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‘आओ अंबेडकर से प्यार करें’

15 Sep 2016
Courtsey : sabrang
प्रख्यात इतिहासकार प्रोफ़ेसर लाल बहादुर वर्मा के आलेखों का एक सिलसिला हमने पहली बार पर पिछले दिनों आरम्भ किया था। इस कड़ी में दो आलेख पहले ही प्रस्तुत किये जा चुके हैं जिसे पाठकों के बीच अपार लोकप्रियता मिली। इसी कड़ी को आगे बढाते हुए हम प्रस्तुत कर रहे हैं प्रोफ़ेसर लाल बहादुर वर्मा का यह आलेख ‘आओ अम्बेडकर से प्यार करें।’ अपने इस आलेख में लाल बहादुर जी ने सरल सहज भाषा में बाबा साहब भीमराव अम्बेडकर के जीवन संघर्ष को उकेरते हुए आज के समय में उनकी उपादेयता पर प्रकाश डाला है। तो आइए पढ़ते हैं प्रोफ़ेसर लाल बहादुर वर्मा का यह आलेख – ‘आओ अंबेडकर से प्यार करें’।
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‘आओ अंबेडकर से प्यार करें’

-हम किसे याद करते हैं?
-जिससे प्यार करते हैं?
-हम किससे प्यार करते हैं?
-जिससे अपनापन लगता है।
-हम सबसे अधिक किससे प्यार करते हैं?
-अपनी माँ से!
-क्योंकि उसने हमें जन्म दिया है, वह न होती तो हम भी नहीं होते।
-कुछ लोग धरती को, प्रकृति को, देश को भी माँ कहते हैं।
-ठीक ही है धरती, प्रकृति और भी माँ जैसे ही तो हैं। हम ही नहीं, हमारी माँ भी उन्हीं के कारण हैं।

-इस तरह तो क्या कुछ विचार माँ जैसे नहीं होते? क्या डॉ. अम्बेडकर के विचार न होते तो इस देश के दलित वैसे ही होते जैसे आज हैं? भले ही उनकी आर्थिक स्थिति न बदली हो पर क्या उनका नया जन्म नहीं हुआ है? क्या उनमें आत्म-सम्मान नहीं पैदा हुआ? क्या वे अपनी स्थिति के लिए भाग्य को जिम्मेदार मान अब चुप बैठने को तैयार हैं? क्या उनमें आजाद होने की अपनी स्थिति सुधारने की, अपनी परिस्थितियों से, अपने दुश्मनों से लड़ने की इच्छा और हिम्मत नहीं पैदा हो गई है? क्या पहले ऐसा संभव था?

-नहीं, निश्चित ही नहीं। पहले अधिकांश लोग मान कर चलते थे’ ‘करम गति टारे नहीं टरी।’ अब जो किस्मत में लिखा है वह तो होगा ही। कोई शूद्र अपनी मेहनत से कुछ कर भी लेता तो राज करने वाले लोग उसका जीना मुश्किल कर देते। कहते हैं जब राजा राम थे तो एक शूद्र ने ज्ञान प्राप्त कर लिया। पुरोहितों ने बताया कि उसे ज्ञान प्राप्त करने का हक नहीं है। उसके ज्ञान प्राप्त करने के कारण देश में अनर्थ हो रहा है और राजा राम ने उस शूद्र शम्बूक को जान से मार दिया। कौन जाने वही अपने जमाने का डॉ. अम्बेडकर हो जाता।

दलित ही खेती करते, घर और सड़क बनाते, मेहनत वाले सारे काम करते, पर वह समाज में सबसे नीचे रहते-यहां तक कि अछूत माने जाते। उनका कोई सम्मान नहीं होता था। वह दूसरों के सामने बैठ भी नहीं सकते थे। उनकी छाया से भी बचा जाता। अछूत औरतों से बलात्कार तो होता था - भला बिना छुए बलात्कार कैसे होता होगा। पर राज करने वाले इसी तरह का पाखंड करते ही रहते हैं।

यह सिलसिला हजारों साल तक चलता रहा। फिर आज से डेढ़ सौ साल पहले हुए ज्योतिबा फुले। उन्होंने लिखा कि दलितों की ‘गुलाम गिरी’ नहीं चल सकती। फिर हुए डॉ. अम्बेडकर उन्होंने शम्बूक की ही तरह अध्ययन किया। दुनिया बदल गई थी इसलिए उन्हें मारा नहीं जा सका। और उन्होंने इतना पढ़ा-लिखा जितना कम ही सवर्ण भी कर पाये हैं। उन्होंने जाति व्यवस्था को ही इस देश की मुख्य बुराई बताया और उसे उखाड़ने में जुट गए। उन्होंने दलितों को बताया कि उनकी दुर्दशा का कारण भाग्य नहीं इस देश की सामाजिक व्यवस्था है। उन्होंने दलितों को एक नई पहचान और एक तरह का नवजीवन दिया।

वह पूरे दलित समुदाय की सुयोग्य और जिम्मेदार माँ जैसे थे। फिर तो उनके प्रति प्यार उमड़ना चाहिए। पर देखा क्या जा रहा है ? उनसे प्यार करने के बजाय उनकी पूजा की जा रही है - जहां भी संभव हो उनकी जैसी एक मूर्ति लगा दी। उन्हें दुनिया के सबसे बड़े लोकतंत्र के संविधान निर्माता की तरह स्थापित कर खुद भी थोड़ा गौरवान्वित हो लिए और 14 अप्रैल को उनकी मूर्ति पर फूल चढ़ा दिया। क्या यह काफी है?

असल में जिसकी हम पूजा करते हैं उसे अपने से बहुत बड़ा मानते हैं। मान कर चलते हैं कि हम तो उन जैसे बन नहीं सकते, जबकि जिससे हम प्यार करते हैं वह हमारे जैसा ही होता है। हम भी उस जैसा कर सकते हैं। पूजा हमें निर्भर बनाती है, जबकि प्यार जिम्मेदार और आत्मनिर्भर बनाता है।

भीमराव का जन्म म्हार परिवार में इन्दौर के पास स्थित सैनिक छावनी (महू) में हुआ था। वहां उनके कबीरपंथी पिता रामजी सकपाल सूबेदार थे। म्हार महाराष्ट्र में सबसे बड़ी अछूत जाति थी और भारत में ब्रिटिश राज न होता तो उन्हें फौज में नौकरी करने और अपने बच्चों को पढ़ाने का कभी मौका नहीं मिलता। दलित लोग अकारण ही ब्रिटिश राज के प्रति कृतज्ञता नहीं प्रकट करते।

भीम राव अम्बेडकर


उन्नीसवीं सदी में म्हारों ने हिन्दू धर्म के अंतर्गत रहते हुए भी अपने उत्थान के लिए कई प्रयास किए थे। कबीर पंथ स्वीकारना भी एक ऐसा ही प्रयास था। पर म्हारों के प्रति सवर्णों का नजरिया बदल नहीं रहा था। बालक भीमराव को प्रतिभा के बावजूद बार-बार अपमानित होना पड़ता था। बहरहाल, वह विख्यत एलफिंस्टन कॉलेज से स्नातक होने के बाद बड़ौदा के शासक की सहायता से अमरीका और इंग्लैंड से कानून की सर्वोच्च डिग्रियां प्राप्त कर सके। वह लगातार कानून, राजनीतिविज्ञान, समाज विज्ञान और दर्शन का अध्ययन करते रहें और भारत ही नहीं पश्चिम के विचारकों की मदद लेते हुए अपनी सुधारक की भूमिका की बौद्धिक तैयारी करते रहे।

26 साल की उम्र में उन्होंने ब्रिटिश सरकार के सामने शिकायत रखी कि भारतीय समाज का सबसे बड़ा विभाजन है अछूत और गैर-अछूत के बीच और अछूत की समज में गुलाम जैसी स्थिति है। पर समाज ऐसा बना दिया गया है कि शूद्र कभी शिकायत भी नहीं कर सकता।

उन्होंने ‘मूक नायक’ नाम से एक पत्रिका शुरू की ताकि जनता तक बातें पहुंचे और वह अपनी जबान खोलने की हिम्मत जुटा पाएं। कुछ दिनों बाद उन्होंने ‘बहिष्कृत भारत’ नाम से एक पाक्षिक शुरू किया पर ये प्रयास बहुत दिनों तक नहीं चल पाए।

वह सामाजिक नेता के रूप में महाड़ सत्याग्रह के बाद स्थापित हुए। वह ‘पहला अछूत मुक्ति आंदोलन’ कहा जा सकता है। आंदोलन एक सार्वजनिक तलाब से पानी भरने के अछूतों के अधिकार से शुरू हुआ था। आंदोलन असफल हो गया पर अम्बेडकर अछूतों को जगाने में सफल हो गए। मनुस्मृति वह ग्रन्थ है, जिसने हिन्दू समाज को पूरी तरह बांट कर दलितों और नारियों को पशु से भी नीचे का दर्जा दिया है। आज भी वह ब्राह्मणवाद का मानसिक आधार है। दलितों का हौसला इतना बढ़ गया कि उन्होंने मनुस्मृति को कई जगह जला कर विरोध प्रकट किया।

इस बढ़ती जागृति से उस समय देश की आजादी का नेतृत्व करने वाली पार्टी कांग्रेस ने अछूत-प्रथा के अन्त की बात तो मान ली पर इन जातियों को कोई विशेष अधिकार देने को तैयार नहीं हुई। भारत की आजादी के सवाल को ले कर लंदन में भारत के प्रतिनिधियों के साथ ब्रिटिश सरकार ने ‘राउण्ड टेबल’ बैठकें कीं। उसमें अम्बेडकर ने स्पष्ट कह दिया कि दलित वार्गों को राजनीतिक कारणों से हिन्दू कहा जाता है पर उन्हें हिन्दू माना नहीं जाता। इसलिए उन्हें हिन्दुओं से अलग दर्जा मिलना चाहिए। अंग्रेज सरकार ने यह बात मान ली तो गांधी जी ने आमरण आनशन शुरू कर दिया कि वह जीते जी हिन्दू समाज को टूटने नहीं देंगे। वह दलितों को ‘हरिजन’ कहते थे पर पारम्परिक वर्णाश्रम धर्म में विश्वास बनाए हुए थे। वह तो भंगियों को भी अपने काम को पवित्र समझ कर करते जाने को कहते थे। इसलिए दलित उन पर उस तरह विश्वास नहीं करते जैसे अम्बेडकर पर। लेकिन गांधी जी इतने बड़े नेता बन गए थे कि अम्बेडकर को झुकना पड़ा और दलितों को हिन्दुओं से अलग करने की माँग छोड़नी पड़ी।

अम्बेडकर बहुत दुखी हुए इस समझौते से और लगातार सोचने लगे कि दलितों को हिन्दू धर्म की घुटन से बाहर आना चाहिए। उनके अनुसार मनुष्य को किसी न किसी प्रकार के धर्म की तो जरूरत हो सकती है, पर वह सिद्धांतों वाला धर्म होना चाहिए-कर्मकाण्डों वाला नहीं। लगातार सोचने के बाद उन्होंने बौद्ध धर्म को स्वीकारा और अपने लाखों अनुयायियों के साथ नागपुर में बौद्ध हो गए, क्योंकि उन्हें बौद्ध धर्म सबसे अधिक तर्कसंगत और आडंबरहीन लगा। उसी में दुख का कारण ढूंढ़ कर उसके निवारण की बात थी।

दलितों को राजनैतिक रूप से संगठित करने के लिए उन्होंने एक पार्टी भी बनाई जो एक तरह से किसान-मजूदर पार्टी थी, जिसका नाम झंडा कम्युनिस्टों के झन्डे की तरह लाल था। इस ‘इंडिपेंडेंट रिपब्लिक’ का नाम और स्वरूप बदलता गया और अंत में वह रिपब्लिकन पार्टी कहलाई।

भारत की संविधान सभा में अम्बेडकर इसी उद्देश्य से शामिल हुए थे कि आजाद हिन्दुस्तान के लिए बनने वाले संविधान में दलितों के हित की रक्षा हो सके। हालांकि उन्हें संविधान की मसविदा सममित का अध्यक्ष बना दिया गया था और इसीलिए उन्हें भारत का संविधान निर्माता कहते हैं पर वह तो इस संविधान से सबसे अधिक असंतुष्ट थे और यहां तक कह दिया था कि अगर इसे जल्दी ही बदला नहीं गया तो वह निरर्थक हो जाएगा।

भारत को गांधी जी ग्राम प्रधान देश कहते थे। कवि लोग गाते थे ‘भारत माता ग्रामवासिनी।’ पर अम्बेडकर ने देखा कि गांव में ही सामाजिक गैर बराबरी और जकड़ सबसे अधिक मजबूत है। गांव में दलित रोज-रोज अपमानित होता है। इसलिए उन्होंने दलितों को गांव छोड़ने का आह्नान किया। शहरों में मलिन बस्तियों में रोज-रोज अनगिनत कठिनाइयां झेलते हुए भी दलित अपने गांव की अपेक्षा कम अपमानित महसूस करते हैं।

बहरहाल, अम्बेडकर की वास्तविक उपलब्धि भारत का संविधान नहीं दलितों में पैदा हुआ आत्म-सम्मान है। उन्होंने ‘शूद्र कौन थे’- लिख कर जाति-व्यवस्था की पोल खोल दी और ‘जाति व्यवस्था का अंत’ लिख कर स्पष्ट कर दिया कि जाति व्यवस्था का खात्मा हुए बिना न केवल दलितों का बल्कि सारे भरतीय समाज का कल्याण नहीं हो सकता।

इस देश में सबसे पिछड़ा समझे जाने वाले दलितों ने सबसे पहले सारे मानव समाज को सामने रखा था। ज्योतिबा फुले ने दलितों की गुलामगिरी के विरुद्ध जब आवाज उठाई थी तो उन्होंने दूर-दराज अमरीका के काले लोगों के नस्लवाद विरोधी संघर्ष से अपने को जोड़ा था। उनके लिए अमरीका के अफ्रीकी मूल के काले लोगों का श्वेत शासकों के विरुद्ध संघर्ष उनके लिए प्रेरणा का स्रोत था। वास्तव में दुनिया में दो ही तरह के लोग हैं- एक वे जो अपनी कमाई से किसी तरह जी पाते हैं और दूसरे वे जो दूसरों की कमाई पर मौज करते हैं। बीच में एक भारी मध्य वर्ग है, जो ऊपर वालों की तरह बनने के लिए उन्हीं के हथकन्डे अपनाता है और दलितों के विरुद्ध खड़ा होने में तनिक नहीं हिचकता। उन्हें भी अम्बेडकर से मुक्ति संदेश मिल सकता है।

अम्बेडकर ने उसी तरह समस्या का विश्लेषण किया था जैसे मार्क्स ने पूंजी का। दोनों का उद्देश्य था कि दुनिया बदले और मेहनत करने वालों को उनका हक मिले और वे सारे आनंद पा सकें, जो इस दुनिया में ही मिल सकते हैं और जिसकी मेहनत करने वाले लोग ही नींव रखते हैं। दोनों, सबसे दुखी और अपमानित लोगों की विशेष रूप से बात करते थे पर उनका मतलब यह था कि यह पूरी दुनिया बदले ताकि अन्याय की जड़ ही खत्म हो जाए। पर दोनों के अनुयायियों की सोच छोटी होती गई और नतीजा यह निकला कि सभी बड़ी-बड़ी बाते करते हुए छोटे-छोटे तात्कालिक लोभों के चक्कर में फंसते गए।

आज जरूरत यही है अम्बेडकर को सारे विश्व के दलितों और सारे समाज के नेता के रूप में देखा जाए और सारी दुनिया को बदलने के काम में जुटा जाय-तभी दलित की दुनिया भी बदलेगी।

आज लगता है कि अम्बेडकर सभी पार्टियों के लाडले हो गए हैं, क्योंकि सबको लगता है कि अम्बेडकर के अनुयायी जितने संगठित और चुनाव के समय जितने मददगार हो सकते हैं, उतना और कोई समुदाय नहीं। इससे अम्बेडकर का प्रभाव तो चिन्हित होता है, इसी से अम्बेडकर के अनुयायियों की परिपक्वता की भी परख हो सकेगी। उन्हें भी अपनी संकीर्णताओं और तात्कालिक लाभ के लोभ से ऊपर उठ कर पूरे भारतीय समाज के रूपांतरण की अगुआई करनी होगी।


अम्बेडकर से प्यार करने का मतलब

1. हीन भाव से पूरी तरह मुक्त होना, इसलिए अपने को किसी से कम न समझना।

2. अपने को ही नहीं, दूसरों को भी, औरतों और बच्चों को भी, सबके बराबर समझना।

3. न अत्याचार सहना, न अत्याचार करना - न घर में न बाहर में।

4. अपने को लगातार पहले से बेहतर बनाते जाने की कोशिश करते रहना। जैसा कि अम्बेडकर ने किया था।

5. यह मान कर चलना कि मिलजुल कर रहने और संघर्ष करने से ही दुनिया बेहतर होगी।

6. जैसे जीने की लड़ाई रोज-रोज लड़नी पड़ती है, वैसे ही अपनी जिन्दगी और दुनिया को बदलने की लड़ाई रोज-रोज लड़नी पड़ेगी।

7. जो अम्बेडकर कर सकते थे, हम भी कर सकते हैं - उनसे भी आगे जाने की कोशिश करें।



Sir, looking back on the work of the Constituent Assembly it will now be two years, eleven months and seventeen days since it first met on the 9th of December 1946. During this period the Constituent Assembly has altogether held eleven sessions. Out of these eleven sessions the first six were spent in passing the Objectives Resolution and the consideration of the Reports of Committees on Fundamental Rights, on Union Constitution, on Union Powers, on Provincial Constitution, on Minorities and on the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes. The seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth and the eleventh sessions were devoted to the consideration of the Draft Constitution. These eleven sessions of the Constituent Assembly have consumed 165 days. Out of these, the Assembly spent 114 days for the consideration of the Draft Constitution.

Coming to the Drafting Committee, it was elected by the Constituent Assembly on 29th August 1947. It held its first meeting on 30th August. Since August 30th it sat for 141 days during which it was engaged in the preparation of the Draft Constitution. The Draft Constitution as prepared by the Constitutional Adviser as a text for the Draft Committee to work upon, consisted of 243 articles and 13 Schedules. The first Draft Constitution as presented by the Drafting Committee to the Constituent Assembly contained 315 articles and 8 Schedules. At the end of the consideration stage, the number of articles in the Draft Constitution increased to 386. In its final form, the Draft Constitution contains 395 articles and 8 Schedules. The total number of amendments to the Draft Constitution tabled was approximately 7,635. Of them, the total number of amendments actually moved in the House were 2,473.

I mention these facts because at one stage it was being said that the Assembly had taken too long a time to finish its work, that it was going on leisurely and wasting public money. It was said to be a case of Nero fiddling while Rome was burning. Is there any justification for this complaint? Let us note the time consumed by Constituent Assemblies in other countries appointed for framing their Constitutions. To take a few illustrations, the American Convention met on May 25th, 1787 and completed its work on September 17, 1787 i.e., within four months. The Constitutional Convention of Canada met on the 10th October 1864 and the Constitution was passed into law in March 1867 involving a period of two years and five months. The Australian Constitutional Convention assembled in March 1891 and the Constitution became law on the 9th July 1900, consuming a period of nine years. The South African Convention met in October, 1908 and the Constitution became law on the 20th September 1909 involving one year's labour. It is true that we have taken more time than what the American or South African Conventions did. But we have not taken more time than the Canadian Convention and much less than the Australian Convention. In making comparisons on the basis of time consumed, two things must be remembered. One is that the Constitutions of America, Canada, South Africa and Australia are much smaller than ours. Our Constitution as I said contains 395 articles while the American has just seven articles, the first four of which are divided into sections which total up to 21, the Canadian has 147, Australian 128 and South African 153 sections. The second thing to be remembered is that the makers of the Constitutions of America, Canada, Australia and South Africa did not have to face the problem of amendments. They were passed as moved. On the other hand, this Constituent Assembly had to deal with as many as 2,473 amendments. Having regard to these facts the charge of dilatoriness seems to me quite unfounded and this Assembly may well congratulate itself for having accomplished so formidable a task in so short a time. 

Turning to the quality of the work done by the Drafting Committee, Mr. Naziruddin Ahmed felt it his duty to condemn it outright. In his opinion, the work done by the Drafting Committee is not only not worthy of commendation, but is positively below par. Everybody has a right to have his opinion about the work done by the Drafting Committee and Mr. Naziruddin is welcome to have his own. Mr. Naziruddin Ahmed thinks he is a man of greater talents than any member of the Drafting Committee. The Drafting Committee would have welcomed him in their midst if the Assembly had thought him worthy of being appointed to it. If he had no place in the making of the Constitution it is certainly not the fault of the Drafting Committee. 

Mr. Naziruddin Ahmed has coined a new name for the Drafting Committee evidently to show his contempt for it. He calls it a Drifting committee. Mr. Naziruddin must no doubt be pleased with his hit. But he evidently does not know that there is a difference between drift without mastery and drift with mastery. If the Drafting Committee was drifting, it was never without mastery over the situation. It was not merely angling with the off chance of catching a fish. It was searching in known waters to find the fish it was after. To be in search of something better is not the same as drifting. Although Mr. Naziruddin Ahmed did not mean it as a compliment to the Drafting committee. I take it as a compliment to the Drafting Committee. The Drafting Committee would have been guilty of gross dereliction of duty and of a false sense of dignity if it had not shown the honesty and the courage to withdraw the amendments which it thought faulty and substitute what it thought was better. If it is a mistake, I am glad the Drafting Committee did not fight shy of admitting such mistakes and coming forward to correct them. 

I am glad to find that with the exception of a solitary member, there is a general consensus of appreciation from the members of the Constituent Assembly of the work done by the Drafting Committee. I am sure the Drafting Committee feels happy to find this spontaneous recognition of its labours expressed in such generous terms. As to the compliments that have been showered upon me both by the members of the Assembly as well as by my colleagues of the Drafting Committee I feel so overwhelmed that I cannot find adequate words to express fully my gratitude to them. I came into the Constituent Assembly with no greater aspiration than to safeguard the interests of the Scheduled Castes. I had not the remotest idea that I would be called upon to undertake more responsible functions. I was therefore greatly surprised when the Assembly elected me to the Drafting Committee. I was more than surprised when the Drafting Committee elected me to be its Chairman. There were in the Drafting Committee men bigger, better and more competent than myself such as my friend Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar. I am grateful to the Constituent Assembly and the Drafting Committee for reposing in me so much trust and confidence and to have chosen me as their instrument and given me this opportunity of serving the country. (Cheers) 


The credit that is given to me does not really belong to me. It belongs partly to Sir B.N. Rau, the Constitutional Adviser to the Constituent Assembly who prepared a rough draft of the Constitution for the consideration of the Drafting Committee. A part of the credit must go to the members of the Drafting Committee who, as I have said, have sat for 141 days and without whose ingenuity of devise new formulae and capacity to tolerate and to accommodate different points of view, the task of framing the Constitution could not have come to so successful a conclusion. Much greater, share of the credit must go to Mr. S.N. Mukherjee, the Chief Draftsman of the Constitution. His ability to put the most intricate proposals in the simplest and clearest legal form can rarely be equalled, nor his capacity for hard work. He has been an acquisition to the Assembly. Without his help, this Assembly would have taken many more years to finalise the Constitution. I must not omit to mention the members of the staff working under Mr. Mukherjee. For, I know how hard they have worked and how long they have toiled sometimes even beyond midnight. I want to thank them all for their effort and their co-operation.(Cheers) 


The task of the Drafting Committee would have been a very difficult one if this Constituent Assembly has been merely a motley crowd, a tessellated pavement without cement, a black stone here and a white stone there is which each member or each group was a law unto itself. There would have been nothing but chaos. This possibility of chaos was reduced to nil by the existence of the Congress Party inside the Assembly which brought into its proceedings a sense of order and discipline. It is because of the discipline of the Congress Party that the Drafting Committee was able to pilot the Constitution in the Assembly with the sure knowledge as to the fate of each article and each amendment. The Congress Party is, therefore, entitled to all the credit for the smooth sailing of the Draft Constitution in the Assembly. 


The proceedings of this Constituent Assembly would have been very dull if all members had yielded to the rule of party discipline. Party discipline, in all its rigidity, would have converted this Assembly into a gathering of yes' men. Fortunately, there were rebels. They were Mr. Kamath, Dr. P.S. Deshmukh, Mr. Sidhva, Prof. K.T. Shah and Pandit Hirday Nath Kunzru. The points they raised were mostly ideological. That I was not prepared to accept their suggestions, does not diminish the value of their suggestions nor lessen the service they have rendered to the Assembly in enlivening its proceedings. I am grateful to them. But for them, I would not have had the opportunity which I got for expounding the principles underlying the Constitution which was more important than the mere mechanical work of passing the Constitution. 


Finally, I must thank you Mr. President for the way in which you have conducted the proceedings of this Assembly. The courtesy and the consideration which you have shown to the Members of the Assembly can never be forgotten by those who have taken part in the proceedings of this Assembly. There were occasions when the amendments of the Drafting Committee were sought to be barred on grounds purely technical in their nature. Those were very anxious moments for me. I am, therefore, specially grateful to you for not permitting legalism to defeat the work of Constitution-making. 


As much defence as could be offered to the constitution has been offered by my friends Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar and Mr. T.T. Krishnamachari. I shall not therefore enter into the merits of the Constitution. Because I feel, however good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are called to work it, happen to be a bad lot. However bad a Constitution may be, it may turn out to be good if those who are called to work it, happen to be a good lot. The working of a Constitution does not depend wholly upon the nature of the Constitution. The Constitution can provide only the organs of State such as the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. The factors on which the working of those organs of the State depend are the people and the political parties they will set up as their instruments to carry out their wishes and their politics. Who can say how the people of India and their purposes or will they prefer revolutionary methods of achieving them? If they adopt the revolutionary methods, however good the Constitution may be, it requires no prophet to say that it will fail. It is, therefore, futile to pass any judgement upon the Constitution without reference to the part which the people and their parties are likely to play. 


The condemnation of the Constitution largely comes from two quarters, the Communist Party and the Socialist Party. Why do they condemn the Constitution? Is it because it is really a bad Constitution? I venture to say no'. The Communist Party want a Constitution based upon the principle of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. They condemn the Constitution because it is based upon parliamentary democracy. The Socialists want two things. The first thing they want is that if they come in power, the Constitution must give them the freedom to nationalize or socialize all private property without payment of compensation. The second thing that the Socialists want is that the Fundamental Rights mentioned in the Constitution must be absolute and without any limitations so that if their Party fails to come into power, they would have the unfettered freedom not merely to criticize, but also to overthrow the State. 


These are the main grounds on which the Constitution is being condemned. I do not say that the principle of parliamentary democracy is the only ideal form of political democracy. I do not say that the principle of no acquisition of private property without compensation is so sacrosanct that there can be no departure from it. I do not say that Fundamental Rights can never be absolute and the limitations set upon them can never be lifted. What I do say is that the principles embodied in the Constitution are the views of the present generation or if you think this to be an over-statement, I say they are the views of the members of the Constituent Assembly. Why blame the Drafting Committee for embodying them in the Constitution? I say why blame even the Members of the Constituent Assembly? Jefferson, the great American statesman who played so great a part in the making of the American constitution, has expressed some very weighty views which makers of Constitution, can never afford to ignore. In one place he has said:- 


"We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of the majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country." 


In another place, he has said : 


"The idea that institutions established for the use of the nation cannot be touched or modified, even to make them answer their end, because of rights gratuitously supposed in those employed to manage them in the trust for the public, may perhaps be a salutary provision against the abuses of a monarch, but is most absurd against the nation itself. Yet our lawyers and priests generally inculcate this doctrine, and suppose that preceding generations held the earth more freely than we do; had a right to impose laws on us, unalterable by ourselves, and that we, in the like manner, can make laws and impose burdens on future generations, which they will have no right to alter; in fine, that the earth belongs to the dead and not the living;" 


I admit that what Jefferson has said is not merely true, but is absolutely true. There can be no question about it. Had the Constituent Assembly departed from this principle laid down by Jefferson it would certainly be liable to blame, even to condemnation. But I ask, has it? Quite the contrary. One has only to examine the provision relating to the amendment of the Constitution. The Assembly has not only refrained from putting a seal of finality and infallibility upon this Constitution as in Canada or by making the amendment of the Constitution subject to the fulfilment of extraordinary terms and conditions as in America or Australia, but has provided a most facile procedure for amending the Constitution. I challenge any of the critics of the Constitution to prove that any Constituent Assembly anywhere in the world has, in the circumstances in which this country finds itself, provided such a facile procedure for the amendment of the Constitution. If those who are dissatisfied with the Constitution have only to obtain a 2/3 majority and if they cannot obtain even a two-thirds majority in the parliament elected on adult franchise in their favour, their dissatisfaction with the Constitution cannot be deemed to be shared by the general public. 


There is only one point of constitutional import to which I propose to make a reference. A serious complaint is made on the ground that there is too much of centralization and that the States have been reduced to Municipalities. It is clear that this view is not only an exaggeration, but is also founded on a misunderstanding of what exactly the Constitution contrives to do. As to the relation between the Centre and the States, it is necessary to bear in mind the fundamental principle on which it rests. The basic principle of Federalism is that the Legislative and Executive authority is partitioned between the Centre and the States not by any law to be made by the Centre but by the Constitution itself. This is what Constitution does. The States under our Constitution are in no way dependent upon the Centre for their legislative or executive authority. The Centre and the States are co-equal in this matter. It is difficult to see how such a Constitution can be called centralism. It may be that the Constitution assigns to the Centre too large a field for the operation of its legislative and executive authority than is to be found in any other federal Constitution. It may be that the residuary powers are given to the Centre and not to the States. But these features do not form the essence of federalism. The chief mark of federalism as I said lies in the partition of the legislative and executive authority between the Centre and the Units by the Constitution. This is the principle embodied in our constitution. There can be no mistake about it. It is, therefore, wrong to say that the States have been placed under the Centre. Centre cannot by its own will alter the boundary of that partition. Nor can the Judiciary. For as has been well said: 


"Courts may modify, they cannot replace. They can revise earlier interpretations as new arguments, new points of view are presented, they can shift the dividing line in marginal cases, but there are barriers they cannot pass, definite assignments of power they cannot reallocate. They can give a broadening construction of existing powers, but they cannot assign to one authority powers explicitly granted to another." 


The first charge of centralization defeating federalism must therefore fall. 


The second charge is that the Centre has been given the power to override the States. This charge must be admitted. But before condemning the Constitution for containing such overriding powers, certain considerations must be borne in mind. The first is that these overriding powers do not form the normal feature of the constitution. Their use and operation are expressly confined to emergencies only. The second consideration is: Could we avoid giving overriding powers to the Centre when an emergency has arisen? Those who do not admit the justification for such overriding powers to the Centre even in an emergency, do not seem to have a clear idea of the problem which lies at the root of the matter. The problem is so clearly set out by a writer in that well-known magazine "The Round Table" in its issue of December 1935 that I offer no apology for quoting the following extract from it. Says the writer : 


"Political systems are a complex of rights and duties resting ultimately on the question, to whom, or to what authority, does the citizen owe allegiance. In normal affairs the question is not present, for the law works smoothly, and a man, goes about his business obeying one authority in this set of matters and another authority in that. But in a moment of crisis, a conflict of claims may arise, and it is then apparent that ultimate allegiance cannot be divided. The issue of allegiance cannot be determined in the last resort by a juristic interpretation of statutes. The law must conform to the facts or so much the worse for the law. When all formalism is stripped away, the bare question is, what authority commands the residual loyalty of the citizen. Is it the Centre or the Constituent State ?" 


The solution of this problem depends upon one's answer to this question which is the crux of the problem. There can be no doubt that in the opinion of the vast majority of the people, the residual loyalty of the citizen in an emergency must be to the Centre and not to the Constituent States. For it is only the Centre which can work for a common end and for the general interests of the country as a whole. Herein lies the justification for giving to all Centre certain overriding powers to be used in an emergency. And after all what is the obligation imposed upon the Constituent States by these emergency powers? No more than this – that in an emergency, they should take into consideration alongside their own local interests, the opinions and interests of the nation as a whole. Only those who have not understood the problem, can complain against it. 


Here I could have ended. But my mind is so full of the future of our country that I feel I ought to take this occasion to give expression to some of my reflections thereon. On 26th January 1950, India will be an independent country (Cheers). What would happen to her independence? Will she maintain her independence or will she lose it again? This is the first thought that comes to my mind. It is not that India was never an independent country. The point is that she once lost the independence she had. Will she lose it a second time? It is this thought which makes me most anxious for the future. What perturbs me greatly is the fact that not only India has once before lost her independence, but she lost it by the infidelity and treachery of some of her own people. In the invasion of Sind by Mahommed-Bin-Kasim, the military commanders of King Dahar accepted bribes from the agents of Mahommed-Bin-Kasim and refused to fight on the side of their King. It was Jaichand who invited Mahommed Gohri to invade India and fight against Prithvi Raj and promised him the help of himself and the Solanki Kings. When Shivaji was fighting for the liberation of Hindus, the other Maratha noblemen and the Rajput Kings were fighting the battle on the side of Moghul Emperors. When the British were trying to destroy the Sikh Rulers, Gulab Singh, their principal commander sat silent and did not help to save the Sikh Kingdom. In 1857, when a large part of India had declared a war of independence against the British, the Sikhs stood and watched the event as silent spectators. 


Will history repeat itself? It is this thought which fills me with anxiety. This anxiety is deepened by the realization of the fact that in addition to our old enemies in the form of castes and creeds we are going to have many political parties with diverse and opposing political creeds. Will Indians place the country above their creed or will they place creed above country? I do not know. But this much is certain that if the parties place creed above country, our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost for ever. This eventuality we must all resolutely guard against. We must be determined to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood.(Cheers) 


On the 26th of January 1950, India would be a democratic country in the sense that India from that day would have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The same thought comes to my mind. What would happen to her democratic Constitution? Will she be able to maintain it or will she lose it again. This is the second thought that comes to my mind and makes me as anxious as the first. 


It is not that India did not know what is Democracy. There was a time when India was studded with republics, and even where there were monarchies, they were either elected or limited. They were never absolute. It is not that India did not know Parliaments or Parliamentary Procedure. A study of the Buddhist Bhikshu Sanghas discloses that not only there were Parliaments-for the Sanghas were nothing but Parliaments – but the Sanghas knew and observed all the rules of Parliamentary Procedure known to modern times. They had rules regarding seating arrangements, rules regarding Motions, Resolutions, Quorum, Whip, Counting of Votes, Voting by Ballot, Censure Motion, Regularization, Res Judicata, etc. Although these rules of Parliamentary Procedure were applied by the Buddha to the meetings of the Sanghas, he must have borrowed them from the rules of the Political Assemblies functioning in the country in his time. 


This democratic system India lost. Will she lose it a second time? I do not know. But it is quite possible in a country like India – where democracy from its long disuse must be regarded as something quite new – there is danger of democracy giving place to dictatorship. It is quite possible for this new born democracy to retain its form but give place to dictatorship in fact. If there is a landslide, the danger of the second possibility becoming actuality is much greater. 


If we wish to maintain democracy not merely in form, but also in fact, what must we do? The first thing in my judgement we must do is to hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives. It means we must abandon the bloody methods of revolution. It means that we must abandon the method of civil disobedience, non-cooperation and satyagraha. When there was no way left for constitutional methods for achieving economic and social objectives, there was a great deal of justification for unconstitutional methods. But where constitutional methods are open, there can be no justification for these unconstitutional methods. These methods are nothing but the Grammar of Anarchy and the sooner they are abandoned, the better for us. 


The second thing we must do is to observe the caution which John Stuart Mill has given to all who are interested in the maintenance of democracy, namely, not "to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him with power which enable him to subvert their institutions". There is nothing wrong in being grateful to great men who have rendered life-long services to the country. But there are limits to gratefulness. As has been well said by the Irish Patriot Daniel O'Connel, no man can be grateful at the cost of his honour, no woman can be grateful at the cost of her chastity and no nation can be grateful at the cost of its liberty. This caution is far more necessary in the case of India than in the case of any other country. For in India, Bhakti or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship, plays a part in its politics unequalled in magnitude by the part it plays in the politics of any other country in the world. Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship. 


The third thing we must do is not to be content with mere political democracy. We must make our political democracy a social democracy as well. Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy. What does social democracy mean? It means a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life. These principles of liberty, equality and fraternity are not to be treated as separate items in a trinity. They form a union of trinity in the sense that to divorce one from the other is to defeat the very purpose of democracy. Liberty cannot be divorced from equality, equality cannot be divorced from liberty. Nor can liberty and equality be divorced from fraternity. Without equality, liberty would produce the supremacy of the few over the many. Equality without liberty would kill individual initiative. Without fraternity, liberty and equality could not become a natural course of things. It would require a constable to enforce them. We must begin by acknowledging the fact that there is complete absence of two things in Indian Society. One of these is equality. On the social plane, we have in India a society based on the principle of graded inequality which we have a society in which there are some who have immense wealth as against many who live in abject poverty. On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up. 


The second thing we are wanting in is recognition of the principle of fraternity. what does fraternity mean? Fraternity means a sense of common brotherhood of all Indians-if Indians being one people. It is the principle which gives unity and solidarity to social life. It is a difficult thing to achieve. How difficult it is, can be realized from the story related by James Bryce in his volume on American Commonwealth about the United States of America. 


The story is- I propose to recount it in the words of Bryce himself- that- 


"Some years ago the American Protestant Episcopal Church was occupied at its triennial Convention in revising its liturgy. It was thought desirable to introduce among the short sentence prayers a prayer for the whole people, and an eminent New England divine proposed the words 'O Lord, bless our nation'. Accepted one afternoon, on the spur of the moment, the sentence was brought up next day for reconsideration, when so many objections were raised by the laity to the word 'nation' as importing too definite a recognition of national unity, that it was dropped, and instead there were adopted the words 'O Lord, bless these United States." 


There was so little solidarity in the U.S.A. at the time when this incident occurred that the people of America did not think that they were a nation. If the people of the United States could not feel that they were a nation, how difficult it is for Indians to think that they are a nation. I remember the days when politically-minded Indians, resented the expression "the people of India". They preferred the expression "the Indian nation." I am of opinion that in believing that we are a nation, we are cherishing a great delusion. How can people divided into several thousands of castes be a nation? The sooner we realize that we are not as yet a nation in the social and psychological sense of the world, the better for us. For then only we shall realize the necessity of becoming a nation and seriously think of ways and means of realizing the goal. The realization of this goal is going to be very difficult – far more difficult than it has been in the United States. The United States has no caste problem. In India there are castes. The castes are anti-national. In the first place because they bring about separation in social life. They are anti-national also because they generate jealousy and antipathy between caste and caste. But we must overcome all these difficulties if we wish to become a nation in reality. For fraternity can be a fact only when there is a nation. Without fraternity, equality and liberty will be no deeper than coats of paint. 


These are my reflections about the tasks that lie ahead of us. They may not be very pleasant to some. But there can be no gainsaying that political power in this country has too long been the monopoly of a few and the many are only beasts of burden, but also beasts of prey. This monopoly has not merely deprived them of their chance of betterment, it has sapped them of what may be called the significance of life. These down-trodden classes are tired of being governed. They are impatient to govern themselves. This urge for self-realization in the down-trodden classes must not be allowed to devolve into a class struggle or class war. It would lead to a division of the House. That would indeed be a day of disaster. For, as has been well said by Abraham Lincoln, a House divided against itself cannot stand very long. Therefore, the sooner room is made for the realization of their aspiration, the better for the few, the better for the country, the better for the maintenance for its independence and the better for the continuance of its democratic structure. This can only be done by the establishment of equality and fraternity in all spheres of life. That is why I have laid so much stresses on them. 


I do not wish to weary the House any further. Independence is no doubt a matter of joy. But let us not forget that this independence has thrown on us great responsibilities. By independence, we have lost the excuse of blaming the British for anything going wrong. If hereafter things go wrong, we will have nobody to blame except ourselves. There is great danger of things going wrong. Times are fast changing. People including our own are being moved by new ideologies. They are getting tired of Government by the people. They are prepared to have Governments for the people and are indifferent whether it is Government of the people and by the people. If we wish to preserve the Constitution in which we have sought to enshrine the principle of Government of the people, for the people and by the people, let us resolve not to be tardy in the recognition of the evils that lie across our path and which induce people to prefer Government for the people to Government by the people, nor to be weak in our initiative to remove them. That is the only way to serve the country. I know of no better. 


[From Constituent Assembly Debates here

Ambedkar (disambiguation)

Wikipedia from the free encyclopedia

Bhimrao Ambedkar was an Indian polytheist , philosopher, social reformer andthe creator of the Indian Constitution of the2 0th century.


Ambedkar or Ambedkar is used in the following sense - 
Ambedkar Nagar District
Ambedkar Nagar, Phalodi
Ambedkar University, Delhi
Ambedkar Stadium
Ambedkar Jayanti
Ambedkar Udyan, Lucknow
Dr. Ambedkar International Award
Dr. Ambedkar National Award
Dr. Ambedkar Nagar (Mhow)
Ambedkarism


Bhimrao ambedkar

Free Knowledge from Wikipedia 

Bodhisattva
Babasaheb 

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar 

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar 




In 1939, Bhimrao Ambedkar 

First Law and Justice Minister of India 

Retirement of the post 15 August 1947 - September 1951 

President 

Rajendra Prasad 


Prime minister 

Jawahar Lal Nehru 


Pre-eminent 

Post office 


Successor 

Charu Chandra Biswar 



President of the Draft Committee of the Indian Constituent Assembly


Post retirement

29 August 1947 - 24 January 1950 

Labor Minister, Viceroy's Council of Labor

Post reinstated

July 1942 - 1946 


Pre-eminent 

Feroz Khan Noon

Birth 

14 April 1891, Mhow , Central Province , British India (now in Madhya Pradesh , India ) 

The death 

6 December 1956 (age 65) New Delhi , India

Tombstone 

Chaitya Land , Mumbai ,Maharashtra


name at birth 

Bhiva, Bhima, Bhimraoao 


other names 

Babasaheb Ambedkar, Modern Manu 


Political party 

• Scheduled Caste Federation

• Independent Labor Party 

• Indian Republican Party


Other Political Affiliations 

Social organization : 

• BahishkrutHitkarini Sabha

• parity troops 


educational organization : 

• Depressed Classes Education Society 

• The Babe Sedyuld casts Impruwhment Trust 

• People's Education Society 


religious organization

• Indian Buddhist council 


Life partner 

• Ramabai Ambedkar 

(Marriage 1906 - Death 1935)


• Dr. Savita Ambedkar 

(Marriage 1948 - Died 2003) 


relation 

See Ambedkar family


children 

Four sons : Yashwant, Ramesh, Gangadhar, Rajaratna and a daughter : Indu 

(these five children belonged to 'Ramabai', and all the children except 'Yashwant' had died in childhood.) 


the residence 

Mumbai, Delhi 


Educational affiliation 

• University of Mumbai (BA)

• Columbia University (MA, Ph.D., LL.D.)

• London School of Economics (MSc, DSC)

• Gray's in (Barrister- Et-law) 


Business 

Lawyer, professor 


Occupation 

Lawmaker, economist, 

politician, academician 

philosopher, writer 

journalist, sociologist, 

anthropologist, educationist, 

theologian, historian 

professor, editor 


religion 

Buddhist Dhamma


Prize 

• Bodhisattva (1956) 

• Bharat Ratna (1990) • First Colombian Aid of Their Time(2004)The Greatest Indian(2012)



signature 




Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar ( April 14 , 1891 - December 6 , 1956 ), popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar , was an Indian philanthropist , legalist , economist , politician , and social reformer. He inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against untouchables ( Dalits ) against social discrimination. Labor also supported the rights of farmers and women. He was the first law and justice minister of independent India , Indian Constitution And the creator of the Republic of India . 


Ambedkar was a student of Vipul Pratibha. He received doctoral degrees in economics from Columbia University and London School of Economics, both universities and did research work in law , economics and political science . In the early part of his career, he was a professor of economics and advocacy, and later life spent more time in political activities. Bhimrao became involved in publicity and discussion for the independence of India and for publishing magazines, advocating political rights and advocating social liberty for the dalits and making them an important part of India's development. 


In 1956, he adopted Buddhism . In 1990, he was honored posthumously with Bharat Ratna , India's highest civilian honor. Ambedkar's legacy includes many memorials and illustrations in popular culture.

Eearly life 





Photos of Bhimrao Ambedkar's parents, Ramji Sakpal and Bhimabai Sakpal


Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891 the British India Central India province (now Madhya Pradesh ) in the Mahu was the city's military camp. He was the 14th and last child of Ramji Maloji Sakpal and Bhimabai. His family Marathi was Muul and he currently Maharashtra 's Ratnagiri district Aanbdve was a resident of the village. They belonged to the Hindu Mahar caste, which was then called untouchable , and for this reason they had to bear deep and deep differences in social and economic. Ancestors of Bhimrao Ambedkar for a long time The British East India Company was working in the army and his father Ramji Sakpal, serving in the Indian army's Mahu Cantonment, and working here, he reached the post of Subedar. He received formal education in Marathi and English . 


Bheema was facing social resistance due to his caste. Despite being able to study in school, the student Bhimrao had to face many difficulties due to untouchability. Ramji Ambedkar remarried Jijabai in 1898. On November 7, 1900, Ramji Sakpal filed his son Bhimrao's name, Bhiva Ramji Ambavedekar in Governamant High School of Satara . Bhika was the name of his childhood. Ambedkar's original nickname was written by Ambedkar instead of Sakpal, which was related to his Ambedwe village. Because the people of Konkan region kept their surname in the name of the village, hence Ambeddek was registered with Ambedkar in Ambedwe village of Ambedkar. Later, a Devrukhey Brahmin the teacher Krishna Mahadev Ambedkar, who had special affection for him, removed 'Ambavedekar' by his name and added his simple 'Ambedkar' surname. Since then, he has been known as Ambedkar .






Ramabai Ambedkar , wife of Ambedkar


Ramji came along with Sakpal family to Bombay (now Mumbai ). In April 1906, when Bhimrao was about 15 years old, he was married to Ramabai , a nine-year-old girl . Then they were studying the fifth English class.In those days child marriage was prevalent in India. 
Education
Primary education



Ambedkar entered the first class of English on 7th November, 1900 in Governamant High School (now Pratapsingh High School) located at Rajwada Chowk in Satara city ​​on 7th November 1900. Since this day his educational life had started, hence on November 7, Maharashtra is celebrated as a student day . At that time he was called 'Bhiwah'. At that time, in the school, 'Bhiva Ramji Ambedkar', his name was marked in the presence of Panjika No. 1, 1914. When he passed the English fourth grade examination, because it was unusual in the untouchables, this success of Bhimrao was celebrated between the untouchables and at the public function, and Buddha himself wrote by his family friend and writer Dada Keluskar The biography of '' was presented to him. After reading this, he first appeared in Gautam Buddha and Buddhism Were impressed by their going and learning. 
Secondary education



In 1897, Ambedkar's family moved to Mumbai where he received further education at the Government High School located on Elphinstone Road . 
Graduate studies at Bombay University







Ambedkar as a student


In 1907, he passed his matriculation examination and the following year he entered Elphinstone College, which was affiliated with the University of Bombay . He was the first person from his community to receive education at this level.


By 1912, he obtained the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Economics and Political Science from Bombay University and started working with the State Government of Baroda. His wife had just moved to his new family and started work when he had to return to Mumbai to see his sick father, who died on 2 February 1913. 
Postgraduate studies at Columbia University









In 1913, Ambedkar moved to the United States at the age of 22, where he provided 11.50 years of three years to provide postgraduate education opportunities at Columbia University , New York City , under a scheme established by Sayajirao Gaikwad III ( Gaakwad of Baroda ). Dollar was granted scholarship of Baroda State per month. Immediately after reaching there, he settled with Parsi friend Naval Bhatna in Livingston Hall . In June 1915, he passed his Master of Arts ( MA ) examination, in which subject matter of economics, and sociology, history, philosophy and human science were the other subjects. For the postgraduate, he was appointed by the Asiatic Indian Commerce (Ancient Indian Commerce) presented the research work. Ambedkar was influenced by John Davy and his work on democracy . 


In 1916, he was given a second art postgraduate for his second research work, National Dividend of India - A Historic and Analytical Study , and eventually he went to London. In 1916, in his third research work, Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India , he received PhD in Economics , after publishing his research work, in 1927, he was officially awarded PhD. On May 9, he organized a seminar organized by anthropologist Alexander Goldenveiser in India: Castes in India: His System, Origin and Development, Which was his first published letter. He used the scholarship for a period of up to 3 years in completing his course in America in just two years and in 1916 he went to London. 
Post Graduate Studies in London School of Economics







Ambedkar with his professors and friends of the London School of Economics (in the center line, before the right), 1916-17


In October 1916, he went to London and there he entered the Barrister Course in Gray's Inn , and also joined the London School of Economics , where he started working on the doctoral thesis of economics . In June 1917, he was forced to leave his studies temporarily in the middle and returned to India because his scholarship had ended with the state of Baroda. While returning, his book collection was sent on a ship separated from the ship which was submerged by the torpedo of the German submarine. This was the period of World War I. He got permission to return to London for his thesis within four years. Baroda Working as the army secretary of the state, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was disappointed with the sudden reunion in his life and left his job and started working as a personal tutor and accountant. Even he started his consulting business which failed due to his social status. Due to Lord Sidenem, former British governor of his own, he got a job as a professor of political economy at the Sydney University College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai . In the year 1920, Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur , with the help of his Parsi friend and some private savings, he once again succeeded in returning to England, and in 1921 a Master of Science ( M.Sc.) for which he presented the 'ProDictional Decentralization of Imperial Finance in British India' (provincial decentralization of royal finance in British India) search. 1922, Gray's Inn granted a Barrister-at-Law degree and he got admission in the British Bar as a Barrister . In 1923, he received D.Sc (Doctor of Science) degree in Economics . His thesis was "The Problem of the Rupee: It's Origin and Its Solution" (Rupee problem: its origin and its solution).While returning to India after studying London, Bhimrao Ambedkar stayed in Germany for three months , where he studied his economics, continued at the University of Bonn . But due to lack of time, they can not stay high in the university. His third and fourth Doctorates (LL.D., Columbia University, 1952 and D.Litt., Osmania University, 1953) were prestigious honors. 
Conflict against untouchability







Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar as an advocate in 1922


Ambedkar had said "Untouchable is worse than slavery." Ambedkar was educated by the state of Baroda, therefore he was bound to serve them. He was appointed military secretary of Maharaja Gaikwad, but due to caste discrimination, he had to quit this job in a short time. He described this incident in his autobiography, Waiting for a Visa . After this, he again tried to find a means of livelihood for his growing family, for which he worked as an accountant, and also as a personal teacher, and established an investment consulting business, but all attempts have failed when their customers have known that they are untouchables. 1918, the political economics at the Sidenham College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai.Became professor of Although he was successful with the students, other professors protested against sharing water utensils with them. 


