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R. Ragavi, M.Gokila, 1st U.G, PSGR Krishnammal College for Women, Coimbatore.

POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC THOUGHT OF DR.B.R. AMBEDKAR

ABSTRACT:

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (14April, 1891 – 6 December, 1956) was an Indian jurist, Economist,
Politician and Social reformer. He was the first Minister of Law and Science. He played a
major role in drafting Indian Constitution. This is a descriptive paper which aims to express
the Political and Economic thought of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

INTODUCTION:

Dr. Bhimarao Ramji Ambedkar, known largely as the Father of Indian Constitution and a
leader of Dalits, began his career as an economist, making important contributions to the
major economic debates of the day. He is one such great thinker and leader who has not only
changed the life of millions of untouchables, but also shaped India as a biggest democratic
nation by writing its Constitution. The following are some of his thoughts about politics and
economics.

1. In a society, economics provides a scientific approach to analysing and understanding


government decisions for ensuring stable economic growth. DR.B.R. Ambedkar had
realised the role of economics and politics in the society and accordingly has brought
some major changes in these fields.

SOME IMPORTANT ECONOMIC THOUGHTS:

Ambedkar’s economic thought applies to:-

1. Agriculture and Land reforms:

Dr. Ambedkar has great contribution in Agriculture and Land reforms in India. He mentioned
that holdings of lands by few people is an acute problem of Indian agriculture which has
various disadvantages like difficulties in cultivation and utilisation of resources, increasing
Cost, low productivity, inadequate income, etc. Productivity of agriculture is related not only
with the size of holdings of lands but also with factors such as capital, labour and other
inputs. Therefore, if capital, labour or any input is not available in adequate quantity and
quality, then even a large size land can become unproductive.
2. India’s currency problems:

Dr. Ambedkar meticulously analysed the evolution of currency in India and offered solutions
to deal with the instability of rupee and concerned inflation in India. He also analysed the
merits and demerits of the pure gold standard. According to him, gold standard is more stable
than gold exchange standard as in the former, money supply is more stable compared to the
later. He also suggested that more attention should be given on price stability than exchange
rate stability. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was based on the ideas that Ambedkar
presented to Hilton Young Commission.

3. Economics of caste system:

As a child, he was a victim of social justice – he was denied equal treatment in school. As he
grew up, in all walks of life he had face discrimination on bases of caste. Thus it became his
life mission to ensure that his Dalit brothers and sisters and other backward classes were
treated equally in the society without any discrimination. Ambedkar in his book
“Annihilation of Castes” presented a strong critique of the caste system in India and its
rationalisation s and demonstrated logical flows therein. He stated that what was implicit in
the caste system was not merely division of labours but also a division of labourers.
According to him, the caste system in our country was a major obstacle to economic growth
and development. The caste system did not allow people to teach their professional skills to
any person belonging to other caste. He believes that the practice of Untouchability is a curse
to humanism. It is not only religious but also an economic system worst than slavery.

4. Women Improvement and Economic upliftment of Indian Women:

According to him, participation of women in economic development is impossible without


developing their social status and equality. But due to bad economic conditions of women,
India’s progress is hampered. So, it is vital to improve the economic condition of women and
give them equal rights and freedom of Occupation.

5. Concept of Human capital:

Dr. Ambedkar argued that concept of human capital in India is useless if poorer and
downtrodden untouchable dalits are not recognised by other classes as human being with
equal social prestige and religious basis. It is therefore impossible to use this human capital in
the development of India.

DR.AMBEDKAR AND SOCIAL JUSTICE:

India, a democratic state adopted a mixed economy post Independence. Dr.Ambedkar, fondly
known as “The Champion of Social Justice”, was a pioneer of social justice in India. He
added a fresh perspective to the concept of social justice and set out to codify his idea by
playing a crucial role in drafting the constitution of India. He was keen to put the ideals of
liberty, equality and fraternity in motion. His contribution to social justice is evident in the
philosophy, policy and ideals of the constitution.

SOME THOUGHTS OF AMBEDKAR IN POLITICAL STRUCTURE OF INDIA:

Ambedkar was well – versed on history and political theories which have been produced in
the process of struggles for democracy .He was also deeply aware of the history of minority
problems in the world. He understood that if a minority problem is not properly resolved
entire civilization can be destroy the minorities but entirety of society.

AMBEKAR’S CONCEPT ON DEMOCRACY:

Ambedkar’s perception n democracy is different from the parliamentary document of


Western Europe. Democracy came with the principle of liberalism. Ambedkar considered the
problems and articulated displeasure against the parliamentary democracy in nations like
Italy, Germany, Russia, Spain and some other European countries in proposing the
parliamentary democracy in India. He realised that self-government and democracy becomes
unsuccessful when the constitution based on adult suffrage comes into existence but when the
governing class loses it power to capture the power to govern. Ambedkar projected a written
constitution for an effective democracy. He invested on social morality for effective working
of the democratic form of government.

He emphasized, “The politicals never realized that democracy was not a form of government:
it was essentially a form of society. He was insistent on going through reform movement
alone radical lines, of which most political conflicts where averse. He could also see that no
political organisation was prepared to intervene in the internal affairs of the society.
According to him, Rights are protected not by the law but by social and moral conscience of
society. If social conscience is such that it is prepared to recognise the rights which law
chooses to enact, the rights will be safe and secure. But if the fundamental rights are opposed
by the community, no law, no parliament, no judiciary can guarantee them.

Dr.Ambedkar also highlighted three threads to democracy which are as follows:

1. Dr. Ambedkar denounced hero – worship.

2. Dr.Ambedkar held that in order to maintain democracy it must be in the interest of people
to quit unconstitutional means of revolution.

3. The last threat to democracy, according to Dr.Ambedkar was that the people / nation might
be satisfied with just political democracy.

Ambedkar’s political thought is still very relevant not only to politics of India but also to
politics in South Asia in general
CONCLUSION:

Ambedkar was a “Pradnya Surya” and his intelligence was boundless. His thoughts on
economics have made a significant impact on the social movement. Also B.R. Ambedkar was
demonstrative figure of Indian politics in Gandhian period. He has emerged as chief political
philosopher with the rise of dalit movement in modern times. He gave a section of population
in India a worthwhile identity. In doing so he fought for humanity. In the work of Ambedkar ,
there are great insights that are yet to be explored in that exploration, the real glories of the
past of the subcontinent could remerge. His status in the national pantheon is irreplaceable;
nowhere do we find an equal mention in the role played by him.

“HE MAY NOT HAVE BEEN A HERO OF THE WAR OF INDIAN INDEPENDENCE,
BUT HE IS THE HERO WHO BUILT AN INDEPENDENT INDIA”.

REFERENCE:

 Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar writings and speeches , published in multiple


volumes, Educational department, Government of Maharashtra
 www.civilserviceindia.com
 Dr.B.R.Ambedkar- National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, retrieved
12 January 2012
 Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Biography – Life and Profile (www.culturalindia.net )