Historic Speech of Dr B R Ambedkar

Dr. M. R. Jayakar objected to the timing of the resolution. He moved an amendment, seeking postponement of the passing of the resolution, as he wanted the Muslim League to join the task of laying down the fundamentals of the Constitution. This resolution created a tense atmosphere in the House. Amidst this tense situation Dr. Ambedkar was invited by the President Dr. Rajendra Prasad unexpectedly to have his say on 17th December 1946. When Dr. Ambedkar started, the House was all attention.

Dr. Dhananjay Keer writes, “Everybody thought that Dr. Ambedkar by playing such dangerous role would go under with the mover of the amendment to rise against the will and the objections of the Congress bosses, who were the nation’s most powerful leaders, was to meet one’s Waterloo. The Congress members were ready with their hands raised to cripple their avowed enemy and throw him down”. This historic speech changed the course of Dr. Ambedkar’s political career. The speech drew the longest and the most vociferous applause. As Mr. N. V. Gadgil, an eye-witness to this event observed “His speech was so statesmanlike, so devoid of bitterness and so earnestly challenging that the whole of Assembly listened to it in rapt silence. The speech was greeted with tremendous ovation and he was smothered with congratulations in the lobby “. The speech had its ultimate effect and the Constituent Assembly postponed the consideration of the objective resolution till the next session.

Dr. Ambedkar was member of the Union Constitution Committee. The report of the Committee was submitted to the President of the Assembly by its Chairman Pandit Nehru on 4th July 1947. The work done by Dr. Ambedkar in various sub-committees of the Assembly was considered very useful and convinced the Congress bosses beyond doubt that the legislation and solidification of freedom would not be easy without the services of Dr. Ambedkar. Consequent upon the partition of Bengal, Dr. Ambedkar ceased to be a member of the Constituent Assembly. The Congress Party which had earlier opposed tooth and nail his entry into the Constituent Assembly came forward and sponsored his candidature.

In his letter dated 30th June. 1947, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, President of the Constituent Assembly requested Mr. B. G. Kher, the then Prime Minister of Bombay to elect Dr. Ambedkar immediately. He wrote, ” Apart from any other consideration we have found Dr. Ambedkar’s work both in the Constituent Assembly and the various committees to which he was appointed to he of such an order as to require that we should not he deprived of his services. As you know, he was elected from Bengal and after the division of the Province he has ceased to be a member of the Constituent Assembly. I am anxious that he should attend the next session of the Constituent Assembly commencing from the 14th July and it is therefore necessary that he should be elected immediately”.

Accordingly, Dr. Ambedkar was re-elected in July 1947 from Bombay as a member of the Constituent Assembly. Soon after. Prime Minister Nehru invited him to join the Cabinet he formed on 15th August 1947 on the eve of independence. Dr. Ambedkar accepted the invitation and became India’s first Law Minister. On 29th August the Assembly unanimously elected him as Chairman of the Drafting Committee which was assigned the task of framing the Constitution. Dr. Ambedkar, who was a strong opponent of Congress had now become their friend, philosopher and guide in the Constitutional matters.

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About Sanjay Kumar Pandagale

I am an Assistant Professor in Education in NCERT presently posted at Regional Institute of Education Bhopal which is a constituent unit of National Council of Educational Research and Training, New Delhi. Since last 13 years, I am working here in different capacities like, State Coordinator of Maharashtra and Goa, In-charge of Educational Technology Cell, In-charge of Information and Communication Center, Coordinator of Working With Community programme and Coordinator of EDUSAT programme. State Coordinator of Maharashtra for Research Study on SSA, Member of monitoring team for Chhattis Garh on SSA, Team member of National Achivement Surey (NAS). I visited Kunming, China in 2007 to attend workshop on ICT sponsored by UNESCO Bangkok. In 2008, I attended II workshop on ICT at Brunei Darussalem. Recently, in January 2013, I visited United Kingdom. During my seven days study tour, I visited Nottingham, London and Bristol.
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