While putting emphasis on contrasting political ideas of Mahatma Gandhi and B R Ambedkar's on Panchayati Raj Institutions, critically discuss why the Gandhian concept of "village republics" could not find a place in original constitution.

For Mahatma Gandhi, the village was basis for building a republican society. His concept of village republics was that a village will be a complete republic, independent of its neighbours for its own vital wants. The government of the village will be conducted by the Panchayat of five persons, annually elected by adult villagers. These five persons will have all the authority and jurisdiction required. Since there will be no system of punishment in accepted sense, the Panchayat will be the legislature, judiciary and executive combined to operate for its year of office.
In contrast, for Dr. Ambedkar, the structure of village settlements reflected basic tenets of Hinduism that never recognized dalits as equal. Dr. Ambedkar was of the view that the villages contributed to and sustained the divisive nature of the Hindu society, where the untouchables always remained “outside the fold. He was against the very idea of  village republic mainly because he had seen the atrocities, isolation, discrimination and separation of dalits during his early childhood.
Similarly, Nehru was also in favour of making India a modern, industrialized and democratic socialist country. The difference between these leaders was such that at that time, village panchayats could find place only under an article of DPSP.

Question for UPSC Mains:
While putting emphasis on contrasting political ideas of Mahatma Gandhi and B R Ambedkar’s on Panchayati Raj Institutions, critically discuss why the Gandhian concept of "village republics" could not find a place in original constitution.

Published: November 21, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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