[2:28 AM, 8/14/2018] JC: Early life
was born on 14 April 1891 in the 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, an army officer who held the rank
of Subedar, and Bhimabai Sakpal, daughter of Laxman Murbadkar. His
family was of Marathi background from the town of Ambadawe (Mandangad
taluka) in Ratnagiri district of modern-day Maharashtra. Ambedkar was
born into a poor low Mahar (dalit) caste, who were treated as
untouchables and subjected to socio-economic discrimination.
Ambedkar’s ancestors had long worked for the army of the British East
India Company, and his father served in the British Indian Army at the
Mhow cantonment. Although they attended school, Ambedkar and other
untouchable children were segregated and given little attention or help
by teachers. They were not allowed to sit inside the class. When they
needed to drink water, someone from a higher caste had 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 the peon was not available
then he had to go without water; he described the situation later in his
writings as “No peon, No Water”. He was required to sit on a gunny
sack which he had to take home with him.
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. Three sons –
Balaram, Anandrao and Bhimrao – and two daughters – Manjula and Tulasa –
of the Ambedkars survived them. Of his brothers and sisters, only
Ambedkar passed his examinations and went to high school. His original
surname was Sakpal but his father registered his name as Ambadawekar in
school, meaning he comes from his native village ‘Ambadawe’ in Ratnagiri
district. His Devrukhe Brahmin teacher, Krishna
Keshav Ambedkar, changed his surname from ‘Ambadawekar’ to his own
surname ‘Ambedkar’ in school records.
1897, Ambedkar’s family moved to Mumbai where Ambedkar became the only
untouchable enrolled at Elphinstone High School. In 1906, when he was
about 15 years old, his marriage to a nine-year-old girl, Ramabai, was
Undergraduate studies at the University of Bombay
1907, he passed his matriculation examination and in the following year
he entered Elphinstone College, which was affiliated to the University
of Bombay, becoming the first untouchable to do so. This success evoked
much celebration among untouchables and after a public ceremony, he was
presented with a biography of the Buddha by Dada Keluskar, the author
and a family friend.
By 1912, he obtained his degree in
economics and political science from Bombay University, and prepared to
take up employment with the Baroda state government. His wife had just
moved his young family and started work when he had to quickly return to
Mumbai to see his ailing father, who died on 2 February 1913.
Postgraduate studies at Columbia University
1913, Ambedkar moved to the United States at the age of 22. He had been
awarded a Baroda State Scholarship of £11.50 (Sterling) per month for
three years under a scheme established by Sayajirao Gaekwad III (Gaekwad
of Baroda) that was designed to provide opportunities for postgraduate
education at Columbia University in New York City. Soon after arriving
there he settled in rooms at Livingston Hall with Naval Bhathena, a
Parsi who was to be a lifelong friend. He passed his M.A. exam in June
1915, majoring in Economics, and other subjects of Sociology, History,
Philosophy and Anthropology. He presented a thesis, Ancient Indian
Commerce. Ambedkar was influenced by John Dewey and his work on
In 1916 he completed his second thesis, National
Dividend of India — A Historic and Analytical Study, for another M.A.,
and finally he received his PhD in Economics in 1927 for his third
thesis, after he left for London. On 9 May, he presented the paper
Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development before a
seminar conducted by the anthropologist Alexander Goldenweiser.
Postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics
Ambedkar (In center line, first from right) with his professors and friends from the London School of Economics (1916-17)
October 1916, he enrolled for the Bar course at Gray’s Inn, and at the
same time enrolled at the London School of Economics where he started
working on a doctoral thesis. In June 1917, he returned to India because
his scholarship from Baroda ended. His book collection was dispatched
on different ship from the one he was on, and that ship was torpedoed
and sunk by a German submarine. He got permission to return to
London to submit his thesis within four years. He returned at the first
opportunity, and completed a master’s degree in 1921. His thesis was on
“The problem of the rupee: Its origin and its solution”. In 1923, he
completed a D.Sc. in Economics, and the same year he was called to the
Bar by Gray’s Inn. His third and fourth Doctorates (LL.D, Columbia, 1952
and D.Litt., Osmania, 1953) were conferred honoris causa.
