He was also the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. Born into a poor Untouchable family, Ambedkar spent his whole life fighting against social discrimination, the system of Chaturvarna - the Hindu categorization of human society into four varnas - and the Indian caste system. He is also credited with having sparked the Dalit Buddhist movement. Ambedkar has been honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.
Overcoming numerous social and financial obstacles, Ambedkar became one of the first "untouchables" to obtain a college education in India. Eventually earning law degrees and multiple doctorates for his study and research in law, economics and political science from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, Ambedkar returned home a famous scholar and practiced law for a few years before publishing journals advocating political rights and social freedom for India's untouchables.
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born in the British-founded town and military cantonment of Mhow in the Central Provinces (now in Madhya Pradesh). He was the 14th and last child of Ramji Maloji Sakpal and Bhimabai Murbadkar. His family was of Marathi background from the town of Ambavade in the Ratnagiri district of modern-day Maharashtra. They belonged to the Hindu Mahar caste, who were treated as untouchables and subjected to intense socio-economic discrimination. Ambedkar's ancestors had for long been in the employment of the army of the British East India Company, and his father served in the Indian Army at the Mhow cantonment. He had received a degree of formal education in Marathi and English, and encouraged his children to learn and work hard at school.
Belonging to the Kabir Panth, Ramji Sakpal encouraged his children to read the Hindu classics. He used his position in the army to lobby for his children to study at the government school, as they faced resistance owing to their caste. Although able to attend school, Ambedkar and other Untouchable children were segregated and given no attention or assistance by the teachers. They were not allowed to sit inside the class. Even if they needed to drink water somebody from a higher caste would have to pour that water from a height as they were not allowed to touch either the water or the vessel that contained it. This task was usually performed for the young Ambedkar by the school peon, and if he could not be found Ambedkar went without water. Ramji Sakpal retired in 1894 and the family moved to Satara two years later. Shortly after their move, Ambedkar's mother died. The children were cared for by their paternal aunt, and lived in difficult circumstances. Only three sons - Balaram, Anandrao and Bhimrao - and two daughters - Manjula and Tulasa - of the Ambedkars would go on to survive them. Of his brothers and sisters, only Ambedkar succeeded in passing his examinations and graduating to a bigger school. His native village name was "Ambavade" in Ratnagiri District so he changed his name from "Sakpal" to "Ambedkar" with the recommendation and faith of Mahadev Ambedkar, a Deshasta Brahmin teacher who believed in him.
Ramji Sakpal remarried in 1898, and the family moved to Mumbai (then Bombay), where Ambedkar became the first untouchable student at the Government High School near Elphinstone Road. Although excelling in his studies, Ambedkar was increasingly disturbed by the segregation and discrimination that he faced. In 1907, he passed his matriculation examination and entered the University of Bombay, becoming one of the first persons of untouchable origin to enter a college in India. This success provoked celebrations in his community, and after a public ceremony he was presented with a biography of the Buddha by his teacher Krishnaji Arjun Keluskar also known as Dada Keluskar, a Maratha caste scholar. Ambedkar's marriage had been arranged the previous year as per Hindu custom, to Ramabai, a nine-year old girl from Dapoli. In 1908, he entered Elphinstone College and obtained a scholarship of twenty five rupees a month from the Gayakwad ruler of Baroda, Sahyaji Rao III for higher studies in the USA. By 1912, he obtained his degree in economics and political science, and prepared to take up employment with the Baroda state government. His wife gave birth to his first son, Yashwant, in the same year. Ambedkar had just moved his young family and started work, when he dashed back to Mumbai to see his ailing father, who died on February 2, 1913.
Fight against untouchability:
As a leading Indian scholar, Ambedkar had been invited to testify before the Southborough Committee, which was preparing the Government of India Act 1919. At this hearing, Ambedkar argued for creating separate electorates and reservations for Dalits and other religious communities. In 1920, he began the publication of the weekly Mooknayak (Leader of the Silent) in Mumbai. Attaining popularity, Ambedkar used this journal to criticize orthodox Hindu politicians and a perceived reluctance of the Indian political community to fight caste discrimination. His speech at a Depressed Classes Conference in Kolhapur impressed the local state ruler Shahu IV, who shocked orthodox society by dining with Ambekdar . Ambedkar established a successful legal practise, and also organised the Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha to promote education and socio-economic uplifting of the depressed classes. In 1926, he became a nominated member of the Bombay Legislative Council. By 1927 Dr. Ambedkar decided to launch active movements against untouchability. He began with public movements and marches to open up and share public drinking water resources, also he began a struggle for the right to enter Hindu temples. He led a satyagraha in Mahad to fight for the right of the untouchable community to draw water from the main water tank of the town.
