B. R. Ambedkar: Introduction, Books, Broken Men Theory and MCQ

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Introduction

  • 14 April 1891 – 6 December 1956

  • Also known as Babasaheb Ambedkar

  • Belonged to the Mahar caste (untouchable/Dalit castes in India)

  • Chief Architect of Constitution of India

  • Father of the Constitution

  • Radical view of caste system

  • Sub-altern approach

  • Critical of inequality of the caste system

  • Set up the Scheduled Caste Federation in 1942

  • Called for annihilation of caste system

  • Viewed caste system as dehumanized

  • An unequal mode of organization of social relations

  • Legislative and political measures

  • Merit based equality

  • No place for hereditary status

  • Hindu division of society or Hindu social order according to Varnas

  • Goes against Liberty, Equality and Fraternity

  • Goes against free social order

Books

  • Essays on Untouchables and Untouchability

  • The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India

  • Who were the Shudras?

  • The Untouchables Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables?

  • The Annihilation of Caste (1936)

  • Christophe Jaffrelot – “Ambedkar and Untouchability,” 2004

4 tools adopted by Ambedkar:

  • Respectable identity

  • Electoral space

  • Lifting the condition, participation

  • Convert a mass outside Hinduism

Dhamma chakra Pravartana Day is a day to celebrate the Buddhist conversion of B. R. Ambedkar and around 600,000 followers on 14 October 1956 at Deekshabhoomi.

Broken Men Theory

  • Defeated and weak lot in the society

  • Refused to accept domination of Brahmins

  • Brahmins branded broken men as untouchables

  • deprived and excluded them from the society

  • allowed them to settle on the outskirts

  • Dalits of today are broken man of the past

  • Law, political power

  • Education

  • Organisation

  • Agitation

  • Self-awakening

  • Social and political awareness

  • He proposed for abolition of religion

  • Selection on the basis of merit not on caste

  • Inter-caste marriages

  • Endogamy lead to degradation and alienation of society

  • Many provisions to uplift the conditions of scheduled castes in India in the constitution of India

  • Reservation based positive discrimination

  • Fundamental rights prohibiting untouchability

  • Disassociation from dominant castes

  • Disagreed from Gandhian view (utopian)

MCQ

Q.1. B. R. Ambedkar’s work focuses on:

a) Cultural Diversity

b) Social Justice

c) Purity and Pollution

d) Freedom Movement

Ans: b

Q. 2. Who laid emphasis on horizontal mobilization of the scheduled castes and made them a political force to reckon with?

(a) M.K. Gandhi

(b) B.R. Ambedkar

(c) Jyotiba Phule

(d) Narayana Guru

Ans. (b)

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