Vote Bank Politics is their forte! Vulture Politics is their Seasonal Venture. Minority appeasement is their priority. Dalit votes are their birthright. But Hindus are their enemies! This complex caste-based politics of Congress has brought this oldest political party on the threshold of getting extinct. But learn they will not!
When India became free in 1947 and the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru formed his cabinet of ministers, he included not only members from his own Indian National Congress, but also members from other political outfits, possibly as a symbolic olive branch for the leaders of divergent shades of opinion to join him in Nation building exercises or perhaps to make use of the expertise and experience of eminent people outside the Congress fold.
Thus we can see that many key portfolios were offered to and occupied by some leaders like R.K.Shanmukham Chetty (Finance – Swaraj Party/Justice Party) Baldev Singh (Defence – Panthic party) Shyama Prasad Mukherjee ( Industries – Hindu Maha Sabha) and Dr.B.R.Ambedkar (Law – Scheduled Caste Federation which was a successor to Independent Labor Party and precursor to the latter-day Republican Party of India)
This uneasy alliance of strange bedfellows, though formed with good intention and according to the needs of the situation, was not sustainable due to the inherent and irreconcilable differences between these leaders, and if we look a bit closer, we will find that none of them except Baldev Singh lasted their full term, and resigned (or were made to resign) midway through their ministerial tenures. Viewed from this perspective, the resignation of Dr.Ambedkar was neither unique nor unforeseeable.
Apart from this inherent incompatibility, Dr.Ambedkar had some strong views on certain important issues, and many differences of opinion with Nehru and the other Congress ministers in the cabinet. His reservations about Nehru’s handling of the Kashmir issue, his opposition to Article 370 of the Constitution conferring special rights on Jammu and Kashmir, his support for an Uniform Civil Code and his frustration with the Parliament for stalling the Hindu Code Bill so passionately drafted by him – all these are well known and hastened his exit from his increasingly untenable position in the cabinet.
Ambedkar talked about Kashmir problem
- Ambedkar talked about Kashmir problem on many occasions. On 10th October 1951, Ambedkar in a statement of Resignation from the Cabinet, showed his not merely dissatisfaction “but actual anxiety and even worry” about the foreign policy of India.
- It seems Ambedkar was against Article 370 in the Constitution, which gives a special Status to the State of J&K, and it was put against his wishes. Balraj Madhok reportedly said Dr Ambedkar had clearly told Sk. Abdullah: “You wish India should protect your borders, she should build roads in your area, she should supply you food grains, and Kashmir should get equal status as India.
- But Government of India should have only limited powers and Indian people should have no rights in Kashmir. To give consent to this proposal, would be a treacherous thing against the interests of India and me, as the Law Minister of India, will never do it.”
Then Sk. Abdullah went to Nehru, who directed him to Gopal Swami Ayyangar, who approached Sardar Patel asking him to do something as it was a matter of prestige of Nehru, who has promised Sk. Abdullah accordingly. Patel got it passed when Nehru was on foreign tour. On the day this article came up for discussion, Dr Ambedkar did not reply to questions on it though he did participate in other articles. All arguments were done by Krishna Swami Ayyangar.
On Hindu Code Bill
During the debates in the Constituent Assembly, Ambedkar demonstrated his will to reform Indian society by recommending the adoption of a Uniform Civil Code. Ambedkar resigned from the cabinet in 1951, when parliament stalled his draft of the Hindu Code Bill, which sought to enshrine gender equality in the laws of inheritance and marriage.
Dr Ambedkar’s Resignation Letter dated September 27th, 1951 is a detailed write-up of the injustice inflicted upon him by Nehru and Congress Party. Dr Ambedkar wanted Nehru to introduce ‘Hindu Code Bill’. But Nehru was not in favour of reforming Hinduism and turned his back on it. The Hindu Code Bill of Dr Ambedkar was visionary and modern. He felt it the duty of elected members to create awareness in the newly independent country through Law. His sole aim to enter politics was to uplift people of India. He believed that if the ills present in the society are removed, the country will progress on its own. But Nehru off-handedly turned down the ‘Hindu Code Bill’ by Ambedkar saying that the Nation was not ready for his modern thoughts on the issue of giving rights to Hindu girls in family property.
Dr Ambedkar clearly stated in his resignation letter that his personal equation with then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was hostile. Dr Ambedkar was in disagreement with Nehru’s Foreign Policy that turned every friendly Nation in the world as our enemy. We became friendless in just four years span. Dr Ambedkar also objected to Nehru’s policy towards Pakistan as self-defeating. History is the proof of Nehru’s POK blunder. He also raised his voice for focusing on East Bengal for the alarming situations of unrest. His foresightedness was ignored with a cold shoulder by Nehru Government. In the wake of the drastically collapsed demography of Hindus in Bangladesh in present times, one might wish Dr Ambedkar’s prophecy was paid heed to by Nehru Government.
Apart from the above ideological reasons, I am inclined to think that Dr.Ambedkar also had a personal agenda behind his resignation. Dr.Ambedkar was already very highly respected and had a large following of people, but he would have found it quite difficult to grow in stature in the company of many other Congress stalwarts in the cabinet, which could have had a dampening effect on his own political career.