be the surest path to the vivisection of the nation.
Withall his concern for minority welfare, Ambedkar effectivelyconceded that the unity of the whole is often a requirementfor the welfare of the part. To preserve the unity of thewhole, every constituent unit
conceived here in terms ofterritoriality
had to be compelled to work with theofficial language stipulated by the political centre.Even within this arrangement, there was the danger that onecultural region of India (the geographical north) woulddominate over others (most notably, the geographicalsouth). And this was a situation rich with potential fordamage, since the north in
Ambedkar‟s reading was still a
vast expanse of obscurantism and blind faith, where themost perverse elements of Hindu tradition held sway. Forall the enlightenment that had dawned in the south, the
circumstances of India‟s political organisation, he fear
ed,would enshrine the dominance of the north.
Ambedkar was aware that other identities could emerge withfresh energy, once the bonds of language were recognisedwithin the nation-state and consolidated within theprovince-state. Every linguistic zone, he pointed out, wasunder the effective control of a particular caste.
APunjabi linguistic province could well fall under thedominance of the Jat caste, as Telugu and Marathilinguistic zones could slip into being fiefs of the Reddyand Maratha castes. This did not mean that the case forlinguistic states stood dismissed --
only that “definitechecks and balances” should be instituted, to ensure that
Ibid, p 145.
Ibid, pp 148-50.
Ibid, pp 167-8. Ambedkar also offers an observation on administrativepractices with respect to caste, that have a contemporary relevance.
After reasoning that “in any given area there is one caste which is
major and there are others which are small and are subservient to themajor caste owing to their comparative smallness and their economicdependence upon the major caste which owns most of the land in the
village”, Ambedkar apologises for not being able to “illustrate” thispoint by reference to “facts and figures”. His alibi was simply that
the census, which was the primary information source in all such
matters, was conspicuously unhelpful. “The last census”, he said,“omits altogether the caste tables which have been the feature of the
Indian census ever since its birth. The Home Minister of the Governmentof India who is responsible for this omission was of the opinion thatif a word does not exist in a dictionary it can be proved that the fact
for which the word stands does not exist.”