In this interview, dalit activist and scholar, Dr. Umakant talks about the Constitution of India and Dr. B R Ambedkar’s relationship to the Constitution. November 26 marks the day when the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Constitution in 1949. This interview by Abhay Kumar, conducted in the light of the Constitution Day, throws light upon Ambedkar’s role in the Constitution and deals with the various aspects of criticism that have been raised against the framework of the constitution.
Dr. Umakant talks about Ambedkar’s last speech in the Constituent Assembly and explains its relevance today. In his last speech given on November 25, 1949, Dr. Ambedkar gave three important warnings for the future of India. First, he says, “hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives.” Second, he urged the people of India to not fall into the trap of hero worship. Quoting John Stuart Mill, he warns people of India not “to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him with power which enable him to subvert their institutions.” Third, he states that we must not stop at political democracy but also strive for a social democracy. In the interview Dr. Umakant states that it is important that we remember and follow what Ambedkar said not only on his birth and death anniversaries but also in our everyday life.