Question – Comparatively analyze the views of Mahatma Gandhi and B.R.Ambedkar regarding to the caste system and scheduled castes. – 12 July 2021
At the practical level, BhimraoAmbedkar launched a movement within Hinduism for equality between upper-caste Hindus and lower castes, and for this purpose, he took the help of joint feasts, worships, and festivals. His views were different in terms of upliftment of Dalits from that of Gandhi.
Difference in approach of Mahatma Gandhi and B.R Ambedkar:
- Where Gandhiji believed that untouchability could be eradicated by the change of heart of the upper castes, that is, Mahatma Gandhi was in favor of eradication of the caste system, whereas he didn’t oppose to the varna system. At the same time, Ambedkar believed that the roots of untouchability lie in the Varna system, so to end untouchability, the eradication of Varna system is necessary. As there is no scope for reform in Varna system, it is appropriate to eradicate it completely. Therefore, the upliftment of Dalits is oly possible when their rights are protected, grievance redressal system, and political powers are also conferred to them.
- Mahatma Gandhi considered the caste system to be a perversion of Hinduism and did not blame Hinduism for the sufferings of Scheduled Castes. Whereas, B. R. Ambedkar renounced Hinduism for the caste system and joined Buddhism with his followers.
- Mahatma Gandhi used the word ‘Harijan’ for the Scheduled Castes. Whereas Ambedkar used the word ‘Dalit’ for the Scheduled Castes.
- Mahatma Gandhi focused on socio-economic upliftment of scheduled castes. Whereas, Ambedkar focused not only on the socio-economic upliftment of the Scheduled Castes but also on their political rights.
Despite the difference in the approaches of Mahatma Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar in relation to the caste system and the Scheduled Castes, both did unprecedented work in the direction of social reform.