Gandhi, Ambedkar Aimed for Dalits' Welfare: Guha - The New Indian Express

Gandhi, Ambedkar Aimed for Dalits' Welfare: Guha

Published: 01st February 2014 10:52 AM

Last Updated: 01st February 2014 10:52 AM

Noted historian Ramachandra Guha on Friday said Mahatma Gandhi may have had differences with Dr BR Ambedkar over Dalit emancipation but the Father of the Nation contributed significantly towards raising the conscience of the upper caste to oppression of Dalits.

The two great sons of India launched movements to abolish untouchability in the country but their approaches were different, Guha said while delivering the third Chittaranjan Das Memorial Lecture on “Gandhi, Ambedkar and the Emancipation of Dalits” at the IDCOL auditorium here.

The eminent historian said Gandhi was born a Hindu and died a Hindu whereas Ambedkar had famously said that even though he was born a Hindu, he will never die a Hindu because of the discrimination he faced due to the caste system.

“Even though both of them were aiming to achieve the same thing, the difference was in their approach,” Guha said.

Gandhi was the reformer who undermined the caste system while Ambedkar mobilised and organised Dalits, Guha said.

Both leaders contributed in awakening the conscience of upper caste people. The ideas of both the leaders are relevant in the present society since there still exists discrimination against Dalits and women, he said.

Guha felt that the progress made by Dalits in the country in past 100 years is greater than what they achieved in the past 1,000 years. “The fight is still on but Gandhi and Ambedkar will always be the sources of inspiration for many movements to come,” he said.

The lecture was organised by a resource centre for education Sikshasandhan, founded by Das, who has made immense contribution in the field of Indian literature.

Eminent translator Jatin Nayak and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

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