Ambedkar: A true nationalist who wore many hats

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Ambedkar: A true nationalist who wore many hats

Wednesday, 14 April 2021 | Arjun Ram Meghwal

The nation celebrates the 130th Birth Anniversary of Dr Ambedkar, A nationalist figure whose ideas have an indomitable spirit and inspiration for every citizen for diving into the nation-building exercise.

However, his role as a social reformer, chairman of the draft committee of the Indian Constitution, and as first Law Minister of the nation is primarily known. Still, he wore many hats as a distinguished economist, active politician, eminent lawyer, labour leader, great parliamentarian, fine scholar, anthropologist, learned professor & orator, etc., among others.

Now, as the nation has marked the beginning of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to honour the 75 years of Indian Independence, it becomes imperative to reflect on the multifaceted Dr Ambedkar in entirety to grasp the gravity of his ideas, his role as a nation builder and actions taken thereupon, to strengthen the social fabric, building a just society and stronger Nation.

Dr Ambedkar greatly pioneered as Institution Builder but didn’t get deserved attention in pages of history. The central bank of the country, i.e., the Reserve Bank of India, conceptualized from the Hilton Young Commission’s recommendation, which considered Dr Ambedkars proposed guidelines in his book ‘The Problem of Rupee- Its origin and its solution.’

As a labour member in Viceroy’s Executive Council from 1942 to 1946, he evolved numerous policies in the water, power, and labor welfare sector in the Nation’s best interest. His farsightedness helped in establishing Central Water Commission in the form of The Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission (CWINC), Central Technical Power Board, Integrated water resources Management through establishing river valley authority which actively considered projects like the Damodar River Valley Project, the Sone River Valley Project the Mahanadi (Hirakud Project), the Kosi and others on river Chambal and rivers of the Deccan region.

The Inter-State water dispute Act, 1956, and the River Board Act, 1956 are his well thought out vision.Dr Ambedkar was the reasoned voice of depressed class on every platform. As their representative in the round table conference, he championed the cause of labours & improving the condition of peasants through their freedomfrom the clutches of cruel landlords. During the Bombay Assembly; Poona session in 1937, he introduced a bill to abolish the Khoti system of land tenurein Konkan. In Bombay, the historic peasant march to the Council Hall in 1938 made him a popular leader of the peasants, workers, and the landless. He was the first legislator of the country to introduce a Bill for abolishing the serfdom of agricultural tenants.

His essay titled ‘Small Holding in India and their remedies’ (1918) proposed industrialisation as the answer to India’s agricultural problem, which is still relevant in the contemporary economicaldebates.

As a member of the Bombay Assembly, The laborer’s echo Dr Ambedkar opposed the introduction of the Industrial Disputes Bill, 1937, from tooth to nail as it removed the workers’ right to strike.  

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