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Ambedkar’s contributions ignored, unjust

A new book based upon principles of national icon of India B.R. Ambedkar, depicts the injustice held to Indian society by ignoring his prime thoughts.

Narendra Jadhav, a scholar in his latest book, “Ambedkar: An Economist Extraordinaire” (Konark) says,”After all, his economic thoughts were not parochial.”

“What Ambedkar always had in mind was in the best interest of the nation as a whole,” the author says. “To brand him only as a leader of the downtrodden in India is an insult to this great patriot.”

This 270-page book constitute: “What is equally disheartening is depriving the Indian society of the benefit of his (Ambedkar’s) economic thoughts, an act which is self-defeating for India as a nation.”

Jadhav pointed out that Ambedkar’s basic training was as an economist so one must follow his thoughts.

Ambedkar (1891-1956) was awarded the degrees of M.A. and PhD in economics by Columbia University in the US in 1915 and 1917 respectively.

London of School of Economics conferred the degree of doctor of science(DSc) to him in 1923, was alsomeant for research in economics.

Ambedkar’s PhD dissertation, “The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India”, is considered a seminal contribution to the field of public finance. It analysed the evolution of the centre-state financial relations in British India.

His DSc dissertation, “The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin and Its Solution”, is a magnum opus and seen as a major contribution to the field of monetary economics.

“Ambedkar’s professional career bears a distinct imprint of an economist,” the book says.

During his reign, Indian economy was underpinning a drastic time so he proposed various memoranda and statements and submitted to the government (under British rule as well as in independent India) for betterment of India’s economic problems, this indicates his deep insights for Indian society.

“His speeches are replete with stimulating economic thoughts. He is probably the first thinker to analyse economic dimensions of social maladies in India, such as the caste system and untouchability.”

Jadhav says stressing upon his abilities, that not many economists are even aware that on the currency question, Ambedkar crossed swords with influential economic thinkers such as John Maynard Keynes.

The book says that Ambedkar , presented a perceptive critique of Marxism in his essay, “Buddha or Karl Marx”. though later embraced Buddhism.

In his Memorandum, “States and Minorities” (1947), he expressed his views on the ideal strategy for India’s economic development.

The book says that the Ambedkar’s contribution as an economist seems to be ignore widespread which was “shocking and unfortunate”.

Dadabhai Nauroji and Mahadev Govind Ranade was honoured due both as freedom fighters and as economists, Jadhav says bringing up the issue of injustice with Ambedkar.

“But the same, unfortunately, has not happened in the case of Ambedkar although his contribution to economics was no less important, to say the least.” Through his book, he solely want to convey about how Ambedkar’s contributions were disregarded and were never approached the way it deserves.

Jadhav, an economist, educationist and administrator, has been a member of the Planning Commission and chief economist of the Reserve Bank of India.



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