He was appointed to the Bombay Presidency Committee to work with the all-European Simon Commission in 1928. This commission had sparked great protests across India, and while its report was ignored by most Indians, Ambedkar himself wrote a separate set of recommendations for future constitutional reformers.
By now Ambedkar had become one of the most prominent untouchable political figures of the time. He had grown increasingly critical of mainstream Indian political parties for their perceived lack of emphasis for the elimination of the caste system. Ambedkar criticized the Indian National Congress and its leader Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi, whom he accused of reducing the untouchable community to a figure of pathos. Ambedkar was also dissatisfied with the failures of British rule, and advocated a political identity for untouchables separate from both the Congress and the British. At a Depressed Classes Conference on August 8, 1930 Ambedkar outlined his political vision, insisting that the safety of the Depressed Classes hinged on their being independent of the Government and the Congress both:
In this speech, Ambedkar criticized the Salt Satyagraha launched by Gandhi and the Congress. Ambedkar's criticisms and political work had made him very unpopular with orthodox Hindus, as well as with many Congress politicians who had earlier condemned untouchability and worked against discrimination across India. This was largely because these "liberal" politicians usually stopped short of advocating full equality for untouchables. Ambedkar's prominence and popular support amongst the untouchable community had increased, and he was invited to attend the Second Round Table Conference in London in 1931. Here he sparred verbally with Gandhi on the question of awarding separate electorates to untouchables. A fierce opponent of separate electorates on religious and sectarian lines, Gandhi feared that separate electorates for untouchables would divide Hindu society for future generations.
When the British agreed with Ambedkar and announced the awarding of separate electorates, Gandhi began a fast-unto-death while imprisoned in the Yeravada Central Jail of Pune in 1932. Exhorting orthodox Hindu society to eliminate discrimination and untouchability, Gandhi asked for the political and social unity of Hindus. Gandhi's fast provoked great public support across India, and orthodox Hindu leaders, Congress politicians and activists such as Madan Mohan Malaviya and Palwankar Baloo organized joint meetings with Ambedkar and his supporters at Yeravada. Fearing a communal reprisal and killings of untouchables in the event of Gandhi's death, Ambedkar agreed under massive coercion from the supporters of Gandhi to drop the demand for separate electorates, and settled for a reservation of seats, which although in the end achieved more representation for the untouchables, resulted in the loss of separate electorates that was promised through the British Communal Award prior to Ambedkars meeting with Gandhi which would end his fast. Ambedkar was later to criticise this fast of Gandhi's as a gimmick to deny political rights to the untouchables and increase the coercion he had faced to give up the demand for separate electorates.
In 1935, Ambedkar was appointed principal of the Government Law College, a position he held for two years. Settling in Mumbai, Ambedkar oversaw the construction of a large house, and stocked his personal library with more than 50,000 books. His wife Ramabai died after a long illness in the same year. It had been her long-standing wish to go on a pilgrimage to Pandharpur, but Ambedkar had refused to let her go, telling her that he would create a new Pandharpur for her instead of Hinduism's Pandharpur which treated them as untouchables. His own views and attitudes had hardened against orthodox Hindus, despite a significant increase in momentum across India for the fight against untouchability. and he began criticizing them even as he was criticized himself by large numbers of Hindu activists. Speaking at the Yeola Conversion Conference on October 13 near Nasik, Ambedkar announced his intention to convert to a different religion and exhorted his followers to leave Hinduism. He would repeat his message at numerous public meetings across India.
In 1936, Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour Party, which won 15 seats in the 1937 elections to the Central Legislative Assembly. He published his book The Annihilation of Caste in the same year, based on the thesis he had written in New York. Attaining immense popular success, Ambedkar's work strongly criticized Hindu religious leaders and the caste system in general. He protested the Congress decision to call the untouchable community Harijans (Children of God), a name coined by Gandhi. Ambedkar served on the Defence Advisory Committee and the Viceroy's Executive Council as minister for labour.
