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WHAT CONGRESS AND GANDHI HAVE DONE TO THE UNTOUCHABLES-9- Chapter 3 Summary "A MEAN DEAL" Part-6 "Congress Refuses To Part With Power" by DR. BR Ambedkar

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WHAT CONGRESS AND GANDHI HAVE DONE TO THE UNTOUCHABLES-9- Chapter 3 Summary "A MEAN DEAL" Part-6 "Congress Refuses To Part With Power" by DR. BR Ambedkar

Post  Admin on Thu May 12, 2011 1:45 am

Chapter 3 Summary



Before I resume the narrative and state what decision the Prime Minister gave, I must describe the strange phenomenon which I, as a member of the Franchise Committee, witnessed. After the close of the second session of the Round Table Conference, the Prime Minister thought it advisable to have the question of franchise for the new constitution examined by a Committee. Accordingly, in December 1931 he appointed a Committee with the late Lord Lothian as its Chairman. Its main term of reference was to devise a system of franchise whereby, to use the language of the Prime Minister's letter of instructions to the Chairman,

"The legislatures to which responsibility is to be entrusted should be representative of the general mass of the population, and that no important section of the community may lack the means of expressing its needs and its opinions."

The Committee started its work early in January 1932. For doing its work the Committee took the help of the Provincial Governments and of the Provincial Franchise Committees consisting of non-officials specially constituted for that purpose province by province. The Committee issued questionnaires. They were replied to by the Provincial Governments, by the Provincial Franchise Committees and by individuals. Witnesses were examined by the Committee sitting with each Provincial Franchise Committee. The Provincial Governments and the Provincial Committees submitted their reports separately to the Committee. They were discussed by the Committee with the Provincial Government and the Provincial Committee before it came to its own conclusion. Besides the general tasks assigned to the Lothian Committee, it had a special task with which it was charged by the Prime Minister. It had relation, to the political demands of the Untouchables which the Prime Minister had referred to in the following terms in his letter of instruction to the Chairman :—

"It is evident from the discussions which have occurred in various connections in the Conference that the new constitution must make adequate provision for the representation of the Depressed Classes, and that the method of representation by nomination is no longer regarded as appropriate. As you are aware, there is a difference of opinion whether the system of separate electorates should be instituted for the Depressed Classes and your committee's investigations should contribute towards the decision of this question by indicating the extent to which the Depressed Classes would be likely, through such general extension of the franchise as you may recommend, to secure the right to vote in ordinary electorates. On the other hand, should it be decided eventually to constitute separate electorates for the Depressed Classes, either generally or in those provinces in which they form a distinct and separable element in the population, your Committee's inquiry into the general problem of extending the franchise should place you in possession of facts which would facilitate the devising of a method of separate representation for the Depressed Classes."

Following upon, these instructions, it became the task of the Committee to come to some conclusion as to the total population, of the Untouchables in British India.

To the question what is the population of the Untouchables the replies received were enough to stagger anybody. Witness after witness came forward to say that the Untouchables in his Province were infinitesimally small. There were not wanting witnesses who said that there were no Untouchables at all!! It was a most extraordinary sight to see Hindu witnesses perjuring themselves regardless of truth by denying the existence of the Untouchables or by reducing their number to a negligible figure. The members of the Provincial Franchise Committee were also a party to this plan. Strange to say that some of the Hindu members of the Lothian Committee were in the game. This move of denying the very existence of the Untouchables or reducing their number almost to nil was particularly rampant in certain Provinces. How the Hindus were prepared to economise truth, even to a vanishing point, will be evident from the following figures. In the United Provinces, the Census Commissioner in 1931 had estimated the total population of the Untouchables at 12.6 millions, the Provincial Government at 6.8 millions but the Provincial Franchise Committee at .6 millions only!! In Bengal, the Census gave the figures of 10.3 millions, Provincial Government fixed it as 11.2 millions but the Provincial Franchise Committee at .07 millions only !

Before the Round Table Conference no Hindu bothered about the exact population of the Untouchables and were quite satisfied with the accuracy of the Census figures which gave the total of the Untouchables at about 70 to 80 millions. Why did then the Hindus start suddenly to challenge this figure when the question was taken up by the Lothian Committee ? The answer is very clear. Before the time of the Lothian Committee the population of the Untouchables had no value. But after the Round Table Conference the Hindus had come to know that the Untouchables were demanding separate allotment of their share of representation, that such share must come out of the lump which the Hindus had been enjoying in the past and that the measure of the share must depend upon the population of the Untouchables. The Hindus had realized that to admit the existence of the Untouchables was detrimental to their interest. They did not mind sacrificing truth and decency and decided to adopt the safest course, namely, to deny that there are any Untouchables in India at all, and thereby knock out the bottom of the political demands of the Untouchables and leave no room for argument. This shows how the Hindus can, conspire in a cold, calculated manner against the Untouchables out of pure selfishness and do indirectly what they cannot do directly.

Part 10

Note: Untouchables by constitution of India are called as Schedule Castes (SC) and Schedule Tribes(ST).

To read complete Chapter or book or more literature of DR. BR Ambedkar click

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काँग्रेस और गाँधी ने अछूतों के लिए क्या किया? : लेखक: डा बी आर आंबेडकर : यह पुस्तक अवश्य पढने योग्य है. मात्र इस पुस्तक को पढने से न सिर्फ आप भारत की राजनीती को समझते हैं बल्कि यह पुस्तक आपके मस्तिक्षक को इतना विकसित कर देगी जिससे कि न सिर्फ आपको भारत में बदलती राजनीती को समझने में मदद मिलेगी बल्कि आप में यह सामर्थ्यता भी आएगी है कि आप खुद को देश कि राजनैतिक व्यवस्था में किस प्रकार दिशा देते हैं. बाबा साहेब जी द्वारा लिखी यह एक ऐतिहासिक और दुर्लभ राजनैतिक कृति है. - निखिल सबलाणिया

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