1946 | B. R. Ambedkar on the Muslim League’s Absence from the Constituent Assembly

Date: December 17, 1946

Location: Constituent Assembly of India


Credits: Prasar Bharati Archives

This audio clip features B.R. Ambedkar’s speech from 17 December 1946 in the Constituent Assembly, shedding light on a tumultuous period in India’s history when the Objectives Resolution was under discussion. His intervention was part of the Assembly’s deliberations on whether it was appropriate to pass the resolution in the absence of the Muslim League.

The majority of the Constituent Assembly members were from the Congress or the Muslim League. However, their differences on the issue of Independent India’s federal structure would ultimately lead to the breakdown of the fragile compromise between the two parties and push the League to demand a separate nation-state. As a result, the League declared an official boycott of the Constituent Assembly on 22 November 1946. In this situation, the Assembly had to consider whether it was justified to pass the Objectives Resolution. By listening to this archival audio clip, you can understand Dr. Ambedkar’s stance on the issue.

Suggested Reading

This Month in Constitution-Making (November 1946): Was The Constituent Assembly Valid Despite Muslim League Absence?

This Month in Constitution-Making (January 1947): The Constituent Assembly passes the Objectives Resolution

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