are not listed here. The numbers of names, by district, are as follows:]

Hoshiärpur. • . .176 Siälkot. . . . 1
Jul lundur• . .120 Lähore • . 2
LyalLpur. • . • 90 Kangça • . • . 42
Sheikapurä. • .. 1.2 Patiila., State. 1
Ferozepur• . . 1.3 Bikaneer State 2
Ludhiinä. • . • 14 Kapflrthall State 15
Sargoda• . . 15 Bahawalpur State 2
Montgomery. • •. 18 Kapoorthala State . 4
Gurdäspur• • . 14 Melerkotla State 2
MultIn. • . . 10 AmbaIa . 2
Hissär. . • . B 5 Dalhousie. 3
ICarnil. •• . . I Gujrat • . . . 3
Guj ranwäla • . . 2

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En addition to the Punjab, there are members in:
Meerut
Delhi
Saharanpur
Dehra Dun
Kanpur
Lucknow
Allahabad
Benares
Calcutta

Also, members from foreign countries:

Malaya
Burma
Manilla
Philippines
Fiji
Africa
New Zealand
Canada
America
Russia etc.
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We are the original people of this country, and our Mazhab [religion] is Ad Dharm. The Hindu qaum came from outside and enslaved us. When the näd [the original sound from the conch I was sounded, all the brothers came together--Chamar, chuhrae, sainsi, Bhanjre, Bhil, all the Achüt~--to make their problems known. Brothers, there are seven crores, 70 Millions of us who are listed as Hindus--separate us, and make us free. We trusted the Hindus, but they turned out to be traitors, brothers. The time has come, wake up; the government is listening to our cries, brothers. Centuries have passed, but we were asleep, brothers. Look at the lines that Manü has written, but he is a murderer. There. Was a time when we ruled India, and we are the children of kings, brothers. We are the real people of India, brothers, and the land used to be ours. The Hindus came from Iran, and destroyed our qauin. They became the owners, and then called us for­eigners, disinheriting seven crores, 70 Millions of people. They turned us into khäna (nomads) they destroyed our history, brothers. The Hindus rewrote our history, brothers. There is hope from God (bhagwan] and help from the king [Badshah]. Send members to the councils and start the qaum anew, brothers. Come together to form a better life.15

Other Ad Dharm versions of the myth of origin emphasize the in­herent Superiority of the Achut qaum over the upper caste qaum. In the beginning, there was a paradise somewhere in North India, in which the original inhabitants [the “Adi”] lived in pleasant equality:
“In the beginning, when nature created human beings, there was no discrimination. There were no differences, and no quarrels. Especially, there were no such concepts as high or low caste. God (Ishwar] was meditating; all was in harmony.

According to the Ad Dharm cosmology, some of these original people (who were the ancestors of the present-day Achut) early mi­grated to Europe, where they became the Aryans, who later would in­vade India and become the higher castes. These Aryans were vastly ignorant and boorish folk: “These people were primitive. They lived in trees, cave, ate bark arid leaves, and had no spiritual life. They lived as shepherds and hunters, and had no sense of qaum [nationhood]. 17

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Meanwhile, the present-day Achut were at the height of civiliza­tion, in the plains of Northern India:
“Peoples of the world considered our land as the crown of success, and paid tribute to us and our achievements. They respected and bowed down to our kings. There was no enemy, no foe, no fear of foreign invaders, and no signs of inter­nal dissention . . . during this time of our great achievement.”18

But then the Aryans came and destroyed the civilization, scat­tered and subjugated the original people:

There were many wars – six Hundred years of fighting – and then the Aryans defeated our ancestors the local inhabitants. Our forefathers, the inhabitants of our glorious motherland, were pushed back in to the Jungle and into the mounnntains. Some of them stayed and asked for mercy; they were enslaved.19

APPENDIX G

MAGOWAL, DISTRICT HOshiarpur IN THE AD DHARM SCHOOL:

HUGE PUBLIC MEETING
First Annual Conference 11-12 June Sunday-Monday 1927 We are the original people of this country, and our mazhab (religion] is Ad Dharm. The Hindu qaum came from outside and enslaved us.

When the Näd (the original sound from the conch) was sounded, all the brothers came together--chamar:, chuhrae, sainsi, Bhanjre, bhil, all the Achüt--to make their problems known. Brothers, there are seven Crores(70 Millions) of us who are listed as Hindus--separate us, and wake us free. We trusted the Hindus, but they turned out to be traitors, brothers. The time has come, wake up; the government is listening to our cries, brothers. Centuries have passed, but we were asleep, brothers. Look at the lines that Manu has written, but he is a murderer. There was a time when we ruled India, and we are the children of kings, brothers. We are the real people of India, brothers, and the land used to be ours. The Hindus came from Iran, and destroyed our qaum. They became the foreigners, and then called us foreigners, disinheriting seven Crores (70 Millions) f people. They turned us into khana badosh [nomad) They destroy our history brothers. The Hindus rewrote our history, brothers. There is hope from God [bhagwan] and help from the king [bãdshah]. Send members to the councils and start the qaum anew, brothers. Come together to form a better life. Destroy the matters of caste and creed, brothers. We have a generous government above brothers, so get, and us together and save the Ad Dharin qautn. Those who are murdering us will not listen to our complaints. Brothers, get together and pray to Bhagwmn rGodJ that the British rule may be eternal. Other than the government, no one has helped us, throughout the ages. A new successor to the throne (wait-shed] La about to visit us, and he is coming specifically to listen to the complaints of the people. They are coming to give us our rights, so we should be thankful.

Mangoo Rain and chand are requesting that the dissatisfaction and grumbling will be dispelled.

Do not call yourselves Hindus brothers you are all Ad Dharm.
Possession of Mangoo Ram of Garhshankar, Hoshilrpur district Punjab, who kindly allowed me to photograph it. The text, of the original is in the form of poetry, and is written in Punjabi language, Gurmukhi script. It was translated with the cooperation of Mr. Surjit Singh Guraya.J

The Ad Dharm myth continues the story beyond the arrival of the Aryans and the destruction of the original people’s civilization. The original people (the Achut) were subjugated with “so much cruelty and injustice” that they “forgot their own identity i”hasti” ,,21 From there, the story pauses briefly to denounce Manu (the legendary codifier of Hindu law), and moves swiftly into the present period. Not without surprise, we discover that those Aryan’s modern descen­dants are doing to the descendants of the original people much what they have done before. There is merit awarded to the British govern­ment and the Mogul government, who attempted to help the original people. Christianity is also viewed with favor, at least obliquely, in that they challenged the control of the Aryan Hindu: “Christianity tried to attract all qaum, and especially the low castes, because the Achüt are orphan kind of peop1e - - - Swami Bayanand realized that Christianity was digging a hole in the foundation of Hinduism which would destroy the whole building.

By Sir John Marshali, Director-General of Archaeology in India, might well have been an incentive for the myth constructions of the Ad Dharm leaders: “Of what race or races were the authors of this Indus civi­lization, and what was their religion In the present state of our knowledge only the vaguest answers to either question can be returned. The skeletal remains . . . comprised the pre-Aryan Dravidians of India as well as many other peoples.