Opposition to Aryan invasion theory
viewed the Shudras as Aryan and adamantly rejected the Aryan invasion
theory, describing it as “so absurd that it ought to have been dead long
ago” in his 1946 book Who Were the Shudras?.
Shudras as originally being “part of the Kshatriya Varna in the
Indo-Aryan society”, but became socially degraded after they inflicted
many tyrannies on Brahmins.
According to Arvind Sharma,
Ambedkar noticed certain flaws in the Aryan invasion theory that were
later acknowledged by western scholarship. For example, scholars now
acknowledge anās in Rig Veda 5.29.10 refers to speech rather than the
shape of the nose. Ambedkar anticipated this modern view by stating:
term Anasa occurs in Rig Veda V.29.10. What does the word mean? There
are two interpretations. One is by Prof. Max Muller. The other is by
Sayanacharya. According to Prof. Max Muller, it means ‘one without nose’
or ‘one with a flat nose’ and has as such been relied upon as a piece
of evidence in support of the view that the Aryans were a separate race
from the Dasyus. Sayanacharya says that it means ‘mouthless,’ i.e.,
devoid of good speech. This difference of meaning is due to difference
in the correct reading of the word Anasa. Sayanacharya reads it as
an-asa while Prof. Max Muller reads it as a-nasa. As read by Prof. Max
Muller, it means ‘without nose.’ Question is : which of the two readings
is the correct one? There is no reason to hold that Sayana’s reading is
wrong. On the other hand there is everything to suggest that it is
right. In the first place, it does not make non-sense of the word.
Secondly, as there is no other place where the Dasyus are described as
noseless, there is no reason why the word should be read in such a
manner as to give it an altogether new sense. It is only fair to read it
as a synonym of Mridhravak. There is therefore no evidence in support
of the conclusion that the Dasyus belonged to a different race.
disputed various hypotheses of the Aryan homeland being outside India,
and concluded the Aryan homeland was India itself. According to
Ambedkar, the Rig Veda says Aryans, Dāsa and Dasyus were competing
religious groups, not different peoples.
Opposition to untouchability
Ambedkar as a barrister in 1922
Ambedkar was educated by the Princely State of Baroda, he was bound to
serve it. He was appointed Military Secretary to the Gaikwad but had to
quit in a short time. He described the incident in his autobiography,
Waiting for a Visa. Thereafter, he tried to find ways to make a
living for his growing family. He worked as a private tutor, as an
accountant, and established an investment consulting business, but it
failed when his clients learned that he was an untouchable. In 1918,
he became Professor of Political Economy in the Sydenham College of
Commerce and Economics in Mumbai. Although he was successful with the
students, other professors objected to his sharing a drinking-water jug
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 untouchables and other religious communities.
In 1920, he began the publication of the weekly Mooknayak (Leader of the
Silent) in Mumbai with the help of Shahu of Kolhapur i.e. Shahu IV
Ambedkar went on to work as a legal
professional. In 1926, he successfully defended three non-Brahmin
leaders who had accused the Brahmin community of ruining India and were
then subsequently sued for libel. Dhananjay Keer notes that “The victory
was resounding, both socially and individually, for the clients and the
While practising law in the Bombay High
Court, he tried to promote education to untouchables and uplift them.
His first organised attempt was his establishment of the central
institution Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha, intended to promote education
and socio-economic improvement, as well as the welfare of “outcastes”,
at the time referred to as depressed classes. For the defence of
Dalit rights, he started many periodicals like Mook Nayak, Bahishkrit
Bharat, and Equality Janta.
He was appointed to the Bombay
Presidency Committee to work with the all-European Simon Commission in
1925. 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 the future Constitution of
By 1927, Ambedkar had decided to launch active
movements against untouchability. He began with public movements and
marches to open up public drinking water resources. He also 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. In a conference in late 1927,
Ambedkar publicly condemned the classic Hindu text, the Manusmriti (Laws
of Manu), for ideologically justifying caste discrimination and
“untouchability”, and he ceremonially burned copies of the ancient text.
