In ancient India, people were divided into four varnas or castes
They were Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras
Caste is division of society into different classes based on occupation and social status
Apart from the four castes,there were Dalits, who were the untouchables
They were ill-treated by the other castes right from the ancient period
Dalits came to be known as depressed classes under the British rule
Many have tried to uplift the status of the Dalits. But BR Ambedkar played an important role in it
BR Ambedkar became the representative of the depressed classes
BR Ambedkar fought for the equal rights of Dalits
The Dalits were ill treated and needed to be uplifted as their social situation was very bad.
Ambedkar was fighting for separate electorates for the Dalits
Electorate is the people in a country or area who can to vote in an election.
Then the Dalits could be represented in legislative bodies
Legislative bodies are governmental organisation
They are comprised of ministers, who meet and make laws or policies
Ambedkar was fighting for separate electorates to ensure their representation in legislative bodies
In separate electorates, only Dalits get to vote, so Dalit would be represented in legislative bodies for sure
In joint electorates, everyone can vote and whoever gets more than 50% votes wins
Here the chances of Dalit candidate losing was high
This meant that the Dalits, might not be represented in legislative bodies
BR Ambedkar didn’t want this to happen
He wanted to make sure that depressed classes are represented in legislative bodies
He got a chance in 1930 to make it possible
In 1930, the British held a Round Table Conference in London to reform electorates in India
Ambedkar was invited as representative of depressed classes
In that conference, Ambedkar stressed for equal rights and separate electorates for Dalits
Ambedkar’s wish came true in August 1932, when British PM MacDonald granted Communal Award
Communal Award gave depressed classes separate electorates
Gandhi didn’t support the separate electorate policy
He thought this policy would only divide people and restrict the growth of patriotism
To stop separate electorates Gandhi started a fast until death
Because of the public pressure, Gandhi and Ambedkar signed a pact.
A pact is a formal agreement between two or more, people or parties
The Pact was signed on 24th September 1932 in Yerwada Jail, Pune, known as Poona Pact
It was agreed that Dalits will have reserved seats but electorates were joint.
This agreement was sent to the British Prime Minister for acceptance.
This pact gave results to both the parties
Gandhi didn’t want to divide people
Ambedkar wanted representation in legislative bodies
In both ways, Dalits were uplifted and benefitted, which both Gandhi and Ambedkar wanted.