ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ambedkar, Gandhians and the Indian Village

The paper attempts to understand the two competing models of postcolonial modernity on the issue of the village, that is, one representing a Gandhian perspective and the other a liberal Western perspective led by B R Ambedkar. M K Gandhi’s idea of the village was developed through his imagination of an ideal state that had an appeal from the masses and was also sought as the rightful response to the British colonial rule, whereas Ambedkar’s idea of the village was derived from his existential experience of living in Western countries as well as in Mumbai. The idea of modernity as comprehended by Ambedkar envisioned the end of community and emergence of a society where anonymity of the individual’s birth-based status would be the dominant feature of social life. These contrasting models of postcolonial modernity on the status of the village were apprehended and expressed by the members of the Constituent Assembly from 9 December 1946 to 26 November 1949.

The major focus of this paper is to understand two competing models of the postcolonial modernity with a special focus on the status of the village, which was perceived, articulated and voiced at the time when India’s Constitution was being drafted during the debates of the Constituent Assembly from 9 December 1946 to 26 November 1949.

The British rule in India had already established the foundation of Western modernity in education, law, bureaucracy, transport and communication networks, and rudimentary democracy. However, British rule was not founded on the principle of the welfare state, for the steps undertaken by the British government, such as the permanent settlement and separate electorate, were later on recognised as harmful to the Indian society.

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Updated On : 21st Nov, 2022
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