Poona Pact

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.

The end.