Category Archives: Constitution of India

Challenges faced by Dr. Ambedkar to write the Constitution of India


Written by – Ashwin Jangam

Indians today are governed by two different ideologies. Their political ideal set in the preamble of the Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them. ~Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

Every year on 26 January, we celebrate Constitution Day, also known as Samvidhan Divas, in India in honor of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, the Architect of the Indian constitution.

Constitution Drafting Committee

Dr. Ambedkar

Dr. Ambedkar

India obtained independence on 15 August 1947 as a constitutional monarchy with George VI as Head of State and the Earl of Mountbatten as its Governor-General. The country, though, did not yet had a constitution; instead, its laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India Act of 1935. On 29 August 1947, a resolution was passed by the Constituent Assembly to appoint a Drafting Committee with seven members, including Dr. Ambedkar, for preparing a draft of the Constitution of independent India. It is said that when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel asked Sir Guor Jennings, an internationally-known constitutional expert of that time to draft the Constitution of India, he responded, “Why are you looking outside of India when you have within India an outstanding legal and constitutional expert in Dr. Ambedkar who ought to be entrusted with the role which you so badly need and which he so richly and rightly deserves?”

Committee Membership

Then Law Minister Dr. Ambedkar was appointed the Chairman of the Drafting Committee on 28 August 1947 because of his educational qualifications and deep knowledge, great command of the English language, and expertise in articulating the subject. Other members of the Drafting Committee were N. Goipalswami, Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyas, K.M. Munshi, Saijio Mola Saadulla, N. Madhava Rao and D.P. Khaitan.

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Member Responsibilities

The workload of drafting the Constitution of India fell entirely on Dr. Ambedkar and required his full effort and concentration. The other members of the Constitution Committee did not participate for various reasons. Some resigned, some were in ill health, some were busy with political work in their respective States, some were traveling abroad, and so on. It is generally agreed that Dr. Ambedkar was the sole author of the Constitution of India. We Indians owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Ambedkar for such a perfect Constitution which is still in effect after 60 years of Indian Independence.

In his self-evaluation of his work, Dr. Ambedkar told the Assembly, “I do not want to say how good or bad is the Constitution. I feel that it is as much good as bad. It will be bad in the end when the ruling people/party are bad. It will be good in the end when the ruling people/party are good.”

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Osho speaks on Dr. Ambedkar, Gandhi, and Dalits


In this speech, Osho higly praises Dr.Ambedkar and speaks on the injustice done to Dalits (Untouchables) in various fields. He says that there was no one equally intelligent to Dr.Amedkar in his time as far as constitutions were concerned. Osho also remembers the Poona Pact and criticizes Gandhi over his suicidal fast in order to achieve his goal. He calls the Gandhi’s fast as blackmail. Listen to know more.

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What Dr Ambedkar said about Communists & Socialists criticizing the Constitution of India


The condemnation of the Constitution largely comes from two quarters, the Communist Party and the Socialist Party. Why do they condemn the Constitution? Is it because it is really a bad Constitution? I venture to say no’. The Communist Party want a Constitution based upon the principle of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. They condemn the Constitution because it is based upon parliamentary democracy. The Socialists want two things. The first thing they want is that if they come in power, the Constitution must give them the freedom to nationalize or socialize all private property without payment of compensation. The second thing that the Socialists want is that the Fundamental Rights mentioned in the Constitution must be absolute and without any limitations so that if their Party fails to come into power, they would have the unfettered freedom not merely to criticize, but also to overthrow the State. – Dr.B. R. Ambedkar

What Dr. Ambedkar Said about Communists and Communism

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Basis and Significance of Reservation


In the recent debates on reservation some people have suggested that let us now give reservation to so-called upper castes according to percentage of their population. I do not agree with this argument. I think those who are mooting this idea are doing in frustration or out of their ignorance about the logic and basis of reservation. By even mooting this idea we dilute the principles of reservation and spread the idea that reservation can be granted to anyone. One should not forget and misunderstand the logic of reservation. There are very significant, fundamental and structural principles on the basis of which this reservation was conceded to SC, STs and to some OBCs after intense debates in the constituent assembly and centuries of movements by SCs, STs, and OBCs. Few of them were:

  1. They have faced thousands of years of exclusion and discrimination and were not accepted as even human beings.

  2. This exclusion and discrimination of thousands of years was cumulative in nature, that is, it was not in one aspect of life but it was in most of the spheres, for instance in social, economic, political, educational, religious, residential, occupational, etc.

  3. The founding fathers of the Indian nation thought that even after these people were accorded human rights enshrined in the democratic constitution of India and there will be penal provisions according to Indian Penal Code one will not be able to obliterate this exclusion and discrimination against these people and there should be some special provisions for them in the realm of Politics, Bureaucracy, and Education.

  4. There is an element of social justice in the reservation of SCs, STs, and OBCs. It involves historical corrective of injustices done to SCs and STS.

  5. There was no time limit fixed for reservation for SC and STs in Bureaucratic Jobs and in Educational Institutions. Only political reservation under article 330 and 332 of Indian Constitution, which reserves seats in Lok Sabha and in Vidhan Sabhas of different States were for 10 years. However, these reservations have been given new life with different amendments.

