Friday, April 15, 2016

Dr. Ambedkar- A visionary whose vision India failed to follow.

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, was first Law and Justice Minister of independent India. But, this description is not enough to describe the greatness of this man. He was not only a scholar, very well read and informed person, but also a social reformer and is known for his legendary work in the area of equal right movement for untouchables (known as Dalits). He was also a born Dalit, so he knew first hand what it meant to live as a Dalit person in Indian society. His education and sharp intelligence gave him a unique perspective towards the social and political environment of Indian society of that time. He used his experience and knowledge to fight for equal rights for all people who were struggling because of years of discriminatory traditions. He used each and every platform available to him to highlight the issue of untouchability and even fought with leaders like Mahatma Gandhi for their political rights. Many books and articles which he wrote about religion or social condition of untouchables or about Indian constitution are very informative. Anyone interested in any of these subjects or interested in knowing more about Dr. Ambedkar should read his books and articles or listen to his speeches. Without reading his work it is not possible to understand the greatness of this scholar and political leader of India.

He was also a chairman of the constitution drafting committee, even though the constitution was drafted with the help of various scholars who served as members of that committee, Dr. Ambedkar is given credit for various constitutional provisions as he was the chairman of the committee. He wrote extensively about his vision related to social reforms in India, which were necessary to bring required social change for upliftment of socially backward sections of society. If we look at current political and social environment of India then we can see that there is definitely some social change which he envisioned, one should credit him for initiating it, but still there is lots of work which is required to implement social reforms which this man envisioned. Indian society still suffers from evils like casteism and gender discrimination. This man fought against both these evils, but sadly people claiming his legacy are indifferent towards his ideals. The worst part is all current political parties and their leaders are only interested in using his image as a political tool to garner votes or appease a certain section of society, none of them are really interested in implementing his real vision. Even political parties who claim to represent backward sections of society are not totally honest to implement vision and ideas of this man whose name they use as if they own him. There is no doubt that the political class of India has failed to grasp the real essence of social reforms which this man imagined. Maybe they all are doing this purposely, as it is very clear that they all are busy using his name and image to suit their political gains. Even the social class for which he fought till the end of his life failed to understand his message, most of them are busy in worshipping him like God. Most Indians failed to follow a vision of this visionary leader. People like Ambedkar or for that matter any visionary personality should not be converted in demigod, it is the worst thing their supporters can do to them. Whenever people do this, they only create a cult, where the person is worshipped but not studied or critically analyzed and this results in the tragic end of all ideas of that person, tragically this is happening with people like Dr. Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi and others.

For me personally, Dr. Ambedkar was a great scholar and social reformer. He was expert in many fields like: economics, constitutional matters, religious studies, etc. I learned many things by reading his articles which are now available online. I hope people look at the great work of this person and study about him rather than garlanding his photos and erecting his statues. There is no doubt that symbols have their own place and importance in any society, but mere symbolism without any substantial action is useless. Understanding his ideas and discussing them objectively will be the greatest tribute to this scholar. I am sure he would have loved to see his ideas being used rather than his images or statues, so lets discuss issues which he raised, lets debate abpout them and try to find solutions rather than making him a political weapon.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

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