Dr B R Ambedkar’s last speech in the Constituent Assembly on adoption of the constitution (25th Novembr 1949( ~ Indian Politics

Dr B R Ambedkar’s speech
in the Constituent Assembly on 25th November 1949, presenting the
Indian Draft Constitution for approval. 
The Draft was approved by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November
1949.  The Constitution came into force
with effect from 26th January 1950.
Source:  http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol11p11.htm
The Honourable Dr. B.R. Ambedkar : Sir, looking back on the work of the Constituent Assembly it
will now be two years, eleven months and seventeen days since it first met on
the 9th of December
1946. During this period the Constituent Assembly has altogether held eleven
sessions. Out of these eleven sessions the first six were spent in passing the
Objectives Resolution and the consideration of the Reports of Committees on
Fundamental Rights, on Union Constitution, on Union Powers, on Provincial
Constitution, on Minorities and on the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes.
The seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth and the eleventh sessions were devoted to the
consideration of the Draft Constitution. These eleven sessions of the
Constituent Assembly have consumed 165 days. Out of these, the Assembly spent
114 days for the consideration of the Draft Constitution.
Coming to the Drafting Committee, it was elected by the Constituent Assembly on
29th August 1947. It
held its first meeting on 30thAugust. Since August 30th it sat for 141 days during which it
was engaged in the preparation of the Draft Constitution. The Draft
Constitution as prepared by the Constitutional Adviser as a text for the Draft
Committee to work upon, consisted of 243 articles and 13 Schedules. The first
Draft Constitution as presented by the Drafting Committee to the Constituent
Assembly contained 315 articles and 8 Schedules. At the end of the
consideration stage, the number of articles in the Draft Constitution increased
to 386. In its final form, the Draft Constitution contains 395 articles and 8
Schedules. The total number of amendments to the Draft Constitution tabled was
approximately 7,635. Of them, the total number of amendments actually moved in
the House were 2,473.
mention these facts because at one stage it was being said that the Assembly
had taken too long a time to finish its work, that it was going on leisurely
and wasting public money. It was said to be a case of Nero fiddling while Rome
was burning. Is there any justification for this complaint? Let us note the
time consumed by Constituent Assemblies in other countries appointed for
framing their Constitutions. To take a few illustrations, the American Convention
met on May 25th, 1787 and completed its work on September 17, 1787 i.e., within four
months. The Constitutional Convention of Canada met on the 10th October 1864 and the Constitution was
passed into law in March 1867 involving a period of two years and five months.
The Australian Constitutional Convention assembled in March 1891 and the
Constitution became law on the 9th July
1900, consuming a period of nine years. The South African Convention met in
October, 1908 and the Constitution became law on the 20th September 1909 involving one year’s
labour. It is true that we have taken more time than what the American or South
African Conventions did. But we have not taken more time than the Canadian
Convention and much less than the Australian Convention. In making comparisons
on the basis of time consumed, two things must be remembered. One is that the
Constitutions of America, Canada, South Africa and Australia are much smaller
than ours. Our Constitution as I said contains 395 articles while the American
has just seven articles, the first four of which are divided into sections
which total up to 21, the Canadian has 147, Australian 128 and South African
153 sections. The second thing to be remembered is that the makers of the
Constitutions of America, Canada, Australia and South Africa did not have to
face the problem of amendments. They were passed as moved. On the other hand,
this Constituent Assembly had to deal with as many as 2,473 amendments. Having
regard to these facts the charge of dilatoriness seems to me quite unfounded
and this Assembly may well congratulate itself for having accomplished so
formidable a task in so short a time.
Turning to the quality of the work done by the Drafting Committee, Mr.
Naziruddin Ahmed felt it his duty to condemn it outright. In his opinion, the
work done by the Drafting Committee is not only not worthy of commendation, but
is positively below par. Everybody has a right to have his opinion about the
work done by the Drafting Committee and Mr. Naziruddin is welcome to have his
own. Mr. Naziruddin Ahmed thinks he is a man of greater talents than any member
of the Drafting Committee. The Drafting Committee would have welcomed him in
their midst if the Assembly had thought him worthy of being appointed to it. If
he had no place in the making of the Constitution it is certainly not the fault
of the Drafting Committee.
