GS Paper 1
Syllabus: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country
|Social||Fought against social discrimination and untouchability||Led the Dalit Buddhist Movement and established the SC/ST Federation|
|Political||Played a key role in drafting the Indian Constitution||Served as the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee|
|Legal||Worked towards the establishment of the rule of law in India||Advocated for the abolition of the caste system and women’s rights|
|Educational||Advocated for education as a means of empowerment||Founded the People’s Education Society to promote education among marginalized communities|
|Labour||He contributed to the reduction of working hours to 48 hours per week, advocated equal pay for equal work, lifted the ban on the employment of women for underground work in coal mines, and introduced the provisions of overtime, paid leave and minimum wage.
|Economic||Advocated for reservations in education and employment for Dalits; the Reserve Bank of India was based on the idea of Ambedkar, which he had presented to the Hilton Young Commission.
In 1951, Ambedkar established the Finance Commission of India. He opposed income tax for low-income groups
His writings on Economics: “Administration and Finance of the East India Company”, “The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India”, “The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin and Its Solution”
|Anthropology||Ambedkar surveyed the existing data on the different castes in his book “The Untouchables”|
Differences in the view of Ambedkar and Gandhiji:
|Issue||Ambedkar’s Views||Mahatma Gandhi’s Views|
|Caste System||Vocal critic and fought for its abolition||Believed in the notion of varnashrama dharma|
|Untouchability||A strong advocate for the rights of Dalits and other marginalized communities||Believed in social reform rather than legal means|
|Political Representation||Essential for empowerment and pushed for reserved seats in government||Reservation would perpetuate the caste system and advocate for education and economic empowerment|
|Means of Resistance||Power of legal and constitutional means||Non-violent resistance and civil disobedience|
|Religion||Critical of Hindu religion and later converted to Buddhism||Believed in an inclusive and tolerant form of Hinduism|
|Approach to Economic Development||Believed in economic development for marginalized communities||Believed in self-sufficient and rural-based economy|
|Education||Essential for the empowerment and establishment of educational institutions for disadvantaged groups||Saw education as important, but focused more on promoting basic education and literacy|
|Leadership Style||Strong and decisive||Humble and inclusive with an emphasis on consensus-building|
|Political Ideology||A strong advocate for democracy||Ambivalent about democracy, saw it as a means to an end|
Despite their differences, both Ambedkar and Gandhi were important leaders in the fight for Indian independence and the pursuit of social justice. Their ideas and actions continue to influence and inspire Indian society today.
Ambedkar’s relevance in Present times:
- His ideas and actions for social justice, equality and nation-building are still relevant today
- His vision of a just society and his emphasis on establishing institutions for the same continue to inspire and guide policy-making and governance in India.
- Implementation of various pro-poor and people-centric policy measures (Stand-Up India, PM Awas Scheme, BHIM, Prime Minister’s Panch Pran mantra), which align with Ambedkar’s vision.
Ethical values from his life:
- Equality (he fought to establish a society based on equal rights and opportunities for all)
- Justice and fair treatment
- Respect for diversity (every individual had the right to express their unique identity);
- Courage (he remained committed to his principles and fought for social justice despite facing prejudice and discrimination)
Conclusion: Today, India as a nation is facing several socioeconomic, and political challenges. Dr B R Ambedkar, the most forceful champion and icon of the socially deprived, continues to serve as a guiding light.