In front of the Southborough Committee preparing the Government of India Act 1919 , as a major scholar of India, Ambedkar was invited to give evidence. During this hearing, Ambedkar advocated separate electorates and reservation for Dalits and other religious communities . In Bombay, from Bombay, he started publication of a weekly maulanayak .This publication became popular among readers soon, then Ambedkar used it to criticize the reluctance of the Indian political community to fight conservative Hindu politicians and racial discrimination. The speech given during a conference of his dalit class greatly influenced the local ruler Shahu IV of Kolhapur State, who had a stir in the Orthodox society to feed with Ambedkar. 



While practicing law in the Bombay High Court, he made attempts to promote untouchables education and raise them. Their first organized effort was the establishment of the Central Institute Disappeared Hitkarini Sabha , with the aim of promoting education and socio-economic reforms and welfare of "exclusion" referred to as depressed classes. to protect Dalit rights, he extracted five magazines such as Silent, Exiled India, Samata, Enlightened India and Janata. 


In the year 1925, he was appointed to work in the Simon Commission of the British Commissan with all the European members in the Presidency Committee . Protests against this commission were opposed across India. While its report was largely ignored by Indians, Ambedkar sent a separate recommendation for future constitutional reforms. 






" Jaystnb , Koregaon Bhima Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and his Anuyayi, January 1, 1927


Ambedkar organized a function in Koregaon Vijay Memorial (Jayastambh) on 1 January 1927 in honor of the Indian Mahar soldiers killed during the Battle of Koregaon on 1st January 1818, under the Second Anglo-Maratha War . Here the names of the soldiers belonging to the Mahar community were carved on a marble inscription and made Koregaon the symbol of Dalit self respect. 


By 1927, Dr. Ambedkar decided to launch a comprehensive and active movement against the untouchability. With the public movements, satyagrahis and demonstrators, the public resources of drinking water opened to all sections of the society, they also struggled to get the right of untouchables to enter Hindu temples. He also launched satyagraha to give the right to water the untouchables in Mahad city, with the tasty water of the city. conference at the end of 1927, Ambedkar supported the concept of caste discrimination and "untouchability" conceptually, the ancient Hindu text, Manusmriti , whose many verses openly support caste discrimination and casteism, Publicly condemned, and he formally copied the ancient text copies. 25 December 1927, he burnt copies of Manusmriti under the leadership of thousands of followers. its memory, on December 25 every year, Manusmriti is celebrated as a combustion day by Ambedkarites and Hindu Dalits. 


In 1930, Ambedkar started the Calamar Temple Satyagraha after three months of preparation . About 15,000 volunteers gathered in the Kalaram temple movement, which led to the biggest processes in Nashik . The procession was led by a military band, a batch of scouts, women and men first went to discipline, order and determination to see God. When they reached the door, the door was closed by Brahmin officials. 
Poona Pact









Second Round Table Conference, 1931


So far, Bhimrao Ambedkar had become the most untouchable political figure till date. They strongly criticized his alleged indifference towards eradication of caste system of important political parties of mainstream. Ambedkar also criticized the Indian National Congress and its leader Mahatma Gandhi , he accused them of presenting the untouchables as a matter of compassion. Ambedkar was also dissatisfied with the failures of the British rule, he advocated a separate political identity for the untouchables, in which there was no interference with both the Congress and the British. In London on August 8 , 1930 , a group of exploited class i.e. the first round table conference Ambedkar kept his political vision in front of the world, according to which the protection of the oppressed class is in his being independent from both the government and the Congress. 





We have to make our own way ourselves and ourselves ... the problems of the political power can not be solved, their salvation lies in achieving their proper place in the society. They have to change their bad way of living ... they should be educated ... One big requirement is to shake the sense of their inferiority complex and to establish the divine dissatisfaction within them which is the source of all the heights. [12]


Ambedkar criticized the Salt Satyagrah run by Congress and Gandhi . The rising popularity in his untouchable community and because of public support for them in 1931 in London was the second roundtable conference also invited to participate. There was a sharp debate about Gandhi on the issue of granting separate electorate to his untouchables. But Bridou agreed with Ambedkar's ideas. Religion and raceThe anti-Gandhi Gandhi, strongly opposed to the separate electorate, feared that the separate electorate given to the untouchables would divide Hindu society. Gandhi felt that some years of his transformation of heart should be given to forget the negligence of the upper castes, but this argument proved to be wrong when even after several decades of the Poona Treaty by the upper castes Hindus continued to observe the untouchables. 






On 24th September 1932, MR Jayakar, Tej Bahadur and Dr. Ambedkar (second from Dai) in Yerwada Central Jail


1932 When the British announced agreeing with Ambedkar's views, the untouchables announced a separate electorate. The Communal Award was the result of the discussions held at the Round Table Conference. Believing the demand for political representation raised by Ambedkar under this agreement, the Dalit class was given the right to two votes in separate electorate. Under this, the Dalits could choose their representatives and the freedom to choose the representative of the general category by the second vote. Thus, the Dalit representative was to be elected by the vote of Dalits only. With this provision, there was no balance of general category in selecting a Dalit representative. But at the same time, the Dalit class could use its second vote to play its part by choosing the representative of the general category. In such a situation, the Dalit candidate selected by the Dalits could keep the problem of the Dalits well, but for the non-candidate.


Gandhi was presently in Yerwada jail of Poona. As soon as the Communal Award was announced, Gandhi first asked the Prime Minister to write it and demand it to be changed. But when they felt that no action was being taken on their demand, then they announced the annihilation of their death. Ambedkar then said, "If Gandhi had kept this fast for freedom of the country, it would have been good, but he has kept this fast against the Dalit people, which is extremely regretful, whereas this is possible for the election of Indian Christians, Muslims and Sikhs There was no objection from Gandhi regarding the authority. " He also said that Gandhi is not an immortal person. In India, how many such people were born and went away. Ambedkar said that in order to save Gandhi's life, he can not give up the interests of Dalits. Now, due to the time of fast, Gandhi's health was constantly changing. There was a great crisis on Gandhi's life. And the entire Hindu society became Ambedkar's opponent.


Seeing the increasing pressure in the country, Ambedkar reached Yerwada Jail on September 24, 1932 at 5.00 pm. There was an agreement between Gandhi and Ambedkar, which was later called Poona Pact Was known by the name In this agreement, Ambedkar announced the release of the right to separate electorate for the Dalits in the Communal Award. With this, instead of 78 reserved seats, the number of reserved seats in Poona Pact increased to 148. At the same time, for the untouchable people, adequate funds should be provided for education grant in each province and ensured the recruitment of people of the dalit class without any discrimination with government jobs and thus Ambedkar saved Mahatma Gandhi's life. Ambedkar was dissatisfied with this agreement, he termed Gandhi's unrest to deny untouchables their political rights and to pressurize them to withdraw from their demands, as a play played by Gandhi. In 1942, Ambedkar condemned the agreement, " State of MinorityIn this book, also expressed dissatisfaction with Poona Pact. Even before the Republican Party of India , there have been many riots meetings before this. 
Personal life







In February 1934, Ambedkar along with his family members in his house Rajghat in Mumbai . From left - Yashwant (son), Dr. Ambedkar, Ramabai (wife), Laxmibai (wife of his elder brother Balram), Mukund (nephew) and Ambedkar's favorite dog, Toby.


Ambedkar's grandfather was Maloji Sakpal, and the father's name was Ramji Sapkal and mother's name was Bhimaabai. In 1906, mother died when Ambedkar five years old. That's why she took care of mearaabai, who was her father's elder sister. On the request of Mirabai, Ramji remarried to Jijabai, so that the boy could get mother's love for Bhimrao. Prakash , Anandraj and Bhimrao are three sons of Yashwant Ambedkar.


When Ambedkar was reading the fifth class English class, he got married to Ramabai . Ramabai and Bhimrao had five children - four sons: Yashwant, Ramesh, Gangadhar, Rajaratna and a daughter Indu. But all the offspring except Yashwant had died in childhood.


Ambedkar considered three great men as his guru . His first Guru was Tathagat Gautam Buddha , the second was Saint Kabir and the third Guru was Mahatma Jyotiba Phule . 
Political life



On October 13, 1935 , Ambedkar was appointed the Principal of the Government Law College and on that post he worked for two years. He also served as Chairman of the Governing Body of this college after the death of Shri Rai Kedarnath, founder of Ramjas College of Delhi University . Ambedkar settled in Bombay (now in Mumbai), he built a three-storey big house ' Rajghat ' here, which had more than 50,000 books in his private library, then it was the world's largest private library. On 27th May 1935, his wife Ramabai died after a prolonged illness. Ramabai Pandharpur for pilgrimage before his deathAmbedkar wanted to go but Ambedkar did not allow it. Ambedkar said that in the Hindu pilgrimage where he is considered as untouchable, there is no justification to go, instead of making a new Pandharpur for them,


In 1936 , Ambedkar established the Independent Labor Party , which won 15 seats in the Central Legislative Assembly elections in 1937 . 


In the same year, Ambedkar published his book ' Annihilation of Caste ' ( destruction of caste system ) on May 15, 1936, based on a paper he had written in his New York .In this book, Ambedkar strongly criticized Hindu religious leaders and caste system. He strongly condemned the congressional decision of calling the people of the untouchables to the word Harijan created by Gandhi . Later, in the BBC interview of 1955, he accused Gandhi of supporting caste system in his Gujarati language letters and opposing caste system in English language letters. 


Ambedkar served as the Labor Minister for the Defense Advisory Committee and for the Executive Council of the Vice Minister during 1942-1946. 


Ambedkar actively participated in the fight for India's independence . 


After the Lahore Resolution (1940) of the Muslim League demanding Pakistan , Ambedkar wrote a 400-page book entitled " Thought on Pakistan , " which analyzed the concept of "Pakistan" in all its aspects, in which he was the Muslim League 's Muslim. a different country to Pakistan has also argued with the criticism of the demand. that Muslims should accept Pakistan's Muslims. They kept Proposed that Muslim and non-Muslim majority to different parts of Punjab and BengalThe provincial boundaries should be redone. They thought that Muslims could not have any objection to re-removing the provincial boundaries. If they did, they did not quite understand the "nature of their demand". Scholar Venkata Dhalipal said that Thought on Pakistan "stopped Indian politics for a decade". This set the course of dialogue between the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress, which was setting the path for partition of India . Although they were Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Muslim LeagueThey argued that Hindus and Muslims should be isolated and Pakistan should be formed because in order to lead a single country, due to ethnic nationalism, there would be more violence within the country. He mentioned the historic events of the Ottoman Empire and the disintegration of Czechoslovakia in favor of his view of communal divisions of Hindus and Muslims. They asked if there was enough reason for establishing Pakistan? And suggested that it was possible to eradicate the differences between Hindus and Muslims from a less stern step. He has written that Pakistan should justify its existence. There have been communal issues in countries like Canada, but still the British and French live together, So can Hindus and Muslims not be together? He cautioned that the real implementation of the solution to form two countries would be very difficult. There will be a border dispute problem with huge population transfer. Keeping in mind the violence followed by India's independence, this prediction was correct. 


"What Congress and Gandhi Have Done to the Untouchables?" (What did Congress and Gandhi do for the untouchables?) With this book, Ambedkar sharpened his attacks on both Gandhi and Congress, accusing them of pretending to be so. 


Ambedkar saw his political party changing to the All India Scheduled Caste Federation ( FED ), although in poor elections in the election held for the Constituent Assembly of India held in 1946. Later, he was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Bengal where the Muslim League was in power. Ambedkar contested the elections in the Indian general elections in Bombay North before 1952, but lost to his former assistant and Congress candidate Narayan Kajolkar. Ambedkar became a member of Rajya Sabha, perhaps an appointed member. He tried to enter Bharara again in the Lok Sabha by-election in 1954, but he remained third (Congress party won). By the time of the second general election in 1957, Ambedkar's nirvana (death) had become.


He has written his book on the Shudras? (Who was Shudra?), Explained in the Hindu caste system a hierarchy, the coming of the lowest caste, that is, the existence of Shudras. He also emphasized that in what way the surplus (untouchables) is different from the shudras. Who Were the Shudras in 1948? In the sequel of The Untouchables: A Thesis on the Origin of Untouchability (untouchables: a research on the origin of untouchability) Ambedkar tricked Hinduism.


Hindu civilization .... which is a cruel device for humanity to make and suppress slavery and its proper name will be infamous. What can be said about a civilization that developed a very large class of people ... considered to be inferior to a human being, whose touch is merely a reason to spread pollution? 





Ambedkar was also a big critic of South Asian practice of Islam . They took the side of India's partition but condemned the practice of child marriage prevailing in Muslim and misuse of women . They said,


The adverse consequences of keeping polygamous and mistress can not be expressed in words which are especially the source of sadness of a Muslim woman. Take up caste system, everyone says that Islam should be free from slavery and caste, whereas slavery is in existence and it has got support from Islam and Islamic countries. While the prescriptions made by the Prophet regarding the justice and human treatment of slaves contained in the Qur'an are commendable, there is nothing in Islam which supports the abolition of this curse. Even if slavery is over, still caste system will remain among the Muslims. 





He wrote that in Muslim society, there is even more social evil than Hindu society, and Muslims hide them from the use of soft words like "brotherhood". They also criticized the discrimination against the Arzal classes, which were considered "low status" by Muslims, as well as the repressive curtain practice of oppression of women in Muslim society . they said that veil is also seen in Hindus but religious approval was given only by Muslims. They criticized the fundamentalism of Islam, due to which the letters of Islam are bound by the comprehension of compliance, the society has become very strict and it has become very difficult to change it. He further wrote that Indian Muslims have failed to reform their society, whereas in contrast, countries such as Turkey have changed themselves a lot. 






Both the Hindus and the Muslim groups suffering from "communalism" ignored the demands of social justice. 



Declaration of change of religion







Ambedkar announcing the change of religion in Yeola Nasik on October 13, 1935


During the 10-12 years of Hindu religion , Babasaheb Ambedkar tried all to improve Hinduism and Hindu society, to gain equality and respect, but the hearts of the upper castes did not change. On the contrary they were condemned and told to the Hindu religion destroyer. After him, he had said, " We made every effort and satyagraha to get the level of equality in Hindu society, but all proved to be futile. There is no place for equality in Hindu society. "It was said by the Hindu society that" humans are for religion ", while Ambedkar believed that" religion is for human beings. " Ambedkar said that such religion does not have any meaning in which humanity Nothing worth the price Who does not allow followers of their own religion (untouchables) to get religious education, obstacles in the job, humiliates talk, and even does not get to water, there is no point in living in such a religion. Ambedkar had not announced the annihilation of Hindu religion for any kind of hostility and destruction of Hindu religion, but he decided to take some of the fundamental principles which were not exactly in harmony with Hindu religion. 


Speaking at a conference in Yeola near Nasik on October 13, 1935 , Ambedkar announced his conversion,


"Though I am born as an untouchable Hindu, but I will not kill Hargis as a Hindu!"


He also called on his followers to leave Hinduism and adopt another religion. He repeated this point in many public meetings throughout India. After the declaration of this change of religion, from the Nizam of Hyderabad to Islam , many ChristiansThe missionaries also gave them the temptation of millions of rupees but they rejected all. Of course, he also wanted to improve the economic condition of the dalit society, but not dependent on foreign money, but due to his labor and organization, the situation improved. Apart from this, Ambedkar wanted to choose a religion whose center was human and morality, there would be freedom, equality and fraternity. He did not want to adopt a religion that was blinded by dichotomism and untouchability, nor did he want to choose religion that has superstitions and hypocrisy. 


Ambedkar made a deep study of all the major religions of the world, during the time of 21 years after declaring the change of religion. The main reason for them to take such a long time was that they wanted to convert their followers with them as much as possible when they converted to religion. Ambedkar liked Buddhism because it offers a coordinated form of three principles that are not found in any other religion. Buddhist teachings of wisdom (use of wisdom in place of superstition and superstition), compassion (love) and equality (equality). He said that man wants these things for auspicious and happy life. Gods and Soul can not save society. True religion that according to Ambedkar whose center man and morality, science is based on or intellectual element, not that religion is central to God, The spirit of liberation and salvation . He also said that the work of religion should be rebuilding the world , not interpretation of its origins and end. He favors the democratic society system, because he believed religion could become a guide to human life in such a situation. All these things got him the only Buddhist religion. 

Constitution building








Dr. Ambedkar, President of Drafting Committee, presented Rajendra Prasad on 25th November, 1949 to the last draft of the Indian Constitution .






Despite the harsh criticism of Gandhi and Congress, Ambedkar's reputation was a unique scholar and lawmaker, due to which , after the independence of India in August 15, 1947 , when a new Congress-led government came into being, he had Ambedkar's first law of the country and Invited to serve as the Minister of Justice , whom he accepted. On August 29, 1947, Ambedkar was appointed as the Chairman of the draft constitution committee for the creation of a new constitution of independent India. In this work, Ambedkar 's study of early Buddhist Sangha rites and other Buddhist texts also came in handy.


Granville Austin described the Indian Constitution prepared by Ambedkar as the 'first and most important social document' . 'Most of the Constitutional provisions of India have come directly in an attempt to promote this revolution by either establishing the purpose of social revolution or establishing the necessary conditions for its achievement.'


In the text of the Constitution prepared by Ambedkar, constitutional guarantee and protection has been provided for a wide range of civil liberties for individual citizens, including the elimination of freedom of religion, elimination of untouchability, and violation of all forms of discrimination. . Ambedkar argued for comprehensive economic and social rights for women, and arrangements for reservation of jobs in the civil services, schools and colleges for the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) To win the assembly won the support, which was a positive action. Indian parliamentarians hope to eliminate the lack of socio-economic inequalities and opportunities for the depressing classes of India through these measures.The constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949. After completing his work, speaking, Ambedkar said:


I feel that the constitution is achievable, it is flexible, but it is also strong enough to keep the country together at the time of both peace and war. In fact, I can say that if something goes wrong then it will not be because its constitution was bad, but the man who used it was unjust.
Opposing Article 370



Ambedkar opposed Article 370 of the Constitution of India , which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir state, and which was included in the constitution against his wishes. Balraj Madhok had said that Ambedkar, Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah Was clearly told: "You want India to protect your borders, you must build roads in your area, you should supply grain, and Kashmir should be given the same status as India." The Indian government should have only limited powers and Indian people should not have any right in Kashmir. To agree to this proposal, I will chant the law of India As part of a treacherous point against India's interests, it will never happen. "Then Abdullah approached Nehru, who he guided to Gopala Swamy Ayyangar, who in turn Vallabhbhai Patel And said that Nehru had promised a skate. Abdullah special status Article was passed to Patel, while Nehru was on a foreign tour. On the day the article came to discuss, Ambedkar did not answer the questions but took part in other articles. All the logic was done by Krishna Swami Iyengar.
Uniform civil code



I personally can not understand why religion should be given in this vast, comprehensive jurisdiction so that the whole life can be covered and preventing the legislature from encroaching upon that area. After all, what are we doing for this freedom? To improve our social order, we are getting this freedom, which is full of inequality, discrimination and other things that struggle with our fundamental rights.


"


"


Ambedkar was actually favored by the same civil code and opposed Article 370 in the case of Kashmir. Ambedkar's India would be a country of modern, scientific thinking and rational ideas, in which it does not replace the personal law. During the debate in the Constituent Assembly, Ambedkar expressed his desire to improve the Indian society by recommending adoption of a uniform civil code. Ambedkar resigned from the Cabinet after the draft of his Hindu Code Bill (Hindu Code Bill) in Parliament in 1951 . There was talk of giving Hindu rights to billions of rights to Indian women. In this draft, there was a demand for gender equality in the laws of succession, marriage and economy. Although Prime Minister Nehru, Cabinet and some other Congress leaders supported it, a large number of members including President Rajendra Prasad and Vallabhbhai Patel were against it. Ambedkar contested the election of Lok Sabha in the Bombay (North Central) constituency as an independent candidate in 1952 but he lost. In this election, Ambedkar was voted 123,576 votes and Narayan Sadoba Kajolkar was voted 138,137 votes.In March 1952, he was appointed to the Upper House of Parliament, which means he was a member of the House till his death.
Financial planning








Ambedkar in 1950


Ambedkar was the first Indian to take a doctorate degree in economics from abroad. He argued that industrialization and agricultural development could increase the Indian economy. He emphasized on investment in agriculture as the primary industry in India. According to Sharad Pawar , Ambedkar's philosophy helped the government to achieve its food security goals. Ambedkar advocated national economic and social development, emphasized education, public cleanliness, community health, and housing facilities as basic amenities. They calculated the loss of development due to the British rule.
Reserve Bank of India



Ambedkar was trained as an economist, and by 1921 he had become a professional economist. When he became a political leader, he wrote three scholarly books on economics:
Administration and Finance of the East India Company
The Evaluation of Provident Fund in British India
The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin And Its Solution


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was based on Ambedkar's views, which he presented to the Hilton Young Commission.
Second marriage








Bhimrao Ambedkar with wife Savita Ambedkar in 1948


Ambedkar's first wife, Ramabai , died in 1935 after a prolonged illness. After completing the draft of Indian Constitution in the late 1940s, he was suffering from a lack of sleep, had neuropathic pain on his legs, and taking insulin and homeopathic medicines. He went to Bombay (Mumbai) for treatment, and met the doctor Sharda Kabir, with whom he had married at his home in New Delhi on April 15, 1948 . Doctors recommended a life partner who is a good cook and has medical knowledge to take care of them. Dr. Sharada Kabir took the name of Savita Ambedkar after marriage and took care of him in the rest of his life. Savita Ambedkar, who was called 'Mai' or 'Maisaheb' died on May 29, 2003 at the age of 93 in Mehrauli, New Delhi.
Changes in Buddhism








Addressing his followers at the Buddhist Dhamaksha ceremony of Nagpur, Ambedkar, 14 October 1956







Dr. Ambedkar taking initiation by Bhunte Chandramani of Kushinara







Dikshika Bhoomi Stupa , where Bhimrao converted into Buddhism with his millions of followers.


In BR Ambedkar in the 1950s Buddhism attracted to Buddhist monks to take part in a conference of scholars and Sri Lanka were (then Ceylon).While dedicated to a new Buddhist monastery near Pune , Dr. Ambedkar announced that he is writing a book on Buddhism and as soon as it ends it will formally adopt Buddhism. Ambedkar twice visited Myanmar in 1954 ; For the second time, they went to participate in the conference of Third World Buddhist Fellowship in Rangoon .In1955, he established the ' Indian Buddhist Mahasabha ' or 'Buddhist Society of India'. He completed his last famous book, ' The Buddha and His Dhamma ' in 1956. It was published in 1957 after his death in the preface of this book, Ambedkar has written that,


I consider Buddha's Dhamma the best. No religion can be compared to this. If a modern person who believes in science should have a religion, then that religion can only be a Buddhist religion . After twenty years of close study of all religions, this firm belief has increased between me.


"


"


On October 14, 1956 , Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar organized a formal public conversion ceremony for himself and his supporters in the city of Nagpur . First, Dr. Ambedkar with his wife Savita and some associates, adopted the traditional method of Buddhism by adopting Triratna and Panchsheel by the monk Mahaishavir Chandramani . After this he converted his 5,00,000 followers into the Navayan Buddhism , giving Triratna , Panchsheel and 22 pledges . They were imagining a free man by breaking the network of the gods, who are religious, but do not recognize the unimportant value of life. For the bonds of Hinduism to be completely isolated, Ambedkar himself fixed the Baiyas for his Buddhist followers, which is a summary and philosophy of Buddhism. These promises include disbelief in the trinity of Hinduism, denial of incarnation, abandonment of Shraddha-Parmand, Pindan, belief in the principles and teachings of Buddha, participation in any function performed by Brahmins, participation in faith, equality of humanity, Buddha's spiritual Follow the path, follow the kindness of the creatures, do not steal, do not lie, do not eat alcohol, Hindu caste based on inequality To relinquish and to adopt Buddhism was related. Navyan Ambedkar and his supporters clearly condemned the inequitable Hindu religion and Hindu philosophy and abandoned him. On 2nd October, Ambedkar initiated Buddhist Dham to his two to three lakh followers there on October 15, it was a follower who did not reach the October 14 event or reached late. Ambedkar initiated the Buddhist religion of about 8 lakh people in Nagpur, hence the land became known as Dikshabhoomi. On the third day, on October 16, Ambedkar went to Chandrapur and there he got the initiation of Buddhist Dham to nearly 300,000 supporters. In such a way, Ambedkar himself converted more than 11 lakh people into Buddhism by increasing the number of Buddhists in the world by 11 lakhs and Buddhism in IndiaTo be revived. Many people and Buddhists received congratulations from this incident. After this he went to Kathmandu to participate in the fourth world Buddhist conference in Nepal . There he went to the Dalit settlements of Kathmandu city. The Ambedkar movement of Nepal is run by Dalit leaders, and most of the Dalit leaders of Nepal believe that "Ambedkar's philosophy" is capable of erasing caste discrimination. He completed his last manuscript Buddha or Karl Marx on December 2, 1956 .
death








Mahaparinirvana of Babasaheb Ambedkar







Dr. Ambedkar's funeral went off from Dadar at 1.40 pm and reached at 6 pm in the Hindu Cemetery (now Chaityboom) of Dadar Chowpatty.







Chauthabhoomi , Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's Samadhi Sthali


Since 1948, Ambedkar was suffering from diabetes . From June to October 1954, he was very ill during this time he was suffering from weak eyesight. Troubled by political issues, Ambedkar's health became worse, and the continuous work done during 1955 had broken him down. After three days of completing his last manuscript Lord Buddha and his Dhamma , Ambedkar's Mahaparinirvana fell into his sleep in Delhi on December 6, 1956. Then he was 64 years and 7 months old. His body was taken from Delhi by a special aircraft to his home Rajghat in Mumbai . December 7th to Mumbai in Dadar Funeral was performed in Buddhist style on the Chowpatty beach, in which millions of his supporters, activists and fans attended. At the time of his cremation, keeping his body witnessed, more than 10,00,000 followers of him took initiation of Buddhism by Bhadanat Anand Kausalayan , because Ambedkar organized a Buddhist conversion program in Mumbai on December 16, 1956. Was there.


After the death, Ambedkar's family had left his second wife Savita Ambedkar , who was the first person to become a Buddhist after Ambedkar (with Ambedkar) becoming a Buddhist in the Dalit Buddhist movement . Before marriage, his wife's name was Dr. Sharda Kabir. Dr. Savita Ambedkar died as a Buddhist on May 29, 2003, at the age of 94 years. and son Yashwant Ambedkar grandson of Ambedkar, Prakash Ambedkar , Bharipa Bahujan federation is headed by the and the Indian Parliament have served as members in both Houses.


A memorial, Ambedkar's house in Delhi, has been established at 26 Alipur Road. Public holiday is being held on Ambedkar Jayanti. In 1990, he was awarded posthumously Bharat Ratna of India's highest civilian honor .


Each year, more than 20 lakh people paid their tributes to his birth anniversary (April 14), Mahaparinirvana i.e. Punyathithi (December 6th) and Dhamachachra Promotion Day (October 14) in Chauthabhumi (Mumbai), Dikshabhbhoomi (Nagpur) and Bhim Janmabhoomi ( Mhow ) To be assembled. Thousands of bookstores have been set here, and books are sold. Ambedkar had a message to his followers - "Be educated, get organized, fight"
Ambedkarism



" Ambedkarism " is the ideology and philosophy of Ambedkar. The subject of freedom, equality, brotherhood, Buddhism, science, humanism, truth, non-violence etc. are the principles of Ambedkarism. Social Impact in Dalits, promotion and propagation of Buddhism in India, protection of fundamental rights in the Indian Constitution, the creation of a moral and ethnic society, and the country's progress is included in this main purpose. Ambedkarism is social, political and religious ideology.
Books and other works







Bhimrao Ambedkar was a genius and a juvenile writer. 32 books and monographs ( 22 completed and 10 parallel books ), 10 memos, evidence and statements, 10 research papers, review of articles and books, and 10 precepts and predictions are so many compositions of their English language. They had knowledge of the languages ​​of Gahlah, which included languages ​​like Marathi (mother tongue), English , Hindi , Pali , Sanskrit , Gujarati , German , Persian , French , Kannada and Bengali . Ambedkar has written most of his contemporaries than all the politicians. He has done most of the writing in English. Along with being active and busy in social struggle, there is a large collection of books, essays, articles and speeches composed by them. They were rich in unusual talent. His literary works are known for his distinctive social attitude, and scholarship, in which his vision and his thinking ahead of time reflects. Ambedkar's books, including India, are widely read in the world. Lord Buddha and his Dhamma are his texts 'scripture of Indian Buddhists' and are important in Buddhist countries. His D.S.C. Managing the Problem of the Rupee: It's Origin And Its Solution With India's Central Bank Reserve Bank of India has been established.


The Department of Education of Maharashtra Government has planned to publish the entire literature of Babasaheb Ambedkar in many sections. Under this, 22 volumes, namely 'Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Species' have been published in English language, and their number is more than 15 thousand. The first section of this great plan was published on April 14, 1979, on Ambedkar's birthday. In view of the importance and popularity of the sections of 'Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Species', Dr. Ambedkar Pratishthan of the Government of India's Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has planned to publish Hindi translations of these sections and under this scheme So far, 21 stamps, titled "Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar: Full Class", have been published in Hindi language. Several versions of these Hindi segments have been published.
Journalism








Letters from Ambedkar







The tagline of the exiled India and the savior


Ambedkar was a successful journalist and effective editor. They will believe in the society through newspapers, they will prosper. He considered the newspaper very important in the movement. He published and edited several letters and five journals to bring awareness among the exploited and dalit society. This helped them to carry forward their Dalit movement. Where are they, "Any movement needs a newspaper to make a success, if there is no newspaper of movement, then the condition of the movement is like wings in the wings." Dr. Ambedkar is the only pillar of Dalit journalism because he is the first editor, founder and publisher of Dalit journalism. Dr. Ambedkar has written all the letters in Marathi language Published only because his work area was Maharashtra and Marathi was the language of the people there. And at that time the oppressed and oppressed people of Maharashtra had not written much, they could only understand Marathi. For several decades, he had edited five Marathi journals, including the dancer (1920), Janata (1930), Excluded India (1927), Samata (1928) and Enlightened India (1956). In these five letters Babasaheb Ambedkar expressed his views on the social, political and economic issues of the country. Literary and thinker Gangadhar Pantawane In 1987, for the first time in India, Ambedkar's journalism included Ph.D. Written for dissertation. In it, Pantawane wrote about Ambedkar, "This Muktyaan brought the people of exiled India to enlightened India." Babasaheb was a great journalist.
Dipper








First digit of 31 January 1920 of Moqueenak


On 31 January 1920, Babasaheb started his first Marathi fortnightly letter called " Moknayak " to reveal atrocities on untouchables . Its editor was Ambedkar and Panduram Nandaram Bhatkar. The top parts of this newspaper were the words of Saint Tukaram . For this financial assistance of Rs 25,000 was received by Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur Institute. 'Silent Nayak' was the voice of mute-dalits in all respects, in which his sufferings spoke; a new consciousness was circulated in the Dalits and he encouraged them to be agitated for their rights. Ambedkar migrated for studies and this letter was closed in 1923 due to economic shortcomings, but managed to achieve its aim of driving a wave of consciousness.
Excluded India








Number of excluded India







Excluded India Letter


In the short term, after the closure of the mocknaker, Ambedkar removed the second Marathi fortnightly "Excluded India" on 3 April 1924. It was edited by Dr. Ambedkar himself. This letter was published from Bombay. Through this, he used to unravel the problems and complaints of untouchables, as well as work to answer his critics. In an editorial in this letter, he wrote that if Bal Gangadhar Tilak was born between untouchables, then he would not slogan: "Swaraj is my birthright" but it says that "abolition of untouchability is my birthright." This letter also made important work of dalit awakriti. The top parts of this newspaper were the words of Saint Dnyaneshwar . Total 34 points of this fortune were removed. Financial difficulties were closed because of this in November 1929.
Parity



On 29 June 1928, Ambedkar started the "Samata" (Hindi: Samata) letter. This letter was the mouthpiece of the Society Samata Samity ( Samata Sainik Dal ) established by Dr. Ambedkar for social reform . As its editor, Ambedkar had appointed Devrao Vishnu Naik.
Public



After the Samata papers closed, Ambedkar reprinted it in the name of 'Janta'. On February 24, 1930, the first issue of this fortune was published. It became weekly on October 31, 1930 . In 1944, Babasaheb wrote a famous article titled " We will become a Junket of the state" (Hindi: We will become the ruling nation ). Through this letter, Ambedkar did a very good job of raising the dalit problems. In February 1956, the paper continued for 26 years.
Enlightened India



Ambedkar launched an enlightened India on February 4, 1956 for the fifth time . By changing the name of the 'Janata' letter he had 'enlightened India'. On the front of this letter, the mouthpiece of 'All India Dalit Federation' was printed. After the Mahaparinirvana of Babasaheb, this fortnight was closed. On 11th April, 2017, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Phule , Babasaheb's grandson Prakash Ambedkar announced the start of "Enlightened India" to be renewed and its first issue was published on May 10, 2017 and this fortnight started.


By these newspapers Babasaheb awakened the self and untouchable with his thoughts. This led to the change in thinking and life of the dalits.
Inheritance








Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar of Aurangabad , paying tribute to Ambedkar's statue in the University of Marathwada , his followers,


As Ambedkar's social-political reformer, heritage has had a profound impact on modern India. In India after independence, their socio-political views are honored in the entire political spectrum. Their initiatives have influenced different areas of life and today the way India has shown social-economic policies, education and positive action through social, economic policies and legal incentives has changed it. As a scholar, his reputation appointed him as the first law minister of his independent India and the president of the draft constitution committee. He believed in freedom from personal independence and criticized the casteless society. His allegations of Hinduism being the foundation of caste system made him controversial and unpopular among the conservative Hindus. His conversion of Buddhism led to the resumption of the resurgence of Buddhist philosophy in India and abroad.


First of all, in September-October 1927, by followers of Ambedkar and later by the Indian people, Ambedkar is called 'Babasaheb' ( Marathi : Babasaheb ) in honor and honor , which is a Marathi phrase which means "Father-saab", because millions of Indians Consider them "great liberator"


Many public institutions and twelve universities have been named in their honor. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport , Dr. BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar , Ambedkar University, Delhi are also in his honor. Many awards are given in his name. A large official oil image of Ambedkar is displayed in the Indian Parliament House.


The University of Columbia, USA, decided to celebrate this day in an effort to set up its university for 200 years, in 2004, he made a list of the top 100 intelligent students who had studied in his university, the Columbian Aids of Their Time , Who have made important contributions to their field in the world When this list was published, the first name was 'Bhimrao Ambedkar', and he was mentioned as "the creator of modern India". Ambedkar was declared "the most intelligent student", the first Colombian Ahead of their time .


Most votes were cast in Ambedkar's History TV18 and CNN IBN in a poll conducted in 2012, " The Greatest Indian " ( Greatest Indian ). Nearly 2 million votes were cast, since the launch of this initiative he was declared the most popular Indian person. Due to his role in economics, a noted Indian economist Narendra Jadhav has said that "Ambedkar was the highest educated Indian economist of all time." Economics in a lecture given in 2007 in the area to accept emphasize the Ambedkar while economics of Nobel prize Missed economist Amartya Sen said, "Ambedkar is my father in terms of economics. He is a true and well known superstar of dalit-exploited people. Any honor given to them so far is more than that. They are highly disputed in India. However there is nothing controversial in his life and personality. Those who are said in their criticism are just beyond reality. Their contribution is extremely popular in the field of economics. " a spiritual guru Osho ( Rajneesh ) remarked," I have the lower range of Hindu law have seen those Sudra born Untouchables, But they are very intelligent: when India became independent, and the constitution of India .He was a Shudra man, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. According to the law, there was no equal to his intelligence - he was a world renowned authority. " US President Barack Obama addressing Indian Parliament in 2010 , the Dalit leader Dr. B. B. R. Ambedkar was honored by the great and respected Human Rights Champion And addressed as the Chief Writer of the Constitution of India.The historian Ramchandra Guha calls him "the messiah of the poor."


Ambedkar's political philosophy has given birth to a large number of political parties, publications and labor unions, which are active all over India especially in Maharashtra. His promotion of Buddhism has increased interest in Buddhist philosophy among the larger sections of the Indian population. In modern times, human rights activists, at large scale, celebrate the conversion ceremony of Ambedkar's Nagpur 1956 by organizing Buddhist conversion ceremonies. Most Indian Buddhism, especially Nvyan Anuyayi them Bodhisattvas and Maitreya is considered as though he never claimed to own. Outside India, during the second half of 1990, some Hungarian Romans attracted similarities between their status and the Dalits of India. Inspired by Ambedkar, he has started to change in Buddhism. These people have also started a school called ' Dr. Ambedkar High School' in Hungary , in which a statue of Ambedkar was also established on December 6, 2016, which was presented by the Hungarian "Jai Bhai Network".


In the Chicholi village of Nagpur district of Maharashtra, Dr. Ambedkar object museum - 'Shantivan' has the personal items used for Ambedkar.


Ambedkar is India's most revered leader. His statue has taken huge numbers in every town, village, city, crossroads, railway stations and parks in India. They are usually painted in a pocket and arms in the front pocket with western suit and tie for the book of the Indian Constitution, and glasses planted in the form of a sticky person all over the world.In Great Britain and Japan , their high murtis are established.
In popular culture



Ambedkar's Birthday Ambedkar Jayanti is celebrated every year on 14th April as a big festival. This is the largest festival of Buddhists in Maharashtra. Celebrated by the Maharashtra Government as the Ambedkar Jayanti Gyan Divas . because polymath Dr. Ambedkar's " knowledge are considered necklace" of (Symbol of Knowledge). This day has been declared as a public holiday in the whole of India. New Delhi, every year on the statue of Parliament, honors the honorable tribute by the President of India and Prime Minister (including leaders of other political parties). Buddhists, Dalits and other Ambedkar people put their house in front of their statue or picture and greet them like God. On this day, people keep their statue in front of the parade, they also enjoy the dance and play dholas. Besides India, celebration of Ambedkar Jayanti is celebrated in more than 65 countries of the world. Ambedkar's 125th birth anniversary was celebrated in the United Nations , Where was the United Nations calling him 'the primate of the world'? Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's first birth anniversary, Sadashiv Ranpise was celebrated on 14 April 1928 in Pune . Ranpis were followers of Ambedkar. He started the practice of Ambedkar Jayanti, and on the occasion of Bhim Jnanti, he had put many rallies on Rathsee, Ut, by placing the statue of Hatha in Ambala of Babasaheb.


Ambedkar's School Admission Day is celebrated on 7th November by the Government of Maharashtra as Student's Day throughout the state . Because being a learned scholar, Ambedkar continued to be a student of his birth.On this day, various programs are organized in all the schools and junior colleges in Maharashtra, including lectures, essays, competitions, quiz competitions, poetry lessons based on the life of Ambedkar.


In honor of Ambedkar, Indian Constitution Day (National Law Day) is celebrated on 26th November . According to the instructions of the Government of India , the first formalized Constitution Day was celebrated as the 125th anniversary of Ambedkar on November 26, 2015. On November 26, the day has been selected to spread the significance of the constitution and to disseminate the ideas and concepts of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar.







'Jai Bhima' on the Bhim flag of Indian Buddhist flag


Jai Bhima is a greeting phrase used by Ambedkar people. 'Jai Bhim' means "Bheemrao Ambedkar's victory". Or "Bhimrao Ambedkar Jindabha." This phrase was coined by Babu LN Hardas, a follower of Ambedkar. Babu Hardas encouraged this way of greeting with the help of the workers of Bhima Vijay Sangh.


Blue is a symbol of Ambedkar. Ambedkar was loved by the blue color because he is a " likeness " symbol. And blue, the color of the sky , which reflects its magnitude, Ambedkar also had the same vision and he used it very much in private life too. The statue of Babasaheb always appears in the blue coat. In 1942, he founded the Scheduled Caste Federation of India Party, the party's flag was blue and the center of the Ashok Chakra was located. After this, in 1956 when the Republican Party of India was formed after the old party was formed, the same blue flag was used in it. He color Maharashtra's largest underclass Mahar taken from the flag. Now this blue flag of Ashoka Chakra of Buddhism has become a symbol of Ambedkar. Later, Bharipal Bahujan Mahasangh , all other Ambedkarite organizations and colonizers including the Bahujan Samaj Party also adopted the same color and thus became the symbol of resistance, conflict and assimilation of Ambedkarist Buddhists (Navbodhs) and Dalits. Buddhists and Dalits use blue color and blue flag on every occasion.


Bhimyan: Experience of Unacceptability ( Bhimayana: Untouchable Experience ) This graphic biography of Ambedkar, produced by Pardhan-Gond artist Durgabai Vyam and Subhash Vyam and writers Srivid Natarajan and S. Anand. This book depicts Ambedkar's untimely experience from childhood to adulthood. CNN named it one of the top 5 political comic books.


In the 1920s, the house in which Ambedkar living in London was converted into a museum by the Government of Maharashtra and changed it to "International Ambedkar Memorial". It was inaugurated by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on November 14, 2015.


Ambedkar garden park in Lucknow is dedicated to their memory. There are memorials showing their biography in Chaitya







Ambedkar memorial in Lucknow


Google celebrated Ambedkar's 124th birthday on April 14, 2015 through his homepage, doodle. This doodle was shown in India, Argentina , Chile , Ireland , Peru , Poland , Sweden and the United Kingdom .
Movies



There are many movies, plays and other works based on Ambedkar's life and thinking. Jabbar Patel directed the film of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in 2000, in which Mammootty was playing the main character. This film was produced by the National Film Development Corporation of India and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of the Government . Due to controversy, the film's performance took a lot of time. Professor David Blundel, a professor of human sciences at UCLA and historical ethnography, a series of films and programs aimed at encouraging social conditions and interest in the life of Ambedkar in India - Ariising LightIs established. Shyam Benegal a TV mini-series on the creation of the Constitution of India directed by constitutional role of Ambedkar in Sachin Khedekar was played went by. Ambedkar and Gandhi are guided by Arvind Gaur and tracked two major personalities of the title of drama written by Rajesh Kumar.


Many films have been created on the life and thoughts of Bhimrao Ambedkar, which is as follows:
Bhima Bhangna - Marathi Film (1990)
Child Ambedkar - Kannada Film (1991)
Yugpurush Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar - Marathi Film ( 1993 )
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar - English film of 2000
Dr. BR Ambedkar - Kannada Film (2005)
Rising Light - Documentary film made in 2006
Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar - Marathi film based on the life of Ambedkar's wife, Ramabai. (2010)
Shudra: The Rising - Hindi film dedicated to Ambedkar (2010)
A Journey of Samyak Buddha - Hindi film (2013), based on Ambedkar's Lord Buddha and his Dhamma Granth.
Ramabai - Kannada Film (2016)
Bole India Jai ​​Bhim - Marathi Film, Dubbed in Hindi (2016)
Bal Bhimrao - Marathi film of 2018


Apart from this, many dramas based on Ambedkar's life have also been made and Hindi serial was telecast on television serial "Dr. Ambedkar" .



Hindu Society in the Mirror of Violence Against Dalits




On 20 March 1927, large number of Dalits led by Bhimrao Ambedkar drank water from Chavadar Tank in Mahad, Maharashtra. The act challenged Brahminical caste domination, but was very much within legal rights of Ambedkar and his followers. The then Bombay Legislative Council had thrown open all public utilities to untouchables in 1923 and in January 1924, Mahad Municipality had declared Chavadar a public tank. Dalits however were not spared for asserting their right. Gangs of caste Hindu men pounced upon returning groups of Dalit men, women and children. Unfazed, Ambedkar organized an even bigger gathering of Dalits in the same town on 25 December that did a symbolic burning of Manusmriti. A gathering of Dalits was attacked again ninety years later in Bhima Koregaon on 1 Jan, 2018. The purpose of gathering this time was not a direct challenge to a caste taboo. Dalits had come to commemorate the 200 year anniversary of a relatively minor battle during the British conquest of India. The British contingent in that battle had a sizeable proportion of Mahar dalit soldiers, a number of whom died fighting the much larger Peshwa army. Dalits of Maharashtra celebrate the day as Shaurya Gatha Divas and gather in large numbers at the site of battle every year in an act of public assertion of their ancestors’ valour against Brahmanical Peshwas. The atmosphere is like a typical rural Indian fair; men, women and children coming from even far away regions for a day long outing. This year the gathering was especially large due to mobilization by Dalit organisations. A number of vehicles that brought them and had explicit Dalit signs like Jai Bheem, or the Buddhist Panchasila insignia were smashed and burnt in the violence.


Even if the context of Dalit gathering at Bheema Koregaon this year was different than at Mahad ninety years ago, the structure of violence against them was same. Whereas Dalits engage in a public event in an open public space, the attack on them is sudden and conspiratorial in nature. Dalits come to a place from far away regions; their attackers are entrenched, both spatially and socially. Ideologically and organizationally Dalits are not prepared even for retaliatory violence. At best they can run away in self defence. The violence and dispersal of Dalits appears to be the sole motive of their attackers. Dalits want to make a public statement, their attackers are organised for hit and run tactic. The attackers do not need to explain themselves, their attack is sufficient in itself because it supposedly carries the writ of a dominant normative order.



Attacks on Dalits are often viewed only from the perspective of violation of their basic rights and dignity. A lot of attention this time has been paid to the political context of Dalit mobilization, and the recent state of their relation with the dominant Maratha caste in the area. Analyses from such perspectives often miss the actual elephant in the room, namely the caste Hindu society to whom their attackers belong, and from whose normative world they derive their justifications. Confronting this elephant is crucial at present. The public sphere in India, in which Dalits have been trying to assert their dignity has lately come under severe strain due to political successes of Hindutva. Ambedkar could look to the limited but legally entitled public sphere of the colonial regime, and the public sphere of India’s independence movement which had at least some currents critical of the Hindu caste society. He had a number of caste Hindu supporters in Mahad, including the chairman of its Municipal Council, who came out in favour of Mahad satyagrah. The Hindu society now shows little signs of internal reform against superstitions, preposterous religious practices and blatant caste oppression. It has become the ground over which Hindutva political successes are being built. The majority of caste Hindus showed little hesitation in voting for the party of the Hindutva, whose cow protecting followers only last year had engaged in the barbaric act of beating Dalits in public at Una, and circulated videos of the beatings as an instance of their Hindu pride. The relationship between Hindutva and the Hindu caste society is perhaps the key determinant of the fate of democracy in India.



Ambedkar’s Total Critique of Hindu Society


Ambedkar understood Hindu society through the lens of caste. He underlined the caste character of its spirituality and social life. Even while he considered the Hindu caste system to be primarily a religiously sanctioned system of graded inequality, he was clear about its secular significances. The five cardinal principles of Brahminism according to him included bans on Shudras and Untouchables to arm and educate themselves, hold positions of authority, and own property, and ‘complete subjugation and suppression of women’. Caste hierarchy is antithetical to any notion of equality. The radical character of Ambedkar’s conception of equality is however little appreciated. With time he moved away from the classical liberal demands of equality within an existing legal system, to a radical politics that aimed to reformulate the social foundations of this very system. This shows also in his appropriation of Buddhism as the most suitable religion for social struggles for equality in the modern era, and a critical engagement with Marxism. His critique of Hindu society unfortunately has been missed by generations of Communists and Socialists, the two strands of radical politics in the country whose programs would have gained immensely from a meaningful engagement with it.



If hierarchy is the organizing principle of caste; caste hierarchy operates through differentiation and division. One consequence of every caste being a unit in a graded hierarchy is that it develops a stake in constituting itself as a separate corporate entity. While the threat to democracy due to caste inequities is immediately obvious, consequences of differentiation and division are little appreciated. Ambedkar was acutely aware of both of these. His address on the Annihilation of Caste, which incidentally was meant for caste Hindus rather than his untouchable followers, is most clear on this point. According to him, ‘(t)he effect of caste on the ethics of Hindus is simply deplorable. Caste has killed public spirit…. Caste has made public opinion impossible. A Hindu’s public is his caste.’ These characters of caste continue even after its secularization, and can be seen most clearly in the role caste has come to play in electoral politics. The caste roots of Hindu society to an extent also explain the fragility of public sphere in India. The professional urban middle classes belonging to savarna castes often claim to be the only public of India (the Common Man of RK Laxman cartoons). In reality this ‘public’ too is like a caste. It is very conscious of its boundaries and has no sense of how those outside can be treated as equal. Further, the social life of these sections too is dominated by informal networks in which violations of public rules is common.



