Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, although with differing ideologies, shared a common goal: upliftment of the marginalized. Gandhi aimed to reform the caste system from within, while Ambedkar advocated for a radical societal restructuring.
- Gandhi’s “Sarvodaya” aimed for an inclusive society, with his Harijan campaigns targeting the eradication of untouchability.
- Ambedkar championed the annihilation of caste, illustrated by his book “Annihilation of Caste” and his conversion to Buddhism.
- Gandhi’s promotion of Khadi sought economic self-sufficiency and dignity of labor for the deprived classes.
- Ambedkar’s Mahad Satyagraha challenged social norms by asserting Dalits’ rights to access public water sources.
Engagement with British Colonial Rule:
- Gandhi’s negotiation with colonial powers, like the Poona Pact, although reinforced separate electorates.
- Ambedkar utilized the colonial legal framework, advocating for the oppressed, as seen in his representation in the Round Table Conferences.
- Both leaders utilized political platforms to voice concerns of the downtrodden, albeit through different political entities.
- Gandhi’s Nai Talim aimed at holistic education promoting social harmony.
- Ambedkar stressed on education as a means for social mobility, exemplified by his efforts to establish the London School of Economics Scholarship for Indian students.
- Ambedkar, as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, ensured social justice through constitutional provisions.
- Gandhi, though not directly involved in legislative endeavors, influenced social legislations through his nationwide moral authority.
Despite their ideological divergence, Gandhi and Ambedkar converged on the goal of social equity. Through varied strategies, both significantly contributed to challenging the oppressive social norms, underlining the multiple pathways towards achieving social justice in India.