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BAB-101: B.R. Ambedkar: Thinker, His Time

BAB-101: B.R. Ambedkar: Thinker, His Time

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BAB-101/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BAB-101

Assignment Name: B.R. Ambedkar: Thinker, His Time

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor




Marks: 100

Weightage - 30%


Note: Attempt any Five Questions. All Questions carry equal marks (20x5).


1. What hurdles did Ambedkar face to get his early education?

Ans) Ambedkar began his formal education there in Dapoli, where his father had relocated after leaving the Army. Young Bhimrao was enrolled in a local Marathi school when he was five years old. Later, when his father was relocated to Satara and started working for a civilian employer, he was accepted into a local school. Ambedkar enrolled in Satara Government High School in 1900 after completing his primary education. In the student directory, he went by the name Bhima Ramji Ambedkar.


His family's original surname was Sakpal. However, his ancestors preferred to refer to themselves by the name of their ancestral village, Ambavade, which was in the Ratnagiri district's Khed taluka. Bhimrao's honesty and intelligence impressed a Brahmin teacher at the high school to the point where he wanted to make him his protege.


The instructor was accommodating and kind. He frequently gave Bhim some of his food while advising him to work hard and set high standards for himself. Bhimrao adopted the name Ambedkar as a sign of love and adoration for his teacher, and he was forever indebted to him. The instructor wrote Ambedkar a letter of congratulations before he left for England in 1930 to attend the Round Table Conference. He must have been pleased to see Ambedkar making such good life progress.


However, Ambedkar was forced to live with the untouchability stigma from the start of his life. In fact, because of the orthodox Brahmanism that predominated at the time, caste oppression was extremely severe before Ambedkar entered the political scene. It was claimed that physical contact with the untouchables was "polluting," and even worse, that even their shadows were "defiling."


In order to prevent their spittle and footsteps from defiling the roads that the upper caste people had to travel on, the untouchables used to be required to tie an earthen pot around their neck and a broom around their waist while walking in the street. The penalties for members of the depressed caste who even accidentally violated the limitations imposed on them were extremely severe and harsh. After enduring such humiliations, Ambedkar developed a deep hatred for the Hindu social structure that had doomed him and his class to a life of utter destitution. The young Ambedkar became aware that the caste system was founded on discriminatory provisions as a result of numerous traumatic events. He therefore made it his life's work to eradicate caste.


Bhim, his older brother, and their young nephew boarded a train one summer day to travel to Goregaon to meet their father, who worked as a cashier. They boarded the train at Padali and continued on to Masur. Their father did not show up at the station to meet them because he had not received their letter in time. They finally convinced the station master, a caste Hindu, to get them a bullock cart after much waiting, and they departed for Goregaon.


When the god-fearing caste Hindu cartman realised they were from an untouchable family, he immediately threw them out of the cart before it had travelled very far. However, the cart-man agreed to let the boys ride in the cart after they paid him twice the fare. The cart driver, who was Bhim's older brother, followed the cart on foot out of concern for the environment. The boys were on the road from dusk until dawn without stopping for any water. Every time they asked someone for some water, they were either told to leave or pointed to some dirty water. The realisation that he came from a caste of untouchables—people who, in accordance with Hindu caste laws, were degraded to consume filthy foods and beverages—came as Bhim's first rude shock. A few days later, Bhim was observed drinking water from a public fountain as a protest. He was beaten black and blue by the upper castes when they caught him.


Bhim's family situation contributed to his abrasive nature. Ramji, Bhim's father, wed a second time after losing his first spouse. He got married for the benefit of his kids even though he had no intention of getting married again. Bhim detested his stepmother for donning his mother's jewellery and did not like the idea of another woman replacing his mother. Bhim resolved to work for himself and made the decision to stop relying on his father's income. His two sisters had moved to Bombay after getting married, and he had heard from them that there were jobs in the mills there. Bhim made the decision to move to Bombay and work as a mill winding boy. But he lacked the funds to pay the fare.


2. What was the main reasons for Ambedkar to resign as the Law Minister?

Ans) The Constitution was ratified on November 26, 1949, and it became law on January 26, 1950. Ambedkar was chosen to serve in Nehru's first Cabinet of the government of Independent India as the minister of law. The task in front of him was enormous. And even though he wasn't particularly happy with the law ministry's portfolio—he preferred planning—he still laid the groundwork for India's first generation of progressive and welfare laws.


Ambedkar faced the most opposition after the Hindu Code Bill was proposed and introduced in the Indian Parliament of Independent India. Ambedkar eventually left the Cabinet as a result of this. In his defence of the Bill, Ambedkar placed a strong emphasis on reforming Hinduism and establishing a sizable public area subject to universally applicable laws. 12 The Uniform Civil Code's agenda included the Hindu Code Bill. We have a uniform Criminal Code, law of the Transfer of Property, and Negotiable Instruments Act, he said in the Constituent Assembly. This would demonstrate that the nation had a Civil Code that was essentially uniform in content and applied across the board.


Marriage and succession are the only areas that the civil law has so far been unable to infiltrate. The introduction of the Hindu Code was necessary because there was no single legal framework for Hindus in all of India, the laws governing adoption were in disarray, and marriage-related laws varied widely. Hindu law as a whole was not a system of law and was not the same for all Hindus. Codification was the only option in these conditions. 14 The process of drafting the constitution continued with the codification of Hindu law. The codification carried out the unambiguous promise made by the Indian Constitution that there would be no caste or sex-based discrimination. Ambedkar argued that the adoption of the Indian Constitution naturally led to the enactment of the current code.