On 25 December 1927, he led thousands of followers to burn copies of
Manusmrti. Thus annually 25 December is celebrated as Manusmriti
Dahan Din (Manusmriti Burning Day) by Ambedkarites and Dalits.
1930, Ambedkar launched Kalaram Temple movement after three months of
preparation. About 15,000 volunteers assembled at Kalaram Temple
satygraha making one of the greatest processions of Nashik. The
procession was headed by a military band, a batch of scouts, women and
men walked in discipline, order and determination to see the god for the
first time. When they reached to gate, the gates were closed by Brahmin
M.R. Jayakar, Tej Bahadur Sapru and Ambedkar at Yerwada jail, in Poona, on 24 September 1932, the day the Poona Pact was signed
1932, British announced the formation of a separate electorate for
“Depressed Classes” in the Communal Award. Gandhi fiercely opposed a
separate electorate for untouchables, saying he feared that such an
arrangement would divide the Hindu community. Gandhi
protested by fasting while imprisoned in the Yerwada Central Jail of
Poona. Following the fast, Congress politicians and activists such as
Madan Mohan Malaviya and Palwankar Baloo organised joint meetings with
Ambedkar and his supporters at Yerwada. On 25 September 1932, the
agreement known as Poona Pact was signed between Ambedkar (on behalf of
the depressed classes among Hindus) and Madan Mohan Malaviya (on behalf
of the other Hindus). The agreement gave reserved seats for the
depressed classes in the Provisional legislatures, within the general
electorate. Due to the pact, the depressed class received 148 seats in
the legislature, instead of the 71 as allocated in the Communal Award
earlier proposed by British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. The text
uses the term “Depressed Classes” to denote Untouchables among Hindus
who were later called Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under India
Act 1935, and the later Indian Constitution of 1950. In the
Poona Pact, a unified electorate was in principle formed, but primary
and secondary elections allowed Untouchables in practice to choose their
[2:30 AM, 8/14/2018] JC: Political career
with his family members at Rajgraha in February 1934. From left –
Yashwant (son), Ambedkar, Ramabai (wife), Laxmibai (wife of his elder
brother, Balaram), Mukund (nephew) and Ambedkar’s favourite dog, Tobby
1935, Ambedkar was appointed principal of the Government Law College,
Bombay, a position he held for two years. He also served as the chairman
of Governing body of Ramjas College, University of Delhi, after the
death of its Founder Shri Rai Kedarnath. Settling in Bombay (today
called Mumbai), Ambedkar oversaw the construction of a house, and
stocked his personal library with more than 50,000 books. His wife
Ramabai died after a long illness 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. At the Yeola Conversion Conference on 13 October in
Nasik, Ambedkar announced his intention to convert to a different
religion and exhorted his followers to leave Hinduism. He would
repeat his message at many public meetings across India.
Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour Party, which contested the 1937
Bombay election to the Central Legislative Assembly for the 13 reserved
and 4 general seats, and secured 11 and 3 seats respectively.
published his book Annihilation of Caste on 15 May 1936. It
strongly criticised Hindu orthodox religious leaders and the caste
system in general, and included “a rebuke of Gandhi” on the
subject. Later, in a 1955 BBC interview, he accused Gandhi of
writing in opposition of the caste system in English language papers
while writing in support of it in Gujarati language papers.
Ambedkar served on the Defence Advisory Committee and the Viceroy’s Executive Council as minister for labour.
the Lahore resolution (1940) of the Muslim League demanding Pakistan,
Ambedkar wrote a 400 page tract titled Thoughts on Pakistan, which
analysed the concept of “Pakistan” in all its aspects. Ambedkar argued
that the Hindus should concede Pakistan to the Muslims. He proposed that
the provincial boundaries of Punjab and Bengal should be redrawn to
separate the Muslim and non-Muslim majority parts. He thought the
Muslims could have no objection to redrawing provincial boundaries. If
they did, they did not quite “understand the nature of their own
demand”. Scholar Venkat Dhulipala states that Thoughts on Pakistan
“rocked Indian politics for a decade”. It determined the course of
dialogue between the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress,
paving the way for the Partition of India.
