Reading ahead as the book talked about the Constituent Assembly and the process which our fore-fathers followed in framing the Constitution, there were a few speeches quoted on reservations and on national language. I found the speeches very moving and they very well drove home the point as to why reservation was needed by the oppressive sections of the society and the unjustness of the demand that House proceedings be conducted in Hindi alone and not also in English.
The remarkable thing I found was that the speeches and the other arguments given at that time, hold merit even today. Now is this an indicator of our failure to progress as a nation - is a debatable thing.
However, the most striking part is the BabaSaheb B.R Ambedkar’s points of caution which he mentioned in the end after acknowledging everybody’s support and effort in framing the Constitution. I could not resist but draw out examples indicating that we have failed to get his message.
· The first warning -“Popular protests” and their place in a democracy.
He clearly said that Gandhian methods (civil disobedience, Satyagraha and non-co operation) – methods of popular protests were relevant under an autocratic regime but when there are Constitutional methods in place they better be abandoned.
· Second warning -“unthinking submission to authority”.
BabaSaheb said that although hero-worship or Bhakti plays its part in life, following it in the sphere of politics was degrading one self. I think he meant, that no matter how charismatic a leader we get, we shouldn’t be submitting ourselves, our support to him without rationally analyzing his agenda, his motives.
· Last one - "Content” with political democracy.
He warned us that we do not become complacent with attaining a democratic status but rather work to get rid of the inequality and hierarchical order prevalent in the society.
Unfortunately, looking around us – the society and political spectrum, we seem to have not paid heed to his words!