Naziruddin Ahmed has coined a new name for the Drafting Committee evidently to
show his contempt for it. He calls it a Drafting committee. Mr. Naziruddin must
no doubt be pleased with his hit. But he evidently does not know that there is
a difference between drift without mastery and drift with mastery. If the
Drafting Committee was drifting, it was never without mastery over the
situation. It was not merely angling with the off chance of catching a fish. It
was searching in known waters to find the fish it was after. To be in search of
something better is not the same as drifting. Although Mr. Naziruddin Ahmed did
not mean it as a compliment to the Drafting committee. I take it as a
compliment to the Drafting Committee. The Drafting Committee would have been
guilty of gross dereliction of duty and of a false sense of dignity if it had
not shown the honesty and the courage to withdraw the amendments which it
thought faulty and substitute what it thought was better. If it is a mistake, I
am glad the Drafting Committee did not fight shy of admitting such mistakes and
coming forward to correct them.
    I am
glad to find that with the exception of a solitary member, there is a general
consensus of appreciation from the members of the Constituent Assembly of the
work done by the Drafting Committee. I am sure the Drafting Committee feels
happy to find this spontaneous recognition of its labours expressed in such
generous terms. As to the compliments that have been showered upon me both by
the members of the Assembly as well as by my colleagues of the Drafting
Committee I feel so overwhelmed that I cannot find adequate words to express
fully my gratitude to them. I came into the Constituent Assembly with no
greater aspiration than to safeguard the interests of he Scheduled Castes. I
had not the remotest idea that I would be called upon to undertake more
responsible functions. I was therefore greatly surprised when the Assembly
elected me to the Drafting Committee. I was more than surprised when the
Drafting Committee elected me to be its Chairman. There were in the Drafting
Committee men bigger, better and more competent than myself such as my friend
Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar. I am grateful to the Constituent Assembly and
the Drafting Committee for reposing in me so much trust and confidence and to
have chosen me as their instrument and given me this opportunity of serving the
country. (Cheers)
credit that is given to me does not really belong to me. It belongs partly to
Sir B.N. Rau, the Constitutional Adviser to the Constituent Assembly who
prepared a rough draft of the Constitution for the consideration of the
Drafting Committee. A part of the credit must go to the members of the Drafting
Committee who, as I have said, have sat for 141 days and without whose
ingenuity of devise new formulae and capacity to tolerate and to accommodate
different points of view, the task of framing the Constitution could not have
come to so successful a conclusion. Much greater, share of the credit must go
to Mr. S.N. Mukherjee, the Chief Draftsman of the Constitution. His ability to
put the most intricate proposals in the simplest and clearest legal form can
rarely be equalled, nor his capacity for hard work. He has been as acquisition
tot he Assembly. Without his help, this Assembly would have taken many more
years to finalise the Constitution. I must not omit to mention the members of
the staff working under Mr. Mukherjee. For, I know how hard they have worked
and how long they have toiled sometimes even beyond midnight. I want to thank
them all for their effort and their co-operation.(Cheers)
task of the Drafting Committee would have been a very difficult one if this
Constituent Assembly has been merely a motley crowd, a tasseleted pavement
without cement, a black stone here and a white stone there is which each member
or each group was a law unto itself. There would have been nothing but chaos.
This possibility of chaos was reduced to nil by the existence of the Congress
Party inside the Assembly which brought into its proceedings a sense of order
and discipline. It is because of the discipline of the Congress Party that the
Drafting Committee was able to pilot the Constitution in the Assembly with the
sure knowledge as to the fate of each article and each amendment. The Congress
Party is, therefore, entitled to all the credit for the smooth sailing of the
Draft Constitution in the Assembly.
proceedings of this Constituent Assembly would have been very dull if all
members had yielded to the rule of party discipline. Party discipline, in all
its rigidity, would have converted this Assembly into a gathering of yes’ men.
Fortunately, there were rebels. They were Mr. Kamath, Dr. P.S. Deshmukh, Mr.
Sidhva, Prof. K.T. Shah and Pandit Hirday Nath Kunzru. The points they raised
were mostly ideological. That I was not prepared to accept their suggestions,
does not diminish the value of their suggestions nor lessen the service they
have rendered to the Assembly in enlivening its proceedings. I am grateful to
them. But for them, I would not have had the opportunity which I got for
expounding the principles underlying the Constitution which was more important
than the mere mechanical work of passing the Constitution.
