1) Critically assess the legacy of Babasaheb Ambedkar, especially in the context of the efforts by mainstream political parties to appropriate him.

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TopicModern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

1) Critically assess the legacy of Babasaheb Ambedkar, especially in the context of the efforts by mainstream political parties to appropriate him. (200 Words)


  • kid monkey

    baba saheb ambedkar remained as the symbol of confidence for the downtrodden and vulnerable sections. His efforts and intentions are listed below.

    1. self respect vs upliftment
    Ambedkar’s strategy is to inculcate confidence among dalits and downtrodden. this can be compared against Gandhiji’s harijan uplift movement. but Ambedkar’s way had shown more impact.

    2. socialist orientation
    he established a political party called labor party to work for the cause of worker class.

    3. voice against untouchability and denial of entry into temples.

    4. nationalism over group interests
    unlike Muslim League, Ambedkar accepted to mount the pressure on the British along with INC. Pune pact could be an example for this.

    5. chairman of drafting committee
    he could effectively alter the environment of constitutional assembly with his undeniable arguments. thus he could achieve many relaxations to vulnerable sections. positive discrimination is one among his achievements.

    6. Hindu code bill
    he has been called as modern manu for his contribution in this regard. the hindu women could get certain rights just because of this act.

    thus Ambedkar worked not only for dalits. but also for other down trodden like tribes, labor and women. he stood for social justice. He questioned almost every aspect of irrational religious beliefs. he even gave an open call to dalits to join buddhism. He passed away silently. but his legacy remains brightly lit.

    • Jujubi

      Good one. But the answer lacked the two aspects of the question.

      1) The critical assessment part 2)The current imbroglio created by various parties in owning him.

      For the first part, you can highlight: How the concept of reservation was changed over a period from the question of upliftment to the question of my share in population= my quota; secondly, how difficult it is to have a look at the estimation of development due to reservation, when in the country the democracy is largely driven by vote-bank politics and thus leading to ceremonial amendments to the constitution every ten years without any discussion.

      For the second part, you can say that he being the embodiment of both left (His socialist perception) and right(His idea that only the people from indigenous religions can avail the reservation) ideologies, and also the political parties which want to gain the likes of the scheduled castes/tribes for their own mileage… can be mentioned

      • Columbus

        Good points for first part… thoda second part ka left, right wala concept explain kardo !!!

    • PENDU

      hey bubby do u have skype Acc so that i can share my doubts with u ………….. tcks

      • kid monkey

        i dont have. i m sorry. you can reach me on kidmonkey26 ( gmail)

  • Bruce

    1) Critically assess the legacy of Babasaheb Ambedkar, especially in the context of the efforts by mainstream political parties to appropriate him. (200 Words)

    Babasahed Ambedkar is the founding father of India who have a different vision for India. He considered that post-Independent India will have political equality but it denies social and economic equality. It will never be good for democrary. His concern for dalits, backwards, poor, workers and women is eveident by Mahad Satayagraha, his book” Annhilation of Caste”, Hindu Code Bill and labour laws as part of Exceutive Council of pre-independent India which adopted in independent India also.

    His long-long struggle for betterment of dalits, ex-untouchable, should be mirror for society and failure of democracy. He has been reduced to only reservation -giver in popular image but does any political party will consider his views on land reforms,issue of failure of political reservation for SC/ST and women empowerment. Right wing parties are adopting him to justify their ghar wapsi campaign and other as “dalit icon” but all ignoring his vision for India- a future for little guy. All ignores that he considered higher education as medium for emanciaption of oppressed but all mainstream parties believe in privatisation of higher education instead of making accessible to all citizenry.

  • Himanshu

    B. R. Ambedkar was one of the most important figures who played a remarkable in India’s nation building. Being a Dalit himself, Ambedkar waged a spirited struggle against Dalit discrimination. This culminated in the famous Mahar Satyagrah and formation of Political parties like ILP and SCF. He advocated socio-economic development of Dalit for upliftment and later on took recourse to conversion for emancipation.

    Another major contribution was his role as the chairman of Drafting Committee of Indian Constitution and drafting of Hindu Code Bill [later on passed in 1956]. Indian constitution has often been described as a model constitution because of its progressive features of equality and protective discrimination [a fact noted by Granville Austin]. Further, Ambedkar brought a modernist outlook orientation to Indian discourse by emphasizing on modern values and importance of Industrialization, education and Scientific orientation. He was a prolific writer who continued to write till the last day of his life!

    The current events of appropriating his legacies by various Political Parties seem to more guided by vested political interests rather than conviction in his legacy. Though, this has led to building of memorials, institutions, roads etc. in his name, they remain symbolic and peripheral. The true legacy can only be realized by implementation of Indian Constitution and its values both in letter and spirit and, in an Indian society which characterized by equality, liberty and fraternity.

