Essay on “Dr. B.R Ambedkar and Untouchability”
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar dedicated his entire life for the upliftment of depressed classes. He himself belonged to depress class and therefore, was aware of the miserable condition and problems faced by the untouchables living in the Hindu society. He had made the mission of his life to liberate the untouchables.
He started Mahad Satyagraha in which he demanded that untouchables should get the right to draw water from the public wells. They were denied of drinking water from Chavdar Lake at Mahad. In 1927, Dr. Ambedkar called a Satyagraha. All the representatives of Dalit community assembled at the lake with the resolve to drink water from it. Finally, Dr. Ambedkar and others drank water from the lake. This was a revolutionary step, that was unacceptable to the upper class people.
Dr. Ambedkar also started the movement to enter Kalaram Temple in Nasik. Although Dalits were Hindus, they were prohibited from entering the temple. Under the guidance of Dr. Ambedkar, nearly ten thousand Dalit men and women assembled in front of the closed doors of the temple. The movement continued nearly for a year and finally Dalits succeeded in getting entry in the temple. This was a great victory for Dr. Ambedkar.
In 1931, Dr. Ambedkar attended the Round Table conference in London to secure the political rights for the untouchables. He requested for separate electorates for the depressed section of society. This led to the signing of Poon Pact between him and Gandhiji in 1932. According to this pact. untouchables were allowed to hold 18% reservation in joint electorate.
Dr. Ambedkar founded a political party for the untouchables. It was called, The Republic Party of India’. As he wanted the untouchables to be educated, he started People’s Education Society. Later he formed ‘Independent Labour Party’ and ‘Scheduled Caste Federation’ for protecting their political rights.
After the independence of India, a new Constitution had to be drafted. Ambedkar was the Chairman of the drafting committee. In the Constitution he tried to get as many rights as possible for the benefits of the untouchables. It is due to his efforts that today the Indian Constitution has provided many protections to the untouchables. They are recognized as equal to any other caste in India. Several welfare schemes are started by the Government in order to uplift the depressed classes. All these and various other benefits to the untouchables are provided only due to the hard and long efforts of Dr. Ambedkar.