Tag 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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Constitutional Safeguards for Dalits


SAFEGUARDS IN THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION FOR SCHEDULED CASTES

AND SCHEDULED TRIBES

The important Constitutional safeguards for SCs & STs are mentioned below:

(a) Directive Principles of State Policy

Article 46 is a comprehensive article comprising both the developmental and regulatory aspects. It reads as follows:

“The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections, of the people, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation”.

(b) Social Safeguards

Article 17. “Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of “Untouchability” shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.

616x510To give effect to this Article, Parliament made an enactment viz., Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955. To make the provisions of this Act more stringent, the Act was amended in 1976 and was also renamed as the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955. As provided under the Act, Government of India also notified the Rules, viz., the PCR Rules, 1977, to carry out the provisions of this Act. As cases of atrocities on SCs/STs were not covered under the provisions of PCR Act, 1955, Parliament passed another important Act in 1989 for taking measures to prevent the atrocities. This act known as the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, became effective from 30.1.1990. For carrying out the provisions of this Act the Govt. of India have notified the SCs and the STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995 on 31.3.1995.

Article 23. Prohibits traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced labour and provides that any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law. It does not specifically mention SCs & STs but since the majority of bonded labour belong to SCs/STs this Article has a special significance for SCs and STs. In pursuance of this article, Parliament has enacted the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. For effective implementation of this Act, the Ministry of Labour is running a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for identification, liberation and rehabilitation of bonded labour.

Article 24 provides that no child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment. There are Central and State laws to prevent child labour. This article too is significant for SCs and STs as a substantial portion, if not the majority, of child labour engaged in hazardous employment belong to SCs and STs.

Article 25(2)(b) provides that Hindu religious institutions of a public character shall be thrown open to all classes and sections of Hindus. This provision is relevant as some sects of Hindus used to claim that only members of the concerned sects had a right to enter their temples. This was only a subterfuge to prevent entry of SC persons in such temples. For the purpose of this provision the term Hindu includes Sikh, Jaina and Budhist.

Educational and Cultural Safeguards

Article 15(4) empowers the State to make any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for SC and ST. This provision has enabled the State to reserve seats for SCs and STs in educational institutions including technical, engineering and medical colleges and in Scientific & Specialised Courses. In this as well as in Article 16(4)the term ‘backward classes’ is used as a generic term and comprises various categories of backward classes, viz., Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Denotified Communities (Vimukta Jatiyan) and Nomadic/Seminomadic communities.

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22nd November in Dalit History – B’day of Jalkari Bai


Jalkari Bai was born on 22nd November 1830 in village Bhojalla on Balaji Marg. His father was Sadova Singh and mother named Dhania but some authors say her father was named as Mool Chand & mother Jamuna Devi. They were agriculturists, belonging to Kori Caste of Untouchables having  Laria Gotar.  Kori Caste has a glorious history and Kories are said to have been rulers of this country . Shamba Asur  Maharaj  was a Kori ruler as also revered  Yashodhara wife of Gotam Budha was too from Kori Caste. How this so warrior and prosperous Kori peoples were reduced to a unknown position is a mystery. Jalkari Bai also nicknamed as Chaloria was the only child of her parents and she lost her mother at a very young age. So she was brought up by her father with utmost care, love and affection. Jalkari Bai grew into a strong, courageous, beautiful girl.
She was an Indian woman soldier who played an important role in the Indian Rebellion of 1857 during the battle of Jhansi. She was a soldier in the women’s army of Queen Laxmibai of Jhansi.

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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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Dr. Ambedkar, Congress, BJP and RSS


This article was first posted at Round Table India.

It may be your interest to be our masters, but how can it be ours to be your slaves? – Thucydides

As seen recently on the occasion of Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti, everyone from the RSS to the BJP to the Congress seem ready to appropriate and claim Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy, most likely to appease Dalits for votes. RSS is using Dr. Ambedkar’s name to justify their evil agenda such as ‘Ghar Wapsi’ and wrongly claiming that he supported RSS’ ideology. BJP is saying that Dr. Ambedkar was a ‘nationalist’ and using Dr. Ambedkar inappropriately as a shield for their wickedness against Muslims, and Congress on the other hand is claiming that although Dr. Ambedkar had serious differences he was part of the Congress ‘dhara’. They even have plans to hold year-long celebrations in the name of Dr. Ambedkar.

Further, the Congress is demanding that the Modi government should issue gold coins and stamps with Dr. Ambedkar’s imprint on them. But I would like to know how many stamps and gold coins did the Congress issue in the 10 years of its rule? All these parties till now have distorted Dalit history and have created obstacles in the path of Dalits’ progress. It has been the policy of all these parties to hijack national icons who have a mass following in order to get votes. Congress did everything to stop Dr. Ambedkar from entering the parliament in 1952 elections. Go back and read history and you will see that not only the Congress but also the BJP and RSS have done everything to suppress Dalits.

