Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Jayanti
B.R. Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891 at Military Headquarter of War in Madhya Pradesh. Full form of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. He was the architect of Indian Constitution and is also known as the “Father of Indian Constitution”. He had dedicated his entire life for the upliftment of the deprived section of the society. Hence many Indians and even people from other countries revere him as a great social reformer. He also played a significant role in India’s freedom struggle.
In 1908, Ambedkar passed the Matriculation exam from Bombay University. After graduating from Elfinstone College, Bombay in 1912, he joined Columbia University where he was awarded Ph.D for a thesis which he published in book form as “The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India”.
Later he joined the London School of Economics and obtained a degree of D.Sc for his thesis, “The Problem of the Rupee”. He became a Professor of Political Economy in the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, Bombay in 1918.
He went on to United States and England to pursue higher studies, where he earned a law degree and multiple doctorates for his study and research in law, economics and political science. Returning home as a famous scholar, Ambedkar practiced law for a few years before he began publishing journals advocating political rights and social freedom for India’s untouchables. He is also credited for having sparked the Dalit Buddhist movement. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was the chairman of the drafting committee that was constituted by the Constituent Assembly to draft a constitution for the independent India; he was also the first Law Minister of India.
He was honoured with Bharat Ratna in 1990, India’s highest civilian award. In 1920, he started a Marathi Weekly paper called ‘Mooknayak’ to champion the cause of the depressed classes. He attended the depressed classes Conference on March the same year, under the Presidency of Chatrapati Sahu Maharaj at Kolhapur. He later resigned Professorship at Sydenham College to resume his studies in London. He returned to India on April 1923 and started to practice in the Bombay High Court. He also attended the three Round Table Conferences that were held in London to enable representatives of the various Indian communities and the three British Political parties to consider proposals for the future constitution of India. He founded the ‘Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha’ on July 20, 1924 for the upliftment of the depressed classes. The aims of the Sabha were Educate, Agitate, and Organise. He opened a hostel for untouchable students at Barshi. He was nominated as a member of the Bombay Legislative Council in 1926. He started Satyagraha at Mahad, a place in Kolaba district to secure to the untouchables the Right of access to the Chavdar Tank. He also started Satyagraha at Kalram Temple, Nasik to secure the Right of entry into the temple by the untouchables.
On September 1932, he signed the Poona Pact with M.K.Gandhi giving up the separate electorates granted to the depressed classes by Ramsay MacDonald’s communal Award, and instead accepting representation through Joint Electorates which greatly increased the number of reserved seats. By signing this Pact, Ambedkar marked his emergence as the most influential leader of the untouchables. From 1932-34, he became a member of joint parliamentary committee on the Indian Constitutional Reform. A historical Yeola Conversion Conference was held under the Presidentship of Dr.Ambedkar on Oct 13th, 1935.
Ambedkar founded the Independent Labor Party and took part in the provincial elections that were held under the Government of India Act, 1935. With the outbreak of World War in 1939, Ambedkar regarded the Nazi ideology as a direct threat to the liberties of the Indian people. In 1941, he was appointed to the Defence Advisory Committee and in the following year joined the Viceroy’s Executive Council as Labour Member. During the same period, he transformed the Independent Labor Party into the All-India Scheduled Caste Federation. There he exhorted the depressed classes to leave Hinduism and embrace an other religion. Ambedkar was invited by the Jat Pat Todak Mandal of Lahore to preside over the conference. Dr. Ambedkar prepared his historical speech- ‘The Annihilation of Caste’. But the conference was cancelled by the Mandal on the ground that Dr. Ambedkar’s thoughts were revolutionary. Finally, he refused to preside and published his speech in book form in 1937.