(This story was first published on 6 December 2019 and is being reposted from The Quint’s archives on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. You can read our other stories on Dr BR Ambedkar here.)
Although BR Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi fought for the rights of the oppressed castes in India with the same goal in mind, their paths were quite different.
Ambedkar believed that untouchability could not be removed without completely abolishing the caste system. Gandhi – a devout Hindu – saw untouchability only as a sin of the religion that could be corrected through reforms.
On Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary, here’s a glimpse of the relationship between the two leaders over this pertinent issue.
Ambedkar considered he could represent the Depressed Classes better than Gandhi as he was one of their own.
The Depressed Classes comprised the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes of India.