“Big cities with teeming populations like Harappa and Mohenjo­daro could never have existed save in an agricultural country which was producing its own food on a large scale . . . there are strong reasons for inferring that the rainfall in Sind and the Western Punjab was ‘hen substantially heavier than it Ls now.

“The paucity of weapons at both Harappa and Mohenjo-daro is surprising.
“It is a foregone conclusion that this great civilization of the Indus must have made itself felt far to the East as veil as to the West.”

[Sir John Marshall, “India of 5,000 Years Ago, Part Two,” in the Tribune, Lahore, vol. XLVIII, no. 30, February 5, 1928, p. 5.1 ____

P 53

Ad Dharmis on the Way to Progress.
Since the Betting U~ of the’ Ad Dharm Mandal of Punjab in Jullundur City, much progress has been made. There have been meetings held and resolutions made all, over the Punjab; the attendance has been in the thousands. Especially in Hoshiärpur district and tehsil Desuä, the people were most active in arranging the conferences. The people of teshil Desuä mostly met the expenses of this organization.

In the last five years, at least 1,500 conferences were arranged. The result of these Ls that the AD religion in known by everyone and it is now possible for people to eat and socialite together. Social reform has made progress--especially in marriage ceremonies, cleanli­ness, hygienic preparation of food, and in education.. At least 50,000. AD children are getting education in various schools. We want to thank the Education Minister from our hearts. Because of our count­less requests, he paid attention, and granted free concessions for school tuition up to the primary level (grade LV). After the (grade IV) only half-fee. Scholarships will be Rs. 5 more than for other minority peoples (Rs. 13/month rather than Rs. 8/month). Also they pay Ad Dharamis Achut teachers will be 25/ month rather than 20 month.
We thank the officers, especially those of Jullundur Division, for this act of kindness. They have treated us with great respect; but we especially want to thank Mr. Chaudhri Sadrudin Khan, former inspec­tor and ex-headmaster of Normal Schools, for in one year he had a special class of 40 AD students, who are now teachers. The AD nation will always be grateful to him, even the little AD children will sing his praises.

Couplet: If I had as many tongues in my body as hair, I could not thank you enough.
P 54
God has certainly helped the Ad Dharmis, for when we were at the lowest pit of degradation, God sent to us Lord Montmore, the Governor of Punjab, so kind and Loving a ruler. Alt the tights and hope we are being given is due to this angel of mercy which God has sent to us, in the form of the Governor of Punjab.

We pray earnestly for his long life. Untouchability and the caste system, and the eating taboos, were a gift of the Brähmans’ God; we hope to send that gift right back to them. “We hope to become free and united.”

We hope that eating taboos will be removed, and this ghost of Untouchability will be sunk along with the Nehru Report, in the River Rävi. AU Untouchables will look at each other’s as caste brothers, and share each other’s misery; and among Bilmikis, Rivi. Dissis, Kabir­panthis there is no discrimination of any kind.

P 55-57

The Proof of Sympathy.
There are people who, for. Thousands of years have been exploit­ing the Untouchable people economically and socially, and preventing them from taking their rightful place in society. When our nation (qaum) found this out, we tried to pull our people up, and those other people put stones in our path. They tried to stop a running train. They used all kinds of tricks. They will take money and subscrip­tions for so-called Untouchable reform movements, but instead, they take the money and fill their own bellies without doing anything for us. To give an example, during the census count, if anyone even mentioned the word Ad Dharmi, they wouldn’t let us. These people say they are our brothers, but they treat us like eats and dogs. Especi­ally the Akali Jatt Sikh people would start making trouble for us during the census, if we started saying we were Ad Dharmis. They would trap us in our houses with thorny branches placed in out doors; they wouldn’t let us go to the wells for water. They wouldn’t let us buy goods from shops. They called us names, harassed us; and wouldn’t let our cattle out to feed. Our young daughters out on the roads were raped and insulted. Sometimes they burned our houses, looted and plundered. Wouldn’t give us wages for six months to a year. They took our cattle. They threw straw into our houses, ignited it, tried to burn us alive; and wouldn’t let us drink the dirty water From the village pond. Sound the ponds, there will, be Sikh volun­teers to guard the dirty pond. Without reason, they would have trumped up legal charges, and threaten us with guns, pistols, swords, etc. Our children were starving without food or water, but these upper class people had no mercy. Their fathers would go to the jungal and cut grass for food; then the Sikh volunteers would break our cooking utensils.

But in spite of all this harassment during the census taking, the Ad Dharmi people still broadcast their message. The Such Patwä­ris (village registrars), obeying the orders of the capitalists, would register us as Sikhs regardless of what we said. Some Mohaui~’eãn people, however, helped us, especially Dr. Peroz-ud-din Ahed, Presi­dent of “Hamdard Hindu Injamin Admadiya” [The Ahmadiya’s Hindu-Sympa­thizers Organization], of Kith Garh, Batilä, Sheikapura, Ludhiinä, Lyaupur, Gurdispur, and Jullundur.

P 58
Dangers to the Ad Dharm Movement
At the present, the Ad Dharm movement is faced with many dangers, which may be harmful to the Mandal. For example:
1. Dayanand Dalat Udhär, Hoshiarpur
2. Patat Udhar
3. Antaj Udhar
4. Achut Udhir, and other mandals.
They are trying to delude people and side-track their interests. To get money for themselves, they beg from the people. There is a say­ing, “don’t be afraid of the bad man, but be afraid of his bad deeds.” Therefore, we oppose the bad character and dishonest of these organi­zations, which present a threat to us. These organizations have taught many of our workers to work against their own consciences. Also, there are workers who use the name of Ad [harm Mandal, but take the money for them. This is the second danger.

The third dan5er is the attacks on the Ad Dharm Mandal, Jullundur, by workers and prachãrak of other organizations. The Ad Dharm Mandal is the only true representative of the Achiit, but since its inception it has been subject to these attacks, through writings and speeches. They have tried to stop our movement, and have been attempting t* woo away our innocent pracharak with fancy promises of green gardens and beautiful songs. Those people who were bragging about Achüt reform have been proven dishonest; they are actually fortifying the wall of Hindu prejudice. En the guise of helping the Achut they are only helping themselves. There is no more truth in their claims than there is fragrance in a paper flower. The Achut will no longer con­sider any of these Mandals as their representatives. Those Achut who were deluded, have now left those movements and are joining the Ad Dharm movement by the thousands.

P 60
The fourth danger--the greatest danger of all--is in the villages where the pure Hindu and Sikhs make it difficult for the Achut to keep his own hasti (identity]. In the olden times, the Ad Dharmi people were dependent upon them, and so considered themselves Hindus and Sikhs. The Ad Dharmi people were victims of the Hindus’ and Sikhs’ greed. Now, it is the age of freedom and light, and the Ad Dharmis have realized their mistake. So instead of being exploited by them, the Achut try to establish their own identity, as in the last census, when they chose to be described as Ad Dharmi rather than as Sikhs and Hindus. As a reprisal, shameful and degrading treatment has been meted. Out to the Ad Dharmis, which may be a forerunner of a permanent danger. Therefore, the Hindus and the Sikh pose the greatest threat to us, and in the future, they viii continue to try to crush our movement.

