University of Delhi organized a programme on “Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar: Mapping His Mission and Vision for the 21st Century India” to commemorate and celebrate the 126th Birth Anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar. The programme was organized in the Convention Hall of the University on 14 April 2017. Distinguished speakers included Hon’ble Justice (Retd) Dr. B.S. Chauhan, Chairperson, Law Commission of India, Hon’ble Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, Delhi High Court and Professor Upendra Baxi, former Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi and the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi, Prof. Yogesh K. Tyagi.
Former Supreme Court Judge and the Chairperson of Law Commission of India Dr. B.S. Chauhan underlined the importance of re-visiting the scholarly works of Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. He said that Dr. Ambedker wished to understand Indian society from the Indian wisdom rather than western imposed values. He said that Dr. Ambedkar was against hero- worship which poses grave dangers for the country. He stressed upon Dr. Ambedkar’s firm belief in the annihilation of caste and all sorts of discrimination in our society. He acknowledged the increase in expectation that people have from the Supreme Court of India.
Speaking in the seminar Hon’ble Justice S. Ravindra Bhat of Delhi High Court acknowledged Dr. Ambedkar as one of the most formidable non-western philosophers, who fought for the cause of subalterns. He said that Dr. Ambedkar believed that during independence movement, the struggle for political freedom overtook social freedom. He emphasized bringing Ambedkarite equality in our society. Justice Bhat quoting Ambedkar said that inter-caste marriages are the only way forward to annihilate the caste system in the country. He also stressed that reservation has undoubtedly benefited a section of the society, and the need is to supplement it with second round of land reforms.
Eminent Professor of law, Upendra Baxi, who studied Ambedkar’s works extensively, said that Indian judiciary has performed better than the representative institutions. He brought to light what Dr. Ambedkar had once said, to organize the negation of caste before agitating. He said that India still struggles to eliminate the evils like manual scavenging. He also underlined that Indian constitution is a very liberal constitution in terms of conception of rights. He stressed the need for more research in the Critical Studies on Ambedkar.
The Vice Chancellor of University of Delhi, Professor Yogesh K. Tyagi during the presidential address enlightened the gathering by drawing the attention to an otherwise unnoticed contribution of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar , namely, the codified dreams in the form of Constitution of India which is the supreme law of the land. He emphasized the need for political scientists and constitutional lawyers of India to reflect on the contribution of Indian constitutional principles and values imbibed in the constitutions of other countries.
14th April, 2017