Caste and Hindutva


As is well known Hindutva is a project to develop a political community of Hindus. In a way, Gandhian project also had the same aim. Whereas Gandhi insisted on building this political community on a moral basis of struggle against an unjust colonial rule, and called upon inter community co-existence, Hindutva has no moral claims, and is actually driven by two moral fallacies. One is the severe inferiority complex generated by seeing Hindus as perpetual victims of external aggression, which can be overcome only by retaliation. The second moral fallacy of Hindutva is rabid hatred of Muslims and Christians. This means that it has no place for the value of universal humanism, without which no modern democracy is possible. Imperviousness to the calls of universal humanism is common to both Hindutva and caste. This is related to another common characteristic. Caste and Hindutva both consciously articulate themselves as above, or alien to the law. Hindutva does it openly by its claim that the existing liberal secular order of law is against the demands of Hindus. The idea is clear that to realise Hindu Rashtra, Hindus should be ready for all means, including spectacular public violence. For caste, it is the understanding that as a self governed entity it need not follow external rules. Khap panchayats are a clear illustration. In this sense, Dalit mobilisations, whether political, for legal protection, or for re-articulation of self-identity, are actually anti-caste. The main stream media and academia show their casteist prejudice and blindspot by lumping them under the rubric of caste. The third overlap between caste and Hindutva is religion. Both operate with a sense of obvious naturalness to their demands. To the extent that the idea of the self and community for an average Hindu is still largely religious, it helps both caste and Hindutva become effective in everyday life.



Such overlaps however do not mean that caste can be readily incorporated in the political programme of Hindutva. Caste ridden Hindu society is not easily amenable to community wide calls of political nature. Congress achieved it under a basically liberal project that had place for at least a formal critique of caste as part of the reform of Hindu society which needed to be modernized. Hindutva can not take any anti caste stance due to the centrality of the idea of a Great Hindu civilization/religion in its programme. This explains why for many decades after its initiation it remained confined to savarna castes. The two key events in its growth trajectory were one, when it became the common political sense of savarna castes, and second when it managed to draw in sizeable sections of Shudra and untouchable castes. The first was achieved when the Congress formula of broad coalitions of social groupings unraveled in the absence charismatic leadership, and savarna castes, which as a block continue to enjoy cultural, economic and bureaucratic hegemony, found that it is unable to counter mobilisations by rural dominant castes. Savarna castes now form the core voter base of Hindutva. Psephologists have known this for more than three decades. In fact sections of savarna castes like Punjabi Hindus of Delhi, have consistently voted overwhelmingly for the Hindutva party for over three generations now, however in the media talk of ‘vote banks’ they are not counted as one.



The success with Shudras and untouchables is the real tour de force of Hindutva, which helped it become a mass movement. This was facilitated by the preponderance of religion in the cultural and community life of Hindus. Hindutva exploited this religiosity through two complementary tactics. RSS affiliated organisations facilitated, encouraged and organized events of mass religiosity. The Hindutva touch was given by a certain kind of aggressive occupation of public space with a clear lumpen character, which, as is true with all lumpen mobilisations, could be used for spectacular mass violence under the control of a centralized leadership. These organisations also calibrated their programmes by incorporating specific caste centric gods, temples and religious programmes within a Sanskritising narrative. The success of this strategy was based on the continuing hegemony of Brahminical cultural norms at the molecular level, where the penetration of suitable counter narratives, either anti caste Periyarite or Ambedkarite, or the mores of modernisation, was weak. It succeeded most dramatically in the ‘cow belt’ heartland of Northern India.





The re-establishment of old Brahminical ritual based caste hierarchy is not an aim of Hindutva. It does not mind an OBC Prime Minister, a Dalit President, and can not publicly support untouchability. Hindutva is also comfortable with the role caste has come to play in the electoral politics in India. In fact the inherent divisiveness of caste in politics makes it imminently suitable for social engineering under a hegemonic project. However, it is dead against any anti-caste movement, because that can challenge existing power relations in society, as Bhim Sena is trying to do in Saharanpur. It can incorporate non-Jatav dalit castes in UP, and can hope to manage a Hardik Patel. It can not stand a Rohith Vemula whose anti-caste stand was inspired by a deep and universal conception of human equality, and a Jignesh Mevani who has deftly combined his anti-caste politics with concrete socio-economic demands, through invocation of both asmita and astitava. Their politics is not only anti-Hindutva, but has the potential to knock the bottom out of Hindu caste order. Hindutva provides a safe haven for all hierarchical caste prejudices, of Savarnas against OBCs and Dalits, and of OBCs against Dalits. A radical Dalit who has courage to stand against all, is its public enemy number one. (http://www.raiot.in/hindu-society-in-the-mirror-of-violence-against-dalits/)







Why Baba Saheb did not say Bhim Rao Ambedkar was Gandhi's Mahatma

6 December 2018














Image Copywrite/ GETTY IMAGES




How were the relations of Gandhi and Ambedkar? There has been long debate on this question and a lot of say-has been heard.


Babasaheb Ambedkar himself had put Gandhi in the dockyards so that when you are not 'Bhangi' how can you talk about us?


In response, Gandhi said so much that I have no bus on it, but if the only basis for working for 'brides' is that if someone is a 'bhangi' from birth or I would rather that my next birth will be 'Bhangi' In the house


In 1955, Dr. Ambedkar spoke a long time on his relations and differences with Mahatma Gandhi in an interview to the BBC.


Part of this historical interview presented to the BBC Archive.


























Image copyright BBC News HindiBBC NEWS HINDI




Ambedkar : I met Gandhi for the first time in 1929, through a friend, was a common friend who asked Gandhi to meet me. Gandhi wrote to me that he wants to meet me. That's why I went to him and met him, just before going to participate in the Round Table Conference.


Then he came to the second Round Round Table Conference, did not come for the first round of the conference. During that time he stayed there for five-six months. During that time, I met him and also met him at the Second Round Table Conference. Even after signing the Poona agreement, they asked me to meet me. So I went to meet him.


He was in jail. That was the time when I met Gandhi. But I have always said that then I met Gandhi as a rival. I think I know them better than other people, because they expose their reality to me. I could peep into the heart of that person.


Usually, when they go to them as devotees, nothing is seen, except for the outer shell, which they kept in the form of a Mahatma. But I saw them as a human being, looked at the naked man inside them, so I can say that those who were related to them, I think their comparison is better.





















Image caption In thefirst picture, Dr. Ambedkar and his family, at his residence in Rajghat, Mumbai. From the left- his son Yashwant, Ambedkar, wife Ramabai Ambedkar, Bhabhi Lakshmi Bai, Bhatija Mukundrao and his cute dog Toby. In 'Rajghat', Ambedkar had come to live in February, 1934. Photo Saadhar: Dikshitbhoomi, Nagpur and Lokwangmay Publications




Question : What would you say in brief about what you saw?


Ambedkar : Well, in the beginning, I have to say that I am surprised when people in the external world, and especially the Western world, are interested in Gandhi. I can not understand. He was an episode in the history of India, he was never an era maker.


Gandhi has already disappeared from the people of this country. His memory comes due to the fact that Congress Party gives annual leave on his birthday or any other day related to his life. Every year a festival is celebrated for seven days a week. Naturally, people's memory is revived.


But I think that if this artificial respiration was not given, then Gandhi would have forgotten him a long time ago.



















Image captionAfter the foundation stone of the college building in Aurangabad, Ambedkar doctors took Rajendra Prasad to showcase the caves of Verul. The picture is one September, 1951. Photo Saadhar: Dikshitbhoomi, Nagpur and Lokwangmay Publications




Question : Do not you think they made basic changes?


Ambedkar: No, never. Rather, they used to play double role all the time. He removed two newspapers in front of young India. The first 'Harijan' in English, and in Gujarat, he brought another newspaper which you call 'Dinbandhu' or something similar.


If you read these two newspapers, then you will find out how Gandhi deceived people. In the English news paper, he described himself as an anti-caste system and anti-untouchability and himself democratic. But if you read Gujarati magazine then you will see him as a more conservative person.


They were supporters of caste system, Varanashram religion or all conservative theories, who put India down in every epoch. Indeed, one should write a biographical description of Gandhi's 'Harijan' and the comparative study of his statements given in the Gujarati newspaper. There are seven sections of Gujarati paper.


The western world reads only the English paper, where Gandhi was advocating democratic ideals to preserve itself in the honor of Westerners who believe in democracy. But you also have to see what they actually talked to people in their local paper.


It seems that no one has taken any reference to it. Any of his biographies written are based on his 'Harijan' and 'Yuva Bharat', and not on Gandhi's Gujarati writing.





















Image caption ImageAmbedkar gave his famous speech 'Buddha and Karl Marx' in the presence of Nepal King Mahendra and Mahashwinder Chandramani in the fourth council of 'Buddhist Fraternity Association' held on November 20, 1956 in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital. Photo Saadhar: Dikshitbhoomi, Nagpur and Lokwangmay Publications




Question : What was their real intention behind presenting Harijan as God in the caste structure?


Ambedkar : They just wanted it. There are two things about Scheduled Castes. We want to end untouchability. But at the same time, we also want that we should be given equal opportunities so that we can reach the level of other classes. Washing untouchability is not a concept.


We have been carrying untouchability for the past 2000 years. Nobody has worried about it. Yes, there are some drawbacks that are very harmful. For example, people can not take water, people can not have land to cultivate and earn their livelihood.


But there are other important things, that is, their condition in the country should be equally and they should have opportunities to be highly placed so that they not only increase their dignity, but they can protect their people while living in strategic situations. Gandhi was totally against this idea, absolutely against






















Image captionA jolly moment of the Mumbai Region Schedule Castes Federation and his reception program organized by the Samajwadi Party at Bori Bunder railway station. Due to lack of seat of Raibahadur CK Bole, Ambedkar put him in his lap. With them Mai Ambedkar Photo Saadhar: Dikshitbhoomi, Nagpur and Lokwangmay Publications




Question : She (Gandhi) was satisfied with issues like entering the temple.


Ambedkar: He wanted to enter the temple. Now, no one cares about the Hindu temples. Untouchables have understood this very well that there is no result of going to the temple. Those untouchables will remain, whether they go to the temple or not. For example, people do not allow untouchables to travel in the railway.


Now they do not make any difference, because the Railways are not going to make arrangements for them separately. They travel together in the train. Whenever the Hindu and the untouchables travel in the railroad, they are in their old role.





















Image captionLaw minister Dr. Ambedkar discussing Hindu code bills in Parliament. Photo Saadhar: Dikshitbhoomi, Nagpur and Lokwangmay Publications




Question: So do you want to say that Gandhi was orthodox Hindu?


Ambedkar: Yes, he was a totally Orthodox Hindu. He was never a reformer. He had no such thinking, he used to talk about untouchability so that the untouchables could be associated with the Congress. This was one thing. Secondly, he wanted that untouchable should not oppose his concept of Swaraj.


I do not think more than that he thought of the upliftment of untouchables.


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Post Fasbug ends BBC News Hindi


Question : Do you think that Gandhi could get political independence?


Ambedkar: Yes, yes. I can say definitely It could have been slowly. But personally, I feel that if Swaraj comes slowly in India then it will be beneficial for the people. Every group of every community or people with distortions would be able to strengthen themselves, if the power transfer from the British government gradually happens.


Today everything has come like a flood. People were not ready for it. I often think that the Labor Party in England is the most organized party.



















Image captionAmbedkar's Visit to Kanheri Caves of Mumbai The picture is of 1952-53. Photo Saadhar: Dikshitbhoomi, Nagpur and Lokwangmay Publications




Question : Did not Gandhi have endurance, or in the Congress party?


Ambedkar: I do not know why suddenly the people are ready to give independence. This is a confidential subject, which I think, that will be brought to Italy in some of its biographies someday. How did he reach that suit? Someone did not think of this change suddenly. Nobody expected anything.


This seems to me from my assessment. I think the Labor Party has decided this for two reasons. The first is the National Army of Subhash Chandra Bose. The British who were ruling this country had full faith that whatever the country could do and whatever the politicians would do, but their commitment to this soil would not change.


With this thinking, he was running his administration. The thought was shaken badly when they came to know that soldiers were making a party or battalion, which would overthrow the British. I think that in this way the British arrived at the conclusion that if they were to rule India, then its only basis could be operating from the British army.


Talk about 1857, when Indian soldiers revolted against the East India Company. They found that it would not be possible for the British to continue to provide so much European forces in India, through which to rule.


Secondly, what I find, though I do not have such evidence, but I think the British soldiers wanted to finish the army immediately, so that they could pursue civil profession. Do you know how angry you were to slow down the army?


Because those who were not expelled from the army, they used to think that those people who have been expelled from the army, they are grabbing their civic occupation and how much injustice is happening with them. So it was not possible for them to hold enough British Army to rule India.


Thirdly, I think besides this, he thought that he only wanted commerce from India and not the salary or army income of the civil servant. These were trivial things There was no energy in sacrificing them as a trade and commerce. India should be free or its status is an accepted domain or less.


But business and commerce should remain. I am not sure about this, but I personally feel that the Labor Party's intention is the same.





















Image captionAmbedkar in a court of Aurangabad. Aurangabad Bar Association invited them. Photo date July 28, 1950. Photo Saadhar: Dikshitbhoomi, Nagpur and Lokwangmay Publications




Question : Talk about Poona agreements. You were involved in that agreement. Do you remember what happened to Gandhi during that time?


Ambedkar : (in light voice) Yes ... I knew this thing very well. The British government accepted my suggestion in the original proposal of McDonald's. I said that we want an equal elected representative, so that the cracks between the Hindus and the Scheduled Castes continue.


We feel that if you make an equal election representative, we will be absorbed and the named Scheduled Castes will actually become enslaved to the Hindus, they will not be free. Now I told Ramsay MacDonald, that they want to take this issue forward, give us separate election representatives and separate them in the general elections.


So that Gandhi can not say that we are different in terms of election. Earlier, my thinking was that, for the first five years, we should remain separate from the Hindus, in which there is no behavior, no dialogue. It was a social and spiritual step. What can you see in the circle of participation in a common voter?


The separatism you think about to overcome these difficulties has increased over the centuries. It is stupidity to think that if two people will change their hearts by voting at polling stations simultaneously. nothing of the sort. This is Gandhi's insanity. Well, it should be kept aside.


In such a system, voting with untouchables, you allow them to represent their population of the same proportion, so that the voting can be strengthened and not on the representative. So that Gandhi and other people could not complain. Ramsay MacDonald accepted it This was actually my suggestion. I wrote them a letter from Naples.


I wanted to do this, so that there is no problem. They did this, gave us the right to vote in separate constituencies and general elections. But Gandhi did not want us to send our actual representatives. So they did not want to add separate constituencies to the agreement and went on fast. Then it came up to me


The British government said that if you do not want to accept the agreement, then we have no objection. But we wanted to end the agreement itself. We left the agreement We gave up everything that was the best.


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You should read Ramsay McDonald's letter, which clearly states that we have not done anything like promoting separatism. Rather, we want to fill the gap by bringing the two groups on one platform through an equal election. But Gandhi's opposition was on the point that we could not get a representation with independence.


So he openly opposed that we should not get any representation. This was his attitude in the Round Table Conference. They said that they only know Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities. Only three of these communities should get political representation in the Constitution.


But Christian, Anglo-Indians, there is no place in the constitution for scheduled castes. According to them, these people should be mixed with the common people. I know that all their friends were telling this thought foolishness. His friends protested against this topic.


If Sikh and Muslims are given special representation, who are in a thousand times better than political and financially, then how can Scheduled Castes and Christians be excluded? They had to say that you do not understand our problems. That, that's what they used to say.


On this issue, his deep friend Alexandria had a lot of confrontation with him, as he told me. A French woman, who was her follower, I forgot her name. He also fought fiercely with Gandhi, that we could not understand this thinking. Either you say that we will not give anything to anyone and that should be a normal process.


We can understand that you see the democratic process in it. But to say that representing Muslims and Sikhs and not to Scheduled Castes, it seems awkward. He could not answer anymore. no answer. We suggested these solutions.


Initially, he did not accept it, when he wrote in the letter; Ramsay McDonald said that scheduled castes have nothing, there is no representation. Then their friends said that they are doing more than they need, and no one will support them in it.


Malviya and others came to me and said, can not you help us solve this problem? I said that we did not want to help you by sacrificing the British rule which we have found.




























Image caption Inthis regard, Ambedkar delivered a speech in support of the Hindu Code Bill on June 11, 1950 in 'Student Parliament' of Siddharth College, Mumbai, in which the political knowledge of the students of their educational institutions matured; Photo Saadhar: Dikshitbhoomi, Nagpur and Lokwangmay Publications




Question : And you stay on your idea.


Ambedkar : (In light voice) I said that I had suggested the second option. The alternative was that we were not ready to leave different electors. But it was ready for that you can make any changes. Scheduled caste candidates standing in the last election will be selected by the Scheduled Caste members in the first primary election.


They should choose four people. Then those four people should stand in the general election. We should come to the best, so that we can give some confidence that you do not take back your candidate. In such a situation, we will be able to choose those people who can become our voice in Parliament. These proposals were to accept Gandhi, so he did.


We got the benefit of this proposal only in one election, in the elections of 1937. The Federation won the majority in the elections. None of Gandhi's candidates got the victoryImage captio





Question: So did they make huge investments on their behalf?


Ambedkar: He did exactly that. I did not say anything. I am ready to save your life, provided you do not become obstinate. But I am not going to save your life by playing with the lives of my people. You can see how much I worked for it. I know this very well.


I am not going to sacrifice the interests of my people for your craze. It was just their craze. How can it be that the general elections that are being talked about to change conditions have not changed?


















Image captionAmbedkar along with Prime Minister Nehru and other members of the Central Council, in a banquet organized by Sardar Patel in June 1948 in the celebration of Chakravarti C. Rajagopalachari's becoming the first Governor General of India. Photo Saadhar: Dikshitbhoomi, Nagpur and Lokwangmay Publications




Question: So what did they say?


Ambedkar: Oh He could not say anything. He had a fear of belonging to Scheduled Caste ... that he would become an independent body like a Sikh and a Muslim and Hindus would have to fight against these three groups. It was in their minds and they did not want to leave the Hindus without friends.


Question: So seldom did he ... He worked as a politician completely.


Ambedkar: Like a politician. He was never a Mahatma. I refuse to call him Mahatma. I have never called him a Mahatma in my life. He was never worthy of this position, even in terms of ethics.


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Some rare pictures of Ambedkar



Sanjeev Chandan for theBBC Hindi.com



April 14, 2015

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Preparations are being prepared to celebrate 125th birth anniversary of Bhimrao Ambedkar, the father of Indian Constitution.


In the political parties of the country about their legacy, a kind of political dikshatani can also be seen.


But the question arises among all that how Ambedkar's period would have been, these pictures present a picture of this.


In the first picture, Dr. Ambedkar and his family, at his residence in Rajghat, Mumbai. From the left- his son Yashwant, Ambedkar, wife Ramabai Ambedkar, Bhabhi Lakshmi Bai, Bhatija Mukundrao and his cute dog Toby. In 'Rajghat', Ambedkar had come to live in February, 1934.






















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Ambedkar's Visit to Kanheri Caves of Mumbai The picture is of 1952-53.



















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Photo by Ambedkar in the fourth council of 'Buddhist Fraternity Association' organized in Nepal's capital Kathmandu on November 20, 1956, Ambedkar gave his famous speech 'Buddha and Karl Marx' in the presence of King Mahendra and Mahasthivar Chandramani.


The basic theme of his speech was 'Non-violence in Buddhism' but on the request of delegates, he changed the subject.






















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After the foundation stone of the college building in Aurangabad, Ambedkar doctors took Rajendra Prasad to showcase the caves of Verul. The picture is one September, 1951.


















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Law Minister Dr. Ambedkar discusses the Hindu Code Bill in Parliament.





































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After resigning from the post of minister, Ambedkar returned to Mumbai on November 18, 1951.


A jolly moment of his welcome program at the Bari Bunder railway station from the Mumbai Region Schedule Castes Federation and Samajwadi Party at that time.


Due to lack of seat of Raibahadur CK Bole, Ambedkar put him in his lap. With them Mai Ambedkar






















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Ambedkar in a court of Aurangabad. The Bar Association of Aurangabad invited them. Picture date July 28, 1950


















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In this regard, Ambedkar delivered a speech in support of Hindu Code Bill on 11th June, 1950 in 'Student Parliament' of Siddharth College, Mumbai, in order to mature his political knowledge of the students of his educational institution.

























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Election manifesto of All India Dalit Federation, 1946






















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Ambedkar and other members of the Union Cabinet, with Prime Minister Nehru at a banquet organized by Sardar Patel in June 1948 in the celebration of Chakrabarty C. Rajagopalachari's becoming the first Governor General of India.



















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On January 30, 1948, Nathuram Godse of Mahatma Gandhi was killed in the Birla House of Delhi and the whole country was shaken.

Ambedkar ran towards Birla House, talking to Congress leader Shankar Rao Dev there.


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Newspaper response on the announcement of conversion








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Ambedkar's ballot paper, contesting from the Central Mumbai constituency, on 17 February, 1937, by the Independent Labor Party. His election symbol was 'man'



On December 9, 1943, as Labor Minister, Ambedkar went to the colony of the mining laborers of Dhanbad.


(All photos have been received from the Deeksha Bhoomi, Nagpur and Lokwangamay Publication.)


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1. Baba Saheb Ambedkar's family used to belong to the Mahar caste, which was considered as untouchable. Ambedkar, who has seen economic and social discrimination since his childhood, started studying in odd circumstances.


2. Child marriage was prevalent, in 1906, he married Ramabai, a nine-year-old girl.


3 . In 1908 he joined Elphinstone College. He was the first Dalit caste to take admission in this college.


4. In 1913 he went to America to do MA Studying in the US was possible due to the monthly stipend from Baroda's Gaekwad ruler Sahayaji Rao III.


5. In 1921 he received a degree from the London School of Economics.


6. In 1925, Baba Saheb was appointed by the Bombay Presidency Committee to work in the Simon Commission. This commission was opposed in whole of India.


7. Ambedkar started extracting 'Excluded India', 'Silent Nayak', Weekly and Weekly Letter of 'Janata' to raise voice against the atrocities on Dalits.


8. After India's independence, he was made Law Minister. On August 29, 1947, the Constitution was drafted as the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee for the constitution of independent India.


9. Ambedkar resigned from the Cabinet after his Hindu Code Bill draft was stopped in Parliament in 1951. In this draft, there was talk of gender equality in the laws of succession, marriage and economy.





10. On October 14, 1956 Ambedkar and his supporters adopted the Panchsheel and adopted Buddhism. Ambedkar believed that Dalits could never get their rights under Hindu religion.Ambedkar died on December 6, 1956.

Introduction


Dalits are India’s earlier “untouchables”, so called because their touch was considered polluting due to the work they did – use dead matter (the hides of animals, tanning, cutting hair or faces. The battle against untouchability is of long standing. The efforts of two great modern Indian leaders, however, had the greatest impact in bringing public awareness of the need for eradicating this acute and particular form of oppression: Mahatma Gandhi – who called them “Harijans” or “children of God”, and B.R. Ambedkar, a brilliant lawyer, himself from an untouchable caste, who led the drafting of India’s constitution. But although the Constitution of independent India outlawed untouchability and its practice in any form, and directed the government to take affirmative action to compensate untouchable castes for these historical wrongs, the stigma against them continues in both subtle and overt forms to this day.


Accordingly, struggles by the oppressed castes have also persisted through both militant movements and advocacy. During the Independence movement Gandhi gave a call to end untouchability by raising the value of all work and removing the indignity attached to “impure” work. Ambedkar is still worshipped across India for his mobilization and leadership of these oppressed peoples against caste discrimination and all its attendant evils and cruelties, including the unique strategy of mass conversion to Buddhism. After India’s independence from British rule, untouchable and other oppressed castes became known as the “Scheduled Castes” (SC) since they were listed in a schedule, or annexure, by the first President of India under Article 341 of the Indian Constitution.


In the late Sixties and Seventies, vibrant mass movements of these oppressed castes adopted the name “Dalit”, which derives from the Sanskrit root verb dal, meaning to crack or split. The term Dalit refers to those who have been broken, ground down by those above them in a deliberate way. The word also inherently denies the notions of pollution and karma that were used to justify caste hierarchy and exclusion, and rejects the paternalistic and charitable connotations of the term Harijan, as well as the caste system as a whole. It is interesting to note that the original conceptualization of the “Dalit” identity included all oppressed groups, particularly women.


The Dalit movement thus considered women of even the highest castes as Dalits, because of their oppression.Dalit assertions emerged at different points in different regions of the country. It was a combination of mass movements, powerful writings about caste oppression, and electoral politics, with many parties vying to woo Dalit voters. Strong Dalit Movements took root in several parts of Southern and Western India.Significantly, the National Federation of Dalit Women (NFDW), formed in 1995, has forced women’s movements in India to address the caste question seriously. Dalit feminists have articulated the three-fold oppression of Dalit women as:


1. Dalits demoralized by upper castes;


2. Agricultural workers subject to class domination, mainly at the hands of upper caste land owners;


3. Women facing patriarchal domination at the hands of all men, including men of their own castes. Dalits today make up 16.2% of the total Indian population , but their control over resources of the country is less than 5%. Close to half of the Dalit population lives under the official Indian Poverty Line and even more (62%) are illiterate. In the agriculture sector, most Dalits are landless or near landless agriculture labor. The total household income for Dalits in 1998 was just 68% of the national average. Less than 10% of Dalit households have access to safe drinking water, electricity and toilets. Worst of all, Dalits are daily victims of the worst crimes and atrocities, far outnumbering other sections of society, despite the fact that many attacks go unreported for fear of further retaliation. Between 1992 and 2000, a total of 334,459 cognizable offences against Dalits were registered nationwide with the police. Despite Constitutional guarantees to provide social and political equality since Independence, the practice of discrimination against lower castes and particularly Dalits - is upheld as part of tradition. A reputed feminist historian, Uma Chakravarti, elaborates on the relationship between caste, gender, feminism and politics in her recent work, Gendering Caste.The forms of discrimination may have changed but the basic essence is explained in Dr. Ambedkar’s formulation. Caste is a system of graded inequality in which castes are arranged according to an ascending scale of reverence and a descending scale of contempt... i.e. as you go up the caste system, the power and status of a caste group increases and as you go down the scale the degree of contempt for the caste increases, as these castes have no power, are of low status, and are regarded as dirty and polluting.


Taking inspiration from phule, Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar also talked the importance of education. But education must be rationalists and reasonable. Education agitates our mind. It gives us thought about what is good and what is bad. Hence, Education is root of every movement. Agitation on certain thing is uniting factor. It became the famous word of Ambedkar as Educate, agitate and organisional. Ambedkar was one of the tallest intellectuals of the country, a scholar who understood the crookedness of the Shastras. He was an iconoclast and questioned the very essence of Shastras. Ambedkar fought for the dignity of Dalits. The Hindu Varnavyavastha snatched the dignity from Dalits. It degraded labour. He considered the Hindu law book as the source of caste system and discrimination against Dalits in India that he launched a movement against it.


On December 25th 1927, he launched a Satyagraha in Mahad town of Maharastra for the water rights of Dalits and against the Manu Smriti. He burnt Manu Smriti terming it a document of discrimination with a number of his supporters. It was of great courage to do so in the den of violent Chitpawan Brahmins in Maharastra. He fought for the rights of Dalits and had a broader vision for his community. His main concern was to ensure fare participation of Dalits in political life of the country and he succeeded in getting separate electorate for them, which he had to withdraw to save the life of Gandhi in 1932 known as Poona Pact. Then as constitutionalist when he drafted constitution and later worked very hard to ensure fare deal for women in the Hindu Code Bill. In the last phase of his life when Babe Saheb embraced Buddhism, his main concern was providing a political alternative to Dalits.


It is also interesting to note that B.R.Ambedkar was a humanist to the core of his heart. Even when his so called followers have converted him as a caste man or narrowly interpreted his ideologies and perception, Ambedkar could be termed an international humanist. Poor Dalits who consider him his emancipator. Untouchability and its Abolition: Untouchability, as indicated above, has always been considered as social evil. Since long efforts had been made to eradicate it.


Religious and social, reformers like Buddha, Ramanuja, Ramanand, Chitanya, Kabir, Nank, Tukaram and others, made great efforts to eradicate it as far as possible. The BrahmoSamaj and the Arya Samaj, and other social organizations by propaganda, education, and practical measures, did much to secure the social, religious and cultural equality to them. The establishment and consolidation of the British Raj gradually but radically changed the political, administrative, economic and social fabric of India.


The new set up in theory decried the caste, color and creed prejudices and attempted to re-mould the Indian society on the principles of competition and individualism, liberty and equality. It encouraged the dissemination of the rational, liberal and humane ideas of the West. The new polity, the new administrative framework, the new judicial system, the new forms of land tenure and taxation, the new patterns of trade, the new education system, and the network of communications stressed the spirit of equality. A new environment emerged in the society where the process of westernization and sanskritization got brewed up; the consciousness for positive rights was created, the general awareness took a new turn cultimating in farreaching political and sociological changes. Among the depressed classes also rose intellectuals, distinguished of whom was Dr.Ambedkar, who struggled to secure for them the social recognition and human rights. The all India Depressed Association and the All India Depressed Classes Federation, the principal organizations of these classes, initiated a movement to improve their conditions. They aimed at improving their miserable economic conditions, and to spread education among them. They worked to secure for them the rights to draw water from public wells, admission to the schools, and to the use of roads; and enter the public temples.


The Mahad Satyagrah for the right of water led by Dr. Ambedkar was one of the outstanding movements of the untouchables to win equal social rights. All India Harijans Sevak Sangh founded by Gandhi in 1923 started numerous schools for the Harijan including residential vocational schools. The Congress Government after came in power in various States under the Government of India Act. 1935 did useful work for restoring to the depressed classes their rightful place. The Congress Government in Bombay passed, the Bombay Harijan Temple Worship (Removal of Disabilities) Act enabling the trustees to admit the Harijans to the temples. Free education of the Harijans, from the primary class to the university level was introduced by the C.R and Bihar and Congress Governments in their respective Provinces. The rulers of states like Travancore, Indore, Aundh and Devas, took the initiative in throwing open all state temples by proclamation to the untouchables. Aspects of Dalit Movement: The strategies, ideologies, approaches of Dalit movement varied from leader to leader, place to place and time to time. The ‘Dalit consciousness’ came to the fore in different forms and shades. Thus, some Dalit leaders followed the process of’ Sanskritization’ to elevate themselves to the higher position in caste hierarchy. They adopted Brahman manners, including vegetarianism, putting sandalwood paste on forehead, wearing sacred thread, etc. Thus Dalit leaders like Swami Thykkad (Kerala), Pandi Sunder Lai Sagar (UP), MuldasVaishya (Gujarat), Moon Vithoba Raoji Pande (Maharashtra) and others tried to adopt established cultural norms and practices of the higher castes. Imitation of the high caste manners by Dalits was an assertion of their right to equality. Treating Dalits as outside the fourfold Varna system, and describing them as ‘outcastes’ or ‘Panchama’ gave rise to a movement called Adi-Hindu movement. Thus, certain section of Dalit leadership believed that Dalits were the original inhabitants of India and they were not Hindus. That Aryans or Brahmins who invaded this country forcibly imposed untouchability on the original inhabitants of this land. They believed that if Hinduism was discarded, untouchability would automatically come to an end. That Dalits began to call themselves Adi-Andhras in Andhra, Adi- Karnataka in Karnataka, Adi-Dravidas in Tamil Nadu, Adi-Hindus in Uttar Pradesh and Adi-Dharmis in Punjab. Dalits also followed the route of conversion with a purpose of getting rid of untouchability and to develop their moral and financial conditions. A good number of Dalits were converted to Christianity, especially in Kerala. Some of the Dalits, especially in Punjab were converted to Sikhism. They are known as Mazhabis, Namdharis, KabirPanthis etc. Dalits also got converted to Buddhism. Dr. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism along with his millions of followers at Nagpur in 1956. As a protest against Hinduism some of the Dalit leaders founded their own sects or religions. Guru Ghasi Das (MP) founded Satnami Sect. Gurtichand Thakur (Bengal) founded Matua Sect. Ayyan Kali (kerala) founded SJPY (Sadha Jana ParipalanYogam) and Mangu Ram (Panjab) founded AdiDharam. Attempts were also made to organize Dalits politically in order to fight against socioeconomic problems. Dr. Ambedkar formed the independent Labour Party in 1936. He tried to abolish the exploitative Khoti system prevailing in Kokan part of Maharashtra, and Vetti or Maharaki system a wage free hereditary service to the caste Hindus in the local administration. He tried to convince the Government to recruit the Mahars in Military. Ultimately he became successful in 1941 when the first Mahar Regiment was formed. 7



Dr. B. R. Ambedkar & Dalit Movement Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar attained ‘Mahaparinirvan’. Born on 14th April 1891, in the military town Mhow, he was the fourteenth child of his parents. Parents from untouchable community viz. Mahar, his father was a retired army officer and headmaster in a military school, and his mother an illiterate woman. Since he was born in an untouchable caste, he was made to sit separate from other students in a corner of the classroom. Despite all kinds of humiliations, he passed his high school in 1908 with flying colours. This was such an exceptional achievement for an untouchable, that he was felicitated in a public meeting. Four years later he graduated in Political Science and Economics from Bombay University. After his graduation he went to the USA to study economics at the Columbia University with a scholarship form the Maharaja of Baroda. Bhimrao remained abroad from 1913 to 1917 and again from 1920 to 1923. In the meantime he had established himself as an eminent intellect. Columbia University had awarded him the PhD for his thesis, which was later published in a book form under the title “The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India”. But his first published article was “Castes in India – Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development”. In 1920 he went to London where he got his Bar-at-Law at Gray’s Inn for Law. During his sojourn in London from 1920 to 1923, he also completed his thesis titled “The Problem of the Rupee” for which he was awarded the degree of DSc. During the brief stay in India from 1917 to 1920 he first got a job as Military Secretary in Baroda Raja’s office. Here he was ill treated again by the upper caste employees. Even drinking water was not given to him and files were kept at a distance from him. He couldn’t continue in Baroda and later taught at Sydnom College in Bombay and also brought out Marathi weekly whose title was ‘MookNayak’ (meaning ‘Dumb Hero’). He had to face similar experience of untouchability and dishonour even in Bombay. Ambedkar’s Dalit Movement While coming back to India in 1923, Ambedkar again experienced humiliation. The upper caste lawyers would not even have tea at his desk. But his greatest consolation was his clients, whom he treated with liberal mind. His reputation and fame among the Depressed Classes began to grow. He visualised and struggled for a casteless and equal India. By the time he returned to India, Bhimrao had equipped himself fully to wage war against the practice of untouchability. In 1924 he started the organisation ‘BahiskritHitakariniSabha’ (Outcastes Welfare Association), for the upliftment of the untouchables. Ambedkar adopted a two-pronged strategy. First, the eradication of illiteracy and economic uplift of the downtrodden and second, initiating non-violent struggle against visible symbols of casteism, like denial of entry into temples and drawing water from public wells and tanks. The problems of the downtrodden were centuries old and difficult to overcome. Their entry into temples was forbidden. They could not draw water from public wells and ponds. Their admission in schools was prohibited. Ambedkar won two major victories when the High Court of Bombay gave a verdict in favour of the untouchables. On 25th December 1927, he led the Mahad March at the Chowdar Tank at Colaba, near Bombay, to ensure the untouchables right to draw water from the public tank. The marchers were met with the brutality of caste Hindus. He then burnt copies of the ‘Manusmriti’ publicly terming it a document of discrimination with a number of his supporters. It was an act of great courage to do so in the den of violent Chitpawan Brahmins in Maharastra. The two struggles shook the religious foundation on which the caste system is built. This marked the beginning of the anti-caste and ant-priest movement in Maharastra. The temple entry movement launched by Dr. Ambedkar in 1930 at Kalaram temple, Nasik is another landmark in the struggle for human rights and social justice. He was fully convinced that nothing could emancipate the Dalits except through a complete destruction of the caste system. He continued his movement to attack the base of caste system in every possible way. 9 In the meantime, the Simon Commission visited India and Dr. Ambedkar met the commission in Pune in which Ambedkar presented his position on depressed classes. He then followed it up during the round table conference after which Ramsay McDonald? announced ‘Communal Award’ as a result of which several communities including the ‘depressed classes’ were given the right to have separate electorates. Gandhiji wanted to defeat this design and went on a fast unto death to oppose it.


On 24th September 1932, Ambedkar and Gandhiji reached an understanding, which became the famous Poona Pact.


According to this Pact, in addition to the agreement on electoral constituencies, reservations were provided for untouchables in Government jobs and legislative assemblies. The Pact carved out a clear and definite position for the downtrodden on the political scene of the country. For the first time in Indian history it opened up opportunities of education and government service for them and also gave them a right to vote. Dr. Ambedkar attended all the three Round Table Conferences in London and each time, forcefully projected his views in the interest of the ‘untouchable’. He exhorted the downtrodden sections to raise their living standards and to acquire as much political power as possible. He was of the view that there was no future for untouchables in the Hindu religion and they should change their religion if need be. In 1935, he publicly proclaimed,” I was born a Hindu because I had no control over this but I shall not die a Hindu”. It is also interesting to note and which not many Ambedarkites have ventured, that Dr Ambedkar was a socialist to the core of his heart. The disappointing relation with the communist movement stands as the single most unfortunate paradox of contemporary Indian history. It didn’t come out of much of ideological differences, which certainly existed in the form of certain unclear theoretical constructs in the mind of Ambedkar – as from the attitudes of the communist leaders towards the Dalit movement. These leaders in the Trade Unions of Bombay dogmatically regarded the caste question as an unimportant super-structural issue, which would automatically disappear when the revolution takes place. Their orthodox outlook regarding untouchability, caste disparity, discrimination was the basics on which Ambedkar’s entire thesis on Communism was formed. For historical reasons the leadership of this 10 communist movement however came from the middle class educated youth who had to come from upper castes communities, the majority being the Brahmin itself. Ambedkar’s writing on Marxism is heavily reflects his frustration with the Bombay-Communists. This legacy to identify Marxism with its self-appointed practitioners still appears to be followed by Dalits. They cite examples of the parliamentary communist parties to show the lacuna or inapplicability of Marxism. It is necessary for them to understand that Marxism intrinsically solicits criticism but it presupposes its careful study. As Anand Teltumde puts it, although Ambedkar could not discuss the philosophy of communism in the manner it deserved, he was never antagonistically disposed towards it. Rather, he acknowledged the beauty of communist philosophy and said that it was closer to his own. Preoccupied with the mission of liberating the Dalits, he insisted, quite like Marx, that the test of the philosophy was in practice, and opined that if communists worked from that perspective, to win success in India would be far easier than in Russia (Janata, 15 January, 1938). He always regarded communism as the ultimate benchmark to assess his highest ideal – Buddhism. With unpleasant experience with communist dogma and vulgarity of his times, he did sound polemically against Communism and appeared at times even professing its doom but it all underscored his wrath against the dogma that occupied the communist practice. Despite all these aspects of Ambedkar’s disagreements with Communism it is cannot be ruled out that Ambedkar was not a Socialist. He was a socialist of a different kind. One of his prime conflicts with Marx was ‘dictatorship of the proletariats’, which he condemned saying that dictatorship of any kind is unethical. His stood for greater democracy of, by, for and among the oppressed ones in every field. At one stage he was clearly of the opinion that the historical conflict is between the exploited and exploiters and that all. It is with this idea that Dr. Ambedkar, formed the Independent Labour Party, participated in the provincial elections and was elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly. During these days he stressed the need for abolition of the ‘Jagirdari’ system, pleaded for workers’ Fight to strike and addressed a large number of meetings and conferences in Bombay Presidency. In 1939, during the Second World War, he 11 called upon Indians to join the Army in large numbers to defeat Nazism, which he said, was another name for Fascism.


He stood for the nationalisation of property like land, banks etc. Ambedkar was also an advocate of women’s rights. He struggled for women’s liberation from the caste-entrenched patriarchal system. At the conference of the Depressed Classes Women in Nagpur in 1942, he stated: ‘let every girl who marries stand by her husband, claim to be her husband’s friend and equal, and refuse to be his slave’. He resigned from the Nehru’s cabinet as Law Minister only when the cabinet refused to pass the Women’s Rights Bill. This strongly proves that his idea of Socialism was embedded in his core agenda of freedom for all from all forms of bondage. Dalit Movement after Ambedkar Dalit movement post Ambedkar had witnessed several ups and downs. On one side a categorical awakening among the Dalits had grown beyond all levels of history and on the other it has somewhere stagnant after Ambedkar mainly due to ideological disposition of stagnation. It would be opportune to look at the post Ambedar Dalit movement and do a stock taking of the changes within the Dalit politics to understand the phenomenon.


SubashGatade says that the ups and downs through which the Dalit politics passed through after the death of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar can be broadly divided into three phases – Rise and Fall of the Republican Party, emergence of the Dalit Panthers and thirdly the growing assertion of Dalits for political power and their consequent refusal to remain satisfied merely with education and job opportunities arising out of the policy of reservation. There is no need to underline the immense potentialities in the phenomenon of Dalit assertion in today’s caste ridden polity. There is no denying the fact that it is a step ahead in the real democratisation of the Indian society and the polity dominated by Brahminical values and traditions despite nearly six decade experiment in electoral democracy. The impressive intervention of BSP under Kanshiram in the national politics underlines this third stage. It is noteworthy that while in the earlier two stages in the post Ambedkar Dalit movement the unfolding Dalit politics in Maharashtra guided its orientation, its role has been increasingly marginalised in the third stage. The success achieved by BSP has certainly encouraged emergence of similar experiments in different parts of the country. At this stage there is another factor that developed among Dalit castes too. These are organising themselves under the banners of their respective caste and subcaste for achieving their rights. Consequently their guns are trained besides the Varna system also on the so-called rich Dalit castes or the creamy layer in them, which they feel, have monopolised a large part of the reserved posts. The Mahar/neo-Buddhists vs. Matang and Charmakar debate in Maharashtra, Mala vs. Madiga in Andhra Pradesh are symptomatic of this rising trend. This propensity is similar in most states where the marginalized Dalits are organising themselves into a movement for castewisecategorisation of reserved seats in educational institutions and jobs etc, which could not avail of the quota for historical reasons, could avail of it. It is indeed ironical that at a time when the issue of Dalit assertion has got acceptance even in the mainstream polity in the 90s a counter tendency has emerged which seem to fracture the new found identity. One could also perceive the whole process as an explosion of identities hitherto suppressed by the hegemonic caste and class structure. In the beginning of the 70s the term Dalit denoted a broad, homogenous fraternity. This is no more the case. If you just say Dalit you are making an incomplete statement. It would be necessary to also specify whether he is a Mala or a Madiga or a Matang or a Charmakar. This process has thrown up new ‘icons’ from among the different castes and the sub–castes as well. This clearly gives a broader picture of the fact that how much the individual caste identity had become more important than the collective one of the 70s. Another aspect that the Dalit movement in the post-Ambedkar era failed to address is that of the direct challenges of communal fascism. Communal-fascism is exploring its way to elaborate its base, activities and action. It appears that building of philanthropic and religious institutions like Saraswati Sishu Mandir, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Sanghs, Deen Dayal Shodh Sansthan, Sanskriti Bihar, Vikas Bharit, Gayatri Pariwar, Brahmakumari Samaj, etc. are some of the strategies adopted to create inroads among the Dalits & Adivasis. Another strategy applied is the steady and systematic capturing of the community panchayats and organisations. The best 13 example of this is Gujarat where the communal fascists have got their stranglehold and successfully executed the carnage against the Muslims by communalizing Dalits and Adivasis. Resultant is the perpetual assurance of control over these communities plus a bonus of sustaining casteism. Expansion of caste fascism has so far and is disintegrating the Dalit ideology, theology, and identity and intimidated their very existence. Apparently this ruptures the community, deteriorates the noble notions of sharing, caring and co-operation, expansion of patriarchy and battered the inkling of community ownership over resources. Let us not forget Ambedkar was the greatest fighter against religious fascism and historical caste fascism. Thirdly Dalit movement neither understand the politics of imperialist globalization not address it in any form. Rather than entering the debate in a critical way from the subaltern perspective, it remained passive to the process of globalisation, and many times joined the sustaining party. Globalization in India marked through Economic Reforms launched in July 1991 in India were in nature of a crisis management response to the economic and political crises that erupted in early 90s. The blue print for the Reforms was provided by the combination of macroeconomic stabilization and structural adjustment programme of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank respectively, which had been adopted by many countries before in similar situations. This had quantitative and qualitative adversities on food security, employment, inflation, poverty alleviation schemes as well as social security. For example reservation in the educational institutions and the financial assistance in the form of scholarships and freeships had gone out of context, with the advent of education as an industry. Without education, all constitutional safeguards including the reservation in services would be futile. The Reforms have already resulted in freezing the grants to many institutions and in stagnating, if not lowering, the expenditure on education. The free market ethos has entered the educational sphere in a big way. Commercialization of education is no more a mere rhetoric; it is now the established fact. Commercial institutions offering specialised education signifying the essential input from utilitarian viewpoint have come up in a big way from cities to small towns. 14 It is the same way that the employment sector had its impact due to the thus called ‘economic reforms’. Howsoever, unsatisfactory the results of the implementation of reservation in employment may be, its importance from the Dalit viewpoint cannot be under emphasised. As could be evidenced by the organised private sector, where it would be difficult to find a Dalit employee (save of course in scavenging and lowliest jobs), without reservations Dalits would have been totally doomed.


The importance of reservations thus could only be assessed in relation to situations where they do not exist. Whatever be their defects and deficiencies, they have given certain economic means of livelihood and some social prestige to the sons and daughters of over 1.5 million landless labourers. Whether they get real power or not, over 50,000 Dalits could enter the sphere of bureaucratic authority with the help of reservations. Besides these tangible benefits promised by the policy, it has instilled a hope in Dalit community. This hope predominantly manifests in the form of spread of education among them. Their emotional bond with the nation and its Constitution despite heaps of injustice and ignominy they bear every moment of their life may also be significantly attributable to the Reservation Policy. The selling out the PSU, the disinvestment of PSUs, promotion of privatisation, the letting off of land to the corporates, etc. had crafted formulae of neo-colonisation. This is high time that Dalit leadership across the country enters this debate in a big way, which it had until now failed to do. Coming back to Ambedkar, he was not dogmatic but pragmatic. He had rightly confronted the forces of fascism, communalism and capitalism. He believed that any system that promotes unequal human relationships should not thrive. Unfortunately, his socio-economical writings were kept aside while his writings on religion and caste system of 30s were used more by the representatives of the movement, thus clearly alienating a vast masses of the unorganisedlabour away from the mainstream Ambedkarite movement. That is why today, despite globalisation resulting in wars and multiple conflicts, yet we Dalits simply remain as silent spectators, just waiting for our turn of reservation. Dalits are confined to use the Dalit card for just reservation in education and employment, nothing else. The forth barrier of the post Ambedkar Dalit movement is the emergence of a new sect of Dalit elite. This Dalit elite whom Baba Saheb had opposed tooth and nail in his lifetime had become the SarkariBabuSahab clan, who not only take the benefits of reservations but also conveniently forget the community once they get there. It is also observed that while this sect functions throughout with the brand ‘Dalit’, also engage in all the corrupt practices that was once the cornerstone of Brahministic culture and ethics. It is interesting that Ambedkar fought for the rights of Dalits and had a broader vision, which couldn’t be inculcated by post–AmbedkarAmbedkarites. He wanted to give his people an identity so that they get out of Varna System, but here what we see is the stimulation of the culture of varna and caste within the Dalit communities. Despite the leaps and bounds, the Dalit movement made in Indian context, the failure of Ambedkarite movement to address the questions of fascism, communalism, globalisation, imperialism and the most importantly patriarchy in relation with casteism has altogether dragged the Dalit movement to the crossroad in the present context. And then any pragmatic and progressive movement cannot stand on the selective criticism of a few religious texts or political ideologies and conveniently keeping quiet on other questions. A movement cannot be built on superfluous philosophy of negativism. It has to provide its own alternative to the people. To quote V.B. Rawat, Dalits have their own distinct identity and culture and those claiming to provide them an alternative God really misquote Ambedkar and kill their revolutionary spirit as suggested by many Dalit activists. Ambedkar’s popularity among the Dalits is not due to the corrupt Dalits who use all tactics to grab money and power but the poor Dalits who consider him as the liberator. There are many reasons for the same. Ambedkar is a uniting factor for Dalits. No doubt that he has become an icon of Dalits from North to South from Hindi heartland to the southern Tamilnadu. However he himself was against ‘hero worship’ of any time. He believed in the exploration of knowledge on historical and scientific basis. This has to be a regular, rather ongoing, process which is only possible by addressing the problems of the oppressed and exploited masses. The undeniable fact is the Ambedkar is mainly known among the working class Dalits. The only way to salute Bhimrao is by truly standing against oppressive structure, for equality and justice. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, better known as B. R. Ambedkar, and to the many whom he served throughout his life, as Babasheb, one of the singular figures of the Indian revolution was born on this day in 1891. While an untouchable (the term in general use has shifted to “dalit,” largely led by Ambedkar himself) his father, like his grandfather before, served in the British Army, and because of that he had access to an education. Nonetheless, the indignities he suffered ranging from not being allowed to sit inside the classroom, to having to sit on a gunny sack he brought with him to and from school so as not to contaminate the ground, to only having access to water at school if a paid servant was there to pour the water that the boy would otherwise not be allowed to touch again because his touch would contaminate it for everyone else, marked his understanding of many things. The boy was brilliant. He graduated from Bombay University, and then won a scholarship to Columbia, where he earned his first doctorate. From there he went on to earn a law degree and a second doctorate at the London School of Economics before turning his attention to what would become his life work. In 1924 he established the BahishkritHitkarainiSabha, the Outcastes Welfare Association. Three years later he led a mass march at the Chowder Tank in Colaba, outside Bombay, demanding that untouchables have the right to draw water. As civil rights leaders Dr Ambedkar and Mohandas Gandhi worked in an uneasy alliance. While Ambedkar was committed to independence, he had little trust of the dominant culture, and continued to press hard on behalf of the dalit communities. When Gandhi and others introduced the term “harijans,” meaning “people of God,” for the untouchables, rather than their own preferred term “dalit,” Ambedkar opposed having the term foisted upon them as one more example of being marginalized. He did quip that if his people were the children of God, then the upper casts would all be the children of monsters. When India achieved independence, Dr Ambedkar was appointed India’s first law minister, basically India’s first attorney general. But, facing endless frustrations at his attempts to advance civil rights on behalf of all marginalized people, as a last straw, when his attempt to enshrine gender equality in laws concerning marriage and inheritance were frustrated, he resigned his office.


