A seminar titled “Baba Saheb Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar Jayanti” was held in Dumka, Jharkhand, where panelists discussed ways to counter casteism and promote the Dalit agency.
Assistant Professor Kalyan Das emphasized the importance of looking at Ambedkar’s writings and using them to counter casteist remarks. He argued that the caste system is perpetuated through perceptions of innate qualities and purity of blood, which must be challenged.
Furthermore, Das explained that Ambedkar’s views on gender and caste were intertwined, as the caste system prevents women’s emancipation.
The seminar also highlighted Ambedkar’s significant contribution to the Constitution, such as providing citizens with the right to enforce anti-discrimination laws. Dumka superintendent of police, Ambar Lakra, added that a lack of awareness about their rights leaves Dalit, Adivasi, and OBC communities vulnerable to various crimes. The seminar aimed to promote dialogue and action toward promoting equality and social justice.
Constitutional law expert Gautam Bhatia explained during the seminar that Ambedkar believed in the importance of “fraternity” which means brotherhood, as liberty and equality must exist in society.
Bhatia further explained that Ambedkar thought about how to include “fraternity” as a right in the Constitution. Bhatia also explained that there are two types of rights, “vertical rights” which protect citizens from the state, and “horizontal rights” which protect citizens from other citizens who commit social and economic injustices.