Finally, I must thank you Mr. President for the way in which you have conducted
the proceedings of this Assembly. The courtesy and the consideration which you
have shown to the Members of the Assembly can never be forgotten by those who
have taken part in the proceedings of this Assembly. There were occasions when
the amendments of the Drafting Committee were sought to be barred on grounds
purely technical in their nature. Those were very anxious moments for me. I am,
therefore, specially grateful to you for not permitting legalism to defeat the
work of Constitution-making.
much defence as could be offered to the constitution has been offered by my
friends Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar and Mr.. T.T. Krishnamachari. I shall not
therefore enter into the merits of the Constitution. Because I feel, however
good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are
called to work it, happen to be a bad lot. However had a Constitution may be,
it may turn out to be good if those who are called to work it, happen to be a
good lot. The working of a Constitution does not depend wholly upon the nature
of the Constitution. The Constitution can provide only the organs of State such
as the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. The factors on which the
working of those organs of the State depend are the people and the political
parties they will set up as their instruments to carry out their wishes and
their politics. Who can say how the people of India and their purposes or will
they prefer revolutionary methods of achieving them? If they adopt the
revolutionary methods, however good the Constitution may be, it requires no
prophet to say that it will fail. It is, therefore, futile to pass any
judgement upon the Constitution without reference to the part which the people
and their parties are likely to play.
condemnation of the Constitution largely comes from two quarters, the Communist
Party and the Socialist Party. Why do they condemn the Constitution? Is it
because it is really a bad Constitution? I venture to say no’. The Communist
Party want a Constitution based upon the principle of the Dictatorship of the
Proletariat. They condemn the Constitution because it is based upon parliamentary
democracy. The Socialists want two things. The first thing they want is that if
they come in power, the Constitution must give them the freedom to nationalize
or socialize all private property without payment of compensation. The second
thing that the Socialists want is that the Fundamental Rights mentioned in the
Constitution must be absolute and without any limitations so that if their
Party fails to come into power, they would have the unfettered freedom not
merely to criticize, but also to overthrow the State.

are the main grounds on which the Constitution is being condemned. I do not say
that the principle of parliamentary democracy is the only ideal form of
political democracy. I do not say that the principle of no acquisition of private
property without compensation is so sacrosanct that there can be no departure
from it. I do not say that Fundamental Rights can never be absolute and the
limitations set upon them can never be lifted. What I do say is that the
principles embodied in the Constitution are the views of the present generation
or if you think this to be an over-statement, I say they are the views of the
members of the Constituent Assembly. Why blame the Drafting Committee for
embodying them in the Constitution? I say why blame even the Members of the
Constituent Assembly? Jefferson, the great American statesman who played so
great a part in the making of the American constitution, has expressed some
very weighty views which makers of Constitution, can never afford to ignore. In
one place he has said:-

    “We may
consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of the
majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more
than the inhabitants of another country.”

another place, he has said :
“The idea that institutions established for the use of the national cannot
be touched or modified, even to make them answer their end, because of rights
gratuitously supposed in those employed to manage them in the trust for the public,
may perhaps be a salutary provision against the abuses of a monarch, but is
most absurd against the nation itself. Yet our lawyers and priests generally
inculcate this doctrine, and suppose that preceding generations held the earth
more freely than we do; had a right to impose laws on us, unalterable by
ourselves, and that we, in the like manner, can make laws and impose burdens on
future generations, which they will have no right to alter; in fine, that the
earth belongs to the dead and not the living;”
admit that what Jefferson has said is not merely true, but is absolutely true.
There can be no question about it. Had the Constituent Assembly departed from
this principle laid down by Jefferson it would certainly be liable to blame,
even to condemnation. But I ask, has it? Quite the contrary. One has only to
examine the provision relating to the amendment of the Constitution. The
Assembly has not only refrained from putting a seal of finality and
infallibility upon this Constitution as in Canada or by making the amendment of
the Constitution subject tot he fulfilment of extraordinary terms and
conditions as in America or Australia, but has provided a most facile procedure
for amending the Constitution. I challenge any of the critics of the Constitution
to prove that any Constituent Assembly anywhere in the world has, in the
circumstances in which this country finds itself, provided such a facile
procedure for the amendment of the Constitution. If those who are dissatisfied
with the Constitution have only to obtain a 2/3 majority and if they cannot
obtain even a two-thirds majority in the parliament elected on adult franchise
in their favour, their dissatisfaction with the Constitution cannot be deemed
to be shared by the general public.