Chapter 3 Participation of Dalit Women in the Movement


One of the major landmarks of Dalit Movement led by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had been the huge participation of women and their articulation for political, social and economic rights for women in general and depressed class women in particular. Dr. Ambedkar was always concerned about women empowerment. In a letter to his father’s friend, young Dr. Ambedkar, during his studies at New York, said – We shall see better days soon and our progress will be greatly accelerated if male education is persuaded side by side with female education…” And Dalit women listened to the advice and participated in the Dalit’s struggle for equal rights. Further, Dr. Ambedkar believed said that I am a great believer in women’s organization. I know that what they can do to improve the condition of the society if they are convinced. In the eradication of social evils, they have rendered great services. I will testify to that from my own experience. Ever since I began to work among the depressed classes, I made it a point to carry women along with men. I strongly believe in the movements run by women. If they are truly taken into confidence, they may change the present picture of a society which is very miserable. In past, they have played a significant role in improving the condition of weaker section and classes. Don’t forget some of our great Dalit women leaders. As Babasaheb said, “They cannot make history who forgets History.” It is not true that our women had not taken active part so far in any movement or in our social movement. Dalit Women Leaders participated with BabasahebAmbedkar. RamabaiAmbedkar In January 1928, a women’s association was founded in Bombay with RamabaiAmbedkar, Dr. Ambedkar’s wife, as its president.They have among themMrs. AnjinibaiDeshbhratar who simply for the help of thier girls started and continued at her own cost a free boarding house at Nagpur for the Depressed Classes 19 Girl students. This she did out of the savings from the small pay earned by her husband who is employed as a clerk. Similarly, in the Satyagraha on Kalaram temple and Chavdar tank, Dalit women even from distant parts of Hyderabad volunteered to take part. Dr. Ambedkar believed in the strength of women and their role in the process of social reform. In the Kalram Temple entry Satyagraha at Nasik in 1930, five hundred women participated and many of them were arrested along with men and ill-treated in jails. The historic Mahad Satyagraha witnessed participation of three hundred women along with their male counterparts. Mrs. GitabaiGaikwad The work of Mrs. Gitabai Gaikwad is indescribable. Just as the sky cannot be lighted by one solitary star, so our great movement cannot achieve success by the deed of one Mrs. Gitabai. Her deeds show us the way and guide us in our path towards the right passage and our object.On 20th July 1942, The All India Depressed Classes Women Conference was organized and 25,000 women attended that conference.Let us all unite, march forward in the directions pointed out to us and achieve our rights. In the meanwhile we must continue our fight for the rights of the Depressed Classes unabated and with the help of our sisters, uneducated though they might be who are ever ready to lay down their lives under the leadership of our great leader Dr. Ambedkar, said Mrs. Kirtibai Patil, Chairman of the Reception Committee of the All India Depressed Classes Women Conference in her speech July 20, 1942, Nagpur. Sulochanabai Dongre, SulochanabaiDongre, President of All India Depressed Classes Women Conference. While addressing the participants, SulochanabaiDongre said, “One important question is of birth control. In this respect, educated women can be successful because they can realize the evils of it. It is no use multiplying sickly, illfed and illiterate children at the cost of mother’s health. To stop this evil every woman should consider this question seriously and should act soon. To solve this problem female education on an extensive scale is essential”.


Women Participated in Dalit Movement


In fact, the clear departure of Dalit feminism from the mainstream nationalist women’s movement occurred right at the very beginning. At the AIWC conference held in 1937, Hindu women like Jaibai Choudhuri had insulted the Dalit women by arranging separate seating for them at meals. In retaliation to that “shameful and despicable behaviour” of the caste Hindu women, the Ramabai Ambedkar Women’s Sanghwas formed on January 1, 1938. The vexed relationship between Gandhian nationalism and Ambedkar’s reforms came to the forefront during such critical moments. Ramabai Ambedkar who was hailed for “her goodness of heart, her nobility of mind, and her purity of heart” by no less than Ambedkar himself, RadhabaiKamble whose speeches inspired the labour meets in Vidharba, Sulochanabai Dongre, whose presence at public meetings was awe-inspiring, Tulsabai Bansode, who sang songs and worked at the hand press with her husband, Anjanibai Deshbhratar who organised untouchable girl students in 1936, the three sisters Geetabai, Seetabai and Ramabai who worked tirelessly at home and the movement, Meenambal Shivraj who advocated the role of education powerfully, Mukta Sarvagaud who strongly advocated the role of personal hygiene, Shantabai Dani who travelled as the sole woman along with male activists, Shantabai Sarode who was a wrestler and arbitrated disputes in her area and the many women who converted to Buddhism present us with an amazing range of women who actively engaged themselves in the movement and took themselves seriously.


First Vaidik Marriage of Mahar Caste on 21/06/1929 All India Dalit Women Council 1942 Nagpur ( Dr. BabasahebAmbedkar, RadhabaiKamble, KirtibaiPatil, SulochanaDongare, D. G. Jadhav, etc.)

Dalit Women Welcome Dr. BabasahebAmbedkar after become a Labour Minister, Mumbai in 1942

Delhi BoudhyaMahasabha Rally 1957


Conclusion


One of the main think of Dalit Movement led by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had been the huge participation of women and their articulation for political, social and economic rights for women in general and depressed class women in particular. Dr. Ambedkar was always concerned about women empowerment. Ambedkar’s social and educational thought remains surprisingly neglected in Indian educational discourse. Education was assigned a revolutionary role in Ambedkar’s conception of social progress and in his vision of a just and equal society. It was identified as a key instrument of liberation from oppressive structures of Hindu castepatriarchy as well as of reconstruction of a new social order. Women were integral to this visionary egalitarianism and were consciously mobilised as political actors in the dalit liberation movement led by Ambedkar in the early decades of the twentieth century. This article explores the interface between Ambedkar’s ideologies of liberation and education, on the one hand, and dalit women’s thoughts and perspectives, on the other hand. It seeks to incorporate gender in the understanding of the historical processes of social change. It argues that an emancipatory discourse on gender was an important component of Ambedkar’s philosophy of social democratic liberalism and permitted women an authentic identification with its underlying principles with a view to achieving a full and enlightened citizenship. The research shows how the imbibing of Ambedkar’s thought and participation in his movement constituted the bedrock of dalit women’s political education. The arena of formal education was a significant focus of women’s political involvement, and they played foundational roles as political educators and educational activists. Dalit women redefined ideals of both womanhood and educational purpose in terms of counterhegemonic reconstructions of nation, society and community, and articulated new subject positions grounded in them.


Reference

1. Minakshi Moon, Urmila Pawar – “Amhihi Itihsas Ghadwala, Sugava” Prakashan, Pune 2000

2. Ravsaheb Kasbe, “Dr. Ambedkar Ani Bhartiya Rajyaghatna”, Suman Prakashan, Nagpur 3. Minakshi Moon, “Phule ambedkari Stri Chalval”, Samata Prakashan, Nagpur, 2011

4. Phadke Y. D., “Ambedkari Chalval”, Shri Vidya Prakashan, Pune, 2007

5. Dhananjay Keer, “Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar” Papular Prakashan, Mumbai, 1989

6. Kuber V. N., “Dr. Ambedkar Veecharmanthan” Kesari Prakashan , Pune, 1972

7. Kamble Zumberlal, “Mahadcha Muktisangram”, Rajnansa Prakashan, Pune, 1977

8. Manisha Patankar, “ Lokrajya” Mahiti nai Jansamparka Mahasanchalnaya, Mumbai, 2006 9. Khairmode Changdev, “Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar” Vol-2, Sugava Prakashan, Pune, 1958

10.Khairmode Changdev, “Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar” Vol-7, Sugava Prakasahan, Pune, 1985

11.Dr. Gathal S. S., “Ambedkari Chalvalicha Itihas” Kailas Publications, Aurangabad 12.Ravsaheb Kasabe, “Dalit Chalvalichi Watchal”, Keshavgore Smarak Trust Prakashan, Mumbai, 1993

13.Bhole B. L. , “Sandhrabha Dalit Chalvalicha”, Bajaj Publications, Amravati, 2008 14.Bhole B. L. , “Adhunik Bhartatil Rajkiya Vichar”, Pimplapure & Comp Publications, Nagpur, Ed.-2, 2003

15.Pratima Pardesi, Saroj Kamble, “Jativyavstha Ani Strimukti”, Krantisingh Nana Patil Akadmi, Ahamadnagar, Ed-2, 2007

16.Dr. Deepa Sravasti, “Striswatantrya Ani Buddha-Phule, Ambedkar”, NagNalanda Prakashan, Ed-2, 2015

17.Dr. Shobha Naik, “Bhartiya Sandharbhatun Strivad, Streewadi Samiksha ani Upayojan”, Lokwangmaya graham, Mumbai, 2007

18.Jyoti Lanjewar, “Bhartiya Samaj Ani Stree”, Sugava Prakashan, Pune, 2005

19.Kairmode C. B., “Dr. Ambedkar Ani Hindu Codbill”, Sugava Prakashan, Pune, 1987

20. http://velivada.com/2017/06/21/great-dalit-women-leaders-participation-dalitsstruggle/ 21. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/097318491200900206?journalCo de=ceda





























16th June , Dr. Ambedkar Established the ‘Bombay State Inferior Village Watandar
Association’Traditionally, the Mahars (an earstwhile untouchable caste) were servants to all the village, with a number of responsibilities – they brought wood to the burial grounds, carried off dead animals and were expected to eat the flesh of the cattle carcasses, took messages to other villages, cared for the horses of traveling government officials, mended the village wall, acted as village watchmen, and served the village headman as town criers. In this capacity they were watandars (leaseholders) and so held some land, but they were never primarily agriculturists. This was serfdom – forced labor bound to a hereditary plot of land owned by a lord in return for protection and the right to work on fields.














16 June 1956: Dr. Ambedkar established the ‘Bombay State Inferior Village Watandar Association’ under his own chairmanship.










Dr. Ambedkar was the “first legislator in India to introduce a bill for the abolition of the serfdom of agricultural tenants”. He wanted to solve the problem of Mahar Watans by all legislative and constitutional means. He introduced a bill in Poona session of Bombay Legislative Council in 1937 (17 September) to abolish the Mahar Watan for which he had been agitating since 1927. However later he had to withdraw the billas it was tampered beyond recognition.


Clarifying the objectives of the Association that he formed on 16 June 1956, Dr. Ambedkar stated that if the Government did not solve the problem amicably, then expressed his desire to prosecute the Government. When the question of giving land to Watandar came up, the villagers opposed it. They thought the problem of their cattle more important than the problem of Mahar Watandar. Dr. Ambedkar said that Government accepted the principle of “land to tiller” but was not ready to include Government lands under the jurisdiction of the Act. He believed that the Watan Act and the Watan system were contrary to the provision of the constitution of India. He opined that a writ petition should be filed in the High Court in this matter and if it was unsuccessful, it must be taken to the Supreme Court. In a letter to Gaekwad, he wrote clearly that he did not want to turn the agitation against Watan system into Satyagraha due to war emergency. When Dr. Ambedkar became the member of Viceroy’s Executive Council, he promised to withdraw the movement because he thought that he might be able to serve the cause better as a member of Viceroy’s Executive Council than to conduct a struggle.


Subsequently, Mahar Watan was abolished under the Bombay Inferior Village Watan Abolition Act 1959.


Dalit Movement in India










By Puja Mondal
















Dalit means all those people of different castes and sub-castes among the depressed classes who were traditionally subjected to invidious discriminations on grounds of untouchability, and categorized as the untouchables, downtrodden, exterior classes, depressed classes or Scheduled Castes.








“The organizational or institutional efforts made by Dalit leaders for the liberation of the downtrodden masses could be termed as Dalit movement. It is a movement of protest against untouchability, casteism and superstitions. It aims at the uplift of the Dalits to the level of non -Dalits.”


“Negatively speaking, it stands for rejection of the old traditional Hindu social order based on untouchability, socioeconomic inequality casteism, unscientific and irrational religious beliefs and customary servitude.


Positively speaking, it stands for acceptance of a new social order based on equality, liberty, and social justice, scientific and rational religious or moral principles; and social, economic, cultural and political development of the Dalit.” It is the movement to regain self-respect and equal human status in the society.





It is the result of the consciousness of Dalits of their own identity as human beings, equally equipped with physical and mental capacities as other human beings, and equally entitled to enjoy all the human rights “without any infringement, abridgement or limitations.”




Untouchability and its Eradication:















Untouchability, as indicated above, has always been considered as social evil. Since long efforts had been made to eradicate it. Religious and social, reformers like Buddha, Ramanuja, Ramanand, Chitanya, Kabir, Nank, Tukaram and others, made great efforts to eradicate it as far as possible.


The Brahmo Samaj and the Arya Samaj, and other social organizations by propaganda, education, and practical measures, did much to secure the social, religious and cultural equality to them.


The establishment and consolidation of the British Raj gradually but radically changed the political, administrative, economic and social fabric of India. The new set up in theory decried the caste, color and creed prejudices and attempted to re-mould the Indian society on the principles of competition and individualism, liberty and equality. It encouraged the dissemination of the rational, liberal and humane ideas of the West.





The new polity, the new administrative framework, the new judicial system, the new forms of land tenure and taxation, the new patterns of trade, the new education system, and the network of communications stressed the spirit of equality. A new environment emerged in the society where the process of westernization and sanskritization got brewed up; the consciousness for positive rights was created, the general awareness took a new turn cultimating in farreaching political and sociological changes.


Among the depressed classes also rose intellectuals, distinguished of whom was Dr.Ambedkar, who struggled to secure for them the social recognition and human rights. The all India Depressed Association and the All India Depressed Classes Federation, the principal organizations of these classes, initiated a movement to improve their conditions.


They aimed at improving their miserable economic conditions, and to spread education among them. They worked to secure for them the rights to draw water from public wells, admission to the schools, and to the use of roads; and enter the public temples. The Mahad Satyagrah for the right of water led by Dr. Ambedkar was one of the outstanding movements of the untouchables to win equal social rights.


All India Harijans Sevak Sangh founded by Gandhi in 1923 started numerous schools for the Harijan including residential vocational schools. The Congress Government after came in power in various States under the Government of India Act. 1935 did useful work for restoring to the depressed classes their rightful place. The Congress Government in Bombay passed, the Bombay Harijan Temple Worship (Removal of Disabilities) Act enabling the trustees to admit the Harijans to the temples.





Free education of the Harijans, from the primary class to the university level was introduced by the C.R and Bihar and Congress Governments in their respective Provinces. The rulers of states like Travancore, Indore, Aundh and Devas, took the initiative in throwing open all state temples by proclamation to the untouchables.


To enforce the provisions of law more strictly, the Untouchability (Offences) Act (1955) was passed to fix penalties for not observing the law. Besides, to enable the Harijans to overcome their backwardness, they were provided with special educational facilities. The Union and the State Governments now spend huge sums of money on their advancement and on projects to remove untouchability. In consequence of these provisions; there has come about a distinct change in the status of Harijans. There are now thousands of Harijans working in the central and State Governments.


They hold high positions in the administration. At selection levels too, special consideration is shown to the Harijan candidates. They now actively take to the profession of Law, Medicine and Engineering.


In politics too they have gained a balancing position. They have the benefit of the reservations of seats in all elected bodies from the village panchayat to Union Parliament. They are now, not only in a position of sway the local balance of power one way or the other but also affect the political developments, at the centre.




Dynamics of Dalit Movement


















The strategies, ideologies, approaches of Dalit movement varied from leader to leader, place to place and time to time. The ‘Dalit consciousness’ came to the fore in different forms and shades. Thus, some Dalit leaders followed the process of’ Sanskritization’ to elevate themselves to the higher position in caste hierarchy.


They adopted Brahman manners, including vegetarianism, putting sandalwood paste on forehead, wearing sacred thread, etc. Thus Dalit leaders like Swami Thykkad (Kerala), Pandi Sunder Lai Sagar (UP), Muldas Vaishya (Gujarat), Moon Vithoba Raoji Pande (Maharashtra) and others tried to adopt established cultural norms and practices of the higher castes.


Imitation of the high caste manners by Dalits was an assertion of their right to equality. Treating Dalits as outside the fourfold Varna system, and describing them as ‘outcastes’ or ‘Panchama’ gave rise to a movement called Adi-Hindu movement. Thus, certain section of Dalit leadership believed that Dalits were the original inhabitants of India and they were not Hindus. That Aryans or Brahmins who invaded this country forcibly imposed untouchability on the original inhabitants of this land.


They believed that if Hinduism was discarded, untouchability would automatically come to an end. That Dalits began to call themselves Adi-Andhras in Andhra, Adi- Karnataka in Karnataka, Adi-Dravidas in Tamil Nadu, Adi-Hindus in Uttar Pradesh and Adi-Dharmis in Punjab. Dalits also followed the route of conversion with a purpose of getting rid of untouchability and to develop their moral and financial conditions. A good number of Dalits were converted to Christianity, especially in Kerala. Some of the Dalits, especially in Punjab were converted to Sikhism.


They are known as Mazhabis, Namdharis, Kabir Panthis etc. Dalits also got converted to Buddhism. Dr. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism along with his millions of followers at Nagpur in 1956. As a protest against Hinduism some of the Dalit leaders founded their own sects or religions. Guru Ghasi Das (MP) founded Satnami Sect. Gurtichand Thakur (Bengal) founded Matua Sect. Ayyan Kali (kerala) founded SJPY (Sadha Jana Paripalan Yogam) and Mangu Ram (Panjab) founded Adi Dharam.


Attempts were also made to organize Dalits politically in order to fight against socioeconomic problems. Dr. Ambedkar formed the independent Labour Party in 1936. He tried to abolish the exploitative Khoti system prevailing in Kokan part of Maharashtra, and Vetti or Maharaki system a wage free hereditary service to the caste Hindus in the local administration. He tried to convince the Government to recruit the Mahars in Military. Ultimately he became successful in 1941 when the first Mahar Regiment was formed.


With the growing process of democratization. Dr. Ambedkar demanded adequate representation for Dalits in the legislatures and in the administration. Government of India Act, 1919, provided for one seat to the depressed classes in the central Legislative Assembly. In 1932, British Government headed by Ramsoy Macdonald announced the ‘Communal Award’.


The award envisaged separate electorate for the Depressed Classes. Mahatma Gandhi went on a historic fast in protest against Communal Award especially in respect of depressed classes. The issue was settled by famous Poona Pact, September 1932. It provided for reservation of seats for depressed classes out of general electorates sets. The Constitution of India now provides ‘for reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes in proportion to their population in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha under Article 330 and 332.





Dalit Buddhist movement







From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia








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The Dalit Buddhist movement (also known as Neo-Buddhist movement) is a socio-political movement by Dalits in India started by B. R. Ambedkar. It radically re-interpreted Buddhism and created a new school of Buddhism called Navayana. The movement has sought to be a socially and politically engaged form of Buddhism.




The movement was launched in 1956 by Ambedkar when nearly half a million Dalits – formerly untouchables – joined him and converted to his Navayana Buddhism. It rejected Hinduism, challenged the caste system and promoted the rights of the Dalit community. The movement also rejected the teachings of traditional Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana sects of Buddhism, and took an oath to pursue a new form of engaged Buddhism as taught by Ambedkar.

History



Buddhism originated in ancient India and grew after Ashoka adopted it. By the 2nd century CE, Buddhism was widespread in India and had expanded outside of India into Central Asia, East Asia and parts of Southeast Asia. During the Middle Ages, Buddhism slowly declined in India, while it vanished from Persia and Central Asia as Islam became the state religion.




According to Randall Collins, Buddhism was already declining in India by the 12th century, but with the pillage by Muslim invaders it nearly became extinct in India.In the 13th century, states Craig Lockard, Buddhist monks in India escaped to Tibet to escape Islamic persecution; while the monks in western India, states Peter Harvey, escaped persecution by moving to south Indian Hindu kingdoms that were able to resist the Muslim power.




Efforts to revive Buddhism in India began in the 19th-century, such as with the efforts of Sri Lankan Buddhist leader Anagarika Dharmapala who founded the Maha Bodhi Society.The Maha Bodhi Society, according to Bhagwan Das, was not a Dalit movement however, because it mainly attracted upper-caste Hindus to Buddhism.


Northern India



Two early Dalit movements that rejected Hinduism were launched by Swami Achhutanand Harihar in Uttar Pradesh and Babu Mangu Ram in Punjab. These were called Adi Dharma movements.


Achhutanand was born in an untouchable family, joined the Arya Samaj suddhi reform movement, worked there for about eight years (1905-1912), felt untouchability was being practiced in Arya Samaj in subtle ways, left it and launched Bharitiya Achhut Mahasabha as a socio-political movement. Achhutanand began spreading his ideas by publishing the Adi-Hindu magazine, and called Dalits to a return to Adi-Dharma as the original religion of Indians. Achhutanand formulated his philosophy on the basis of a shared cultural and ethnic identity, presenting it to an audience beyond the Dalits and including tribal societies as well. He opposed the non-cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi, his fasts and Indian National Congress, stating that the Brahmins were "as foreign to India as were the British", according to Anand Teltumbde.




Babu Mangu Ram was also born in an untouchable family of Punjab with a flourishing leather trade. Mangu Ram arrived in the United States in 1909, at age 23 and worked in California. There he joined the Ghadar Party, smuggling weapons from California to India to oppose the British rule.In 1925, he shifted his focus to Dalit freedom, for which he launched the "Ad Dharm" movement as well as Adi-Danka weekly newspaper to spread his ideas. His religious movement failed to accomplish much, states Teltumbde, and Mangu Ram later joined the Ambedkar movement.


In 1914, Prakash was ordained Bodhanand Mahastavir in Calcutta, and began preaching Buddhism in Lucknow. He founded the Bharatiye Buddh Samiti in 1916, and set up a vihara in 1928.


Southern India



In 1898, Pandit Iyothee Thass founded the Sakya Buddhist Society, also known as Indian Buddhist Association, in Tamil Nadu.He presented Buddhism as a religious alternative for the Dalits. Thass' efforts created a broad movement amongst Tamil Dalits in South India till the 1950s. The first president of the Indian Buddhist Association was Paul Carus.The Indian Buddhist Association, unlike the Dalit movement led by Ambedkar, adopted the Theravada Buddhism tradition found in Sri Lanka, where Thass had received his training and initiation in Buddhism.


B. R. Ambedkar






Ambedkar delivering a speech to a rally at Yeola, Nashik, on 13 October 1935


Ambedkar was an Indian leader, influential during the colonial era and post-independence period of India. He belonged to a Dalit community, traditionally the most oppressed and marginalized group in Indian society. He was the fourteenth child in an impoverished Maharashtra Dalit family, who studied abroad, returned to India in the 1920s and joined the political movement. His focus was social and political rights of the Dalits.




During 1931–32, the Mahatma Gandhi led Indian independence movement held discussions with the British government over the Round Table Conferences. They sought constitutional reforms as a preparation to the end of colonial British rule, and begin the self-rule by Indians. The British side sought reforms that would keep the Indian subcontinent as a colony. The British negotiators proposed constitutional reforms on a British Dominion model that established separate electorates based on religious and social divisions. They invited Indian religious leaders, such as Muslims and Sikhs, to press their demands along religious lines, as well as B. R. Ambedkar as the representative leader of the untouchables. Gandhi vehemently opposed a constitution that enshrined rights or representations based on communal divisions, because he feared that it would not bring people together but divide them, perpetuate their status and divert the attention from India's struggle to end the colonial rule.




After Gandhi returned from Second Round Table conference, he started a new satyagraha. He was immediately arrested and imprisoned at the Yerwada Jail, Pune. While he was in prison, the British government enacted a new law that granted untouchables a separate electorate. It came to be known as the Communal Award.In protest, Gandhi started fast-unto-death, while he was held in prison. The resulting public outcry forced the government, in consultations with Ambedkar, to replace the Communal Award with a compromise Poona Pact.




Ambedkar accepted the Poona Pact under public pressure, but disagreed with Gandhi and his political methods. He dismissed Gandhi's ideas as loved by "blind Hindu devotees", primitive, influenced by spurious brew of Tolstoy and Ruskin, and "there is always some simpleton to preach them".




Ambedkar concluded that Dalits must leave Hinduism and convert to another religion, and announced his intent to leave Hinduism in 1935. He considered Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. Ambedkar was approached by various leaders of different denominations and faiths. On 22 May 1936, an "All Religious Conference" was held at Lucknow. It was attended by prominent Dalit leaders including Jagjivan Ram, though Ambedkar could not attend it. At the conference, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, and Buddhist representatives presented the tenets of their respective religions in an effort to win over Dalits. Ambedkar rejected the other religions and chose Buddhism. However, Ambedkar remained a Hindu for next 20 years, studied then re-interpreted Buddhism, and adopted Neo-Buddhism or Navayana few weeks before his death.




The Italian Buddhist monk Lokanatha visited Ambedkar's residence at Dadar on 10 June 1936. Later in an interview to the press, Lokanatha said that Ambedkar was impressed with Buddhism.


Navayana Buddhism



According to Ambedkar, several of the core beliefs and doctrines of traditional Buddhist traditions such as Four Noble Truths and Anatta were flawed and pessimistic, and may have been inserted into the Buddhist scriptures by wrong headed Buddhist monks of a later era. These should not be considered as Buddha's teachings in Ambedkar's view. Other foundational concepts of Buddhism such as Karma and Rebirth were considered by Ambedkar as superstitions.




Navayana as formulated by Ambedkar and at the root of Dalit Buddhist movement abandons mainstream traditional Buddhist practices and precepts such as the institution of monk after renunciation, ideas such as karma, rebirth in afterlife, samsara, meditation, nirvana and Four Noble Truths.Ambedkar's new sect of Buddhism rejected these ideas and re-interpreted the Buddha's religion in terms of class struggle and social equality.




Ambedkar called his version of Buddhism Navayana or Neo-Buddhism. His book, The Buddha and His Dhamma is the holy book of Navayana and Dalit Buddhists. According to Junghare, for the followers of Navyana, Ambedkar has become a deity and he is worshipped in its practice.


Ambedkar's conversion






Ambedkar delivering speech during conversion, Nagpur, 14 October 1956


After publishing a series of books and articles arguing that Buddhism was the only way for the Untouchables to gain equality, Ambedkar publicly converted on 14 October 1956, at Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur, over 20 years after he declared his intent to convert. He converted approximately half a million Dalit / Bahujan people to his Neo-Buddhism movement.




The conversion ceremony was attended by Medharathi, his main disciple Bhoj Dev Mudit, and Mahastvir Bodhanand's Sri Lankan successor, Bhante Pragyanand. Ambedkar asked Dalits not to get entangled in the existing branches of Buddhism (Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana), and called his version Navayana or 'Neo-Buddhism'. Ambedkar would die less than two months later, just after finishing his definitive work on Buddhism.




Many Dalits employ the term "Ambedkar(ite) Buddhism" to designate the Buddhist movement, which started with Ambedkar's conversion. Many converted people call themselves "-Bauddha" i.e. Buddhists.


Twenty-two vows of Ambedkar






Inscription of 22 vows at Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur


After receiving ordination, Ambedkar gave dhamma diksha to his followers. The ceremony included 22 vows given to all new converts after Three Jewels and Five Precepts. On 14 October 1956 at Nagpur, Ambedkar performed another mass religious conversion ceremony at Chandrapur.

He prescribed 22 vows to his followers:



I shall have no faith in Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara, nor shall I worship them.
I shall have no faith in Rama and Krishna, who are believed to be incarnation of God, nor shall I worship them.
I shall have no faith in Gauri, Ganapati and other gods and goddesses of Hindus, nor shall I worship them.
I do not believe in the incarnation of God.
I do not and shall not believe that Lord Buddha was the incarnation of Vishnu. I believe this to be sheer madness and false propaganda.
I shall not perform Shraddha nor shall I give pind.
I shall not act in a manner violating the principles and teachings of the Buddha.
I shall not allow any ceremonies to be performed by Brahmins.
I shall believe in the equality of man.
I shall endeavour to establish equality.
I shall follow the Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddha.
I shall follow the ten paramitas prescribed by the Buddha.
I shall have compassion and loving-kindness for all living beings and protect them.
I shall not steal.
I shall not tell lies.
I shall not commit carnal sins.
I shall not take intoxicants like liquor, drugs, etc.

(The previous four proscriptive vows [#14–17] are from the Five Precepts.)
I shall endeavour to follow the Noble Eightfold Path and practice compassion and loving-kindness in everyday life.
I renounce Hinduism, which disfavors humanity and impedes the advancement and development of humanity because it is based on inequality, and adopt Buddhism as my religion.
I firmly believe the Dhamma of the Buddha is the only true religion.
I consider that I have taken a new birth.
I solemnly declare and affirm that I shall hereafter lead my life according to the teachings of Buddha's Dhamma.


After Ambedkar's death



The Buddhist movement was somewhat hindered by Ambedkar's death so shortly after his conversion. It did not receive the immediate mass support from the Untouchable population that Ambedkar had hoped for. Division and lack of direction among the leaders of the Ambedkarite movement have been an additional impediment. According to the 2001 census, there are currently 7.95 million Buddhists in India, at least 5.83 million of whom are Buddhists in Maharashtra.[44] This makes Buddhism the fifth-largest religion in India and 6% of the population of Maharashtra, but less than 1% of the overall population of India.




The Buddhist revival remains concentrated in two states: Ambedkar's native Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh — the land of Bodhanand Mahastavir, Acharya Medharthi and their associates.


Developments in Uttar Pradesh






Statue of B.R.Ambedkar inside Ambedkar Park, Lucknow


Acharya Medharthi retired from his Buddhapuri school in 1960, and shifted to an ashram in Haridwar. He turned to the Arya Samaj and conducted Vedic yajnas all over India. After his death, he was cremated according to Arya Samaj rites. His Buddhpuri school became embroiled in property disputes. His follower, Bhoj Dev Mudit, converted to Buddhism in 1968 and set up a school of his own.




Rajendranath Aherwar appeared as an important Dalit leader in Kanpur. He joined the Republican Party of India and converted to Buddhism along with his whole family in 1961. In 1967, he founded the Kanpur branch of "Bharatiya Buddh Mahasabha". He held regular meetings where he preached Buddhism, officiated at Buddhist weddings and life cycle ceremonies, and organised festivals on Ambedkar's Jayanti (birth day), Sambuddhatva jayanthi, Diksha Divas (the day Ambedkar converted), and Ambedkar Paranirvan Divas (the day Ambedkar died).




The Dalit Buddhist movement in Kanpur gained impetus with the arrival of Dipankar, a Chamar bhikkhu, in 1980. Dipankar had come to Kanpur on a Buddhist mission and his first public appearance was scheduled at a mass conversion drive in 1981. The event was organised by Rahulan Ambawadekar, an RPI Dalit leader. In April 1981, Ambawadekar founded the Dalit Panthers (U.P. Branch) inspired by the Maharashtrian Dalit Panthers. The event met with severe criticism and opposition from Vishva Hindu Parishad and was banned.




The number of Buddhists in the Lucknow district increased from 73 in 1951 to 4327 in 2001.According to the 2001 census, almost 70% of the Buddhist population in Uttar Pradesh is from the scheduled castes background.




In 2002, Kanshi Ram, a popular political leader from a Sikh religious background, announced his intention to convert to Buddhism on 14 October 2006, the fiftieth anniversary of Ambedkar's conversion. He intended for 20,000,000 of his supporters to convert at the same time Part of the significance of this plan was that Ram's followers include not only Untouchables, but persons from a variety of castes, who could significantly broaden Buddhism's support. But, he died 9 October 2006 after a lengthy illness; he was cremated as per Buddhist tradition.




Another popular Dalit leader, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati, has said that she and her followers will embrace Buddhism after the BSP forms a government at the Centre.


Maharashtra






Flag symbolises Dalit movement in India.


Japanese-born Surai Sasai emerged as an important Buddhist leader in India. Sasai came to India in 1966 and met Nichidatsu Fujii, whom he helped with the Peace Pagoda at Rajgir. He fell out with Fuji, however, and started home, but, by his own account, was stopped by a dream in which a figure resembling Nagarjuna appeared and said, "Go to Nagpur". In Nagpur, he met Wamanrao Godbole, the person who had organised the conversion ceremony for Ambedkar in 1956. Sasai claims that when he saw a photograph of Ambedkar at Godbole's home, he realised that it was Ambedkar who had appeared in his dream. At first, Nagpur folk considered Surai Sasai very strange. Then he began to greet them with "Jai Bhim" (victory to Ambedkar) and to build viharas. In 1987 a court case to deport him on the grounds that he had overstayed his visa was dismissed, and he was granted Indian citizenship. Sasai and Bhante Anand Agra are two of main leaders of the campaign to free the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya from Hindu control.




A movement originating in Maharashtra but also active in Uttar Pradesh, and spread out over quite a few other pockets where Neo Buddhists live, is Triratna Bauddha Mahāsaṅgha (formerly called TBMSG for Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha Sahayaka Gana). It is the Indian wing of the UK-based Triratna Buddhist Community founded by Sangharakshita. Its roots lie in the scattered contacts that Sangharakshita had in the 1950s with Ambedkar. Sangharakshita, then still a bhikshu, participated in the conversion movement from 1956 until his departure to the UK in 1963.





When his new ecumenical movement had gained enough ground in the West, Sangharakshita worked with Ambedkarites in India and the UK to develop Indian Buddhism further. After visits in the late 1970s by Dharmachari Lokamitra from UK, supporters developed a two-pronged approach: social work through the Bahujan Hitaj (also spelled as Bahujan Hitay) trust, mainly sponsored from the general public by the British Buddhist-inspired Karuna Trust (UK), and direct Dharma work. Currently the movement has viharas and groups in at least 20 major areas, a couple of retreat centres, and hundreds of Indian Dharmacharis and Dharmacharinis.






Funding for movement's social and dharma work has come from foreign countries, including the Western countries and Taiwan. Some of the foreign-funded organisations include Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha Sahayaka Gana and Triratna (Europe and India). Triratna has links with the 'Ambedkarite' Buddhist Romanis in Hungary.



Organized mass conversions






Deekshabhoomi Stupa in Nagpur where Ambedkar converted to Buddhism.






Since Ambedkar's conversion, several thousand people from different castes have converted to Buddhism in ceremonies including the twenty-two vows.


1957

In 1957, Mahastvir Bodhanand's Sri Lankan successor, Bhante Pragyanand, held a mass conversion drive for 15,000 people in Lucknow.


2001

A prominent Indian Navayana Buddhist leader and political activist, Udit Raj, organised a large mass conversion on 4 November 2001, where he gave the 22 vows, but the event met with active opposition from the government.


2006, Hyderabad

A report from the UK daily The Guardian said that some Hindus have converted to Buddhism. Buddhist monks from the UK and the U.S. attended the conversion ceremonies in India. Hindu nationalists asserted that Dalits should concentrate on trying to reduce illiteracy and poverty rather than looking for new religions.


2006, Gulbarga

On 14 October 2006, hundreds of people converted from Hinduism to Buddhism in Gulburga (Karnataka).


2006

At 50th anniversary celebrations in 2006 of Ambedkar's deeksha. Non-partisan sources put the number of attendees (not converts) at 30,000. The move was criticised by Hindu groups as "unhelpful" and has been criticised as a "political stunt."


2007, Mumbai

On 27 May 2007, tens of thousands of Dalits from Maharashtra gathered at the Mahalakshmi racecourse in Mumbai to mark the 50th anniversary of the conversion of Ambedkar. The number of people who converted versus the number of people in attendance was not clear. The event was organised by the Republican Party of India leader Ramdas Athvale.



Criticism of conversions



Critics have argued that efforts to convert Hindus to Ambedkarite Buddhism are political stunts rather than sincere commitments to social reform. On May 2011, Vishwesha Teertha, stated that conversion doesn't add any benefit to status of dalits.



On 17 June 2013, the converted Dalits asked for the Buddhist certificates, that has been delayed.



Distinctive interpretation









According to Gail Omvedt, an American-born and naturalised Indian sociologist and human rights activist :






Ambedkar's Buddhism seemingly differs from that of those who accepted by faith, who 'go for refuge' and accept the canon. This much is clear from its basis: it does not accept in totality the scriptures of the Theravada, the Mahayana, or the Vajrayana. The question that is then clearly put forth: is a fourth yana, a Navayana, a kind of modernistic Enlightenment version of the Dhamma really possible within the framework of Buddhism?




According to Omvedt, Ambedkar and his Buddhist movement deny many of the core doctrines of Buddhism. All the elements of religious modernism, state Christopher Queen and Sallie King, may be found in Ambedkar Buddhism where his The Buddha and His Dhamma abandons the traditional precepts and practices, then adopts science, activism and social reforms as a form of Engaged Buddhism. Ambedkar's formulation of Buddhism is different from Western modernism, states Skaria, given his synthesis of the ideas of modern Karl Marx into the structure of ideas by the ancient Buddha.




लंदन


30 दिसंबर 1930
प्रिय रामू!
तू कैसी है? यशवंत कैसा है? क्या मुझे याद करता है? उसका बहुत ध्यान रख रमा! हमारे चार बच्चे हमें छोड़ गए। अब यशवंत ही तेरे मातृत्व का आधार है। उसका ध्यान हमें रखना ही होगा। पढ़ाना होगा। विकसित करना होगा। खूब बड़ा करना होगा। उसे निमोनिया की बीमारी है।
मेरे सामने बहुत बड़े उलझे गणित हैं। सामाजिक पहेलियॉं हैं। मनुष्य की धार्मिक ग़ुलामी का, आर्थिक और सामाजिक असमानता के कारणों की परख करना है। गोलमेज़ परिषद की अपनी भूमिका पर मैं विचार करता हूँ और मेरी ऑंखों के सामने देश के सारे पीड़ितों का संसार बना रहता है। दुखों के पहाड़ के नीचे इन लोगों को हज़ारों वर्षों से गाड़ा गया है। उनको उस पहाड़ के नीचे से निकालने के मार्ग की तलाश कर रहा हूँ। ऐसे समय में मुझे मेरे लक्ष्य से विचलित करनेवाला कुछ भी होता है तो मेरा मन सुलग जाता है। ऐसी ही सुलगन से भरकर मैंने यशवंत को निर्दयतापूर्वक मारा था।
उसे मारो मत! मासूम है वह! उसे क्या समझता है? व्याकुल होकर तूने ऐसा कहा था। और यशवंत को गोद में भर लिया था। पर रमा मैं निर्दयी नहीं हूँ। मैं क्रांति से बाँधा गया हूँ। आग से लड़ रहा हूँ। अग्नि से लड़ते-लड़ते मैं खुद अग्नि बन गया हूँ। इसी अग्नि की चिंगारियॉं मुझे पता ही नहीं चलता कि कब तुझे और हमारे यशवंत को झुलसाने लगती हैं. रमा! मेरी शुष्कता को ध्यान में रख। यही तेरी चिंता का एकमात्र कारण है।
तू ग़रीब की संतान है। तूने मायके में भी दुख झेला। ग़रीबी से लिथड़ी रही। वहॉं भी तू भर पेट खाना न खा सकी। वहॉं भी तू काम करती रही और मेरे संसार में भी तुझे काम में ही लगना पड़ा, झिजना पड़ा। तू त्यागी है, स्वाभिमानी है। सूबेदार की बहु जैसे ही रही। किसी की भी दया पर जीना तुझे रुचा ही नहीं। रुचता ही नहीं। देना तू अपने मायके से सीखकर आई। लेना तूने सीखा ही नहीं। इसलिए रमा तेरे स्वाभिमान पर मुझे गर्व होता है।
पोयबाबाड़ी के घर में मैं एक बार उदास होकर बैठा हुआ था। घर की समस्या से मैं बदहवास हो गया था। उस वक़्त तूने मुझे धैर्य प्रदान किया। बोली,
‘मैं हूँ न संभालने के लिए। घर की परेशानियों को दूर करूँगी।
घर के दुखों को आपकी राह में अवरोध बनने नहीं दूँगी।
मैं ग़रीब की बेटी हूँ। परेशानियों के साथ जीने आदत है।
आप चिंता न करें, मन को कमजोर न करें।
संसार का काँटों भरा मुकुट जान में जान रहने तक उतारकर नहीं रखना चाहिए।
रामू! कभी-कभी लगता है कि यदि तू मेरे जीवन में नहीं आती तो क्या होता। संसार केवल सुखों के लिए है -ऐसा माननेवाली स्त्री यदि मुझे मिली होती तो वह कब का मुझे छोड़कर जा चुकी होती। मुंबई जैसी जगह में रहकर आधा पेट रहकर उपले बेचने जाना या फिर गोबर बीनकर उपले थापना भला किसे पसंद आता? वकील की पत्नी कपड़े सिलती रही। अपने फटे हुए संसार को थिगड़े लगाना भला किसे पसंद है? पर तूने ये सारी परेशानियॉं उठाई, पति के संसार को पूरे सामर्थ्य के साथ आगे बढ़ाया।
मेरे पति को अच्छे वेतन की नौकरी मिली, अब हमारे सारे दर्द दूर होंगे, इस ख़ुशी में ही मैंने तुझे”ये दो लकड़ियों की पेटी, इतना ही अनाज, इतना ही तेल-नमक और आटा और इन सबके बाद हम सबकी देखभाल करते हुए गुज़ारा करना है-ऐसा बोला था। तूने ज़रा भी ना नुकूर किए सारा कुछ संभाला। रामू! मेरी उपस्थिति में और मेरे पीछे जो तूने किया वह कोई और कर सके, ऐसा सामर्थ्य किसी में नहीं है।
रामू! तेरे जैसी जीवन संगिनी मुझे मिली इसलिए मुझे शक्ति मिलती रही। मेरे सपनों को पंख मिले। मेरी उड़ान निर्भय हुई। मन दृढ़ हुआ। मन बहुत दिनों से भर भर रहा था।
ऐसा कई बार लगा कि तेरे साथ आमने सामने बात करना चाहिए। पर दौड़-भाग, लिखना-पढ़ना, आना-जाना, भेंट-मुलाक़ात में से समय निकाल ही नहीं पाया। मन की बातें मन में ही छुपाकर रखना पड़ा। मन भर-भर आया पर तेरे सामने कुछ कह नहीं सका।
आज शांतिपूर्ण समय मिला और सारे विचार एकमेक हो रहे हैं। मन बेचैन हुआ। इसलिए बुझे हुए मन को मना रहा हूँ। मेरे मन के सारे परिसर में तू ही समाई हुई है। तेरे कष्ट याद आ रहे हैं। तेरी बातें याद आ रही हैं। तेरी बेचैनी याद आ रही है। तेरी सारी घुटन याद आई और जैसे मेरी सांसें ख़त्म होने लगीं, इसलिए क़लम हाथ में लेकर मन को मना रहा हूँ।
रामू! सच्ची कहता हूँ तू मेरी चिंता करना छोड़ दे। तेरे त्याग और तेरी झेली हुई तकलीफ़ों का बल मेरा संबल है। भारत का ही नहीं परंतु इस गोलमेज़ परिषद के कारण सारे विश्व के शोषितों की शक्ति मुझे बल प्रदान कर रही है। तू अब अपनी चिंता कर।
तू बहुत घुटन में रही है रामू! मुझ पर तेरे कभी न मिटनेवाले उपकार हैं। तू झिजती रही, तू कमजोर होती रही, तू गलती रही, जलती रही, तड़पती रही और मुझे खड़ा किया। तू बीमारी से तंग आ चुकी है। स्वयं के स्वास्थ्य का भी ध्यान रखना चाहिए इसकी तूने चिंता ही नहीं की। तुझे अब अपने स्वास्थ्य का ध्यान रखना ही होगा। यशवंत को मॉं की और मुझे तेरे साथ की ज़रूरत है। और क्या बताऊँ?
मेरी चिंता मत कर, यह मैंने कितनी बार कहा तुझसे पर तू सुनती ही नहीं। मैं परिषद के समाप्त होते ही आऊँगा।
सब मंगल हो।
तुम्हारा
भीमराव
(भीमराव अंबेडकर द्वारा पत्नी को लिखा गया पत्र।)




डॉ. भीमराव अम्बेडकर (बाबा साहेब) के 13 अनमोल विचार











* अम्बेडकर के 13 अमूल्य विचार


* मनुष्य नश्वर है, उसी तरह विचार भी नश्वर हैं। एक विचार को प्रचार-प्रसार की जरूरत होती है, जैसे कि एक पौधे को पानी की, नहीं तो दोनों मुरझाकर मर जाते हैं।


* पति-पत्नी के बीच का संबंध घनिष्ठ मित्रों के संबंध के समान होना चाहिए।


* हिन्दू धर्म में विवेक, कारण और स्वतंत्र सोच के विकास के लिए कोई गुंजाइश नहीं है।


* जब तक आप सामाजिक स्वतंत्रता नहीं हासिल कर लेते, कानून आपको जो भी स्वतंत्रता देता है, वो आपके किसी काम की नहीं।


भारत के संविधान निर्माता बाबासाहेब डॉ. अम्बेडकर


* यदि हम एक संयुक्त एकीकृत आधुनिक भारत चाहते हैं तो सभी धर्मों के शास्त्रों की संप्रभुता का अंत होना चाहिए।


* जीवन लंबा होने की बजाए महान होना चाहिए।


* कानून और व्यवस्था राजनीतिक शरीर की दवा है और जब राजनीतिक शरीर बीमार पड़े तो दवा जरूर दी जानी चाहिए।


डॉ. अम्बेडकर ने एक ब्राह्मण महिला डॉक्टर से की थी दूसरी शादी,विवादों का उठा था बवंडर































इस शादी का बहुत विरोध हुआ था। ब्राह्मण समुदाय इस विवाह से नाराज तो हुआ ही दलित समाज भी आपे से बाहर हो गया था। अम्बेडकर पर रास्ता भटकने का आरोप लगाया गया। लेकिन डॉ. अम्बेडकर ने किसी भी विरोध की परवाह नहीं की थी।
































15 अप्रैल 1948 को डॉ. भीमराव अम्बेडकर ने डॉ. शारदा कबीर से दूसरी शादी की थी। उस समय डॉ. अम्बेडकर की उमर 57 साल की थी तो डॉ. शारदा की उमर 45 साल थी। यानी डॉ. अम्बेडकर अपनी दूसरी पत्नी से 12 साल बड़े थे। डॉ. शारदा कबीर चिकित्सक थीं। वे महाराष्ट्र के चितपावन ब्राह्मण परिवार से ताल्लुक रखती थीं। डॉ. शारदा कबीर का मुम्बई में क्लीनिक था जहां इलाज के दौरान डॉ. अम्बेडकर से उनका परिचय हुआ था।




























1947 में डॉ. अम्बेडकर ब्लड प्रेशर और डायबिटीज से बहुत परेशान थे। पैरों में दर्द की समस्या भी रहती थी। डॉक्टरों ने उनको इलाज के साथ आराम की सलाह दी। इस क्रम में वे इलाज के लिए डॉ. शारदा कबीर के सम्पर्क में आये। डॉ. शारदा इलाज के साथ- साथ उनकी देखभाल भी करने लगीं। उस समय डॉ. अम्बेडकर पर बहुत बड़ी जिम्मवारी थी। वे भारतीय संविधान प्रारूप समिति के अध्यक्ष थे। उन्हें संविधान लिखने और उसे अंतिम रूप देने के लिए अधिक वक्त की जरूरत थी।




























डॉ. अम्बेडकर, डॉ. शारदा के इलाज और देखभाल से बहुत प्रभावित हुए। दोनों एक दूसरे के करीब आ गये। आखिरकार 15 अप्रैल 1948 में दोनों ने शादी कर ली। ये शादी डॉ. अम्बेडकर के दिल्ली स्थित आवास पर हुई थी। डॉ. अम्बेडकर की पहली पत्नी रमाबाई का 1930 में ही निधन हो चुका था। डॉ. शारदा कीदेखभाल से अम्बेडकर की सेहत में सुधार हुआ और जिससे वे संविधान लेखन के लिए समय दे सके।




























1956 में जब डॉ. अम्बेडकर ने बौद्ध धर्म अपनाया तो डॉ. शारदा कबीर ने भी बौद्ध धर्म अपना लिया। इसके बाद डॉ. शारदा का नाम सविता अम्बेडकर हो गया। सविता अम्बेडकर को इस शादी की बहुत बड़ी कीमत चुकानी पड़ी। ब्राह्मण समुदाय ने उन्हें कुल का विरोधी मान लिया था। शारदा ने एक दलित नेता से शादी कर के बहुत बड़ी सामाजिक क्रांति की थी लेकिन दलित समुदाय और अम्बेदकर के परिवार ने उन्हें कभी स्वीकार नहीं किया। इस शादी के बाद अम्बेडकर की दलित राजनीति और चिंतन पर सवाल उठने लगे थे। दलित इस बात से नाराज थे कि उन्हें शादी करने के लिए क्या एक ब्राह्मण महिला ही मिली थी । दूसरी शादी करनी ही थी तो किसी दलित महिला का उद्धार क्यों नहीं किया ? दलितों ने इसे अम्बेडकर की राजनीति को खत्म करने की साजिश बताया।
































6 दिसम्बर 1956 को डॉ. अम्बेडकर की मौत हो गयी। इस घटना के बाद बवाल शुरू हो गया। अम्बेडकर के परिजनों और समर्थकों ने सविता अम्बेडकर पर तरह- तरह के लांछन लगाने शुरू कर दिये। यहां तक आरोप लगाया गया कि सविता अम्बेडकर ने ही उन्हें मार दिया। डॉ. अम्बेडकर और रमाबाई (पहली पत्नी ) के पुत्र यशवंत राव भी सविता अम्बेडकर से खफा रहते थे। उन्होंने दिल्ली पुलिस कमिश्नर को एक आवेदन देकर इस मौत की जांच की मांग कर दी।




























इस बीच डॉ. अम्बेडकर के समर्थकों ने 19 सांसदों को इस बात के लिए तैयार कर लिया कि वे इस मौत की जांच के लिए तत्कालीन प्रधानमंत्री जवाहर लाल नेहरू को एक पत्र लिखें। सांसदों ने ये पत्र लिखा। जवाहर लाल नेहरू ने जांच कमेटी बनायी। इस समिति ने जांच में पाया कि डॉ. अम्बेडकर की मौत स्वभाविक रूप से हुई है और सविता अम्बेडकर पर लगाये गये आरोप बेबुनियाद हैं।




























लोकसभा में तत्कालीन गृहमंत्री गोविंदबल्ल्भ पंत ने महाराष्ट्र के दलित सांसद वी सी काम्बले के एक सवाल के जवाब में बताया कि डॉ. अम्बेडकर की मौत स्वभाविक रूप से हुई है। जांच समिति ने सविता अम्बेडकर को क्लीन चिट तो दे दी लेकिन अम्बेदकरवादियों ने उन्हें कभी स्वीकार नहीं किया। एक किताब की प्रस्तावना में डॉ. अम्बेडकर ने अपने जीवन में सविता अम्बेडकर के योगदान के बारे में बताया था लेकिन इसे विरोधियों के दवाब में प्रकाशित नहीं होने दिया गया । लेकिन बहुत साल बाद एक लेखक भगवान दास ने प्रस्तावना का मूल दस्तावेज सामने लाकर इस अन्याय को उजागर कर दिया था।


“Plans for dalit welfare have remained static,


mostly believing only in amelioration rather


than in self-assurance....


