Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


UN Observes Dr Bheemrao Ramji Ambedkar’s Jayanthi

Dt: 3/4/18


UN Observes Dr  Bheemrao Ramji Ambedkar’s Jayanthi


Dr T.H.Chowdary*



Dr Bheemrao Ramji Ambedkar was a great scholar   an economist, a statesman, and a leader of  vast masses of people  consigned since centuries    to  a miserable life. There had been few people of his stature in the world history  -  Nelson Mandela of South Africa and  Martin Luther King of the  USA could be thought to be the likes of  Dr Ambedkar  to a certain extent.  Dr Ambedkar’s influence in India   could be   likened to  that  of only    Swami Vivekananda  who not for a section of the  people but for the   whole  country and the nation,  got global recognition.  On this occasion of the  127th  Jayanti,    Dr Ambedkar’s bold and inimitable   analysis of  two issues and  prescription of solutions may be recalled.


2. The first and foremost was his bold view about  Jammu &Kashmir. While  writing the  Constitution  he was critical of Jawaharlal Nehru’s  wrong and  soft attitude   to Shaikh Abdullah and J&K . The Maharaja of J&K acceded his state to the  Indian Union  through the  same  instrument of  accession like several  hundred  Maharajas, Princes and Nawabs . Nehru wanted  a special provision  what has come to be known as Article-370 for J&K . There was  widespread  opposition  for such article for J&K.  On  advice from Nehru, Shaikh Abdullah met with  Dr Ambedkar  giving all the specious reasons  for  special status to J&K.  Dr Ambedkar heard all of Shaikh Abdullah’s arguments very patiently and for long and finally said, “You want India to defend Kashmir, feed its people, undertake its all-round development and give Kashmiris equal rights all over the country; but you do not want the rest of India and Indians equal rights in Kashmir. I am the Law Minister of India. I cannot betray my country*." With these words, he refused to draft the article  Abdullah desired. Shaikh Abdullah  went away  disappointed  but Nehru prevailed  upon the  docile



Congress -men  in almost a dictatorial fashion by  telling them that  Article -370 was only a temporary provision and that over a period of time  it would  totally disappear.  This has not happened; on the other hand  the Article-  370 gives  protection and  encouragement for those who are wanting  J&K to secede from India.


3.  Nehru’s  irrational and the  exuberant concern  for Kashmir   was one of the reasons  that  led to  Dr Ambedkar’s   resignation  from the Nehru’s’ cabinet in Sept 1951. True to his conviction and very boldly he spoke out  against  Nehru’s  obsessive concern  with Kashmir to the exclusion of the plight of  Hindus in Pakistan.  In the statement giving  reasons for his resignation  he said ,”our quarrel with Pakistan  is a part of our foreign policy about which  I feel   deeply dissatisfied . There are two grounds which have  disturbed our relations  with Pakistan      one for Kashmir and other is the  condition of our people in East Bengal. I felt  that we should be more deeply concerned  with East Bengal where the condition of  our people seems ….intolerable  than with  Kashmir. Notwithstanding this, we have been staking our all on the Kashmir issue.  Even then I feel that we have been fighting  on a unreal issue. The issue on which we are fighting most of the time is  who is in the  right and who is in the wrong.  The real issue to my mind is not  who is in the right but what is right.  Taking that to be the  main question,  my view  has always  been  that the right solution is  to partition  Kashmir.   Give the  Hindu and Buddhist part to India  and the Muslim part to Pakistan as we did in the  case of India.   We are really not concerned with   Muslim part of  Kashmir . It is a matter between Muslims of  Kashmir and Pakistan . They may decide the issue  as they like or if you like, divide  it  into three parts   -   the ceasefire zone, the  valley and the Jammu-Laddakh region and have plebiscite only in the valley.  In the proposed plebiscite which is to be an overall plebiscite, the  Hindus and Buddhists  of Kashmir are likely to be dragged into Pakistan  against their  wishes and we may have to  face the same  problem as we are  facing today in East Bengal.” We have not heeded to his sage  solution: Art-370 is 70 years temporary and the civil strife has been undying.