is only one point of constitutional import to which I propose to make a
reference. A serious complaint is made on the ground that there is too much of
centralization and that the States have been reduced to Municipalities. It is
clear that this view is not only an exaggeration, but is also founded on a
misunderstanding of what exactly the Constitution contrives to do. As to the
relation between the Centre and the States, it is necessary to bear in mind the
fundamental principle on which it rests. The basic principle of Federalism is
that the Legislative and Executive authority is partitioned between the Centre
and the States not by any law to be made by the Centre but by the Constitution
itself. This is what Constitution does. The States under our Constitution are
in no way dependent upon the Centre for their legislative or executive
authority. The Centre and the States are co-equal in this matter. It is
difficult to see how such a Constitution can be called centralism. It may be
that the Constitution assigns to the Centre too large a field for the operation
of its legislative and executive authority than is to be found in any other
federal Constitution. It may be that the residuary powers are given to the
Centre and not to the States. But these features do not form the essence of
federalism. The chief mark of federalism as I said lies in the partition of the
legislative and executive authority between the Centre and the Units by the
Constitution. This is the principle embodied in our constitution. There can be
no mistake about it. It is, therefore, wrong to say that the States have been
placed under the Centre. Centre cannot by its own will alter the boundary of
that partition. Nor can the Judiciary. For as has been well said:
“Courts may modify, they cannot replace. They can revise earlier
interpretations as new arguments, new points of view are presented, they can
shift the dividing line in marginal cases, but there are barriers they cannot
pass, definite assignments of power they cannot reallocate. They can give a
broadening construction of existing powers, but they cannot assign to one
authority powers explicitly granted to another.”
The first charge of
centralization defeating federalism must therefore fall.
second charge is that the Centre has been given the power to override the
States. This charge must be admitted. But before condemning the Constitution
for containing such overriding powers, certain considerations must be borne in
mind. The first is that these overriding powers do not form the normal feature
of the constitution. Their use and operation are expressly confined to
emergencies only. The second consideration is : Could we avoid giving
overriding powers to the Centre when an emergency has arisen? Those who do not
admit the justification for such overriding powers to the Centre even in an
emergency, do not seem to have a clear idea of the problem which lies at the
root of the matter. The problem is so clearly set out by a writer in that
well-known magazine “The Round Table” in its issue of December 1935
that I offer no apology for quoting the following extract from it. Says the
writer :
    “Political systems are a complex
of rights and duties resting ultimately on the question, to whom, or to what
authority, does the citizen owe allegiance. In normal affairs the question is
not present, for the law works smoothly, and a man, goes about his business
obeying one authority in this set of matters and another authority in that. But
in a moment of crisis, a conflict of claims may arise, and it is then apparent
that ultimate allegiance cannot be divided. The issue of allegiance cannot be
determined in the last resort by a juristic interpretation of statutes. The law
must conform to the facts or so much the worse for the law. When all formalism
is stripped away, the bare question is, what authority commands the residual
loyalty of the citizen. Is it the Centre or the Constituent State ?”
solution of this problem depends upon one’s answer to this question which is
the crux of the problem. There can be no doubt that in the opinion of the vast
majority of the people, the residual loyalty of the citizen in an emergency
must be to the Centre and not to the Constituent States. For it is only the
Centre which can work for a common end and for the general interests of the
country as a whole. Herein lies the justification for giving to all Centre
certain overriding powers to be used in an emergency. And after all what is the
obligation imposed upon the Constituent States by these emergency powers? No more
than this – that in an emergency, they should take into consideration alongside
their own local interests, the opinions and interests of the nation as a whole.
Only those who have not understood the problem, can complain against it.
I could have ended. But my mind is so full of the future of our country that I
feel I ought to take this occasion to give expression to some of my reflections
thereon. On 26th January
1950, India will be an independent country (Cheers). What would happen
to her independence? Will she maintain her independence or will she lose it
again? This is the first thought that comes to my mind. It is not that India
was never an independent country. The point is that she once lost the
independence she had. Will she lost it a second time? It is this thought which
makes me most anxious for the future. What perturbs me greatly is the fact that
not only India has once before lost her independence, but she lost it by the
infidelity and treachery of some of her own people. In the invasion of Sind by
Mahommed-Bin-Kasim, the military commanders of King Dahar accepted bribes from
the agents of Mahommed-Bin-Kasim and refused to fight on the side of their
King. It was Jaichand who invited Mahommed Gohri to invade India and fight
against Prithvi Raj and promised him the help of himself and the Solanki Kings.
