Dr. B. R. Ambedkar has enormous
contribution for the India. He was the voice of the unrepresented peoples, Hope
of the Hopeless and light for those who were in dimness and also a support for
those who were really support-less and destitute or oppressed in society. Dr.
Ambedkar had a very clear stand point for well-being of weaker section of
community. He was the leader who fought for socially backward classes and
others. Ambedkar was a quarry of caste discrimination himself as he was born in
the Hindu Mahar caste, which was viewed as “untouchable” by the upper class.
That gave him power to be strong and work for other backward classes by the
education, publishing newspapers and journals and organised conference for them
for their up-liftment. He wants to spread awareness backward class for their
political rights and that’s why he demanded the separate electoral right from
British Government. That made a direct confrontation with Gandhi ji who was
also a strong critic of caste and untouchability but against the separate
electoral. Dr. Ambedkar has always been a fountainhead of great inspiration for
secularism, national esteem, self-reliance and eradication of the social evils
like untouchability and caste restrictions. Ambedkar also struggled for Women’s
empowerment. Their main reasoning is that gender relations are artificially
built under Hindu social order, not the attitude of Hindus towards their women,
but also the conditions for women to confirm a conservative feminine behaviour.
He challenged ideological foundation of graded system of caste hierarchy that
denied equality freedom and dignity to women in Indian society. He suggest the
Buddha’s peaceful path for everyone because of the old and irrelevant ritual of
Keywords: – Gender, Hindu social order, Caste or Untouchability,
Feminine discourse and Development
Objectives and Method
This paper is an endeavour to give
extensive and closer analytical insight in to the view of Dr. Ambedkar towards
empowerment of women in Indian society. This paper also elucidate the problems
facing by the women in the pre and post Independent India and how they were
treat by modern Indian democratic society. Present paper based on Secondary
data collected from the Government documents, published papers, books, Researchs,
speeches by Dr. Ambedkar in Indian Parliament, various conference and meetings
in pre and post independent India, newspapers and internet.
Dr. Bhim rao Ambedkar is
well-known for many things. Primarily, he is grasped as one who rose from the
so-called untouchable caste to become one of the most extremely educated men in
India, and moreover one of the key draftsmen of democratic India’s
constitution. In education, societal reformation and the rescinding of the
caste system, he was one of the most prominent voices. His battling spirit has
carved out a habitation of great significance in contemporary India’s antiquity.
This biographical outline of Dr.
Babasahib Ambedkar is mainly meant to apprise the people with the life,
thoughts and deeds of one of the most memorable sons of India; and also, in
momentary, give them an idea of the several forces which designed and defined his
“Buddha stood for
social freedom, intellectual freedom, economic freedom and political freedom.
He taught equality, equality not between man and man only but between man and
cover almost every aspect of the social life of the people, his doctrines are
modern and his main concern was to ensure salvation to man during his life on
earth and not after his death.”
Dr. B. R Ambedkar
Among the galaxy of philosophers
in modern India, Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956) stands on a platform
quite different from others and is accepted not only as a Dalit leader or only
a ‘constitution maker’ but also as a ‘nation builder’, a ‘human rights
champion’, and ‘Global Icon’.
Status of women in early India
Dr. B. R Ambedkar started his
movement 1920 with the propaganda against the Hindu social order and launched a
journal “Mook Nayak” 1920 and “Bahiskrit Bharat” 1927 for women. Ambedkar’s
observation of women question, highlighting their right to education, equal
treatment with men, right to property and participation in the political
process resembled the global feminists demand. In 1928 Women’s association
founded in Bombay with Ramabai wife of Dr. Ambedkar’s as a president of
association. Radhabai Vadale addressed a press conference in 1931 for the
encouragement for women’s when she said “It is better to die a hundred times
than live a life full of humiliation. Ambedkar said that whatever is written in
“manuscript” why only Impose on women’s. Because of that there is no political,
social and economical right for women in society. The Girl or women and also
old lady cannot do anything independently in society. Dr Ambedkar believed in
the strength of women and their role in the procedure of societal
transformation. The historic “Mahad Satyagraha” witnessed involvement
of three hundred women along with their male counterparts. Dr. Ambedkar said
that, “I measure the improvement of community by the degree of growth which
women had accomplished. Let every girl who marries stand by her husband, claim
to be her husband’s friend and equal, and refuse to be his slave.” In 1942 as a
labour minister of Executive Council of Governor General, Dr. B R Ambedkar
launched the Hindu Code Bill in the Parliament. In the favour of this Bill Dr. Ambedkar
said, “I should like draw Attention of the House toone important fact. The
Great Political Philosopher Burke who wrote his great Book against the French
Revolution said that those who want to preserve must be ready to repair. And
all am asking this houseis: if you want to maintain the Hindu System, Hindu Culture
and Hindu Society, do not hesitates or repair where repair is necessary. This
bill asks for nothing more than to repair those parts of the Hindu System which
have become dilapidated”. The bill Classify and Reform the Hindu Laws on Seven
Different matters (I) Right to Property (II) Marriage Law (III) Divorce (IV)
Adaption (v) the order of succession among different hires to the Property of a
deceased dying in State (VI) the Law of Maintenance (VII) Minority
guardianship. The bill faced heavily opposed from Hindu orthodoxical society so
Dr. Ambedkar resigned from the Union Cabinet.
