Ambedkar focused on three categories of democracy in India that are (1) Political Democracy (2) Social Democracy and (3) Economic Democracy. For him, Social and Economic democracy are the tissues and fiber of a political democracy. These were prominent part of India Freedom Struggle which is part of UPSC mains GS paper 1.
- Political Democracy
- Social Democracy and
- Economic Democracy
- Ambedkar located the political power in the people thinking of that it is the key to all social progress. According to him, the soul of democracy is the doctrine of, “One man, one vote” and “one vote, one value”.
- What he means each and every man to count for one. No man for more than one. It means every government should be on the anvil both in its daily affairs and also at the end of a certain period when the voter and electorate would be given an opportunity to assess the work done by the government.
- Democracy is unrealizable without freedom of political discussion. A right to vote gives a man no real part in controlling government unless he is free to form his own opinions about his vote, to hear what others have to say about the issues; and to persuade others to adopt his opinions. He further said that “Parliamentary system of government is much more than government by discussion.
- It is negation to hereditary rule. Whosoever wants to rule must be elected by the people from time to time. He must obtain approval of the people.
- There are two pillars on which the Parliamentary system of government rests and works. Those are (1) an opposition and (11) free and fair elections. In this system of government people should know the other side if there are two sides to a question.
- Hence a functional opposition is required. Opposition is the key to a free political life. No democracy can do without it”. While visualizing high political objects, he said that democracy must in harmony with social aims.
- He regarded democracy as both a social way of life and political method. Ambedkar pointed out that there are four premises upon which political democracy rests:
- The individual is an end in
- The individual has cetin inalienable rights which must be guaranteed to him by the Constitution.
- The individual shall not be required to relinquish any of his Constitutional rights as a condition precedent to the receipt of a privilege
- The state shall not delegate power to private persons to govern
- In democracy every party has the right to criticize and capture political power. The party in power tries to keep the power in its hands.
- According to him, the real test of the party system would come when the governmental power might shift from the ruling party to some other political party or parties. Understandably, Ambedkar realised that political democracy cannot succeeded where there is no social and economic democracy because these are the tissues and fiber of a political democracy.
- Ambedkar viewed that social democracy means as a way of life which recognises liberty, equality and fraternity as principle of life. They are not separate, they are union of trinity.
- Democracy, to him is more than a form of government. It is a form of the organisation of society. There are two essential conditions, which characterise a democratically constituted society.
- First is the absence of stratification of society into four classes. The second is a social habit on the part of individuals and groups, which is ready for continuous readjustment of recognition of reciprocity of interests.
- He regarded a favorable social setting as a pre-requisite for the success of democracy: without this democracy would not last long. The formal framework of democracy was of no value in itself and would not be appropriate if there was no social democracy.
- Ambedkar regarded democracy as a way of life. It involved rational empiricism, emphasis on individual, the instrumental nature of the state, voluntarism, and the law behind the law, nobility of means, discussion and consent, absence of perpetual rule and basic equality in all human relations.
- He outlined that equality is the principle and the substance of democracy which must be sought through social revolution. If our society is to be become democratic, the sprit of democracy should be slowly and peacefully introduced into our customs and institutions.
- In searching out the social design of democracy, he suggested the possibility that equality in one aspect, should be extended to other aspects of life, too.
- Democracy is incompatible and inconsistent with isolation and exclusiveness, resulting in the distinction between the privileged and the unprivileged. He regarded democracy as both a social and a political method.
- To end the social barriers, the inequality of caste system, Ambedkar stressed the need of making political democracy a social and economic democracy.
- For him, political democracy could not last unless these lay at the base of it. Social democracy recognized liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life.
- They formed an inseparable trinity in a democratic social structure. Without equality, liberty would produce the supremacy of the few over the many. Equality, without liberty, would kill individual initiative. Without fraternity, liberty and equality could not become a natural course of social relationship.
- If the fact is recognized that there was complete absence of two things in Indian society: equality in social and economic life, then political democracy, the political authority, must strive for removing this contradiction at the earliest moment, or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy.
- Economic democracy means that the economic needs of the people are to be satisfied. No person should die in want of food, clothing and housing, if democracy is to live up to its principle of one man, one value.
- He points out that the principle of graded inequality has been carried into the economic field. He viewed that the democratic order must minimize the glaring inequalities in society.
- In democratic society there must be neither an oppressed class nor an oppressor class. It is the duty of the state to prevent the monopoly of the means of production in few hands.
- To empower both the Dalits and non-Dalits economically, he proposed that the state should be given political power for the regulation and control of both key industries and agriculture; to this end he proposed that economic powers should be incorporated into the body of the Constitution itself without abrogating Parliamentary democracy and without leaving its establishment to the will of democracy.
- He was aware of the fact that capitalism makes democracy meaningless as it cannot protect the individual freedom and rights from the invasion of others rights.
- He, therefore, advocated for establishment of State Socialism to retain Parliamentary democracy and avoided dictatorship to safeguard individual liberty and to make it sure that the law of the Constitution prevailed to save both democracy and socialism.
- In his book, ‘States and Minorities’, he proposed for the adaptation of an economic political system as a new venture to benefit the poor masses of our society. Ambedkar suggested the following proposals
- Insurance shall be a monopoly of the
- Agriculture shall be a state
- Land will belong to the state and shall be let out to villagers without distinction of caste or creed.
- There will be no landlord, no tenant and landless
- Rapid industrialisation of economy under the complete supervision and control of the state should be initiated
- To protect the citizen against economic exploitation he proposed to include certain provisions on fundamental rights. He introduced the Directive Principles of State Policy with the object to establish economic democracy in India.
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