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Dr B. R. Ambedkar - The Father Of Indian Constitution And Social Justice

A just society is that society in which ascending sense of reverence and descending sense of contempt is dissolved into the creation of a compassionate society: Annihilation of Caste.
Dr. B R Ambedkar is stalwart of the Social Justice in India.

Born a Dalit (a social classification formerly called untouchable, the lowest position in the Hindu caste system,) he suffered discrimination throughout his life this discrimination. This experience inspired him to raise a greatest civil right revolution in India and  when, starting in 1947, he hammered out the Indian constitution's integral principles of democracy, equality and freedom of religion, he also inserted sections prohibiting caste-based discrimination and legally outlawing the practice of untouchability.

Social justice is the spirit and vision of the Indian Constitution. It is the duty of the state to secure a social order in which the legal system of the nation promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity and, in particular, ensures that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities. This article makes an attempt to explore Ambedkar's ideas on social justice. Thereafter, it focuses on Ambedkar's struggles and ideas on social justice in the Indian context and it finally explores the relevance of his mission for social justice in the present times. Dr. Ambedkar's thoughts have therefore, assumed more relevance today. If his solutions and remedies on various socio-economic problems are understood and followed, it may help us to steer through the present turmoil and guide us for the future.

Ambedkar's Early Life:His First Encounter with Social Injustice

At that time the caste system has buoyant admirers in high places. They argue, quite openly, that caste is social glue that binds as well as separates people and communities in interesting and, on the whole, positive ways. That it has given Indian society the strength and the flexibility to withstand the many challenges it has had to face.[1]

Bhimrao Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891 in Madhya Pradesh. He was the fourteenth child of his parents. Ambedkar's father Ramji was a Subedar in the Indian Army and posted at Mhow cantonment, MP. Ambedkar had to face severe discriminations from every corner of the society as his parents hailed from the Hindu Mahar caste. Mahar cast was viewed as untouchable by the upper class.

The discrimination and humiliation haunted Ambedkar even at the Army school, run by British government. Discrimination followed wherever he went. In 1908, Ambedkar went to study at the Elphinstone College, Mumbai. Ambedkar obtained a scholarship of twenty five rupees a month from the Gayakwad ruler of Baroda, Sayaji Rao III.

He graduated in Political Science and Economics from the Bombay University in 1912. Ambedkar went to USA for higher studies.

Fight For Justice
After coming back from US, Ambedkar was appointed as the Defence secretary to the King of Baroda. He had to face the humiliation for being an 'Untouchable' even at Baroda. To continue his further studies, in 1920 he went to England at his own expenses.[2]

He was awarded honour of D.Sc. by the London University. On 8 June, 1927, he was awarded a Doctorate by the University of Columbia.

After returning to India, Bhimrao Ambedkar observed that cast discrimination was almost fragmenting the Nation so he decided to fight against it. Ambedkar favoured the concept of providing reservations for Dalits and other religious communities. Ambedkar, in wake of reaching to the people and making them understand the drawbacks of the prevailing social evils, launched a newspaper called Mooknayaka (leader of the silent). Once after hearing his speech at a rally, Shahu IV, an influential ruler of Kolhapur dined with the leader. This incident had created a huge uproar in the socio-political arena of the India.

Social Justice: A Panacea for Society and Modes to Achieve it

The social justice, twigs of justice which derivatives from concept of ethical morality. The issues of social justice is affected various developmental policy as well as whole development of social welfare programme. According to Ambedkar, his Justice is based on moral values and self respective. Justice situates through social, political and economic justices which regulated by the Indian Constitution.[3]

Ambedkar's perspective of social justice is based on social democracy which consists of three concept of justice namely liberty, equality and fraternity. Ambedkar addressed in constituent assembly that ‚the third thing we must do is not to be content with mere political democracy. We must make out political democracy a social democracy as well. Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of tit social democracy.

What does social democracy mean? It means a way of life, which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life.
These principles of liberty, equality and fraternity are not to be treated as separated items in a trinity. They form a union of trinity in the sense that to divorce one from the other is to defeat the very purpose of democracy? (Larbeer 2003:64). These principles are fundamental rocks of Just Society.

Ambedkar was a strong critic of Indian Social System according to him the root cause of social injustice in Indian society lies in the Indian Caste System. He believes that Hinduism is the lead cause to indian caste system Ambedkar believed that conversion of religion to give social justice in the name Buddha religion and he observed that Buddhism is the best way to be adopted to promote peaceful social livelihood. To quote Ambedkar ‚by discarding my ancient religion which stood for inequality and oppression today I am reborn, I have no faith in the philosophy of incarnation; and it is wrong and mischievous to say that Buddha was an incarnation of Vishnu.

