Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar popularly known as Baba
Saheb, was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer
who inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social
discrimination against untouchables
(Dalits) while also supporting the rights of
women and labour. He was Independent India’s first law minister the principal architect of the constitution of
India and a founding father of the Republic of India.
Ambedkar was a prolific student, earning doctorates in
economics from both Columbia
University and the London School of
Economics and gained a reputation as a scholar
for his research in law, economics and political science.
In his early career he was an economist, professor, and
lawyer. His later life was marked by his political activities; he became
involved in campaigning and negotiations for India’s independence, publishing
journals, advocating political rights and social freedom for Dalits, and
contributing significantly to the establishment of the state of India. In 1956
he converted to Buddhism initiating mass conversions of Dalits.
He received his primary education in Satara of
Maharashtra. The problem of untouchability in India at the time was very acute.
The people of the lower castes were despised. The schools were not free from
the practice. Even the teachers were not sparing either. Eating and drinking
were restricted. Food was served separately and drinking water used to be
poured on their palms. This practice of hatred deeply touched his sensibility.
He was honest to handle of a weapon and thoroughly
demanding since his very childhood. He was ambitious, diligent and wistful. So,
a teacher of his, whose surname was Ambedkar, loved him. The name of his
village and his teacher, he himself adopted the surname as his own.
As the first amongst the untouchables, Ambedkar
matriculated from the Elfinstone High School of Mumbai in 1907. So, he was
hailed in the area and the pre-eminent Maratha, Lok Krishnaji Arjun Keluskar
had gifted him a book called “Goutam
Buddha”. With much difficulty he completed his college education.
He graduated in 1912, with the financial help from Raja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad, the
Maharaja of Baroda and later he moved abroad for higher study under a pact that
after his return he would serve in his Kingdom for at least a decade.
In 1913, he left for New York for higher studies.
There was no untouchability, no castebar, and no discriminations. All were
equal and free. So the days there were fun-filled. He Passed M.A in 1915 and
acquired a PhD in 1916. He had a desire to go to England for further studies,
but his commitment to the scion of Baroda brought him back to India. Back here,
he was placed in a prestigious position, but was never free from that trouble
of untouchability. He was seen with scorn as he belonged to a touchable caste.
Later, he moved
to London for higher studies. He returned to India in 1923 after taking degrees
in Economics and Law. He had decided to do his might for the upliftment of the
down-trodden. In consequence, untouchability was made inconsequential in
offices. ‘As you think, so be it’, became fruitful. He then formed a “Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha” (Outcastes
He believed in the Oneness of all as the Children of
the God and that all human beings are equal. He later joined the Indian Freedom
Movement under Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership and attended the Round Table Conference
in 1932. There he succeeded in securing separate constituencies for the untouchables.
He was thus successful in bringing to the notice of the world the plight of the
untouchables. He was untiringly trying to do away with the blight. His works
are testimony enough of the vastness and depth of his studies, wisdom and the
free-feeling thought and greatness of his qualities which are eloquently
refulgent in his works.
Once, as a boy, Ambedkar was not allowed to board a
cart and was prevent from using a well; one day he was inducted as the Labour
Minister in the Viceroy’s Council and in this capacity he had done a lot for
the labour fraternity, as also he had got legislation passed against
Ambedkar became the first Law Minister in free India.
Everybody welcomed the Nehru Cabinet; but there writ large the confusion as to what
would be the future governance like and what should be the Constitution like
and who would shoulder the responsibility of framing all things which would
envisage the future of India on the path of peace, progress and prosperity. It won’t
be an easy task at the least.
The story of India’s
Constitution is no less interesting. India was ever ruled by various dynasties
through the ages on the strength of the wisdom and acumen of the rulers and on
the basis of Shastras, Shruties, Samhitas, Vedas and Purans. The foundation was
dharma, and dharma, as ever, was guided and guarded by the
The Britishers never accepted that India had neither
the right nor the might to frame a constitution for them. They therefore
appointed the Simon Commission to find a modus operandi to find a solution and
the result was the formation of the Nehru Committee headed by Motilal Nehru and
the Nehru Report was the first frame-work in this direction.
Making a constitution was not at all any body’s cup of
tea. It definitely pre-supposes a pre-knowledge of the various constitutions prevailing
in the contemporary world, deep knowledge on law and, after all, a thorough understanding
of Indian history and ethos, without which a step ahead would invite
apprehensions of dangerous proportions in the given situations.
Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar was a great son of India. As the
architect of Indian Constitution, his contribution remains unmatched. The
eradication of untouchability and casteism will remain his unforgettable
tribute to the making of the modern legacy in the country. This has not only
immortalized him, but lifted the deprived, depressed and the down-trodden from
the deep pit of discrimination. The betterment of the battered was the mission
of his life.
as a member of the depressed class was an open book for himself which guided
his future course of action to achieve the goal of his dreams. Though he was
intent upon the upliftment of the oppressed, his focus was very much on the unity,
integrity and glorification of the nation despite all the contradictions and
diversities. Because he believed that, only in unification and not in the
disintegration, lays the good of all. The various provisions of the
constitution stand testimony to these ideals of the great mind. The secular
sentiments of the constitution are the refulgent of his liberal and
Whenever history has witnessed a depression in the
arenas of vital social life, history has always come up with a man with might
to refurbish and resurrect, and the great Baba Saheb Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar is
such a trend-setter and history-maker who rose to the occasion of time and set the time on the roll.
There is no scarceness of such men and women in the
long and lustrous history of India who have incarnated from time to time at
various points of history, and regenerated and enlivened the continuity and
refulgence of the glory to get going.
The role played by Buddhist teachings in shaping the
mind and thought of Baba Saheb Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar has very much reflected in
his brain-child, the Indian constitution. It was this that deterred him from
accuse the deathless Vedic dharma and embracing any foreign religion, but
induced him for a great and universally assimilative conciliatory approach. The
acceptance of the constitution on the January 26, 1950 is no less a tribute to
the trials and tribulations undergone by Baba Saheb Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, who
dedicated, with determination, his all to treat the ailing India for a healthy
and renew life of endless embankment into the future.
His motto of struggle for the right and not against
anything definitely saved India from more possible turmoil’s. His inducements
and indictments will always keep the unprivileged inspiring and the atrocious
deterred. The posthumous award of “Bharat Ratna” to him was really deserved.
But, no amounts of awards or laurels can match his personality, pursuits and performances.
The extent of his achievements has definitely secured
for him a unique and fluorescent place for him in the annals of history. The
world will remember him as a messiah and as a man of destiny, who designed and
defined the destiny of a nation and a people.