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