Due to his seminal role in the framing of the Indian Constitution, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar is popularly known all over India as the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. His efforts to eradicate social evils were remarkable and that is why he is called the “messiah” of the Dalits and downtrodden in India. Dr Ambedkar was appointed the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee. The text prepared by Ambedkar provided constitutional guarantees and protections for a wide range of civil liberties for individual citizens, including freedom of religion, the abolition of untouchability and outlawing all forms of discrimination. Ambedkar argued for extensive economic and social rights for women, and also won the Constituent Assembly’s support for introducing a system of reservations of jobs for members of the SC and ST. Ambedkar kept the clauses of the Constitution flexible so that amendments could be made as and when the situation demanded. He provided an inspiring Preamble to the Constitution ensuring justice, social, economic and political, liberty, equality and fraternity. The creation of an egalitarian social order, however, remains an unfulfilled wishful thinking to this day.
Dr Ambedkar was not only a learned scholar and an eminent jurist but also a revolutionary who fought against social evils like untouch-ability and caste restrictions. Throughout his life, he battled social discrimination while upholding the rights of the Dalits and other socially backward classes. He was not only a great national leader but also a distinguished scholar of international repute. He not only led various social movements for the upliftment of the depressed sections of the Indian society but also contributed to the understanding of the socio-economic and political problems of India through his scholarly works on caste, religion, culture, constitutional law and economic development. As a matter of fact he was an economist and his various scholarly works and speeches indicate his deep understanding of the problems faced by the Indian society. He was appointed as the nation’s first Law Minister and was posthu-mously awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1990.1
On August 29, 1947 Dr. Ambedkar was appointed the Chairman of the Drafting Committee that was constituted by Constituent Assembly to draft a Constitution for independent India. The draft Constitution was the result of the collective efforts of a galaxy of great leaders and legal scholars in the Constituent Assembly such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, B.R. Ambedkar, Sardar Patel, B.N. Rao, Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar etc. The purpose of this paper is to examine the contribution of Dr Ambedkar only to the Indian Constitution.
The first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, praised the services rendered by Dr Ambedkar in the making of the Constitution and said:
I have carefully watched the day-to-day activities from the presidential seat. Therefore, I appreciate more than others with how much dedication and vitality this task has been carried out by the Drafting Committee and by its chairman Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar in particular. We never did a better thing than having Dr Ambedkar on the Drafting Committee and selecting him as its chairman.
The Columbia University at its Special convocation on June 5, 1952 conferred the LL.D. degree (Honoris Causa) on Dr Ambedkar in recognition of his drafting the Constitution of India. The citation read:
The degree is being conferred in recognition of the work done by him in connection with the drafting of India’s Constitution.
The University hailed him as “one of India’s leading citizens, a great social reformer and valiant upholder of human rights”.
To conclude, Dr Ambedkar’s drafting of the Indian Constitution has enabled the abolition of untouchability and the outlawing of all forms of discriminations. Due to all these outstanding contributions Dr Ambedkar can be rightly called the architect of the Indian Constitution. None-theless, it is an undeniable fact that Dr Ambedkar’s dream of the creation of an egalitarian social order still remains unfulfilled despite the extended period of reservation for SCs and STs.