    • Lalit Kishore

      Holistically written…everything is covered as per question’s demand

    • Columbus

      where did u critically assessed legacy of Ambedkar ???
      q is demanding that… u just gave account of his achievements.
      Correct me if i am wrong … u attended second part well but missed first one according to me.

      • NPN

        yes the critical part is lacking…i agree with u Columbus

  • Aspirant

    Dr BhimRao Ambedkar who was born in Mhow , was an intellectual who strived hard for betterment of the nation ,
    He led struggle for Dalit upliftment by spreading importace of education and self respect among dalit classes
    Ambedkar played an important role in framing constitution where he realised the need of upliftment of dalits, women and was vocal about them
    Ambedkar was vocal about Hindu code bill and resigned when he wasnot supported by then PrimeMinister
    He as an intellectual continue to write about many social, political and economic issues which were of importance even today
    The recent rush of political party to celebrate his legacy is nothing but a foax where they just mean to appease the dalit oters but not actually appreciate what Ambedkar had actually wanted and to implement it

    Please review
    My firstanswer

  • nageswara rao

    Ambekar is man of inspiration and courage . He was born and brought up with lot of trobules and issues and developed his visions to help other depressed people like him
    He is well educated, first economist of India , He was so ambitious he had his education in most prestigious institutes of the world at that time.In 1919 India Act , he raised his voice for separate electorate and reservations for untouchables. In All Euro Simon commission -1925 , britishers considered his insights.The discrimations he faced since childhood are untouchables should not enter temples, should not study with brahmin community , should not drink glass of water what they use. are all very attrocies .
    That feelings made him to grow strong an fight against this highly educated Indian community for their poor human values. He burnt Manuscripts 1927, entered Kalaram temple in 1930. During Poona Act 1932 , he mounted pressure on britishers .He influenced more than gandhijis Harijan Movement.
    He even oppossed article 370. with enlightment he converted to Buddhism and influenced mass to convert .He was a main member in Drafting committee.

    He is a jurist, Economist ,Politician , Writer, Lawyer and Professor. With all this diversified knowledge he fought for noble cause to change many Hindu laws that were crept in Indian society since decades ,

    • vikrant sharma

      Legacy and political rush???

  • vikrant sharma

    Being born in a dalit family, baba saheb faced the discrimination due to the prevailing caste system. It not only motivated him to fight against it but also made him profess such a life devoted to the betterment of the down troddens.
    He advocated that only good education could help in elevating the standard of untouchables women & down troddens post independence era. His work as a reformer, socialist, revivalist, economist, and as a good politician is impeccable. His views still echo in India’ s soul. He championed for seperate electrorate and Hindu code bills which proved their utility in indian context.
    His ideology along with ghandhian one, being founding stone of modern social values, will always guide Indians for the millennia.
    All political parties are now indulging in appeasement practice for vote bank. that’s why their claims of appropriating baba saheb seems futile because no one tries to reflect his idology through actions. Monuments & memorials don’t do good for the people, it’s the ideology that makes difference.

  • Lalit Kishore

    Babasaheb Ambedkar is a icon of confidence for the downtrodden and vulnerable section of the society.

    Ambedkar as highly educated social reformist believe in equality among human beings irrespective of caste,religion,gender and class.he tried to inculcate the value of equality among the mass through his movements like Temple Entry and Mahad Satyagraha to draw water from community tank.

    The text prepared in constituion by Ambedkar provided constitutional guarantees and protections for a wide range of civil liberties for individual citizens, including freedom of religion, the abolition of untouchability and the outlawing of all forms of discrimination.

    Recent rush to apropriate Ambedkar by mainstream political party is totally based on the their intension to get dalits and downtrodden votes,by constructing roads,statues of him.
    The true legacy can be realized only through proper implementatio of constituion in its latter and spirit.

  • Chhavi

    Babasaheb Ambedkar was a scholar, liberal thinker & staunch
    supporter of social equality & justice; his legacy includes:

    constitution of India: which has stood the test of
    time; includes progressive features which were often non-existent in that era;
    protective discrimination through reservation & equal voting rights to
    women & minorities; cooperative federalism.

    Hindu code bill: was his idea to bring equality &
    justice in society; through emancipation of women; by extending equal property
    rights to women.

    staunch critic: of caste system; led depressed classes
    against social discrimination; was a spirit of confidence & self respect
    behind depressed classes.

    on a critical side: the policy of protective discrimination through
    reservations has been increasingly used to gain political mileage; promotes
    mediocrity & hurts merit system; every decade reservations are extended for
    next decade without any sort of analysis; thus Ambedkar’s policy has not been
    applied in true spirit.

    Recently on Ambedkar’s 125th anniversary; with various political parties attempting
    to appropriate his legacy; question of social equality & justice,
    downtrodden status of lower castes as raised by Ambedkar still remain
    unanswered; these questions become more pertinent in the wake of deteriorating
    status of women & lower castes; No political party works in true sense for
    an India free from gender & caste bias.