They have not recognized the strengths,


potentials, excellence and intellectual quality


within the dalit community...


They believe in protectionism and not


pro-activism; Dalits are not being cultivated


to defend themselves, but only to seek


protection in the avowed security of the


governments and in the condescending


tolerance of the exploiting sections of the


society.”


- Christudoss Gandhi IAS






The relationship between husband and wife should be one of closest friends. - B. R. Ambedkar




I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity. - B. R. Ambedkar




Cultivation of mind should be the ultimate aim of human existence. - B. R. Ambedkar








Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man's life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.


B. R. Ambedkar




Life should be great rather than long. B. R. Ambedkar




The relationship between husband and wife should be one of closest friends. B. R. Ambedkar




Men are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering. Otherwise both will wither and die. B. R. Ambedkar




Indians today are governed by two different ideologies. Their political ideal set in the preamble of the Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them. B. R. Ambedkar




Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy. What does social democracy mean? It means a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life. B. R. Ambedkar




Religion and slavery are incompatible. B. R. Ambedkar




A great man is different from an eminent one in that he is ready to be the servant of the society.


B. R. Ambedkar




So long as you do not achieve social liberty, whatever freedom is provided by the law is of no avail to you. B. R. Ambedkar




The sovereignty of scriptures of all religions must come to an end if we want to have a united integrated modern India. B. R. Ambedkar




I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.


B. R. Ambedkar




Law and order are the medicine of the body politic and when the body politic gets sick, medicine must be administered. B. R. Ambedkar




One can quite understand vegetarianism. One can quite understand meat-eating. But it is difficult to understand why a person who is a flesh-eater should object to one kind of flesh, namely cow's flesh. This is an anomaly which call for explanation. B. R. Ambedkar




Generally speaking, the Smritikars never care to explain the why and the how of their dogmas.


B. R. Ambedkar




An ideal society should be mobile, should be full of channels for conveying a change taking place in one part to other parts. In an ideal society, there should be many interests consciously communicated and shared. B. R. Ambedkar




Religion must mainly be a matter of principles only. It cannot be a matter of rules. The moment it degenerates into rules, it ceases to be a religion, as it kills responsibility which is an essence of the true religious act. B. R. Ambedkar




Caste is not a physical object like a wall of bricks or a line of barbed wire which prevents the Hindus from co-mingling and which has, therefore, to be pulled down. Caste is a notion; it is a state of the mind. B. R. Ambedkar




A people and their religion must be judged by social standards based on social ethics. No other standard would have any meaning if religion is held to be necessary good for the well-being of the people. B. R. Ambedkar




In Hinduism, conscience, reason and independent thinking have no scope for development.


B. R. Ambedkar




However good a Constitution may be, if those who are implementing it are not good, it will prove to be bad. However bad a Constitution may be, if those implementing it are good, it will prove to be good.


B. R. Ambedkar




Caste may be bad. Caste may lead to conduct so gross as to be called man's inhumanity to man. All the same, it must be recognized that the Hindus observe Caste not because they are inhuman or wrong-headed. They observe Caste because they are deeply religious . B. R. Ambedkar




Some men say that they should be satisfied with the abolition of untouchability only, leaving the caste system alone. The aim of abolition of untouchability alone without trying to abolish the inequalities inherent in the caste system is a rather low aim. B. R. Ambedkar




My social philosophy may be said to be enshrined in three words: liberty, equality and fraternity. Let no one, however, say that I have borrowed by philosophy from the French Revolution. I have not. My philosophy has roots in religion and not in political science. I have derived them from the teachings of my Master, the Buddha. B. R. Ambedkar




The reason why Broken Men only became Untouchables was because in addition to being Buddhists, they retained their habit of beef-eating, which gave additional ground for offence to the Brahmins to carry their new-found love and reverence to the cow to its logical conclusion. B. R. Ambedkar




That the caste system must be abolished if the Hindu society is to be reconstructed on the basis of equality, goes without saying. Untouchability has its roots in the caste system. They cannot expect the Brahmins to rise in revolt against the caste system. Also we cannot rely upon the non-Brahmins and ask them to fight our battle. B. R. Ambedkar




No Hindu community, however low, will touch cow's flesh. On the other hand, there is no community which is really an Untouchable community which has not something to do with the dead cow. Some eat her flesh, some remove the skin, some manufacture articles out of her skin and bones.


B. R. Ambedkar




People are not wrong in observing Caste. In my view, what is wrong is their religion, which has inculcated this notion of Caste. If this is correct, then obviously the enemy, you must grapple with is not the people who observe Caste, but the Shastras which teach them this religion of Caste.


B. R. Ambedkar




Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/b/b_r_ambedkar.html





The Romans had their slaves, the Spartans their helots, the Britishers their Villains, the Americans their Negroes, the Germans their Jews; so the Hindus their Untouchables. But none of these can be said to have called upon to face a fate which is worse than the fate which pursues the Untouchables. Slavery, Serfdom, Villeinage, all have vanished, but Untouchability still exists and bids fair to last as long as Hinduism will last.


B. R. Ambedkar


“If you want to destroy a society, destroy its history & the society will get destroyed automatically” B. R. Ambedkar




So long as you do not achieve social liberty, whatever freedom is provided by the law is of no avail to you. B. R. Ambedkar




Men are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering. Otherwise both will wither and die.


B. R. Ambedkar


B. R. Ambedkar


“Cultivation of mind should be the ultimate aim of human existence.” B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“Religion must mainly be a matter of principles only. It cannot be a matter of rules. The moment it degenerates into rules, it ceases to be a religion, as it kills responsibility which is an essence of the true religious act.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“The question is not whether a community lives or dies, the question is on what plane does it live. There are different modes of survival. But all are not equally honorable. For an individual as well as a society, there is a gulf between merely living and living worthily. To fight in a battle and live in a glory is one mode. To beat a retreat to surrender and to live the life of a captive is also a mode of survival.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“History bears out the proposition that political revolutions have always been preceded by social and religious revolutions. Social reform in India has few friends and many critics.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“Law and order are the medicine of the body politic and when the body politic gets sick, medicine must be administered.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“Justice has always evoked ideas of equality, of proportion of compensation. Equity signifies equality. Rules and regulations, right and righteousness are concerned with equality in value. If all men are equal, then all men are of the same essence, and the common essence entitles them of the same fundamental rights and equal liberty... In short justice is another name of liberty, equality and fraternity.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“A great man is different from an eminent one in that he is ready to be the servant of the society.”


B. R. Ambedkar









B. R. Ambedkar


“In Hinduism, conscience, reason and independent thinking have no scope for development.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“We want our own people, people who will fight tooth and nail for our interest and secure privilege for the under-privileged; people who will undo the wrongs done to our people ;people who will voice our grievances fearlessly; people who can think, lead and act; people with principles and character. Such people should be sent to the legislatures. We must send such people to Legislatures who will be slaves to none but remain free to their conscience and get our grievances redressed.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“Every man must have a philosophy of life, for everyone must have a standard by which to measure his conduct. And philosophy is nothing but a standard by which to measure.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“If you ask me, my ideal would be the society based on liberty, equality and fraternity. An ideal society should be mobile and full of channels of conveying a change taking place in one part to other parts.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“We must begin by acknowledging that there is a complete absence of two things in Indian Society. One of these is equality. On the social plane we have an India based on the principles of graded inequality, which means elevation for some and degradation for others. On the economic plane we have a society in which there are some who have immense wealth as against many who live in abject poverty.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“Equality may be a fiction but nonetheless one must accept it as a governing principle.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“If I find the constitution being misused, I shall be the first to burn it.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“Learn to live in this world with self-respect. You should always cherish some ambition of doing something in this world. But remember that the age of selflessness has ended. A new epoch is set in. All things are now possible because of your being able to participate in the politics and legislature of your country.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“The basic idea underlying religion is to create an atmosphere for the spiritual development of the individual. This being the situation, it is clear that you cannot develop your personality at all in Hinduism.”


B. R. Ambedkar




“Our object in framing the Constitution is rally two-fold: (1) To lay down the form of political democracy, and (2) To lay down that our ideal is economic democracy and also to prescribe that every Government whatever is in power shall strive to bring about economic democracy. The directive principles have a great value, for they lay down that our ideal is economic democracy.”


B. R. Ambedkar












“These cond thing we are wanting in is the recognition of the principle of fraternity. What does fraternity mean? Fraternity means a sense of common brotherhood of all Indians, all Indians being one people. It is a principle that gives solidarity to social life. It is difficult thing to achieve. It seems to me that there lies a heavy duty to see that democracy does not vanish from the earth as a governing principle of human relationship. If we believe in it, we must both be true and loyal to it. We must not only be staunch in our faith in democracy but we must resolve to see that whatever we do, we do not help the enemies of democracy to uproot the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. It follows that we must strive along with other democratic countries to maintain the basis of democratic civilization. If democracy lives we are sure to reap the benefit of it. If democracy dies it will be our doom. On that there can be no doubt.”


B. R. Ambedkar




It is usual to hear all those who feel moved by the deplorable condition of the Untouchables unburden themselves by uttering the cry, ‘We must do something for the Untouchables.’ One seldom hears any of the persons interested in the problem saying, ‘Let us do something to change the Touchable Hindu.’ It is invariably assumed that the object to be reclaimed is the Untouchables. If there is to be a mission, it must be to the Untouchables and if the Untouchables can be cured, untouchability will vanish. Nothing requires to be done to the Touchable. He is sound in mind, manners and morals. He is whole, there is nothing wrong with him. Is this assumption correct? Whether correct or not, the Hindus like to cling to it. The assumption has the supreme merit of satisfying themselves that they are not responsible for the problem of the Untouchables. B. R. Ambedkar




I feel that the constitution is workable, it is flexible and it is strong enough to hold the country together both in peacetime and in wartime. Indeed, if I may say so, if things go wrong under the new Constitution, the reason will not be that we had a bad Constitution. What we will have to say is that Man was vile. B. R. Ambedkar




Life should be great rather than long. B. R. Ambedkar




My definition of democracy is - A form and a method of Government whereby revolutionary changes in the social life are brought about without bloodshed. That is the real test. It is perhaps the severest test. But when you are judging the quality of the material you must put it to the severest test. B. R. Ambedkar




The relationship between husband and wife should be one of closest friends.



B. R. Ambedkar




“History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them.” B. R. Ambedkar




The teachings of Buddha are eternal, but even then Buddha did not proclaim them to be infallible. The religion of Buddha has the capacity to change according to times, a quality which no other religion can claim to have...Now what is the basis of Buddhism? If you study carefully, you will see that Buddhism is based on reason. There is an element of flexibility inherent in it, which is not found in any other religion.” B. R. Ambedkar




A people and their religion must be judged by social standards based on social ethics. No other standard would have any meaning if religion is held to be necessary good for the well-being of the people. B. R. Ambedkar




My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. Theattle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is battle for freedom. It is the battle of reclamation of human personality. B. R. Ambedkar




This is a Fractured Nation – split and scattered as separate, often antagonistic mutually suspicious and intolerant Castes. B. R. Ambedkar




I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved. B. R. Ambedkar




For a successful revolution it is not enough that there is discontent. What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of the justice, necessity and importance of political and social rights.


B. R. Ambedkar



“For a successful revolution it is not enough that there is discontent. What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of the justice, necessity and importance of political and social rights.” B. R. Ambedkar




“Man is mortal. Everyone has to die some day or the other. But one must resolve to lay down one's life in enriching the noble ideals of self-respect and in bettering one's human life. We are not slaves. Nothing is more disgraceful for a brave man than to live life devoid of self-respect.”


B. R. Ambedkar




Emerson has said that consistency is a virtue of an ass. No thinking human being can be tied down to a view once expressed in the name of consistency. More important than consistency is responsibility. A responsible person must learn to unlearn what he has learned. A responsible person must have the courage to rethink and change his thoughts. Of course there must be good and sufficient reason for unlearning what he has learned and for recasting his thoughts. There can be no finality in rethinking.” B. R. Ambedkar




Political tyranny is nothing compared to the social tyranny and a reformer who defies society is a more courageous man than a politician who defies Government.”

B. R. Ambedkar

Why does a human body become deceased? The reason is that as long as the human body is not free from suffering, mind cannot be happy. If a man lacks enthusiasm, either his body or mind is in a deceased condition.... Now what saps the enthusiasm in man? If there is no enthusiasm, life becomes drudgery - a mere burden to be dragged. Nothing can be achieved if there is no enthusiasm. The main reason for this lack of enthusiasm on the part of a man is that an individual looses the hope of getting an opportunity to elevate himself. Hopelessness leads to lack of enthusiasm. The mind in such cases becomes deceased.... When is enthusiasm created? When one breaths an atmosphere where one is sure of getting the legitimate reward for one's labor, only then one feels enriched by enthusiasm and inspiration.” B. R. Ambedkar







“Every man who repeats the dogma of Mill that one country is no fit to rule another country must admit that one class is not fit to rule another class.” B. R. Ambedkar




What are we having this liberty for? We are having this liberty in order to reform our social system, which is full of inequality, discrimination and other things, which conflict with our fundamental rights.” B. R. Ambedkar




This condition obtains even where there is no slavery in the legal sense. It is found where as in caste system, some persons are forced to carry on the prescribed callings which are not their choice.” B. R. Ambedkar





B. R. Ambedkar


“Positively, my social philosophy may be said to be enshrined in three words: liberty, equality and fraternity. Let no one however say that I have borrowed my philosophy from the French Revolution. I have not. My philosophy has its roots in religion and not in political science. I have derived them from the teachings of my master, the Buddha.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“The sovereignty of scriptures of all religions must come to an end if we want to have a united integrated modern India.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“Given the time and circumstances, nothing under the sun shall stop this country from becoming a super power.Being grateful has limitations, no man can be grateful at the cost of his dignity, no woman at the cost of her chastity and no country at the cost of its freedom.I hope that Mr. Gandhi will not drive me to the necessity of making a choice between his life and rights of my people, for I shall never consent to deliver my people bound hand and foot to the orthodox for generations to come.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“Hero-worship in the sense of expressing our unbound admiration is one thing. To obey the hero is a totally different kind of worship. There is nothing wrong in the former while the latter is no doubt a most pernicious thing. The former is man's respect for which is noble and of which the great men are only an embodiment. The latter is the serf's fealty to his lord. The former is consistent with respect, but the latter is a sign of debasement. The former does not take away one's intelligence to think and independence to act. The latter makes one perfect fool. The former involves no disaster to the state. The latter is a source of positive danger to it.” B. R. Ambedkar



B. R. Ambedkar


“There can be no gain saying that political power in this country has too long been the monopoly of the few, and the many are not beasts of burden but also beasts of prey.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“One cannot have any respect or regard for men who take the position of the reformer and then refuse to see the logical consequences of that position, let alone following them out in action.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“It is not enough to be electors only. It is necessary to be law-makers; otherwise those who can be law-makers ill be the masters of those who can only be electors.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“Law and religion are two forces which govern the conduct of men. At times they act as handmaids to each other. At other times they act as check and counter-check. Of the two forces, Law is personal while religion is impersonal. Law being personal it is capable of being unjust and iniquitous. But religion being impersonal, it can be impartial, it is capable of defeating the inequity committed by law. Religion is believed to ennoble man and not degrade him. Hinduism is an exception.”


B. R. Ambedkar






B. R. Ambedkar


“Indians today are governed by two different ideologies. Their political ideal set in the preamble of the Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“The basis of my politics lies in the proposition that the Untouchables are not a sub-division or sub-section of Hindus, and that they are a separate and distinct element in the national life of India.”


B. R. Ambedkar




B. R. Ambedkar


“My religious conversion is not inspired by any material motive. This is hardly anything I cannot achieve even while remaining an Untouchable. There is no other feeling than that of a spiritual feeling underlying my religious conversion. Hinduism does not appeal to my conscience. My self-respect cannot assimilate Hinduism. In your case change of religion is imperative for worldly as well as spiritual ends. Do not care for the opinion of those who foolishly ridicule the idea of conversion for material ends. Why should you live under the fold of that religion which has deprived you of honor, money, food and shelter?”


B. R. Ambedkar





“Majorities are of two sorts: (1) communal majority and (2) political majority. A political majority is changeable in its class composition. A political majority grows. A communal majority is born. The admission to a political majority is open. The door to a communal majority is closed. The politics of political majority are free to all to make and unmake. The politics of communal majority are made by its own members born in it.”


B. R. Ambedkar




“To open or not to open the temples is a question for you to consider and not for me to agitate. If u think it is bad manners not to believe in the sanctity of human beings, then throw open the doors and be a gentleman, but if you wish to remain a orthodox Hindu then shut the doors and damn come.” B.R. Ambedkar


If you cross the path of tyranny, or incipient tyranny, I believe there is a duty to Iffight it …. If you achieve a voice that will be heard, you should use it to speak up for the voiceless and oppressed. If you possess any power or authority, you must strive to use it to help and to empower the powerles.



Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan




A number of public figures and organisations have expressed their opinion on caste discrimination. Please see a few of their quotes/statements below:


UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, 2015


Millions of Dalits, Tribals and others still face discrimination, especially the women and girls. In too many communities, religious minorities also suffer. We must continue Gandhi’s battle for equality.


Saraswathi Menon, UN Women Policy Director


Legislation alone does not address structural discrimination. The UN has an important role to play and must step up to the plate to help stop caste-based violence against women.


Siddharth Kara, Director of the Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at Harvard University


Every single child labourer that I have documented comes from a highly impoverished family unit and belongs to a low-caste or minority community.


Navi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


Our outrage is not enough. We must take real and focused action to mend our societies’ dramatic failure to support the rights of people of discriminated castes, particularly women and girls.


UN Women Policy Director, Saraswathi Menon


We want to capture that women are targeted for punitive violence when they transgress caste, by the community, and when seeking to organise and defend their rights and the rights of others.


Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Rashida Manjoo


The intergenerational nature of caste discrimination condemns women to a life of exclusion, marginalization and disadvantage in every sphere of life. Many of those women are denied an education and economic opportunities, and perform dangerous and unprotected work, including … modern forms of slavery.


Manisha Devi, a young Dalit activist who has been a leading figure in two month-long marches for Dalit women’s rights.


I will raise my voice against any injustice even at the expense of my own life.


Ramesh Nathan, general convener of the National Coalition for Strengthening of SC/ST PoA Act


If one uses common sense, the current Prevention of Atrocities Act is stringent and misused. But the government statistics and everyday incidents of brutal and subtle violence against Dalits and Adivasis prove that the Act is simply not working. Perpetrators use ambiguities and loopholes in the Act to evade punishment. An insensitive judiciary and police contribute in their own way to work around the Act.


Asha Kowtal, General Secretary of the National Dalit Women’s movement AIDMAM


Systems of justice meant to protect Dalit women at the national level are completely failing us. We are asking for immediate loud and clear global support in our struggle.


Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Indian National Human Rights Commission, CEDAW 2014 review of India.


There is no dearth of evidence to show that Dalit women elected representatives face severe barriers as they perform the role of leaders in governance … the SC/ST PoA Act is not implemented effectively. Culprits in serious cases like rape and murder are not punished. Caste abuses, stripping and parading of Dalit women in India is not rare.


UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, 2014 report on India.


While legislation has been adopted to eradicate bonded labour and manual scavenging, reports and interlocutors indicate that there is a consistent failure in the implementation of such laws and a tendency to minimize the significance of the problem.


India Exclusion Report 2014


Traditional caste rules mandate forced labour from certain communities. Caste is one of the foundations of the bonded labour system and remains a key feature of bondage even in non-agricultural industries today. The lack of access to their own land, combined with this expectation to perform free labour and the threat of violence and economic boycott against those who challenge their expected social roles, keeps many Dalit families in bondage and a perpetual state of poverty.


India Exclusion Report 2014


Caste remains a key determinant of a person’s future. This is perfectly reflected in India’s labour market, which is more governed by laws of social origin than by statutory legislation. Moreover, violation of caste rules by Dalits seeking to break caste-related employment barriers is prone to severe punishment from dominant castes, including economic boycotts and even physical violence.


The UNDP Nepal Human Development Report 2014


Social sector policies need to recognize the caste and ethnic dimensions of human development. Clear and ongoing caste and ethnic inequalities are revealed in different educational achievements and earnings. This strengthens the argument for deliberate strategies to increase inclusiveness by providing educational and economic opportunities for disadvantaged ethnic and caste groups such as the Dalits and Muslims.


UN Women Representative and acting UN Resident Coordinator, Ziad Sheikh


When, for example, you are a Dalit woman, you face double discrimination leading to social, political and economic exclusion and often worse. As we know, this is a reality in Nepal.


UN minority Forum Statement of Pirbhu Lal Satyani, Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN)


A combined effect of low education levels, exclusion from family decision making processes and a lack of property rights make Dalit women vulnerable to labour exploitation and bondage. Rape of female bonded labourers is widespread and violent, and there is little legal recourse.


2014 Global Slavery Index by the Walk Free Foundation


A weak rule of law, widespread corruption, and poverty reinforce political, social, and economic structures of modern slavery in Pakistan. Underpinning this are culturally accepted practices that are tantamount to modern slavery… This reinforces perceptions that lower caste groups are not equal citizens and subsequently limits policy and service provisions tailored to their needs.


Veeru Kohli, Dalit woman and former bonded labourer, now working to help others escape.


My husband, my children and I were kept separate from each other… My daughter was dying of starvation because the landlord whose field I was working on was not paying me anything. When I confronted them, they beat me up.


Jony Das, resident in a Dalit colony


We do not like this lifestyle, but there is no option. Nobody will rent us houses in other areas.


Aidan McQaude, Director of Anti-Slavery International, speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Dalit Solidarity Network UK (DSN-UK)


The enforced silence around caste-based apartheid now extends as far as the UK … the trap of caste-based apartheid that has ensnared millions of people across the world still grips, and its grip threatens fundamentally the democracy of those states that tolerate it, not least the world’s largest democracy.


Baroness Northover, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development (DFID).


Statistics on caste discrimination show that these groups, particularly Dalit households, continue to perform worse than others. For example, mortality rates for Dalit children are 50% higher than those for children born in other families. Only one out of three Dalit girls completes five years of schooling compared to half in other communities.


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon keynote address to the Indian Council of World Affairs


“I was deeply moved by how they are conserving and teaching Gandhi’s letters and other precious artefacts. And I reflected on our collective responsibility to conserve the spirit of Gandhi’s teachings. He confronted many forms of injustice, including against people who were then called “untouchables”. His struggle led to the historic resolution banning discrimination based on caste. Today India has laws that not only enshrine equality, but also take positive steps to address past discrimination. But millions of Dalits, Tribals and others still face discrimination, especially the women and girls. In too many communities, religious minorities also suffer. We must continue Gandhi’s battle for equality.” UN press release, 12 January 2015


Human Rights Watch


The combination of caste and gender makes millions of Dalit women extremely vulnerable to discrimination and violence, including rape.


World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on a 2015 visit to Gujarat


“Indian society has an enduring exclusion that is based, among other things, on caste identities. This bias can impede shared prosperity, serving as a basis for discrimination in many spheres, including in employment and other markets, as well as in public services.”


The reply of an Indian court judge to a gang-raped Dalit woman, upon seeing a video of the rape filmed and distributed by the dominant caste rapists and presented by the woman in court as evidence of the rape


Great, now you have proof that you enjoyed yourself


Father of a Dalit child in a Government school in India


They don’t learn anything, must sit separately and are served food last when there is often nothing left


Stalin K speaking in Norway


The apartheid regime in South Africa provoked strong reactions from the international community – the struggle against caste discrimination deserves the same level of attention.


American Dalit woman filmmaker, thenmozhi soundararajan, who spoke at the Women in the World summit in new York about violence against Dalit women


Even if no one else recognizes us as human, we will shout it from the rooftops. … The shame is not on the women, the shame is on the world that allows this to happen


Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Finland

Anti-discrimination and stronger participation are central in the Finnish policy, and most vulnerable groups require special attention. There is every reason to include Dalits as a distinctive group.


Dr. Sono Khangharani, PDSN member

Unfortunately, the rape of a Dalit woman is considered an act “for granted” because of their inferior social status in Pakistani society, so hardly any action is taken against the influential and wealthy landlords. Scheduled castes are living miserable lives with no protection of their honour and property.


Hira Bishwakarma, team leader of a study on Dalit women

Dalit women are at the receiving end of violence, whether domestic or social, for two reasons: they are treated as the second sex and belong to the most oppressed social group.


Editorial, The Himalayan Times

That caste discrimination incidents are regularly reported are evidence that the implementation of the law against it is rather lax, and the perpetrators are not in any way brought to book due to their clout or power. It makes a mockery of our own constitution and the law.


Durga Sob, President, Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO)

Sadly, I don’t think our society is progressive enough when it comes to Dalits. If the educated masses working for human rights had been progressive, such an event, like what happened in Rautahat, would not have occurred in the first place.


Stalin K, filmmaker and human rights activist

As a society, when we hear about untouchability practices, we should feel outraged, as we would with other criminal acts like murder and rape. It’s time we accepted that the practice of untouchability is not the vestigial remains of some backward, social phenomenon or tradition: it’s a criminal offence. Let’s start calling it what it is.


Kumari Selja, Minister for Social Justice, India

Despite prohibition of manual scavenging, the practice is still prevalent… This dehumanising practice is inconsistent with the right to live with dignity.


Report from the National Tribunal on Dalit women

Various Dalit women campaigns across the country are regularly monitoring the cases of sexual violence against Dalit women, but unfortunately they always hit a dead end; the dominant caste threats, the inadequacy of the law enforcement agencies and the collusion between the two leaves no hope of justice.


Mari Marcel Thekaekara, Columnist, New Internationalist

I have had mail from Dalit and Adivasi friends asking why we, the feminist women and men of India, and our Prime Minister and high profile people… do not weep copiously or hold candlelight vigils when they, India’s Dalits and Adivasi people, are routinely raped, every single day in our country. I have no answer. I can only hang my head in shame.


Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus and Nobel Prize Laureate

“You are a very stratified society, more so than most others, and the caste system is very entrenched. I do think Indian society needs to be challenged about the Dalits because it ends up affecting your humanity.


Juliette de Rivero, Human Rights Watch, at UN side event on Dalit women

New laws are useless unless implemented, as we have seen with previous efforts to ensure protection of Dalit rights.


Aidan McQuade, Director of Anti-Slavery International

Slavery emerges at the conjunction of individual vulnerability, social exclusion and failure of rule of law. So it should be no surprise that those countries that tolerate systemic and often institutional discrimination against their citizens on spurious grounds such as caste should also be the ones with the most extensive enslavement of their citizens. Slavery is one of the cruelest manifestations of caste discrimination.


Joint statement by seven UN human rights experts

“We will pay specific attention to the particularly vulnerable situation of people affected by caste-based discrimination… No one should be stigmatized; no one should be considered




‘untouchable’.”



Moni Rani Das, Dalit woman leader in Bangladesh

“If you are not considered human, human rights do not apply to you.”

Hanns Heinrich Schumacher, German Ambassadorr

When I was asked to address this meeting, the urgency, the dimension of the problem, the meaning of being “Dalit” and in particular a “Dalit woman”, was not known to me. When I gathered more information, I was shocked.

UNDP Country Director Mr Stefan Priesner on International Human Rights Day, 10 December

The Government of Bangladesh should be encouraged to enact a law against discriminatory practices and recognise them as a criminal offence. It would also be important to establish quota systems for Dalits in all public educational institutes, and promote adequate employment opportunities for Dalits in all sectors of the economy.

Asian Human Rights Commission

The failure to adopt a new constitution has meant that addressing the issues of the Dalit community has been put on the backburner once more.

Stalin K, filmmaker and human rights campaigner

If you have come across an Indian, not just in India but anywhere in the world, who have told you that the caste system and caste discrimination is a thing of the past, then that person was either fooling you or was downright ignorant. That person, I can guarantee you, must also belong to the privileged caste.

Manjula Pradeep, Director, Navsarjan Trust, in the Danish daily, Kristeligt Dagblad

At first, the media described us as animals, but then they realised that we made a difference, and they started to report positively about us. But there are still many politicians who try to prevent the media from writing about Dalits, because they prefer to hide the problems and make India appear modern and democratic. So there is a long way to go.

Aamir Khan, Bollywood star and talk show host

If I think that I am higher than you because of birth, then I am mentally ill.

Kala bai Lavre, manual scavenger, in The Hindu newspaper

When people say it has been 60 years of India’s liberation, I find it difficult to believe, for we are still slaves, working for others, picking up human excreta with our bare hands.

Asha Kowtal, General Secretary, AIDMAM

Every time we go into the field, we have to deal with a case of a young 12-15 year-old girl who was raped by seven-eight men, and then you just start wondering: Are they human beings or are they animals? How could they do this to a girl – and a girl who is completely powerless because of her age, her size, her mind and her caste and everything?


Siddharth Kara, Bonded Labor, Columbia University Press 2012, p.6

Almost all bonded labourers in South Asia… belong to a minority ethnic group or caste… It is crucial to understand that there remains a stratum of human beings in South Asia who are deemed exploitable and expendable by society at large.


Mitro Repo, Finnish MEP

I am appalled that Dalits in India have not seen their situation improved. The violent actions recently have shown how little has been done. It is clear that dominant castes are organising violent acts against Dalits. Unfortunately, the Indian authorities do not take their human rights responsibilities seriously.


Peter van Dalen, Dutch MEP

One of the biggest problems is that people who have destroyed the houses of Dalits, treated them as slaves and forced them into prostitution, are not brought to justice. Even worse, every year hundreds, possibly even thousands, of Dalits are tortured by the police. The Dalits in India are virtually outlawed.”


Barbara Lochbihler, Chair of the EP Sub-Committee on Human Rights

India has legislated on certain levels, but with little success… We therefore strongly urge that the Indian government and authorities – from local to the highest state level – protect and defend the rights of Dalits, and where necessary, enact new legislation.


Gulnara Shahinian, UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery.

Caste discrimination is one of the most pernicious forms of discrimination, as it condemns individuals from birth to a life of marginalisation. The links between caste, social hierarchy and slavery are strong.


Mari Marcel Thekaekara, columnist, Hindustan Times

We as a country took a moral stand on Nelson Mandela… for freedom from apartheid. This is why I now back the Dalit struggle for international support, though it irks me that our countrymen have to go to the West to seek justice. If we would get justice on our land, why would we wash our dirty linen in public?


UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay:

“Caste is the very negation of the human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination” Read the full opinion piece on caste discrimination by Navi Pillay here


Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Maxime Verhagen, at the UN Human Rights Council:

“In terms of issues, I think the Council’s agenda does not yet reflect all the substantive issues that need to be addressed. Discrimination on the basis of descent or work, for example, is still missing from the non-discrimination agenda. There are approximately 260 million people in the world that suffer such discrimination. For these men and women, it is impossible to escape grinding poverty because the society




they grew up in does not allow them to take their fate into their own hands and improve themselves,”



Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

“In 2001, I noted that India was at the forefront of the struggle against apartheid and expressed the belief that the Indian people would want to end the scourge of caste discrimination. I still hope that this is so, and I strongly urge the Indian government and my own government to endorse international efforts to end the practice of „untouchability‟, which is a blot on humanity. Such support would be a boost to the struggle for Dalit rights, not only in India, but all over the world.”


Clive Baldwin, senior legal advisor, Human Rights Watch:

“Caste discrimination is a major global human rights issue that needs to be effectively dealt with at the international level.”


Human Rights Watch, Asia director, Brad Adams:

“political will to end the scourge of caste discrimination is needed at all levels of government to alter traditional attitudes and turn well-meaning laws into reality.”


ISO 26000 – standard on social responsibility in the private sector:

“Hundreds of millions of people are discriminated against because of their hereditary status or descent. This form of discrimination is based on a history of rights abuse justified by the wrongful notion that some people are considered unclean or less worthy because of the group into which they are born. An organization should avoid such practices and,




where feasible, seek to contribute to eliminating these prejudices.’’



UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Mr. Githu Muigai:

“The legal framework on discrimination based on descent is unambiguous. Yet, it remains to be implemented properly. Robust action was required from Governments in order to advance in the fight against discrimination based on descent. The vital first step in addressing this issue was for States to recognize that discrimination on the grounds of descent constituted a form of racial discrimination prohibited by the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination. In the absence of such recognition




it would not be possible to effectively address the serious human rights violations and discrimination suffered by individuals and groups on grounds of caste and other systems of inherited status.”



Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Ms. Yakin Ertürk:


“Dalit women are confronted with discrimination, exclusion and violence to a larger extent than men. Land and property issues in particular, tend to cause or be at the root of conflicts over which Dalit women have faced eviction, harassment, physical abuse and assault. Dalit women are often denied access to or are evicted from their land by dominant castes, especially if it borders land belonging to such castes. They are thus forced to live in the outskirts of villages, often on barren land. Reportedly, on many occasions, cases of violence against Dalit women are not registered, and adequate procedures are not taken by the police.”


Two UN independent experts on water and sanitation and on extreme poverty:

”They [Dalits of Bangladesh] are reportedly denied education because of social stigma, and their jobs are threatened. Although they work in sanitation all day long, they have no or inadequate access to water and sanitation in their own homes. The Government must end all forms of discrimination and adopt immediate measures to guarantee their human rights.”


Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Ms. Gulnara Shahinian:


”ILO research shows a clear link in Asian countries between forced labour and long-standing patterns of discrimination. In India, the overwhelming majority of bonded labour victims in agriculture, brick making,mining and other sectors are from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.”






























Lack of reservation for Dalits in promotion in jobs is a 'big lacuna' in the legal framework.


-Politburo member Brinda Karat


The feeling of being dehumanized, of having been demeaned is far greater for dalit women. Rajat Mitra


Whenever a dalit woman is raped, it gets connected to all other sufferings and discriminations. Dalits being in a disadvantaged position and there's no resilience, no bouncing back. Rajat Mitra


“It is shocking that the conviction rate for cases of atrocities against SC/STs is less than 30% against the average of 42%.” Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India


“We need a concerted effort to bring about a social change which can weaken these divisive forces, strengthen unity and accelerate our march for national progress”


Meira Kumar, the Speaker of India’s Lower House (Lok Sabha):




जिसे अपने दुखों से मुक्ति चाहिए उसे लड़ना होगा और जिसे लड़ना है उसे पहले पढ़ना होगा क्योंकि ज्ञान के बिना लड़ने गए तो हार निश्चित है |


डाॅ. बाबासाहेब आंबेडकर




शिक्षित बनो !, संगठित रहो!, संघर्ष करो!।


डॉ. भीमराव रामजी आम्बेडकर




"हम आदि से अंत तक भारतीय है।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर




"We are Indians, firstly and lastly." ~ B. R. Ambedkar


"सागर में मिलकर अपनी पहचान खो देने वाली पानी की एक बूँद के विपरीत , इंसान जिस समाज में रहता है वहां अपनी पहचान नहीं खोता । इंसान का जीवन स्वतंत्र है । वो सिर्फ समाज के विकास के लिए नहीं पैदा हुआ है , बल्कि स्वयं के विकास के लिए पैदा हुआ है ।" ~


डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self." ~ B. R. Ambedkar











"पति- पत्नी के बीच का सम्बन्ध घनिष्ट मित्रों के सम्बन्ध के सामान होना चाहिए ।"~


डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"The relationship between husband and wife should be one of closest friends." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"जीवन लम्बा होने की बजाये महान होना चाहिए ।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"Life should be great rather than long. " ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"हिंदू धर्म में, विवेक, कारण, और स्वतंत्र सोच के विकास के लिए कोई गुंजाइश नहीं है।" ~


डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"In Hinduism, conscience, reason and independent thinking have no scope for development." ~ B. R. Ambedkar




"बुद्धि का विकास मानव के अस्तित्व का अंतिम लक्ष्य होना चाहिए।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



Cultivation of mind should be the ultimate aim of human existence." ~


B. R. Ambedkar







"मनुष्य एवम उसके धर्म को समाज के द्वारा नैतिकता के आधार पर चयन करना चाहिये |अगर धर्म को ही मनुष्य के लिए सब कुछ मान लिया जायेगा तो किन्ही और मानको का कोई मूल्य नहीं रह जायेगा |" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर




"People and their religion must be judged by social standards based on social ethics. No other standard would have any meaning if religion is held to be necessary good for the well-being of the people." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"एक सफल क्रांति के लिए सिर्फ असंतोष का होना ही काफी नहीं है, बल्कि इसके लिए न्याय, राजनीतिक और सामाजिक अधिकारों में गहरी आस्था का होना भी बहुत आवश्यक है।" ~


डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"For a successful revolution it is not enough that there is discontent. What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of the justice, necessity and importance of political and social rights." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"इतिहास गवाह हैं कि जहाँ नैतिकता और अर्थशाश्त्र के बीच संघर्ष होता है वहां जीत हमेशा अर्थशाश्त्र की होती है। निहित स्वार्थों को तब तक स्वेच्छा से नहीं छोड़ा गया है जब तक कि मजबूर करने के लिए पर्याप्त बल ना लगाया गया हो।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them." ~


B. R. Ambedkar









"किसी भी कौम का विकास उस कौम की महिलाओं के विकास से मापा जाता हैं |" ~


डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"एक महान व्यक्ति एक प्रख्यात व्यक्ति से एक ही बिंदु पर भिन्न हैं कि महान व्यक्ति समाज का सेवक बनने के लिए तत्पर रहता हैं।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर








"A great man is different from an eminent one in In that he is ready to be the servant of the society." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"जो व्यक्ति अपनी मौत को हमेशा याद रखता है वह सदा अच्छे कार्य में लगा रहता है।" ~


डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर








"मैं ऐसे धर्म को मानता हूँ जो स्वतंत्रता, समानता, और भाई-चारा सीखाये।" ~


डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity." ~ B. R. Ambedkar










"हर व्यक्ति जो मिल के सिद्धांत कि एक देश दूसरे देश पर शासन नहीं कर सकता को दोहराता है उसे ये भी स्वीकार करना चाहिए कि एक वर्ग दूसरे वर्ग पर शासन नहीं कर सकता।" ~


डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"Every man who repeats the dogma of Mill that one country is no fit to rule another country must admit that one class is not fit to rule another class." ~


B. R. Ambedkar






"जिस तरह मनुष्य नश्वर है ठीक उसी तरह विचार भी नश्वर हैं। जिस तरह पौधे को पानी की जरूरत पड़ती है उसी तरह एक विचार को प्रचार-प्रसार की जरुरत होती है वरना दोनों मुरझा कर मर जाते है।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"Men are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering. Otherwise both will wither and die." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"जिस तरह हर एक व्यक्ति यह सिधांत दोहराता हैं कि एक देश दुसरे देश पर शासन नहीं कर सकता उसी प्रकार उसे यह भी मानना होगा कि एक वर्ग दुसरे पर शासन नहीं कर सकता |" ~


डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर






"आज भारतीय दो अलग-अलग विचारधाराओं द्वारा शासित हो रहे हैं। उनके राजनीतिक आदर्श जो संविधान के प्रस्तावना में इंगित हैं वो स्वतंत्रता, समानता, और भाई -चारे को स्थापित करते हैं और उनके धर्म में समाहित सामाजिक आदर्श इससे इनकार करते हैं।" ~


डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"Indians today are governed by two different ideologies. Their political ideal set in the preamble of the Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"उदासीनता लोगों को प्रभावित करने वाली सबसे खराब किस्म की बीमारी है।" ~


डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"Indifferentism is the worst kind of disease that can affect people." ~


B. R. Ambedkar






"एक महान व्यक्ति एक प्रतिष्ठित व्यक्ति से अलग है क्योंकि वह समाज का सेवक बनने के लिए तैयार रहता है।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"A great man is different from an eminent one in In that he is ready to be the servant of the society." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"एक सुरक्षित सेना एक सुरक्षित सीमा से बेहतर है।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"A safe army is better than a safe border." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"क़ानून और व्यवस्था राजनीति रूपी शरीर की दवा है और जब राजनीति रूपी शरीर बीमार पड़ जाएँ तो दवा अवश्य दी जानी चाहिए।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"Law and order are the medicine of the body politic and when the body politic gets sick, medicine must be administered." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"जब तक आप सामाजिक स्वतंत्रता नहीं हांसिल कर लेते, क़ानून आपको जो भी स्वतंत्रता देता है वो आपके किसी काम की नहीं।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"So long as you do not achieve social liberty, whatever freedom is provided by the law is of no avail to you." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"यदि मुझे लगा कि संविधान का दुरुपयोग किया जा रहा है, तो मैं इसे सबसे पहले जलाऊंगा।"~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"If I find the constitution being misused, I shall be the first to burn it." ~


B. R. Ambedkar






"यदि हम एक संयुक्त एकीकृत आधुनिक भारत चाहते हैं, तो सभी धर्मों के धर्मग्रंथों की संप्रभुता का अंत होना चाहिए।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"The sovereignty of scriptures of all religions must come to an end if we want to have a united integrated modern India." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"राजनीतिक अत्याचार सामाजिक अत्याचार की तुलना में कुछ भी नहीं है और एक सुधारक जो समाज को खारिज कर देता है वो सरकार को खारिज कर देने वाले राजनीतिज्ञ से ज्यादा साहसी हैं।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"Political tyranny is nothing compared to the social tyranny and a reformer who defies society is a more courageous man than a politician who defies Government." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"लोग और उनके धर्म, सामाजिक नैतिकता के आधार पर, सामाजिक मानकों द्वारा परखे जाने चाहिए। अगर धर्म को लोगों के भले के लिये आवश्यक वस्तु मान लिया जायेगा तो और किसी मानक का मतलब नहीं होगा।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर






"समानता एक कल्पना हो सकती है, लेकिन फिर भी इसे एक गवर्निंग सिद्धांत रूप में स्वीकार करना होगा।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"Equality may be a fiction but nonetheless one must accept it as a governing principle." ~ B. R. Ambedkar






"हमारे पास यह स्वतंत्रता किस लिए है? हमारे पास ये स्वत्नत्रता इसलिए है ताकि हम अपने सामाजिक व्यवस्था, जो असमानता, भेद-भाव और अन्य चीजों से भरी है, जो हमारे मौलिक अधिकारों से टकराव में है, को सुधार सकें।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



"What are we having this liberty for? We are having this liberty in order to reform our social system, which is full of inequality, discrimination and other things, which conflict with our fundamental rights." ~ B. R. Ambedkar




"मेरे नाम की जय-जयकार करने से अच्‍छा है, मेरे बताए हुए रास्‍ते पर चलें।"

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"रात रातभर मैं इसलिये जागता हूँ क्‍योंकि मेरा समाज सो रहा है।"

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर




"जो कौम अपना इतिहास नहीं जानती, वह कौम कभी भी इतिहास नहीं बना सकती।"

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"अपने भाग्य के बजाय अपनी मजबूती पर विश्वास करो।"

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"मैं राजनीति में सुख भोगने नहीं बल्कि अपने सभी दबे-कुचले भाईयों को उनके अधिकार दिलाने आया हूँ।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"मनुवाद को जड़ से समाप्‍त करना मेरे जीवन का प्रथम लक्ष्‍य है।"

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर




"जो धर्म जन्‍म से एक को श्रेष्‍ठ और दूसरे को नीच बनाए रखे, वह धर्म नहीं, गुलाम बनाए रखने का षड़यंत्र है।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर




"राष्‍ट्रवाद तभी औचित्‍य ग्रहण कर सकता है, जब लोगों के बीच जाति, नरल या रंग का अन्‍तर भुलाकर उसमें सामाजिक भ्रातृत्‍व को सर्वोच्‍च स्‍थान दिया जाये।"

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"मैं तो जीवन भर कार्य कर चुका हूँ अब इसके लिए नौजवान आगे आए।"

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"अच्छा दिखने के लिए मत जिओ बल्कि अच्छा बनने के लिए जिओ!

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"जो झुक सकता है वह सारी दुनिया को झुका भी सकता है!"~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"लोकतंत्र सरकार का महज एक रूप नहीं है।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"एक इतिहासकार, सटीक, ईमानदार और निष्‍पक्ष होना चाहिए।"

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"संविधान, यह एक मात्र वकीलों का दस्‍तावेज नहीं। यह जीवन का एक माध्‍यम है।"

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"किसी का भी स्‍वाद बदला जा सकता है लेकिन जहर को अमृत में परिवर्तित नही किया जा सकता।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर




"न्‍याय हमेशा समानता के विचार को पैदा करता है।"

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"मन की स्‍वतंत्रता ही वास्‍तविक स्‍वतंत्रता है।"

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"इस दुनिया में महान प्रयासों से प्राप्‍त किया गया को छोडकर और कुछ भी बहुमूल्‍य नहीं है।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"ज्ञान व्‍‍यक्ति के जीवन का आधार हैं।"

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर




"शिक्षा जितनी पुरूषों के लिए आवशयक है उतनी ही महिलाओं के लिए।"

~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"महात्‍मा आये और चले गये परन्‍तु अछुत, अछुत ही बने हुए हैं।" ~

डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर


"स्‍वतंत्रता का रहस्‍य, साहस है और साहस एक पार्टी में व्‍यक्तियों के संयोजन से पैदा होता है।" ~ डॉ. भीम राव अम्बेडकर



These are the List of Films based on the life of B. R. Ambedkar (according to years of Release): 



Bhim Garjana, a 1990 Marathi film directed by Vijay Pawar. 
Balak Ambedkar, a 1991 Kannada film directed by Basavaraj Kesthur. 
Yugpurush Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, 1993 Marathi film directed by Shashikant Nalavade. 
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, 2000 English film directed by Jabbar Patel. 
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, a 2005 Kannada film directed by Sharan Kumar Kabbur. 
Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar, a 2011 Marathi film directed by Prakash Jadhav. 
Shudra: The Rising, a 2012 Hindi film directed by Sanjiv Jaiswal and dedicated to Ambedkar. 
A Journey of Samyak Buddha, a 2013 Hindi film based on Ambedkar's book, The Buddha and His Dhamma and Navayana Buddhism. 
Ramabai, a 2016 Kannada film directed by M. Ranganath. 
Bole India Jai Bhim, 2016 Marathi film directed by Subodh Nagdeve. 
Bal Bhimrao, 2018 Marathi film directed by Prakash Narayan. 



Works

The Education Department, Government of Maharashtra (Mumbai) published the collection of Ambedkar's writings and speeches in different volumes, collectively named Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar:writings and speeches. 


