Ambedkar’s role in the making of the Indian Constitution | How Dr. Ambedkar reached the Constituent Assembly
After the end of World War II in 1945, the issue of handing over power to India arose. On 24 March 1946, the British Prime Minister Lord Attlee appointed three members of the British Cabinet – Lord Pethick Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps and A.B. Alexander was sent to India for the purpose of stopping the political deadlock in India and handing over power to India. This was called the “Cabinet Mission”. The mission met the so-called prominent leaders of India, after that on April 5, 1946, he also met Ambedkar and Master Tarasingh, in which Ambedkar talked about separate elections, separate housing and their protection in the new constitution for centuries for the oppressed and deprived sections. Relevant demands were presented, which were not fully addressed.
|photo credit- thewirehindi.com
Assembly and Provisional Government Outline by Cabinet Mission
When the Cabinet Mission announced the plan for the Constituent Assembly and the framework of the Provisional Government. In which the demands for the alleged Dalits put forward by Ambedkar were ignored. As a result, he organized a movement. Due to which a situation of conflict arose between the upper caste Hindus and the Dalits and the upper castes set fire to Ambedkar’s “Bharat Bhushan” press, which was operated by Ambedkar’s son “Yashwantrao Ambedkar”.
After that, the Cabinet Mission announced a plan to outline a provisional government on the basis of Hindu-Muslim equal representation, consisting of 14 members – 5 Congress upper caste Hindus, 1 Congress Dalit, 5 Muslim Leaguers and one each of Parsis, Sikhs and Christians. Representative. But this plan was not accepted due to Hindu-Muslim differences. On the other hand, Dr. Ambedkar announced a non-violent struggle if the depressed classes were neglected.
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Dr. Ambedkar started his movement from Poona
Dr. Ambedkar started his movement from Poona and told that the interests of Dalits have been completely neglected by the Cabinet Mission. On 7 July 1946, a protest was held in Bombay and slogans were also raised in front of the office of the Indian Congress Committee. Thereafter, the procession of the protesters turned into a meeting in a nearby ground. Where leaders like Dadasaheb Gaikwad, Bapusaheb, Rajbhoj etc. in their speeches strongly criticized the mission plan, Congress policy and neglect of Dalits by the government.
Movements and protests started in other provinces of the country as per the instructions of Dr. Ambedkar’s Dalit Federation. At that time in Bombay province alone, 1150 agitators were arrested, including 128 women. Thousands of agitators were arrested in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh also. Congress Dalit leaders who always took advantage of Ambedkar’s labor and struggle, were also spewing venom against Ambedkar, mainly Ambedkar’s opponent “Babu Jagjivan Ram” who always remained a Congress-pith.
Conspiracy of Congress and Leftists against Ambedkar
Later elections were held for the provincial assemblies under British India, in which 296 members were elected. The remaining seats of the Constituent Assembly were to be filled by nomination of representatives of the princely states. In this election, the Congress and the Left aligned themselves and defeated Ambedkar and his “Scheduled Caste Federation” in Bombay.
As per the instructions of Sardar Patel, The Congress, under B.G. Kher’s leadership, ensured that Ambedkar did not reach the Constituent Assembly by electing from Bombay.
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When “Jogendra Nath Mandal” from Bengal invited Bedkar to contest elections from Bengal
After this the most important turning point came when Jogendra Nath Mandal from Bengal invited him to contest elections from Bengal. Ambedkar filed his nomination papers from the Bengal Legislative Council. As there was no separate place for the Scheduled Castes, it was merged with the Hindus. 27 Hindu and 33 Muslim representatives were to be elected here.
For Dr. Ambedkar, this election had become a matter of life and death. In Bengal, Buddha Singh, Karpal Singh, Bacchusingh and Jogendranath Mandal worked hard with him. Here too the Congress tried its best to defeat him, but on July 20, 1946, when the results were declared, the city danced. The Bhangra of his well-wishers who came from Punjab started. The drums were pounded with sticks and his cheers were echoed all around as Ambedkar won the election with the help of Anglo-Indian members, independent Dalit members and possibly Muslim League members.
Dr. Ambedkar described this victory as the victory of the Depressed Classes and also thanked everyone for it and said that—-
“I will continue to work for my people, for their interests and for their existence till the last drop of blood.”
Congress continues conspiracy against Ambedkar
After reaching the Constituent Assembly, Ambedkar worked closely with the Congressmen in preparing the National Manifesto etc. and at the same time he influenced many members with his work. But the Congress still played a devious trick and gave Jaisur-Khulna from where Ambedkar won the election to East Bengal, due to which Ambedkar became a member of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly.
According to the rules set for partition, the constituency of Bengal province whose population is more than 50% should have been given to Pakistan/East Bengal, whereas in Jaisur-Khulna the Muslim population was only 48%. Due to which Ambedkar had to resign from there.