When Shivaji was fighting for the liberation of Hindus, the other Maratha
noblemen and the Rajput Kings were fighting the battle on the side of Moghul
Emperors. When the British were trying to destroy the Sikh Rulers, Gulab Singh,
their principal commander sat silent and did not help to save the Sikh Kingdom.
In 1857, when a large part of India had declared a war of independence against
the British, the Sikhs stood and watched the event as silent spectators.
history repeat itself? It is this thought which fills me with anxiety. This
anxiety is deepened by the realization of the fact that in addition to our old
enemies in the form of castes and creeds we are going to have many political
parties with diverse and opposing political creeds. Will Indian place the
country above their creed or will they place creed above country? I do not
know. But this much is certain that if the parties place creed above country,
our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost for
ever. This eventuality we must all resolutely guard against. We must be
determined to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood.(Cheers)
the 26th of January
1950, India would be a democratic country in the sense that India from that day
would have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The
same thought comes to my mind. What would happen to her democratic
Constitution? Will she be able to maintain it or will she lost it again. This
is the second thought that comes to my mind and makes me as anxious as the
    It is
not that India did not know what is Democracy. There was a time when India was
studded with republics, and even where there were monarchies, they were either
elected or limited. They were never absolute. It is not that India did not know
Parliaments or Parliamentary Procedure. A study of the Buddhist Bhikshu Sanghas
discloses that not only there were Parliaments-for the Sanghas were nothing but
Parliaments – but the Sanghas knew and observed all the rules of Parliamentary
Procedure known to modern times. They had rules regarding seating arrangements,
rules regarding Motions, Resolutions, Quorum, Whip, Counting of Votes, Voting
by Ballot, Censure Motion, Regularization, Res
, etc. Although these rules of Parliamentary Procedure were applied
by the Buddha to the meetings of the Sanghas, he must have borrowed them from
the rules of the Political Assemblies functioning in the country in his time.
democratic system India lost. Will she lost it a second time? I do not know.
But it is quite possible in a country like India – where democracy from its
long disuse must be regarded as something quite new – there is danger of democracy
giving place to dictatorship. It is quite possible for this new born democracy
to retain its form but give place to dictatorship in fact. If there is a
landslide, the danger of the second possibility becoming actuality is much
    If we
wish to maintain democracy not merely in form, but also in fact, what must we
do? The first thing in my judgement we must do is to hold fast to
constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives. It
means we must abandon the bloody methods of revolution. It means that we must
abandon the method of civil disobedience, non-cooperation and satyagraha. When
there was no way left for constitutional methods for achieving economic and
social objectives, there was a great deal of justification for unconstitutional
methods. But where constitutional methods are open, there can be no
justification for these unconstitutional methods. These methods are nothing but
the Grammar of Anarchy and the sooner they are abandoned, the better for us.
second thing we must do is to observe the caution which John Stuart Mill has
given to all who are interested in the maintenance of democracy, namely, not
“to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him
with power which enable him to subvert their institutions”. There is
nothing wrong in being grateful to great men who have rendered life-long
services to the country. But there are limits to gratefulness. As has been well
said by the Irish Patriot Daniel O’Connel, no man can be grateful at the cost
of his honour, no woman can be grateful at the cost of her chastity and no
nation can be grateful at the cost of its liberty. This caution is far more
necessary in the case of India than in the case of any other country. For in
India, Bhakti or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship, plays
a part in its politics unequalled in magnitude by the part it plays in the
politics of any other country in the world. Bhakti in religion may be a road to
the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure
road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship.
third thing we must do is not to be content with mere political democracy. We
must make our political democracy a social democracy as well. Political
democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy.