P 61

The Present Demands of the Ad Dharm Mandal
1. We request to the present government to establish Ad Dharm as separate from Hindus.
Ad Dharmis are not Hindus. Hindus have tricked our people; so in the past censuses, they let themselves be described as Hindus and Sikhs, which is completely wrong. Hindu mazhab [religion) and Ad Dharm mazhab [religion] are absolutely separate.

2. During the present census taking, those villages dominated by Hindus and Sikhs forced Ad Dharmis to claim that they were Hindus and Sikhs, even when the Ad Dharmis protested. This should be inves­tigated; and the census should be revised to indicate the correct number. In those cases where “Chuhra” or “Chamar” were listed in­stead of “Ad Dharmi,” or in those cases where the caste was listed as Ad Dharmi but the religion was listed as Hindu, the correct list­ing shou1d be only Ad Dharmi

3. Since the beginning of the present census taking, the news­papers have mentioned the harassment of the Hindus and Sikhs against the Ad Dharmis. These reports should be investigated.

4. From ancient times until now, the Ad Dharm qaum [people] were: zariat peshã [land cultivators]; but after they lost their rule their dealings have been with the zamindir [land owners]. But actu­ally, Ad Dharmi is zariat peshä, and should be listed as such in the Land Exchange Act by government action. We should be treated as a separate qaum, and receive special arrangements for land ownership.
P 62

5. The Ad Dharm people are among the most loyal people of India, and should be given the right of citizenship and property. The houses that they have been living in, from ancient times, should be considered their own houses. The Ad Dharm people, from ancient times have been victims of unemployment. Without Sarmäya (capital], they could not be capi­talists. Therefore the Ad Dharmis have been poor, and have not had the strength to face Sikhs, Hindus, and others with means. We have no land, so we request that the land measured as 15 million cultivable acres, which is lying unused in the hands of the Punjab government, should be given to Ad Dharm people under the same conditions that land is given to other people.

In the army and the police, the rights given to others
“There were many wars. Six hundred years of fighting. And then the Aryans finally defeated our ancestors, the local inhabitants. Our forefathers, the inhabitants of our glori­ous motherland, were pushed back into the jungle, and into the mountains. Some of them stayed, and asked for mercy; they were enslaved.”19

The similarities between this story, and some archaeologists’ suggestions about what happened to the pre-Aryan Harappan civiliza­tion jYi N5~’f!h !mJLi Lu 1700 D.C., are more than striking.20 In fact, the whole “Adi” myth may well have been inspired and informed t~ y the scholarly theories on the Harappan Civilization, which were rife at the time. Sir John Marshall discovered the site of Harappi in 1921, in Montgomery district of the Punjab. Perhaps it is only coincidence that the Ad Dharm and the other Adi movements began soon after that, and that nearby Lyallpur district became one of the strongest bases of support for the Ad Dharm movement. None­theless, the newspapers of the Punjab were full of speculation about the I[arappan findings during the early 1920’s, and the question * Remains open. The original announcement of the Harappan finds is promirif”Itly published in the Lahore Tribune, vol. XLI, September, 1921. The Mohenjo-daro excavations were also exciting news. A full-page article Should also be given to the Ad Dharmis. Direct conviction as officers, and responsible posts should be given to us. And just as other qaum has had regiments named in their honor, we should have an army or police regiment named after us, under Ad Dharmi leadership.

8. Even though on the railway board, we have representation, it has not been in proportion to the percentage of our people to the population, as is the case with other people. So we should be given more positions, not just tokenism.

[p. 63)
9. In municipalities, district boards, and other such depart­ments, other qautn have received proportionate representation. We also should receive that.

10. In the next election, in all, municipalities and the dis­trict boards, and assemblies, we should receive 187. Representation.

11. In Normal Schools, those Ad Dharmi boys who graduate with good qualifications and degrees, ought to be guaranteed positions. Ad Dharmi boys ought to feel proud of their achievements, and that they are helping their qaum.

12 As long as India’s weak minorities--especially Ad Dharmis and the Mohenjo-daro people--are not given full representation, and there is no guarantee of their proper treatment, there should be no change in the central government.

13. Along with Hindus, Mohamadans, Sikhs, Jews, Parole, Christians, Buddhists, and Jams, we the Ad Dharmi should be classi­fied as a separate religion.

14. We inform the Punjab Government Labor Board that the Ad Dharmi are the laboring class people, and that because of the com­pletely unjustified agitation about swaraj (Independence, we are even more unemployed. We request the government to think of us as laboring class people, and get us work.

[p. 64)

15. In Hindu schools, our children are being ignored or are forced to learn Hindu ideas. They are treated with so much hatred; they have to leave the school. So we request the government to give us separate schools so we. do not have to put up with this harassment. If a government inspector comes to these schools and says something good about an Ad Dharml child, or if a teacher says something good about an Ad Dharmi child, there is hatred towards that child. We have received many cases of bad Hindu and Sikh treatment of our chil­dren. We need separate schools so that our children can learn about their background; these schools should have Ad Dharmi administrators and teachers, so that our children are properly taken care of.

P 627
16. In some villages bigär (slave labor) is forced from Ad Dharmis; this should be investigated and that activity stopped.

17. There are no Ad Dharmis represented on the village panchäyäts, so we should boycott those decisions. We ought to be represented, in proportion to our population. These panchlylts have no status, and we are not under obligation to obey them.

18. In those villages where Hindus and Sikhs are in power, we want to find out how many Ad Dharmis have been forced to give their religion as Hindus and Sikhs. Also these poor people are having trouble in surviving, receiving torture, etc., afraid of life and property. The government should make arrangements for where they can live.

19. There are organizations, which use the name of Untouchables, but actually exploit them. Primarily Dayanani Dälät Udhar Mandal, Hoshiärpur; Antaj Udhär; Patat Udhär; Achüt Udhar Mandal, Lahore; and others. These are some of the names that these organizations are taking; they use catchy names and attract funds, but actually they are exploiting the people. Sometimes they may buUd a •ch~gI. Qi dLg s u~11, kuI: they are interested in ttieir own people, not the Ad Dharmi people. The government ought to intervene and investigate these Mandals, these jamayat (organizations], to see whether the organiza­tions actually do what they say they do, so that this sort of trickery might be ended. We are the only true representatives of the Achut qaum [people]. These other jamayat [groups] are dis-uniting and mis­leading our people.

20. It is true that the children of the Ad Dharm qaum (people] do not pay any tuition up to Primary (grade IV), but after that they have to pay half tuition. That is too much for Borne families. The government ought to be generous in granting scholarships, so our boys can stand on their own feet and compete with the Hindus, Sikhs, and others on an equal basis.

