POLITICAL STRATEGIES OF GANDHI AND AMBEDKAR While Gandhi started Harijan Seva k Samaj to uplift the Depressed Classes, Ambedkar formed the Independent Labour Party (1936) to put pressure on Government for obtaining more resources for the Depressed Classes. Later in 1942 it became All India Depressed Classes Federation. When in 1942 Gandhi and the Congress opposed war efforts and started the famous 'quit India' movement, Ambedkar, by contrast supported the British policy and its war efforts. He became a member of Viceroy's Executive Council. He used his position in the Government to further the interests of the Depressed Classes.

During this time in a 'Memorandum' he submitted to the Government, he demanded reservations not only in legislative seats but also in education and Government employment. This was perhaps a crucial moment for the Colonial Government accepted his demand and this became the basis for the policy of India while it was framing the Constitution. Ambedkar played his card well by cooperating with the Colonial Government and make some concrete gains for the Depressed Classes. The Independent India could not go back on this commitment of the previous government. It had to recognize these gains and the framers of the Constitution had to evolve a policy of protective discrimination based on this already accepted principle. The pertinent question here is, would the framers of the Constitution have incorporated protective discrimination clauses in the basic law if Ambedkar had not made the British Government recognize the plight of the depressed classes and won for them the valuable concessions from the then Government.

Thus in 1942 the scheduled castes obtained 8. 5% reservation in Central services. The framers of the Constitution adopted the policy of reservation as the continuation of the policy that had been followed by the British Government in India. In many Provinces and native States legislations were enacted for uplifting the Depressed Classes.

Thus the socio-political scenario of the thirties of the twentieth century was one in which the so called Depressed classes had begun to articulate their aspirations and in principle at least the upper class Hindus had to recognize the rights of the Depressed Classes. In many regions in India the Hindu Temples were opened to depressed Classes people. This was a significant step on the path of the social uplift of the Depressed Classes. And rightly Ambedkar was able to articulate effectively the aspirations of depressed classes and adopt befitting political strategies to make gains for them. The Maharaja of Travancore issued Temple Entry Proclamation in 1936.

In 1938 Madras Presidency enacted Madras Removal of Civil Disabilities Act followed by Bombay Government's Bombay Harijan Temple Entry Act, 1943 and the United Provinces Removal Social Disabilities Act, 1947. Perhaps these initiatives in the form of even legislations that had already started a silent socio-political revolution and this changing scenario became the backdrop for the discussions of the framers of the Constitution.