Ambedkar met the British Prime Minister
Dr. Ambedkar met the British Prime Minister related to this subject and he apprised him of the ill-advised move by the Congress. The British government took it seriously because they also understood that it was difficult to stop Ambedkar. Due to which the British government informed Nehru that Jaisur-Khulna should be allowed to remain in India or arrangements should be made to send Dr. Ambedkar to the Constituent Assembly from some other place.
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When Congress had to bow before Ambedkar’s wisdom
In this way, due to all the pressures, the Congress had to send him to the Constituent Assembly by electing him from Bombay. Apart from this, some members of the Constituent Assembly who had become familiar with his knowledge during the 1946 tenure were willing to work with him. Dr. Ambedkar’s book “States and Minorities” which he composed as the Constitution of the United Republic. Its copies had also reached everyone in the Constituent Assembly, reading which everyone was convinced of his excellent knowledge. On the other hand, Nehru was in search of a constitutional expert. By writing a letter to Kher, he directed to ensure the election of Dr. Ambedkar in the Constituent Assembly.
Nehru wrote in this letter –
“We have felt (among other things) that the standard of work of Dr. Ambedkar, both in the Constituent Assembly and in the various committees to which he was appointed, has been of such a high order that we cannot deprive ourselves of his services. As you know, he was elected from Bengal and due to the partition of that province, he is no longer a member of the Constituent Assembly. It is my strong desire that he should be elected to the Constituent Assembly so that by being elected in the session beginning on 14th July, 1947, he can contribute to the constitution structure.
Sardar Patel’s attitude also changed
After that Sardar Patel who did not even want to allow Ambedkar to enter the Constituent Assembly also changed his attitude and He called B.G. Kher and asked him to take immediate action to ensure Ambedkar’s election.
Dr. Ambedkar became the chairman of the drafting committee
Later on August 29, 1947, when the Constituent Assembly constituted the Constitution-Drafting Committee, in which Dr. Ambedkar was made the chairman of the Drafting Committee. There were seven members in this drafting committee –
Dr. Ambedkar was made the chairman
1- N. Gopala Swami Iyengar,
2-Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer,
3- K.M. Munshi,
4- Sir Muhammad Shadullah,
5- N. Madhav Menon and
6- D.P. Khaitan.
7- T T Krishnamachari
Dr. Ambedkar worked tirelessly as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee in the Constituent Assembly, while his condition was deteriorating, his health was deteriorating, he also had pain in his feet and he was also suffering from diabetes. Ambedkar was also constantly worried about the Dalits in Pakistan and he also appealed to Nehru that some concrete steps should be taken to bring them back to India, but Nehru ignored his appeal and no action was taken on it.
The estimate of how much Dr. Ambedkar did the hard work of preparing the Indian Constitution. The statement of “TT Krishnamachari” in the Constituent Assembly on 4 November 1948. In which he said –
“I especially know the hard work and enthusiasm with which he drafted the Constituent Assembly.. The Constituent Assembly had seven nominated members. One of them resigned from the Constituent Assembly, which was fulfilled, one member died. His place was not filled. One went to America and the place remained vacant. Another member was busy in official work and his seat remained vacant. One or two members stayed out of Delhi and could not attend perhaps due to health. It happened that the whole burden of making the constitution fell on the shoulders of Dr. Ambedkar. I have no doubt that we are grateful for the manner in which he framed the Constitution. This is undoubtedly a commendable work.”
Apart from these, Syed Karimuddin, Prof. KT Shah, Pandit Laxmikant Maitre, Dr. Punjab Rao Deshmukh, S. Nagappa, T. Prakasam, Joseph AD Souza, R.K. Sidhwa, JJ. The statements of Nicholas Roy etc. are also worth mentioning in which they have praised Dr. Ambedkar.
Nehru also praised his contribution to the structure of his constitution and said that –
“Often Dr. Ambedkar is being called the architect of the Constitution. They can say from their side that they have made the constitution by taking great care and pain. He has a very important and constructive contribution.”
On November 26, 1949, Dr. Ambedkar finally dedicated the Indian Constitution to the country in 2 years, 11 months and 18 days. Hence this day is celebrated as “Constitution Day”. The Constitution of India was put into effect on 26 January 1950 in the Republic of India. On this occasion “Dr. Rajendra Prasad” had said –
“Sitting in the chair, I witnessed the day-to-day proceedings and therefore, I imagine more than others the dedication and enthusiasm with which the members of the Drafting Committee, especially Dr. Ambedkar, carried out their work. We could not do any better job than to include Dr. Ambedkar in the Drafting Committee and appoint it as its chairman. He has not only justified his election, but has contributed radiance to the work which he has accomplished.”
Certainly Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar had worked very hard in making the constitution. Although he wanted much more than that. Then he gave us a constitution that prohibits discrimination on the basis of caste, sex, race, religion and place of birth, but also Provides an opportunity to mainstream socially, economically, educationally and politically.