[p. 66)

21. In India, especially Punjab, we Ad iJharmLs are weak in edu­cation compared to the other qaum (peoples], therefore any system of joint electorates would be very harmful, because we would not have a sense of fair play. So we request the government to abolish joint electorates, which are impractical, and establish separate electorates.

22. Our qauuu mostly works with leather. All over Hindustan [India], we tan hides and prepare raw leather, but we do not make any more from it • the word chamar comes from two words-- ‘chaniri” meaning leather, and ‘kir’ meaning to make. So we request the government, if they have need of shoes and boots for their army, police, and industry, and if they want the best kind of leather, they should come directly

P 628
To us the Ad Dharm Mandal of Jullundur City and not deal with some medium. The government will, save money and gets better quality leather.
Further, they ought to remember that leather comes from our labor, and we who work with leather ought to get the benefit of it.

23. For imdad-bahmi [cooperative help], there are many banks; but especially in the villages, these banks are only for those people who have land, which we do not. So we want banks opened for our advantage also.

24. For bail, we ought to get the same rights as others. We are not given bail. Hindus and Sikhs will not give us bail. For this reason some of our small businesses have had to close, without bail. It should be possible for one Ad Dharmi to guarantee bail for another Ad Dharmi. We should not have to go to a Hindu or Sikh to bail. us out.

25. Our people are industrious and industrial.. We till, weave, and make leather. We should not be called “criminal minorities.” We should not be put in the category of jaräyam peshä (criminals],

26. The Ad Dharmi qaum people have suffered from unjust professional taxes Levied by the district board and the municipalities. It was done on behalf of the village landlords and the other officials. In none of these offices were Ad Dharmis represented. Since Ad Dharmi people are not represented on any of these boards, no tax of any kind should be levied. Moreover, the Ad Dharmi people are too poor to pay it.

27. Anything regarding the Ad Dharmi qaum (people--letters, mail, and documents--should be addressed to: Ad Dharm Mandal Jultundur City This is the only Mandal. (Organization] which is the true representative of the Ad Dharm cause. It has been there for the last six years.

The Expenses of Ad Dharm Mandal.
People have been asking questions about where the Ad Dharm Mandal gets its operating expenses. Most people see~n to accept the idea that it comes from an illegal. Source, otherwise, we would not get the money to stand on our feet. They think someone must be help­ing us.

So, we should explain clearly, without a doubt, that the Mandal supports itself. The workers of the mandal go from house to house, village to village, collecting the money from the Achut barädari [brotherhood].

The Mandal volunteers from the beginning have never accepted money from any society or any government. In the future, they will continue to keep it that way. But, regardless of what we say, we know that in the minds of Hindus and Sikhs, the idea persists that we get our money from the government. This is a blatant lie. As a matter of fact, these Hindus think that the Mohauedans founded by the government--or the Ad Dharm.

There is a famous saying, “he who is a thief thinks everyone is a thief.” These proud, selfish upper caste people ought to look in their own back yards; they have been mistreating the Ad Dharmis for centuries and are not willing to admit it. If the Ad Dharmis are separating themselves from the upper castes, it is only the fault of the bad treatment of the Hindus and the Sikhs. The world is changing; they do not realize that we are trying to change ourselves with the world. Everybody else is fighting for freedom, why shouldn’t we? Why are the upper castes so envious and jealous of our progress? The Hindus and Sikhs just want us to be their faithful and loyal dogs. We tell them in ringing clear terms: neither government, Mohamdans or Christians have any influence in our movement. We are simply asserting ourselves. We see the speed at which thik’gs are changing in the world today, so we simply ask for our rights. We are askin8 the 5QverQuoIIL to give US the rights were given to other minor­ities of India.

So at this point no qaum [people) or mazhab [religious group] ought to raise objections. People like the Ad Dharmis are trying to improve themselves through their own efforts. Everyone ought to feel happy about this.

There is a managing committee of 600 members. They bring in the money by themselves, or from their brothers at the meetings. We keep account of all income and expenses.

Those People Who Took Refuge In Ad Dharm:

The numbers of other Quams (peoples], which have joined us, are as follows:
Jam - 2
Brähman - 20
Arya Samij - 5,000
Sikhs - 350,000
Christianity - 2,000
Mohaumnedan - 10

An Account of Income and Expenditure of the Ad Dharm Mandal. Punlab Jullundur City.
51.6
REPORT ENDS
Closely identified as the author of the Ramayana to be very strongly linked to Chuhra solidarity; the Ri.shi became, instead, a symbol of assimilation. Harijan identity in the Congress and proletariat unity in the Marxist movements is too closely touched with upper-caste alignment to be strong bases for Scheduled Caste solidarity strategies; but they provide a sense of solidarity nonetheless.

In summary, the strategy of solidarity has been successful in the following ways:

a. Numerically. About two million Punjab Scheduled CasteMembers have been involved in the movements, a third of the total

Number of Scheduied Gagt~ m~he,~a.
b. through organization. Village-level workers have been particularly effective, as have newspapers, in giving a Punjab­wide consciousness of caste unity.The numbers of participants in the movements are approximately as follows. The figures are from the height of the movements’ strength, regardless of date. Figures for Christianity and Ad Dharm are from the censuses, adjusted for non-census followers; other figures have been computed from the movements’ records (Radhasoami, Arya Samaj, Ambedkar, Congress, CPI/cPI-M), and by approximation (Valmiki, middle class).
Christianity (inc. West Punjab) 600,000 Ad Dharm 1,000,000 Ambedkar movements 10,000 Radhasoami 200,000 Arya Samaj 10,000 Valmiki Sabha 100,000 Congress (KaUjan wing) 10,000 CPI/CPI-M 10,000 Middle class 10,000
TOTAL 1,950,000
51.8
Alignment The major issue in assessing this strategy is whether the Scheduled Castes aligned with useful parties, and how tangible were the benefits. This strategy assumes a society in which there is conflict; and in which the strategic goals are those of reform. To the Scheduled Castes, the perceived conflict was among the dominant elements in society, the reform was toward more egalitarian economic, social, and political structures.
The British, while they were around, were favored subjects for alignment. The benefits were considerable, and tangible. The army, the government institutions, the missionary schools and hospitals, all offered the possibilities of employment with­out much concerrn about caste Illusionary causation offered other benefits. Individuals aligned themselves with the British; Christianity, as a Scheduled Caste movement, was the most obvious group effort at alignment to secure the more tangible benefits, as well as to seek the total social and spiritual alternative, which Christianity provided.
Alignment with the British was done also in more subtle ways, for more subtle benefits. The Ad I3harm ‘s friendship with the British, and that of Ambedkar, provided several advantages to the Scheduled Castes: a) the British gave them protection to organize, through police, the legal system, and the umbrella security of a government free from the local systems of social control; b) alignment with British gave the Scheduled Castes some leverage against the upper castes, by asserting their independence from upper caste control, and demonstrating that the lower castes

