The First Legal Blow against Patriarchy

In Independent India the first legal blow against patriarchy was sought by the great Dalit leader Dr B.R. Ambedkar in the form of the Hindu Code Bill which was to ensure the right to divorce and right to property to women. However, the obscurantist upper castes prevented this and so the Bill failed to be enacted and had to be jettisoned in 1951. This led to the resignation of Ambedkar as the Law Minister and in his resignation letter he clearly accused the other members of his party Indian National Congress including the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of being against the bill and against women’s emancipation. Ambedkar then resigned from the Congress party also and formed a new party. Even though later the Hindu Code Bill was enacted into law in bits and pieces even today women are deprived of property rights and it is not easy to get divorce either.

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