    125th anniversary of Ambedkar gives us an opportunity to rethink our
    reservation policies which are not reaching the true needy & vast chasm of
    social injustice in form of caste & gender bias.

    • mehar

      hey chhavi, i really like your answer.
      you could also add his legacy in areas of indian economy, as the RBI was conceptualised in one of his guidelines.
      then labour, when he was the labour minister in viceroy’s council, he reduced working hours from 12 to 8.

    • valkyrie

      your critical analysis shows that you lack the understanding of positive discrimination system.

      • Narayan

        Writing truth is not lacking understanding…

        • valkyrie

          thats what i meant…… lacking understanding of truth

          • Narayan

            Wish there were more people lacking understanding. Writing, speaking and acting against reservations.
            Half of our government employees are dumbos for all practical reasons…

            • valkyrie

              Son stop acting like an idiot and calling names to others….do you mean to say half the people who get selected every year are dumbos and only you are the divine one.Do you have an understanding of reservations??….have you gone through any of the works of Ambedkar such as annihilation of caste where he gives his mind behind the reservation system???
              Don’t act like a novice or a man on the street….if you are here for civil service prepration go deep into the crux of a issue and understand them… don’t just give general statements of what you think is right.

              • Narayan

                Don’t preach me. I know what it feels like to be below one cutoff and above 3 others…

                • valkyrie

                  why do you compare urself with others?? fight in your own arena….others have got what they deserve and what is their right….just coz you are not the one benefiting from it dosen’t make it wrong

              • Narayan

                Neha Yadav, rank 24, 2013, presently enjoying a trainee diplomat in Delhi qualified prelims in the OBC cutoff. Her score was 235. General cutoff was 241.
                I can give you loads of such examples. So DO NOT preach me…

    • Guest

      Great analysis…But Pls don’t write about present political parties… we are not supposed to do that…

      • Narayan

        Why not ???
        Political will is root cause of many lacunae.

        In 2014 mains GS2 (ques 3), the main reason for not codifying privileges is political will.

    • tedmosby

      “‘These questions become more pertinent in the wake of deteriorating
      status of women & lower castes'”- kindly quote the reference before stereotyping.
      Deteriorating in which sense? This may hurt your score given some very good points in the beginning

  • nsathya1990

    B.R. Ambedkar, the leader of the depressed classes in India spent his lifetime fighting for social reforms that would secure the untouchables their long-denied rights and a changed status in society. The central problems highlighted by his life, struggles, studies and experimentation in ideas, which included his views on individualism, migration to cities to overcome exploitation, Kashmir, language, cooperative federalism etc remain alive even today.

    Ambedkar remains a huge source of inspiration for Indians especially for SCs and STs. With rise in education levels, they have become more empowered today. They form an important constituent in elections. The resultant appropriation of Ambedkar’s legacy would provide more political opportunities for the SCs and STs. It could gradually bring to the mainstream debate, his radical questioning of our social order. Yet, there is a fear of selectively appropriating Ambedkar’s legacy. The socio-economic scenario of urbanisation, mobile society etc. more favoured today does align with Ambedkar’s views. At the same time, hereditary, dynastic rule, bhakti or hero-worship and caste in Hinduism were equally detested by Ambedkar. His views on these issues may not get as much focus as some of his other ideas.

    [190 WORDS]

  • Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar was a free thinker, foreign educated and barrister by occupation. Hailing from the lower strata of the society and having suffered caste based discriminations at tender age, today he is best remebered for his stand in those very discriminations.
    1. He was among one of the delegates at 1st Round Table Conference and raised voice for separate representation of the depressed classes. Communal award and Poona Pact were outcomes whereby he succeeded in getting separate electorates for the depressed class.
    2.He was chairman of the Drafting Committee in the Constitutent Assembly. Having great knowledge of all the existing constitutions, this barrister succeeded in making the lengthiest Constitution of the world. He was known for his forceful and convincing aruments in the floor. He ensured that a free India is not just a political democracy but a social democracy. The shining ideals of Fundamental Rights is the best example.
    3. Post independece, he was at the centre of Hindu Code Bill and he favoured egalitarianism. He advocated for womens’ equality.
    4. He converted to Buddhism with his followers to clearly express his disapproval of casteism.
    5. He also articulated his views on quicker settling of boundary issues with China and Pakistan, he was not supportive of Non Alignment nor Nehruvuan industrialization or Gandhian socialism. He expressed his own model of 3 tier economy.
    So depsite not having contributed to freedom struggle and losing elections in his home constituency, he is today seen as a great social contributor. His image is tied with Dalit vote bank and also anti-Congressism to some extent. Political parties who pofess to be Dalit sensitive have to revere him. But Ambedkar stood for egalitarianism and not for running over upper castes. His contributiom to modern Indian polity is unparalleled and equally disheartening is his image’s confiscation for furthering political ends.

