9 January 1930: Leadership cannot be imposed, it must be accepted by those on whose behalf it is claimed – Dr. Ambedkar
Janta newspaper reported the following: ‘The greatest presumption on Gandhi’s part at the Round Table Conference was that he claimed that he represented the depressed classes and not Dr. Ambedkar…. Leadership cannot be imposed, it must be accepted by those on whose behalf it is claimed.’
9 January 1931: Dr. Ambedkar at the fourth sitting of Round Table Conference in London, recommended transfer of police powers from minister to the Governor in times of imposition of emergency
This was the fourth sitting of Round Table Conference in London on the sub-committee No VII where the Police Act was being deliberated.
Mr. Zafrullah Khan : If I may add just this. Perhaps the members of this Committee are not all aware that both the Federal Structure Sub-Committee and the Joint Sub-Committee set up by Sub-Committees Nos. I and II have suggested quite a large number of enactments on comparatively unimportant subjects to be placed in that list under Section 80(3)(h)„ and if we put the Police Act under that it will not contravene any principles whatever.
Dr. Ambedkar: I am in general agreement with Mr. Zafrullah Khan. The reason why the Police Act is not placed in the Schedule today is that the subject is a reserved subject, therefore as a matter of fact the Government of India has a complete control over the Department of Law and Order; and when the Department of Law and Order comes to be transferred the position will be altogether different. I think it will be necessary to consider whether we should not at least for the transitional period, consider the necessity of certain safeguards at least for keeping such as they exist at the present time. I personally am in favour of the suggestion that is Police Act should be included in the Schedule which requires today the previous sanction of the Governor-General or the Government of India. There is another point to which I should like to draw your attention with respect to the question of the Police and the Department of Law and Order, a point which I raised also in the Provincial Constitution Sub-Committee. This question has been considered, of course, from the standpoint of the responsibility of the future Provincial (State) Governments. It seems to me that this question has also to be considered from the standpoint of the different minorities in the Provinces and the emergency occasions which may arise on occasions of communal trouble and such other emergencies. It seems to me that it is indeed a great safeguard for the minorities in the different Provinces to know which officer belonging to what community is going to administer law and order in that particular locality when a communal riot has taken place. We are all aware that all Police Officers are accused of partiality and of showing favour to one community or the other. There may not be sufficient justification for that accusation; but there maybe cases when there may be abundant justification for the partiality of the officers operating law and order in those particular localities. It seems to me that it is very necessary in the interests of the protection of the minorities that the transfer and posting of Police Officers should not be, at least in times of emergency, in the hands of Ministers. It may be that a Minister who may have a communal majority in the Province may on any particular occasion shift a Police Officer who may not favour the particular community to which he belongs.
Mr. Zafarullah Khan : Ordinarily the Inspector-General does it.
Dr. Ambedkar : I know that in the Bombay Presidency a great row was created on account of the transfer of Police Officers. I do not know whether it was done under the Inspectorof Police or by the Officer in charge; but I think that is a great safeguard which it is necessary to provide for in the future Constitution of India. My specific proposal is this, that in cases of emergency, as a riot or communal trouble takes place, the Governor should have over-riding powers over the Minister in different localities with regard to the Police.