Once in centuries do we come across a pathbreaker, torch bearer of ideals, visionary who leaves the entire world awestruck with his revolutionary thoughts and guides us towards the path of light and knowledge.Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was one such charismatic personality. Popularly known as Babasaheb, Dr. Ambedkarwas an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist Movement and campaigned against social discrimination against Untouchables (Dalits), while also supporting the rights of women and labour. He was Independent India’s first law minister, the principal architect of the Constitution of India and founding father of the Republic of India. AmbedkarJayanticelebrates the birthday of this legendary figure on 14th April every year, and this year too, India will commemorate the 127th birth Anniversary of this social activist.
Born to poor ‘Dalit ‘parents and being a victim of social ostracism in his childhood and youth, he deeply felt the throes of mortification and took upon himself the onus of building a society where a particular caste is not stigmatized as ignoble. The world today remembers him as a pioneer of mass movements against the despicable treatment meted out to the ‘Dalits’, as a proponent of reservation clause for ‘Dalits’ in the Indian constitution, and as a harbinger of a new social set up which censures the blind abidance of certain discriminatory rituals and traditions of Hindu religion.
But have we moved an inch farther towards the creation of a utopia dreamed of by Dr. Ambedkar ? On papers, ‘yes’ the progress has been appreciable. We have a praiseworthy number of reservations for scheduled caste and tribe in educational institutions and government jobs. We have laws which protect the ‘Dalits’ against the atrocities of the so called upper class ‘humans’. But is the ground reality the same?Even if one would conveniently like to harbor the fanciful idea that we are living in a society where equality prevails, the frequent headlines flashing on the TV channels , vehemently articulating the savage brutality unleashed against the ‘Dalits’, would compel us to change our view.
Can we evade the truth that even today, crime against the ‘Dalits’ flourishes blatantly? Incidents of extortion, murder, rape, verbal abuse still find their number increasing! Basic necessities like good food, education and shelter are still a distant dream for them. Many educated people are still averse to the thought of sharing a glass of water and making friends with a person belonging to scheduled caste with the exception of those who have truly imbibed the values upheld by Dr. Ambedkar. One does hear the clamour of slogans for the upliftment of poor ‘Dalits’ but unfortunately only when frenzy of elections is at the peak. Ironically issues like colour of Dr. Ambedkar’sstatue can be debated at length by our politicians but there is paucity of time to even give an ear to the miseries of these forgotten ones. Year after year, the government officials make promises to improve the miserable plight of the ‘Dalits’ but every time the bigger aim gets buried in rubble of power and dug out again only to fill their vote banks.
Who is to be blamed? Only the politicians and the bureaucrats? Is our silence not an accomplice in this crime rather sin? Have we not slain our conscience by being mute spectators to every incident of ruthlessnessagainstDalits and keeping our security on the forefront? Education serves its purpose only when theories are taken out of books and applied to real-life situations, with conviction and integrity. So let’s not just preach the ideals of Dr. Ambedkar , rather live them and maintain their sanctity. That would be the real tribute to this messiah of the poor.
Article Credited By: Seth Anandram Jaipuria School Ghaziabad