This paper examines the Indian women’s problems in traditional Hindu society and the vision of the legal status of women in independent India perceived by a lower-caste-male reformer. The review of writings of Ambedkar, the Hindu Code Bill, and his speeches at legislatures inform us of his pioneering insight on the origin of women’s problems in India.
He exposed that the caste system, combined with patriarchy, is responsible for the oppression of women as well as the lower castes. Women in traditional Hindu society have suffered subordination to men, lack of education, and religious incapacity based on Hindu shastras. Introduced by Ambedkar, Hindu Code Bill aimed to grant women the new position of an equal individual citizen. In view of the present feminist discourse of Brahmanical patriarchy (i.e., a structure of female oppression and subordination), it is critical to reinterpret and revaluate Ambedkar’s analysis on the Indian caste system and his criticism on Hinduism.