ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Two Years of an Ambedkar Bhakt and the Plight of Dalits

With a self-proclaimed Ambedkar bhakt at the helm of the government, the Dalits might have expected a modicum of directional change in policies towards them. Instead, the two years of Narendra Modi's government have led to a reversal of many of the gains made by the Dalits in the past few decades.

Narendra Modi, the self-proclaimed Ambedkar bhakt, has completed two years of his boastful rule. Babasaheb Ambedkar, an iconoclast par excellence, was loath to having bhakts but with characteristic pragmatism, he might just have relented when a Prime Minister announced himself as his bhakt. Ambedkar had made a modest demand for Dalit representation in the state structure. He had hoped that such representatives would safeguard Dalit interests from the majority of the caste Hindus. Ambedkar experienced in his own lifetime the futility of his demand. But with an all-powerful Prime Minister as an Ambedkar bhakt, the Dalits could have expected a change in their state of affairs.

A modicum of expectation that Dalits would have had from an Ambedkar bhakt would have been to turn the country somewhat along the direction prescribed by Ambedkar. It is well known that he had asked the new rulers to bring in social and economic democracy at the earliest. For this purpose, he had provided a vehicle in the form of the Directive Principles. Although not justiciable, they were to be the fundamental principles for governance of the country. But these principles were totally ignored in the 60 years of Congress rule. An Ambedkar bhakt would have been expected to get them back into focus. He was also expected to arrest the worsening conditions of Dalits. Two years may not be a long time to show visible results but certainly enough to mark a directional change. What does the Ambedkar bhakt have to show in these two years?

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