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Government of India
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
14-December-2011 20:51 IST
Third Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Lecture Delivered Today

Shri Salman Khurshid said, “Mahatma Gandhi sought mind of India, Dr Ambedkar sought soul of India.” Delivering the third Dr.Ambedkar Memorial Lecture here today he further said, “Dr Ambedkar was the main architect of the constitution of our democracy. He insisted that that amendment can be of any number but the basic nature of the Constitution must not be changed. We have to see that we do not fail our constitution.”

Earlier welcoming Shri Salman Khurshid, Union Minister of Law and Justice, Shri Mukul Wasnik, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment said that today we not only remember Dr Ambedkar for his role in his struggle for the rights of the depressed classes but also for the role he played in framing the Constitution. Shri Wasnik quoted Dr Ambedkar’s reply after the debate on the draft constitution, “We are a young nation with old civilization with 121 crore people, with a democracy based on adult franchise, we are the largest democracy in the world. The progress we have been making in various fields has drawn the attention of the entire world. We can deal with the challenges and resolve the issues through democratic means. With the type of diversity we have, there can be no other means.”

Shri Wasnik added that the Constitution of India provides the basic structure of our polity is an outcome of the contributions made by very outstanding personalities of Indian Politics. The debates of the Constituent Assembly had eleven sessions spread over 165 days. Out of these, the Assembly spent 114 days for the consideration of the Draft Constitution. The total number of amendments to the draft Constitution was approximately 7,635. Of them, the total number of amendments actually moved in the House was 2,473. This in itself gives us a glimpse of the herculean efforts put in drafting the Constitution which has stood the test of time.

After our first Prime Minister, Late Shri Jawaharlal Nehru moved the Resolution on Aims and Objectives in the Constituent Assembly,Dr Ambedkar piloted the framing of the Constitution. Dr Ambedkar relentlessly fought for the rights and dignity of the then oppressed and depressed classes. Dr Ambedkar categorically said, “He had entered the Constituent Assembly with no greater aspirations than to safeguard the interests of the Scheduled Castes.”

Dr Ambedkar believed that when there was no way left for constitutional methods for achieving economic and social objectives, there was a great deal of justification for unconstitutional methods. But where constitutional methods are open, there can be no justification for these unconstitutional methods, Shri Wasnik added. These methods are nothing but the Grammar of Anarchy. Throughout his life he emphasized the need of Constitutional means for realizing a nation based on equality where all human beings are treated equally with dignity and respect.

Dr.Ambedkar Memorial Lecture is an initiative taken by Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Social Justice to highlight the relevance of Dr. Ambedkar’s thoughts on various subjects in contemporary society. Today’s was the third lecture in this series and its topic was “Civil Society, Democratic Polity and Constitutional Governance”.

Shri D. Napoleon, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment; Smt. Sangita Gairola, Special Secretary and other senior officials of the Ministry were also present on the occasion.

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SKS/SKS