BR Ambedkar: Social Justice


The contribution of Dr B.R. Ambedkar in Indian Democracy is not to be forgotten. As a Chairman of the Constitutional Committee, he gave a shape to our country of a complete Sovereign, Democratic, Republic based on an adult franchise. In the Constitution of free India all the citizens have been guaranteed social, political and economic equalities.

Baba Saheb BR Ambedkar’s name is written in gold letters throughout Indian history as the creator of social justice. Not only was he the creator of the constitution, but also the creator of social justice and the messiah of the oppressed. If Mahatma Gandhi gave us the direction and lesson of morality, then Baba Saheb shaped the social aspect without exploitation. It had, in the truest sense of the word, a democratic and antiquated goal. He spent his whole life promoting the poor, exploited untouchables. and classes with problems.
It has been a gloomy historic fact of Indian society that lower castes have been exploited and subjugated upon by the upper castes and for that reason the lower castes have mostly also been the lower classes economically and vice versa.

During the freedom movement there were many leaders and movements throughout India. The most protruding voice of and for the lower castes bad emerged in the person of B.R. Ambedkar who came from the untouchable Mahar caste in what is today Maharashtra. Even today Ambedkar is a hugely influential symbol who is followed by many political forces throughout the length and breadth of India. Ambedkar’s aim in his own words was to get justice for the ‘last, the lost and the least and he emerged as a sort of revolutionary leader of India’s Hindu untouchable and other castes. His intention was to fight for their equality and seek better-quality living conditions for them and reach education among them and get suitable representation for them in elected bodies and in government services.


During the freedom struggle. Ambedkar’s emphasis on issues related to social justice forced the leaders of the national movement to take these up as part of the agenda associated with the main demand for unshackling the country from the chains of colonialism. Ambedkar was a highly educated person with great academic accomplishments and a lawyer by training. His views on social justice are to be found in his books and speeches.
His most important works are Annihilation of Caste (1936). Who were the Shudras (1946) and The Untouchables (1948). Also, his writings like What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables. He put forward vivid well researched attacks on the exploitative Hindu caste system chiefly with respect to how untouchables were treated and struggled all his life to secure legal and constitutional safeguards for their rights. It is stimulating in spite of the fact that he had attacked Gandhi’s Congress Party’s views and attitudes on the caste system quite harshly and in a scathing manner in
his writings, despite of that Gandhiji suggested Ambedkar’s name to head the committee to draft the Constitution.


Ambedkar in his work “Who Were the Shudras?” questioned the whole Hindu social order and tried to create a theory that the Shudras were not a separate varna or caste but were originally Kshatriyas who in a struggle with Brahmins were manipulated out of the kshatriya caste by the Brahmins and were deprived of the sacred thread.
He proposed a hypothesis that the untouchables were originally disciples of Buddha and were Buddhists but the Hindus led by the Brahmins to try to undermine Buddhist influence and stop its spread put the untouchables in a corner and started branding them untouchables. He believed the root of all lack of social justice in India was the caste system that created the environment for exploitation of man by man- of the Shudras and untouchables by
the brahmins and other higher castes. He believed that democracy cannot be achieved in India without first establishing social justice through the annihilation of the caste. Hence, he took a position that contradicted both the position of Congress and Gandhiji, who first wanted political reform and independence from the British colonial government, and the socialists and Marxists who wanted economic equality also established themselves first.

CASTE

CASTE :

 

 

Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural notions of purity and pollution.

Its paradigmatic ethnographic example is the division of India’s Hindu society into rigid social groups, with roots in India’s ancient history and persisting to the present time.

However, the economic significance of the caste system in India has been declining as a result of urbanization and affirmative action programs. A subject of much scholarship by sociologists and anthropologists, the Hindu caste system is sometimes used as an analogical basis for the study of caste-like social divisions existing outside Hinduism and India. The term “caste” is also applied to morphological groupings in female populations of ants and bees.

Caste, any of the ranked, hereditary, endogamous social groups, often linked with occupation, that together constitute traditional societies in South Asia, particularly among Hindus in India. Although sometimes used to designate similar groups in other societies, the “caste system” is uniquely developed in Hindu societies.

 

BIRTH OF CASTE SYSTEM :

This is the debatable issue and each one has different theories regarding the establishment of the caste system in India. Manusmriti is one of the oldest legal books of Hindu law. As per the religious theory, the caste system originated from Brahma, and further, the caste system is divided into four categories that are Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya’s, and Sudras.

 

VARNAS :

It is essential to distinguish between large-scale and small-scale views of caste society, which may respectively be said to represent theory and practice, or ideology and the existing social reality. On the large scale, contemporary students of Hindu society recall an ancient fourfold arrangement of socioeconomic categories called the varnas, which is traced back to an oral tradition preserved in the Rigveda (dating perhaps from between 1500 and 1200 BCE). The Sanskrit word varna has many connotations, including colour, description, selection, and classification.

In the varna framework, the Brahmans have everything, directly or indirectly: “noble” identity, “twice-born” status, sacerdotal authority, and dominion over the Vaishyas and the Shudras, who accounted for the great majority of the people. This is not surprising, for the ancient Brahmans were the authors of the ideology. The four varnas, together with the notional division of the individual life cycle into four stages, or ashramas (brahmacharya, the years of learning and extreme discipline; garhasthya, householdership; vanaprastha, retirement; and sannyasa, renunciation of all worldly bonds) may at best be considered an archetypical blueprint for the good, moral life. Indeed, the Hindu way of life is traditionally called the varnashrama dharma (duties of the stages of life for one’s varna). The varna order remains relevant to the understanding of the system of jatis, as it provides the ideological setting for the patterns of interaction that are continuously under negotiation.

 

JATI GROUP :

Jati, also spelled jat, caste, in Hindu society. The term is derived from the Sanskrit jata, “born” or “brought into existence,” and indicates a form of existence determined by birth. In Indian philosophy, jati (genus) describes any group of things that have generic characteristics in common.

CONCLUSION OF CASTE SYSTEM :

The caste system had a great affect on the Indian society. All of India’s people played a role in their society and had certain jobs. The former caste members are now more tolerant of other castes and sub-castes‘ people, and the divisions in the society are gradually diminishing.