What can we emulate from the teachings of Dr Ambedkar?



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A leader who fought for human rights for everybody, who thrived for freedom, dignity and social justice should not be reduced to just a statue. The soul of Dr. Ambedkar expects us to spread knowledge, to wage untiring struggle against injustice and to take up honest and continuous efforts to implementation of the Constitutional provisions in letter and in spirit. We all should strive to build this society to be fit for our respectful, truthful and peaceful living.



Dr Ambedkar is one of the greatest visionaries, who is remembered widely for his contributions. He has been successful in convincing the concept of social justice in Indian society. Though he has worked intensively on different areas, he has been somehow reduced to Dalit icon and is remembered only as the Chairman of Constitution Drafting Committee. His contributions go beyond framing of the constitution and championing Dalit and socio-religious reforms. Therefore, it would be the foremost duty of all of us irrespective of our caste, creed, gender, race and geographical boundaries to understand this great soul.

In this essay, I have tried to bring in the vertical opinions of Ambedkar and its relevance and emulations in the present time. In 1936, Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour party it was the first political party in pre-independent India to raise voice for the cause of labourers. It demanded for stronger labour laws, to fix maximum working hours, leave with pay and meaningful wage policies.

In Viceroy’s Executive Council, he served as labour minister. During that period, he brought many important laws which are carried on till date. He was instrumental in reducing the working hours from 14 to 8 hours. Along with this, he gave importance for the welfare of women labourers for example Women Labour Welfare, Women and Child Labour Protection Act and Maternity Benefits for Women. Due to his untiring efforts Employees State Insurance Schemes came into existence for giving monetary benefits to labourers during medical emergencies.

For people working in mines, Labour Funds were established to provide them with housing, education, water supply, entertainment etc. Indian Trade Unions amendment Act made it compulsory for all trade unions to be recognized. These are the benefits provided to all people of India, across caste, gender, and creed. It is because of Ambedkar’s efforts, today every Indian enjoys a numerous right. But alas, many of Indians are yet to realise this fact. Even if they take pains to study little, they will certainly come to know that all these rights, opportunities have been given to all of us only because of this great soul called Dr. B.R.Ambedkar.

The Current Scenario – The new amendments made to the labour laws in 2020 is a great concern to the working class. The law has turned out to be more employers centric curtailing the rights of the working class.

Lessons to be Learnt - More rational thinkers, employees, labourers and educated mass should be aware of their basic rights under our Constitution. They are to organize themselves and pressurize the government to stop such amendments. Ambedkar’s famous call – ‘Educate, Organize and Agitate’ is to ignite us and we are to adopt this mantra.

Ambedkar believed the concept of Democratic State Socialism, which in simple terms refers to ownership and maintenance of productive resources by the Government. He was of the opinion that all the industries should be owned and controlled by the Government. The agricultural land should be distributed among the villagers for collective farming. There should be no discrimination among the peasants, landlords or tenants. It should be the responsibility of the Government to provide the basic resources like water, fertilizers, seeds and capital to the collective farmers.

The Current Scenario –The introduction of three farm bills by the present Central Government and Karnataka Land Amendment Bill (2020) encourage privatization.

Lessons to be Learnt -Civil societies, experts, students and youth should pressurize the governments against such laws and amendments. Farmers protests need to be strengthened and the people in general should be educated so that they too oppose. This is a way to pay respects to Dr. Ambedkar.

In his speech made on the last day in the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949 Ambedkar warns of certain things. One of them is on the hero worship, political and social empowerment and dictatorship. Ambedkar raises his concern on the hero worship practice in the society. He has rightly pointed out that ‘In religion, Bhakti may lead to salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero worship is sure to degradation and eventual dictatorship’.

The political upliftment of the weaker section should eventually lead to socio and economical upliftment; otherwise, the main objective of achieving complete emancipation of our people, will not be achieved. We understand from Ambedkar’s innumerable speeches and writings, how deep was his concern towards building a democratic India.

The Current Scenario – In a chaotic place like India, where there is rampant hero-worship, some of his teachings are lost more frequently. People are forgetting the difference between opposing a government and opposing the nation. The Bhakti towards political leaders is causing great concerns to the intellectual class. The hatredness towards different caste, religion and sex is heart-breaking.

