The Poona Pact 1932 was an agreement between the Indian political leader and social reformer, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, signed on September 24, 1932. This historic agreement was a significant achievement in the struggle for the rights of Dalits, also known as the `untouchables`.
The Poona Pact was signed after a series of negotiations between the British government, the Indian National Congress and the representatives of the Dalits. It was a response to the Communal Award, which was introduced by the British government in 1932. The Communal Award proposed separate electorates for Dalits and other minority communities in India, an idea that was opposed by the Indian National Congress.
The Poona Pact, on the other hand, provided for a system of joint electorates with reserved seats for Dalits. This meant that Dalits would now be able to vote alongside other communities, and the reserved seats would ensure that Dalit candidates were elected to the legislative bodies. The agreement also increased the number of reserved seats for Dalits in the provincial legislatures from the 71 seats proposed in the Communal Award to 147 seats.
The Poona Pact was a significant moment in the fight for the rights of Dalits. It was the first time that the Indian National Congress, which had previously been opposed to separate electorates, had agreed to the concept of reserved seats. The agreement also paved the way for political representation for Dalits, who were previously excluded from the Indian political system.
The Poona Pact was also significant because it marked a turning point in the relationship between the Indian National Congress and Dr. Ambedkar, who was a leading advocate for the rights of Dalits. Dr. Ambedkar was initially skeptical of the Indian National Congress, but the agreement paved the way for greater cooperation between the two groups.
In conclusion, the Poona Pact 1932 was a historic agreement that paved the way for political representation for Dalits in India. It was a significant achievement in the struggle for the rights of the Dalits, and a turning point in the relationship between the Indian National Congress and Dr. Ambedkar. The agreement remains an important moment in Indian history, and a testament to the power of negotiation and compromise in achieving political change.