|Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual introduction.
Body. Major contributions of Ambedkar to modern India.
Conclusion. Way forward.
Besides Gandhi, BR Ambedkar has emerged as the epitome personality of modern India. In framing the constitution of independent India, he played a leading role. He was appointed as the Chairman of the constitution drafting committee in 1947. Ambedkar was a wise constitutional expert, who had studied the constitutions of about 60 countries. And for his contributions he is recognised as the “Father of the Constitution of India”.
Major contributions of Ambedkar to modern India:
- Education: According to B.R. Ambedkar, it is the education which is the right weapon to cut the social slavery and it is the education which will enlighten the downtrodden masses to come up and gain social status, economic betterment and political freedom. In 1923 Baba Saheb founded ‘Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha to spread education among marginalised and to improve their economic conditions. Thus, he played a major role in education of marginalised.
- Changing hierarchical structures of Indian society: Dr. Ambedkar devoted his whole life to fight for the annihilation of caste by proliferating a movement against the evils of the caste system. He made all his efforts to change the hierarchical structures of Indian society and restoration of equal rights/justice to the marginalised and abolition of untouchability.
- Bringing Untouchables to the mainstream of Indian society: His programs were focused on mainstreaming the Untouchables into Indian society. His ideas & programs set forth concrete proposals for the removal of untouchability and the empowerment of the downtrodden. Dr. Ambedkar demanded justice to untouchables and other weaker sections of the society via making provisions in the Indian Constitution.
- Framing an inclusive and secular Constitution: The text prepared by Ambedkar provided constitutional guarantees and protections to individual citizens for a wide range of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, the abolition of untouchability, and the outlawing of all forms of discrimination. He was an exemplary force behind drafting the Hindu Code Bill which made the uniform provisions for equal treatment within the confines of family, particularly for women.
- Upliftment of marginalised: Ambedkar advocated extensive economic and social rights for women and won the support of the Assembly to introduce a system of reservations for members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and Other Backward Class in the civil services, schools, and colleges. He laid emphasis on religious, gender and caste equality.
- Fundamental Rights: The imprint of Ambedkar is visible in fundamental rights of equality, reservation for Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes, National Commissions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and Directive Principles of State Policy etc. The caste discrimination still rampant, but is certainly on the decline plane.
- Economic Contributions: RBI was conceptualised and formulated by Ambedkar as he was a trained economist. The importance of waterways was also thought over by Ambedkar. Indian government in 2015 upgraded waterways to the national waterways after borrowing from his vision.
Ambedkar’s essence lies in heralding a systemic change, instead of craving for political freedom. To bring this in and practice his philosophy in true sense of the term, along with massive socio-political awareness, economic strength of the Dalit community must be enhanced. The annihilation of the caste may take longer, but steps towards the same should be continued.