6th December 2015 is the 59th death anniversary of B.R Ambedkar. MJ Akbar, journalist, author, BJP MP from Jharkhand and member of the Rajya Sabha celebrated Ambedkar’s importance in Indian history by raising many important questions during his speech in the Upper house recently. Ambedkar did what many people couldn’t do – he drafted the Constitution in 141 days, whereas the current houses of Parliament haven’t even managed to pass the GST bill in 141 months.
Ambedkar was exemplary in his beliefs and even rose up in opposition to Nehru’s speech about rights for the minorities in India in 1946, calling it ‘pure pedantry’ because he believed that no right could make sense without a remedy to the social problem.
Even today, Ambedkar’s words ring in our ears, because we all have rights in our country, but no remedies. For example, we are still talking about ‘poverty alleviation’, whereas we should be talking about poverty ‘elimination’. What struck me most in Akbar’s speech was his theory of how post colonialism,we now have a world where nationalism has taken root, but is directionless for many people.