  6. The most important point is ‘Reservation for SCs and STs’ is directly connected with the issue of representation. It was because they did not have any representation in any sphere of life, that is, in social, economic, political, educational, etc. sphere for thousands of years and therefore they were supposed to get representation in these Institutions.

  7. Therefore, reservation is not poverty alleviation programme. The founding fathers of nation did not think to remove poverty of scheduled caste persons through reservations. In fact there are so many poverty alleviation programmes begin run in India. One such programme is MNREGA, the other is Prime Minister’s Rojgar Yojna etc. They always thought to grant SCs and STs Self-representation through reservation.

In the light of the above we cannot concede reservation to Upper Castes. Second we cannot concede reservations on economic basis.

By – Prof. Vivek Kumar, JNU

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Filed under Caste Discrimination, Casteism, Constitution of India, Dr B R Ambedkar, Equal Rights, Latest, Reservation

What is covered under atrocities against SC & ST?


What is covered under atrocities against SC & ST?

Ans: In case a person, not being a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe, forces a member of SC/ST

to drink or eat any inedible or obnoxious substance;
to cause injury, insult or annoyance by dumping excreta, waste matter, carcasses or any other obnoxious substance in his premises or neighbourhood;
forcibly removes clothes or parades him naked or with painted face or body or commits any similar act which is derogatory to human dignity;
wrongfully occupies or cultivates any land owned by, or allotted to, or notified by any competent authority to be allotted to him transferred;
wrongfully dispossesses from his land or premises or interferes with the enjoyment of his rights over any land, premises or water;
compels or entices to do “begar” or other similar forms of forced or bonded labour other than any compulsory service for public purposes imposed by Government;
forces or intimidates not to vote or to vote a particular candidate or to vote in a manner other than that provided by law;
institutes false, malicious or vexatious suit or criminal or other legal proceedings;
gives any false or frivolous information to any public servant and thereby causes such as public servant to use his lawful power to the injury or annoyance;
intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate any place with in public view;
assaults or uses force to any woman with intent to dishonour or outrage her modesty;
being in a position to dominate the will of a woman and uses that position to exploit her sexually to which she would not have otherwise agreed;
corrupts or fouls the water of any spring, reservoir or any other source ordinarily used so as to render it less fit for the purpose for which it is ordinarily used ;
denies any customary right of passage to place of public resort or obstructs such member so as to prevent him from using or having access to a place of public resort to which other members of public or any section thereof have a right to use or access to;
forces or causes to leave his house, village or other place of residence.

What is the maximum punishment provided for commission of such offences under the act?

Ans: The offenders of such offences shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to five years and with fine.

What relief is provided to a SC/ST person affected by atrocities?

Ans: Relief is provided as under

Murder of earning member- Rs. 2 lakhs
Murder of non – earning member – Rs. 1 lakhs
100% incapacitation – Rs.1 lakh
Sexual exploitation of a woman – Rs.50,000/-

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Dr Ambedkar’s idea of India and his legacy


– By Mangesh Dahiwale

Babasaheb loved India. His love is expressed in his service to India. Babasaheb quoted Leo Tolstoy to make the same point: those who love can only serve. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, people follow him and look at him as their source of inspiration. On his 124th birth anniversary, two major political parties are competing to co-opt him. The Indian National Congress declared an yearlong celebration. The RSS, which is the mother of BJP, is publishing “Collector’s issue” on Babasaheb. Ironically, Babasaheb was opposed to their brands of nationalism and their idea of India. The emergence of Babasaheb in the current situation is natural in the way polity of India is conceived in the constitution as democratic republic. In India, “We, the people” are supreme. Who are we in this “we, the people”? The answer to this question is all of us born in this country. We constitute the Indian republic. Well, at least, constitutionally, if not in practice. But this abstract idea that we constitute India is liberating for citizens of this country. The people of India elect their representatives by casting votes every five years. This is a big achievement for Indians to be able to chose who will govern them.

Dr. Ambedkar

Dr. Ambedkar

Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War in United State remarked that constitution will rule whatever is below it and destroy whatever is above it. The constitution gives that power to us. On to this question, Babasaheb directed his entire energy as to who is the ruler of India. He opposed the British Raj. His scathing remarks on exploitation of natives, his analytical criticism of Raj’s social policies, and his objective analysis of British policy are testimonies to his criticism of the British Raj. He didn’t want India to be ruled by the British. To him, it was exploitative and undermining natives of India. He was also opposed to Congress’s brand of India. Since 1937, Indian National Congress came to power in the Central Assembly and majority of the provinces of British India, their rule was similarly exploitative and it was not for “We, the people of India”. Indian National Congress was supported by the capitalists and media even during this period. They won the elections since 1937. The Indians that made Indian National Congress and larger population of Indians they ruled reflected the clear social fact of India. The Indian National Congress was elitist and led by the upper castes, mainly the Brahmans and Banias. This is the reason why Jotiba Phule was opposed to the Indian National Congress. Here lies the importance of Jotiba Phule, who created a platform for the politics of Bahujans. He was the progenitor of the idea of India ruled by the Non-Brahmans and by the current implications not by the axis of Brahmans and Banias.

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Special programme on Dr B R Ambedkar by DD News


The-Architect-Of-Modern-India

Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar

 

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Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s fight for women’s rights


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Check also – Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and International Women’s Day

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Read also – Mahatma Jotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule’s contribution towards women empowerment

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