A Short Course on B.R Ambedkar

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UNIT
Structure
14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3

DR. B. R. AMBEDKAR

Objectives Introduction Ambedkar's View on the British Rule in India Ambedkar on Democracy 14.3.1 Meaning: Social and Economic Democracy 14.3.2 Factors necessary for the Successful Operation of Democracy

14.4 O n State Socialism
14.4.1 Inclination to Socialism 14.4.2 Meaning of State Socialism '14.4.3 Role of Government

14.5 Ambedkar and Drafting of The Indian Constitution 14.6 On Social Change 14.6.1 Priority to Social Reform 14.6.2 Attack on the Caste 14.6.3 Origins of Caste and Untouchability

14.7 Removal of Untouchability
14.7.1 14.7.2 14.7.3 14.7.4 14.77. Self-respect among Untouchables Education, Economic' Progress Political Strength Conversion

14.8 Evaluation
14.8.1 Political Awakening among Untouchables 14.8.2 Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

14.9 Let Us Sum Up, 14.10 Some Useful Books 14.11 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

14.0 OBJECTIVES
This unit deals with the thought of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. The purpose is: to introduce Dr. Ambedkar's political ideas, to outline the ideological basis of his struggle for .abolition of the faste system, and make you understand the 'significance of Dr. Ambedkar's social and political thought.

14.1 INTRODUCTION
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born on 14 April, 1891 in Mahar caste. The Mahar caste was one of the 'untouchable' castes. This created many difficulties in Ambedkar's higher education. With the help of a scholarship from Sayajirao Gaekwad, Maharaja of Baroda, he attended Columbia University, USA, and later on with hard work managed to study at the London School of Economics. In England he attained a doctorate and also became a barrister. On returning to India he virtually dedicated himself to the task of upliftment of the untouchable community. Soon he won the confidence of the- untouchables and became their supreme leader. To mobilise his followers he established organisations such as the Bahishkrit Hitkarni Sabha, Independent Labour Party and later All India Scheduled Caste Federation. H e led a number of temple-entry Satyagrahas, organized the untouchables, established many educational institutions and propagated his views from newspapers like the 'Mooknayak', 'Bahishkrit Bharat' and 'Janata'. He participated in the Round Table Conference in order to protect the interests of the untouchables. H e became the Chairman of the

-Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly and played a very important role in framing The Indian Constitution. He was also the Law Minister of India up to 1951. Right from 1935 Ambedkar was thinking of renouncing Hinduism. Finally, in 1956 he adopted Buddhism and appealed to his followers to do the same. He felt that the removal of untouchability and the spiritual upliftment of the untouchables would not be possible by remaining a Hindu. Hence, he embraced Buddhism. Ambedkar was n.ot only a political leader and social reformer but also a scholar and thinker. H e has written extensively on various social and political matters. 'Annihilation of Castes', 'Who Were the Shudras', 'The Untouchables', 'Buddha and His Dharma' are his more important writings. Besides these, he had also published many other books and booklets propagating his views. His thinking was based on a deep faith in the goals of equity and liberty. Liberalism and the philosophy of John Dewey also influenced his thinking. Jotirao Phule and Buddha have exercised a deep influence on Ambedkar's ideas on society, religion and morality. His political views were aiso influenced by his legal approach. Ambedkar's personal suffering, his scholarship and his constant attention to the problem of bringing about equality for the downtrodden untouchable community forms the basis of his thinking and writings.

D . B.R. Ambedlrpr r

14.2 AMBEDKAR'S VIEW ON THE BRITISH RULE IN INDIA
Ambedkar was aware of the drawbacks inherent 'in foreign rule. The British government had introduced some representative...
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