“Utkal University Celebrated Ambedkar Jayanti” National Seminar on “Babasaheb Dr.Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar on Indigeneity and Tribal Rights in India”

Bhubaneswar: The Centre for Ambedkar Studies had observed 132nd Jayanti “Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar today at P.G. Council Hall, Utkal University, Vani Vihar.  On the occasion of observing of Ambedkar Jayanti a WB-OHEPEE sponsored National Seminar on “Babasaheb Dr.Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar on Indigeneity and Tribal Rights in India”organised. Prof. Sabita Acharya Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor was the chief guest of the occasion and garlanded the photo of Babasaheb with other invited guests.

Prof. Acharya delivered the inaugural address of the seminar and said “Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was architect of the constitution of India. He was sociologist, anthropologist, economist, political scientist, social reformer and lawyer. He was first law minister of India. He was a true advocate of social development and social transformation”.

She also highlighted some of Dr. Ambedkar’s contributions on the study of tribal problems and tribal development. There were three main approaches on tribal development just after India i.e, isolationist approach, assimilation approach and integration approach.  The logic of isolationist approach was to isolate the tribal for non-interference from outsides into tribal territories, logic of assimilation approach was to assimilate the tribal into mainstream religion and logic of integration was to neither to isolate nor to assimilate but integrate the tribal into the mainstream society like any other Indian sub-nations. Although, the mainstream integration or tribal conversion have opened the gate of democracy and modernity to Tribals but did not break the invisible chains of their under-development, poverty, slavery and backwardness.

In the logic of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar none of the approaches was appropriate unless there are constitutional safeguards. Thus, Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar developed constitutional approach for the safeguard and development of tribal in India. His constitutional approach made it all inclusive developmental approach for the scheduled tribe. He drafted the 5th Schedule for the provisions of administration of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes and 6th Schedule for the provision of administration of tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram in the northeastern states. Besides that many articles and provision of commission were recommended for upliftment of the tribal in the country by Dr. Bhimrao as highlighted by Prof. Acharya.

On the occasion of observing of 132nd Ambedkar Jayanti  Dr. Rabindra Garada Director, the Centre for Ambedkar Studies highlighted the educational achievement of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar having born into a lower-caste family confronted many hurdles and social discrimination from childhood. However, he got rid of all odds and social oppression and proved that he is one of the best educational achiever the world could see. Despite difficulty he obtained his education from most renowned educational institutions i.e Elphinstone College, Mumbai; London School of Economics, UK; and Columbia University, USA.

Dr. Garada also highlighted about Ambedkar Perspective on Indignity and Tribal Rights in India”. The elements of indignity include territorial connection, distinctive institutions, historical continuity and self-identification of tribal in India. It is a special kind of ethnicity that explains about tribal’s primordial association with a place or region. It revolves around not only indigenous identity but also indigenous right. Question is – how tribal right is indigenous right or indigenous right is tribal right?  If we take Ambedkarian interpretation of it then we have to see three conceptual entity or connotation- categories- Race, Caste and Tribe. But the racial interpretation of caste and tribe as fixed entity of biological and physical one that cannot liberate and develop tribe and caste in India. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar rejected the racial inferiority of any tribe and lower caste.  Caste and tribe are victims of racial interpretation and are trapped in the victimhood situation. Cultural upliftment and development of any tribe and lower caste by constitutional, legal and modernity processes can equalize all against their social hierarchy.


Prof. Rabindra Kumar Mohanty Department of Sociology, Mizoram Central University argues that the unresolved debate on tribal identity and right has been more controversy than clarity. The myth and misconception about Dr. B. R. Ambedkar stand on Tribal identity and rights to be clarified with more constitutional facts and policy suggestions made by the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as historical facts given on his keynote address to the gathering. The social justice approach of Dr.B.R. Ambedkar is alone resolving many problems the tribal facing today as he pointed out.


Prof. Basant Kumar Mallik joined as a guest of honour and said that the dalits and tribal face many problems. All others’ problems are neither different nor Dr. B. R. Ambedkar is only talking about the dalit. Trinitarian approach of liberty, equality and fraternity can resolve all social problems including that of tribe and caste group in India Prof. Mallik said while highlighting Dr.B.R. Ambedkar’s contributions.


About 200 hundred participants attended the seminar and vote of thanks was given by Dr. Jyotirmayee Tudu, Assistant Professor, Public Administration, Utkal University.

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