Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar fought for “equality”. He is regarded as the father of the Indian constitution. He strived for establishing equality among our countrymen, outlawing discrimination against lower castes/untouchables. He firmly believed in a society where friendship, equality, and brotherhood existed. Despite being a man who had contributed so much for our nation, Ambedkar faced severe caste discrimination in his early days.
Bhim Rao Ambedkar was a multi-faceted person. He was an educationist, jurist and also a socio-political reformer.
He was born in Mhow village in the Indore district of Madhya Pradesh on 14 April 1891. Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was also called Babasaheb Ambedkar. His father Ramji Sakpal was part of the Indian Army, he was ranked as Subedar for his good work in the army. Bhima bai was his mother. Ambedkar was studious since childhood, his father always encouraged his children to study and work hard in life. He belonged to the Mahar caste; they were regarded as ‘untouchables’ at that time. During those days, if belongings of the upper caste were touched by the people belonging to the lower caste, it was considered ‘impure’.
Children belonging to lower castes had to face several hardships for attaining education. Ambedkar’s early education materialized as the government ran a special school for the children of army employees. He along with other lower caste children were seated outside the class or in the corner of the class! The teachers paid little attention to them! These children did not even have the permission to touch the tap to drink water. It is said that the peon of the school used to pour water on their hands standing afar! And in case the peon was absent, they had to study without water, even if they were thirsty!
Post Ramji Sakpal’s retirement in 1894, his entire family moved to ‘Satara’ in Maharashtra. Ambedkar’s mother died two years later. His aunt took care of their family in difficult circumstances.
Ramji Sakpal and Bhima bai had 14 children, not all of them could survive the difficult conditions. Among his siblings, Bhimrao Ambedkar was the only person who could ignore social discrimination and continue studying.
Ambedkar took admission in a high school in Mumbai, he was the first lower caste student to get admission in that educational institution. He passed his high school examination in 1907. Ambedkar’s success was celebrated by his entire community!
Shattering all the records in the field of studies; Bhimrao Ambedkar secured degrees in Economics and Political Science in 1912. In the following year, he moved to America for post-graduation. He did his M.A. at Columbia University. Later on, he was awarded PhD for one of his researches. Ambedkar published the book ‘Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India’ in 1916. Moving ahead, he started studying at the London School of Economics, enrolled in the degree for Doctorate in Economics.
However as his scholarship money ran out, he was forced to leave his studies in the middle and return to India. He went on to do several jobs including clerical jobs and the job of an accountant. With the money he earned, he returned to London in 1923 for completing his research. Ambedkar was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science by the University. He decided to spend the rest of his life in the service of society. He participated in India’s freedom struggle and also wrote several books for the emancipation of dalits. He became a part of the Mumbai Legislative Council in 1926. Ambedkar was appointed the Principal of the Government Law College on 13 October 1935. He served the post for two years.
Emerging as a Politician
Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour Party in 1936. It went on to contest in the Central Assembly elections and won 15 seats. Between 1941 and 1945, he published several books including ‘Thoughts in Pakistan’. In this book, he strongly opposed the demand for creating a separate country for Muslims. Ambedkar had a totally different vision for India. He strongly criticized the leaders who wanted to divide India. He was elected the first law minister, after India gained its independence on 15 August 1947. Ambedkar is also regarded as the ‘Father of the Indian Constitution’, which came into force on 26 January 1950. Even the Reserve Bank of India was set up as per his views. After struggling with his health for several years, he bid adieu to the world on 6 December 1956. He influenced the thinking of the society to a great extent, he fought for the rights of dalits and women.
- Ambedkar Jayanti is regarded as the biggest Jayanti, which is observed as an annual festival in the world.
- He is regarded as the number 1 scholar in the world. Ambedkar is also the first South Asian to pursue PhD in Economics.
- “Life should be great rather than long.”, is his iconic slogan.
- Dr. B. R. Ambedkar is considered as a symbol of knowledge, he has multiple degrees including MSc, M.A., and PhD.
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar aka Babasaheb Ambedkar was a great politician and jurist. All along his life, he fought for the rights of lower caste people, he is also the chief architect of our constitution. He will be always remembered for his good deeds!