B. R. Ambedkar was an Indian politician in the 1940s-50s who helped write the Indian constitution.

The Indian government hosts a web-page of his writings and speeches. Vol. 40, Page No. 467 is in Hindi:

फिलहाल काँग्रेस की राजनीति में महिलाओं की संख्या बढ़ाई जा रही है। महिलाओं की इस काँग्रेसी राजनीति के बारे में कुछ समझ नहीं आ रहा। स्वधर्म छोड़ कर महिलाएं राजनीति करते हुए घूमें इसके जैसी शर्म की बात कोई और नहीं। महाराष्ट्र की महिलाओं द्वारा अब केवल 'कासोटा' (महाराष्ट्री ढंग से साड़ी पहनते हुए नौ गज की साड़ी का पीछे की ओर खोंसा गया सिरा। इसके खुलने से एक तरह से साड़ी खुल जाती है। व्यंजनार्थ है - लाज-शरम या मर्यादा का त्याग करना) खोलना ही बाकी रह गया है। काँग्रेस द्वारा 222 महिलाओं को लोकसभा में लेने का निर्णय लिया गया है। महिलाएं विधानसभा में जाएंगी तो पुरुष क्या करेंगे? दिन भर लोकसभा में रहने के बाद जब फाइलें बगल में दबाए महिलाएं घर लौटेंगीं तब क्या उनके पति टेबिल पर भोजन रखेंगे? ये महिलाएं दिन भर पार्लियामेंट-एसेंब्ली में जाएंगी और शाम को घर लौटने के बाद पति से पूछेंगी, अजी सुनते हो, मैं पार्लियामेंट से आ गई हूं। घर का सारा कामकाज हुआ है कि नहीं?” ये महिलाएं पार्लियामेंट में जाएंगी और उनके बच्चे कौन सम्हालेगा? एक बच्चा रो रहा है, दूसरे की नाक बह रही है, तीसरा कहीं चला गया है - कौन इन बच्चों का खयाल रखेगा? यह सब उलटा हो रहा है। यह उलटी दुनिया है। अच्छा, पार्लियामेंट में जाकर ये महिलाएं करती क्या हैं? इस बारे में कुछ कहने में मुझे शरम आती है। उनके बारे में बताने का मेरा इरादा नहीं था, लेकिन अब बता ही देता हूं। (हंसी)।

To sum up, he basically says about gender roles:

It is shameful thing that women are leaving their duties and going into politics.

The decision has been taken by the Congress to bring in 222 women into the Lok Sabha. If women go to the Legislative Assembly, what will men do?

This seems in contradiction to his contributions to women's rights in India (e.g. 1 and 2), so I am doubtful.

Is the Hindi version an accurate quote?

  • Could it be his viewpoints have changed over time?
    – Joe W
    Oct 27 at 19:08
  • @JoeW I don't think so. People's viewpoints hardly change in their old age. He died in 1956. He wrote his writings after 1947 (maybe) because he was talking about Indian politics (which was only possible after year of 1947, the independence year). By the way why people are downvoting this question? There's no rule that says you can't post other language answers. It follows all the rules too.
    – Luffy
    Oct 27 at 19:35
  • I'm not sure why this question is being downvotes, but I doubt it's because you're asking about something written in non-English.
    – F1Krazy
    Oct 27 at 19:36
  • @F1Krazy But there's no rule against it. Plus, I translated the main sentences.
    – Luffy
    Oct 27 at 19:37
  • @Luffy Yes, I know. That's why I said "that's probably not the reason". One thing I will note is that you're asking two questions at once, when questions should only contain one question; "Can a government website be wrong" is a trivial "yes", so I'd suggest editing this to focus solely on whether this is a genuine quote from Ambedkar.
    – F1Krazy
    Oct 27 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


I see that this entry is attributed to a speech Ambedkar gave on October 15, 1956 in Nagpur. I ran the text through Google Translate and, to be frank, it is totally ordinary. Nothing here calls for skepticism.

The context of this quotation is Ambedkar in retirement trying to relate to the needs of local government in Nagpur by talking about the complexities of representative democracy in general. He discusses many issues, like the need for representatives to operate on good faith and call out disinformation. The paragraph that you are quoting simply expresses his own perplexity at the question of a stay-at-home husband being asked to cook and raise children. He says "the world is upside-down these days" and is trying to solicit a laugh, which appears at the end of the paragraph. His point is that this sort of thing does happen in a democracy.

Ambedkar does not denounce the electoral system which allows men and women to vote for the representative of their choice, nor does he call for women to be banned from government. There is no policy proposal here. His point is only that representative democracy can confuse gender norms and that he is sympathetic to the plight of the house-husband. I am using Google Translate so I can't know if his remarks sound insensitive to a modern ear, but I think if he was denouncing female participation he would have taken on a much different tone.

  • Google Translate translated it in a wrong way. Instead of "It is shameful thing that women is leaving their duties", it says "There is no such shameful thing as women leaving their religion and going into politics." Did you see how it changed the context? I'm native Hindi speaker and can confirm THIS is inappropriate to say. Ambedkar was the radical person. "but I think if he was denouncing female participation he would have taken on a much different tone" But he is clearly saying that the decision (by Congress) of women in parliament is wrong. Tone doesn't matter here.
    – Luffy
    Oct 28 at 4:50
  • As you suggested, I changed the title.
    – Luffy
    Oct 28 at 4:53
  • @Luffy Thank you for changing the title. Since I can't read Hindi I cannot help you further, but I still feel like you need to look at this in light of the whole text, which doesn't imply to me any sort of anger or call for change, but lighthearted, jocular remarks delivered off the cuff.
    – Avery
    Oct 28 at 18:40
  • 2
    @Luffy: I am confused. How does saying that women going into politics is not shameful mean that he is saying that women in parliament are wrong? It sounds like the complete opposite to me. Oct 28 at 20:22
  • @JörgWMittag: We are going back and forth on this confusion. The Google translation should probably be added to the answer to clear it up. Google Translate says "There is no such shameful thing as women leaving their religion and going into politics." I interpret this as "There is nothing more shameful than..." Not clear how the OP is reading this.
    – Oddthinking
    Oct 29 at 4:40

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