All these parties are always silent whenever Dalit women are raped and murdered. And when foreign journalists cover that news, they kick them out of the country. For example, the Khairlanji news was first covered by a journalist from USA, while the Brahmin media had ignored it for months. Later, these people forced that journalist to leave India. What right do they have to celebrate and claim Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy when they don’t even follow what Dr. Ambedkar stood for?

On one side, the BJP in Maharashtra was successful in getting the sympathy of Dalits for buying Dr. Ambedkar’s home in London but at the same time they don’t seem to care much about Dr. Ambedkar’s home in Dadar which is crumbling. Why wasn’t the Indu mills land allotted to construct Dr. Ambedkar’s memorial? Also, Dr. Ambedkar’s belongings (Dalit heritage) are getting ruined in the Nagpur museum, what has the BJP government done to save that? Nothing.

To top it all, a few weeks back it was the BJP government that demolished Siddharth Vihar in Mumbai, the place where Dalit Panthers was formed.This year, the ruling BJP in its national budget allocated around 60% less than the prescribed Sub-plan norms to the Dalits. They don’t care about the constitution of India, which was written by Dr. Ambedkar but want to celebrate his birthday.

Maybe when Modi is saying ‘Jai Bhim’ today, his Bhim is from Mahabharata. It can’t be Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar as Modi’s actions don’t represent Babasaheb’s ideolgy. Stop misleading Dalits.

RSS is justifying Ghar Wapsi by using Dr Ambedkar’s name – this is not only shameful but outright ridiculous. When Dr. Ambedkar himself had left the Ghar (Hinduism), how can anyone say such a thing? And Dr. Ambedkar would have never approved of your forceful conversion of poor innocent people. Stop insulting Dr. Ambedkar by your evil deeds. I would suggest that the BJP, RSS and Congress should read Dr. Ambedkar’s books, in particular “Riddles in Hinduism” and “Annihilation of Caste”. The Congress shoud especially read “What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables”. And then ask themselves how can they claim Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy?

Why don’t the RSS, BJP and Congress first annihilate caste and then celebrate Dr. Ambedkar Jayanti?

All of these parties want a piece of Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy for their propaganda. But I want to raise some important issues. Throughout the year, you talk against reservation, which is for equality, you deny us our food, our culture, our history, and by celebrating Dr. Ambedkar Jayanti you think Dalits can be fooled and they will accept your Hindutva propaganda. Forget it, for we’ve been awakened by Babasaheb and we know your motive is to erase what Dr. Ambedkar said and rewrite his thoughts in a manner that suits your propaganda.

 It’s your people who kill, exploit Dalits, grab their lands, make them work in your fields, snatch away any opportunity they have to read and write. You don’t let them enter temples, you don’t let them become priests in temples, you purify Dalit students by sprinkling cow urine, you kill Dalits just because their names match with some of yours, you make Dalits remove their shoes when they have to pass in front of your houses, you consider Dalits’ shadow impure, you eat into Dalit students’ scholarships, you don’t eat food cooked by Dalits, you make Dalit students sit separately in classrooms, you parade Dalit women naked, you don’t deliver post in Dalit colonies, in your homes you have separate utensils for Dalits.

nature_caste_hindus

You advertise on newspapers – Dalits, Muslims need not to apply, in courts you don’t deliver justice to Dalits, you didn’t deliver any justice to Dalits in Bathani Tola, Jehanabad, Melavalavu, Muthanya, Laxmanpur Bathe and Kilvenmani massacres. In movies and T.V. shows you denigrate Dalit characters, you don’t rent your home to Dalits and Muslims, you keep Dalits and Muslims in jails without any crime and then you talk about justice, you do nothing to stop Devdasi system (temple prostitution), you vandalise statues of Dalit icons and then put garlands on their anniversary, you boycott Dalits in villages, you don’t let Dalits hoist flags, you publish job openings with – ‘Dalits need not to apply’.

You killed Dalit icons such as Tukaram and you also attempted to kill Mahatma Jotiba Phule, you threw mud on Savtribai Phule, you created obstacles in her good cause, you opposed Dr. Ambedkar during his lifetime, you abused him, you labelled him as a ‘traitor’, ‘anti-national’, you demolish mosques on his death anniversary, you malign Dr. Ambedkar’s greatness by writing ‘Worshiping false gods’ and then you pretend to worship him. You opposed abolition of untouchability, you still practice untouchability, you still worship 33 crore fake gods, and you denied Dalits separate electorates. You destroy Dalit history every day, you malign Dalit history every day and then you try to benefit from the legacy of Dr. Ambedkar.