TABLE: SCHEDULED CASTE SECTS: VARIATION FROM 1891-1921
Variation Percentage
1891. 1911 1921 1911-21
Saint worshipers 345, 318 139, 573 -59.6
Dadu Panthi. 7,314 11,324 386 70.8
Gugapir 35,344 4,859 1,812 -62.7
Kabir Panthi 108, 951 89,254 46,505 -47.9
Kalu Panthi 85,400 36,406 21,257 - 41.6
Namabansl. 972 5,471 + 462.9
Pakuji 6,226 5,347 -14.1
Panj piria 77,685 27,363 -64.8
Rai Dasia 106, 770 27,158 -74.6
Ram Raya 52,458 2,001 201 -90.0
Sewak Darya 948 19, 821 4,073 -79.5

Sects of low castes 981,311 14,424 -6.8
BALMIKI 315,674 221,104 -30.0
Lalbegi 466,172 449,991 -3.5
Ramdasia 349,242 199,465 239,99 +20.3
Balashahi --------- 3,330 +100.0

Reform sects 130,195 239,890 +84.3
Arya 100,783 223,153 121.4
Brahmo 700 305 -56.4
Dev Dharm 3,094 3,597 -16.3
Nanak Panthi 21,756 9,723 -55.3
Radhasawami 3,862 3,112 -19.4
Sikh sects
Mazhabi 4,058 726 2,305 +217.5
Ram Dasia
(Keshdharis) 20,863 8,106 10,568 +30.4
Radhasawami 424 378 -10.8
Ram Dasia 1,752 2,206 209
(Sahajdharis: 1,752 2,206 209 -90.5
Sikh Raidasias)
Source:1921. Census, Punjab, Vol. XX, chap. IV, pp. 180-81, and 1891 Census, Punjab, Vol. XIX, chap. IV, pp. 100 ff.

P 597
APPENDIX F
REPORT OF THE RD DBARM MANDAL, 1926-1931
A Note about This Translation:
The following report was translated from the original, written in Urdu script, and containing a polyglot vocabulary of Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and English. The translation was prepared in cooperation with Mr. Surjit Singh Goraya and Mr. Hassan Hamdani; I accept res­ponsibility for the final English version, and any mistakes, which may be contained herein. Mr. L.R. Bailey of Jullundur City, Punjab, made the original copy of this report available to me from his personal library; I wish to express my great appreciation to Mr. Bailey for his kind cooperation. To my knowledge, there are no other existing copies of this report available, either in public or private libraries.

This translation is rather fluid; it was made with the inten­tion of keeping the spirit and meaning of the original report intact, while rendering it in easily understandable English. Some words do not translate easily. Where words are difficult to translate, we have maintained the original word, with our recommended English Translation in bracket.. The interesting term 10qauun,” is usually translated as “people,” although it might reasonably also be trans­lated as “nation,” “religious community,” or even “ethnic group.” “Achut,” when used to describe the concept of religious impurity, is translated as “Untouchable,” without reference to the original word; the original word is used, however, when the word refers to the Achuit as a people, as in the “Achflt qaum.” “India” sometimes is “Bharat,” sometimes “Hlindustan.” There are several words used for religion; we distinguish between “maahab” and “dharm,” and leave in the original other philosophic or special concepts, which might be open to interpretation. In romanization of the original terms and personal names, we have attempted to be as simple as possible. We use lines to distin­guish between a short “a” and a long “i, “. And between a short “u” and a long “ii.” In some cases, dots underneath a consonant indicate that it is retroflex, or that there is an aspirated “s.” For some personal names, we have retained the individual’s preference for romanized spelling; Mangoo Ram, for example, prefers his name spelled that way. Similarly, certain other proper names are spelled in customary fashion; Punjab, for example, rather than Panj~b, and Ad Dharm rather than Rd Dharm.

Page numbers in brackets indicate the page in the original re­port, with the title page preceding page 1. There have been no significant omissions from this translation of the Ad Dharm Report--the only exceptions are two lists of names omitted for the sake of brevity. This is also true, curiously, among many of those members scheduled Castes who have left India and attempted to make r fortunes abroad. Especially around 1940, when an enthusiastic follower of Dr. Ambedkar became the Punjab government official in charge of issuing passports, there was a stampede for

And among certain sub-castes of (Chamars from the Jullundur Area. Perhaps as many as 50,000 Scheduled Caste members
Live in England, especially in the Wolver Hampton (Birmingham) Middlesex (London) areas. However, there are perhaps 200,000
Caste Punjabis mostly Sikh living in the same area, whom also have come from the Jullundur area of the Punjab. migrated against by the British, the Sikhs pass the disfavor The Scheduled Castes who prescient their own pubs which are mocked as “Chamar pubs” by the Sikhs. It was in next of casteisrn in England that the new Ad Dharma arose 0; the disappointment with the failure of separatism’s Ic goal gave rise to a renewed movement for identity and it. In summary, the strategy of separatism has been successfully in its failure. The disillusionment over the impose­ of real detachment from the old identities and the old incident, which I learned about through interviews, is Described in chapter VI of this study.

Figures (207. of the total Indian population in the U.K.) related from information supplied by the Office of the High Commissioner in Birmingham, and from estimates of those Caste leaders whom I interviewed in England in July 1971. For its genre, no group in the Punjab can equal Radhasoami. In stature And following. Only Nirankari comes close, and Nirankari, associated With Sikhism, is an atypical case?

Almost half of Radhasoami’s followers are from Scheduled Castes, by the present guru’s own estimate; 103 and although they may have been accepted into the movement, absolute equality comes slowly. The single Scheduled Caste member on the 11-member Trust Committee is also a Member of Pariiament--Sadhu Ram, the former Ad Dharmi, Ambed­karite, and Congressman--who cannot justly be considered a ghetto Untouchable. The majority of the Scheduled Caste member’s living at the Dera is servants. The langar, or dining hail, is a special Problem; until five years ago, separate dining halls were maintained for upper castes and lower castes. The fact that the Radhasoami’s organization does show preference, not along overt caste lines, but toward the rich and success­ful, and this has the de facto effect of restricting poorer Sched­uled Castes, not unlike the way the Northerners in the United States unwittingly discriminate against American Blacks. The President of the Trust Committee is the Rani of a former princely state in Gwalior, and the members of the Committee are distinguished government of facials or businessmen, over half of whom do not live in the Punjab, where the majority of the followers reside; the cost of a place in the Dera starts at Rs. 8,800 (or at the very cheapest, a few old 106 places sell for Rs. 3,500), much beyond the means of the average Scheduled Caste member. So from the standpoint of wealth and privi­lege, the Radhasoami Dera is not a very egalitarian place at all. Nonetheless, involvement in Radhasoami is a new phenomenon for West End Road, Soutball, which was known, pejoratively, as the “Chamarwali pub” because of the nature of its clientele. Fights broke out between the Sikhs and the Chamars, in factories and pubs; there have even been allegations of killings related to caste tension. The British did not seem to notice these matters; they discriminated against all of the Indians equally. The Scheduled Castes, in turn, seemed indifferent to the British attitudes; Chamars had grown up with the experience of caste and racial prejudice. But the Sikhs were genuinely irritated, and took their irritation out on each other and on the Chamars. The Sikhs separated into varying rival camps; there were the Amritsar Jats and the Doab Jats and the Malwa Jats from Ludbiana, each with their own Gurdwaras.