Between 1941 and 1945, he published a large number of highly controversial books and pamphlets, including Thoughts on Pakistan, in which he criticized the Muslim League's demand for a separate Muslim state of Pakistan. With What Congress and Gandhi Have Done to the Untouchables, Ambedkar intensified his attacks on Gandhi and the Congress, charging them with hypocrisy. In his work Who Were the Shudras?, Ambedkar attempted to explain the formation of the Shudras i.e. the lowest caste in hierarchy of Hindu caste system. He also emphasised how Shudras are separate from Untouchables. Ambedkar oversaw the transformation of his political party into the All India Scheduled Castes Federation, although it performed poorly in the elections held in 1946 for the Constituent Assembly of India. In writing a sequel to Who Were the Shudras? in 1948, Ambedkar lambasted Hinduism in the The Untouchables: A Thesis on the Origins of Untouchability:
Architect of India's constitution:
Upon India's independence on August 15, 1947, the new Congress-led government invited Ambedkar to serve as the nation's first law minister, which he accepted. On August 29, Ambedkar was appointed chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, charged by the Assembly to write free India's new Constitution. Ambedkar won great praise from his colleagues and contemporary observers for his drafting work. In this task Ambedkar's study of sangha practice among early Buddhists and his extensive reading in Buddhist scriptures was to come to his aid. Sangha practice incorporated voting by ballot, rules of debate and precedence and the use of agendas, committees and proposals to conduct business. Sangha practice itself was modelled on the oligarchic system of governance followed by tribal republics of ancient India such as the Shakyas and the Lichchavis. Thus, although Ambedkar used Western models to give his Constitution shape, its spirit was Indian and, indeed, tribal.
The text prepared by Ambedkar provided constitutional guarantees and protections for a wide range of civil liberties for individual citizens, including freedom of religion, the abolition of untouchability and the outlawing of all forms of discrimination Ambedkar argued for extensive economic and social rights for women, and also won the Assembly's support for introducing a system of reservations of jobs in the civil services, schools and colleges for members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, a system akin to affirmative action. India's lawmakers hoped to eradicate the socio-economic inequalities and lack of opportunities for India's depressed classes through this measure, which had been originally envisioned as temporary on a need basis. The Constitution was adopted on November 26, 1949 by the Constituent Assembly. Speaking after the completion of his work, Ambedkar said:
Ambedkar resigned from the cabinet in 1951 following the stalling in parliament of his draft of the Hindu Code Bill, which sought to expound gender equality in the laws of inheritance, marriage and the economy. Although supported by Prime Minister Nehru, the cabinet and many other Congress leaders, it received criticism from a large number of members of parliament. Ambedkar independently contested an election in 1952 to the lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha but was defeated. He was appointed to the upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha in March 1952 and would remain a member until his death.
Conversion to Buddhism:
In the 1950s, Ambedkar turned his attention to Buddhism and travelled to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) to attend a convention of Buddhist scholars and monks. While dedicating a new Buddhist vihara near Pune, Ambedkar announced that he was writing a book on Buddhism, and that as soon as it was finished, he planned to make a formal conversion to Buddhism. Ambedkar twice visited Burma in 1954; the second time in order to attend the third conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in Rangoon. In 1955, he founded the Bharatiya Bauddha Mahasabha, or the Buddhist Society of India. He completed his final work, The Buddha and His Dhamma, in 1956. It was published posthumously.
After meetings with the Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Hammalawa Saddhatissa, Ambedkar organised a formal public ceremony for himself and his supporters in Nagpur on October 14, 1956. Accepting the Three Refuges and Five Precepts from a Buddhist monk in the traditional manner, Ambedkar completed his own conversion. He then proceeded to convert an estimated 500,000 of his supporters who were gathered around him. Taking the 22 Vows, Ambedkar and his supporters explicitly condemned and rejected Hinduism and Hindu philosophy. He then traveled to Kathmandu in Nepal to attend the Fourth World Buddhist Conference. He completed his final manuscript, The Buddha or Karl Marx on December 2, 1956.
