The Other Side of Babasaheb Ambedkar's Personality
The Other Side of Personality of Babasaheb Ambedkar-The Maker of the Indian Constitution
by Dr. Ravindra Kumar
Babasaheb Ambedkar is principally known for his voice raised for upliftment of Dalits and down-trodden section of society and the work he did for them. Secondly, he is remembered for his ability and competence as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly, formed to frame the Constitution of India. Indeed, his both of these works were of great importance and every right thinking and righteous Indian is proud of his performance and had profound regard for him.
However, Dr. Ambedkar’s endeavours and works of upliftment of Dalits and other weaker sections of society and as architect of Indian Constitution is not the only introduction of his personality. In fact, it is only one aspect of his personality. The other side of his personality can be evaluated as seen through his thoughts, understanding and suggestions for land reforms in this predominantly agriculturist country, foreign policy, the State of Jammu and Kashmir in particular, and his work for strengthening nationalism in India.
It is an irony that most of the people are acquainted with only one aspect of Ambedkar’s life and works. It is also ridiculous that even this side of his personality is used for fulfillment of pure political purposes. As Dr. Ambedkar never used politics for personal gains, it is wholly unjustified to use his name to meet political ends. Besides this, it is not proper to ignore the other side of his personality particularly in view of over all national interests.
Dr. Ambedkar’s proclaimed determination in favour of Indian nationalism is reflected in his often repeated words, “I am an Indian, India is my motherland and nothing is supreme than this to me” and it is a self proven fact too. However, there were many other occasions when his determined stand in favour of Indian nationalism proved that he was a patriot par excellence.
When it was proposed in the Constituent Assembly to continue the provision of separate constituencies for a particular religious community, Babasaheb Ambedkar vehemently opposed it keeping the idea of national interest in his mind. In 1948, when Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was working hard with determination to merge the State of Hyderabad with the Union of India, some people attached to a particular ideology tried to misguide State’s Scheduled Castes to favour the Nizam. At that time, Dr. Ambedkar said, “Scheduled Castes should not put their community up with disgrace and defamation/humiliation by siding with Nizam who is anti India.” Simultaneously, after independence, in the year 1949, he called upon the countrymen to be bewaring of the activities of neighbouring country and called them “to remain determined to safeguard the freedom of India till last drop of blood.”
An ardent supporter of land reforms and profitable agriculture, Dr. Ambedkar called for modernization of this sector ever since the third decade of twentieth century. Side by side, analyzing Indian foreign policy he said, “Thrust of our foreign policy is to solve problems of other nations rather than our own.” Linking Kashmir problem with this policy, he opined, “Even if we cannot defend the entire region, at least our own people should be accorded full protection.”
Babasaheb Ambedkar cautioned the Government several times about expansionist design of China. He did not agree with Indian policy makers’ belief of Panchasheela as basis of our relationship with China and said, “Mao Tse-Tung does not have faith in Panchasheela, which is an essential part of Buddhism. If he has any belief in this ideal, he would have well treated Buddhist of his own country.”
Undoubtedly, Ambedkar was a champion of social reforms. Along with this he was a great nationalist and a patriot. He was thorough and through a humanist. He always paid due regards to others. His respect for Mahadeo Govind Ranade, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Savarkar and Sardar Patel is well-known. He had also regarded Balasaheb Kher and K. M. Munshi. Much is said about relationship betwixt Gandhiji and Babasaheb Ambedkar. But despite differences of opinion, Ambedkar had regards for the Mahatma. On September 6, 1954 he had said in the Upper House –Rajya Sabha, “I respect Gandhiji. After all he was very near to untouchables and loved them.”
It is high time that we must be well acquainted with all aspects of Dr. Ambedkar’s great personality before we talk of remembering him in true sense and following his ideals.