Marking 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar

| April 14, 2016


#ambedkar birth anniversary   #dalit   #ambedkar jayanti   #BR Ambedkar  
BR Ambedkar

It is a pity that caste even today has its defenders. The defences are many. It is defended on the ground that the caste system is but another name for division of labour; and if division of labour is a necessary feature of every civilized society, then it is argued that there is nothing wrong in the caste system. Now the first thing that is to be urged against this view is that the caste system is not merely a division of labour. It is also a division of labourers.

Civilised society undoubtedly needs division of labour. But in no civilised society is division of labour accompanied by this unnatural division of labourers into watertight compartments. The caste system is not merely a division of labourers which is quite different from division of labour—it is a hierarchy in which the divisions of labourers are graded one above the other. In no other country is the division of labour accompanied by this gradation of labourers.

There is also a third point of criticism against this view of the caste system. This division of labour is not spontaneous, it is not based on natural aptitudes. Social and individual efficiency requires us to develop the capacity of an individual to the point of competency to choose and to make his own career. This principle is violated in the caste system, in so far as it involves an attempt to appoint tasks to individuals in advance—selected not on the basis of trained original capacities, but on that of the social status of the parents.
 
Looked at from another point of view, this stratification of occupations which is the result of the caste system is positively pernicious. Industry is never static. It undergoes rapid and abrupt changes. With such changes, an individual must be free to change his occupation. Without such freedom to adjust himself to changing circumstances, it would be impossible for him to gain his livelihood. Now the caste system will not allow Hindus to take to occupations where they are wanted, if they do not belong to them by heredity. If a Hindu is seen to starve rather than take to new occupations not assigned to his caste, the reason is to be found in the caste system. By not permitting readjustment of occupations, caste becomes a direct cause of much of the unemployment we see in the country.
 
 
As a form of division of labour, the caste system suffers from another serious defect. The division of labour brought about by the caste system is not a division based on choice. Individual sentiment, individual preference, has no place in it. It is based on the dogma of predestination. Considerations of social efficiency would compel us to recognise that the greatest evil in the industrial system is not so much poverty and the suffering that it involves, as the fact that so many persons have callings which make no appeal to those who are engaged in them. Such callings constantly provoke one to aversion, ill will, and the desire to evade.
 
There are many occupations in India which, on account of the fact that they are regarded as degraded by the Hindus, provoke those who are engaged in them to aversion. There is a constant desire to evade and escape from such occupations, which arises solely because of the blighting effect which they produce upon those who follow them, owing to the slight and stigma cast upon them by the Hindu religion. What efficiency can there be in a system under which neither men’s hearts nor their minds are in their work? As an economic organization caste is therefore a harmful institution, in as much as it involves the subordination of man’s natural powers and inclinations to the exigencies of social rules. 
 
From Dr BR Ambedkar’s The Annihilation of Caste
 

Comments

 

Other News

Stories to read over the weekend

At one time these pale rooms of the Delhi commission for women looked like sleepy corners of officialdom; they are now best described as a bustling sarkari office. The woman who transformed this moribund organisation hardly looks like a powerful leader. Dressed in casual blue jeans and loose deni

Tata Trusts, PFA to build state-of-the-art veterinary hospital

Tata Trusts and People For Animals (PFA) announced their collaboration to build a state-of-the-art, multi-specialty veterinary hospital and emergency clinic at Navi Mumbai to serve the needs of all domestic and farm animals at affordable rates.   The hospital will be built in Kala

The shot just got smarter

A long queue of women, infants in their arms, extends outside the immunisation room at the community health centre (CHC) in Bhangel village, Noida, a pink double-storey building beside a bustling market. Unmindful of the chit-chatting and baby babble, Mariamma Samuel, an auxiliary nurse-cum-midwi

Do you think fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya will be extradited from Britain to India?

Do you think fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya will be extradited from Britain to India?

Reform first, privatise later: Bibek Debroy to railways

Before privatisation and corporatisation, the Indian Railways need to undertake major reforms including commercial accounting, decentralisation and human resource among others, said Bibek Debroy, economist and member, NITI Aayog at Railways Reforms and Governance Conclave organised by Governance Now on Fri

NTPC plans for 32 GW installed capacity via renewable sources

NTPC Ltd has raised Rs 2,000 crore through green masala bonds in overseas market under its $4 billion medium term note programme, union minister Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha. The proceeds of these bonds will be used for financing renewable energy projects in accordance with applicable

Video

हमेशा रहें चुनाव के लिए तैयार - मोदी ने कहा सांसदों से

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter