Socio Economic Analysis of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s Thoughts

DR.B.R.Ambedkar was among the most outstanding intellectuals of Indian in the 20th  century. He is known for his intellect. According to Antonio Gramsci, he is an outstanding example of an organic intellectual, that is, one who represents the interests of an entire social class. Born in a socially backward caste, educated along the lines the western system, rational in outlooks and somewhat rebellious in mentality and temperament

ambedkar philosophy on religion

Ambedkar came at the appropriate moment in British-ruled India to assume the natural leadership of his kinsmen and participated in social movement and got involved in founding the constitutional edifice of the country. As regards the emancipation of the backward classes, first he criticized the caste Hindus for their political and economic backwardness and stood as the unrivalled champion of the depressed classes, and dedicated his life to the cause of their amelioration.

Prof.A.K.Sen remarks,

“  Ambedkar is the Father of Economics. He is a truly celebrated champion of the underprivileged e deserves more than what he has achieved today. However, he was a highly controversial figure in his home country, marvellous though it was not the reality. His contribution in the field of EC marvellous and will be remembered forever.”

Read: Ambedkar Economic Thoughts

The present study is an attempt to make an objective analysis of the strands of the ideas or views of Ambedkar on growth and development while keeping in minds the gaps and lapses in the existing literature on Ambedkar.

In the present environment, there is a need to incorporate the transformational thoughts in the current policies and strategies for the growth and development of the country. In the later section, many issues about growth and development based on the Ambedkar‘s thoughts are discussed. His thoughts are the foundations for social, economic, political, religious and cultural aspects of the society.

There are several institutions in the economy of any country. Taking into consideration their duties and responsibilities being performed by them, they are classified into economic institutions, political institutions, religious institutions, social institutions, legal institutions, cultural institutions, and so and so forth. In the traditional ideology of the thought, caste is a social institution.

It has been originated to perform social duties and responsibilities, and it has a strong religious base. Thus caste as a social institution discharges both the social as well as religious functions. Nobody has looked at the caste system as an economic institution.

Read: Ideological similarities and differences between Gandhi and Ambedkar

Even nobody thought of caste system can be an economic institution, which provides the framework of an economic system and performs the number of economic functions. It can perform the economic functions of the economic institutions like production, distribution, consumption, allocation, and utilization of the productive resources and distribution of the goods and services among the people in the society as a whole.

It is the Dr B. R. Ambedkar, a unique personality in the world, who had an innovative approach looking towards the caste system, that caste is not only a social institution but prominently it is an economic institution. Hence it performs the number of economic functions, and it is, therefore, an economic organization.

It is, therefore, Dr.Ambedhkar started with studying the origin, mechanism, and development of castes in India and ends with the annihilation of the caste system in his very commendable research work for the seminar and conference presidential address.

He is of the opinion that caste system in India is an economic institution, and more importantly, it performs the number of economic functions in the society, which are dominantly economically exploitative to the depressed and backward communities like Dalits in India. He has examined how the caste system is an economic institution, the economic functions it performs, its exploitation of the backward and deprived communities in India, and more importantly how the annihilation of the caste system is possible.

It is against this overall background, the present study endeavours to examine the economic, social, political analysis of the systems for inclusive growth and development provided by Dr B. R. Ambedkar.

He had presented various thoughts on social, economic, political etc. Equality, like liberty, is a prominent political ideal of the present-day world. The French Revolution (1789) was fought for ―liberty, equality, fraternity‖. They constitute the voice of the oppressed, the voice against injustice and the voice for changing unfair social conditions. The problem of equality and inequality has figured in political thought since the earliest times.

Aristotle discovered that inequality was a cause of revolution in many a state. He defined justice as treating equals equally and unequal unequally. This was a typical statement in that it insisted on recognition and maintenance of existing inequalities in society-between master and slave, between rich and poor, between morally superior and inferior, and so on. There is no doubt that large inequalities of wealth, prestige, and power have always remained a prominent and almost universal feature of social structure throughout human history.

The present study is divided into five chapters:

THE FIRST CHAPTER: consists of  Ambedkar a perspective for economic development.

THE SECOND CHAPTER: discusses the review of literature instead of the relevance of social and economic thoughts of Ambedkar.

