The Socio-Political Ideas of Br Ambedkar : Liberal Constitutionalism in a Creative Mould
There are more than 3000 castes or Jatis in India which have further sub castes internally making the social and political system of this country further complicated and tense.
In such a diverse and religious-based caste division, a Dalit, Dr. BR Ambedkar, most commonly known by the nickname Baba Saheb (the Respected Father) rose to challenge the timeworn beliefs of castes and religions.
It is a disease, a cancer that is killing humans and humanity. Poison would not lose its fatality even if it is mixed with sugar!
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Such revolutionary and hitting remarks would surely be the outcome of a great mind who has a universal and transcendental vision for humanity. Born in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh 1891 and died in New Delhi in 1956, the son of a Dalit saw and bore the throes of religion-based caste personally and for his other caste fellows.
In an age of colonialism, when the colonies and nationalists were fearlessly struggling against their colonial masters, the belief that religion-based caste division of humans is another form of slavery and servitude that were used and could be utilized even in future. The possible solution lies with liberalism and democracy.
And that spirit of liberal democracy was enshrined in the Indian Constitution framed by the committee which was headed by Baba Saheb.
The three parts of the book discuss the different ideological and social phases of Dr. Ambedkar’s mind.
1. The first part traces the ideological changes that took place when Dr Ambedkar reconsidered the existent socio-political and economic conditions of British India. The roots of caste, religion, and race, were so deeply entrenched in the Indian minds and soil that they could not think of anything positive and developing for themselves.
In such a scenario, when colonial India was heated with nationalism and anti-imperialism, thinking of anything new and out of the box like this was not easy and acceptable to the general masses.
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2. The second part describes the nature and framing of the Indian Constitution immediately after the independence. Giving ample constitutional safety and space to the low and scheduled castes to save and uplift them from the mental slavery of centuries.
3. Baba Saheb Dr Ambedkar was a progressive rebel in the Gandhian Universe which was founded on the principles of Truth, nonviolence, and the Golden rule (cooperation and respect) who engaged and challenged his notion of village and villagers’ empowerment.
Dr. Ambedkar believed in Western democracy and liberalism as a panacea for these archaic values that were sagging India and Indians in development and progress like other developed countries. Caste, gender and other discriminations are to be tossed away in the newly independent India. And it was what exalted the Indian Constitution.
The 272 pages would give good brain food to readers who want to know about Baba Saheb’s socio-political ideals and his vision in the drafting of the Constitution in the present situation of rising Hindutva in India.
Murtaza Kaleem an educator, freelance writer, movie-watcher, melodious music listener and an avid reader about International Relations and World Politics with a decade long experience of education and teaching to students of different sociological and economic backgrounds. My social links are;