“Our difficulty is not about the ultimate future. Our difficulty is how to make the heterogeneous mass that we have today take a decision in common and march in a co-operative way on that road which is bound to lead us to unity. Our difficulty is not with regard to the ultimate. Our difficulty is with regard to the beginning.”
On December 16, 1946, the Constituent Assembly of India met in the Constitution Hall at 11 am, New Delhi. Chaired by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, this meeting was a follow-up to the December 13, 1946 gathering in which Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru introduced the Objectives Resolution, laying out the aims and objectives of the Constitution. Amendment debates continued as the days progressed, and Dr. B R Ambedkar was invited by the Chair to speak.
Babasaheb went on to call for a united India. His maiden speech is remembered and reheard even today, echoing through decades with a vital message. As an advocate for equality, the Dalit rights activist sought representation for various minority communities, which is as relevant in 2016 as it was 70 years ago.
Listen to an excerpt from Dr. B R Ambedkar’s maiden speech, delivered in Parliament, 1946 here.