THE THIRD CHAPTER: consists of India ‘s currency problem and view of taxation problem

THE FOURTH CHAPTER: consists of nationalization of industries and free enterprises economy.

THE FIFTH CHAPTER: discuss the strategy for economic development and concept of human capital.

THE SIXTH CHAPTER: envisages the opposition to the Hindu economy

THE SEVENTH CHAPTER: discusses the conclusion, recommendations, and suggestions


India‘s economic growth rate is running very fast most of the macro indicators look positive. Such as (GDP) Gross Domestic Product is approaching 10 per cent, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is increased a record high, the capital market is also moving in the upward direction. Real estate demand flats and land shows growing fast at a high rate. Demand for the car is also increasing from the rich class.

All this shows that people‘s purchasing power has been increased. But this only half side story the other side shows us that, 26 per cent of people are living below the poverty line and near about 50 per cent of people are just struggling to survive on the poverty line.

Therefore, it is clear that only 24 per cent of people are sharing the national economic growth. Depressed classes SC, ST and OBC and Minorities have strong feelings that they are being excluded from the process of economic growth and they are denied their share of national income.

So they oppose New Economic Policy at a large extent. Since the beginning of NEP 1991 Government of India, continuously reducing its share from the public sector industries. It creates several issues related to the life of depressed classes as the issues of unemployment and uncertainty. It was told that the government will increase the expenditure on social overheads particularly education and health. However, government data shows that this is not happening.

On the contrary government expenditure on social overhead is grossly inadequate to the needs. Therefore, it creates income and wealth inequality, unethical activities, demoralizing the youths, violation etc. This is surely not good for the long-term smooth economic development of any country. We believe that Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar‘s economic philosophy focuses on the golden path of development. His philosophy maintains that balance in both the sectors public and private systematically.


A literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area, and sometimes, the information in a particular subject area within a certain period. A literature review can be just a simple summary of the sources, but it usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis.

Though the literature on Ambedkar is enormously available, particularly after the celebration of his birth centenary, an exhaustive study concerning his educational thoughts is lacking. Despite there are doctoral studies on his social democratic ideology and the social and economic movements led by him the academic world has not yet attempted to inquire into his educational ideals in the context of the development of modernity in India, It is based on this observation that the investigator surveyed the related literature and presented a review of Ambedkar’s social and educational thoughts as construed by different scholars.

Sudhi Mandloi (2015) in her study Dr. Ambedkar‘s Philosophy on Democracy and his Dissent: An Analytical Study of Ambedkar‘s Socio-Political Ideas ‘she remarked that Dr Ambedkar was one of the greatest architects of modern India. His contribution to the progression of socio-political and constitutional thought has been quite noteworthy. He has been regarded as Father of the Indian Constitution‘. He was a nationalist, democrat and principally a humanist. Throughout his life, he fought for the rights of subjugated sections of the society. He had a vision of an uncensored society based on the belief of ‗liberty, equality, and fraternity‘. His dream of an egalitarian society remained disgruntled even today in the twenty-first century. Indian society is still being crippled by the caste system, inequality, religious prejudices and social injustice which in turn obstructing the path of Indian Democracy.

Read: Ambedkar Religion Philosophy

This study attempts to present D. Ambedkar‘s view on Democracy and rebel expressed by him regarding some of the aspects of Indian Democracy. The objective of this study is to analyze views of Dr Ambedkar on Indian Democracy in the perspective of the present-day state of affairs. This research study also seeks to walk around an answer to the question that how far India succeeded in gaining democracy visualized by Ambedkar.

