On 25 November 1949, at the penultimate sitting of the Constituent Assembly which drafted Independent India’s constitution, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar noted:
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 this Assembly has so laboriously built up.
Ambedkar is known by many as the man who chaired the Drafting Committee elected by the Assembly; and by all as someone who gave voice and articulate expression to the country’s vast Dalit populace, unprivileged and unlettered by custom and circumstances.