In his work
Who Were the Shudras?, Ambedkar tried to explain the formation of
untouchables. He saw Shudras and Ati Shudras who form the lowest caste
in the ritual hierarchy of the caste system, as separate from
Untouchables. Ambedkar oversaw the transformation of his political party
into the Scheduled Castes Federation, although it performed poorly in
the 1946 elections for Constituent Assembly of India. Later he was
elected into the constituent assembly of Bengal where Muslim League was
Ambedkar contested in the Bombay North first Indian
General Election of 1952, but lost to his former assistant and Congress
Party candidate Narayan Kajrolkar. Ambedkar became a member of Rajya
Sabha, probably an appointed member. He tried to enter Lok Sabha again
in the by-election of 1954 from Bhandara, but he placed third (the
Congress Party won). By the time of the second general election in 1957,
Ambedkar had died.
Ambedkar also criticised Islamic practice in
South Asia. While justifying the Partition of India, he condemned child
marriage and the mistreatment of women in Muslim society.
words can adequately express the great and many evils of polygamy and
concubinage, and especially as a source of misery to a Muslim woman.
Take the caste system. Everybody infers that Islam must be free from
slavery and caste. […] [While slavery existed], much of its support
was derived from Islam and Islamic countries. While the prescriptions by
the Prophet regarding the just and humane treatment of slaves contained
in the Koran are praiseworthy, there is nothing whatever in Islam that
lends support to the abolition of this curse. But if slavery has gone,
caste among Musalmans [Muslims] has remained.
Drafting India’s Constitution
chairman of the Drafting Committee, presenting the final draft of the
Indian Constitution to Rajendra Prasad on 25 November 1949.
India’s independence on 15 August 1947, the new Congress-led government
invited Ambedkar to serve as the nation’s first Law Minister, which he
accepted. On 29 August, he was appointed Chairman of the Constitution
Drafting Committee, and was appointed by the Assembly to write India’s
Granville Austin described the Indian
Constitution drafted by Ambedkar as ‘first and foremost a social
document’. ‘The majority of India’s constitutional provisions are either
directly arrived at furthering the aim of social revolution or attempt
to foster this revolution by establishing conditions necessary for its
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 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 and Other Backward
Class, 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 these measures. The
Constitution was adopted on 26 November 1949 by the Constituent
Opposition to Article 370
Article 370 of the Constitution of India, which granted a special status
to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and which was included against his
wishes. Balraj Madhok reportedly said, Ambedkar had clearly told the
Kashmiri leader, Sheikh Abdullah: “You wish India should protect your
borders, she should build roads in your area, she should supply you food
grains, and Kashmir should get equal status as India. But Government of
India should have only limited powers and Indian people should have no
rights in Kashmir. To give consent to this proposal, would be a
treacherous thing against the interests of India and I, as the Law
Minister of India, will never do it.” Then Sk. Abdullah approached
Nehru, who directed him to Gopal Swami Ayyangar, who in turn approached
Sardar Patel, saying Nehru had promised Sk. Abdullah the special status.
Patel got the Article passed while Nehru was on a foreign tour. On the
day the article came up for discussion, Ambedkar did not reply to
questions on it but did participate on other articles. All arguments
were done by Krishna Swami Ayyangar.
Support to Uniform Civil Code
personally do not understand why religion should be given this vast,
expansive jurisdiction, so as to cover the whole of life and to prevent
the legislature from encroaching upon that field. After all, what are we
having this liberty for? We are having this liberty in order to reform
our social system, which is so full of inequities, discriminations and
other things, which conflict with our fundamental rights.
the debates in the Constituent Assembly, Ambedkar demonstrated his will
to reform Indian society by recommending the adoption of a Uniform Civil
Code. Ambedkar resigned from the cabinet in 1951, when
parliament stalled his draft of the Hindu Code Bill, which sought to
enshrine gender equality in the laws of inheritance and marriage.
