Article Socio-Political

Ambedkar’s Social Justice and Representation of Minorities

-By Shantaraj Debbarma

To know about social justice first we have to know what is Society and what is Justice. The term ‘Social’ imply that the group of people who live in a society. While the term ‘Justice’ is indicate equality, liberty and rights. It is generally said that social justice means social happiness.  

Social justice indicates the social right, cultural right, economical right and political rights of the weaker section of the society and the people of under privilege of the society. It is not morally acceptable for one class of people to exploit another class of people. It is wrong to do harm other people just because one has the power. If you have a real power then do the actions that increase their (weaker section people) livelihood. Justice is performance of duties virtuous conduct with dharma- the law. So justice means virtuous conduct in accordance with law or dharma.   

Ambedkar believes that Caste and class enjoyed the prominent role in India. That is why Ambedkar think that if we want to establish the social justice in our society then we have to think beyond caste and class. It is necessary to abolish caste system in order to achieve the social justice. The foundations of social justice are equality, liberty and fraternity but these three things are unavailable in our society. Inequality is everywhere; thus he wanted to establish the society which is based on socio-economic and political justice.

Ambedkar think that in a just society equality, liberty and fraternity should be present. If these three are absent in a society then we cannot say that the society is just. Thus to establish social justice we must promote the equality, liberty and fraternity among the citizens. The state should look that whether all citizens is getting equal opportunity in every field of life. Secondly liberty of thought and expression is required. Liberty can be divided into two: Civil liberty (movement, speech and action) and political liberty (right of the individual to share in the framing law in the making and unmaking of government. Thirdly fraternity among the citizens is necessary and it would be possible only through constitutional law.  He believes that law is the powerful weapon to fight against the discrimination.

Social justice should be based on moral values and self respect. He wanted to reorganize the society on equality and rationality. That is the reason he opposed to caste based society. In Hindu society there is no place for equality, liberty and fraternity. The four classes viz. Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Shudra enjoy the different privileges and benefits.

Status and occupation should not be fixed by birth and hereditary. If the status and occupation is fixed by birth and hereditary then the individual did not get the opportunity to express his or her capacity and his capacity remain hidden. Thereby society deprives to get something new things and it lead to disorganization and chaos in society.

It is the evident that men are different from each other by their capacity, mental ability, skill, faculty, birth and social atmosphere where they brought up. The requirement is the state should give the opportunity to all the citizens so that they can enjoy equal opportunities for their upliftment.  To strengthen the position of depressed classes and indigenous people he demanded the special provision so that they can stand and sit beside the so-called upper class people. He called upon to abolish Devdasi system because this system disrespects the women and it against the equality and liberty.

According to Ambedkar representation of the minorities should be in a strict proportion to its population otherwise social justice would not possible in the framework of democracy. Equal treatment to all the minorities in the matter of representation should be follow, because the legislative council is like a battle ground for the acquisition of rights and prevention of injustice.[1] However economic status and the education are very much required for power of minorities. Even if there is representation but no education and economic sound then the representation will not be fruitful. That is why Ambedkar says the higher the educational and economic status of a minorities the lesser is in need for political protection while the lower the education and economic status of a minorities the greater will be in need for its political protection.[2] The rights of minorities can be protected only on the basis of constitutional rights. And it is the moral duty of the majority to protect the rights of the minority. Without positive thinking and affirmative action we cannot protect the rights and representations.

In a conclusion we can say that it is seen that the depressed class people still facing the discrimination in various field of society. There is a law but the application of law is very nominal. Feeling of domination is seen from the upper class or the majority people. Whenever they get a chance, they start insulting to the depressed class or minorities or indigenous people. For that He wanted to abolish Caste and class discrimination by enacting the constitution. Ambedkar think that only constitution can protect the rights of depressed class people. Major discriminatory of caste system are: Hierarchy, lack of social efficiency, social immobility, excommunication, and endogamy and anti social spirit.

There are enough laws that can enhance their life, but the reluctance of government employees to work is deviating from the main goal. Even for language problems they cannot speak properly about their rights in the right places. Socio-economical and polito-education is the main cause of their under development.

 References:

  1. The Essential writing of B.R. Ambedkar, edited by Vlenrian Rodrigues
  2. http://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-3825-ambedkar-s-idea-of-social-justice-some-reflections.html
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301914070_Dr_BR_Ambedkars_Ideas_on_Social_Justice_in_Indian_Society#:~:text=Ambedkar’s%20concept%20of%20social%20justice,of%20hypocrisy%2C%20injustice%20and%20exploita%2D
  4. https://www.ijser.org/paper/Ambedkars-Notion-of-Social-Justice-A-Different-Perspective.html

[1] The Essential writing of B.R. Ambedkar, edited by Vlenrian Rodrigues, p. 92

[2] The Essential writing of B.R. Ambedkar, edited by Vlenrian Rodrigues, p. 94

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