I am no more a devotee of any Hindu god or goddess. I will not perform Shrardha. I will strictly follow the eighty-fold path of Buddha. Buddhism is a true religion and I will lead a life guided by the three principles of knowledge, right path and compassion? (4.Larbeer 2003: 82) and also he quoted that ‚the world owes much to rebels who would dare to argue in the face of the polite and insist that he is not infallible. I do not care for the credit, which every progressive society must give to its rebels. I shall be satisfied if I make the Hindus realize that they are the sick men of India and that their sickness is causing danger to the health and happiness of other Indians'.
Ambedkar's Relevance in Present Society.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's thoughts on social justice were progressive. He did not believe in violence; he considered the press to be a powerful tool for social changes for justice and freedom. He published Mook Nayak, Janata and Samata magazines, but these magazines remained largely unsold probably because of their progressive idea.[4]

Ambedkar has supported Inter Dinning and Intercaste marriage as the solution of Caste system unlike Gandhi he was supporter of complete Anhalliation of caste from Indian Society.
Ambedkar has prescribed Affermative action as the solution of social upliftment of the society and enriched principles of reservation for improvement of SCs/STs to enable them to progress ducationally, economically and socially, by providing extra support to them in the form of reservation and concessions to uplift them to the level of the advanced classes.

It is clearly seen at present that many legal provisions have been made to give social justice to all classes. In this way, many schemes and programmes have been started for the all-round development of the country and a measure of development.

Social differences and untouchability have not been removed due to the difficult caste system and the blind faiths that have been continuing for centuries. Many heinous instances of continuing caste atrocities may be cited, of which a few recent incidents are as follows. In a gruesome incident recently, three members of the dalit family, Sanjay Jadhav, his wife and son Sunil, were killed and their mutilated limbs were scattered around a field and a well in Pathardi in Ahmadnagar district, Maharashtra, on the night of October 2014 (Menon, 2014). In another case, two teenaged dalit girls from the Katra village of Badaun district, Uttar Pradesh, were reportedly gang-raped and murdered on 27 May 2014 (Nita, 2014).

The incident was widely reported in the press in India as well as overseas. After an extensive investigation, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) concluded that there was no gang rape and the suspects were released (Bureau, 2014). According to a post-mortem examination conducted earlier, it was reported that the girls had been raped and they died from strangulation due to being hanged while still alive (Pritha, 2014).

The girls' family and several activists rejected the CBI report as a cover-up to avoid international shame and acceptance of the dismal law and order situation. These are just few of the many incidents that took place. Every such incident, be it Khairlanji (Vishwanathan, 2010), Bhojpur (Agarwal, 2014), Dharmapuri (Teltumbde, 2012) and now Ahmadnagar and Badaun, is a crude reminder of the feudal and patriarchal social relations that guard the grip over the resources and the supposed honour' of the dominant castes in this society.

Today Ambedkar is not with us, but in his free India, social and economic differences have increased manifold. As a result, where on the one hand, there are buildings touching the sky and 5-star hotels are found in the cities, on the other hand, there are dirty drains, places full of mud and there are the huts that speak of a hellish life, even worse than the life of animals. In such a situation, the thoughts of establishing a society based on equality appears only like a dream.

Ambedkar's thoughts, the Indian Constitution guarantees equal rights to all, based on social Justice and human dignity. It is observed, however, that Ambedkar's ideas of social justice could not be realized in a proper manner over the years. As such, his concept of justice will have to be propagated by institutions through civil society.

Ambedkar was concerned about the overall development of the vulnerable sections of the Indian society and he chose to demolish existing caste discrimination by enacting the Constitution. Therefore, Ambedkar's ideas of social justice remain relevant in contemporary Indian society in promoting constitutional and legal methods for upholding the rights and dignity of the vulnerable sections.

In this way the unique life of Bharat Bhushan Ambedkar has become a new source of learning and a new source of inspiration for devotees. From it has emerged a new deity, and the lamp that will be burning in its temple in this land of temples will be seen from all sides of the nation and from distant comers of the world. A new academy of knowledge, a new inspiration for poetry, a new place of pilgrimage and a new opportunity for literature have sprung up.

  1. The Doctor And Saint Introduction By Arundhati Roy
  2. Dr. Ambedkar: Life and Mission,Book by Dhananjay Keer
  3. Ambedkar's Notion of Social Justice – A Different Perspective by A. Ranjithkumar.
  4. Dr B.R. Ambedkars Ideas on Social Justice in Indian SocietyVL - 8

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