Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, the principal architect of India’s Constitution was a true visionary and these lines by him show that his concerns for India and her independence were not unfounded:
“On 26th January, 1950, India will be an independent country. What would happen to her independence? Will she maintain or will she lose it again? This is the first thought that comes to my mind. It is not that India was never an independent country. The point is that she once lost the independence she had. Will she lose it a second time? It is this thought which makes me most anxious for the future. What perturbs me greatly is the fact that not only India has once before lost her independence, but she lost it by treachery of some of her own people…
Will history repeat itself? It is this thought which fills me with anxiety. This anxiety is deepened by the realisation of the fact that in addition to our old enemies in the form of castes and creeds, we are going to have many political parties with diverse and opposing political creeds. Will Indians place the country above their creed or above their country? I do not know, but this much is certain that if the parties place creed above country, our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost forever. This eventuality we all must resolutely guard against. We must be determined to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood!”
Born on 14th April, 1891, Babasaheb as he is popularly known was a social reformer who championed the cause of the dalits, women and labour. A jurist and economist, he was also independent India’s first law minister.
As we celebrate his 124th birth anniversary, here are some quotes by Babasaheb that are still relevant in the day and age we will live in.
The sovereignty of scriptures of all religions must come to an end if we want to have a united integrated modern India.
“I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity.”
“The relationship between husband and wife should be one of closest friends.”
“Equality may be a fiction but nonetheless one must accept it as a governing principle.”
An ideal society should be mobile, should be full of channels for conveying a change taking place in one part to other parts. In an ideal society there should be many interests consciously communicated and shared.
“Cultivation of mind should be the ultimate aim of human existence.”
Sincerity is the sum of all moral qualities.
“In India, ‘Bhakti’ or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship plays a part in politics unequalled in magnitude by the part it plays in the politics of any other of the world. ‘Bhakti’ in religion may be a road to salvation of the soul. But in politics, ‘Bhakti’ or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship.”
“We are Indians, firstly and lastly.”