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, [1948]) 
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 
Ambedkar 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 chronological order.) 
Ambedkar’s Speeches and writing in Marathi 
Ambedkar’s Photo Album and Correspondence 


Yashpal Singh


🌹बाबासाहब और करपात्री महाराज🌹

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बाबासाहेब जब हिन्दू कोड बिल तैयार करने में लगे थे तब बनारस के सबसे बड़े धर्मगुरु स्वामी करपात्री महाराज उर्फ हरिनारायण ओझा उर्फ हरिहरानन्द सरस्वती, जिन्होंने अखिल भारतीय रामराज्य परिषद नामक एक राजनैतिक दल की स्थापना की थी जिसने 1952 में लोकसभा के प्रथम आम चुनाव में 03 सीटें जीतीं थी, ने बाबासाहेब को बहस करने की चुनौती दे डाली। करपात्री ने कहा, डॉ0 अम्बेडकर एक अछूत हैं वे क्या जानते हैं हमारे धर्म के बारे मे, हमारे ग्रन्थ और शास्त्रों के बारे में, उन्हें कहाँ संस्कृत और संस्कृति का ज्ञान है ? यदि उन्होंने हमारी संस्कृति से खिलवाड़ किया तो उन्हें इसके परिणाम भुगतने होंगे। करपात्री महाराज ने डॉ0 अम्बेडकर को इस पर बहस करने हेतु पत्र लिखा और निमंत्रण भी भेज दिया। फिलवक्त उस समय करपात्री महाराज दिल्ली में यमुना के किनारे निगम बोध घाट पर एक आश्रम में रहते थे।


बाबासाहेब बहुत शांत और शालीन स्वभाव के व्यक्ति थे। उन्होंने आदर सहित करपात्री महाराज को पत्र लिखकर उनका निमंत्रण स्वीकार किया और कहा कि हिंदी, इंग्लिश, संस्कृत, मराठी या अन्य किसी भी भाषा में मैं आपसे शास्त्रार्थ करने को तैयार हूं। आपके मन मे यदि कोई प्रश्न है तो आप अपने समयानुसार आकर अपनी जिज्ञासा पूरी कर सकते हैं। यह पढ़ते ही करपात्री महाराज आग बबूला हो गए और वापस बाबा साहेब को पत्र लिखा, डॉ0 अम्बेडकर आप शायद भूल रहे हैं कि आप एक साधू, सन्यासी को अपने स्थान पर बुला रहे हैं। आपको यहां आकर बात करनी चाहिए न कि एक साधू आपके पास आकर बात करे।


बाबासाहेब ने उसी रूप में जवाब देते हुए कहा कि मैं साधू, सन्तों का सम्मान करता हूँ। उनके तप और त्याग का आदर करता हूँ लेकिन फिलहाल जिनसे मैं पत्राचार कर रहा हूँ वे साधु कहाँ रहे हैं? वे राजनेता हो गए हैं वरना हिन्दू कोड बिल से किसी साधू को क्या लेना देना हो सकता है ? एक ऐसा बिल जिसमें महिलाओं को भी सम्पत्ति रखने का अधिकार मिले, तलाक और विधवा विवाह का अधिकार मिले ? इसमें मुझे तो कोई बुराई नजर नहीं आती इसलिए मेरी नजर में आप राजनीति कर रहे हैं और राजनीतिक लिहाज से आप शायद भूल रहे हैं कि मैं वर्तमान समय में भारत का कानून मंत्री हूँ और एक मंत्री के रूप में मैं किसी ऐसी जगह नही जा सकता हूँ जहां जनता का हित न हो या लोकतंत्र का अपमान हो। यह पढ़कर करपात्री महाराज अचंभित हुए और बाबा साहेब को पुनः एक और पत्र लिखा जिसमें वे बाबासाहेब से मिलने को राजी हुए लेकिन कभी मिलने नही आये। ऐसे थे बाबा साहेब डॉ0 अम्बेडकर और एक आज के नेता हैं जिन्हें हम अपना नेता कहते हैं। जब तक धर्म और राजनीति दोनों को अलग-२ न किया जाय तब तक इस देश का कुछ भी भला नहीं हो सकता, यह एक अटल सत्य है। (सोहनलाल शास्त्री, विद्यावाचस्पति द्वारा लिखित बाबासाहेब डॉ0 आंबेडकर के सम्पर्क में पच्चीस वर्ष)


On his birth anniversary, we bring to you 10 facts that you may not have known about him. They will help you see Baba Saheb’s legacy in a new light!
1. Ambedkar’s original name was actually Ambavadekar.




Photo Source


Ambedkar original surname was Ambavadekar (derived from the name of his native village ‘Ambavade’ in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra). It was his teacher, Mahadev Ambedkar who changed his surname from ‘Ambavadekar’ to his own surname ‘Ambedkar’ in school records as he was very fond of him.
2. Ambedkar was the first Indian to pursue a doctorate in economics abroad.




Photo 

Not only in Ambedkar the first Indian to pursue an Economics doctorate degree abroad, he is also the first Ph.D in Economics and the first double doctorate holder in Economics in South Asia. He was also among the highest educated Indians of his generation.


During his three years at Columbia University, Ambedkar took twenty nine courses in economics, eleven in history, six in sociology, five in philosophy, four in anthropology, three in politics and one each in elementary French and German!
3. Ambedkar played a key role in establishment of Reserve Bank of India in 1935.








Reserve Bank of India was conceptualised according to the guidelines presented by Ambedkar to the Hilton Young Commission (also known as Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance) in his book, The Problem of the Rupee – Its Origin and Its Solution.


Ambedkar also knew that the problem of the rupee is eventually linked to the problem of domestic inflation. In the preface to the book version of his thesis, he pointed out: “…nothing will stabilize the rupee unless we stabilize its general purchasing power”.
4. The Mahad Satyagraha of 1927 was Ambedkar’s first important crusade.




The Mahad satyagraha of 1927 was one of the defining moments in Ambedkar’s political thought and action. Held in the small town of Mahad in Maharashtra, this satyagraha was held three years prior to Gandhi’s Dandi march. While salt was at the centre of Gandhi’s campaign, drinking water was at the core of Ambedkar’s crusade.

By leading a group of Dalits to drink water from Chavadar lake in Mahad, Ambedkar didn’t just assert the right of Dalits to take water from public water sources, he sowed the the seeds of Dalit emancipation. In his famous quote, he said,

“We are not going to the Chavadar Tank to merely drink its water. We are going to the tank to assert that we too are human beings like others. It must be clear that this meeting has been called to set up the norm of equality.”
5. Ambedkar changed the working hours in India from 14 hours to 8 hours.






As the member for labour in the viceroy’s council from 1942 to 1946, Dr Ambedkar was instrumental in bringing about several labour reforms. He changed the working hours from 12 hours to 8 hours in the 7th session of Indian Labour Conference in New Delhi in November 1942.

He also introduced several measures for workers like dearness allowance, leave benefit, employee insurance, medical leave, equal pay for equal work, minimum wages and periodic revision of scale of pay. He also strengthened trade unions and established employment exchanges across India.

6. Ambedkar’s autobiography is used as a textbook in the Columbia University.






A 20-page autobiographical story written by Ambedkar in 1935-36 (after his return from America and Europe), Waiting for a Visa is a book that draws from his experiences with untouchability, starting from his childhood. The book is used as a textbook in the Columbia University.
7. Ambedkar had opposed Article 370 of the Indian constitution




With members of the Drafting Committee




Ambedkar refused to draft Article 370 of the constitution (which gives special status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir) on the grounds that it was discriminatory and against the principles of unity and integrity of the nation. Article 370 was eventually drafted by Gopalswamy Ayyangar, former Diwan to Maharajah Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir.
8. Ambedkar fought for three years to get the comprehensive Hindu Code Bill passed which gave several important rights to women.






Ambedkar resigned from his post of the first law minister of India when the comprehensive Hindu Code Bill was dropped by the Indian parliament. The bill had two main purposes – first, to elevate the social status of Hindu women by giving them their due rights and second, to abrogate social disparities and caste inequalities.


Some of the key features of this bill were: 
Women could now inherit family property, permitting divorce and adoption of girls 
The code gave both men and women the right to divorce if the marriage was untenable. 
Widows and divorcees were given the right to remarry. 
Polygamy was outlawed 
Intercaste marriage and adoption of children of any caste would be permitted. 


A staunch supporter of women’s rights, Ambedkar also said,


“I measure the progress of community by the degree of progress which women had achieved. Let every girl who marries stand by her husband, claim to be her husband’s friend and equal, and refuse to be his slave. I am sure if you follow this advice, you will bring honour and glory to yourselves.”
9. Ambedkar was the first to suggest the division of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh






In his book (published in 1995), Thoughts on Linguistic States, Ambedkar suggested splitting Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. A good 45 years after he originally wrote the book, the split finally came with the formation of Jharkhand out of Bihar and Chhattisgarh out of Madhya Pradesh in the year 2000.


On splitting one-language states, he wrote in the book: “The number of pieces into which a state with people speaking one language should be divided into should depend upon (1) the requirements of efficient administration, (2) the needs of the different areas, (3) the sentiments of the different areas, and (4) the proportion between the majority and minority.”
10. Ambedkar’s efforts were pioneering in the development of India’s national policy for water and electricity




Ambedkar handing over the final draft of the constitution to President Rajendra Prasad on November 26, 1949


The pioneer of multipurpose river valley projects in India, Ambedkar initiated the Damodar Valley project, the Bhakra Nangal Dam project, the Son River Valley project and Hirakud dam project. He also established the Central Water Commission to facilitate the development of irrigation projects at both the Central and the state level.

To spark the development of India’s power sector, Ambedkar also established the Central Technical Power Board (CTPB) and Central Electricity Authority to explore the potential of and establish hydel and thermal power stations. He also emphasized on the need for a grid system (which India still relies on) and well-trained electrical engineers in India.
B. R. Ambedkar: An Indefatigable Defender of Human Rights

Joseph Benjamin

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born as the fourteenth child of Mahar parents, Ramji and Bhimabai, on 14 April 1891 at Mhow, in present-day State of Madhya Pradesh. The Mahars are considered low- caste and treated as untouchables (Dalits) by higher-caste Hindus. They are mainly found in the State of Maharashtra.

The father and grandfather of Ambedkar served in the army and were of well-to-do family. But the stigma of being members of Mahar community caused their social oppression in a caste-ridden society.

Ambedkar had a bitter taste of discriminatory treatment due his caste at an early age. He and his brother had to carry gunny bags to sit on inside the classroom because they were not allowed to sit on classroom chairs. They were denied drinking water facilities, and excluded from games and mixing with other children. Even teachers would not check their notebooks for fear of "pollution." Thus sowed the seeds of discontentment about the Hindu social system in the life of Ambedkar.

He did his early education in Satara in Maharashtra State and then moved on to Bombay. In 1912, he passed his B. A. examination with distinction from the prestigious Elphinstone College with the scholarship and encouragement from the Maharaja of Baroda State. In 1913, with a condition that he would serve the Baroda State for ten years, he was chosen by Maharaja of Baroda State for higher studies at Columbia University in the USA. This was followed with a trans-Atlantic shift to the United Kingdom where he studied at the University of London. While studying abroad, he mixed with students of various nationalities and races, which was an eye- opener for him.

He joined the Union Cabinet of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru during the 1946-1951 period. He resigned on 27 September 1951 to protest the deferment of the discussion in the parliament of the Hindu Code Bill supposedly due to the coming 1952 elections. Ambedkar saw the Bill as a very important reform of Hindu law, with reform proposals on marriage, divorce, and monogamy.

Despite failing health, he plodded on with his advocacy for the cause of the Dalits. He came to Nagpur in October 1956 for his conversion to Buddhism and a couple of months thereafter on 8 December 1956 breathed his last.
Ambedkar's Movement for Human Rights

During the last decade of the 19th century, many Indian leaders born among the lower castes like Narayan Guru (1854-1928), Jotiba Phule (1827-1890), and Ramaswamy Naicker 1879-1973) launched massive struggles for the dignity of Dalits throughout India. Ambedkar was the most towering figure among these Dalit leaders.

In 1917 he joined the Baroda State Service after returning from his studies in the USA and the United Kingdom, as part of the terms of his scholarship agreement. He worked in the city of Baroda, the place of the ruling family of Gaikwad, which financed his studies abroad. He worked as secretary in the defense office of the Maharaja of Baroda State.

However, despite his foreign education, he had to endure insults while at work due to his low caste origin. He was a victim of the cruel dalit discrimination. He suffered the ignominy of having document files hurled by peons at his face.

He suffered the humiliating experience of not being served drinking water during official functions. At the officer's club, he had to sit in a corner and keep his distance from the other members belonging to higher castes. He also had difficulties in finding a rented house, as he was not allotted government bungalow. He stayed in an inn owned by Parsis (members of Zoroastrian religion). One morning, as he was getting ready to go to work, a dozen Parsis, allwielding sticks, rushed up to his room screaming that he had polluted the inn and insisted on his immediate departure. He begged them to let him stay for a week longer since he hoped to get his government bungalow by then. But they were obdurate. If they found him at the inn that evening, they said God help him. After spending much of the day in a public garden, Ambedkar, in utter frustration and disgust, left for Bombay by the 9 pm train.

These scorching incidents goaded Ambedkar to work for the protection of dalit rights and upliftment of the status of the Dalits. In 1924, he started legal practice in Bombay and founded the Bahishkrit Hitkarni Sabha (Depressed Class Institute) to uplift the Dalits. Henceforth, he started his movement and took the cause of the Dalits. He roused the dalit consciousness to fight for the eradication of dalit discrimination; to claim equality of treatment, status and opportunity; to equally enjoy all rights ? civil, political, social and economic ? and respect for the dignity of persons. He was considered a crusader for the human rights of the Dalits in India.

The Hindu religious belief that "All human beings are not born equal" creates caste-based discrimination against the Dalits that leads to various forms of violence against them including public humiliation, torture, rape, beating and killing. Reacting to the values of Hinduism, Rabindranath Gore wrote,

We do not value Hinduism, we value human dignity... We want equal rights in the society. We will achieve them as far as possible while remaining within the Hindu fold or if necessary by kicking away this worthless Hindu identity.

Ambedkar was a great supporter of women's liberation. He blamed the verna system, which has not only subjugated Dalits but also women. He questioned Manu Smriti (Laws of Manu), the law book (Dharam-Shastra) of Brahminic Hinduism and attributed to Manu, the legendary first man and lawgiver. Manu Smriti prescribed the Dharma of each Hindu, stating the obligations attached to his or her social class and stage of life. It was hostile to the interest of lower caste people and women. It prohibited re-marriage of widows. He felt that Manu Smriti was solely responsible for the downfall of Hindu women. He encouraged the Dalits to embrace Buddhism to liberate their own selves from Hindu subjugation. Hence he fought for the right to choose ones' faith. After embracing Buddhism, Ambedkar said, "[U]nfortunately for me I was born a Hindu Untouchable... I solemnly assure you I will not die as a Hindu." He practiced what he advocated and became a Buddhist in 1956.

He also wrote about the French revolution ideas of fraternity, liberty and equality. He thought that the French and Russian revolutions failed to realize all three ideas. He believed that they could not all be realized except through the way of the Buddha.
Means and Ends for Struggle

He adopted various means to safeguard dalit rights. Ambedkar launched a movement against dalit discrimination by creating public opinion through his writings in several periodicals such as Mook Nayak, Vahishkrit Bharat, and Equality Janta, which he started for the protection of dalit rights.

He also launched numerous movements. One of the memorable struggles of the Dalits was the Vaikkom Satyagraha in Travancore in Maharashtra,which asserted the right of the Dalits to worship in Hindu temples without hindrance. Another very significant movement was Mahad March to assert the rights of Dalits to take water from public watering places. Ambedkar organized the Dalit rally to assert their legal right to take water from the Chowdar tank. The Chowdar tank of Mahad was made a public tank in 1869. In 1923, the Bombay Legislative Council passed a resolution to the effect that the Dalits be allowed to use all public watering places. The Mahad Municipality passed a resolution on 5 January 1927 to the effect that the Municipality had no objection to allowing the Dalits to use the tank. But the higher castes were hesitant in allowing the Dalits to use the tank. Soon after this resolution was passed a conference of the Dalits of the Colaba district was held for two days. Ambedkar also convened a conference on 18-20 March 1927 on this issue. On 20 March 1927, the conference exhorted the Dalits to go to the Chowdar Tank and exercise their right to take water from it. The Hindus who had exhorted them to be bold instantly realized that this was a bombshell and immediately ran away. But the electrified Dalits led by Ambedkar marched in a procession through the main streets and for the first time drank the water from Chowdar tank.

Another temple entry movement took place at the Kalaram temple at Nasik in Maharashtra State. On 13 October 1935, at a conference convened on the issue, Ambedkar recounted the experience of the depressed classes and the immense sacrifices made by them to secure minimum human rights under the aegis of Hinduism.

Ambedkar fought for the rights of workers and peasants. In the late 1920s and especially in the 1930s when he had formed his Independent Labour Party, he took up the cause of tenants (from both the dalit Mahars and the caste Hindu Kunbis) in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. With the support of radicals then in the Congress Socialist Party, the Independent Labour Party organized a huge march of 20,000 peasants to Mumbai in 1938, the largest pre-independence peasant mobilization in the region. In the same year, Ambedkar joined with the Communists to organize a strike of Mumbai textile workers in protest against a bill about to be introduced by the British Government to curve labor strikes. Ambedkar took the lead in condemning the bill in the assembly and argued that the right to strike was simply another name for the right to freedom of assembly.
British Raj and Protection for Dalits

The demand for safeguards and protection of Scheduled Castes (earlier called Depressed Class) has a long history dating to Montague-Chelmsford Reform of 1919 during the British Raj period. Ambedkar had been closely involved in the struggle to give Scheduled Caste people solid statutory safeguard. He was a delegate at the Round Table Conference in London, where he asked for separate electorate for the Dalits. It is not a surprise that subsequently Ambedkar saw to it that the welfare of the Scheduled Caste people were guaranteed in the 1949 Constitution of India in the form of reservation in legislative, employment and educational fields.

Ambedkar was a great champion of the dalit cause because he succeeded in turning the depressed class movement into a revolutionary movement throughout India. Today India has witnessed the oppressed classes walking on the streets of cities and villages with confidence and poise, of course many despicable acts of discrimination and violence against the dalits still occur. Yet the juggernaut of equality is rolling on remorselessly and forcefully.

Conclusion

Ambedkar is India's foremost human rights activist during the 20th century. He is an emancipator, scholar, extraordinary social reformer and a true champion of human rights. It can be said that he is one of the highly regarded Indians whose emancipation and empowering role for oppressed groups that cut against the gender divide has inspired subaltern groups all over the world. All should try to take inspiration from Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's life and work for the creation of a just and gender-neutral world.

Joseph Benjamin, PhD, is the head of the Department of Political Science, St. Francis de Sales' College, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India.

For further information, please contact: Joseph Benjamin, PhD, Department of Political Science, St. Francis de Sales' College, Seminary Hills, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India, ph (91-712-2511354-) e-mail: jppj@sify.net.in

All benefited by Ambedkar's sacrifices'


Staff Correspondent


MANGALORE:, APRIL 23, 2012 00:00 IST

Convener of the Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (B. Krishnappa faction) Venkatagiriaiah Mandya said on Sunday that there were slogans about “all Hindus being united”, but it could not be so as long as Dalits were kept outside temples and Brahmins were served food separately in Udupi Krishna Math.


Mr. Mandya said that there was a slogan that “We are all Hindus, we are all one”. However, even today, “pankti bheda” (serving food separately for Brahmins and people of other castes) was practised and Dalits were also denied entry to many temples.


Mr. Mandya said Dakshina Kannada was considered as a district of “knowledgeable people”, but in the same region, people practised “made snana. “Can't the religious leaders convince people that it is unhygienic?”


Separate electorates


Dr. Ambedkar had sought separate electorates for Dalits.


This was because he was of the opinion that the concerns of Dalits would not be reflected in the government. However, Gandhiji and the Congress opposed the move. Mr. Mandya said that people from all castes and classes were now enjoying the fruits of Dr. Ambedkar's sacrifices and efforts.


Calling Dalits as “Dravidians” or the original settlers of the Sindhu river, Mr. Mandya said that the Aryan people had destroyed the rich culture of the land which was based on equality.

Poona Pact

What is Poona Pact ?


During the second Round Table Conference, when Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar favoured the move of the British Government to provide separate electorate for the oppressed classes (Dalit), Gandhi strongly opposed it on the plea that the move would give power to the oppressed classes (Dalit). He went for an indefinite hunger strike from September 20, 1932 against the decision of the then British Prime Minister J.Ramsay MacDonald granting communal award to the depressed classes in the constitution for governance of British India.








In view of the mass upsurge generated in the country to save the life of Gandhi, Ambedkar was compelled to soften his stand. A compromise between the leaders of caste Hindu and the depressed classes was reached on September 24,1932, popularly known as Poona Pact. The resolution announced in a public meeting on September 25 in Bombay confirmed -" henceforth, amongst Hindus no one shall be regarded as an untouchable by reason of his birth and they will have the same rights in all the social institutions as the other Hindus have". This landmark resolution in the history of the Dalit movement in India subsequently formed the basis for giving due share to Dalits in the political empowerment of Indian people in a democratic Indian polity.




Text of Agreement






The following is the text of the agreement arrived at between leaders acting on behalf of the Depressed Classes and of the rest of the community, regarding the representation of the Depressed Classes in the legislatures and certain other matters affecting their welfare.


There shall be seats reserved for the Depressed Classes out of general electorate seats in the provincial legislatures as follows: - Madras 30; Bombay with Sind 25; Punjab 8; Bihar and Orissa 18; Central Provinces 20; Assam 7; Bengal 30; United Provinces 20. Total 148. These figures are based on the Prime Minister's (British) decision. 
Election to these seats shall be by joint electorates subject, however, to the following procedure All members of the Depressed Classes registered in the general electoral roll of a constituency will form an electoral college which will elect a panel of tour candidates belonging to the Depressed Classes for each of such reserved seats by the method of the single vote and four persons getting the highest number of votes in such primary elections shall be the candidates for election by the general electorate. 
The representation of the Depressed Classes in the Central Legislature shall likewise be on the principle of joint electorates and reserved seats by the method of primary election in the manner provided for in clause above for their representation in the provincial legislatures. 
In the Central Legislature 18 per cent of the seats allotted to the general electorate for British India in the said legislature shall he reserved for the Depressed Classes. 
The system of primary election to a panel of candidates for election to the Central and Provincial Legislatures as i herein-before mentioned shall come to an end after the first ten years, unless terminated sooner by mutual agreement under the provision of clause 6 below. 
The system of representation of Depressed Classes by reserved seats in the Provincial and Central Legislatures as provided for in clauses (1) and (4) shall continue until determined otherwise by mutual agreement between the communities concerned in this settlement. 
The Franchise for the Central and Provincial Legislatures of the Depressed Classes shall be as indicated, in the Lothian Committee Report. 
There shall be no disabilities attached to any one on the ground of his being a member of the Depressed Classes in regard to any election to local bodies or appointment to the public services. Every endeavour shall be made to secure a fair representation of the Depressed Classes in these respects, subject to such educational qualifications as may be laid down for appointment to the Public Services.(Adult franchise but reservation has been provided for Dalits on population basis, till 1960), 
In every province out of the educational grant an adequate sum shall be ear-marked for providing educational facilities to the members of Depressed Classes. 




Ambedkar's Reaction to Agreement










Translation of Babasaheb's Marathi Speech delivered at Indian Merchant's Association Hall on 25th Sept.1932 regarding Poona Pact and published in the issue of Janta on 1st oct.1932




When I think about my difficult situation few days before and today's happy moment I consider it as a dreamlike moment.On the one hand I had to save the life of Mr.Gandhi; on the other, I had to protect the legitimate rights of millions of my fellow untouchable brothers with the full value of my life. I had never thought that this double perplexing situation will be resolved so easily and successfully.I am very happy that all the Hindu leaders showed a great understanding and took a totally thoughtful and cooperative stance in the moment of the terrible and responsible situation.Therefore we could arrive at a satisfactory solution to come out of the very complex situation.This could be possible due to struggle and vehement efforts made by Mahatma Gandhi for it. I was very surprised when Mahatma Gandhi accepted and gave assent to all my demands and even congratulated me.If Mahatma had adopted the same stand in the Second Round Table Conference,this difficult situation wouldn't have arisen. I am very happy to give acceptance and assent to this successful pact.If my Sprushya(Touchable) brothers wholeheartedly accept and try to implement this pact,then me and my untouchable brothers would be very happy.On this occasion I do not hesitate to give credit to Sir Tejbahadur Sapru and C.Rajgopalachari besides Mahatma Gandhi for the success of this Pact.

Ambedkar family

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ambedkar family 




Babasaheb Ambedkar with his family members at Rajgraha, his residence in Hindu Colony, Dadar (Bombay). From left – Yashwant (Son), Babasaheb Ambedkar, Smt. Ramabai (Wife), Smt. Laxmibai (Wife of his elder brother, Balaram), Mukund (Nephew) and Dr. Ambedkar’s dog, Tobby. On February 1934 


Ethnicity 

Marathi 


Current region 

India 


Place of origin 

Ambadawe, Maharashtra, India 

Mhow, Madhya Pradesh (birth) 


Members 

Ramji Maloji Sakpal (father)
Bhimabai Ramji Sakpal (mother)
Balaram Ramji Ambedkar (brother)
Gangabai Lakgawadekar (sister)
Ramabai Malvanakar (sister)
Anandrao Ramji Ambedkar (brother)
Manjulabai Yesu Pandirkar (sister)
Tulsabai Dharma Kantekar (sister)
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar (wife)
Savita Bhimrao Ambedkar (2nd wife)
Yashwant Bhimrao Ambedkar (son)
Meerabai Yashwant Ambedkar (wife of son) 

Connected members 

Prakash Ambedkar (grandson)
Anjali Prakash Ambedkar (wife of grandson)
Ramabai Anand Teltumbde (granddaughter)
Bhimrao Yashwant Ambedkar (grandson)
Darshana Bhimrao Ambedkar (wife of grandson)
Anandraj Ambedkar (grandson)
Manisha Anandraj Ambedkar (wife of grandson)
Sujat Prakash Ambedkar (great-grandson)
Prachi Anandrao Teltumbde (great-granddaughter)
Rashmi Anandrao Teltumbde (great-granddaughter)
Hrichita Bhimrao Ambedkar (great-granddaughter)
Sahil Anandraj Ambedkar (great-grandson)
Aman Anandraj Ambedkar (great-grandson) 


Distinctions 

Father of the modern India, Father of Indian Constitution, Champion of human rights 


Traditions 

Buddhist 


The Ambedkar family is the family of Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (14 April 1891 – 6 December 1956) who was Indian polymath and the father of the Indian Constitution. Ambedkar is popularly known as Babasaheb (Marathi: endearment for "father", in India). This title given to him by his followers (Ambedkarites). Ambedkar was founder of Navayana Buddhism. 



Photos 




Ramji Maloji Sakpal 




Balarami Ambedkar 




Bhimrao Ambedkar 




Ramabai Ambedkar 




Dr. Savita Ambedkar 

Mukund Ambedkar 




Yashwant Ambedkar 

Meera Ambedkar 

Prakash Ambedkar 

Bhimrao Ambedkar 

Anandraj Ambedkar 
Family tree

Maloji Sakpal 

Mrs Sakpal 

3 child 

Meerabai 

Bhimabai
(? - 1896) 

Ramji Maloji Sakpal
(1838 - 1913) 

Jijabai 

7 child
(Died when infant) 

Balaram 

Ganga Lakhavdekar 

Ramabai Malvankar 

Anandrao 

Laxmibai 

Manjula Yesu Pandirkar 

Tulsa Dharma Kantekar 

Ramabai Ambedkar
(1898 - 1935) 

Bhimrao Ambedkar (Babasaheb)
(1891 - 1956) 

Savita Ambedkar
(1909 - 2003) 

Mukund Ambedkar
(? - 1959) 


Shaileja 

Yashwant (Bhaiyasaheb)
(1912 - 1977) 

Meera 

Gangadhar
(Died when infant) 

Ramdesh
(Died when infant) 

Indu
(Died when infant) 

Rajratna
(Died when infant) 

Ashok 
Ashwini 

Dileep 

Alaka 

Vidya Kashinath Mohite 

Sujata Ramesh Kadam 

Prakash (Balasaheb)
(b. 1954) 

Anjali 

Ramabai Anand Teltumbde 

Bhimrao 

Darshana 

Anandraj
(b. 1967) 

Manisha 

Sandesh 

Charulata 

Rajratna
(b. 1982) 


Amita 

Akshay 

Akshata 

Sujat 

Prachi 

Rashmi 

Hritika 

Sahil 

Aman 

Yash 

Mayank 

Prisha 

Reference : 
https://brambedkar.in/dr-ambedkar-family-tree/ 
"Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Family Tree 

Dr Ambedkar Sacrifice

जब बड़ौदा के महाराज ने बाबा साहब को वजीफा दिया और बाबा साहब विदेश जा कर पढ़ना चाहते तो उनकी पत्नी रमाबाई और 5 बच्चे थे तो देखिए वह किस प्रकार से बाबा साहब अपनी बात रमाबाई के सामने रखते हैं

बाबा साहेब - रमा बड़ौदा के महाराज ने मुझे वजीफा दिया है और मैं विदेश जा कर पढ़ना चाहता हूं लेकिन जब मैं तेरी तरफ मुड़कर देखता हूं तेरे पास 5 बच्चे हैं आमदनी का कोई साधन नहीं है और मैं भी तुझे कोई पैसा देकर नहीं जा रहा हूं क्या ऐसी परिस्थिति में तू मुझे विदेश जाकर पढ़ने की अनुमति देगी

रमाबाई - बाबा साहब यह बात सच है कि मेरे पास 5 बच्चे हैं और आमदनी का भी कोई साधन नहीं है और आप भी मुझे कोई पैसा देकर नहीं जा रहे हो लेकिन मैं आपको भरोसा दिलाती हूं आप अपनी इच्छा को पूरी करके आना आप अपनी पढ़ाई को पूरी करके आना इन 5 बच्चों का पेट मैं खुद पाल लूंगी, और जब माता रमाबाई बाबा साहब को भरोसा दिलाती हैं तो बाबासाहब विदेश चले जाते हैं और अपनी पढ़ाई करते हैं और इधर माता रमाबाई अपने 5 बच्चों के पेट को पालने के लिए क्या करती है

माता रमाबाई मुंबई की गलियों से गोबर उठा कर लाती उसके बाद उपले बनाकर मुंबई की गलियों में उपले बेच कर आया करती और उससे जो पैसा आ जाता अपने बच्चों का पेट पालती है 

इतना पैसा नहीं आता था कि वह अपने बच्चों की परवरिश कर पाती देखते ही देखते उनका बड़ा बेटा दामोदर बीमार हो गया इलाज के पैसे नहीं थे इलाज नहीं करवाया और दामोदर इस दुनिया को छोड़ कर चला गया यह बात माता रमाबाई ने बाबा साहब को नहीं बताई

(बाबा साहब द्वारा भेजा गया पत्र)

नानकचंद रत्तू खत पढ़ते हुए- बाबा साहब कहते हैं कि रामा मैं यहां अगर एक वक्त का खाना खाता हूं तब भी मेरा काम नहीं चल पा रहा है मैं अपना जीवन बड़ी मुश्किल में व्यतीत कर रहा हूं में अपना सुबह का नाश्ता दोपहर में करता हूं और शाम को मैं पानी पीकर अपना काम चला रहा हूं और मैं जानता हूं कि तेरे सामने भी बहुत विफल परिस्थितियां हैं तेरे पास पांच बच्चे हैं और आमदनी का भी कोई साधन नहीं है फिर भी अगर हो सके तो कुछ पैसा भिजवा देना

इधर माता रमाबाई ने बड़ी मुश्किल से कुछ पैसा इकट्ठा किया था लेकिन उनकी बेटी इंदु बीमार हो जाती है अब माता रमाबाई के सामने एक बहुत बड़ा सवाल था कि वे उस पैसे से अपनी बेटी का इलाज कराएं या अपने पति को दिए गए वचन को निभाएं लेकिन एक मां ने फैसला किया और वह पैसा बाबा साहब को भेज दिया और इधर उनकी बेटी इंदू ने भी दम तोड़ दिया और यह बात भी माता रमाबाई ने बाबा साहब को नहीं बताई और बाबा साहब पढ़ते रहे और कुछ समय के बाद बाबा साहब अपनी पढ़ाई छोड़कर बड़ौदा के महाराज की रियासत में नौकरी करने के लिए आते हैं तो रमाबाई खुश होती है और क्या कहती है

रमाबाई - अब तो मेरा पति डॉक्टर बन के आ रहा है अब मेरा पति नौकरी करेगा तनखा कमा कर लाएगा अब तो अपने बच्चों को मैं भरपेट खाना खिलाऊंगी अब तो मेरी जिंदगी के दिन बदल जाएंगे


बाबा साहब जब दफ्तर में प्रवेश करते हैं


चपरासी - टाट को खींच लेता है और पानी के घड़े को उठाकर अलग रख देता है


बाबा साहब - अरे चपरासी जरा मुझे फाइल तो लाकर देना


चपरासी - फाइल को भी डंडे से उठा कर देता है


बाबा साहब क्या बदतमीजी है यह क्या हो रहा है तू एक चपरासी होकर मेरे साथ ऐसा व्यवहार क्यों कर रहा है


चपरासी - अंबेडकर तुम पढ़-लिख जरूर गए हो लेकिन इसका मतलब यह नहीं है कि तुम हमारी बराबरी पर आ गए हो तुम आज भी नीच हो और तुम्हारे साथ में काम करके अपना धर्म नष्ट नहीं कर सकता


बाबा साहब - क्या मतलब मेरे साथ तेरा धर्म कैसे नष्ट हो सकता है और तू जानता है कि मैं तुझे नौकरी से निकाल सकता हूं

चपरासी - अंबेडकर यह बात में अच्छे से जानता हूं और तुम मुझे नौकरी से भले ही निकाल दो लेकिन मैं तुम्हारे साथ रहकर इस दफ्तर में काम नहीं कर सकता

बाबा साहब मैं ऐसे अपमानजनक स्थान पर और अधिक नौकरी नहीं कर सकता

संचालक - बाबा साहब ने 11वें ही दिन अपनी नौकरी से इस्तीफा दे दिया और अपने घर के लिए निकलते हैं और बड़ौदा के रेलवे स्टेशन पर पहुंच जाते हैं वहां उनकी ट्रेन 4 घंटे लेट होती है तो बाबा साहब एक पेड़ के नीचे बैठ जाते हैं और क्या कहते हैं

बाबा साहब - मैं पहले यह सोचता था कि हमारे लोग मरे पशुओं को उठाते हैं उनकी खाल खींचते हैं और उनका मांस खाते हैं हमारे लोग दूसरों की टट्टी को अपने सर ऊपर उठाकर फेंकने का काम करते हैं मेरे लोग गंदे रहते हैं उनके पास पहनने के लिए अच्छे कपड़े नहीं है और उनके पास पैसा भी नहीं है तो हो सकता है यह लोग हमारे लोगों से इसलिए ऐसा व्यवहार करते हैं हो सकता है यह लोग हमारे लोगों को इसीलिए नीच कहते है लेकिन आज तो मैंने यूरोप के कपड़े पहने हैं अमेरिका और जापान की यूनिवर्सिटियों से शिक्षा प्राप्त की है और एक अधिकारी बनकर मैं यहां आया हूं जब ये मेरे साथ ऐसा व्यवहार कर रहे हैं तो जो मेरे समाज के अशिक्षित और अनपढ़ लोग हैं तो ये लोग उनके साथ कैसा व्यवहार करते होंगे (रोते हुए) अगर मैं अपने समाज को इस ग़ुरबत और गुलामी से आजाद नहीं करा पाया तो मैं वापस बड़ौदा लौट कर नहीं आऊंगा और मैं खुद को गोली मार लूंगा

बाबा साहब जब नौकरी छोड़कर अपने घर पहुंचते हैं और यह बात रमाबाई को पता चलती है तो रमाबाई को बहुत दुख होता है

बाबा साहब - रमा मैं नौकरी तो करना चाहता था लेकिन वहां का चपरासी मुझे फाइल डंडे में बांध कर देता पानी के घड़े को उठाकर अलग रख लेता और वहां के लोगों ने भी मुझे मारने की योजना बनाई मैं ऐसे अपमानजनक स्थान पर नौकरी नहीं कर सकता था इसीलिए मैं नौकरी छोड़ कर चला आया

रमाबाई - बाबा साहब आपको जैसा अच्छा लगे आप ऐसा काम करें मैं आपके साथ हूं

फिर बाबा साहब को अपनी अधूरी पढ़ाई और बड़ौदा रेलवे स्टेशन पर लिए गए संकल्प का ख्याल आता है तो बाबासाहब फिर से विदेश जाकर हम सब की गुलामी का कारण जो हिंदू धर्म के ग्रंथों में लिखा हुआ है उसे खोजते हैं इधर उनका तीसरा बेटा रमेश भी इस दुनिया को छोड़ कर चला जाता है इस प्रकार से बाबा साहब के तीन बच्चे कुर्बान हो जाते हैं और जब बाबा साहब विदेश से लौट कर आते हैं और हमारी गुलामी व नीचता का कारण हमें बताते हैं

बाबा साहब - मैं कड़ी मेहनत और लगन से यह जान पाया हूं कि हमारे समाज के लोगों के साथ जो नीचता भरा और गुलामी का व्यवहार हो रहा है उसका कारण हिंदू धर्म के जो ग्रंथ हैं उनमें लिखा हुआ है और मैं आज यह घोषणा करता हूं कि 25 दिसंबर सन 1927 को पूरी देश के मीडिया को सूचना देकर इस हिंदू धर्म के पवित्र ग्रंथ को अग्नि की भेंट चढ़ा कर आप सब को आजाद कर दूंगा

संचालक - और बाबा साहब 25 दिसंबर सन 1927 को हजारों लाखों की संख्या में के सामने हिंदू धर्म के ग्रंथों को वह मनुस्मृति को अग्नि की भेंट चढ़ा कर आप सबको हम सबको इस नीचता और जिल्लत भरी जिंदगी से आजाद करते हैं और कहते हैं

25 दिसंबर 1927

बाबा साहब - मैं ऐसी किसी भी बात को नहीं मान सकता जो अमानवीय है और आज के बाद ऐसा कोई भी विधान व कोई भी कानून मेरे समाज के लोगों पर लागू नहीं होगा जो अमानवीय है क्योंकि यह विधान जबरजस्ती हमारे समाज के लोगों पर थोपा गया है

ऐसा कहकर बाबा साहब मनुस्मृति को अग्नि की भेंट चढ़ा देते हैं और आप सबको आजाद करा देते हैं उसके बाद बाबा साहब मुंबई की कोर्ट में वकालत करते हैं तो उनका जो चौथा बेटा होता है राजरतन वह बीमार हो जाता है देखिए वह दृश्य

रमाबाई - नानकचंद रत्तू जाओ जल्दी से बाबा साहब को बुलाकर लाओ क्योंकि हमारा जो बेटा है राजरतन वह बहुत बीमार है और वह लंबी लंबी सांसे ले रहा है

नानकचंद रत्तू - बाबा साहब - 2 जल्दी से घर चलिए आपके पुत्र राजरतन तबीयत बहुत खराब है और र माता रमाबाई ने आपके लिए बुलावा भेजा है

संचालक - जैसे ही बाबा साहब दौड़कर घर पहुंचते हैं और राजरतन को गोदी में लेते हैं तो राजरतन भी दम तोड़ता है अपने चौथे बेटे की मौत पर पति के सामने माता रमाबाई क्या कहती हैं

रमाबाई - रोते हुए बाबा साहब बस करो बाबा साहब अब तो बस करो क्योंकि आपके समाज सुधार की लालसा ने और ज्ञान पाने की लालसा ने मेरा पूरा घर उजाड़ के रख दिया है मैंने एक एक करके अपने 4 बच्चों को दफन कर दिया है बाबा साहब अब तो बस करो

बाबा साहब - रमा तू तो मुझे रो करके बता पा रही है मैं तो रो भी नहीं पा रहा हूं मैं तो रोज ऐसे सैकड़ों बच्चों को मरते हुए देखता हूं रमा तू चुप हो जा, रमा तू चुप हो जा

रमाबाई - बाबा साहब मैंने आज तक आपकी हर बात को माना है और इस बात को भी मान लेती हूं और चुप हो जाती हूं लेकिन आप मुझे इतना बता दो कि आप बड़े फक्र से कहते थे कि तेरा बेटा राज रतन देश पर राज करेगा लेकिन अब यह इस दुनिया में नहीं रहा बताओ यह कैसे इस देश पर राज करेगा बाबा साहब मुझे बता दो कि यह कैसे देश पर राज करेगा

बाबा साहब - रमा यह सच है कि तेरा यह पुत्र अब इस दुनिया में नहीं रहा लेकिन मैं तुझे भरोसा दिलाता हूं और राजरतन के पार्थिव शरीर की सौगंध खाकर कहता हूं कि मैं अपने जीवन में ऐसा काम करके जाऊंगा कि हर रमा की कोख से पैदा हुआ राजरतन और हर मां की कोख से पैदा हुआ बेटा इस देश पर राज करेगा मैं तुझे भरोसा दिलाता हूं

इतना कहने के बाद बाबा साहब अपनी जेबों में हाथ डालते हैं और राजरतन के कफन के लिए उन की जेब में एक पैसा तक नहीं होता है इस बात को माता रमाबाई जानती है और रमाबाई अपनी साड़ी का दुपट्टा पार कर राजरतन के ऊपर डाल देती है और बाबा साहब को ख्याल आता आता है कि मुझे गोलमेज सम्मेलन के लिए लंदन जाना है और बाबा साहब राजरतन के पार्थिव शरीर को छोड़ घर पर ही छोड़ कर लंदन के लिए निकलते हैं तभी पीछे से उनका भाई दौड़कर आता है और कहता है

भाई - भीम तू पागल हो गया है यह तेरा पुत्र मरा पड़ा है और तुझे विदेश जाने की सूझ रही है तू कैसा बाप है जो अपने पुत्र को इस अवस्था में छोड़कर विदेश जा रहा है और यह समाज क्या कहेगा अपने पुत्र को कंधा देकर उसका अंतिम क्रिया कर्म तो कर ले

बाबा साहब - भाई मैं जानता हूं कि यह मेरा पुत्र मरा पड़ा है लेकिन मैं यह भी जानता हूं कि अगर आज मैं गोलमेज सम्मेलन के लिए लंदन नहीं गया तो गांधी एंड कंपनी के लोग मेरे करोड़ों करोड़ों लोगों को मार डालेंगे के सारे और हक अधिकारों को छीन लेंगे इसलिए मैं एक पुत्र की खातिर अपने करोड़ों करोड़ों लोगों को बलि चढ़ते हुए नहीं देख सकता यहां तुम सब लोग हो तुम सब संभाल लोगे

ऐसा कहते हुए बाबा साहब गोलमेज सम्मेलन के लिए लंदन चले जाते हैं और आज आपके जो बच्चे हैं आपका जो समाज है जो हक और अधिकार लेकर जी रहा है अपने बच्चों को अच्छे अच्छे कपड़े अच्छी अच्छी शिक्षा और नौकरियों में भेज रहा है इसका श्रेय केवल और केवल बाबा साहब को जाता है और आपके जो लोग हैं वह इस बात को अपने बच्चों को बताने तक शर्माते हैं ।

धम्मचक्र प्रवर्तन और भावी दिशा 



डॉ. बाबासाहब अम्बेडकर ने नासिक जिले के “येवला” शहर में जो धर्मान्तर की धम्म ललकार दी थी, उसे पूरा करने का दिन आया था. प्राचीन इतिहास में महाराष्ट्र या “महारों का राष्ट्र” रहा है. “नागपुर” यह उनके राजधानी का शहर रहा. वे लोग बुद्ध के धम्मक्रान्ति के वाहक रहे है. इसी प्राचीन ऐतिहासिक स्थान पर बाबासाहब ने आधुनिक युग में धम्म दीक्षा का आयोजन करके यह साबित किया की वे अभी भी बुद्ध के समता मूलक तत्व के वाहक है. 

बड़े प्यार से बाबासाहब अम्बेडकर को जिस “कृष्णाजी अर्जुन केलुसकर’ गुरूजी ने स्वलिखित “भगवान् गौतम बुद्धाचे चरित्र” बहाल किया था, उनका इसी तारीख को १९३४ में देहान्त हुआ था. उनके धम्मप्रेम को यादगार करने का यह उचित दिन रहा. इसलिए तारीख- “१४ अक्टूम्बर” का दिन “धर्मान्तर” समारोह समारंभ तय किया गया था. तारीख- १४ अक्टूम्बर १९५६ को इस दिन “माता कचहरी” के मैदान में पाँच लाख लोगों से भी उपर हिन्दूधर्म के “महार” जाती की जनता उमड़ पड़ी थी. बौद्ध जगत के महान विद्वान् और भिक्षु गण उपस्थित हुए थे. अन्याय, गुलामी, विषमता और परस्पर द्वेष फ़ैलाने वाले तानाशाही हिन्दू धर्म से “पर्मानंट” रिश्ता ख़त्म करने का समय करीब आ चूका था. 

हिन्दू धर्म से भावनिक रिश्ता तोड़ते वक्त बाबासाहब बहुत भावुक हो चुके थे, मगर सभी पर्याय ख़त्म हो चुके थे. न हिन्दूधर्म बदला और न भारतीय संविधान से आशा रही. पर्याप्त समय उन्हें बदलने को दिया गया, मगर हिन्दू नही बदले. इसलिए बाबासाहब ने स्वयम में परिवर्तन किया. तुम नही तो हम सही, पर क्रान्तिकारी कल्याणमय परिवर्तन, बदल जरुरी है, यह समज कर बाबासाहब ने प्रथम अपने पत्नी के साथ भिक्षु चन्द्रमणि द्वारा दीक्षा ली और बाद में उन्होंने अपने विश्वासु हिन्दू जातीभाईयों को धम्मदीक्षा देना सुरु किया. तब उनके ऑखों से आंसु बह रहे थे. उन्होंने भंते चन्द्रमनी की ओर देखा, वे भी भावुक हो चुके थे. उनके भी आँखों से आँसू बहाना सुरु हुआ. वे भी अपने आँसूओं कों नही रोख सके थे. दोनों देखकर जनता भी अपने ऑखों से आँसू बहा रही थी. 

बाबासाहब दीक्षा देते रहे और देखते देखते २२ प्रतिज्ञा लेने का कार्य भी ५ लाख लोगों का पूरा हुआ. इन आंसुओं ने कब लोगों को बुद्ध और उनके धम्म के स्वाधीन किया, इनका पता ही नही चला. सबके ओंठो पर बाद में मुस्कराहट पैदा हुयी. “बाबासाहब करे पुकार, बुद्ध धम्म का करो स्वीकार, तथागत गौतम बुद्ध की...जय! बाबासाहब आंबेडकर की...जय! की घोषणाए चारों दिशाओं में दूर-दूर तक जोरो-शोरों से गूंजने लगी थी. सभी ने बड़ी रहत ली थी की उनकी हिन्दुधर्म के नर्क से मुक्ति हो चुकी है. इतना वह गूंगों के हजारों सालों के इतिहास में यादगार पल था. जिनका आन्तर राष्ट्रिय प्रसार माध्यम भी गवांह रहा. यह एक महान विश्वव्यापी धम्मक्रान्ति रही, जो भारत में ही नही तो पुरे विश्व में आर्थिक समता के साथ सामाजिक सद्भाव को बढ़ावा देने में सहयोग देती रहे. 

अगर त्रिपिटक के मिलावट का असर “द बुध्द एंड हिज धम्म” पर हुआ है, तो इन “२२ प्रतिज्ञा” पर उसका गलत असर न होने का दावा कौन कर सकता है? “२२ प्रतिज्ञा” में एक प्रतिज्ञा है की, "मै “१० पारमिता“ का पालन करूँगा" जो की “बोधिसत्ब” को लगातार १० जन्मो तक करना होता है, फिर वह व्यक्ति ‘अर्हत’ (जागृत) होता है. जो अर्हत होता है, वही “बुद्ध” होता है. क्या “दस पारामिता” के आचरण के अलावा व्यक्ति जागृत (अर्हत) नही होता? यह जो बुद्ध तक पहुँचने की सीढ़िया बनाई गयी है, यह सही में वैज्ञानिक है या यह महायानी शिक्षा है? क्या बुद्ध “आत्मा” का अस्थित्व मानते थे? क्या मरने के बाद का जन्म (पुनर्जन्म) बुद्ध ने मान्य किया? क्या अभी का “विज्ञान” या “तर्क” भी इस विषय पर सहमत है? फिर बोधिसत्व की सोच कहाँ से आ टपकी? अनुचित बातों को तवज्जो देने से क्या फ़ायदा होगा? 

बोधिसत्व की कल्पना ही "जातक कथा" पर निर्भर है. जिसे कोई भी वैज्ञानिक नही स्वीकार सकता? क्या बाबासाहब को धम्म दीक्षित बौद्धों तक ही सिमित रखना था? या अन्य भी लोगों तक पहुँचाना था? किस आधार पर उसे पहुँचाया जाएगा? जो विचार बाबासाहब ने बताए है उसे हमने “शब्द प्रामान्य” वादी बनकर नही स्वीकारना चाहिए. तो उसे वैज्ञानिक आधार पर और तर्क पर परख पर स्वीकारना चाहिए. “२२ प्रतिज्ञा” में बुद्ध के सामने “भगवान” शब्द छापा गया है उसे अब हमने हटाना जरुरी है, नही तो लोग बुद्ध को ही बिष्णु “भगवान” का नववा औतार मनाकर पूजा आरम्भ करेंगे. बुद्ध के नामपर हजारो सालों से जो कूड़ा-कचरा ढोया जा रहा है उसे अब उतार कर फेंकना आवश्यक है. 


“परित्राण सूत्र पाठ कथन” विधी यह एक हिन्दू धर्म के “सत्यनारायण कथा” के नक़ल में बौध्द भिक्षु पेश कर रहे है. क्या इससे धम्म में पुरोहितशाही को उदय नही होगा? बौद्ध धम्म के दुश्मन तो हमेशा चाहेंगे की, ग़लत ढंग से धम्म प्रचार हो, धम्म दीक्षित लोग भ्रमित रहे, हमने पहले यह तो तय करना चाहिए की यह हमारी सभ्यता है, तथा यह हमारा धम्म विचार है. क्या बाबासाहब ने हमें विदेशी धम्म दिया है? फिर हम विदेशी भिक्षुओं के भ्रमित विचारों का सत्कार क्यों करते है? विदेशी बौद्ध धम्म का पालन नही करते, वे सिर्फ धम्म के नाम पर धर्म का पालन करते है जो हीनयान और महायानों के बिच में फँसा हुआ है. 

बाबासाहब के बौद्ध धम्म प्रचार के “ब्लू प्रिंट” के मुताबिक धम्म प्रचार से हम वंचित क्यों है इसका भी हमने गंभीर विचार करना चाहिए. केवल “आरपिआय” के कार्य को धम्म का कार्य नही कहा जा सकता. न “एसएसडी” के कार्य को धम्म का कार्य कहा जा सकता. न जाती अंतर्गत विवाह मोहिम चलाने के कार्यों को धम्म कार्य कहा जा सकता है. सुजान बौद्धों का क्या कर्तव्य है? आन्तरजातीय विवाह को प्राधान्य और मान्यता दे. उनका प्रचार प्रसार करे. कोई भी बौद्ध आर्थिक विसमता के पक्ष में नही रहना, चाहिए मगर वह है. क्या गरीब और अमीर एक साथ खंदे से खंदा मिलकर धम्म प्रचार का कार्य निरंतर कर सकता है? समश्याओं को उत्तरों से लिलिट करते रहने से ही धम्म विज्ञान के जरिए आगे लिया जा सकता है. समश्याओं के साथ धम्म का प्रचार करना अपने ही पावों पर कुल्हाड़ी मारने के समान कार्य है. 

