MAHARASHTRA PROVINCIAL SOCIAL CONFERENCE
[Presidential address at the Maharashtra Provincial Social conference held at Santara-May, 1925]
In his Presidentail address at the Maharashtra Provincial Social Conference held at Satara Mr. Shinde laid great stress on the fact that Social reform was not a matter of mere speech and that a conference was only a symbol of something more substantial, that something being actual work. In a progressive age like the present, that progress depended on institution of Social and Political reform; education and above all, religious ministration. Conferences ought to be mere handmaids of these institutions. A conference without a corresponding institution of work either behind or before was, a howling wind without clouds, a distruber of public peace. The only way in which the cause of Social Reform Would gain popularity and respect was, by not allowing a public conference to be convened unless proof was first given of a good programme of continued work at least for three years.
The distruptive elements in the social life of the Indian continent could not be explained by the diversities of race, religion or culture alone, for these diversities could be amply seen in the countries lying to the west as well as the east of India. The explanation was the auto-suggestive habit of the Indian massmind which evolves imaginary distinctions of character and capacity not only in private dealings but even in public estimates. The psychological disease was endemic in India alone and its highest expression was ceremonial untouchability.
Brahmin Vs. Non-Brahmin:-
With regard to the question of the Brahmin and the Non-Brahmin, Mr. Shinde said that, they were related to each other as the voice and its echo in the occoustics of Hindu Sociology. And therefore, it was the bounden duty of every Social reformer to sweep away, or at any rate modify radically, all privileges as were likely to create disunion among communities which led to stumbling blocks to the Hindu Sangathan.
To Mr. Shinde’s mind it seemed preposterous to expect to least likelihood of Hindu-Moslem unity which Mr. Gandhi in so sincerely striving for. While so little was being done for the peace and union between such important sections as Brahmins, Marathas, Lingayats and others. And while some die-hard Hindus both among Brahmins and non-Brahmins resolutely stood in the way of the abolition fo untouchability.
Mr. Shinde Concluded with the confession that the cause of the Depressed Classes was yet very from its goal, the chief reasons being the dense ignorance of the masses and their hopeless immobility, and the unrecognised fact by leaders that the vast number of the labouring classes both in the cities and the countries was on important asset of the nation. He said that Social Reform had not yet touched the fringe of the great problem of reconstruction I India which in essentially a continent of villages and the masses therein, By saying that the real reformer would have to come from out of the masses Mr. Shinde indeed emphasized the fact that the horizon of the goal was not yet within view.