Lessons for Today in Ambedkar’s Last Address to the Constituent Assembly


Sixty-seven years ago, on November 25, 1949, B.R. Ambedkar addressed India’s Constituent Assembly for the last time. The full text of his speech on that day is presented below; it explored the creation of the Constitution, the role of the judiciary, the division of authority between the Centre and the states, the ills of hero-worship and Indians’ engagement with democracy. The Wire-India re-published his last address and marks out those passages that may be particularly relevant to us today.

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Tough school? War, illiteracy and hope in Afghanistan

The idea of drafting a nation’s brightest new graduates to become teachers in the most deprived areas has been used in both the United States and the UK, where the approach was pioneered by Teach for America and Teach First respectively.But how would this model fare in a country where the education system had been pulverised by four decades of constant war and conflict – Afghanistan?

The answer to this question is unfolding in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, where 80 graduates from Afghan universities are teaching 23,000 girls and boys in 21 schools under the Teach for Afghanistan scheme launched at the beginning of this academic year.

Bill Hicks for BBC Global education

The Dawn of Pakistan

As Partition approaches in 1947, large convoys of Sikh and Hindu refugees head towards East Punjab, and Muslims flee to the two wings of Pakistan. It is estimated that over 15 million people were displaced during the Partition of the Indian subcontinent and two million lost their lives in the ensuing communal violence.

The Dawn remembers the birth of a nation 

Taliban territory: Life in Afghanistan under the militants

Sixteen years after they were ousted in the US-led invasion, the Taliban have fought their way back to control swathes of Afghanistan. The country remains mired in conflict, and recent months have seen a series of bloody attacks. In the south, key towns are now Taliban territory.

The BBC’s Auliya Atrafi was invited by the militants to spend four days behind the front line in Helmand province witnessing life under their control.



What Pakistan’s film industry lost in 1971

December 16 marks the 45th anniversary of the secession of the eastern wing of Jinnah’s Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh. Much has been written about the traumatic events of the time and the political repercussions of the country being cleaved into two.

But the loss of East Pakistan was not just devastating on a psychological, economic or political level. In very real terms, it also affected Pakistan culturally and socially. One of the things lost in the discourse is how the events of 1971 affected Pakistan’s film industry.


Asif Noorani, the editor of Pakistan’s most widely circulated English language film magazine Eastern Film from 1963 to 1970, re-visits the golden age of Pakistani cinema.

Why Ramadan sparked a fruit protest

Social media activists in Pakistan have ended a three-day boycott of fruit aimed at forcing down soaring prices during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

The results were mixed – but the tactic is a new one.

It is thought to be the first time consumers had used social media to highlight food costs in Pakistan in this way.

The female journalists defying taboos and braving death threats in Afghanistan

When Radio Shaista goes silent, you know the Taliban are close. The female-run radio station was looted and wrecked when the group captured Kunduz, Afghanistan’s embattled northern city, in 2015, sending journalists fleeing. Even after the Taliban were routed, female journalists have been on guard, if they ever returned, that is.

Zarghoona Hassan, Radio Shaista’s director, fled after armed militants knocked on her door at home. They accused her of converting listeners to Christianity and announced a date for her execution.

Sune Engel Rasmussen reports from Kabul

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