Among the leaders of pre-independence times, none could come near Dr BR Ambedkar in academics, and in the quality and wisdom of his writings. If he was at number one, the rest started from number eleven. Ambedkar was BA–Economics & Political Science from Bombay University; MA– Economics from Columbia University, USA; MSc–Economics & Finance from London School of Economics; PhD–Finance from Columbia University; DSc (Doctor of Science)–Economics from London School of Economics; and Barrister-at-Law from Gray’s Inn, London. Compare that with the lower second division graduation of Nehru—Nehru’s only degree.

After independence, Ambedkar was invited to serve as the first Law Minister of India. He was also appointed Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee. He had remarked with pride: “The Hindus wanted the Vedas, and they sent for Vyasa, who was not a caste Hindu. The Hindus wanted an epic, and they sent for Valmiki, who was an untouchable. The Hindus want a Constitution, and they have sent for me.”

The logic, wisdom and analysis in Dr Ambedkar’s writings is impressive —far too superior to that of Nehru’s. In all relevant fields, Ambedkar was far more competent and knowledgeable than Nehru. He was also much wiser, and experienced, having handled important portfolios before independence.

India would have immensely benefited if either Sardar Patel or Ambedkar had become India’s first PM; or, Ambedkar had become Finance Minister. But, did Nehru try to make use of Ambedkar’s immense talents? No. Nehru never engaged with him—Ambedkar’s towering intellectual superiority perhaps gave him an inferiority complex, and he avoided him. Nehru wanted only ‘chamchas’ and hangers-on. Here is an extract from the resignation letter of Dr Ambedkar from the Nehru’s cabinet dated 27 September 1951:
“As a result of my being a Member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, I knew the Law Ministry to be administratively of no importance. It gave no opportunity for shaping the policy of the Government of India. We used to call it an empty soap box only good for old lawyers to play with. When the Prime Minister [not voluntarily, but at the instance of Gandhi] made me the offer [Law Minister], I told him that besides being a lawyer by my education and experience, I was competent to run any administrative Department and that in the old Viceroy’s Executive Council, I held two administrative portfolios, that of Labour and C.P.W.D., where a great deal of planning projects were dealt with by me and would like to have some administrative portfolio… The Prime Minister agreed and said he would give me in addition to Law the Planning Department which, he said, was intending to create. Unfortunately the Planning Department came very late in the day and when it did come, I was left out. During my time, there have been many transfers of portfolios from one Minister to another. I thought I might be considered for any one of them. But I have always been left out of consideration. Many Ministers have been given two or three portfolios so that they have been overburdened. Others like me have been wanting more work…
“It is difficult to understand what is the principle underlying the distribution of Government work among Ministers which the Prime Minister follows. Is it capacity? Is it trust? Is it friendship? Is it pliability? I was not even appointed to be a member of main Committees of the Cabinet such as Foreign Affairs Committee, or the Defence Committee. When the Economics Affairs Committee was formed, I expected, in view of the fact that I was primarily a student of Economics and Finance, to be appointed to this Committee. But I was left out…”

Rather than having him in the parliament and in the cabinet in a post suited to his genius, Nehru campaigned against him, and exerted his level best to have him defeated in the elections.
In an article ‘A Case For Bhim Rajya’ in the Outlook magazine of 20 August 2012 the author S Anand describes a shocking incident:
“Let us begin at the end, with one of the worst humiliations in Ambedkar’s life, less than three months before his death. On September 14, 1956, exactly a month before he embraced Buddhism with half-a- million followers in Nagpur, he wrote a heart-breaking letter to prime minister Nehru from his 26, Alipore Road residence in Delhi. Enclosing two copies of the comprehensive Table of Contents of his mnemonic opus, The Buddha and His Dhamma , Ambedkar suppressed pride and sought Nehru’s help in the publication of a book he had worked on for five years: ‘The cost of printing is very heavy and will come to about Rs 20,000. This is beyond my capacity, and I am, therefore, canvassing help from all quarters. I wonder if the Government of India could purchase 500 copies for distribution among the various libraries and among the many scholars whom it is inviting during the course of this year for the celebration of Buddha’s 2,500 years’ anniversary.’
“Ambedkar had perhaps gotten used to exclusion by then. The greatest exponent of Buddhism after Asoka had ruthlessly been kept out of this Buddha Jayanti committee presided over by S. Radhakrishnan, then vice president… Worse, when Nehru replied to Ambedkar the next day, he said that the sum set aside for publications related to Buddha Jayanti had been exhausted, and that he should approach Radhakrishnan, chairman of the commemorative committee. Nehru also offered some business advice, gratuitously: ‘I might suggest that your books might be on sale in Delhi and elsewhere at the time of Buddha Jayanti celebrations when many people may come from abroad. It might find a good sale then.’ Radhakrishnan is said to have informed Ambedkar on phone about his inability to help him…
“This is the vinaya that the prime minister and vice-president of the day extended to the former law minister and chairperson of the drafting committee of the Constitution. It was suggested with impertinence that Ambedkar could set up a stall, hawk copies and recover costs…”

Couldn’t they have spared a few thousand for Ambedkar’s great works— when the Government could spend lacs on all kind of sundry and selected and collected works of Nehru and Gandhi that had comparatively far less value.

As long as the Nehru Dynasty was in power, the Ambedkar memorial in the capital was in bad shape. Writes Neha Bhatt in an article ‘A Fall Into Sear And Yellow Leaf’ in the Outlook magazine of 20 August 2012: “The untended grounds of 26, Alipur Road, in New Delhi’s upscale Civil Lines neighbourhood, give a telling foretaste of the overall neglect of the building. It’s hard to believe that this is the Dr Ambedkar National Memorial, where the man spent his twilight years and breathed his last. The visitor’s book here reveals more than the walls themselves—scribbled in by the few visitors it receives, some all the way from Maharashtra, Haryana, Gujarat, are urgent requests, not only for a ‘better’ memorial, but for basic amenities like fans, lights and some ventilation.”

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