A Savior of Untouchables
The father of Indian Constitution named Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was an Indian jurist, economist, social reformer, politician, world-class scholar and the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. He was born on April 14, 1891. He was the first and only person in the world to receive a valuable degree named Doctor All Science from London School of Economics. He spent his whole life in the upliftment of the poor, untouchable, exploited and oppressed people who belonged to the lower castes and troubled classes in India. That’s why, he was also known as the savior of the suppressed classes.
Learn to live in this world with self-respect.
— Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
Social Ideology of Babasaheb
After analyzing the various religious and historical studies, he was of the opinion that the Hindu social order is responsible for the origination of the Hindu caste system. This system was the root cause of the social and economic inequalities and responsible for the injustice that was faced by the lower caste people and untouchables in India. He knew that these inequalities become the barrier in the development and welfare of these downtrodden section of the society. Therefore, he wanted to annihilate that ill system of caste and was in the favor of establishing a casteless and classless society where there would not be any discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, status, gender and occupation. In this way, he worked for the social integration and opposed the idea of superiority. He believed that until the oppressed people would not raise voice against their exploitation, they cannot improve their worsened situation. Therefore, he delivered a number of public speeches and spread his writings to make the untouchables and exploited people aware of their fundamental rights.
Laws and Equality
According to him, laws were framed in the light of the customs and traditions which were mostly in the favor of the upper caste people and disproportionately provide benefits to them. He wanted that the laws must be framed not only by considering the customs and traditions but must also have some humanitarian, moral and logical grounds which would be beneficial for every individual and provide social justice and equality irrespective of their castes, creeds and classes. On this basis, it can be said that the bill that was passed in the parliament of India in July 2019 named Triple Talaq may prove to be a commendable step towards providing equality to the Muslim women. In the same way, there must be some other appropriate provisions for the minorities and exploited section of the society to protect their identity in a democratic and diverse nation like India.
Equality and Present Scenario
At present, the foremost requirement is to revive the heritage left by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and speed up his ideas and work again. Especially during COVID-19, no one can deny the fact that the vibrant health and educational infrastructure is among the prominent requirements of a present-day prosperous and developing nation like India. It is the time for the health and educational equity where these fundamental services can be extended to everyone irrespective of his/her caste, creed, occupation and gender. The step of the Indian government to construct more than 400 new Eklavya Model Residential Schools may be a laudable step towards providing education to the tribal children. There is a need to increase the budget amount allocated for the health and educational infrastructure to achieve the objectives i.e., Implementation of new education policy, free vaccination drive for those who belong to lower middle class families to help every Indian keep himself/herself healthy and overcome the fear of COVID -19 Pandemic. It is righty said that healthy people lay the foundation for the healthy societies which further build a healthy nation. The importance of equality can be defined in such a way that if every citizen of a nation has access to better health and education, no one can stop it from becoming a world leader.
Equality and Development of the Nation
In the figure 1, it can be apparently seen that the untouchables are at the bottom of the pyramid which means that they are deprived of various welfare services come under the ambit of their fundamental rights and their well-being level is very low as they have no necessary means and resources to fulfil their daily essential needs as compared to other caste people. But it is also true that on the one hand, their living standard is not as much good as of the upper caste people while, on the other hand, there is significant contribution of the people belonging to Other Backward Class (OBC), Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes in the total population of India (Census, 2011). That's why, the upliftment of these classes becomes imperative for the development of the nation. It can be done through providing them the access to the better health and educational facilities and making them aware of their fundamental rights so that they can empower themselves.
Wrapping it Up
No one can ignore the contribution of Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar who worked for arousing the spirit of inclusiveness, equality, national unity and integration among the people of different religion, caste and creed. According to him, if the social and economic equality, independence and brotherhood prevail in the society then it will lead to social justice. Indeed, it is impossible to fulfil the dream of establishing a peaceful and prosperous society without social and economic democracy. The principle of equality should be the prominent political ideal of the present-day democratic India to make every citizen of the country feel involved and integrated in the development process of the nation. In a nutshell, it becomes imperative to analyze and follow the great ideology of Babasaheb in the present context as a prosperous nation demands for it. It’s time to build a fairer and healthier world for everyone everywhere. So, let us resolve on this birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar that we will grow not individually but in solidarity.
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© 2021 Amit Sharma