  1. Bagga (2014) portrayed in his study  The Practice of Economics by Dr Ambedkar and its relevance in Contemporary India‘Dr Ambedkar as a leader of the Dalit community and was the first set of Indians who were trained in Economics and practised it professionally. The main interest in this study is to examine his contribution to the field of economics and understand whether the concepts developed by him are practically relevant and applicable to the Indian economy in the present and in the times to come. This study has discussed Ambedkar‘s exceptional skills of diagnosis of the economic problems which India was likely to face after Independence along with practical solutions he has offered for these problems. Further, this study deals with Ambedkar‘s concept of Economic democracy and Economic Growth through stable Macro Economic policies of the Government.
  2. Kamble (2014) in his study Dr B. R. Ambedkar On Economic Analysis Of The Caste, he made an honest attempt to provide the economic analysis of the caste system as an economic institution given by Dr. Ambedkar especially in the first book mentioned above. Likewise, the study also presents the relevance of the economic analysis of the caste as an economic organization in the context of present India. This study adequately proves that Dr. Ambedkar‘s economic analysis of the caste system is very much important today also, and more importantly, it has a lot of utility and significance in the present Indian society. But the present study is solely based on the secondary sources of the data, and it did not consider the primary sources of data and information at all. The study should also have the primary data support, which increases the scope, reliability, application, and importance of the study. It is, therefore, there is very large scope in undertaking the number of studies on the present relevance of the economic analysis of the caste based on the primary data and information in the context of India, which is thinking of inclusive growth, and economic supreme power in the World.


  1. D. Naik (2008) had written and compiled In Social and Political Thought of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and discussed an attempt is made to make aware of the contemporary situations vis-a-vis Ambedkar’s solutions, which are still having bearing on current socio-economic issues.

Ambedkar in Retrospect: Essays on Economics, Politics, and Society (2007) edited by Sukhadeo Thorat –besides reflecting and representing the theoretical issues that are implicated in the writings of Ambedkar – attempts to capture the attention of the readers to the views of Ambedkar on such issues whose relevance is intensely felt even today. In this study, Ambedkar‘s thoughts on economic development and planning, socialism and democracy, other issues related to nationalism, representation and formation of states, Panchayati Raj and political decentralization, caste discrimination and untouchability have been analyzed. Ambedkar‘s reflections on history, the question of Hindu women, education and his suggestions for solution of the issue of social exclusion in Indian society is also taken up by various contributors in this volume.


Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s thoughts have a great impact on current Indian currency system. Under British rule when India Govt. was struggling with falling value of Indian Rupee, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar In 1923 wrote ‘The problem of Rupee, its origin, and solution. He focused his studies and research on the condition of Indian currency during British India. He wrote the research thesis on it. In his thesis, he argued that the gold exchange standard does not have stability. The developing countries like India cannot afford gold exchange standards, and besides this, it also increases the risk of inflation and price rise. He proved with statistics data and reasons how the Indian Rupee has lost its value and hence the purchasing power of Rupee is falling. He suggested that govt. the deficit should be regulated and money should have a circular flow. He also suggested more attention should be given to price stability than exchange rate stability.

Dr. Ambedkar expressed his views on taxation in the manifesto of ‘Swatantra Major Party’ in 1936. He opposed Land Revenue and its system and their taxes as the burden of these taxes are significant on the poor sections of the society. He suggested some taxes as follows

  •  Tax should be imposed on payers‘ capacity and not on income.
  • Tax should be less on poor and more on rich.
  • Tax exemption should be given up to a certain limit.
  • There should be equality between different sections in tax imposition.
  • Tax should not lead to lowering the standard of life of the people.
  • Land Revenue tax should be more flexible and should not levy on agricultural land.
  • He suggested that Indian tax system at that time was based on discrimination and inequality.


Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar thought that fast development of India is impossible without Industrialization. According to him creating large-scale employment produces essential goods for mass consumption. It utilizes raw materials, reduces foreign dependence and increasing security to labor and ultimately leads to the overall economic development of the country. The private sector industries cannot make big industries for want of large-scale investments. So, the government should come forward to start large scale industries. The smaller industries should be kept in private sector. The insurance and transport companies should be nationalized. Rights to strike should be given to laborers. After the independence, the industrial policy of the Indian government is in keeping with Dr. Ambedkar’s expectations.


Dr. Ambedkar had already suggested free economy, globalization, liberalization, and privatization as early as in 1923 now Indian Government has adopted this policy. In 119 this respect Dr. Ambedkar was a century ahead. He had stressed that the value (Price) of a rupee must be kept stable if the policy of free economy is to be successful.


Dr Ambedkar believed that the strategy for Indian Economic development should be based on suppression of property eradication of inequities and end the exploitation of masses. He emphasized exploitation has many dimensions and facets. In fact in India, social or religious exploitation is no less oppressive than economic exploitation and it should be eliminated.

