MUMBAI : Dr. Baba saheb Ambedkar firmly believed in separate electorate for depressed classes as Jinnah was granted by British .But Dr. Ambedkar did not want separate nation for depressed classes and he argued for the a United India .He opposed the separate Nation demand of Jinnah and Muslim League also as he was firmly against partition .
Dr. Ambedkar sought separate electorate for the depressed classes defining that the depressed classes only must be given the right to elect their own representatives while in case of general voting ,in even reserved constituencies , all voters elect representatives of depressed classes .Then how a representative from depressed classes will represent and be loyal to his own class in a true sense , it was argued .
Such depressed class representatives although getting elected from reserved constituency will be more loyal to their parties rather than people of their castes and classes .Such apprehensions are proved correct today, as the nation is witnessing those members of depressed classes from ruling alliance who got elected on a BJP ticket talk more about the BJP’s Hindutva agenda rather than being loyal to the cause of their castes and classes .
It is also a fact that Dalit representatives from Congress and other mainstream parties also remain loyal to their parties than their classes.
Today , there are many Dalit leaders and parties like BAMCEF , Bharat Mukti Sena and Waman Meshram who are raising the demand of separate electorate for depressed classes and Dalits again.
It was Mahatama Gandhi who opposed separate electorate for Dalits vehemently .He began fast unto death from September 20 , 1932 in Pune’s Yerwada Jail to desist Dr. Ambedkar from his demand for separate electorate for Dalits .
The fast created such a hostile atmosphere for depressed classes that Dr. Ambedkar was forced to enter into an agreement which is known as Poona Pact .
Dr. Ambedkar had proposed the idea of separate electorate for Dalits and depressed classes in the first round table conference .This envisaged that the community to which electorate belongs to would choose their own leaders via an election in which the candidates of only their community would be allowed to contest and only their community members will vote .Such constitutional protection was sought for minorities and weaker sections of the society .
But in case of reserved seats , which Congress and Mahatma Gandhi offered ,candidate may be from the community only for which seat is reserved but every eligible voter in that constituency would vote and elected person will represents every voter of the reserved constituency .
Due to the pressure of Mahatma Gandhi’s fast , Dr. Ambedkar was forced to give up this demand for separate electorate and he reluctantly agreed for the reserved constituencies . Thus Poona Pact came into existence .