Ambedkar independently contested an election in 1952 to the lower house
of parliament, the Lok Sabha, but was defeated in the Bombay (North
Central) constituency by a little-known Narayan Sadoba Kajrolkar, who
polled 138,137 votes compared to Ambedkar’s 123,576. He was
appointed to the upper house, of parliament, the Rajya Sabha in March
1952 and would remain as member till death.
[2:32 AM, 8/14/2018] JC: Economic planning
B.R. Ambedkar in 1950
was the first Indian to pursue a doctorate in economics abroad. He
argued that industrialisation and agricultural growth could enhance the
Indian economy. He stressed investment in agriculture as the primary
industry of India. According to Sharad Pawar, Ambedkar’s vision helped
the government to achieve its food security goal. Ambedkar advocated
national economic and social development, stressing education, public
hygiene, community health, residential facilities as the basic
amenities. He calculated the loss of development caused by British
Reserve Bank of India
Ambedkar was trained as an
economist, and was a professional economist until 1921, when he became a
political leader. He wrote three scholarly books on economics:
Administration and Finance of the East India Company
The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India
The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin and Its Solution
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was based on the ideas that Ambedkar presented to the Hilton Young Commission.
Ambedkar with wife Savita in 1948
first wife Ramabai died in 1935 after a long illness. After completing
the draft of India’s constitution in the late 1940s, he suffered from
lack of sleep, had neuropathic pain in his legs, and was taking insulin
and homoeopathic medicines. He went to Bombay for treatment, and there
met Dr. Sharada Kabir, whom he married on 15 April 1948, at his home in
New Delhi. Doctors recommended a companion who was a good cook and had
medical knowledge to care for him. She adopted the name Savita
Ambedkar and cared for him the rest of his life. Savita Ambedkar, who
was called ‘Mai’ or ‘Maisaheb’, died on 29 May 2003, aged 93 at
Mehrauli, New Delhi.
Conversion to Buddhism
Ambedkar receiving the Five Precepts from Mahasthavir Chandramani on October 14, 1956
considered converting to Sikhism, which encouraged opposition to
oppression and so appealed to leaders of scheduled castes. But after
meeting with Sikh leaders, he concluded that he might get “second-rate”
Sikh status, as described by scholar Stephen P. Cohen.
he studied Buddhism all his life. Around 1950, he devoted his attention
to Buddhism and travelled to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to attend a meeting
of the World Fellowship of Buddhists. While dedicating a new
Buddhist vihara near Pune, Ambedkar announced he was writing a book on
Buddhism, and that when it was finished, he would formally convert to
Buddhism. He twice visited Burma in 1954; the second time 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 which was published posthumously.
meetings with the Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Hammalawa Saddhatissa,
Ambedkar organised a formal public ceremony for himself and his
supporters in Nagpur on 14 October 1956. Accepting the Three Refuges and
Five Precepts from a Buddhist monk in the traditional manner, Ambedkar
completed his own conversion, along with his wife. He then proceeded to
convert some 500,000 of his supporters who were gathered around him.
He prescribed the 22 Vows for these converts, after the Three Jewels
and Five Precepts. He then travelled to Kathmandu, Nepal to attend
the Fourth World Buddhist Conference. His work on The Buddha or Karl
Marx and “Revolution and counter-revolution in ancient India” remained
Mahaparinirvana of B. R. Ambedkar
1948, Ambedkar suffered from diabetes. He was bed-ridden from June to
October in 1954 due to medication side-effects and poor eyesight. He
had been increasingly embittered by political issues, which took a toll
on his health. His health worsened during 1955. Three days after
completing his final manuscript The Buddha and His Dhamma, Ambedkar died
in his sleep on 6 December 1956 at his home in Delhi.
cremation was organised at Dadar Chowpatty beach on 7
December, attended by half a million grieving people. A
conversion program was organised on 16 December 1956, so that
cremation attendees were also converted to Buddhism at the same
Ambedkar was survived by his second wife, who died in
2003, and his son Yashwant Ambedkar (known as Bhaiyasaheb).