भारतीय बौद्ध महासभा” के साथ मिलकर हमने कार्य करने को सीखना चाहिए. उसी के तहत कार्यक्रमों का निर्माण होना चाहिए. विविध विचारों से संघटन चलाने से मतभेद नही जाते. धम्म जो बाबासाहब आंबेडकर के दृष्टी से सही हो उसे ही हमने प्रचारित करना चाहिए. तो ही धम्म दीक्षा के नागपुर का कुछ महत्त्व बन पाएगा. अन्यथा दीक्षाभूमि का महत्त्व मिट जाएगा. ईंट और पत्थरों के विहारों, मठों, स्तूपों से धम्म प्रचार नही होती. धम्म यह विचारधारा है. विचारों से उसका प्रचार होता है. हम अगर विहारों और स्तूपों को बनाने में ही व्यतीत रहे तो बाबासाहब ने धम्म दीक्षा क्यों दी थी और हमारे पुरखों ने क्यों ली थी यह भी हमें पता नही चलेगा. लोग हमेशा पूजापाठ में रहे यह न बुद्ध की सीख है और न बाबासाहब अम्बेडकर की. 

पुजारी लोगों को भी तर्क शक्ति होती है, उन्हें भी धम्म समझने की काबिलियत होती है, मगर वह हम ही सही ढंग से नही समझ पाए तो औरों को क्या समझाने के लिए काबिल है? पहले वैज्ञानिक कल्याणकारी धम्म तत्वों को ठीक से समझकर ही दूसरों को समझाया जा सकता है. अब उसे प्रचारित करने का कार्य सिर्फ भिक्षुओं का नही है तो वह उपासको का भी है. उपासकों ने शादी आदि त्यौहारों में केवल “त्रिशरण” और “पंचशील” की पोपटपंची सुनाने के कार्य को धम्म प्रचार का कार्य नही समझना चाहिए. बहुत सारे सम्भ्रमों के बिच भिक्षु और उपासक भी है. पुराने अंधों का अनुकरण किया जा रहा है. न पुराना धम्मी था और न नया धम्मी है.

स्त्री-पुरुष एक दुसरे के गुलाम नही तो मित्र समझे गए. विवाह यह एक तह है. जो दोनों में से किसी को भी भंग करने का अधिकार है. जातिमत विषमता समाज के जिन-जिन अंगों में फैली थी उन सभी अंगों में समानता सत्ता के जरिए नही तो सांस्कृतिक निति के जरिए फैलाने के लिए प्रयास होना जरुरी है. बाबासाहब ने अपनी द्वितीय शादी एक ब्राहमण कन्या से करके जाती प्रथा का जोरदार विरोध किया. यह एक सामाजिक प्यार बांटकर जातिप्रथा विरोधी महान कार्य रहा है. बाबासाहब आंबेडकर ने न केवल बौद्धों को ही धम्म दीक्षा दी थी तो ब्राह्मणों को भी धम्म दीक्षा दी थी. मगर उनसे रिश्तेदारी रखने में बौद्ध कामयाब नही हुए. 



केवल हर साल दीक्षाभूमि का दर्शन करने से धम्म नही समझता. उन्हें याद भी करने से धम्म नही समझता. बुद्ध पूजा के जरिए भी धम्म को नही समझा जा सकता, और न केवल प्रवचन सुनने मात्र से धम्म समझता है. धम्म बहुत आसान है मगर जिनके मन में उसे जानने की इच्छा है उसे वह जल्दी समजता है. धम्म कोई कहानी नही है जो याद करनी है. धम्म यह तत्वज्ञान है जो दस मिनिट में भी समझा जा सकता है. उसे समझने के लिए कोई तंद्री लगाने की जरुरी नही है और विपस्सना द्वारा उसे समझा या समझाया जा सकता. 

धर्मान्तरित बौद्धों का आर्थिक लाभ क्या हुआ? सन १९५६ के में ८ लाख महार जाती के लोगों से बुद्ध धम्म की दीक्षा ली, उनके साथ अन्य भी जातियों के कुछ गिनेचुने लोगों ने दीक्षा ली थी. मगर वे कोई गिनती में लेने लायक नही थे. भारत में बौद्धों की जनसंख्या सन १९६१ में ३२,००, ३३३, सन १९७१ में ३८,१२,३२५ तथा १९८१ में ४७,१९,७८६ थी. सन २००१ के जनगणना के अनुसार हिन्दू ८०.५%, इस्लामी १३.५% ईसाई २.३%, सिख १.९%, जैन ०.८%, बौद्ध ०.८% और पारसी ०.२% थे. तो अब करीब १.५ करोड़ बौद्ध हो सकते. इनमे से केवल १०% लोग सरकारी कर्मचारी मानते है तो वे १५ लाख होते है. डेड करोड़ से पंद्रह लाख लोग नोकरी के सहारे जी रहे है. इसका मतलब १.३ करोड़ लोग खेती मजदूरी और हाथ मजूरी करके जी रहे है. वे मुलभुत सुविधाओं से वंचित है. 

Mahad Satyagraha

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B. R. Ambedkar and Mahad Satyagraha on an Indian 1991 stamp

Mahad Satyagraha or Chavdar Tale Satyagraha was a satyagraha led by B. R. Ambedkar on 20 March 1927 to allow untouchables to use water in a public tank in Mahad (currently in Raigad district), Maharashtra, India. The day (20 March) is observed as Social Empowerment day in India.

Background

Bronze sculpture depicting Mahad movement by B. R. Ambedkar

By the Indian caste system, untouchables (Dalits) were segregated from the other Hindu castes. They were banned from using water bodies and roads which were used by other Hindu castes. In August 1923, Bombay Legislative Council passed a resolution that people from the depressed classes should be allowed to use places which were built and maintained by the government.[2] In January 1924, Mahad which was part of the Bombay Province passed the resolution in its municipal council to enforce the act. But it was failed to implement because of the protest from the savarna Hindus.

Satyagraha

Flyer published before Mahad Satyagraha in 1927

In 1927, Ambedkar decided to launch a satyagraha (nonviolent resistance) to assert their rights to use water in the public places.

Mahad, a town in Konkan, was selected for the event because it had a nucleus of support from 'caste hindus'. These included A.V.Chitre, an activist from the Marathi Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu (CKP) community; G.N.Sahasrabudhe, a Chitpawan Brahmin of the Social Service League and Surendranath Tipnis, a CKP who was president of the Mahad municipality.

Surendranath Tipnis, the president of the Mahad municipality declared its public spaces open to untouchables and invited Ambedkar to hold a meeting at Mahad in 1927. After the meeting, they proceeded to the 'Chowder tank'. Ambedkar drank water from the tank and thousands of untouchables followed him.

Ambedkar also made a statement addressing the Dalit women during the Satyagraha. He asked them to abandon all old customs that provided recognizable markers of untouchability and asked them to wear saris like high caste women. Before that time, the Dalit women were not allowed to drape saris completely. Immediately after Ambedkar's speech at Mahad, the dalit women readily decided to drape their saris like the higher caste women. Upper caste women namely Lakshmibai Tipnis and Indirabia Chitre helped the Dalit women dress like 'upper caste women' by covering the legs of the dalit women down to their ankles.

Ambedkar decided to hold the second conference in Mahad on 26–27 December 1927. But caste Hindus filed a case against him that tank as a private property. He was not able to continue his satyagraha as the case was sub judice.

On 25 December (Manusmriti Dahan Din), Shastrabuddhe under the guidance of Ambedkar, burnt Manusmriti, a Hindu law book, as a protest. In December 1937, the Bombay High Court ruled that untouchables have the right to use water from the tank.

Struggle to access water by Dalit still continues. Access to water is still denied to Dalits at many places and are beaten or killed many times if they try to drink water from the forbidden places.

On 19 March 1940, Dr. Ambedkar arranged a rally and public conference in Mahad to recollect 14th Mahad Satyagraha Day as "Empowerment Day". On this day, Adv. Vishnu Narhari Khodke, as President of Mahad Municipal Corporation, arranged a function and honoured Dr. Ambedkar with a Letter of Honour (मानपत्र) for his "Chavdar tale Satyagraha" and "Manusmruti Dahan" and other movements in Mahad.

Waiting for a Visa

by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar








Foreigners of course know of the existence of untouchability. But not being next door to it, so to say, they are unable to realise how oppressive it is in its actuality. It is difficult for them to understand how it is possible for a few untouchables to live on the edge of a village consisting of a large number of Hindus; go through the village daily to free it from the most disagreeable of its filth and to carry the errands of all and sundry; collect food at the doors of the Hindus; buy spices and oil at the shops of the Hindu Bania from a distance; regard the village in every way as their home--and yet never touch or be touched by any one belonging to the village.

The problem is how best to give an idea of the way the untouchables are treated by the caste Hindus. A general description or a record of cases and of the treatment accorded to them are the two methods by which this purpose could be achieved. I have felt that the latter would be more effective than the former. In choosing these illustrations I have drawn partly upon my experience and partly upon the experience of others. I begin with events that have happened to me in my own life.

ONE [A childhood journey to Koregaon becomes a nightmare]

Our family came originally from Dapoli Taluka of the Ratnagiri District of the Bombay Presidency. From the very commencement of the rule of the East India Company, my fore-fathers had left their hereditary occupation for service in the Army of the Company. My father also followed the family tradition and sought service in the Army. He rose to the rank of an officer, and was a Subhedar when he retired. On his retirement my father took the family to Dapoli with a view to settling down there. But for some reason my father changed his mind. The family left Dapoli for Satara, where we lived till 1904.

The first incident, which I am recording as well as I can remember, occurred in about 1901, when we were at Satara. My mother was then dead. My father was away on service as a cashier at a place called Koregaon in Khatav Taluka in the Satara District, where the Government of Bombay had started the work of excavating a Tank [=artificial reservoir] so as to give employment to famine-stricken people, who were dying by thousands.

When my father went to Koregaon he left me, my brother who was older than myself, and two sons of my eldest sister (who was dead), in charge of my aunt and some kind neighbours. My aunt was the kindest soul I know, but she was of no help to us. She was somewhat of a dwarf and had some trouble with her legs, which made it very difficult for her to move about without somebody's aid. Oftentimes she had to be lifted. I had sisters. They were married and were away living with their families.

Cooking our food became a problem with us, especially since our aunty could not, on account of her helplessness, manage the job. We four children went to school, and we also cooked our food. We could not prepare bread. So we lived on Pulav--which we found to be the easiest dish to prepare, requiring nothing more than mixing rice and mutton.

Being a cashier, my father could not leave his station to come to Satara to see us; therefore he wrote to us to come to Koregaon and spend our summer vacation with him. We children were thoroughly excited over the prospect, especially as none of us had up to that time seen a railway train.

Great preparations were made. New shirts of English make [=style], bright bejewelled caps, new shoes, new silk-bordered dhoties [=wrapped lower garments], were ordered for the journey. My father had given us all the particulars regarding our journey, and had told us to inform him on which day we were starting, so that he would send his peon [=errand-runner] to the Railway Station to meet us and to take us to Koregaon. According to this arrangement myself, my brother, and one of my sister's sons left Satara, our aunt remaining in the charge of our neighbours, who promised to look after her.

The Railway Station was ten miles distant from our place, and a tonga (a one-horse carriage) was engaged to take us to the Station. We were dressed in the new clothing specially made for the occasion, and we left our home full of joy--but amidst the cries of my aunt, who was almost prostrate with grief at our parting.

When we reached the station my brother bought tickets, and gave me and my sister's son two annas each as pocket money, to be spent at our pleasure. We at once began our career of riotous living, and .each ordered a bottle of lemonade at the start. After a short while the train whistled in and we boarded it as quickly as we could, for fear of being left behind. We were told to detrain at Masur, the nearest railway station for Koregaon.

The train arrived at Masur at about five in the evening, and we got down with our luggage. In a few minutes all the passengers who had got down from the train had gone away to their destinations. We four children remained on the platform, looking out for my father or his servant whom he had promised to send. Long did we wait--but no one turned up. An hour elapsed, and the station-master came to enquire. He asked us for our tickets. We showed them to him. He asked us why we tarried.

We told him that we were bound for Koregaon, and that we were waiting for father or his servant to come, but that neither had turned up, and that we did not know how to reach Koregaon. We were well-dressed children. From our dress or talk no one could make out that we were children of the untouchables. Indeed the station-master was quite sure we were Brahmin children, and was extremely touched at the plight in which he found us.

As is usual among the Hindus, the station-master asked us who we were. Without a moment's thought I blurted out that we were Mahars. (Mahar is one of the communities which are treated as untouchables in the Bombay Presidency). He was stunned. His face underwent a sudden change. We could see that he was overpowered by a strange feeling of repulsion. As soon as he heard my reply he went away to his room, and we stood where we were. Fifteen to twenty minutes elapsed; the sun was almost setting. Our father had not turned up, nor had he sent his servant; and now the station-master had also left us. We were quite bewildered, and the joy and happiness which we had felt at the beginning of the journey gave way to a feeling of extreme sadness.

After half an hour, the station-master returned and asked us what we proposed to do. We said that if we could get a bullock-cart on hire, we would go to Koregaon; and if it was not very far, we would like to start straightway. There were many bullock-carts plying for hire. But my reply to the station-master that we were Mahars had gone round among the cartmen, and not one of them was prepared to suffer being polluted, and to demean himself carrying passengers of the untouchable classes. We were prepared to pay double the fare, but we found that money did not work.

The station-master who was negotiating on our behalf stood silent, not knowing what to do. Suddenly a thought seemed to have entered his head and he asked us, "Can you drive the cart?" Feeling that he was finding out a solution of our difficulty, we shouted, "Yes, we can." With that answer he went and proposed on our behalf that we were to pay the cartman double the fare and drive the cart, and that he should walk on foot along with the cart on our journey. One cartman agreed, since it gave him an opportunity to earn his fare and also saved him from being polluted.

It was about 6:30 p.m. when we were ready to start. But we were anxious not to leave the station until we were assured that we would reach Koregaon before it was dark. We therefore questioned the cartman about the distance, and the time he would take to reach Koregaon. He assured us that it would be not more than three hours. Believing in his word, we put our luggage in the cart, thanked the station-master, and got into the cart. One of us took the reins and the cart started, with the man walking by our side.

Not very far from the station there flowed a river. It was quite dry, except at places where there were small pools of water. The owner of the cart proposed that we should halt there and have our meal, as we might not get water on our way. We agreed. He asked us to give a part of his fare to enable him to go to the village and have his meal. My brother gave him some money and he left, promising to return soon. We were very hungry, and were glad to have had an opportunity to have a bite. My aunty had pressed our neighbours' womenfolk into service and had got some nice preparation [of food] for us to take on our way. We opened the tiffin basket [=lunchbox] and started eating.

We needed water to wash things down. One of us went to the pool of water in the river basin nearby. But the water really was no water. It was thick with mud and urine and excreta of the cows and buffaloes and other cattle who went to the pool for drinking. In fact that water was not intended for human use. At any rate the stink of the water was so strong we could not drink it. We had therefore to close our meal before we were satisfied, and wait for the arrival of the cartman. He did not come for a long time, and all that we could do was to look for him in all directions.

Ultimately he came, and we started on our journey. For some four or five miles we drove the cart and he walked on foot. Then he suddenly jumped into the cart and took the reins from our hand. We thought this to be rather strange conduct on the part of a man who had refused to let the cart on hire for fear of pollution--to have set aside all his religious scruples and to have consented to sit with us in the same cart; but we dared not ask him any questions on the point. We were anxious to reach Koregaon, our destination, as quickly as possible. And for some time we were interested in the movement of the cart only.

But soon there was darkness all around us. There were no street lights to relieve the darkness. There were no men or women or even cattle passing by, to make us feel that we were in their midst. We became fearful of the loneliness which surrounded us. Our anxiety was growing. We mustered all the courage we possessed. We had travelled far from Masur. It was more than three hours. But there was no sign of Koregaon.

There arose a strange thought within us. We suspected that the cartman intended treachery, and that he was taking us to some lonely spot to kill us. We had lot of gold ornaments on us, and that helped to strengthen our suspicion. We started asking him how far Koregaon was, and why we were so late in reaching it. He kept on saying, "It is not very far, we shall soon reach it." It was about 10:00 at night when, finding that there was no trace of Koregaon, we children started crying and abusing the cartman. Our lamentations and wailings continued for a long time. The cartman made no reply.

Suddenly we saw a light burning at some distance. The cartman said, "Do you see that light? That is a light of the toll-collector. We will rest there for the night." We felt some relief and stopped crying. The light was distant, and we could never seem to reach it. It took us two hours to reach the toll-collector's hut. The interval increased our anxiety, and we kept on asking the cartman all sorts of questions, as to why there was delay in reaching the place, whether we were going on the right road, etc.

Ultimately by midnight the cart reached the toll-collector's hut. It was situated at the foot of a hill, but on the other side of the hill. When we arrived we saw a large number of bullock-carts there, all resting for the night. We were extremely hungry, and wanted very much to eat. But again there was the question of water. So we asked our driver whether it was possible to get water. He warned us that the toll-collector was a Hindu, and that there was no possibility of our getting water if we spoke the truth and said that we were Mahars. He said, "Say you are Mohammedans and try your luck."

On his advice I went to the toll-collector's hut and asked him if he would give us some water. "Who are you?" he inquired. I replied that we were Musalmans. I conversed with him in Urdu (which I knew very well), so as to leave no doubt that I was a real Musalman. But the trick did not work and his reply was very curt. "Who has kept water for you? There is water on the hill, if you want to go and get it; I have none." With this he dismissed me. I returned to the cart, and conveyed to my brother his reply. I don’t know what my brother felt. All that he did was to tell us to lie down.

The bullocks had been unyoked, and the cart was placed sloping down on the ground. We spread our beds on the bottom planks inside the cart, and laid down our bodies to rest. Now that we had come to a place of safety we did not mind what happened. But our minds could not help turning to the latest event. There was plenty of food with us. There was hunger burning within us; with all this we were to sleep without food; that was because we could get no water, and we could get no water because we were untouchables. Such was the last thought that entered our mind. I said, we had come to a place of safety. Evidently my elder brother had his misgivings. He said it was not wise for all four of us to go to sleep. Anything might happen. He suggested that at one time two should sleep, and two should keep watch. So we spent the night at the foot of that hill.

Early at five in the morning our cartman came, and suggested that we should start for Koregaon. We flatly refused. We told him that we would not move until eight o'clock. We did not want to take any chance[s]. He said nothing. So we left at eight and reached Koregaon at eleven. My father was surprised to see us, and said that he had received no intimation [=information] of our coming. We protested that we had given intimation. He denied the fact. Subsequently it was discovered that the fault was that of my father's servant. He had received our letter, but had failed to give it to my father.

This incident has a very important place in my life. I was a boy of nine when it happened. But it has left an indelible impression on my mind. Before this incident occurred, I knew that I was an untouchable, and that untouchables were subjected to certain indignities and discriminations. For instance, I knew that in the school I could not sit in the midst of my classmates according to my rank [in class performance], but that I was to sit in a corner by myself. I knew that in the school I was to have a separate piece of gunny cloth for me to squat on in the classroom, and the servant employed to clean the school would not touch the gunny cloth used by me. I was required to carry the gunny cloth home in the evening, and bring it back the next day.

While in the school I knew that children of the touchable classes, when they felt thirsty, could go out to the water tap, open it, and quench their thirst. All that was necessary was the permission of the teacher. But my position was separate. I could not touch the tap; and unless it was opened for it by a touchable person, it was not possible for me to quench my thirst. In my case the permission of the teacher was not enough. The presence of the school peon was necessary, for he was the only person whom the class teacher could use for such a purpose. If the peon was not available, I had to go without water. The situation can be summed up in the statement—no peon, no water.

At home I knew that the work of washing clothes was done by my sisters. Not that there were no washermen in Satara. Not that we could not afford to pay the washermen. Washing was done by my sisters because we were untouchable,s and no washerman would wash the clothes of an untouchable. The work of cutting our hair or shaving the boys, including myself, was done by our elder sister, who had become quite an expert barber by practising the art on us. Not that there were no barbers in Satara, and not that we could not afford to pay the barber. The work of shaving and hair-cutting was done by my sister because we were untouchables, and no barber would consent to shave an untouchable.

All this I knew. But this incident gave me a shock such as I had never received before, and it made me think about untouchability--which, before this incident happened, was with me a matter of course, as it is with many touchables as well as the untouchables.

TWO [Back from the west--and unable to find lodging in Baroda]

In 1916 I returned to India. I had been sent to America by His Highness the Maharaja of Baroda for higher education. I studied at Columbia University in New York from 1913 to 1917. In 1917 I came to London and joined the post-graduate department of the School of Economics of the University of London. ln l918 I was obliged to return to India without completing my studies. Since I had been educated by the Baroda State, I was bound to serve the State. [Note: the dates here appear to be a bit confused.]

Accordingly, on my arrival I straightway went to Baroda. The reasons why I left Baroda service are quite irrelevant to my present purpose. I do not therefore wish to enter into them. I am only concerned with my social experiences in Baroda, and I will confine myself to describing them.

My five years of staying in Europe and America had completely wiped out of my mind any consciousness that I was an untouchable, and that an untouchable wherever he went in India was a problem to himself and to others. But when I came out of the station, my mind was considerably disturbed by a question, "Where to go? Who will take me?" I felt deeply agitated. Hindu hotels, called Vishis, I knew there were. They would not take me. The only way of seeking accommodation therein was by impersonation. But I was not prepared for it, because I could well anticipate the dire consequences which were sure to follow if my identity was discovered--as it was sure to be.

I had friends in Baroda who had come to America for study. "Would they welcome me if I went?" I could not assure myself. They may [=might] feel embarrassed at admitting an untouchable into their household. I stood under the roof of the station for some time, thinking where to go, what to do. It then struck me to enquire if there was any place in the camp. All [the other] passengers had by this time gone; I alone was left. Some hackney [=carriage] drivers who had failed to pick up any passengers were watching and waiting for me.

I called one of them, and asked him if he knew if there was a hotel in the camp. He said that there was a Parsi inn, and that they took paying guests. Hearing that it was an inn maintained by the Parsis, my heart was gladdened. The Parsis are followers of the Zoroastrian religion. There was no fear of my being treated by them as an untouchable, because their religion does not recognise untouchability. With a heart glad with hope and a mind free from fear, I put my luggage in a hackney carriage and asked the driver to drive me to [the] Parsi inn in the camp.

The inn was a two-storied building, on the ground floor of which lived an old Parsi with his family. He was a caretaker, and supplied food to tourists who came there to stay. The carriage arrived, and the Parsi caretaker showed me upstairs. I went up while the carriage driver brought up my luggage. I paid him and he went away. I felt happy that after all I had solved my problem of finding a place to stay. I was undressing, as I wanted to be at ease. In the meantime the caretaker came with a book in his hand. Seeing as he could well see from my half-undressed state that I had no Sadra and Kasti, the two things which prove that one is a Parsi, in a sharp tone he asked me who I was.

Not knowing that this inn was maintained by the Parsi community for the use of Parsis only, I told him that I was a Hindu. He was shocked, and told me that I could not stay in the inn. I was thoroughly shocked by his answer and was cold all over. The question returned again, where to go? Composing myself, I told him that though a Hindu, I had no objection to staying there if he had no objection. He replied, "How can you? I have to maintain a register of all those who stay here in the inn." I saw his difficulty. I said I could assume a Parsi name for the purpose of entering it in the register. "Why do you object, if I do not object? You will not lose, you will earn something if I stay here."

I could see that he was inclined favourably. Evidently he had had no tourist for a long time and he did not like to forego the opportunity of making a little money. He agreed, on condition that I pay him a rupee and a half per day for board and lodging, and enter myself as a Parsi in his register. He went downstairs, and I heaved a sigh of relief. The problem was solved, and I felt very happy. But alas! I did not then know how short was to be this happiness. But before I describe the tragic end of my stay in this inn, I must describe how I passed my time during the short period I lived therein.

The inn on the first [=second] floor had a small bed-room, and adjoining it was one small bath room with a water tap in it. The rest was one big hall. At the time of my stay the big hall was filled up with all sorts of rubbish--planks, benches, broken chairs, etc. In the midst of these surroundings I lived, a single solitary individual. The caretaker came up in the morning with a cup of tea. He came again at about 9:30 a.m. with my breakfast or morning meal. A third time he came up at about 8:30 in the evening with my dinner. The caretaker came up only when he could not avoid it, and on these occasions he never stayed to talk to me. The day was spent somehow.

I was appointed as a probationer in the Accountant General's Office by the Maharaja of Baroda. I used to leave the inn at about ten a.m. for the office, and return late at about eight in the evening, contriving to while away outside the inn as much time in [the] company of friends as I could. The idea of returning to the inn to spend the night therein was most terrifying to me, and I used to return to the inn only because I had no other place under the sky to go for rest. In this big hall on the first [=second] floor of the inn there were no fellow human beings to talk to. I was quite alone. The whole hall was enveloped in complete darkness. There were no electric lights, nor even oil lamps to relieve the darkness. The caretaker used to bring up for my use a small hurricane lamp. Its light could not extend beyond a few inches.

I felt that I was in a dungeon, and I longed for the company of some human being to talk to. But there was no one. In the absence of the company of human beings I sought the company of books, and read and read. Absorbed in reading, I forgot my lonely condition. But the chirping and flying about of the bats, which had made the hall their home, often distracted my mind and sent cold shivers through me--reminding me of what I was endeavouring to forget, that I was in a strange place under strange conditions.

Many a time I must have been angry. But I subdued my grief and my anger through the feeling that though it was a dungeon, it was a shelter, and that some shelter was better than no shelter. So heart-rending was my condition that when my sister's son came from Bombay, bringing my remaining luggage which I had left behind, and when he saw my state, he began to cry so loudly that I had to send him back immediately. In this state I lived in the Parsi inn, impersonating a Parsi.

I knew that I could not long continue this impersonation, as I would be discovered some day. I was therefore trying to get a State bungalow to stay in. But the Prime Minister did not look upon my request with the same urgency [as I did]. My petition went from officer to officer--and before I got the final reply, the day of my doom arrived.

It was the eleventh day of my stay in the inn. I had taken my morning meal, and had dressed up, and was about to step out of my room to go to [the] office. As I was picking up some books which I had borrowed overnight, for returning them to the library, I heard [the] footsteps of a considerable number of people coming up the staircase. I thought they were tourists who had come to stay, and was therefore looking out to see who these friends were. Instantly I saw a dozen angry-looking, tall, sturdy Parsis, each armed with a stick, coming towards my room. I realised that they were not fellow tourists, and they gave proof of it immediately.

They lined up in front of my room and fired a volley of questions. "Who are you? Why did you come here? How dare you take a Parsi name? You scoundrel! You have polluted the Parsi inn!" I stood silent. I could give no answer. I could not persist in impersonation. It was in fact a fraud, and the fraud was discovered, and I am sure if I had persisted in the game I was playing, I would have been assaulted by the mob of angry and fanatic Parsis and probably doomed to death. My meekness and my silence averted this doom. One of them asked when I thought of vacating.

At that time my shelter I prized more than my life. The threat implied in this question was a grave one. I therefore broke my silence and implored them to let me stay for a week at least, thinking that my application to the Minister for a bungalow would be decided upon favourably in the meantime. But the Parsis were in no mood to listen. They issued an ultimatum. They must not find me in the inn in the evening. I must pack off. They held out dire consequences, and left. I was bewildered. My heart sank within me. I cursed all, and wept bitterly. After all, I was deprived of my precious possession--namely, my shelter. It was no better than a prisoner's cell. But to me it was very precious.

After the Parsis were gone, I sat for some time engaged in thinking, [seeking] to find a way out. I had hopes that I would soon get a State bungalow, and my troubles would be over. My problem was therefore a temporary problem, and I thought that going to friends would be a good solution. I had no friends among the untouchables of Baroda State. But I had friends among other classes. One was a Hindu, the other was an Indian Christian. I first went to my Hindu friend and told him what had befallen me. He was a noble soul and a great personal friend of mine. He was sad and also indignant. He, however, let fall one observation. He said, "If you come to my home, my servants will go." I took the hint, and did not press him to accommodate me.

I did not like to go to the Indian Christian friend. Once he had invited me to go and stay with him. But I had declined, preferring to stay in the Parsi inn. My reason was that his habits were not congenial to me. To go now would be to invite a rebuff. So I went to my office, but I could not really give up this chance of finding a shelter. On consulting a friend I decided to go to him [=to the Indian Christian friend] and ask him if he would accommodate me. When I put the question, his reply was that his wife was coming to Baroda the next day, and that he would have to consult her.

I learnt subsequently that it was a very diplomatic answer. He and his wife came originally from a family which was Brahmin by caste, and although on conversion to Christianity the husband had become liberal in thought, the wife had remained orthodox in her ways, and would not have consented to harbour an untouchable in her house. The last ray of hope thus flickered away. It was four p.m. when I left the house of my Indian Christian friend. Where to go was the one supreme question before me. I must quit the inn, and had no friend to go to!! The only alternative left was to return to Bombay.

The train to Bombay left Baroda at nine p.m. There were five hours to be spent. Where to spend them? Should I go to the inn? Should I go to my friend? I could not muster up sufficient courage to go back to the inn. I feared the Parsis might come and attack me. I did not like to go to my friend. Though my condition was pitiable, I did not like to be pitied. I decided to spend the five hours in the public garden which is called Kamathi Baug, on the border of the city and the camp. I sat there partly with a vacant mind, partly with sorrow at the thought of what had happened to me, and thought of my father and mother--as children do when they are in a forlorn condition.

At eight p.m. I came out of the garden, took a carriage to the inn, brought down my luggage. The caretaker came out, but neither he nor I could utter a word to each other. He felt that he was in some way responsible for bringing him [=me] into trouble. I paid him his bill. He received it in silence, and I took his leave in silence.

I had gone to Baroda with high hope[s]. I had given up many offers. It was wartime. Many places in the Indian Educational service were vacant. I knew very influential people in London. But I did not seek any of them. I felt that my duty was to offer my services first to the Maharaja of Baroda, who had financed my education. And here I was driven to leave Baroda and return to Bombay, after a stay of only eleven days.

This scene of a dozen Parsis armed with sticks lined [up] before me in a menacing mood, and myself standing before them with a terrified look imploring for mercy, is a scene which so long a period as eighteen years has not succeeded in fading [=causing to fade] away. I can even now vividly recall it--and [I] never recall it without tears in my eyes. It was then for the first time that I learnt that a person who is an untouchable to a Hindu is also an untouchable to a Parsi.

THREE [Pride, awkwardness, and a dangerous accident in Chalisgaon]

The year was 1929. The Bombay Government had appointed a Committee to investigate the grievances of the untouchables. I was appointed a member of the Committee. The Committee had to tour all over the province to investigate the allegations of injustice, oppression and tyranny. The Committee split up. I and another member were assigned the two districts of Khandesh. My colleague and myself, after finishing our work, parted company. He went to see some Hindu saint. I left by train to go to Bombay. At Chalisgaon I got down to go to a village on the Dhulia line, to investigate a case of social boycott which had been declared by the caste Hindus against the untouchables of that village.

The untouchables of Chalisgaon came to the station and requested me to stay for the night with them. My original plan was to go straight to Bombay after investigating the case of social boycott. But as they were keen [=eager], I agreed to stay overnight. I boarded the train for Dhulia to go to the village, went there and informed myself of the situation prevailing in the village, and returned by the next train to Chalisgaon.

I found the untouchables of Chalisgaon waiting for me at the station. I was garlanded. The Maharwada, the quarters of the untouchables, is about two miles from the Railway Station, and to reach it one has to cross a river on which there is a culvert. There were many horse carriages at the station plying [=available] for hire. The Maharwada was also within walking distance from the station. I expected immediately to be taken to the Maharwada. But there was no movement in that direction, and I could not understand why I was kept waiting.

After an hour or so a tonga (one-horse carriage) was brought close to the platform, and I got in. The driver and I were the only two occupants of the tonga. Others went on foot by a short cut. The tonga had not gone 200 paces when there was almost a collision with a motor car. I was surprised that the driver, who was hired for driving every day, should have been so inexperienced. The accident was averted only because on the loud shout of the policeman the driver of the car pulled it back.

We somehow came to the culvert on the river. On it there are no walls as there are on a bridge. There is only a row of stones fixed at a distance of five or ten feet. It is paved with stones. The culvert on the river is at right angles to the road we were coming by. A sharp turn has to be taken to come to the culvert from the road. Near the very first side stone of the culvert, the horse, instead of going straight, took a turn and bolted. The wheel of the tonga struck against the side stone so forcibly that I was bodily lifted up and thrown down on the stone pavement of the culvert, and the horse and the carriage fell down from the culvert into the river.

So heavy was the fall that I lay down [=there] senseless. The Maharwada is just on the other bank of the river. The men who had come to greet me at the station had reached there ahead of me. I was lifted and taken to the Maharwada amidst the cries and lamentations of the men, women and children. As a result of this I received several injuries. My leg was fractured, and I was disabled for several days. I could not understand how all this had happened. The tongas pass and repass the culvert every day, and never has a driver failed to take the tonga safely over the culvert.

On enquiry I was told the real facts. The delay at the railway station was due to the fact that the tongawalas were not prepared to drive the tonga with a passenger who was an untouchable. It was beneath their dignity. The Mahars could not tolerate that I should walk to their quarters. It was not in keeping with their sense of my dignity. A compromise was therefore arrived at. That compromise was to this effect: the owner of the tonga would give the tonga on hire, but not drive. The Mahars may [=could] take the tonga, but must find someone to drive it.

The Mahars thought this to be a happy solution. But they evidently forgot that the safety of the passenger was more important than the maintenance of his dignity. If they had thought of this, they would have considered whether they could get a driver who could safely conduct me to my destination. As a matter of fact none of them could drive, because it was not their trade. They therefore asked someone from amongst themselves to drive. The man took the reins in his hand and started, thinking there was nothing in it. But as he got on [=went along], he felt his responsibility and became so nervous that he gave up all attempt to [=at]control.

To save my dignity, the Mahars of Chalisgaon had put my very life in jeopardy. It is [=was] then I learnt that a Hindu tongawalla, no better than a menial, has a dignity by which he can look upon himself as a person who is superior to any untouchable, even though he may be a Barrister-at-law.

FOUR [Polluting the water in the fort of Daulatabad]

In the year 1934, some of my co-workers in the movement of the depressed classes expressed a desire to go on a sight-seeing tour, if I agreed to join them. I agreed. It was decided that our plan should at all events include a visit to the Buddhist caves at Verul. It was arranged that I should go to Nasik, and the party should join me at Nasik. To go to Verul we had to go to Aurangabad. Aurangabad is a town in the Mohammedan State of Hyderabad, and is included in the dominion of His Exalted Highness, the Nizam.

On the way to Aurangabad we had first to pass another town called Daulatabad, which is also in the Hyderabad State. Daulatabad is a historical place and was, at one time, the capital of a famous Hindu King, by name Ramdeo Rai. The fort of Daulatabad is an ancient historical monument,, and no tourist while in that vicinity should omit a visit to it. Accordingly our party had also included in its programme a visit to the fort of Daulatabad.

We hired some buses and touring cars. We were about thirty in number. We started from Nasik to Yeola, as Yeola is on the way to Aurangabad. Our tour programme had not been announced--and quite deliberately. We wanted to travel incognito, in order to avoid difficulties which an untouchable tourist has to face in outlying parts of the country. We had informed only our people at those centres at which we had decided to halt. Accordingly, although on the way we passed many villages in the Nizam's State, none of our people had come to meet us.

It was naturally different at Daulatabad. There our people had been informed that we were coming. They were waiting for us and had gathered at the entrance to the town. They asked us to get down and have tea and refreshment first, and then to go to see the fort. We did not agree to their proposal. We wanted tea very badly, but we wanted sufficient time to see the fort before it was dusk. We therefore left for the fort, and told our people that we would take tea on our return. Accordingly we told our drivers to move on, and within a few minutes we were at the gate of the fort.

The month was Ramjan, the month of fast for the Mohammedans. Just outside the gate of the fort there is a small tank of water full to the brim. There is all around a wide stone pavement. Our faces, bodies and clothes were full of dust gathered in the course of our journey, and we all wished to have a wash. Without much thought, some members of the party washed their faces and their legs on the pavement with the water from the tank. After these ablutions, we went to the gate of the fort. There were armed soldiers inside. They opened the big gates and admitted us into the archway.

We had just commenced asking the guard the procedure for obtaining permission to go into the fort. In the meantime an old Mohammedan with [a] white flowing beard was coming from behind shouting "The Dheds (meaning untouchables) have polluted the tank!" Soon all the young and old Mohammedans who were nearabout joined him and all started abusing us. "The Dheds have become arrogant. The Dheds have forgotten their religion (i.e. to remain low and degraded). The Dheds must be taught a lesson." They assumed a most menacing mood.

We told them that we were outsiders and did not know the local custom. They turned the fire of their wrath against the local untouchables, who by that time had arrived at the gate. "Why did you not tell these outsiders that this tank could not be used by untouchables?" was the question they kept on asking them. Poor people! They were not there when we entered [the] tank [area]. It was really our mistake, because we acted without inquiry. The local untouchables protested that it was not their fault.

But the Mohammedans were not prepared to listen to my explanation. They kept on abusing them and us. The abuse was so vulgar that it exasperated us. There could easily have been a riot, and possibly murders. We had, however, to restrain ourselves. We did not want to be involved in a criminal case which would bring our tour to an abrupt end.

One young Muslim in the crowd kept on saying that everyone must conform to his religion, meaning thereby that the untouchables must not take water from a public tank. I had grown quite impatient, and asked him in a somewhat angry tone, "Is that what your religion teaches? Would you prevent an untouchable from taking water from this tank if he became a Mohammedan?" These straight questions seemed to have some effect on the Mohammedans. They gave no answer, and stood silent.

Turning to the guard I said, again in an angry tone, "Can we get into the fort or not? Tell us; if we can't, we don't want to stop [=stay]." The guard asked for my name. I wrote it out on a piece of paper. He took it to the Superintendent inside, and came out. We were told that we could go into the fort, but we could not touch water anywhere in the fort; and an armed soldier was ordered to go with us to see that we did not transgress the order.

I gave one instance to show that a person who is an untouchable to a Hindu is also an untouchable to a Parsi. This will show that a person who is an untouchable to a Hindu is also an untouchable to a Mohammedan.

FIVE [A doctor refuses to give proper care, and a young woman dies]

The next case is equally illuminating. It is a case of an Untouchable school teacher in a village in Kathiawar, and is reported in the following letter which appeared in the Young India, a journal published by Mr. Gandhi, in its issue of 12th December 1929. It expresses the difficulties he [=the writer] had experienced in persuading a Hindu doctor to attend to his wife, who had just delivered, and how the wife and child died for want of medical attention. The letter says:

"On the 5th of this month a child was born to me. On the 7th, she [=the writer's wife] fell ill and suffered from loose stools. Her vitality seemed to ebb away and her chest became inflamed. Her breathing became difficult and there was acute pain in the ribs. I went to call a doctor--but he said he would not go to the house of a Harijan, nor was he prepared lo examine the child. Then I went to [the] Nagarseth and Garasia Darbar and pleaded [with] them to help me. The Nagarseth stood surety to the doctor for my paying his fee of two rupees. Then the doctor came, but on condition that he would examine them only outside the Harijan colony. I took my wife out of the colony along with her newly born child. Then the doctor gave his thermometer to a Muslim, he gave it to me, and I gave it to my wife and then returned it by the same process after it had been applied. It was about eight o'clock in the evening and the doctor, on looking at the thermometer in the light of a lamp, said that the patient was suffering from pneumonia. Then the doctor went away and sent the medicine. I brought some linseed from the bazar and used it on the patient. The doctor refused to see her later, although I gave the two rupees fee. The disease is dangerous and God alone will help us.

The lamp of my life has died out. She passed away at about two o'clock this afternoon."The name of the Untouchable school teacher is not given. So also the name of the doctor is not mentioned. This was at the request of the Untouchable teacher, who feared reprisals. The facts are indisputable.

No explanation is necessary. The doctor, in spite of being educated, refused to apply the thermometer and treat an ailing woman in a critical condition. As a result of his refusal to treat her, the woman died. He felt no qualms of conscience in setting aside the code of conduct which is binding on his profession. The Hindu would prefer to be inhuman rather than touch an Untouchable.

SIX [A young clerk is abused and threatened until he gives up his job]

There is one other incident more telling than this. On the 6th of March 1938, a meeting of the Bhangis was held at Kasarwadi (behind Woollen Mills), Dadar, Bombay, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Indulal Yadnik. In this meeting, one Bhangi boy narrated his experience in the following terms :

"I passed the Vernacular Final Examination in 1933. I have studied English up to the 4th Standard. I applied to the Schools Committee of the Bombay Municipality for employment as a teacher, but I failed, as there was no vacancy. Then I applied to the Backward Classes Officer, Ahmedabad, for the job of a Talati (village Patwari [=scribe]), and I succeeded. On 19th February 1936, I was appointed a Talati in the office of the Mamlatdar of the Borsad Taluka in the Kheda District.

Although my family originally came from Gujarat, I had never been in Gujarat before. This was my first occasion to go there. Similarly, I did not know that untouchability would be observed in Government Offices. Besides in my application the fact of my being a Harijan was mentioned and so I expected that my colleagues in the office would know before-hand who I was. That being so, I was surprised to find the attitude of the clerk of the Mamlatdar's office when I presented myself to take charge of the post of the Talati.

The Karkun contemptuously asked, "Who are you?" I replied, "Sir, I am a Harijan." He said, "Go away, stand at a distance. How dare you stand so near me! You are in office, if you were outside I would have given you six kicks. What audacity to come here for service!" Thereafter, he asked me to drop on the ground my certificate and the order of appointment as a Talati. He then picked them up. While I was working in the Mamlatdar's office at Borsad I experienced great difficulty in the matter of getting water for drinking. In the verandah of the office there were kept cans containing drinking water. There was a waterman in charge of these water cans. His duty was to pour out water to clerks in office whenever they needed it. In the absence of the waterman they could themselves take water out of the cans and drink it.

That was impossible in my case. I could not touch the cans, for my touch would pollute the water, I had therefore to depend upon the mercy of the waterman. For my use there was kept a small rusty pot No one would touch it or wash it except myself. It was in this pot that the waterman would dole out water to me. But I could get water only if the waterman was present. This waterman did not like the idea of supplying me with water. Seeing that I was coming for water, he would manage to slip away, with the result that I had to go without water; and the days on which I had no water to drink were by no means few.

I had the same difficulties regarding my residence. I was a stranger in Borsad. No caste Hindu would rent a house to me. The Untouchables of Borsad were not ready to give me lodgings, for the fear of displeasing the Hindus who did not like my attempt to live as a clerk, a station above me. Far greater difficulties were with regard to food. There was no place or person from where I could get my meals. I used to buy 'Bhajhas' morning and evening, eat them in some solitary place outside the village, and come and sleep at night on the pavement of the verandahs of the Mamlatdar's office. In this way, I passed four days. All this became unbearable to me. Then I went to live at Jentral, my ancestral village. It was six miles from Borsad. Every day I had to walk eleven miles. This I did for a month and a half.

Thereafter the Mamlatdar sent me to a Talati to learn the work. This Talati was in charge of three villages, Jentral, Khapur and Saijpur. Jentral was his headquarters. I was in Jentral with this Talati for two months. He taught me nothing, and I never once entered the village office. The headman of the village was particularly hostile. Once he had said, "Your fellows, your father, your brother are sweepers who sweep the village office, and you want to sit in the office as our equal? Take care, better give up this job!"

One day the Talati called me to Saijpur to prepare the population table of the village. From Jentral I went to Saijpur. I found the Headman and the Talati in the village office doing some work. I went, stood near the door of the office, and wished them "good morning," but they took no notice of me. I stood outside for about fifteen minutes. I was already tired of life, and felt enraged at being thus ignored and insulted. I sat down on a chair that was lying there. Seeing me seated on the chair, the Headman and the Talati quietly went away without saying anything to me.

A short while after, people began to come, and soon a large crowd gathered round me. This crowd was led by the Librarian of the village library. I could not understand why an educated person should have led this mob. I subsequently learnt that the chair was his. He started abusing me in the worst terms. Addressing the Ravania (village servant) he said, "Who allowed this dirty dog of a Bhangi to sit on the chair?" The Ravania unseated me and took away the chair from me. I sat on the ground.

Thereupon the crowd entered the village office and surrounded me. It was a furious crowd raging with anger, some abusing me, some threatening to cut me to pieces with the Dharya (a sharp weapon like the sword). I implored them to excuse me and to have mercy upon me. That did not have any effect upon the crowd. I did not know how to save myself. But an idea came to me of writing to the Mamlatdar about the fate that had befallen me, and telling him how to dispose of my body in case I was killed by the crowd. Incidentally, it was my hope that if the crowd came to know that I was practically reporting against them to the Mamlatdar, they might hold their hands. I asked the Ravania to give me a piece of paper, which he did. Then with my fountain pen I wrote the following on it in big bold letters so that everybody could read it:

"To,
The Mamlatdar, Taluka Borsad.

Sir,

Be pleased to accept the humble salutations of Parmar Kalidas Shivram. This is to humbly inform you that the hand of death is falling upon me today. It would not have been so if I had listened to the words of my parents. Be so good as to inform my parents of my death."The Librarian read what I wrote and at once asked me to tear it off, which I did. They showered upon me innumerable insults. "You want us to address you as our Talati? You are a Bhangi and you want to enter the office and sit on the chair?" I begged for mercy and promised not to repeat this, and also promised to give up the job. I was kept there till seven in the evening, when the crowd left. By then the Talati and the Mukhiya had still not come. Thereafter I took fifteen days' leave and returned to my parents in Bombay."



क्यों अंबेडकर पर रीझ गई थी लंदन की एक अंग्रेज युवती, दोनों ने लिखे थे 92 खत
बाबा साहेब अंबेडकर ने अपनी आखिरी किताब अंग्रेज महिला फ्रांसिस को समर्पित की थी

जब बाबा साहेब अंबेडकर ब्रिटेन पढ़ाई करने गए तो उनकी पहचान वहां एक अंग्रेज युवती से हुई, जो इंडिया हाउस में काम करती थी. वो भारत भी आना चाहती थी लेकिन दूसरे विश्व युद्ध के दौरान हालात के चलते उसे भारत आने का वीजा नहीं मिल सका था
जब बाबा साहब भीमराव अंबेडकर ब्रिटेन में पढ़ाई करने गए तो उनकी पहचान एक अंग्रेज युवती फ्रांसिस फिट्जेराल्ड से हुई. अंबेडकर लंदन में कुछ दिनों तक उसकी मां के बोर्डिंग हाउस में भी रहे. दोनों ने एक दूसरे को पत्र भी लिखे थे. बताया जाता है कि फ्रांसिस भारत भी आना चाहती थीं लेकिन अंबेडकर ने इसके लिए मना कर दिया था.

ये वर्ष 2005 के आसपास की बात है. डॉक्टर भीमराव अंबेडकर और अंग्रेज महिला फ्रांसिस फिट्जेराल्ड के बीच लंबे पत्राचार को किताब के रूप में प्रकाशित करने की योजना बनाई गई. ये कुल मिलाकर 92 पत्र थे, जिनसे जाहिर होता है कि इंग्लैंड में पढ़ाई के दौरान फ्रांसिस और अंबेडकर करीब आ गए थे. कुछ की नजर में ये एक प्लेटोनिक रिश्ता था.

इन 92 पत्रों में फ्रांसिस का अंबेडकर के प्रति अपनत्व झलकता है और प्यार भी. उनके प्रति फिक्र भी और कुछ हद तक अधिकार की भावना भी. कुछ पत्र प्यार के अहसासों में डूबे हुए थे.

किताब के लेखक थे प्रोफेसर अरुण कांबले, जो न केवल अंबेडकर के विश्वस्त सहयोगी थे बल्कि अंबेडकर पर साहित्य प्रकाशित करने को लेकर महाराष्ट्र सरकार द्वारा बनाए गए संपादकीय मंडल के सदस्य भी. हालांकि इस किताब के प्रकाशन पर अंबेडकर के पोते प्रकाश अंबेडकर ने आपत्ति की थी.


अंबेडकर जिन दिनों इंग्लैंड पढ़ाई करने गए, तब वो लंदन में एक बोर्डिंग हाउस में रहे. वहीं उनमें एक अंग्रेज युवती फ्रांसिस में जान-पहचान बढ़ी

अंबेडकर ने अपनी आखिरी किताब भी उसे समर्पित की थी
अंबेडकर और फ्रांसिस के बीच पत्राचार 1923 में शुरू हुआ और 1943 तक चला. उसके बाद ये रिश्ता अचानक खत्म हो गया. डॉ. अंबेडकर की बायोग्राफी लिखने वाले सीबी खैरमोडे ने 12 खंडों की सीरीज की दूसरे खंड की किताब में फ्रांसिस का जिक्र विस्तार से किया है.

जब अंबेडकर ने अपनी आखिरी किताब 'व्हाट कांग्रेस एंड गांधी हैव डन टू अनटेचेबल' लिखी तो ये किताब उन्होंने फ्रांसिस को समर्पित की.

दोनों के बीच लिखे गए थे 92 पत्र

ये 92 पत्र अंबेडकर के जीवन पर नई रोशनी डालते हैं. ये भी कहा जाता है कि ये दो बौद्धिक हस्तियों का रिश्ता था. फ्रांसिस उन दिनों हाउस ऑफ कामंस और इंडिया हाउस में टाइपिस्ट थीं. अंबेडकर से वह 1920 के आसपास लंदन में ही मिलीं. वह अपनी मां के साथ बोर्डिंग हाउस चलाती थीं. जहां अंबेडकर भी लंदन में पढ़ाई के दौरान रहे थे.


भीमराव अंबेडकर और उनकी पहली पत्नी रमाबाई

भारत भी आना चाहती थीं फ्रांसिस लेकिन नहीं मिल सका था वीजा
अंबेडकर के पत्रों से लगता है कि वह फ्रांसिस को डी कहकर बुलाते थे जबकि उनकी अंग्रेज मित्र उन्हें प्यारे भीम के रूप में संबोधित करती थीं. वह वर्ष 1943 में भारत आना चाहती थीं. लेकिन तत्कालीन राजनीतिक हालात के चलते उन्हें वीजा नहीं मिल सका.

