Educate, Organise and Agitate is the most misquoted slogan of Baba Sahib Dr Ambedkar. Its true version is: Educate Agitate and Organise. Baba Sahib uttered these precious words at the end of his historic speech delivered at the All-India Depressed Classes Conference (July 18-19, 1942 at Nagpur), convened to create an All-India organization with distinct aims and purposes in co-operation with all the inter-provincial forces. It was at this very conference that a declaration was made about the formation of the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation.Below are given the exact words of the concluding part of this historic speech of Baba Sahib, as cited in his ‘fascinating biography’ authored by Dhananjay Keer:
“My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side, I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle, not for wealth or for power. It is a battle for freedom. It is a battle for the reclamation of human personality” (Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 3rd ed. 1971, p: 351, emphasis added).
Baba Sahib’ struggle for the uplift of the socially excluded was precisely spiritual in the sense that it intends to restore their lost dignity and make them equal with all the other sections of the rest of the society. For that the method he chooses was democratic-constitutional. Being educated in the oldest democracies in the world, Dr. Ambedkar imbibed the true spirit of democracy and constitutionalism. He wanted his fellow –beings and his countrymen to follow democratic ways for the peaceful resolution of all one problems including the most fatal one – the Untouchability.
In his democratic scheme of conflict resolution, education figures at the very beginning of the social struggle. Hence “educate” comes first in his three stepped slogan of educate, agitate and organise. By education Baba Sahib did not mean merely certificates and degrees. For him to educate means to become aware of ones real life conditions; to be conscious of ones surroundings; to raise objection to the inhuman existence in the society; and to ask for change for the better. “Tell the slaves he is a slave and he will revolt”, that is the real meaning of education.
It is such education that will stir agitation within, leading to what Baba Sahib called “agitate”. To “agitate” does not mean to organise guerrilla warfare, to do murda bad – murda bab. On the contrary, it means to become aware about ones social conditions and to seek viable steps for the eradications of the causes of the problems. Baba Sahib told us that only real and true education could only make us to “agitate”.
And it is this agitation, which is within, that would ultimately help us to “organize”. The true example of which is Baba Sahib himself, who after obtaining critical and rational sense through his education felt toofan within and consequently organised three political parties (Independent Labour Party, Scheduled Caste Federation and Republican Party of
Thus the real sequence of the slogan is:
Educate, Agitate and Organise.