3. Why did Ambedkar converted to Buddhism?

Ans) The Constitution was approved on November 26, 1949, and it went into effect on January 26, 1950. In the first Cabinet of the government of Independent India, Nehru appointed Ambedkar as the minister of law. He had a tremendous task before him. He also established the first generation of progressive and welfare legislations in India, despite the fact that he wasn't particularly satisfied with the law ministry portfolio (he preferred planning).


The Hindu Code Bill was proposed in the Independent India Parliament, which is when Ambedkar encountered the greatest opposition. Ultimately, Ambedkar left the Cabinet as a result of this. Ambedkar placed a strong emphasis on reforming Hinduism in his defence of the Bill, as well as on the creation of a sizable public area subject to universally applicable laws. 12 The Uniform Civil Code agenda included a bill titled the Hindu Code Bill. Speaking in front of the Constituent Assembly, he declared: "We have a uniform Criminal Code, law of the Transfer of Property, Negotiable Instruments Act." This would demonstrate that this nation essentially had a Civil Code that was applicable across the board and had a uniform set of laws.


Marriage and succession are the only two provinces that civil law hasn't yet managed to encroach on. The Hindu Code was required because there was no unified legal framework for Hindus throughout all of India, the laws governing adoption were in disarray, and marriage-related laws varied widely. As a whole, Hindu law was not a system of law that applied to all Hindus. Codification offered the only remedy in these conditions.


Following the process of drafting the constitution, Hindu law was codified. The codification confirmed that there would be no discrimination on the basis of sex or caste, as was expressly promised by the Indian Constitution. According to Ambedkar, the Constitution of India's adoption and the subsequent enactment of the current code were a logical progression.

  1. A strong opposition

  2. Equality before law

  3. Constitutional morality in administration

  4. A strong and active moral sense in society

  5. Presence of public conscience.


Ambedkar lived through the failure of Indian democracy, just as he had feared. Ambedkar eventually abandoned Hinduism and embraced Buddhism because he was appalled and frustrated by the caste-based Hindus' unfavourable attitudes. The Buddha's teachings were accepted by Ambedkar and his supporters on October 14, 1956, in Nagpur. He didn't suddenly decide to change his religion. He first expressed his disgust with Hinduism in 1929 at the Scheduled Castes Conference in Jalgaon.


As opposed to Hinduism, which is based on graded inequality, Buddhism promotes a caste- and class-free society, which is why Ambedkar adopted it. Perhaps the main reason Ambedkar finds Buddhism to be an alternative is because of Buddha's opposition to human exploitation. Ambedkar died on December 6, 1956, after a very busy but fruitful life.


4. Discuss Jyotiba Phule’s influence on Ambedkar.

Ans) Indian social reformers' ideas had a big impact on Ambedkar. During his time, Indian society was rigid and conservative, and social reformers had a big impact on it. Lord Buddha, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Kabir, and Dalit saints like Nandnar, Ravidas, and Chokkhabela all had an impact on Ambedkar. Here, we talk about how Jyotiba Phule's writings influenced Ambedkar. Ambedkar was influenced by Phule, who accomplished remarkable things to improve Hindu society's social ills.


The issues of untouchability, the elimination of sati, the advancement of women in society, the elimination of child marriage, etc. were the focus of Phule's social work. Ambedkar, who promoted the idea that all men were created equal but that social injustices made one man superior to another, was greatly influenced by Phule's reforms. He aimed to give those who had been suppressed the chance to advance socially, economically, and politically. According to Phule, Manusmiriti had bound the Shudras hand and foot, and unless they rose up in rebellion, they would never be able to free themselves from their servitude. Ambedkar borrowed from Phule and had a similar point of view.


Ambedkar claimed that the Hindus in every village lived under the Manusmiriti laws. The Manusmiriti directives were to blame for their low social, economic, and political status as well as their degradation. Ambedkar's burning of Manusmiriti on December 25, 1927, was a pivotal moment in his development as a social reformer. Ambedkar, who was greatly influenced by Phule and went on to become one of the greatest social and political thinkers of modern India, owes a great deal of his arguments about the causes of untouchability to him.


5. Discuss the historical context of the Bhakti tradition.

Ans) In India, the problem of languages is complicated. The varna-caste system has a direct correlation with the complexity of the Indian linguistic environment. A result of India's complicated and disjointed varna-caste system is multilingualism in that country. The absence of a standardised method of communication and scriptural prohibitions against learning particular languages, such as Sanskrit, were two crucial prerequisites for the maintenance of the varna-caste order. A strange phenomenon that suited the growth of the varna order was the rise of Sanskrit as the language of the priestly class. Sanskrit was only available to the priestly class, which aided in their hegemony over knowledge.


The language that was stigmatised as inappropriate for any philosophical discourse was made mandatory for the lower castes. During the Buddhist era, the languages of the people evolved and served as the medium for philosophical discourse. When giving discourses, the Buddha insisted on speaking in the languages of the audience. As a result, these languages produced a large amount of literature in the form of writings, stories, songs, and fables. The saint-poets preferred to use the common languages of the people to convey their messages in accordance with Buddhist linguistic custom. To stake out their claim on these languages for use in religious and philosophical discourses, they had to contend with the priestly castes.


Additionally, these poets had to advance these languages so that they could be applied to both poetry and philosophy. In order to ensure widespread participation of peasants, artisans, and other ritually inferior but economically powerful groups in these devotional movements, the saint-poets chose the Prakrit languages. According to Dilip P. Chitre, there were two different ways that mediaeval Marathi poetry could have developed. One continued from the religious and secular Sanskrit classics. The use of Marathi used in local conversation was either ignored or disregarded by these classicists. Such "classicist" literature has, however, only been produced by a small number of authors.

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