The artisan caste Sikhs had their separate Gurdwaras as well; one for the Ramgarhias Carpenter caste and another for the Bharteas But the Chamars felt that they were not welcome within any of the Sikh Gurdwaras The Scheduled Castes came to Britain expecting to find life dif­ferent, in some way, and were not pleased with the Sikhs’ attitudes towards them. The Chamars earned as much as the British occasionally placed the Sikhs, sometimes more; and them as foremen over Sikh work crews, to the great disdain of the Sikhs. The Sikhs tried to explain to the British factory supervisors about the dic­tates of custom; and the Chamars responded, in at least one of these instances, with a lawsuit against the Sikhs.’26

The Scheduled Castes acted more bravely in Britain than in the Punjab, perhaps because they felt that their caste community in Britain was placed into a new context of competition against the Closely-knit and compatible leadership team, and with an ideology which clearly emphasized the distinctive separateness of the Achut qaum. There were organizational gains to be made by this purifica­tion process, but some losses as veil--they may have alienated an important segment of Scheduled Caste leadership, and boxed in their strategic options for compromise and coalition in the future.

2. Securinz an identity. 1929-1931: the zreat census.
Having settled, for the time, the identity issue, the Ad Dharm proceeded into the busiest couple years of its history. The confer­ences and demonstrations came fast; and, as we have previously noted, the organization made its greatest expansion during this time, with the establishment of a dozen branch organizations. It was a time of treat political activity in the Punjab, with the various British government commissions forming the foci for communal politics and government appeals; as we shall soon see, the Ad Dharm was in the midst of that, as well. But the event that loomed the largest in the Byes of the Ad Dharm Leaders were the census of 1931: “our big trial.”~ The census was a big trial for the Ad Dharm for several reasons: recognition by the census would imply a certain legitimacy for the Ad Dharm, in the eyes of the upper castes, as well as for the Ad Dharm followers; a large census tabulation would prove their numerical strength, or, conversely, betray it; and perhaps most important, a sizable number of people recording themselves as “Ad Dharm” would indicate that Mangoo Ram and his Jullundur team had considerable control over the Masses, and thus enhance considerably the leadership’ Importance and ability to negotiate effectively with government and the other movements. Earlier, Msngoo Ram had mentioned three inherent powers of the poor: quiet (communal pride), mazhab (religion), and majlia (organization). The census returns could indicate maui. in a big way; thus the census was an indicator or power, and potentially a creator of power as well.

On October 10, 1929, the Ad Dharm leaders brought before the Government the notion of having Ad Dharm listed as a separate reli­gion on the census. The suggestion was accepted, to the great sus­picion of many upper caste observers, who felt that the Government had its own reasons for wanting to support fissiparous tendencies on the part of the Untouchables. In the Census Report of 1931, the Government states explicitly that it included the Ad Dharm only at k. ~ a~ hi and the Ad Dharin Mandal; “The Punjab Ad-Dharm Handal had petitioned the Punjab Gov­ernment before the census operations started in 1930, re­presenting that the depressed classes should be permitted to return Ad-Dharmi as their religion at the time of the census as they were the aborigines of India and ~uhi1a the Hindus kept them at a respectable distance they did not believe in the Hindu religion. The President of the Pun­jab Ad-Dharm Mandel was informed that a clause was being provided in the Census Code requiring that persons return­ing their religion as Ad-Dharm would be recorded as Achut27

Even if the government had reasons of its own for listing the Ad Dharm in the census rolls, the demand for separate census recog­nition had been an original one for the Ad Dharm, and lay close to the rationale for their existence. At the first Ad Dharm conference, these resolutions were passed:

“We are not Hindus. We strongly request the government not to list us as such. Our faith is not Hindu, but Ad Dharm. We are not a part of Hinduism, and Hindus are not a part of us. The Ad Dharmi should be listed separately in the census, and in other ways be given rights equal to Hindu.”28

With the acceptance of Ad Dharm on the census lists as a bona fide religious community, the first hurdle had been traversed. It was then necessary to make good the implications of that recognition, by insuring a massive number of respondents claiming Ad Dharm, in­deed, as. Their natal religion. This took much doing. In fact, the great build-up of Ad Dharm as an organization--the branch offices and the scores of workers in the villages--developed at this time precisely for the purpose of maintaining a good showing at the cen­sus. One of the few resources of the poor i.e their sheer numbers; and Ad Dharm was determined to turn that resource into a form of power.

The Part was not lost on the other major religious communities
of the Punjab. What Macgoo Ram might stand to gain through the cen­sus would be partially at the expense of the Sikhs and Hindus, for it would be from their communities that the Untouchable names be lost. For the Sikhs and Hindus, also, the census was a form of power, since the communal seats in government councils were based, in part, by the numbers of persons listed as members of the respec­tive religious communities. Thus, the bush beating of the Ad Dharm workers during the census polling in 1930 was not looked upon with kindness or detachment by the upper castes. This account, in the Ad Dharm Rei,ort, indicates the violence and tension of the period:

“During the census count, if anyone even mentioned the word Ad Dbarmi, they wouldn’t let us. These people say they are out brothers, but they treat us like cats and dogs. Especi­ally the Akali Sikh people would start making trouble for Us during the census, if we started saying we were Ad Dharmis. They would trap us in our houses with thorny branches placed in our doors; they wouldn’t let us go to the wells for water. They wouldn’t let us buy goods from shops. They called us names, harassed us; and wouldn’t let our cattle out to feed. Our young daughters out on the roads were raped and insulted. Sometimes they burned our houses, looted and plundered. Wouldn’t give us wages for six months to a year. They took our cattle. They threw straw into our houses, ignited it, tried to burn us alive; and wouldn’t let us drink the dirty water from the village pond. Around the ponds, there mould is a Sikh volunteer to guard the dirty pond. Without reason, they would have trumped up legal charges, and threaten us with guns, pistols, swords, etc. Our children were starving without food or water, but these upper class people had no mercy. Their fathers would go to the jangle. [Wastelands] and cut grass for food; then the volunteers would break our cooking utensils. But in spite of all of this harassment during the census-taking, the Ad Dharmi people still broadcast their message.”29

As the Ad Dharm Report clearly indicates, the Sikhs seemed to take the threat from the Achut more seriously than the Hindus. Ac­cording to one witness, “the Hindus were treating the Sikh a badly, by taking some of their people into Hindu census rolls, so the Sikhs

Ad Dharm Indicate the violence and tension of the period:
During the census operations, in early 1931, an incident at Nankana Sahib, the Sikh shrine at the birthplace of Guru Nanak, exacerbated the already dreadful relations between the Ad Dharmis and the Sikhs. The Ad Dharmis were holding a rally to encourage people to list their religion as Ad Dharm, and to mourn the death of several Achut who had been killed by upper caste Sikhs at that site. The such alleg­edly broke up the rally by destroying the kitchen where the meals For the rally were being prepared, throwing the hot rice at the participants, and beating up several of the Ad Dharmis. In other Places, two Ad Dhartmis were killed because they encouraged people to record their religion as Ad Dharm. on the census. These Incidents Were widely publicized by the Ad Dharm, as a way of dramatizing their plight, and urging the importance of the Scheduled Castes recording Ad Dharm as their religion. As one participant stated it:

“Recording our religion as Ad Dharm Lu the census was an act of great sacrifice.”33

The Ad Dharmis did, however, persevere • the census period may have been the high watermark of Ad Dharm spirit and popularity. Ad Dharm workers would go from village to village, urging the Achut to go to the census recorders with red armbands and turbans. This song summarizes the spirit: “Leave the bickering behind, and tie your turban red we do not have to record any qaum other than our over So, Ad Dharmi, be strong. The effort was amazingly effective. The final total of Ad Dharmis reported in the 1931 Puujab Census was 418,789.~~ That num­ber was roughly equal to the numbers of Christians in the Punjab; and Christianity had been converting Punjab Untouchables for over fifty years, whereas Mangoo Ram matched them in only five. In Jul­lundur district, eighty percent of the Scheduled Castes reported themselves as Ad Dharmi, and in Hoshiarpur the figure was almost as high. A half dozen other districts registered at least half of their Scheduled Caste population as Ad Dharm~ and there were high percen­tages in many other districts (a quick summary of the returns is revealed in the statistics and map included earlier in chapters). The census report, under the heading, “Revolt of the Untouchables­ Described the victory as follows:

“There has been in the last few years a movement among the untouchable classes to organize themselves as a separate community in order to consolidate their position, and many of them have returned themselves, particularly in the cen­tral districts, Jullundur and Hoshiatpur, as Ad-Dharmi or the followers of Ad-Dharmis, meaning the ancient or original religion of Hinduatan.”36

Elsewhere, the census report, under the heading “A 5ev Religion,” Mentions Ad Dharm thusly:

“The most notable feature of the present census from the standpoint of return of religion has been the adoption of the term ‘Ad-Dharmi’ by numerous Chamaru end Chuhras and other untouchables.”3 7

The total number of Ad Dharmis, compared with the total popula­tion of the entire Punjab, was not overwhelming, however. The per­centage was only about 1.5 percent, perhaps only a tenth of the total numbers of Scheduled Castes in the Punjab. The Ad Dharm leaders claimed that the widespread intimidation against those wanting to record themselves as Ad Dharmi prohibited more names from being com­piled. According to the Ad Dharm Report:

“PurLn5 ~e proven~ c~u-takiu~1 those villages domi­nated by Hindus and akfls forced Ad Dharmis cc claim that they were Hindu and Sikh, even when the Ad Dharmis pro­tested. This should be investigated; and the census should be revised to indicate the correct number. In those cases where “Chuhre” or “Chamar” were listed as Ad Dharmi. But the religion wan listed as Hindu the correct listing should be only Ad Dharmi.”38

Independent newspapers, and the Census Report itself, also con­curred with the allegations of intimidation against the Scheduled Castes during the census recording. There was also a rumor that the village patwaris (record keepers) and other census takers simply ignored the Scheduled Castes response to the questions, and put down whatever they wished. Consequently, many Ad Dharm leaders felt that the actual number of those who wanted to record their names as Ad Dbarm may have been at least four times that of the actual tabu­lation--two million instead of less than a half million.4’ And they may veil have been right. “In the army and the police, the rights given to others should also be given to the Ad Dharmis . . . Just as other qaum have had regiments named in their honor, we should have an army or police regiment named after us, under Ad Dharmi leadership •‘t46

c. Economic demands. These demands ranged from general requests to relieve unemployment, to this very specific request, directed to the government:

“If they have need of shoes and boots for their army, police, and industry, and if they want the best kind of leather, they should come directly to us, the Ad Dharm Mandal of Jullundur City, and not deal with some medium; the government will save money and get better quality leather “47

A more typical economic request, however, and perhaps a bit more thoughtful one, is contained in these excerpts from a letter of Man­goo Ram to the Governor of Punjab, written in English:

“I beg your Excellency to consider about (the Untouchables’] pitiable conditions and allow them to settle in some un­cultivated pi~n~ of land, which they will cultivate, and Thus relieve them from the severe clutches of the cruel. They will be most thankful to Your Excellency and pray for the prosperity of the benign Government through out their lives.

“For Your Excellency’s information I beg to add that I have already submitted such reports to the local author­ities concerned but in-vain, because the authorities are also high class people or the application is not forwarded by the sub-ordinates who also belong to the same community.

“I shall be highly obliged for the kind act, which Your Excellency will under-take in case of these poverty stricken people.”48

Educational demands. In general, there were requests for more schools, reserved seats for Scheduled Caste children, and special
Scholarships to allow the children to attend school. One demand went *a bit further, however and requested separate schools:
A comparison between the Ad Dharm’s arguments for separate education, and the recent demands for separate ethnic studies depart­ments in American colleges, is interesting. “In Hindu schools, our children are being ignored or are forced to learn Hindu ideas. They are treated with so much hatred; they have to leave the school. So we request the government to give us separate schools so we do not have to put up with this harassment. If a government inspector comes to these schools and says something good about an Ad Dharmi child, or if a teacher says something good about an Ad Dharmi child, there is hatred towards that child. We have received many cases of bad Hindu and Sikh treatment of our children. We need separate schools so that our children can learn about their background; these schools should have Ad Dharmi administrators and teachers, so that our children are prop­erly taken care of.”49

i.e. Demands for general social reform. These demands called for an end to “bigar” (forced labor),50 and for the government to no longer regard the Scheduled Castes as “castes,” but as “the laboring class.”51 There were also miscellaneous demands against harassment, prejudice, and the like.

Some of these demands appeared to have been met. Or more accu­rately, the conditions to which Mangoo Ram referred were alleviated, and Mangoo Ram took credit for having prompted government into the change. The government recognition of the demand for Ad Dharm’ s listing on the census was obviously something for which Mangoo Rem could, indeed, take some credit. But the Ad Dharm for Scheduled Caste positions in government councils and government jobs may, or may not, has influenced the government’s increased allowances. The case of education is similarly uncertain. Nonetheless, Mangoo Ram was quick to announce victory at each government concession:

“At least 50,000 Ad Dharm children are getting education in various schools. We want to thank the Education Minister from our hearts. Because of our countless requests, he paid attention, and granted free concessions for school tuition up to the primary level (grade IV). After the grade IV only half-fee. Scholarships will be rs 5 more than for other minority peoples (rs 13/month rather than rs 8/month). Also, the pay of Ad Dharm teachers will be rs 25/month rather than rs 20/month. We thank the officers, especially those of Jullundur division, for this act of kindness. They have treated us with great respect; but we especially want to thank Mr. Chaudhri Sadrudin 1Qian, former inspector and ex-headmaster of Normal Schools, for in one year he had a special class of forty Ad Dharm students, who are now teachers. The Ad Dharm qaum will always be grateful to him; even the little Ad Dharm chil­dren will sing his praises:
If I had as many tongues in my body as hair,
I could not thank you enough.”52

The demands were formulated at the mass conferences and rallies of the Ad Dharm movement, and presented to the government by Mangoo Rem and the other leaders in special delegations~ The occasion of government commissions and public hearings also presented an oppor­tunity to air grievances and present demands. As N.G. Barrier has noted, these commission hearings were political events in India; they stirred communal and parochial interests, by presenting a forum for their hearings.53

Perhaps the most significant of the commission hearin5u were those of the Simon Commission, in 1928. The Indian Statutory Com­mission, called “The Simon Commission,” after Sir John Simon, the chairman, was the British government’s attempt to inquire into the workings of the Government of India Act of 1919, to see whether the patterns of diarchy, communal representation and the like, were satisfactory. It was touted as the forerunner to even more sweeping reforms, and the emergence of semi-autonomy for the Indian gov­ernment; but because only British were on the Commission, the Indian National Congress and other nation­alist elements boycotted the hear­ings.

