Model Question and Answers for APSC | Mahatma Gandhi and Dr B.R. Ambedkar, despite having divergent approaches and strategies, had a common goal of amelioration of the downtrodden. Elucidate.

Mahatma Gandhi and Dr B.R. Ambedkar, despite having divergent approaches and strategies, had a common goal of amelioration of the downtrodden. Elucidate.

Model Question and Answers for APSC | Mahatma Gandhi and Dr B.R. Ambedkar, despite having divergent approaches and strategies, had a common goal of amelioration of the downtrodden. Elucidate.

Ans: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi considered the ‘Father of the Nation’, is renowned as the leader of the nationalist movement against British rule in India. On the other hand is Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution of India, who worked very hard for the rights of the Dalits.

Divergent approaches and strategies:

  1. Gandhi believed the depressed classes were an integral part of Ambedkar introduced a two-nation theory wherein the ruling nation is that of the upper castes while the subject nation is that of the lower castes.
  2. Ambedkar felt that political freedom or self-rule or swaraj would be a farce for depressed classes and minorities because self (of self-rule) or swa (of swaraj) is vaguely put and not clearly defined.
  3. Ambedkar felt that social change should precede political Gandhi first sought political freedom for Nation
  4. Ambedkar was a vocal critic of caste. Gandhi also detested caste but used it to support the chaturvarna tradition based on the logic that it leads to the division of labour.
  5. Gandhi believed in action so as to get the desired results. He advocated for peaceful political struggles and encouraged various forms of Satyagraha like non-cooperation and civil Ambedkar asserted that the constitution (by law) could help bring about a change in society.
  6. Gandhi's methods centred around untouchability abolition, social accommodation etc. While Ambedkar's methods rested on Social political and economic empowerment, social recognition and participation, and the democratisation of empowerment
  7. Gandhi believed villages to be the backbone of a Ambedkar critiqued the local administration by claiming that localism, communalism and narrow mindsets could be seen in villages. He preferred a top-down model of administration with a strong central government.
  8. Gandhi wanted to rebuild India by inculcating in the people the values of spirituality and the ideals of India’s Ambedkar wanted everyone to forget India’s past and rebuild a future by rejecting the past.

This difference in the views between Gandhi and Ambedkar regarding caste and emancipation of the downtrodden led to their differences in political approach. This gets exemplified in POONA PACT (1932) and afterwards.

 

A common goal of amelioration of the downtrodden:

  1. Both believed in the political empowerment of Dalits and backward Ambedkar established organisations such as Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha, Scheduled Caste federation etc to empower Dalits. Gandhi was in favour of bringing Dalits into the political sphere by reserving them seats in the Congress party.
  2. They tried to influence social beliefs through their magazines like Harijan by Mahatma Gandhi and Mooknayak by Gandhiji even coined the term Harijan instead of backward castes in order to instil self-confidence in those sections.
  3. Gandhi and Ambedkar worked towards reforming the caste system by eradicating discriminatory Ambedkar undertook the Mahad Satyagraha for making public places open for Dalits. Gandhi was equally active in this effort as he participated in the Temple entry movement in Kerala.

 

Despite their differences, both believed that a change in society could be seen only when society collectively acts. Hence, they spurred mass mobilization against injustice.