What does social democracy mean? It means a way of life which recognizes
liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life. These principles of
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. Liberty cannot be divorced
from equality, equality cannot be divorced from liberty. Nor can liberty and
equality be divorced from fraternity. Without equality, liberty would produce
the supremacy of the few over the many. Equality without liberty would kill
individual initiative. Without fraternity, liberty would produce the supremacy
of the few over the many. Equality without liberty would kill individual
initiative. Without fraternity, liberty and equality could not become a natural
course of things. It would require a constable to enforce them. We must begin
by acknowledging the fact that there is complete absence of two things in
Indian Society. One of these is equality. On the social plane, we have in India
a society based on the principle of graded inequality which we have a society
in which there are some who have immense wealth as against many who live in
abject poverty. On the 26th of
January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics
we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality.
In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one
vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our
social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one
value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long
shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we
continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political
democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible
moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of
political democracy which is Assembly has to laboriously built up.
second thing we are wanting in is recognition of the principle of fraternity.
what does fraternity mean? Fraternity means a sense of common brotherhood of
all Indians-if Indians being one people. It is the principle which gives unity
and solidarity to social life. It is a difficult thing to achieve. How
difficult it is, can be realized from the story related by James Bryce in his volume
on American Commonwealth about the United States of America.
story is- I propose to recount it in the words of Bryce himself- that-
“Some years ago the American Protestant Episcopal Church was occupied at
its triennial Convention in revising its liturgy. It was thought desirable to
introduce among the short sentence prayers a prayer for the whole people, and
an eminent  New England divine proposed the words `O Lord, bless our
nation’. Accepted one afternoon, on the spur of the moment, the sentence was
brought up next day for reconsideration, when so many objections were raised by
the laity to the word nation’ as importing too definite a recognition of
national unity, that it was dropped, and instead there were adopted the words
`O Lord, bless these United States.”
was so little solidarity in the U.S.A. at the time when this incident occurred
that the people of America did not think that they were a nation. If the people
of the United States could not feel that they were a nation, how difficult it
is for Indians to think that they are a nation. I remember the days when
politically-minded Indians, resented the expression “the people of
India”. They preferred the expression “the Indian nation.” I am
of opinion that in believing that we are a nation, we are cherishing a great
delusion. How can people divided into several thousands of castes be a nation?
The sooner we realize that we are not as yet a nation in the social and
psychological sense of the world, the better for us. For then only we shall
realize the necessity of becoming a nation and seriously think of ways and
means of realizing the goal. The realization of this goal is going to be very
difficult – far more difficult than it has been in the United States. The
United States has no caste problem. In India there are castes. The castes are
anti-national. In the first place because they bring about separation in social
life. They are anti-national also because they generate jealousy and antipathy
between caste and caste. But we must overcome all these difficulties if we wish
to become a nation in reality. For fraternity can be a fact only when there is
a nation. Without fraternity equality and liberty will be no deeper than coats
of paint.
are my reflections about the tasks that lie ahead of us. They may not be very
pleasant to some. But there can be no gainsaying that political power in this
country has too long been the monopoly of a few and the many are only beasts of
burden, but also beasts of prey. This monopoly has not merely deprived them of
their chance of betterment, it has sapped them of what may be called the
significance of life. These down-trodden classes are tired of being governed.
They are impatient to govern themselves. This urge for self-realization in the
down-trodden classes must no be allowed to devolve into a class struggle or
class war. It would lead to a division of the House. That would indeed be a day
of disaster. For, as has been well said by Abraham Lincoln, a House divided
against itself cannot stand very long. Therefore the sooner room is made for
the realization of their aspiration, the better for the few, the better for the
country, the better for the maintenance for its independence and the better for
the continuance of its democratic structure. This can only be done by the
establishment of equality and fraternity in all spheres of life. That is why I
have laid so much stresses on them.
    I do
not wish to weary the House any further. Independence is no doubt a matter of
joy. But let us not forget that this independence has thrown on us great
responsibilities. By independence, we have lost the excuse of blaming the
British for anything going wrong. If hereafter things go wrong, we will have
nobody to blame except ourselves. There is great danger of things going wrong.
Times are fast changing. People including our own are being moved by new
ideologies. They are getting tired of Government by the people. They are
prepared to have Governments for the people and are indifferent whether it is
Government of the people and by the people. If we wish to preserve the
Constitution in which we have sought to enshrine the principle of Government of
the people, for the people and by the people, let us resolve not to be tardy in
the recognition of the evils that lie across our path and which induce people
to prefer Government for the people to Government by the people, nor to be weak
in our initiative to remove them. That is the only way to serve the country. I
know of no better.

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