Lessons to be Learnt – During such a situation, we need only look at the leaders. We should form citizens’ forum and start thinking. We need to educate ourselves first and our neighbours next. We need to stop blindly believing and following. We need to evaluate the policies and programmes rationally. Rationality can only help us in protecting the democratic system. People and NGOs should work towards organising, educating the common public. Constantly raising voice against the non-democratic, non-secular policies and programmes is the need of the hour.

Ambedkar, from a very young age, fought against the caste-based discriminations. He strived throughout his life for upliftment of the downtrodden society. More emphasis was given for the upliftment of women, scheduled caste, scheduled tribes. Many of the scheduled caste people were not allowed to drink water from the natural resources like well, rivers, and lakes. Many were not allowed to enter temples and were treated lower than animals. Ambedkar agitated against the Savarna Hindus. He believed that only through stringent laws this kind of discriminations can be stopped. In his essay ‘Annihilation of Caste’, he remarks that only through complete annihilation of the caste, the society can become a better place.

The Current Scenario - Everyday we read about caste-based discrimination, violence and sexual assaults on the SC/STs and Women. Our political leaders continue to use caste and religion in winning the elections. Atrocities are regularly reported on couples who have inter-caste marriages.

Ambedkar believed in the notion of inter-caste marriages and inter-dining in destroying the caste system, ultimately aiming the destruction of shastras.

Lessons to be Learnt - People belonging to so-called upper castes should realise the pain and agony the so-called lower castes people undergo when insulted, humiliated and attacked and killed. Laws in this regard, are to be strictly implemented. Enlightened groups from within the Dalits, should be in a position to monitor the Government programmes. Sensitizing concerned Govt. Officers and officials is required. Though this may seem to be of a slow process, this also seems to be the effective one. More number of awareness programmes and strict implementation of the Acts and revision of present laws would be need of the hour.

Women empowerment was another important aspect for which Ambedkar resigned from his post. He believed that a progress of a country can be measured on the progress women in the society have achieved. The Hindu Code bill, which he proposed, gave property rights to all women and other basic benefits. He spoke about this in 1949 in the Parliament. Though these rights were given to the womenfolk at different intervals later, at the time of Dr. Ambedkar, the representatives of the country opposed these reforms tooth and nail.

It is irony that none of us have been properly educated on these issues. Women organizations even today are unaware of the sacrifices made by this tallest leader. Women in the 21st Century are facing discrimination in the political, economic and religious fields. It is sad that there is no reservation for women in the State and Central legislatures.

Lessons to be Learnt – The clarion call given by Dr. Ambedkar ‘educate, organize and agitate’ is to be followed. If men and women of different strata do not come together, they’ll continue to be suppressed by the cattiest society, the rich and the patriarchy

The above mentioned are few of the lessons we are to learn from the teachings of Dr. Ambedkar. It is our duty and responsibility to propagate these valuable ideas among the people irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, geographical boundaries. The Neo-pseudo rich culture that is crawling among Dalits is poses a dangerous development. Getting satisfaction by only worshiping Dr. Ambedkar as a deity, and doing very less or nothing to take his message to the common people is a little bigger danger. Instead, people should understand and follow the teachings of Dr. Ambedkar.

India has nearly 40% young population. The percentage of dalit youth is also at this level. They should be shown an example by educated and employed dalits. Youths and students should be made to think on the social ideology rather than be given tips to enter the cut-throat competitive commercial market.

The intellectual class, experts, historians, teachers, lecturers, lawyers, doctors etc. should come together and spread the message of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity in the coming days.

A leader who fought for human rights for everybody, who thrived for freedom, dignity and social justice should not be reduced to just a statue. The soul of Dr. Ambedkar expects us to spread knowledge, to wage untiring struggle against injustice and to take up honest and continuous efforts to implementation of the Constitutional provisions in letter and in spirit. We all should strive to build this society to be fit for our respectful, truthful and peaceful living.

There is not an iota of doubt that we have a statesman, model to the whole world. He is none other than Dr. Ambedkar. Let us not make him a leader of a Caste/Community. Let us specifically mention that he is one of the most important national builders. Let him also not be confined to only India, he is the champion of human rights at the universe level.

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