Day 6 – Q 4.What were the views of Dr. Ambedkar regarding the Indian Constitution? Did in his views the mere existence of a constitution guaranteed the freedoms envisaged by it? Discuss.
4. What were the views of Dr. Ambedkar regarding the Indian Constitution? Did in his views the mere existence of a constitution guaranteed the freedoms envisaged by it? Discuss.
भारतीय संविधान के बारे में डॉ. अंबेडकर के विचार क्या थे? क्या उनके विचारों में किसी संविधान का अस्तित्व मात्र उसके द्वारा प्रतिकल्पित की गई स्वतंत्रता की गारंटी देता था? चर्चा करें।
A pragmatist to the core, Ambedkar believed that in the absence of economic and social justice political independence would not bring about their social solidarity or, national integration. He advocated the abolition of privileges on the basis of caste or status and vigorously fought for the liberty and dignity of the individual. It the same time, he was equally force-full in his advocacy of the unity of the nation. Ambedkar sought to achieve these objectives through the constitution of India.
Views of Dr. Ambedkar regarding the Indian Constitution
- Concept of Federalism: His concept of federalism meant that the State was a federation in normalcy, but unitary in emergency.
- Centre Was Made Strong: In the Draft Constitution Dr. Ambedkar offered more powers to the Centre and made it strong. Some members of the constituent assembly criticized him on the ground that since Dr. Ambedkar postulated – the rights and values of each individual and the development of each province and each–village, it was contradictory of his part to make the Centre strong. Justifying the provisions for a strong Central authority Dr. Ambedkar said that he made the Centre strong not only to ‘save minorities from the misrule of majority’ but also “for it is only the Centre which can work for a common end and for the general interests of the country as a whole.”
- Equality of Opportunity: Of all the rights, Dr. Amebedkar observed “Equality of Opportunity” as the most important one. Regarding the constitutional remedies, he characterize Article 32 as the very soul of the Constitution and the very heart of it.To him, fundamental rights would mean establishment of equality and liberty in order to reform our social system, which is so full of inequalities discriminations, and other which conflict with our fundamental rights.
- Directive Principles of State Policy: The Directive Principles of State Policy contained the positive obligations of the state towards its citizens. The Directives were meant to ensure social and economic democracy which was secured by the provisions of fundamental rights in a written Constitution. Dr. Ambedkar said: “What are called Directive Principles is simply another name for Instruments of instructions to the legislature and the executive…as to how they should exercise their power.”
- Constitution, A Dynamic Document: The Constitution is a dynamic document it should grow with the growth of the nation and should suit the changing needs and circumstance. So Dr. Ambedkar urged the necessity of amendment.
- Concept of Sovereignty and Suzerainty: Dr. Ambedkar’s concept of sovereignty and suzerainty and of the Indian States, i.e., integration of the native Indian Princely States which gave the shape to the rap of India as if is today, has indeed been prophetic.
- National Integration: In the Draft Constitution Dr. Ambedkar prescribed single citizenship, a single judiciary and uniformity in fundamental Laws to integrate Indian society which was not only divided into caste and class, but also into regions, religions, languages, traditions and cultures. Therefore, a strong Centre was indispensable to maintain territorial integrity and administrative discipline.
Only the mere existence of a constitution doesn’t guarantee the freedoms
- Ambedkar was a great visionary of new social order and eminent constitutionals. In his view mere existence of Constitution will not guarantee the freedoms envisaged by it. To guarantee freedoms there should be strong institutional framework which envisages laws to safeguard these freedoms and punishments when these freedoms are breached.
- The responsibility of drafting the Fundamental Rights was on an Advisory committee to the Constituent Assembly, comprising of members like B.R. Ambedkar, Diwan Bahadur, Acharya J. B. Kripalani. The committee began discussions the biggest issue was dividing the Rights in two groups – justiciable and non-justiciable which was later taken up by the Constituent Assembly itself. Justiciable rights are those which can be enforced in the court of law.
- Dr Ambedkar said that the responsibility of the legislature is not just to provide fundamental rights but also and rather more importantly, to safeguard them. Fundamental Rights are indeed essential for the growth and development of individual and thus the nation. Following which the Constituent committee and Advisory committee outdid itself in forming a bundle of rights that one way or another reinforces every other right that the constitution confers. These rights have acted as a guarantor of justice, equity and civil freedom.
- Amdekar said that mere existence of Constitution will not guarantee political democracy. We must note that our political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy. Social democracy means a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life.
The contribution of Dr. 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 and Republic based on adult franchise. Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s name will be written in golden letters in the history of India as a creator of social justice.