Dr Ambedkar argued that the concept of human capital in India is useless if the poorer and downtrodden untouchable Dalits are not recognized by other classes as the human being with equal social prestige and religious basis. It is, therefore, impossible to use this human capital in the economic development of India.
It is a fact that the caste system is in existence in India at present in the 21st century also. Just its nature and modus operandi have been changed a lot. When there is the existence of the caste system in India, then no doubt its economic dimension of the working is observed in Indian economy today also, is a fact. It is therefore of vital importance to explore the relevance of the economic analysis of the caste system given by the Dr B. R. Ambedkar concerning present India.


Dr Ambedkar denounced the Indian economy as a Hindu dominated economy. He came out with the hard-hitting critique of this Hindu economy. He showed logical flaws in it. Caste System is not merely the division of labour but a division of labourers also. It is not based on natural aptitudes or skills. It is a major obstacle to economic development. It reduces mobility leading to inefficient production. Untouchability is worse than slavery. It is a system of exploitation.

Hence, it is evident that Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s concepts of family planning, upliftment of women and human capital and many others are important contributors to the development of the Indian economy as the existing laws and reforms land ceiling Act, minimum wages Act, Distribution of surplus land etc are not effective it is essential to reconsider them in the context of Dr Ambedkar’s perspective. Also as the current scenario of the Indian economy, inflation, farmer conditions, India’s large young labour force not being fully utilized for the economic development, we need to reconsider the thoughts of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and again frame our economic policies towards the better economic growth of India.

A detailed analysis of his life and mission reveals that Ambedkar held the basic norm, to be equality- social, economic and political, from which he proceeded to lay down a collection of ‗ought‘ propositions; in this hierarchy of ‗ought‘, the initial fundamental ‗ought‘ on which the validity of all the other ultimately rests, the fundamental norm seems to be the social equality, the justification for the rest of the legal reforms and changes he persistently fought for. It was a society full of social inequalities in which Ambedkar was born. The humiliation he experienced in such an inegalitarian society bore on the imprint in all thought his life.

Ambedkar believed that all man has value capacities, which can be measured easily by their coreligionists. Everyone has some valuable contribution to the civic order, in which he lives. Therefore, everyone must have an equal voice or share in the determination of the law of his land. He demands that the protection of the law, equally and ethically, status be accorded to every member, without any regard to group morally status. The state should allow participating in all democratic institution and be given their legal rights.

Ambedkar believed that the rights are equal and common to all humans. He says that we are demanding equal rights which are the common possession of the entire humanity but due to inhibitions created by the Shastras we have been denied these human rights (Larbeer 2003). He further says that ‚rights are protected not by law but the social and moral conscience of society. If social conscience is such that it is prepared to recognize the rights, which the law chooses to enact, rights will be safe and secure. But if the fundamental rights are opposed by the community, no law, no parliament, no judiciary can guarantee them in the real sense of the word (Larbeer 2003). He further says that ‚rights are protected not by law but the social and moral conscience of society. If social conscience is such that it is prepared to recognize the rights, which the law chooses to enact, rights will be safe and secure. But if the fundamental rights are opposed by the community, no law, no parliament, no judiciary can guarantee them in the real sense of the word (Larbeer 2003).

It is interesting to observe that Dr Ambedkar‘s economic ideas are most significant in the age of globalization. Minorities, women, weaker sections, requires special support for their sustenance. The private sector despite continuous suggestions is not providing reservation to weaker sections. The survival of the fittest is the compulsion of globalization. In this process, third world countries are suffering a great deal in the process of globalization. Here lies the relevance of Dr Ambedkar‘s ideology. In this chapter a thorough survey of the economic ideas of Dr Ambedkar was made, which shows that Dr Ambedkar‘s views are relevant even after 67 years of freedom. Dr Ambedkar rightly pointed out that ―Social democracy means a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality, and fraternity as the principles of life. These principles of liberty, equality and fraternity are not to be treated as separate items in a trinity. They form a union of Trinity in the sense that to divorce one from the other is to defeat the very purpose of democracy. Thus transforming political democracy into social and economic democracy forms nexus of Dr Ambedkar‘s economic ideology. He realized that without social and economic justice, the mere political power of one man one vote will be futile. India has to practice the gospel of Ambedkarism to transform our republic into a welfare state.