4. The disaffection of  Muslims  of  the Kashmir valley under our government is  too very  well known. Not only have  there been and are  periodic intihfadas,  uprisings costing us trillions of  rupees  by way of  packages of money spent  and  tens of thousands of lives   of our citizens and soldiers lost to retain  a part of J&K within in India,  but also to our utter shame, we are putting up with  the expulsion of 400,000 Hindus and Sikhs from the Muslim  majority   Kashmir valley. For the last three  decades those Hindus and Sikhs  are  living in tents  within their own country as refugees in Jammu & elsewhere. While doing nothing for them,  we are shamelessly and even   piously  calling upon  Israel that   it should allow the Palestinian  Arab Muslims who had  fled from Israel in consequence of  the 1948  and 1967 and 1973 .  Arab-Palestine and Israeli wars to return. Is it not a matter of surprise that  even the    loudly nationalist  BJP -led NDA governments have not    rehabilitated the Hindu Sikh victims of the   Islamists intolerance  in the  Kashmir  Valley?


5. The plight of farmers in India is one of   continuous  deprivation, marked by  tens of thousands of farmers committing suicide because of indebtedness. Despite  eloquent and frequent   promises that the  government is commitment to the welfare of   farmers,  the misery of the  farmers continues .  Long ago, in the manifesto of the  Sheduled Castes Federation of India, for the 1952 general elections Dr Ambedkar boldly and clearly addressed the  problem of  agriculture in India. He said, that the old  pattern of agriculture  should not be  allowed to continue . Fragmentation and dispersion  of the  holdings   detract  from the   viability of agriculture  itself . Most importantly, as the population is growing the  land available per person in India  is continually declining.  It used to be 0.88 acre in 1911, 0.71 in 1948  and now  it is 0.25 acre .  Dr.Ambedkar proposed that land should be taken over by the  state   and parcelled out into viable  units .  The owners  may be compensated by  bonds  with perpetual validity with interest linked to inflation. Agriculture should be mechanised.  The  parcels of  land should be given   to the poor  interested in agriculture as  occupation mostly Dalits . Even this   would not put    agriculture on a sound  economic  footing.  Dr. Ambedkar proposed that there  should be   family planning and that  the SC Federation would take appropriate measures  to contain the  population growth. It was so bold of the leader of scheduled castes now called  dalits,  to  advocate population  control in his  political manifesto.   That if the population is not controlled, India’s Five Year Plans would be ineffective    for the   economic development of the  poor people was emphatically put forward by the  late  JRD Tata to Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru   dismissed JRD’s  idea and totally  ignored Dr Ambedkar well-reasoned  proposition for population control. It is in consequence  of this,  we are   now having  the per capita cultivable land at a fraction of what it was in 1951 . 


6. We are  now talking of doubling the  income  of farmers.  It is  impossible to realise  unless at least the  Swaminathan  Committee  recommendation that   the procurement  price   for agricultural commodities,  especially rice and wheat should  be 50% more than the   cost of  production. 


7. Dr Ambedkar was convinced that   universal  education was the most effective means of getting out of poverty and     making  a decent  living by one’s own  efforts, without depending  upon loans  and welfare and gifts from   governments. As  in no constitution anywhere in  the world Dr Ambedkar put Art-45 in our Constitution which directs the  State    that every  child in India  should be given free and compulsory  education for eight  years  between  age  6 to 14.   68 years after  the Constitution,  we still  have to  attain that goal. On the  contrary , even the poor   are   having to  send their children  at  great economic   deprivation of themselves    to private  schools, paying heavily  from their meagre  earnings .  In  2002, Art-21A made education a fundamental right.


8. All political parties are   singing  paeans to Dr Ambedkar without  ever sincerely striving  to implement the measures he advocated for the wellbeing of  people and   integrity of this country. The various  unions, societies and associations  with   the word Ambedkarite as  prefix are doing great  disservice by reducing  this great   son of India  as leader of  a section of the  lowly people and  not     giving him the  status that    the great    in India like  Vivekananda and Shankara    are given;  like   Bismarck    and Nelson Mandela   and  Martin Luther in their  countries.  That the  UN has started celebrating   his Jayanthi is global recognition of the  greatness of  Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. (1,532 words)