Death / Mahanirvana:
Since 1948, Ambedkar had been suffering from diabetes. He was bed-ridden from June to October in 1954 owing to clinical depression and failing eyesight. He had been increasingly embittered by political issues, which took a toll on his health. His health worsened as he furiously worked through 1955. Just three days after completing his final manuscript The Buddha and His Dhamma, it is said that Ambedkar died in his sleep on December 6, 1956 at his home in Delhi.
Since the Caste hindus denied the cremation at Dadar crematorium, A Buddhist-style cremation was organised for him at Chowpatty beach on December 7, attended by hundreds of thousands of supporters, activists and admirers.
Ambedkar was survived by his second wife Savita Ambedkar, born as a caste Brahmin and converted to Buddhism with him. His wife's name before marriage was Sharda Kabir. Savita Ambedkar died as a Buddhist in 2002. Ambedkar's grandson, Prakash Yaswant Ambedkar leads the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangha and has served in both houses of the Indian Parliament.
A number of unfinished typescripts and handwritten drafts were found among Ambedkar's notes and papers and gradually made available. Among these were Waiting for a Visa, which probably dates from 1935-36 and is an autobiographical work, and the Untouchables, or the Children of India's Ghetto, which refers to the census of 1951. A memorial for Ambedkar was established in his Delhi house at 26 Alipur Road. His birthdate is celebrated as a public holiday known as Ambedkar Jayanti. He was posthumously awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1990. Many public institutions are named in his honour, such as the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, B. R. Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, the other being Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur, which was otherwise known as Sonegaon Airport. A large official portrait of Ambedkar is on display in the Indian Parliament building.
On the anniversary of his birth (14 April) and death (6 December) and on Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din, 14th Oct at Nagpur, at least half a million people gather to pay homage to him at his memorial in Mumbai. Thousands of bookshops are set up, and books are sold.
His message to his followers was " Educate!!!, Organize!!!, Agitate!!!".
Facts which were hidden from you about Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar Please find your precious time to read below hidden reality about Dr. B. R. Ambedkar work ..please. As an Indian and a youth, it is my pleasure and very proud to share about most of the unknown facts about our "Founding Father of Modern India" - REVOLUTIONARY DR. BABASAHEB AMBEDKAR. It is my humble request to all, please do read it and share to everyone after reading it ..
1. Only an Indian who topped in Top world's first Talented person according to Cambridge university, England 2011.
2. Prof. Amartya sen, 6th Indian to get prestigious Nobel prize winning economist, claims, "Dr. B. R. Ambedkar is my father in Economics."
3. He resigned from the post of ’First Law Minister of India when his noble "Hindu code bill " a women Right for indian women dropped by Prime minister Nehru. But none of women organisation talks about it. The contribution of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar for women empowerment in India is lot. For three years, he fought to get the bill passed. It spoke of giving back dignity to indian women and giving equal rights to boys and girls. The orthodoxy in the ruling party led by Shyama prasad mukhrjee didn't allow this bill to be passed.
4.The Reserve bank of India (RBI ),formed in 1935,was based on the ideas that Dr. Babasaheb presented to the Hilton young commission.
5. Dr. Ambedkar was the creator of Damodar valley project, Hirakud project, The son river valley project. In 1945, under the chairmanship of Dr. Ambedkar, it was decided to invest in the potential benefits of controlling the Mahanadi for multi- purpose use. But almost were hiding and wrongly attributed entirely to Nehru’s vision for industrialisation through multi-purpose river valley projects.
6. Dr. Ambedkar emphasised on the significance and need for the "Grid System " which is still working successfully even today. If today power engineers are going abroad for training, the credit goes to Dr. Ambedkar again, who as a leader of labour Department formulated the policy to trained best engineers overseas.
7. Saviour of labours, brought 8 hours of duty for labours in India. Dr. Ambedkar changed the working time from 12 hours to 8 hours in 1942 which became a light for workers in India.
8. Dr. Ambedkar established "Central Technical Power Board " (CTPB) for power system development., hydro power station sites, hydro electric shurveys, analysing problem of electricity generation and thermal power station investigation.
9. Dr. Ambedkar set up the Central Water Irrigation and Navigation Commission (CWINC) in March 1944. IF our house's are illuminated today and if our field are green , its because of Dr. Ambedkar ’s stellar role in the planning projects on which rest a major part of India's economy today.
10. If there is such a concept such as Water Management and Development in India, then the credit goes to Dr. Ambedkar for ably ably the natural resources serve India.