The present study is an honest attempt to provide the socio-economic analysis of Dr B.R. Ambedkar‘s thoughts and also presents the relevance in the context of present India. This study adequately proves that Dr Ambedkar‘s social and economic thoughts are very much important today also, and more importantly, it has a lot of utility and significance in the present Indian society. But the present study is solely based on the secondary sources of the data, and it did not consider the primary sources of data and information at all. This study concludes that the relevancy of Ambedkar‘s thoughts is reflected in the vision of the leaders of this country. Whenever any country faces difficult situations, challenges, whether it is a political or economical, the intellectuals and politicians at some point or another need to search their own country’s history for the solutions. The historical events, its people, and their thoughts, that have shaped the country and its people future, prove to be the vital elements for solving the current challenges of the country.


This study has suggested various measures build a dream of Nation. The Government should ponder over these following issues seriously:

  1. Allocation of funds should not be diverted to ulterior motive by the vested interest people.
  2. The government should appoint a permanent honest monitoring body to see that there is no mismanagement. These monitors should organize regular awareness programs among the marginalized people and provide the detailed information about the government welfare schemes.
  3. To encourage MSME to conduct their seminars/workshops and other training programs in a large number so that every individual, every organization can take benefit from them. Develop the entrepreneurial abilities and provide adequate facilities to Dalits and other weaker sections of society.
  4. The Program of Universalization of Elementary Education: The 86th Constitution Amendment Act, 2002 inserted a new Article, Article 21-A, into the Constitution, to provide free and compulsory education to all children aged 6 to 14. All the state and union territory under their powers by publishing government resolution must be making it clear. The right to education must not count on age but the said right is required to follow, up to accomplishing of secondary school certificate, so if the student who has completed the age of 14 years pursuing eight standard must not leave the school due to age obligation.
    However, there are no adequate facilities for the implementation of the right to education. It should be framed legally in such a way that, making the children absent or refraining him the school, the school system has to make an offence committed by the parents. Then only literacy rate can be improved.
  5. To protect workers‘ rights and the rights of weaker sections welfare schemes and protective laws have been made for the weaker sections and workers are being implemented both by the Central and State governments. The Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee scheme must be widened by making provisions for productive and creative work for generating employment both for men and women on large scale.
  6. The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 empowers the government to fix minimum wages for employees engaged in various employments.
  7. Similarly, The Equal Remuneration Act of 1976 provides for equal pay for equal work for both men and women. This should be strictly implemented in the future course of time
  8. Equitable distribution of national wealth and income among all sections of society irrespective of castes, creed, gender, region, and religions must be assigned properly. The design of governance must be based on social justice. It plays an important role in the implementation of the Indian constitution. Training regarding democratic values in Indian constitution must be imparted to every citizen.
  9. For the promotion of women in employment social security must be provided as per the direction is given by the Supreme Court must be strictly implemented in the government and private sector. Presently they are not following such norms strictly.

Ambedkar had a tremendous historical sense; he was fully aware that present situations where the scars of the past. In almost all his academic works, he employed the historical method. Ambedkar digs deep into history to understand the significance of the events he was currently analyzing. It was analytical rather than the dialectical method he used. Thus dealing with the need for legal situations to social problems, he said: ―Society is always conservative. It does not change unless it is compelled to and that too very slowly. When change begins, there is always a struggle between the old and the new, and the new is always in danger of being eliminated in the struggle for survival unless it is supported‖. The value of his thoughts is substantial precisely because his analysis was based on sound empirical and historical foundations.

Ambedkar wanted to secure national independence which was based on social and economic equity and justice. He wanted to create a new social and economic order in India which would ensure meaningful political democracy. He depicts the ideal society thus:

“If you ask me, my ideal would be a society based on liberty, equality, and fraternity—an ideal society should be mobile, should be full of channels for conveying a change taking place in one part to other parts. The path of social reform like the path to heaven at any rate in India is strewn with many difficulties. Social reform in India has few friends and many critics.

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