Ambedkar’s grandson, Prakash Ambedkar, is the chief-adviser of the
Buddhist Society of India, leads the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh
and has served in both houses of the Indian Parliament.
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 or
Bhim Jayanti. He was posthumously awarded India’s highest civilian
honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1990.
On the anniversary of his
birth and death, and on Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din (14 October) 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, organise,
People paying tribute at the central statue of Ambedkar in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad.
legacy as a socio-political reformer, had a deep effect on modern
India. In post-Independence India, his socio-political thought
is respected across the political spectrum. His initiatives have
influenced various spheres of life and transformed the way India today
looks at socio-economic policies, education and affirmative action
through socio-economic and legal incentives. His reputation as a scholar
led to his appointment as free India’s first law minister, and chairman
of the committee for drafting the constitution. He passionately
believed in individual freedom and criticised caste society. His
accusations of Hinduism as being the foundation of the caste system made
him controversial and unpopular among Hindus. His conversion to
Buddhism sparked a revival in interest in Buddhist philosophy in India
Ambedkar is also called Babasaheb, a Marathi
phrase which roughly translates as “Father-Lord” (baba: father; and
saheb: lord) because millions of Indians consider him a “great
Many public institutions are named in his
honour, and the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur,
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, Ambedkar
University Delhi is also named in his honour. A large official portrait
of Ambedkar is on display in the Indian Parliament building.
Maharashtra government has acquired a house in London where Ambedkar
lived during his days as a student in the 1920s. The house is expected
to be converted into a museum-cum-memorial to Ambedkar.
was voted “the Greatest Indian” in 2012 by a poll organised by History
TV18 and CNN IBN. Nearly 20 million votes were cast, making him the most
popular Indian figure since the launch of the initiative. Due
to his role in economics, Narendra Jadhav, a notable Indian
economist, has said that Ambedkar was “the highest educated Indian
economist of all times.” Amartya Sen, said that Ambedkar is “father
of my economics”, and “he was highly controversial figure in his home
country, though it was not the reality. His contribution in the field of
economics is marvelous and will be remembered forever.” Osho,
a spiritual teacher, remarked “I have seen people who are born in the
lowest category of Hindu law, the sudras, the untouchables, so
intelligent: when India became independent, the man who made the
constitution of India, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, was a sudra. There was no
equal to his intelligence as far as law is concerned – he was a
world-famous authority.” President Obama addressed the Indian
parliament in 2010, and referred to Dalit leader Dr. B. R. Ambedkar as
the great and revered Human Rights champion and main author of India’s
Ambedkar’s political philosophy has given rise
to a large number of political parties, publications and workers’
unions that remain active across India, especially in Maharashtra. His
promotion of Buddhism has rejuvenated interest in Buddhist philosophy
among sections of population in India. Mass conversion ceremonies have
been organised by human rights activists in modern times, emulating
Ambedkar’s Nagpur ceremony of 1956. Most Indian Buddhists specially
Navayana followers regard him as a Bodhisattva, the Maitreya, although
he never claimed it himself. Outside India, during the
late 1990s, some Hungarian Romani people drew parallels between their
own situation and that of the downtrodden people in India. Inspired by
Ambedkar, they started to convert to Buddhism.
[2:33 AM, 8/14/2018] JC: In popular culture
movies, plays, and other works have been based on the life and thoughts
of Ambedkar. Jabbar Patel directed the English-language film Dr.
Babasaheb Ambedkar in 2000 with Mammootty in the lead role. This
biopic was sponsored by the National Film Development Corporation of
India and the government’s Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
The film was released after a long and controversial gestation.
