In 1929, Ambedkar made the controversial decision to co-operate with the all-British Simon Commission which was to look into setting up a responsible Indian Government in India. The Congress decided to boycott the Commission and drafted its own version of a constitution for free India. The Congress version had no provisions for the depressed classes. Ambedkar became more skeptical of the Congress's commitment to safeguard the rights of the depressed classes.
Dr. Ambedkar with the members of Simon Commission. Sir.Simon is seen on the right of Dr. Ambedkar
Poona Pact Sept.24, 1932. From the left – Barrister M.R.Jaykar, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Kajolkar, P.Balu and other leaders are seen outside the Yerawada Central Jail.
When a separate electorate was announced for the depressed classes under Ramsay McDonald 'Communal Award', Gandhiji went on a fast unto death against this decision. Leaders rushed to Dr. Ambedkar to drop his demand. On September 24, 1932, Dr. Ambedkar and Gandhiji reached an understanding, which became the famous Poona Pact. According to the pact the separate electorate demand was replaced with special concessions like reserved seats in the regional legislative assemblies and Central Council of States.
The First Round Table Conference was inaugurated by King George-V on Nov.12, 1930 in London, Dr.Ambedkar, Delegate, seen in the left row.
Second Round Table Conference held in London on Sept.7, 1931 under the Chairmanship of Mr. Ramasay Mac Donald, British Prime Minister. Gandhiji, Pandit Madam Mohan Malaviya, Barrister M.R.Jaykar & Dr.Ambedkar.
Dr. Ambedkar attended all the three Round Table Conferences in London and forcefully argued for the welfare of the "untouchables". Meanwhile, British Government decided to hold provincial elections in 1937. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar set up the "Independent Labor Party" in August 1936 to contest the elections in the Bombay province. He and many candidates of his party were elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly. In 1937, Dr. Ambedkar introduced a Bill to abolish the "khoti" system of land tenure in the Konkan region, the serfdom of agricultural tenants and the Mahar "watan" system of working for the Government as slaves. A clause of an agrarian bill referred to the depressed classes as "Harijans," or people of God. Bhimrao was strongly opposed to this title for the untouchables. He argued that if the "untouchables" were people of God then all others would be people of monsters. He was against any such reference. But the Indian National Congress succeeded in introducing the term Harijan. Ambedkar felt bitter that they could not have any say in what they were called