Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar ( April 14, 1891 – Dec. 6, 1956) Jayanti (birthday)
Zile Singh, Ambassador(Retd.)
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar( also known as Babasaheb Ambedkar ) was born on 14 April
1891 in Mhow, a town and military cantonment in the Central Province ( now Madhya
Pradesh) He was the 14th and the last child of Ramji Sakpal, an Army officer who held
the rank of Subedar.
Education : Elphinstone High School, Mumbai, 1907: Elphinstone College, Mumbai,
1912: Economics and Political Science, Columbia University, USA, 1913-15; Bar-at-
Law from London’s Gray”s Inn, 1916: MA in Economics and PhD, London School of
Economics, 1923: PhD in Economics, Columbia University, 1927.
Spouse: Ramabai Ambedkar (1906-35); Dr. Sharada Kabir (1948-56)
Awards : Bharat Ratna, 1990 (posthumously )- India’s highest civilian honour.
Voted “ The Greatest Indian” in 2012.
Dr. Ambedkar was an economist, jurist, social reformer, politician and a human
rights champion. He is also known as the Father of Indian Constitution. His efforts to
eradicate social evils like untouchability and caste restrictions were remarkable.
Throughout his life he fought for the rights of the dalit and socially backward classes.
Ambedkar was appointed India’s first Law Minister in the Cabinet of Jawaharlal Nehru.
Ambedkar considered converting to Sikhism. His meeting with Sikh leaders did
not bear any fruit. He was invited by the Muslims also. Finally, Ambedkar converted
to Buddhism initiating mass conversion of Dalits.
His message to his countrymen was “educate, unite, agitate”
Before we shed light on Dr. Ambedkar’s life, we must remember his teacher Pt.
Krishnaji Keshav Ambedkar who gave his surname ‘Ambedkar’ to Babasaheb, the
benefactor Prince Sayajirao Gaikwad of Baroda who offered him scholarship to go to
Columbia University (USA) and also his Parsi friend Navel Bhatena who loaned him to
go to England for studies. Finally to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has dug out this
Jewel of India from obscurity.
In order to pay allegiance to his legacy and a gratitude to his marvelous
contribution in making a New India, the Government has undertaken the following
Statue of Equality : Foundation was laid by Prime Minister Shri Narendra
Modi of a 150 feet tall statue and a 140 feet high dome Stupa in 12 -acre space in
Mumbai overlooking the sea near Chaityabhumi where Ambedkar’s last rites were
performed. The complex will have a research centre , auditorium, library and museum,
park, pond and plaza. Also a Vipassana (meditation) Hall which can accommodate
13000 people. All the works of Babasaheb will be displayed at the Memorial.
PM said that Dr Ambedkar who strived for social justice and equality is still
relevant and holds universal appeal cutting across geographical and political boundaries.
Ambedkar Museum London: A three-storey 2050 sq. ft. House at 10 King
Henry’s Road in northwest London where Dr. Ambedkar stayed while doing his PhD at
London School of Economics was purchased by the Indian Government and Prime
Minister inaugurated it as a museum called Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum. The
building already has a memorial plaque of ” Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Indian
Crusader for Social Justice”. Speaking in the British Parliament PM said that Babasaheb
was not just the architect of the Indian Constitution , but also the architect of our
Dr Ambedkar National Memorial : 26 Alipur Road, Delhi where Dr.
Ambedkar lived from 1951 to 1956 was dedicated to him.
Ambedkar International Centre at 15 Janpath, New Delhi. Union Minister said
that Ambedkar was a proven architect of modern India.
Constitution Day: For the first time after our Republic November 26 was declared as
the Constitution Day and a special session of Parliament would be called every year for
two days on November 26-27.
Republic Day Parade: A flot of Dr. Ambedkar would be included every year in
Republic Day Parade at Rajpath , New Delhi
The United Nations celebrated Dr. Ambedkar’s birth anniversary on April 14,
2016 and focused on combating inequalities to achieve UN’s Sustainable Development
Goals 2016- 2030.
Some Unknown facts about Dr. Ambedkar
Article 370 of the Constitution: This Article gives a Special Status to Jammu
and Kashmir. Dr. Ambedkar was totally against this Article. He refused to draft it. He
walked out of the meeting when the Constituent Assembly was deliberating on this
Article. It was approved in his absence.
Hindu Code Bill: As the Law Minister he introduced the Bill in the Parliament
which sought to enshrine gender equality in the laws of inheritance and marriage.
Jawaharlal Nehru told Dr. Ambedkar that nation was not ready to accept your modern
thoughts of giving these rights to women. The Bill failed and as a moral duty Dr.
Ambedkar, the first- ever Minister, resigned from the Cabinet. He was not after power
but for the weaker sections of society.
Uniform Civil Code: During the debates in the Constituent Assembly Dr.
Ambedkar demonstrated his will to reform Indian society by recommending the
adoption of a Uniform Civil Code.
Reserve Bank of India: The RBI was conceptualized as per the guidelines,
working style and outlook presented by Ambedkar in his book “The Problem of the
Rupee – Its origin and its solution”. He recommended that the currency should be
demonetized every ten-year.
Economic Planning: Dr. Ambedkar was the first Indian to pursue a doctorate in
Economics abroad. He stressed investment in agriculture as the primary industry of
India. Ambedkar advocated national economic and social development stressing
education, public hygiene, community health, residential facilities as the basic amenities.
In 1951, he established the Finance Commission of India. He opposed income tax for
low income groups. Dr. Amartya Sen, the Nobel Laureate in Economic said “ Dr.
Ambedkar is father of my economics”.
Labour Rights: Without Dr. Ambedkar, most of the protective and benevolent
rights enjoyed by the labourers in India would have been a big question mark. He is
called “ A Saviour of Labour Rights in India”
Family Planning: Dr. Ambedkar was the first scholar to express concern on the
population control. He moved a non-official Bill on the population control in the
Bombay Assembly in November , 1938.
River and Water Management: Prime Minister Modi said that many of us
may not know that Dr Ambedkar was the architect of the water and river
navigation policy of India.
The Partition of India: “ More brain, O Lord, more brain! Or we shall mar,
Utterly this fair garden we might win”. This is a quotation from the title page of
Thoughts on Pakistan by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s Inspiring Quotes:
This country of ours is the true land of promise. This race of ours is the
Untouchability has ruined the untouchables, the Hindus and ultimately the
nation as a whole.
We are going to have many political parties with diverse and opposing
political creeds. Will Indians place the country above creed or will they place creed
above the country?
I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity.
I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which
women have achieved.
Firstly and lastly, we are Indians.