Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, despite having divergent approaches and strategies, had a common goal of amelioration of the downtrodden. Elucidate.
Gandhi and Ambedkar, though had the common objective of uplifting the downtrodden, they approached with divergent strategies.
Gandhi had a deep faith in Varna system, though it further stretched into the caste system. He believed that a person being born into a particular caste had a divine dispensation. But Ambedkar was wholly against the system. He wanted to abolish casteism to improve the status of the depressed people.
Gandhi urged the middle and upper classes to support and work for the upliftment of the depressed section. He spread this message through his weekly publication “Harijan”. During truce time, he appealed the Congressmen to go to the villages to serve the untouchables and to try for their integration with the mainstream. Whereas, Ambedkar did not believe in the help and support of the upper classes. He encouraged his men to educate themselves and fight for their rights.
- Ambedkar demanded separate electorate from the British Empire to protect the interests of the downtrodden in the round table conference. Gandhi was against this as he thought the mechanism will further intensify the division in the society. So, he proposed for more number of reserved seats in legislature to protect the rights of these people. As a result, Poona Pact was signed in 1932.
- Gandhi was in favour of decentralization to empower the villages. Ambedkar strongly opposed as he was afraid of village headmen assuming more power, which will further exploit the underprivileged section.
- Thus, while both the leaders wanted to change the condition of downtrodden, their approach was different, while Gandhi had an evolutionary approach, Ambedkar had revolutionary approach.