11.If it was not Dr. Ambedkar ’s vision one can imagine the situation of electric supply, irrigation and development of India.
12. When second world war was ended, there were many challenges for India, such as re-establishing the economy, including improvement in agriculture,
development of industries, rehabilitation and redeployment of defence services etc. For this reconstruction committee council (RCC ) was established.
Dr. Ambedkar was a member of RCC and was assigned the role of President of "Policy committee for " Irrigation and Power. "
13. Dr. Ambedkar had suggested division of Madhya Pradesh into northern and southern state's. He had also suggested division of Bihar split into two, with Patna and Ranchi as the capitals way back in 1955 for better development of these state's. After almost 45 years both states were divided and Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were formed in the year 2000.
14. Dr. Ambedkar is " Champion of women's Rights in India ". He strived hard for liberation and empowerment of Indian women and framed many laws for labours and also for women's in India like
*Women labour welfare fund
*Provident fund act
*Women and child labour protection act
*Maternity benefit for women labour bill
*Right to Property
*Leave benefit to piece workers
*Revision of scale of pay for Employees
* Restoration of ban on women
working underground in mines etc. Dr. Ambedkar was instrumental in bringing about several labour reforms, including establishment of the " EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE IN INDIA ".
16. The man who started the provision for a finance commission every five year in the constitution was none other than Dr. Ambedkar
17. The original source of references for all the 13 finance commission reports of India are based on Dr. Ambedkar’a PhD. Thesis, "The Evolution of Provincial Finance of British in India ".
18. Dr. Ambedkar is 1st PhD. in Economics and 1st Double Doctorate in Economics in South Asia
19. Dr. Ambedkar
* India’s first Law Minister
*Only an Indian whose photo in London museum along with Karl Marx .
* Chief Architect of Indian constitution
*India’s greatest brilliant lawyer
*1st Man who against directly about ’ Cunning ’ and ’ Seasonal Politician’ of India GANDHI.
*Chief opponent or Adversary to Indian National Congress
*1st Man who fired the inhuman stupid mythology of Hindu Code Book so up called ’ MANUSMRUTI’ in publicly.
*Revolutionary and a Revivalist for Our Indian origin BUDDHISM in India again.
* Father of millions suffering.
*Dr.Ambedkar incorporated The wheel of Dhamma also known as Asoka Chakra in the Indian national flag and the Lions from an Asoka pillar at Sarnath was adopted as National Emblem.
*1st Indian who graduated DSc in Economics
*Dr. Ambedkar is declared as ’ THE GREATEST INDIAN EVER’ by CNN IBN & HISTORY TV 18 CHANNEL. .Dr. B. R. AMBEDKAR’S EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
* 1st person who passed 10th Matriculation from Depressed Class in India as just got 282/750 marks in 1908.
* B. A. POLITICS & ECONOMICS Bombay University in 1912
*M. A . ECONOMICS for his thesis on ’ANCIENT INDIAN COMMERCE ’, AMERICA IN 1915
*PhD ( Economics - The Evolution of provincial finance in British India ) in Columbia University, America in 1917
*DSc - ( Thesis - PROBLEM OF RUPEE’ ) London school of Economics in 1920
* Bar at Law from Gray’s Inn in London 1924
*LLD - ( Honours) Columbia University, New york for his achievements, Leadership And authoring ’ The CONSTITUTION OF INDIA’
*D.Litt - Honoured by Osmania university also
* MSc- London * Political Economics- Germany
* 1st PhD in Economics & 1st double Doctorate in Economics in south Asia.Dr. Ambedkar, GREATEST
* A Parliamentarian
* Great Politician
* Indian Jurist
* Buddhist Activist
* Prolific Writer
* Social Reformer But,
The true Hero of Modern India is neglected by the ’MENTAL CASTIEST INDIAN’S ’ and always portrayed only as a Leader of particular section and much of his work are not taught to socially and economically backward people through school books or any other credible sources.
I never read such in my school days but read only as " Dr. Ambedkar - Father of Indian Law ". It is very true that ink dries From the pens of Castiest Indian media when writing or publishing anything about him. ..Soon there will be change in the minds of Indians and they will broad their knowledge about Dr. Ambedkar.Jai Bhim
All photos provided by: Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar Musseum & Memorial