Why did Dr B. R. Ambedkar resign from the cabinet in 1951?
There are a lot of news articles and other excerpts available on the internet that tell us about the "reasons" behind Dr. Ambedkar's resignation from the cabinet. He himself had given a speech in which he comprehensively stated various reasons. He was never a congressmen and was always treated like an outcast in the Congress Party and was never included in any substantial Cabinet Committee except the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and that too on Dr. Ambedkar's own protest.
- Most of us think that the major reason was ‘The Hindu Code Bill'. It is right up to some extent but not completely right. The non seriousness and inability of Nehru towards passing of Hindu Code Bill was just the climax of the Dr. Ambedkar's decision of resignation. The plot had been laid a for a very long time.
- Inclusion in the Cabinet. The decision of Congress to include Dr. Ambedkar in the cabinet came to great surprise of Dr. Ambedkar. The party which was always against his ideology and actions now suddenly realized the potential of this man. Though amid speculations Dr. Ambedkar accepted the offer for the betterment of his people.
- Little freedom in the Law Ministry. Law Ministry has always been a very idle department of government which has very less freedom and hand in policy making. The only way to play a major role is by being a part of Cabinet Committees of the Government. But Nehru never made him part of any substantial committee. Only once he got opportunity to be a part of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. Despite his extra-ordinary credentials in Finance, Law and Foreign Policy, he was never given a job which was commensurate to his capability. There was very little he could do administratively being a part of Law Ministry.
- Making and Drafting of Constitution. Most of the tenure of Dr. Ambedkar passed by while making and drafting the constitution till 26 January 1950. When the constitution was enacted he wanted to leave the cabinet but he stayed for several reasons. One of the major reason was the upliftment of the Scheduled Classes, Backward Classes and Women.
- Dissent on various issues. There were multiple issues in the past of which Dr. Ambedkar was against. Like no provision of Uniform Civil Code in the Constitution itself rather than on Directive Principles, Article 370 and no representation for the Backward Classes. For the Backward Classes, again a Directive Principle was compromised. It was said that a Commission shall be appointed by the President but it came very late in 1953 after the resignation of Dr. Ambedkar. And as well all know, it was never enacted by the Government. It was only Mandal Commission which was enacted. Similar problems were also with Article 370 which was a result of Sheikh Abdullah and Nehru's conspiracy. Dr. Ambedkar never wanted a special status to Kashmir. He knew that it will lead to future trouble which would be violent and bloody. And it is mot much to our surprise that his predictions came true.
- Biased approach of Nehru towards Hindus and Other Religions. Dr. Ambedkar blamed Nehru to be more worried about the Muslims especially in Kashmir rather than the Backward Hindus of India, Scheduled Castes, Tribes and the people of East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh). Many atrocities happened on Sikhs, Christians and other religions but Government was least bothered about them. All the attention of Govt. was on Kashmir. Dr. Ambedkar was a supporter of total separation of population along with partition but his voice was never heard. This concept was followed after World war 2 when East Europe was completely vacated by the German Population.
- Opposition to Congress's ‘damaged Foreign Policy' Dr. Ambedkar was always critical of Nehru's foreign policy. He said that during independence whole world was with them but now there is no one support our resolutions at UN. None of the major powers are our allies and we have a very little role to play in the world. He quoted Bismarck and Bernard Shaw while criticizing the idealistic Foreign Policy of Nehru. According to Dr. Ambedkar Foreign Policy is the game of probability and diplomacy not ideals.
- Climax of "THE HINDU CODE BILL". After all the above dissents and biasing attitude, Dr. Ambedkar still remained in the cabinet just for the sake of the downtrodden. He wanted to reform the evils of Hinduism that were spread widely in the name of religion. The condition of women and backwards was not very good. He wanted to wipe out all the gender inequality and irrationality in the society. Though, initially he wanted to include all the religions in his bill but after independence Congress was in no mood to take another bold step against other religions. Nehru acknowledged the Hindu Code Bill but never gave time to pass it to select committee. He was not very serious on religious reforms which was maybe a part of his party politics. After Dr. Ambedkar's insistence, finally the Bill was referred to Parliamentary Select Committee. It was agreed that Bill will be divided into 4 parts. to which Dr. Ambedkar agreed as a last resort. He thought something is better than nothing. But to the surprise of Dr. Ambedkar, Nehru denied to pass the Bill in the current session as it was not much important right then. Dr. Ambedkar lost his patience finally. After all those years of Congress's obstinacy, he finally lost his confidence on them. He realized if he want to do something for his people then he must get rid of his present responsibilities. At last, Dr. Ambedkar resigned on 27 September 1951.