David Blundell, professor of anthropology at UCLA and historical
ethnographer, has established Arising Light – a series of films and
events that are intended to stimulate interest and knowledge about the
social conditions in India and the life of Ambedkar. In
Samvidhaan, a TV mini-series on the making of the Constitution of
India directed by Shyam Benegal, the pivotal role of B. R. Ambedkar was
played by Sachin Khedekar. The play Ambedkar Aur Gandhi, directed by
Arvind Gaur and written by Rajesh Kumar, tracks the two prominent
personalities of its title.
Bhimayana: Experiences of
Untouchability is a graphic biography of Ambedkar created by
Pardhan-Gond artists Durgabai Vyam and Subhash Vyam, and writers
Srividya Natarajan and S. Anand. The book depicts the experiences of
untouchability faced by Ambedkar from childhood to adulthood. CNN named
it one of the top 5 political comic books.
The Ambedkar Memorial at Lucknow is dedicated in his memory. The chaitya consists of monuments showing his biography.
Ambedkar Memorial at Lucknow
commemorated Ambedkar’s 124th birthday through a homepage doodle
on 14 April 2015. The doodle was featured in India, Argentina,
Chile, Ireland, Peru, Poland, Sweden and the United
Balak Ambedkar, a 1991 Kannada film directed by Basavaraj Kesthur.
Bole India Jai Bhim, 2016 Marathi film directed by Subodh Nagdeve.
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar (film), 2000 English film directed by Jabbar Patel.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (film), a 2005 Kannada film directed by Sharan Kumar Kabbur.
Yugpurush Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, 1993 Marathi film directed by Shashikant Nalavade.
Bhim Garjana, a 1990 Marathi film directed by Vijay Pawar.
Ramabai (film), a 2016 Kannada film directed by M. Ranganath.
Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar (film), a 2011 Marathi film directed by Prakash Jadhav.
A Journey of Samyak Buddha, a 2013 Hindi film based on Dr. Ambedkar’s book, The Buddha and His Dhamma and Navayana Buddhism.
Education Department, Government of Maharashtra (Mumbai) published the
collection of Ambedkar’s writings and speeches in different
Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development and 11 Other Essays
Ambedkar in the Bombay Legislature, with the Simon Commission and at the Round Table Conferences, 1927–1939
Philosophy of Hinduism; India and the Pre-requisites of Communism; Revolution and Counter-revolution; Buddha or Karl Marx
Riddles in Hinduism
Essays on Untouchables and Untouchability
The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India
The Untouchables: Who Were They? And Why They Became Untouchables (New Delhi: Amrit Book Co, )
The Annihilation of Caste (1936)
Pakistan or the Partition of India
What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables; Mr. Gandhi and the Emancipation of the Untouchables
Ambedkar as member of the Governor General’s Executive Council, 1942–46
The Buddha and his Dhamma
Unpublished Writings; Ancient Indian Commerce; Notes on laws; Waiting for a Visa ; Miscellaneous notes, etc.
Ambedkar as the principal architect of the Constitution of India
(2 parts) Dr. Ambedkar and The Hindu Code Bill
Ambedkar as Free India’s First Law Minister and Member of Opposition in Indian Parliament (1947–1956)
The Pali Grammar
and his Egalitarian Revolution – Struggle for Human Rights. Events
starting from March 1927 to 17 November 1956 in the chronological order;
Ambedkar and his Egalitarian Revolution – Socio-political and religious
activities. Events starting from November 1929 to 8 May 1956 in the
chronological order; Ambedkar and his Egalitarian Revolution – Speeches.
(Events starting from 1 January to 20 November 1956 in the
Ambedkar’s Speeches and writing in Marathi
Ambedkar’s Photo Album and Correspondence
Dalit Buddhist movement
The Greatest Indian
List of civil rights leaders
Social reformers of India
Statue of Equality
List of things named after B. R. Ambedkar
Read more: B. R. Ambedkar | Revolvy https://www.revolvy.com/page/B.-R.-Ambedkar#ixzz5O5uud7EK
Follow us: @RevolvyEarth on Twitter | RevolvyEarth on Facebook