Dr. Ambedkar spent his life for
the better reclamation of women even who involved in bad practices and
professionals like prostitutions. The greatest example of it was seen in
Kamathipura. David the person who left mediated work of brothel by teaching and
thoughts of Dr. Ambedkar and also evoked all the prostitutes for left the work
and live the life of honour. In the Manu Smriti, Manu not only shows humiliation
for women but goes on to degrade them as slaves, devoid of intellect; denies
them the right of education and the right to property; and forbids them from
Dr. Ambedkar tried an adequate
inclusion of women’s right in the political vocabulary and constitution
of India. i.e.,
Article14 – Equal rights and
opportunities in political, economic and social spheres.
Article 15 prohibits
discrimination on the ground of sex.
Article 15(3) enables affirmative
discrimination in favour of women.
Article 39 – Equal means of
livelihood and equal pay for equal work.
Article 42 – Human conditions of
work and maternity relief.
Article 51 (A) (C) – Fundamental
duties to renounce practices, derogatory to the dignity of women.
Article 46 – The state to promote
with special care, the educational and economic interests of weaker section of
people and to protect them from
social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
Article 47 – The state to raise
the level of nutrition and standard of living of its people and the improvement
public health and so on.
Article 243D (3), 243T (3) &
243R (4) provides for allocation of seats in the Panchayati Raj System.
The Hindu Code Bill was later divided
in to four Bills, and the same were put on the Statue Book by Parliament. The
Hindu Marriage Act, 1955; The Hindu Succession Act, 1956; The Hindu Minority
and Guardianship Act, 1956 and The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 are
the four enactments which incorporate the ideas and principles of Hindu Code
Bill formulated by Dr Ambedkar. They give independent
Dr B R Ambedkar and Women
Empowerment in India. Page status to women and endow them with the right of
adoption, succession and property, so completely denied by Manu.
Caste or Untouchability
Untouchability means contamination
by the touch of certain persons by reason of their birth in a particular caste
or family. It is believed that Untouchability is imposed on Indian Hindu
society and it is a social concept made by the customs and society. According
to Manu smriti the classes, which are usually regarded, as untouchables are
Chamars, Dom, Halalkor, Mochi, Mushahar, Busadh, Hari. Although they were separate
the pole of Hindus society, which recognizes only four classes namely,
Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishayas and Shudras, they were counted as part of the
Hindu society for political purposes (Kheer 1995: 1).
According to the traditional
terminology, the caste Hindus are called Savarnas and the untouchables are
called Avarnas (Ambedkar 1990: 114). There was also a thought that An
untouchable’s touch defile anyone but an impure’s touch defile only the
Brahmins. The Hindu society based on the chaturvarna and believes in Brahmins,
Kshatriyas, Vaishayas and Shudras, after that who came called Antyaja they are
namely the basket, shoemakers, jugglers, and the sailors, fishermen, shield
makers, the hunters of wild animals and of birds, and the weavers. They are not
counted amongst any caste, but only as members of a certain craft or
profession. They produce various kinds of services to the caste Hindus. The
four caste indus do not live together with them in one place (Ambedkar 1990:
Today’s dalits a group of people
called the broken men in past. It was in this critical situation that the
settled communities and the broken men compromised that they do work of watch
and ward for the settled tribes and the settled tribes agreed to provide them
food and home for living. They also decided that they shall live outside and not
enter in the village.
Dr. Ambedkar in Buddhism
On May 24 1956, Ambedkar formally declared in Bombay that
he would become a Buddhist. He stated that he was
working on a book (which would be published posthumously), titled The Buddha
and his Dhamma, and said that through it, he had come to realize that Buddhism
was a religion that promoted equality. It directed man inwards, to find the
true potential that lies hidden within. The emergence of Buddhism and beef
eating are said to be the cause of the origin of untouchability. Ambedkar did
not have many evidences to prove. The people who faced many problems in
casteism in Hindu religion they embraced the Buddhism. A large numbers of
people changed into the Buddhism and Brahmins started hated both of them the
broken men and Buddhist.
‘Annihilation of Caste’ is one of the prime monographs
published by Ambedkar aimed at clarifying the exploitative nature of caste and
calling for its annihilation in order to secure a social order based on equal
status and dignity for all.