Dr. Ambedkar never believed in your 33 crore fake Gods. Dr. Ambedkar fought for the rights of Dalits and Adivasis. But you displaced them, snatched their lands, made them homeless. You use poor innocent Dalits in your fields, you don’t pay their wages, and you exploit them. Where is your love for the Untouchables when all this happens? How can Dr. Ambedkar be one of you when you do all these things? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself when you even say such things? You don’t deserve any part of Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy.

Cartoon by Unnamati Syama Sundar

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26 facts you need to know about 26th January – Indian Republic Day


  1. On 29 August, 1947, the constituent assembly set up a drafting committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to prepare a draft constitution for India. While deliberating upon the draft constitution, the assembly moved, discussed and disposed of as many as 2,473 amendments out of a total of 7,635 tabled.
  2. The assembly met in sessions open to the public, for 166 days, spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on 24 January 1950.
  3. Dr. Ambedkar was one of the very few Indian statesmen-politicians who actively participated in the discussions on Constitutional matters from the Monsford Reforms (1919) to the Cabinet Mission (1946) proposals.
  4. 26th January is the real independence day of Dalits because on this day Manusmriti/Vedic laws came to end.
  5. Dalit-Bahujans got human rights on this day. It is the real Independence Day for Dalits, otherwise on 15th August there was just a power transfer from British to so called upper caste people of India.
  6. Indian constitution is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, containing 448 articles in 25 parts, 12 schedules, 5 appendices and 98 amendments.
  7. At the time of commencement, the constitution had 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules.
  8. As of December 2014, 98 amendments have been made to the Constitution of India since it was first enacted in 1950.
  9. It consists of almost 80,000 words and took 2 years 11 months and 18 days to build. Main work was done by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar only.
  10. Dr. B R Ambedkar is regarded as the architect of the Indian Constitution. Dr. B R. Ambedkar was an untouchable, who was denied access to education but he struggled and educated himself and became the first law minister of India.
  11. The Constitution came into a legal circulation at 10:18am IST on the 26th of January, 1950.
  12. There are just two original copies of the Constitution in the country written in Hindi and English.
  13. Indian constitution was all hand-written and it was on the 26th of January that marked the celebration of Independence in its true sense.
  14. The Indian emblem is adapted from the Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath, dating back to 250 BC.
  15. The original book of our Constitution is a 479 page calligraphic edition signed by all our framers and
  16. The original book of our Constitution is preserved in a helium filled case in the Library of Parliament.
  17. Parliamentary system was borrowed from Buddhism. IMG_9811118112632
  18. Dr. Ambedkar said on constitution that ‘I feel that the constitution is workable, it is flexible and it is strong enough to hold the country together both in peacetime and in wartime. Indeed, if I may say so, if things go wrong under the new Constitution, the reason will not be that we had a bad Constitution. What we will have to say is that Man was vile.’
  19. Granville Austin described the Indian Constitution drafted by Dr. Ambedkar as ‘first and foremost a social document’. … ‘The majority of India’s constitutional provisions are either directly arrived at furthering the aim of social revolution or attempt to foster this revolution by establishing conditions necessary for its achievement.
  20. In India, Republic Day means the day honours the date on which the Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935), Dr B R Ambedkar was the Drafting committee chairmen of constitution of India. Therefore, this day is remember the contributions of Dr B. R. Ambedkar.
  21. The date 26 January, as everyone knows, was when the Constitution of India came into force. This date was, later on, chosen to honour the memory of the “Declaration of Independence of 1930” from the British Rule.
  22. Dr Ambedkar – On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics, we will have equality and in social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of democracy which this Constituent Assembly has so laboriously built up.
  23. Dr Ambedkar was criticized for giving more powers to centre government. In the draft Constitution Dr. Ambedkar offered more powers to the Centre and made it strong. Some members of the constituent assembly criticised him on the ground that since Dr. Ambedkar postulated – the rights and values of each individual and the development of each province and each–village, it was contradictory of his part to make the Centre strong.
  24. Justifying the provisions for a strong Central authority Dr. Ambedkar said that he made the centre strong not only to ‘save minorities from the misrule of majority’ but also “for it is only the centre which can work for a common end and for the general interests of the country as a whole.”
  25. On the night of January 25, 1999 – on the eve of Republic Day – around 100 armed Ranvir Sena activists raided a Dalit hamlet at Shankar Bigha village in central Bihar’s Jehanabad district and gunned down at least 23 villagers in cold blood while they were asleep in their mud-built houses and huts. The marauders had also set afire their houses before fleeing the scene. Of the dead, five were women and seven children — the youngest being six months old.
  26. These are the opening words of the preamble to the Indian Constitution
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;

and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.

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Teesri Azadi – Full Movie


“There is a no nation of Indians in the real sense of the world; it is yet to be created. How can people divided into thousands of castes be a nation?” — Dr B R Ambedkar

480

Watch truth about Indian History.

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Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s hand written letter


Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's hand written letter.

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s hand written letter.

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