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It is time to revisit equitable society principle of Dr. B R Ambedkar
According to Dr B R Ambedkar, equitable society is another name for freedom, fraternity and equality. Freedom and equality are a source of confidence for people and enable them to lead lives with dignity. And fraternity enables people to stay united, in a harmonious manner.
These are the principles that a society needs to abide by for social order and for the welfare of the citizens. Dr Ambedkar believed that Dharma is the only way to come close to an ideal society. According to him, an ideal society is not based on the principles of French Revolution or Democracy, but on the teachings of Buddha.
For a society or a country to progress, it is important that everyone is entitled to equal opportunities. Even though everyone in a society may not have the same talent, intelligence or abilities, it is important that they are all given equal opportunities to move forward in life.
People have the misconception that democracy is the freedom to choose a government. Hence, they believe that India is the largest democracy in the world.
This is not true. Democracy is an element of equality, where people should have the freedom to pursue their interests without hindrances. This is not what we see in India today.
The poor are unable to get quality education because of financial constraints and women are unable to move up in their careers because of the concept of glass ceiling. We need to change the way our society operates by revisiting and implementing the equitable society principle in India.
According to the teachings of Buddha, a person is an outcast or an untouchable, not by birth but by ethical principles. We all need to work hard to reach the pinnacle of success. Just because a person is born into a wealthy family does not guarantee him riches for life.
We have seen how royal families have crumbled over time. This is because people in high positions take their power for granted and do not work hard to maintain their status in society. Eventually, this leads to an individual’s downfall.
One of Dr Ambedkar’s popular political and social slogans is ‘Educate, Agitate and Organise’. He taught people to fight ignorance, which is the main reason for exclusion, by getting an education. This way, an individual will become part of the society.
Then, he urged people to agitate, which means to struggle actively for his welfare and better future. And lastly, since no man is an island, he encouraged people to stay united by organizing themselves into groups.
India has examples of great leaders who shot to fame because they abided by the principle of equitable society. One of India’s greatest leaders is A P J Abdul Kalam. As a Muslim (minority community), born into a fisherman’s family in India, the winds of success were against him. Despite the odds, he managed to get quality education, changed his way of life and rose to the highest rank in the government as the President of India.
This is a great achievement and a lesson to all Indians that we need to tap into possible opportunities, instead of blaming the quality of our lives on Karma.
It is time to revisit the equitable society principle put forth by Dr Ambedkar. We need to build the foundation of our society on meritocracy for the welfare of the country and its people.
India is home to a number of talented people. However, they need to be given the right training to make it big in society. It is time the government understood the true meaning of democracy and changed the lives of more than a billion people in India.