On February 24 - 27, 1928, on the eve of the hearings, there was a meeting of the “All India Depressed Classes Conference” in

Especially those of Jullundur division, for this act of kindness. They have treated us with great respect; but we especially want to thank Mr. Chaudhri Sadrudin Than, former inspector and ex-headmaster of Normal Schools, for in one year he had a special class of forty Ad Dharm students, who are now teachers. The Ad Dharm qaum will always be grateful to him; even the little Ad Dharmi chil­dren will sing his praises:
If I had as many tongues in my body as hair,
I could not thank you enough.”52

The demands were formulated at the mass conferences and rallies the Ad Dharm movement, and presented to the government by Mangoo in and the other leaders in special delegations~ The occasion of lenient commissions and public hearings also presented an opportunity to air grievances and present demands. As N.G. Barrier has said, these commission hearings were political events in India; they feared communal and parochial interests, by presenting a forum for their hearings.53

Perhaps the most significant of the commission hearings were Simon Commission, in 1928. The Indian Statutory Corrosion, called “The Simon Commission,” after Sir John Simon, the Birman, was the British government’s attempt to inquire into the markings of the Government of India Act of 1919, to see whether the terns of diarchy, communal representation and the like, were satisfactory. It was touted as the forerunner to even more sweep reforms, and the emergence of semi-autonomy for the Indian government; but because only British were on the Commission, the hearings were boycotted by the Indian National Congress and other nation’s elements.

On February 24 - 27, 1928, on the eve of the hearings, there s a meeting of the “All India Depressed Classes Conference” in the newspapers at the time, but they did attract the attention of some of the upper caste organizations. A member of the Indian National Congress remembers the appearance of the Ad Dharmis in Lahore during the Simon Commission hearings with some disdain:

“There we were with our big procession, chanting ‘Simon Commission Murdabad,t* and there was Mangoo Ram with his procession, chanting ‘Simon Commission Zindabad. i*~ 62

According to the Ad Dharm Report.. Mangoo Rain and the delegation presented a list of demands to the Simon Commission in “written form and in speeches.”63 In fact, the Ad Dharin delegation even printed their memorandum in three languages (English, Urdu and Gurmukhi), in two editions, by the thousands of copies. Considering all this effort, and the obvious importance to which the Ad Dharin regarded the event, it seems to be something of a pity that there is no indi cation whatsoever that the Ad Dharm delegation actually met the Com­mission. The official record of the hearings has printed in full, the Memoranda and discussion of those delegations appearing before the Commission, but the Ad Dharm is not one of them. This is all the more curious in light of the fact that groups similar to the Ad Dharm appeared before the Connection in other parts of India- -Bombay, Lucknow, and Madras, for examples. But not Punjab. There was apparently some display of unhappiness over the ab­sence of any Scheduled Caste delegation at the Lahore hearings of the Simon Commission. The newspapers report a Sunder Singh com­plaining about the matter; the reply from the Commission was that time was short, and since M.C. Rajah was on the central committee,

“Destroy the Simon Commission,” and “Long live the Simon Corn mission,” respectively. Sort earlier described, plead for support of the Ad Dharin’s argument for qaum status, and assurances that, as quid pro guo, there would be Ad Dharin support for the crown. The Ad Dharm made it quite clear that they were prepared to sup­port the government to embarrassing lengths. The arrival of a new British officer to the Punjab would be the occasion for Ad Dharm Messages of welcome and support. The praise of some British offi­cials was almost religious:

“God has certainly helped the Ad Dharmis, for when we were at the lowest pit of degradation, God sent to us Lord Montmore, the Governor of Punjab, so kind and loving a ruler. All the rights and hope we are being given is due to this angel of mercy, which God has sent to us, in the form of the Governor of the Punjab. We pray earnestly for his long life.”76

Support of the British apparently had a double logic: on one hand, there were direct and positive benefits to be gained by govern­ment policy. And, on the other hand, the government could be used to assert the Achut’s independence from the dominance of the upper castes. The government also had something to gain from supporting the Ad Dharm; for it maintained a loyal community, the Achut, while at the same time keeping that communality from being aligned with a hostile one--the nationalist upper castes.

The Ad Dharm for several reasons, therefore, opposed the Congress movement. Congress was anti-British; and the British had become Ad Dharm’ a friend. Moreover, Congress was dominated by upper caste Hindus, whom the Ad Dharm feared would use whatever power they might accrue in order to dominate the Achut even more. In other words, the Ad Dharm did not want independence, if independence meant government by the upper caste Hindus; they would rather take their chances with the British. The ~Lp!i ~Reoi.t said as much: pushing and shoving; one thing lead to another, and before the day had ended, the Ad Dharmis had broken up the heavy kilns for making salt, beaten up some of the Congressmen, and stolen some of the pots and kettles.83

That incident was perhaps the most violent, but there were other occasions on which the Ad Dharm would appear as obstacles to the goals of Congress. Their response to Nehru’s call for the abol­ishment of separate electorates for all but Muslims, in 1928, is summed up in this statement:

“We hope that . . . the ghost of Untouchability will be sunk, along with the Nehru Report, in the River

During the Round Table Conferences in London in 1930 to 1932, Mangoo Ran sent telegrams to Dr. Ambedkar pledging the Ad Dharm’s support. And when the Round Table Conference talks collapsed in disagreement over separate electorates for the Untouchables7 the Ad Dharm strongly supported Dr. Ambedkar’s position against Gandhi.

Gandhi’s response to the attempt to impose a system of separate electorates for the Untouchable community was as dramatic as it was strong. Gandhi vowed to “fast unto death,” and began, in September 20, 1932, his “epic fast. Perhaps for the first time in India, a crisis of national proportions was centered upon the plight of the Untouchables. As one historian overstated the situation, “it threw the country into a state of alarm, consternation and confusion.

Gandhi’s position was, no doubt, sincerely maintained in the best interest of the Untouchables; he felt that separate electorates would prolong the division of society into caste and Scheduled Caste. Some Scheduled Caste leaders, including the venerable M.C. Rajah, sided.

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