Tag Archives: Reservation for all dalits & Dr. Amedkar’s dream of university unfulfilled

6th January in Dalit History – Reservation for all Dalits & Dr. Amedkar’s dream of university unfulfilled


6 January 1929: First All Assam Depressed Classes Conference

The conference was presided by Senapati Sonadhar Das. The conference raised the demand for separate electorate for the Depressed Classes[1]. Due to conspicuous presence of tribal population there was no severe form of untouchablity in Assam. Therefore, the dalit movement was not so strong. The movement in that state was more under the influence of Congress party than that of the Scheduled Castes Federation.[2]

 

6 January 1939: Dr. Ambedkar addressed a big meeting of agriculturists at Mahad (Raigad district of Maharashtra) where he impressed upon the audience that the Congress Ministry had failed to mitigate their woes[3].

He said that the Premier Kher (Pirme Minister of Bombay) was simply a figure head; and he described the other Ministers of the Provincial Government as dogs at the door of Sardar Patel. Referring to the boastful statement of Sardar Patel, which he had made at a reception given to Kher in Gujarat, to the effect that they welcomed Kher as a devotee of Gandhi and not as Premier Kher, otherwise thet would have sent him back unceremoniously, Dr. Ambedkar said that he would wreak vengeance on Patel for this dire insult inflicted upon a Maharashtrian. If Patel dared insult him in this manner, he added, he would thrash him. This was no a soliloquy; this was a public speech! It was a natural outburst of anger sprung from a strong mind which was consitenet with its contempt for the Congress leaders’ rude mentality, and determinied to show its superiority.

The above outburst is also a sequale to the immediate past incidents. In September 1938, the Industrial Disputes Bill was taken up by the Bombay Legislative Assembly. Dr. Ambedkar and Jamnadas Mehta opposed the Bill tooth and nail. Ambedkar described Bill as bad, bloody and bloodthirsty inasmuch as it made a strike under certain circumstances illegal and affected the right of the labourer to strike. Ambedkar stated that according to him strike was a civil wrong and not a crime, and making a man serve against his will was nothing less than making him a slave. He continued that the Bill ought to have been called ‘the Worker’ “Civil Liberties Suspension Act”. Ambedkar then teased the Government by saying that it was a Government, which claimed to be elected on labour votes; but it did not stand by its election pledges. It was a democracy, he added, that was enslaving the working class, and therefore it was a mockery of democracy. But the Congress Ministry was determined to pass the Bill, which they ultimately did despite massive rally at Kamgar Maidan (on 6 & 7 November) and strike (on 7 November) were organized by Independent Labour Party. Also on 25 December, Swami Sahajanand, the Peasant leader from Uttar Pradesh, saw Dr. Ambedkar at his residence in Bombay and had a talk with him about the labour problem in Bombay and the agrarian reforms in general. He tried to persuade Ambedkar to join the Congress to form a united front against imperialism.

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6 January 1940: Periyar met Dr. Ambedkar in Mumbai[4]

By 10.00 a.m, Periyar arrived at Dadar station with his colleagues (Justice T. A. V. Nathan, P. Balasubramaniam – Editor of Sunday observer, the mouth piece of Justice Party, C. A. Annadurai, the General Secretary of Justice Party, T. P. S. Ponnappan and C. Panjatcharam). He was given a reception and taken by a decorated coach fitted with two white horses! Evening, he met Dr. Ambedkar and latter took the former to his residence. Both discussed on various social and political issues from 9.00 to 10.30 p.m.

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