    • Pankaj

      Nice answer, but i think in Poona pact, there was an agreement on reservation of seats for depressed Hindu class and not on separate electorate.

  • sadist

    Babsaheb was a scholar, politcal activist, economist, fighter, messiah of the dalits, lawyer and an intellectual of the first rate. His contriubtion to India is unparalleled and there is much we need to do to achieve what he dreamt of India and its future.

    1. He has become a symbol of social justice throughout the country. Today dalits residing in whichever part of the country worship him and organise themselves around him as a common leader to be remembered.

    2. His work as the chairman of the drafting commitee of the constitution earned him the well desrved sobriquet the father the Indian constituion. This constitution which still endured is perhaps Babasaheb’s biggest contribution to Dalits, non-dalits, Muslims alike. It is to be remembred that the constitution was in itself a social revolution. One man one vote and a schme for social justice were inherently revoltuionary ideas.

    3. Also being a modernist he was for industrialisation of India. Villages he thought was a den of ignorance and the hereditary social fabric of caste designed through centuries could disappear if India was to urbanise faster. Today India realised that cities are the centre of growth and no country can prosper without the growth of cities.

    4. As a believer in gender equality he piloted the Hindu Code Bill which still stands stall in India’s feminist struggle.

    Today’s political parties view the symbol of Ambedkar as a political vote catcher. His beiefs in hero worship, annihilation of caste, giving up idolatory are still ignored.

  • Rahul B

    Mainstream political parties are vying to own his legacy. It is a healthy sign as more people will get aware of Ambedkar’s ideas and ideologies.

    Ambedkar was criticised for focusing not on national movement but rather on social justice esp. in elimination of caste system. He was essentially a social reformer rather than a freedom fighter.

    Irrespective of how he is viewed as, his legacy is of great significance for the nation. Some of his major achievements are mentioned below:
    1. As a chairman of drafting committee of Indian Constitution, he prepared it in record time even while making forceful, articulate and scientific arguments on various issues.
    2. He was a staunch supporter of Dalits and always stood for equality and upliftment of Dalits, his world view majorly formed for the same due to him being a Dalit himself.
    3. He recognised urbanisation as a panacea for caste disparities and encouraged urbanisation.
    4. He contributed towards spread of Buddhism in his final years.
    5. His contribution towards ensuring social justice and equality is unmatched.
    6. He rallied for affirmative action for disadvantaged sections of the society.
    7. He has codified Hindu law for ease of use and legal purposes.

    Babasaheb Ambedkar was truly an exceptional being, someone we ought to emulate in order to make India more socially inclusive. Political parties appropriating his legacy is a great step towards increasing awareness about his ideas provided they are not misconstrued.

    239 words. Couple of weeks ago, Ambedkar has come in Hindu and I made notes on him, luckily they have come of use now 🙂

  • jeanedreze

    BR Ambedkar stood for the following issues and made significant contributions
    1. Concept of Nation: according to him nation is not a political or geographical entity. It is a spiritual connotation where there is a caste less society.he said no nation can progress if it is diluted by concept of chaturvarna.
    2. He said the progress of nation can be measured by the progress the women of the nation has achieved. His special concern for vulnerable section became the reason for affirmative actions for these groups. He also wanted to pass Hindu code bill to liberate women from social evils
    3. He was against hero ship or despotism. He supported the idea of separation of powers and rejected the concept of one family ruling the nation.
    4. He laid the foundation for social justice. He said we are entering a world of contradictions. In political sphere we have one man one vote one value.but in social and economic sphere we are still struggling to achieve one man one value . It can become a danger to political democracy if social and economic equalities are not achieved.

    BR Ambedkar was strong promoter of ideas of equality,justice and fraternity. He also laid the foundation of RBI,the central bank as well as hydropower plants.he introduced the concept of modern democracy which we are still trying to achieve.

  • Akshay

    B R Ambedakar was foreign educated Barrister. He is popularly known for his social standing and fight for the rights of Dalits. He belonged to Dalit section of society and suffered discrimination at a very tender age. During the freedom struggle, when INC was fighting for independence, he was focused upon securing Dalit interest in free India. He was among the delegates of Round table conferences with British Govt. He achieved separate reservation from British during 1st round table conference. He secured Poona Pact in negotiations with gandhi. He was the chairman of drafting committee of Indian constitution, wherein he ensured reservation of depressed castes in Govt services and Govt educational institutions. He was the first law minister of independent India. He advocated women rights. He drafted Hindu Code Bill for empowering women.

    He is criticized by orthodox hindu upper castes society for not recognizing the age old caste system. His excessive agenda for depressed castes is condemned by upper castes population for eliminating the number of available seats for them.