“Ours is a battle not for wealth; nor for power, ours is a battle for freedom; for reclamation of human personality.” Dr.B.R.Ambedkar
Someone has thrown this famous quote of Babasaheb on me during a discussion on politics. The person seems to assume that reclamation of personality will happen in a vacuum.
Let’s try to analyze the statement itself. The final goal is the reclamation of personality. How does an oppressed community will reclaim its personality? Will oppressors allow it? If they allowed it, it would have happened a long time ago. Oppression has been imposed on the oppressed. Babasaheb considered untouchability is the problem of savarnas, not untouchables. Untouchability has been imposed on them.
If something has been imposed on one community, it cannot be stopped with the request. It can only be stopped with power. If the community does not have land and wealth, it is dependent on other, it can not exercise its autonomy. You need wealth to stop this economic exploitation.
This quote of Babasaheb is saying that problem is not only solved by power or wealth, more fundamental changes in the social and cultural values are also required. But it does not say that neglect power or wealth. It just tells about their limitation. All his life he worked for political and economic emancipation, he also converted to Buddhism to bring a fundamental social and cultural change in the values of society.
If some one just does not understand this context, reclamation of personality is nothing but an abstract idea. It converts a social, economic, political and cultural into a metaphysical domain which Babasaheb hated through out his life. It is like looking for gods but Babasaheb was not looking for God. He was always looking for a community since the beginning and until the end.
Author – Loknath Kumar