Friday, August 5, 2016


Some years back, I watched a wonderful play 'Ambedkar vs Gandhi' at Shriram Center, Delhi presented by the Asmita Theater Group. It was based upon the ideological differences between Gandhiji and Ambedkar on the issue of caste. Gandhiji had a reformative view of the caste system, as he had similar views about all distorted social systems. He was of the view that caste as a system was not atrocious per se, but the way it was practiced was. He had a great respect for all forms of human labor and he viewed caste as more of a division of labor with no notions or values attached on the qualitative aspects of the labor. To prove his point, he did all the work that was considered lowly by the then prevailing society. On the other hand, Ambedkar had diametrical opposite views. He deemed caste as an evil which had oppressed the Shudras and vitiated the whole Indian society as well. According to him, thought of reformation of such a deeply entrenched system was Utopian and the only way to get rid of it was annihilation of the system itself. He suggested the decimation of cultural dogma related to caste via constitutional framework and the rule of law. However, contribution of both the leaders in creation of an egalitarian society was enormous and unmatched by any other leader in India. It was just that they chose different paths to reach the same goal.


  1. But today the dramatic change occur in society today was the people of upper class (General Category ) wants to come under lower class because of the privileges granted by law to lower class people, bur simultaneously people also wants to exercise old distorted practises like manual scavenging , dumping dead animals etc which become the matter of concern today .

    1. Hi Sankalp,

      Yes this is true. There is a substantialisation of caste,but dominant groups also don't want to lose their grip on social structure.