1964 में बाबासाहेब के सहयोगी और बैरिस्टर केके खाडे लंदन में फ्रांसिस से मिले. जब उन्होंने उनसे पूछा, 'क्या उन्हें मालूम है कि डॉ. अंबेडकर ने अपनी आखिरी किताब उन्हें समर्पित की है' तो उनका कहना था, 'हां मुझे मालूम है.'

किस तरह के होते थे दोनों के पत्र
किताब के लेखक अरुण कांबले को लगता था कि फ्रांसिस बाबासाहेब के प्यार में थीं. भारत आने के बाद अंबेडकर जब भी इंग्लैंड जाते थे, तब वह 10 किंग हेनरी रोड स्थित हेम्पस्टीड स्थित फ्रांसिस के अपार्टमेंट ठहरते थे. फ्रांसिस अपने पत्रों का अंत "योर लविंगली या विद फांडेस्ट लव" के साथ करती थीं.

इन पत्रों में प्यार की गर्मी और अहसास महसूस होते हैं. चूंकि फ्रांसिस हाउस आफ कामंस में काम करती थीं लिहाजा वहां की गतिविधियों की जानकारी उन्हें देती रहती थीं,.


पुणे में बने अंबेडकर मेमोरियल मेें सहेजकर रखी हुई वस्‍तुएं और यादें

पत्रों में स्वास्थ्य को लेकर चिंता

अक्सर उनके पत्रों में अंबेडकर के स्वास्थ्य को लेकर चिंता झलकती है. वह एक पत्र में लिखती हैं, 'मैं सोचती हूं 16 पाउंड वजन कम होना बड़ी बात है. मैं डर रही हूं कि अगर आप वहां लंबा रह गए तो कंकाल न बन जाएं. आपकी काम करने की क्षमता पर भी असर पड़ेगा.'

फ्रांसिस का एक पत्र

10, किंग हेनरी रोड
प्रिमोर्स हिल
एन डब्ल्यू 3

डियर तुम्हारे पत्र और पांच पाउंड के चेक के लिए धन्यवाद. मैने एलीन के लिए गोल्ड रिस्टलेट वाच औऱ ब्रेसलेट खरीदी है. वह इससे खुश होगी. मुझे दुख है कि तुम यहां पार्टी में नहीं होगे.

तुमने अभी तक नहीं बताया तुम कहने के बाद भी क्यों नहीं आए. क्या दिक्कतें तुम्हें आने से रोक रही थीं. जल्दी से जल्दी आने की कोशिश करो. मैं दिन गिन रही हूं. मेरे प्यार और देखभाल से तुम फिर अच्छे हो जाओगे. अगर तुम मुझे अपने आने के बारे में बता दोगे तो मैं स्टेशन पर आउंगी. भगवान तुम्हें हमारे मिलने तक सुरक्षित रखे.

प्यार सहित
हमेशा तुम्हारी

1943 के बाद बिल्कुल बंद हो गया पत्राचार
अपने एक पत्र में फ्रांसिस ने उन्हें आगाह भी किया कि वह उसके प्यार में नहीं पड़ें. लेकिन न जाने क्या हुआ कि वर्ष 1943 के बाद दोनों के बीच पत्राचार औऱ संबंध खत्म हो गया. अंबेडकर की व्यस्तताएं भी भारतीय राजनीति में बढ़ गईं थीं.

फिर अंबेडकर ने डॉक्टर सविता से की थी दूसरी शादी
वर्ष 1947 के आसपास बाबासाहेब डायबिटीज, ब्लड प्रेशर से काफी परेशान थे. पैरों में दिक्कत बढ़ गई थी. इलाज की सलाह दी गई. मुंबई की डॉक्टर सविता ने इलाज शुरू किया. वह पुणे के सभ्रांत मराठी ब्राह्मण परिवार से ताल्लुक रखती थीं. इलाज के दौरान वह डॉक्टर अंबेडकर के करीब आईं. दोनों की उम्र में अंतर था. 15 अप्रैल 1948 को अंबेडकर ने अपने दिल्ली स्थित आवास में उनसे शादी कर ली.


डॉ. भीम राव अंबेडकर

दूसरी शादी पर क्या था लोगों और परिवारजनों का रिएक्शन
जब शादी हुई तो न केवल ब्राह्मण बल्कि दलितों का बड़ा वर्ग भी खासा कुपित था. अंबेडकर के बेटे और नजदीकी रिश्तेदारों को भी ये शादी रास नहीं आई. खटास जिंदगी भर बनी रही. विवादों को किनारे रखें तो कोई शक नहीं कि डॉक्टर सविता माई (बाद में उन्हें माई ही कहा जाने लगा था) ने पूरी निष्ठा के साथ मरते दम तक अंबेडकर का ख्याल रखा. उनकी सेवा में जुटी रहीं.

पहली पत्नी थीं रमाबाई
बाबासाहेब की पहली शादी 1906 में हुई थी. बाबासाहेब 15 साल के थे. पहली पत्नी रमाबाई और कम उम्र की. शादी के बाद अंबेडकर की पढ़ाई जारी रही. बैरिस्टरी की पढ़ाई करने के लिए वह इंग्लैंड गए. लौटकर दलितों के उत्थान के अभियान से जोरशोर से जुड़ गए. पहली पत्नी से पांच बच्चे हुए. लंबी बीमारी के बाद रमाबाई का 1935 में निधन हो गया.


EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF DR. BABASAHEB AMBEDKAR1891 Apr 14 1891 Bom at Mhow (Madhya Pradesh), the fourteenth child of Subehdar Ramji Sapkal and Mrs Bhimabai Ambedkar.

1896 Death of the mother, Mrs. Bhimabai Ambedkar

bhimabai ramji sakpal (murbadkar)
Birthdate: estimated between 1822 and 1854
Death: between January 01, 1854 and circa January 01, 1896
Immediate Family:
Daughter of major murbadkar, subedar major
Wife of ramji maloji sakpal, subedar major
Mother of child 1 sakpal; child 2 sakpal; child3 sakpal; child 4 sakpal; child 5 sakpal and 9 others

November 7, 1900 Ambedkar First joined Primary school at Depoli village in Konkan district Then moved to Pratapsingh High School in the Maharashtra's Satara distric. on November 7, 1900. ... got enrolled in school, the Maharashtra government has directed its schools and junior colleges in ...


1904 Entered the Elphistone High School at Bombay


1906 Married Ramabai, daughter of Mr. Bhiku Walangkar, one of the relations of Gopal Baba Walangkar


1907 Passed Matriculation Examination, secured 382 marks out of 750


1908 Jan Honoured in a meeting presided over by Shri S K Bole, Shri K A (Dada) Keluskar Guruji presented a book on the life of Gautam Buddha written by him



1912 Bhimrao (*an early photo*) passed the B.A. Examination (special subjects: Economics and Politics) from Bombay University, and prepared to take a position in the administration of Baroda State (*Imperial Gazetteer*; *Imperial Gazetteer map*). His oldest son, Yashwant, was born. (*Kadam*, p.71.)

1912 Dec 12 Birth of the son Yeshwant

1913 Jan Passed B A Examination with Persian and English from University of Bombay, secured 449 marks out of 1000
1913 He had barely begun at his new post when he learned by telegram that his father was gravely ill; he rushed home just in time for a last farewell. "It was February 2, 1913, the saddest day in Bhimrao Ambedkar's life." (*Keer*, p. 24.)

1913 Jun 4 Selected as Gaekwad Scholar on agrrement to serve 10 years in Baroda State. Ambedkar was one of the four students selected by Baroda ruler Sayaji Rao Gaekwad.

1913 July He left for USA by sea in third week of July 1913.

1913 The Gaekwar of Baroda announced his decision to offer scholarships to send students for higher education at Columbia University. A scholarship of 11.50 British pounds a month, for three years, was awarded to the young Ambedkar. (*Kadam*, p.72.)

1913 Receives Baroda State Scholarship to join the Political Science Department of the Columbia University as a Post Graduate Student where he worked under Professors Seligman, Clark, Seager, Moore, Mitchell, Chadwick, Simkovitch, Giddings, Dewey and Goldenweiser." (Source: a curriculum vitae from the 1920's, preserved in the Columbia University archives, that was almost certainly prepared by Dr. Ambedkar himself.) NOTE: he was in fact admitted to the Graduate School in general (things were less compartmentalized in those days) and not formally to a "political science department."

1913 Arriving in New York during the third week in July, Bhimrao was housed in Hartley Hall (*site*). But he didn't care for the food, and only stayed for a week. In August he moved from Hartley Hall to "Cosmopolitan Club" (554 West 114th Street) (*photo*; *New York Times article*), a housing club maintained by a group of Indian students. He finally settled in a dormitory, Livingston Hall (since renamed Wallach Hall (*photo*), with his friend Naval Bhathena, a Parsi; the two remained friends for life. (*Keer*, pp. 26-27.)

1914 In later years, he told his biographer about his early months in New York--how he had at first enjoyed the social side of campus life, but then one night made a firm resolve, and started studying in dead earnest....

"'The best friends I have had in life,' Dr. Ambedkar says, 'were some of my classmates at Columbia and my great professors, John Dewey, James Shotwell, Edwin Seligman, and James Harvey Robinson.'" (Source: "'Untouchables' Represented by Ambedkar, '15AM, '28PhD," Columbia Alumni News, Dec. 19, 1930, page 12; from the Columbia University archives.)

At Columbia: Prof. John Dewey: One of the major philosophers of education of the twentieth century, John Dewey (1859-1952) (*site*) became one of the young Ambedkar's heroes. Writing in 1936, Ambedkar referred to the work of "Prof. John Dewey, who was my teacher and to whom I owe so much." (--*Annihilation of Caste, Section 25*). There is much evidence of Dr. Ambedkar's admiration for Dewey, including *the annotated books in his personal library*. Here is one modern scholar's view: *"The like-mindedness of Dewey and Ambedkar"*.

At Columbia: Profs. Shotwell and Robinson: Another of the young Ambedkar's mentors, Prof. James Shotwell (1874-1965) (*site*) was a Barnard historian who specialized in international relations, and a former student of Prof. James Harvey Robinson (1863-1936) (*site*), Barnard's first historian-- who himself was another of the mentors named by Dr. Ambedkar.

At Columbia: Prof. Edwin Seligman: A friend of Lala Lajpat Rai (*site*), the well-known economist Edwin R. A. Seligman (1861-1939) (*site*) became a particularly sympathetic mentor to the young Ambedkar, who continued to correspond with him for years.

At Columbia: coursework: During Ambedkar's time at Columbia he would sit for hours studying in *Low Library*; the rotunda then housed the main reading room. His *coursework* during his three years (including summers) at Columbia consisted of: 29 courses in economics, 11 in history, 6 in sociology, 5 in philosophy, 4 in anthropology, 3 in politics, and 1 each in elementary French and German. (Source: Office of the Registrar, Columbia University.)

"[Parents] can mold the destiny of children, and if we but follow this principle, be sure that we shall soon see better days; and our progress will be greatly accelerated if male education is pursued side by side with female education, the fruits of which you can very well see verified in your own daughter," Ambedkar wrote from New York in a Marathi letter to a friend of his father. "Let your mission therefore be to educate and preach the idea of education to those at least who are near to and in close contact with you." (*Keer*, pp. 26-27.)

1915 The young graduate student passed his M.A. exam in June, majoring in Economics, with Sociology, History, Philosophy, and Anthropology as other subjects of study; he presented a thesis, *"Ancient Indian Commerce"*. For his outstanding achievement, he was honored by students and professors of the Faculty of Arts at a special dinner. In 1916 he offered another M.A. thesis, "National Dividend of India--A Historic and Analytical Study"; it was this one that later became the nucleus of his Ph.D. dissertation. (*Keer*, p. 29.)



1915 May 15. He wrote thesis Entitled "Administration and Finance in Eat India Company" for MA.



1915 June 2 Passed M A Examination majoring in Economics and with Sociology, History, Philosophy, Anthropology and Politics as the other subjects of study

1916 On May 9th, he read his paper *"Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis, and Development"* before a seminar conducted by the anthropologist Prof. Alexander Goldenweiser (1880-1940) (*site*). Dr. Ambedkar was very proud of this paper, and remained so. He promptly got it published in the Indian Antiquary (May 1917). As late as 1936 he wrote that only shortage of time prevented him from reworking Annihilation of Caste so as to include in it this early seminar paper (Preface to the 3rd edition, Annihilation of Caste).

1916 In June he went to London, and in October he was admitted to Gray's Inn (*site*) for Law, and to the London School of Economics and Political Science (*site*) for Economics, where he was allowed to start work on a doctoral thesis. He often worked in the British Library Reading Room (*site*).



1916 May 9 Read a paper on 'The Castes in India' before Prof Goldenweiser's Anthropology Seminar. The paper was later published in The Indian Antiquary in May 1917. it was also republished in the form of a brochure, the first published work of Dr Ambedkar.


1916 June Wrote a Thesis entitled 'The National Dividend of India - A Historical and Analytical Study' for the Ph D Degree


1916 June Left Columbia University after completing work for the Ph D to join the London School of Economics and Political Science London as a graduate student



1916 Oct Admitted to Gray' Inn , London for Law.

1917 The term of his scholarship from Baroda ended, so that he was obliged to go back to India in June with his work unfinished; he was, however, given permission to return and finish within four years. He sent his precious and much-loved collection of books back on a steamer--but it was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine. (*Keer*, p. 32.)

1917 He was appointed Military Secretary to the Gaikwar of Baroda; he had agreed to join the Baroda service as a condition of his scholarship. But this experience was not a happy one. Even to reach Baroda, he had to pay his own expenses; to meet these expenses he used the damages paid by Thomas Cook and Company for his torpedoed luggage. And when he arrived in Baroda, things went from bad to worse:

"My five years of staying in Europe and America had completely wiped out of my mind any consciousness that I was an untouchable, and that an untouchable wherever he went in India was a problem to himself and to others. But when I came out of the station, my mind was considerably disturbed by a question, 'Where to go? Who will take me?'....[the story is continued in Part Two of Waiting for a Visa)

1917 Meeting in Calcutta with Annie Besant (*site*) as its President (*site*), for the first time in its history the Indian National Congress adopted a resolution endorsing "the justice and righteousness of removing all disabilities imposed by custom upon the Depressed Classes." (*Kadam*, p.74.)



1917 June 8 Columbia university conferred a Degree of Ph D


1917 June Returned to India after spending a year in London working on the Thesis for the M Sc (Econ.) degree. The return, before completion of the work, was necessitated by the termination the Scholarship granted by the Baroda State


1917 July Appointed Military Secretary to the Maharaja of Baroda with a view to being groomed for the post of the State Finance Minister.


1917 Nov But left shortly due to ill treatment meted out to him because of his lowly caste. Published 'Small Holdings in Indian and Their Remedies'

1918 After the Baroda fiasco, he tried to find ways to make a living for his growing family. With the help of Parsi friends, he became a private tutor, and found some work as an accountant. He also started an investment consulting business, but it failed when his clients learned that he was an untouchable. (*Keer*, pp. 37-38.)

1918 Finally he became Professor of Political Economy in the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics (*site*), in Bombay. (This position came about through the recommendation of his London acquaintance, Lord Sydenham, former Governor of Bombay.) He was mostly successful with his students, but some of the other professors objected to his sharing the same drinking-water jug that they all used. (*Keer*, p. 39.)

1918 In the new Journal of Indian Economics (1,1), he reviewed a book by Bertrand Russell: *"Mr Russell and the Reconstruction of Society"*. And in the new Journal of the Indian Economic Society (1,2-3) he published *"Small Holdings in India and Their Remedies"*.


1918 Gave evidence before the Southborough Commission on Franchise Attended the Conference of the depressed Classes held at Nagpur

1919 He testified both orally and in writing before the Southborough Committee (*site*), which was investigating franchise matters in the light of the planned Montagu-Chelmsford reforms. He demanded separate electorates and reserved seats for the untouchables: "The real social divisions of India then are: (1) Touchable Hindus. (2) Untouchable Hindus. (3) Mohammedans. (4) Christians. (5) Parsees. (6) Jews." (--from the *transcript* of the proceedings, Jan. 27, 1919). Discussion: *Chandrabhan Prasad*; *Syed Amjad Ali*.

1919 Nov (11 Nov 1918-1920) Professor of Political Economy in the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, Bombay



1920 Jan 31 Started a Marathi Weekly paper Mooknayak to champion the cause of the depressed classes. Shri Nandram Bhatkar was the editor, later Shri Dyander Gholap was the editor


1920 Mar 21 Attended depressed classes Conference


1920 Mar Resigned professorship at Sydenham College to resume his studies in London


1920 May Memorable speech in Nagpur, criticized Karmaveer Shinde and Depressed Classes Mission


1920 Again left for London to complete his studies.


1920 Sept Rejoined the London School of Economics. Also entered Gray's Inn to read for the Bar


1921 June The thesis 'Provincial Decentralisation of Imperial Finance in British India' was accepted for M Sc (Econ) Degree by the London University


1922 Oct Spent some time in reading economics in the University of Bonn in Germany


1923 Mar The Thesis 'The Problem of the Rupee-Its origin and its solution'
was accepted for the degree of D Sc (Econ) University of London . The thesis was
published in December 1923 by P S King & Company, London.




1923 Called to the Bar


1923 Apr Returned to India


1924 June Started practice in the Bombay high Court


1924 July 20 Founded the 'Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha' for the uplift of the depressed classes. The aims of the Sabha were educate, agitate, organize


1925 Published ' The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India - dissertation on the provincial decentralization of Imperial Finance in India'


1926 Gave evidence before the Royal Commission on Indian Currency (Hilton Young Commission) Nominated Member of the Bombay Legislative Council


1927 Mar 20 Started Satyagraha at Mahad (Dist - Kolaba) to secure to the untouchables the Right of access to the Chavdar Tank


1927 Apr 3 Started a fortnightly Marathi paper Bahiskrit Bharat Dr Ambedkar himself was the editor


1927 Sept Established 'Samaj Samata Sangh'


1927 Dec Second Conference in Mahad


1928 Mar Introduced the "Vatan Bill" in the Bombay Legislative Council


1928 May Gave evidence before the Indian Statutory Committee (Simon Commission)


1928 June Professor, Government Law College Bombay Principal, Government Law College Bombay


1928-9 Member, Bombay Presidency Committee of the Simon Committee

1930 Mar Satyagraha at Kalaram Temple, Nasik to secure for the Untouchables the right of entry into the temple


1930 Aug. 8, Dr. Ambedkar presided over the Depressed Classes Congress at Nagpur, and made a major speech: he endorsed Dominion status, and criticized Gandhi's Salt March and civil disobedience movement as inopportune; but he also criticized British colonial misgovernment, with its famines and immiseration. He argued that the "safety of the Depressed Classes" hinged on their "being independent of the Government and the Congress" both: "We must shape our course ourselves and by ourselves." His conclusion emphasized self-help: "Political power cannot be a panacea for the ills of the Depressed Classes. Their salvation lies in their social elevation. They must cleanse their evil habits. They must improve their bad ways of living.... They must be educated.... There is a great necessity to disturb their pathetic contentment and to instil into them that divine discontent which is the spring of all elevation." (-- *Keer*, pp. 141-143.)

1930 Dr. Ambedkar was invited by the Viceroy to be a delegate to the Round Table Conference, and left for London in October. He participated extensively in the work of the Round Table Conference, often submitting *written statements of his views*. His views at the time were described in an unpublished manuscript later found among his papers: *"The Untouchables and the Pax Britannica"*.

1930 "PRINCE AND OUTCAST AT DINNER IN LONDON END AGE-OLD BARRIER: Gaekwar of Baroda is Host to 'Untouchable' and Knight of High Hindu Caste..." (*...from an article in the New York Times, Nov. 30, 1930*).

"But I tell you that the Congress is not sincere about its professions. Had it been sincere, it would have surely made the removal of untouchability a condition, like the wearing of khaddar, for becoming a member of the Congress." On August 14th, 1931, Dr. Ambedkar met with Gandhi for the first time. From Gandhi's side, *their discussion* was an absent-minded rebuke that seemed to be more in sorrow than in anger; from Ambedkar's side, it was an outburst of passionate reproach.

1932 The All-Indian Depressed Classes Conference, held at Kamtee near Nagpur on May 6th, backed Dr. Ambedkar's demand for separate electorates, rejecting compromises proposed by others.

1932 Gandhi, in Yeravda jail, started a fast to the death against the separate electorates granted to the Depressed Classes by Ramsay MacDonald's Communal Award. By September 23, a very reluctant Dr. Ambedkar was obliged by the pressure of this moral blackmail to accept representation through joint electorates instead. The result was the *Poona Pact*. In 1933, Gandhi replaced his journal "Young India" with a new one called "Harijan," and undertook a 21-day "self-purification fast" against untouchability (*Gandhi timeline*).



1930-32 Delegate, Round Table Conference representing Untouchables of India . These started in November 1930 and ended in December 1932.


1932 Sept Signed with Mr. M.K. Gandhi the Poona Pact giving up, to save Gandhi's life. Separate electorates granted to the Depressed Classes by Ramsay MacDonald's Communal Award, and accepting, instead, representation through joint electorates



1932-4 Member joint Parliamentary Committee on the Indian Constitutional Reform


1933 Dr. Ambedkar participated in the work of the *Joint Committee on Indian Legislative Reform*, examining a number of significant witnesses.

1934 Left Parel, Damodar Hall and came to stay in 'Rajgriha' Dadar (Bombay). This was done in order to get more accommodation for his library which was increasing day by day

1934 "In the year 1934, some of my co-workers in the movement of the depressed classes expressed a desire to go on a sight-seeing tour... [the story is continued in Part Four of Waiting for a Visa).

1935 Dr. Ambedkar was appointed Principal of the Government Law College, and became a professor there as well; he held these positions for two years. (--*Kadam*, p.106)

1935 In May, Dr. Ambedkar's wife Ramabai died after a long illness. Her great wish had been to make a pilgrimage to Pandharpur, but since as an untouchable she would not have been allowed to enter the temple, her husband had never allowed her to go.

1 935 On Oct. 13th, Dr. Ambedkar presided over the Yeola Conversion Conference, held in Yeola, in Nasikh District (*Imperial Gazetteer*; *Imperial Gazetteer map*). He advised the Depressed Classes to abandon all agitation for temple-entry privileges; instead, they should leave Hinduism entirely and embrace another religion. He vowed, "I solemnly assure you that I will not die as a Hindu." (--*Keer*, p. 253.)

1935 The struggle for social justice began to receive increasing attention and support from progressive writers. Mulk Raj Anand's powerful novel "Untouchable" (1935) was followed by "Coolie" (1936), with a foreword by E. M. Forster; both works called international attention to caste and class injustices (*K. Satchidanandan*; *Andrew M. Stracuzzi*). In Hindi, there was the work of Premchand (*Premchand*).



1935 May 26 Death of wife, Mrs. Ramabai Ambedkar


1935 June Dr. Ambedkar was appointed as Principal of Government Law College, Bombay. He was also appointed Perry Professor of Jurisprudence


1935 Oct 13 Historical Yeola Conversion Conference held under the Presidentship of Dr. Ambedkar at yeola Dist., Nasik. He exhorted the Depressed Classes to leave Hinduism embrace another religioin. He declared: 'I was bom as a Hindu but I will not die as Hindi'. He also advised his followers to abandon the Kalaram Mandir entry Satyagraha, Nasik


1935 Dec Dr. 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' the conference was cancelled by the Mandal on the ground that Dr. Ambedkar's thoughts were revolutionary. Finally, Dr. Ambedkar refused to preside and published his speech in book form in 1937


1935. Dr. Ambedkar was elected Member of Bombay Legislative Assembly (Total Seats 175. reserved Seats 15. Dr. Ambedkar's Independent Labour Party won 17 seats)

1935 In December, Dr. Ambedkar was invited by the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal of Lahore (*Imperial Gazetteer*; *Imperial Gazetteer map,*), a caste-reform organization, to preside over its annual conference in the spring of 1936.

1935/6 He composed (or began to compose?), but did not publish, a brief, moving, and largely autobiographical memoir called *Waiting for a Visa*.

1936 On April 13-14th, he addressed the Sikh Mission Conference in Amritsar (*Imperial Gazetteer*; *Imperial Gazetteer map*), and reiterated his intention of renouncing Hinduism.

1936 In late April, the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal realized the radical nature of its guest's planned speech, and withdrew its earlier invitation. On May 15th, Dr. Ambedkar published the speech he would have given, with an introductory account of the whole controversy. The result, a slim little book called *The Annihilation of Caste*, became (in)famous at once.

1936 On May 31st, Dr. Ambedkar addressed the Mumbai Elaka Mahar Parishad (Bombay Mahar Society), during a meeting at Naigaum (Dadar), in Bombay. He spoke in Marathi, to his own people, with vividness and poignancy: *"What Path to Salvation?"*. This was the only time he addressed an audience expressly limited to Mahars. [--Eleanor Zelliot, personal communication, Jan. 2005] Meanwhile, Gandhi was formulating his own highly eccentric view of *"The Ideal Bhangi"* [--text courtesy of Joel Lee].

1936 In August, he founded his first political party, the Independent Labour Party, which contested 17 seats in the 1937 General Elections, and won 15. (--*Kadam*, pp.109-10)



1936 Jan 11-2 The Depressed Classes Conference was held at Pune Dr. Ambedkar reiterated his resolve of the Yeola Conference to leave Hinduism. The conference was presided over by Rav Bahadur N. Shina Raj


1936 Feb 29 Dr. Ambedkar's Conversion Resolution was supported by the Chambars (Cobblers) of East Khandesh


1936 May 30 Bombay Presidency Conversion Conference (Mumbai i'. :'< Mahar Parishad) of Mahars was held at Naigaum (Dadar) to sound their opinion on the issue of Conversion. Mr. Subha Rao popularly known as Hyderabad! Ambedkar, presided over the Conference. In the morning the Asietics shaved their beards, moustaches and destroyed their symbols of Hinduism in an Ascetic's Conference


1936 June 15 Conference of Devdasis was held in Bombay to support Dr. Ambedkar's Resolution of Conversion


1936 June 18 Dr. Ambedkar- talks on conversion - Pro Sikkhism


1936 June 23 Matang Parishad in support of Conversion


1936 Aug Dr. Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour Party, a strong opposition party in Bombay's Legislative Council


1936 Sept 18 Dr. Ambedkar sent a delegation of 13 members to the Golden Temple Amritsar to study Sikkhism

1936 Nov 11 Dr. Ambedkar left for Geneva and London


1936 The Maharaja of Travancore (*Imperial Gazetteer*; *Gazetteer map*) issued a proclamation allowing temple entry to the Depressed Classes; this was the first such event in modern India. (--*Kadam*, p.110)

1937 Dr. Ambedkar published the second edition of *"The Annihilation of Caste"*, adding a concluding appendix that featured a debate with Gandhi over the speech. This work remained a bestseller, going through many editions in the coming years--and exciting much controversy. "It was logic on fire, pinching and pungent, piercing and fiery, provocative and explosive." (--*Keer*, p. 269.)



1937 Dr. Ambedkar organized the 'Municipal Workers' Union' in Bombay in 1937


1937 Jan 14 Dr. Ambedkar returned to Bombay


1937 Feb 17 The first General Election were held under the Govt, of India Act of 1935. Elections were held in eleven provinces - Madras, Central Provinces, Bihar, Orissa, United Provinces, Bombay Presidency, Assam, NWFP, Bengal, Punjab and Sindh.



1937 Mar 17 The Mahad Chowdar Tank case was decided m favour of D.C. by which they got a legal right to use the public wells and tanks


1937 July 31 Dr. Ambedkar received a grand reception at Chaligaon Railway station


1937 Sept 17 Dr. Ambedkar introduced his Bill to abolish the Mahar Watan in the Assembly

1937 Dec 31 Reception at Pandhapur on the way to Sholapur, where he was going to preside Sholapur District DC. Conference

1938 Over Dr. Ambedkar's vigorous protests, in January Congress adopted Gandhi's own term "Harijans" ("Children of God") as the official name for the "scheduled castes." In protest against a term that he considered condescending and meaningless, Dr. Ambedkar and his party staged a walkout from the Bombay Legislative Assembly. Dr Ambedkar made a number of significant *speeches to the Assembly, 1938-39*. (--*Kadam*, p.111)



1938 Jan 4 Reception given by the Sholapur Municipal Council


1938 Jan , The Congress Party introduced a Bill making a change in the name of Untouchables i.e. they would be called Harijans meaning sons OT God. Dr. Ambedkar criticized the Bill, as in his opinion the change of name would make no real change in their conditions. Dr. Ambedkar and Bhaurav Gaikwad protested against the use of the term Harijans in legal matters. When the ruling party by sheer force of numbers defeated the I.L.P., the Labour Party group walked out of the Assembly in protest under the leadership of Dr. Ambedkar. He organized a peasants' march on Bombay Assembly. The peasants demanded the passing of Dr. Ambedkar's Bill for abolition of the Khoti system


1938 Jan 23 Dr. Ambedkar addressed a Peasants' Conference at Ahmedabad


1938 Feb 12-13 Dr. Ambedkar addressed a historical Conference of Railway workers at Manmad (Dist. Nasik)


1938 Apr Dr. Ambedkar opposed creation of a separate Kamataka State in
the national interest


1938 May Dr. Ambedkar resigned from the Principal ship of the Government
Law College, Mumbai


1938 May l3-21 Dr. Ambedkar went on tour of Konkan Region. He also went to Nagpur in Connection with a court case


1938 Aug A meeting was held at R.M. Bhat High School, Bombay for exposing Gandhiji's attitude in disallowing a D.C. man being taken into the Central Ministry


1938 Sept Dr. Ambedkar spoke on the Industrial Disputes Bill in the Bombay Assembly. He bitteriy opposed it for its attempt to outlaw the right of workers to strike. He said: 'If Congressmen believe that Swaraj is their birthright, then the right to strike is the birth-right of workers'


1938 Oct 1 Dr. Ambedkar addressed a large gathering at Bawala, near Ahmedabad. On return he addressed another meeting at Premabhai Hall, Ahmedabad


1938 Nov 6 The Industrial Workers' strike. The procession (under the leadership of Dr. Ambedkar, Nimkar, Dange, Pasulkar etc) was organized from Kamgar Maidan to Jambori Maidan , Worli. Dr. Ambedkar toured the workers' areas with Jamvadas Mehta


1938 Nov 10 Dr. Ambedkar moved a resolution for adoption of the methods for
birth-control in the Bombay Assembly


1938 Dec Dr. Ambedkar addressed the first D.C. Conference in Nizam'sdominion at Mahad


1939 In January, he delivered to the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics a lecture called *"Federation versus Freedom"*.

1939 During the debate over Congress's plan to leave the government in protest at not having been consulted about the declaration of war on Germany, Dr. Ambedkar made his own loyalties very clear: "Wherever there is any conflict of interests between the country and the Untouchables, so far as I am concerned, the Untouchables' interests will take precedence over the interests of the country. I am not going to support a tyrannising majority simply because it happens to speak in the name of the country.... As between the country and myself, the country will have precedence; as between the country and the Depressed Classes, the Depressed Classes will have precedence." (--*Keer*, p. 329.)

1939 In November, Congress left the government. Jinnah arranged the celebration of a "Day of Deliverance," and Dr. Ambedkar enthusiastically joined him. Dr. Ambedkar was careful to emphasize, however, that this was an anti-Congress rather than an anti-Hindu move; if Congress interpreted it as anti-Hindu, the reason could only be, he said, that Congress was a Hindu body after all. (--*Keer*, p. 330.)



1939 Jan 18 Dr. Ambedkar addressed a large gathering at Rajkot


1939 Jan 19 Ambedkar-Gandhi talks


1939 Jan 29 Kale Memorial Lecture of Gokhale School of Politics and Economics, Poona reviewing critically the All India Federation Scheme set out in the Govt, of India Act of

1939 July Dr. Ambedkar addressed a meeting organized fir Rohidas Vidya Committee


1939 Oct Ambedkar-Nehru first meeting


1939 Dec The Conference at Haregaon was held under the Presidentship of Dr. Ambedkar to voice the grievances of Mahar and Mahar WatandaYs



1940 May Dr. Ambedkar founded the ' Mahar Panchayat'


1940 July 22 Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose met Dr. Ambedkar in Bombay

1940 Dec Dr. Ambedkar published his Thoughts on Pakistan. The Second edition with the title Pakistan or Partition of India was issued in February 1945. A third impression of the book was published in 1946




1940 In December, Dr. Ambedkar published the first edition of his *"Thoughts on Pakistan"*. In this work he argued that though partition would be an unfortunate thing, it wouldn't be the worst possible outcome, and if the Muslims wanted it they had a perfect right to claim it.



1941 May 25 Mahar Dnyati Panchayat Samiti was formed by Dr. Ambedkar


1941 July 22 Dr. Ambedkar was appointed to sit on the Defense Advisory Committee


1941 Aug The Conference was held at Sinnar in protest of tax on Mahar Watans. Dr. Ambedkar launched a no-tax camp. He saw the Governor. Finally, the tax was abolished The Mumbai Elaka Conference of Maharashtra Mangs and Devdasis were organized under the Chairmanship of Dr. Ambedkar

1942 He founded his second political party, the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation, which didn't do so well in the elections of 1946. (--*Kadam*, p.115)

1942 Dr. Ambedkar was inducted into the Viceroy's Executive Council as Labour Member, a position which he held until his resignation in June 1946. His thoughtful comments in that forum cover *various topics* (see #6.). (--*Kadam*, p.115)

1942 Congress started the "Quit India" movement (discussion: *Abul Kalam Azad*; *Gandhi's original draft resolution*; *Sir Stafford Cripps's reply*; *The Hindu, August 1942*; *Manas*). Dr. Ambedkar severely criticized this move. He described it as "both irresponsible and insane, a bankruptcy of statesmanship and a measure to retrieve the Congress prestige that had gone down since the war started. It would be madness, he said, to weaken law and order art a time when the barbarians were at the gates." (--*Keer*, p. 354.)



1942 Apr Dr. Ambedkar founded the All India Scheduled Castes Federation in Nagpur


1942 July 18 Dr. Ambedkar addressed All India D.C. Conference at Nagpur


1942 July 20 Dr. Ambedkar joined the Victory's Executive Council as a Labour Member


1942 Dec Dr. Ambedkar submitted a paper on "The problems of the Untouchables in India" to the Institute of Pacific Relations at its Conference held in Canada. The paper is printed in the proceedings of the Conference. The paper was subsequently published in December 1943 in the boo Inform under the title Mr Gandhi and Emancipation of the Untouchables


1943 On January 19th he delivered the Presidential Address on the occasion of the 101st birth anniversary of Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade. It was published in book form in April, under the title *"Ranade, Gandhi, and Jinnah"*.

1943 In September he also prepared and published the vigorous memorandum, *"Mr. Gandhi and the Emancipation of the Untouchables"*.



1943 Jan 19 Dr. Ambedkar delivered a Presidential address on the occasion of the lOr' Birth Anniversary of Justice Mahadeo Govind Ranade. It is published in book form in April 1943 under the title Ranade, Gandhi andJinnah
1944 On January 29th, he presided over the second meeting of the Scheduled Caste Federation, in Kanpur; here is a report, sixty years later, by *Maren Bellwinkel-Schempp*.



1944 Dr. Ambedkar founded "The Building trust and the Scheduled Caste Improvement Trust"


1944 May 6 Dr. Ambedkar addressee the Annual Conference of the All India S.C. Federation at Parel (Bombay). The speech was later published under the title "The Communal Deadlock and a way to solve it"


1944 June Dr. Ambedkar published his book What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables a complefe compendium of information regarding the movement of the Untouchables for political safeguards. Dr. Ambedkar attended the Simla Conference


1944 July Dr. Ambedkar founded the "People's Education Society" in Bombay


1945 In February, he published a revised version of "Thoughts on Pakistan"; this second, expanded edition was called *"Pakistan; or Partition of India"*. A third edition of this book was published in 1946.

1945 On May 6th he addressed the Annual Conference of the All India Scheduled Caste Federation, held at Parel, Bombay. This speech was soon published as *"The Communal Deadlock and a Way to Solve It"*.

1945 In June, he published a political manifesto detailing the problems of dealing with Congress, and accusing it of many acts of betrayal: *"What Congress and Gandhi Have Done to the Untouchables"*. The next year, he published a second edition, with *major revisions in one chapter*.

1946 In June, he founded Siddharth College, in Bombay; it was a project of the People's Education Society, which he had founded in 1945. (--*Kadam*, pp. 116-17) Meanwhile, Gandhi made it clear that he did not have any use for such "graduates": *"Left-handed Compliment"* [--text courtesy of Joel Lee].



1946 Dr. Ambedkar gave evidence before the British Parliament delegation


1946 Apr Opening of Siddhartha College of Arts and Science in Bombay


1946 May The Bharat Bhushan Printing Press (founded by Dr Ambedkar) was burnt down in the clashes between D.C. and the Caste-Hindus


1946 June 20 Siddhartha College started


1946 Sept Dr. Ambedkar went to London to urge before the British Government and the Opposition Party the need to provide safeguards for the D.C. on grant of Independence to India.


1946 Oct Dr. Ambedkar published his Book Who were Shudras? An enquiry into how the Shudras came to be the fourth Varna in the Indo-Aryan Society Dr. Ambedkar was elected member of the Constitution Assembly of India



1946 Nov Dr. Ambedkar's first speech in the Constituent Assembly. He called for a 'strong and United India'


1946 In July, he exchanged letters with W. E. B. DuBois, comparing Untouchables with black Americans [site]. In October, he published *"Who Were the Shudras? How They Came to Be the Fourth Varna in the Indo-Aryan Society"*. He dedicated the book to the great early reformer Jotiba Phule (*site*).



1947 Mar Published 'States and Minorities ". A memorandum of Fundamental Rights. Minorities Rights, safeguards for the D.C. and on the problems of Indian States


1947 Apr 29 Article 17 of the Constitution of India for the abolition of Untouchables was moved by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the Constituent Assembly and it was passed


1947 Aug 15 India obtained her Independence.B,R. Ambedkar was elected to the Constituent Assembly by the Bombay Legislature Congress Party. Dr. Ambedkar joined Nehru's Cabinet. He became the first Law Minister of Independence India. The Constituent Assembly appointed him to the drafting Committee which elected him as a Chairman on 29* August 1947


1947 In March he published *"States and Minorities: What Are their Rights and How to Secure them in the Constitution of Free India"*, a memorandum on fundamental rights, minority rights, safeguards for the Depressed Classes, and the problems of Indian states.

1947 INDEPENDENCE and Partitioncame in August; Dr. Ambedkar accepted Nehru's invitation to become Minister of Law in the first Cabinet of independent India. On August 29th he was appointed Chairman of the Drafting Committee for the new Constitution.



1948 Feb Dr. Ambedkar completed the Draft Constitution of Indian Republic


1948 Apr 15 Second marriage - Dr. Ambedkar married Dr. Sharda Kabir in Delhi


1948 Oct Published his book The Untouchables. A thesis on the origin of Untouchablity. Dr. Ambedkar submitted his Memorandum "Maharashtra as a linguistic Province" to the Dhar Commission (The Linguistic Provinces Commission)


1948 Nov 4 Dr. Ambedkar presented Draft Constitution to Constituent Assembly


1948 Nov 20 The Constitution Assembly adopted Article 17 of the Constitution for the abolition of Untouchability

1948 In the last week of February, the Draft Constitution was submitted for public discussion and debate: *Constitutional discussions and debates* (see #7).

1948 On April 15th, Dr. Ambedkar married Dr. Sharda Kabir (a Saraswat Brahmin) in Delhi; she adopted the name Savita. He was now diabetic and increasingly ill, and she took care of him for the rest of his life.

1948 In October, he prepared a memorandum on *"Maharashtra as a Linguistic Province"*, expressing his views for submission to the Linguistic Provinces Commission.

1948 He published *"The Untouchables: a Thesis on the Origin of Untouchability"*(New Delhi: Amrit Book Company), as a sequel to his book on the Shudras. As always on this subject, he wrote with passion. In the Preface he said, "The Hindu Civilisation.... is a diabolical contrivance to suppress and enslave humanity. Its proper name would be infamy. What else can be said of a civilisation which has produced a mass of people... who are treated as an entity beyond human intercourse and whose mere touch is enough to cause pollution?"

1948 In November, the Draft *Constitution* with its 315 articles and 8 schedules was formally introduced to the Constituent Assembly. Dr. Ambedkar concluded his speech: "I feel that the Constitution is workable; it is flexible and it is strong enough to hold the country together both in peace time and in war time. Indeed, if I may say so, if things go wrong under the new Constitution the reason will not be that we had a bad Constitution. What we will have to say is that Man was vile." (--*Keer*, p.410.)

1949 In November, the Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution, including Article 17, which formally abolished untouchability.



1949 Jan Dr. Ambedkar, Law Minister of India visited Hyderabad (Deccan)


1949 Jan 15 Dr. Ambedkar was presented with a Purse at Manmad by his admires. He addressed a large gathering


1949 Jan 21 He stayed at Aurangabad in connection with his opening proposed College. During the stay he visited Ajanta-Ellora Caves


1949 Mar/May Dr. Ambedkar visited Bombay in connection with College Work and for a medical check-up


1949 Sept Meeting between Dr. Ambedkar and Madhavrao Golvalkar,


1949 Nov Dr. Ambedkar came to Bombay for college work meeting and medical check-up


1949 Nov 25 Dr. Ambedkar addressed the Constituent Assembly


1949 Nov 26 Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution. Dr. Ambedkar came to Bombay for check-up




1950 Dr. Ambedkar gave several addresses about Buddhism; in May, he flew to Colombo (*site*), in Sri Lanka, to pursue further Buddhist connections. Here is a modern scholar's view: *"Pragmatism, Persuasion, and Force in Bhimrao Ambedkar's Reconstruction of Buddhism"*.



1950 Jan 11 Dr. Ambedkar addressed the Siddharth College Parliament on the Hindu Code Bill. In the evening he was presented with a silver casket containing a copy of the Indian Consitution at NAre Park Maidan, Bombay


1950 May Dr. Ambedkar's article 'The Buddha and the Future His Religion' was published in the journal of Mahabodhi Society, Calcutta. Dr. Ambedkar addressed the Young Men's Buddhist Association on 'The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women'. Dr. Ambedkar spoke on the 'Merits of Buddhism' at the meeting arranged on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti, in Delhi


1950 Sept 1 Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of Indian Republic laid the foundation stone of Milind Maha Vidyalaya, Aurangabad. Dr. Ambedkar delivered a speech on the occasion (The printed speech is available with Mr. Surwade)


1950 Dec Dr. Ambedkar went to Colombo as a Delegate to the World Buddhist Conference



1951 In February, he introduced in Parliament the "Hindu Code Bill" that he had drafted, which included greatly expanded rights for women; it proved very controversial, and consideration of it was postponed: *on the Hindu Code Bill* (see #8). (--*Kadam*, pp. 121-22)

1951 In September, Dr. Ambedkar resigned from the Cabinet, embittered over the failure of Nehru and the Congress to back the Hindu Code Bill as they had earlier pledged to do. He became the *Leader of the Opposition* (see #9.) Discussion: *The Hindu*; *Time Magazine*. (--*Kadam*, pp. 121-22)



1951 Feb 5 Law Ambedkar, Law Minister announced his "Hindu Code Bill" in the Parliament


1951 Apr 15 Dr. Ambedkar laid the foundation stone of "Dr. Ambedkar Bhavan", Delhi


1951 July Dr. Ambedkar founded "The Bharatiya Buddha Jansangh"


1951 Sept Dr. Ambedkar compiled a Buddhist prayer book Buddha Upasana Patha


1951 Sept 9 Dr Ambedkar resigned from the Nehru Cabinet because, among other reasons, the withdrawal of Cabinet support to the declaration in the Parliament by the Prime Minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, that his Government would stand or fall with the Hindu Code Bill. Apart from this Neliru announced that he will sink or swfm with Hindu code Bill Dr Ambedkar published his speech in book form under the title The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women


1951 Sept 19 The marriage and divorce Bill was discussed in the Parliament


1951 Oct 11 Dr Ambedkar left the Cabinet


1952 Dr. Ambedkar received an honorary L.L.D. degree from Columbia University as part of its Bicentennial Special Convocation. The President described him as "one of India's leading citizens--a great social reformer and a valiant upholder of human rights."

1952 Jan Dr Ambedkar was defeated in the first Lok Sabha elections held under the Constitution of India Republic. Congress candidate N S Kajrolkar defeated Dr Ambedkar



1952 Mar Dr Ambedkar was introduced into Parliament as a member of the Council (Rajya Sabha) of States, representing Bombay


1952 June 1 Dr Ambedkar left for New York from Bombay





1952 June 14 Ambedkar returned to Bombay from America after receiving Doctor of Law from Columbia University.

1952 June 15 Columbia University (USA) conferred the honorary Degree of LL.D. ihits Bi- Centennial Celebrations Special Convocation held in New York



1952 Dec 16 Dr Ambedkar addressed Annual Social Gathering of Elphinstone College, Bombay


1952 Dec 22 Dr Ambedkar delivered a talk on "Conditions precedent to the Successful working of Democracy" at the Bar Council, Pune

1953 His political thinking included analysis of the issue of linguistic states; he published *"Need for Checks and Balances"* (Times of India, April 23, 1953) on this question. In 1955, he was still working on the subject, as the preface (dated Dec. 23, 1955) to *"Thoughts on Linguistic States"* testified.


1953 Jan 12 The Osmania University conferred the honorary Degree of LL.D. in Dr Ambedkar


1953 Mar The Untouchability (offences) Bill was introduced in the Parliament by the Nehru Government


1953 Apr Dr Ambedkar contested the By-Election for Lok Sabha from Bhandara Constituency of Vidarbha Religion but was defeated by Congress Candidate Mr Borkar


1953 May Opening of Siddhartha College of Commerce and Economics in Bombay


1953 Dec Dr Ambedkar inaugurated the All India Conference of Sai devotees at the St Xavier's Mai dan Parel Bombay (His inaugural speech is available with Mr Surwade)



1954 In the midst of his round of (increasingly embittered) Parliamentary and other activity, his health gave way; he was confined to bed for two months.

1954 While dedicating a new Buddhist vihara near Poona, Dr. Ambedkar announced that he was writing a book on Buddhism, and that as soon as it was finished, he planned to make a formal conversion to Buddhism. He also claimed that the image of Vithoba at Pandharpur (*site*) was in reality an image of the Buddha, and said that he would write a thesis to prove this claim. (--*Keer*, p. 482.)



1954 May Ambedkar visited Rangoon to attend the function arranged on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti


1954 June The Mahraraja of Mysore donated 5 acres of land for Dr Ambedkar proposed Buddhist Seminary to be started at Bangalore


1954 Sept 16 Dr Ambedkar spoke on the Untouchability (Offences) Bill in the Rajya Sabha


1954 Oct 3 Dr Ambedkar broadcast his talk on "My Personal Philosophy"


1954 Oct 29 Shn R D Bhandare, President of Bombay Pradesh S.C.Federation presented a purse of Rs 118,000 on behalf of S.C.F. to Dr Ambedkar at Purandare Stadium, Naigaum (Bombay)


1954 Dec Dr Ambedkar participated as a delegate of the 3"'^ World Buddhist Conference at Rangoon


1954 Dec 25 Dr Ambedkar installed an istatue of Buddha at Dehu Road (near Pune)



1955 Apr 3 Delivered a speech "Why Religion is necessary"


1955 May 4 Dr Ambedkar established Bhartiya Buddha Mahasabha (The Buddhist Society of India)


1955 Aug Founded "Mumbai Rajya Kanishtha Garkamgari Association"


1955 Dec 23 Published his opinions on linguistic states in book form under the title Thoughts on linguistic States


1955 Dec 27 Dr Ambedkar spoke against reservation of seats in the State and Central Legislatures


1956 Dr. Ambedkar brought the manuscript of *"The Buddha and His Dhamma"* to completion. "In February 1956 two new chapters are added to it: 'There is no god'; 'There is no soul'.... On March 15, 1956, Ambedkar wrote the Preface to his book in his own handwriting and dictated it to Rattu [his secretary]." Printing began in May, but was slowed by constant last-minute revisions of the proofs. (--*Keer*, pp. 488-489, 491.)

1956 From June to October, he was bedridden in his Delhi residence. His eyes were failing, he suffered from side effects of the drugs he was given for his diabetes, he felt deeply depressed.

1956 His formal conversion took place on Oct. 14th in Nagpur, a town selected for reasons he explained in his moving speech, *"Why Was Nagpur Chosen?"*. Many thousands of Mahars and other Dalits accepted Buddhism along with him.

1956 In November, he flew to Kathmandu to attend the Fourth World Buddhist Conference.

1956 Dec. 2, he completed the manuscript of *"The Buddha or Karl Marx"*, his last finished work, and gave it for typing.

1956 On the night of Dec. 5 or the early morning of Dec. 6, he died quietly in his sleep; on Dec. 7 there was a huge Buddhist-style funeral procession in Bombay, and he was cremated on the seashore.

1956 Feb Dr Ambedkar completed his The Buddha and His Dhamma, Revolution & Counter-revolution in Ancient India



1956 Mar 15 Dr Ambedkar wrote and dictated the preface of The Buddha and his Dhamma


1956 May 1 Dr Ambedkar spoke on Linguistic states in the Council of States Dr Ambedkar spoke on BBC London on "Why I like Buddhism Also, he spoke for Voice of America on "The Future of Indian Democracy"


1956 May 24 Dr Ambedkar attended a meeting at Nare Park organized on the eve of Buddha Jayanti, Shri B G Kher, Prime Minister of Bombay was Chief Guest. This meeting was the last meeting of Dr Ambedkar in Bombay


1956 June Opening of Siddharth College of Law in Bombay


1956 Oct 14 Dr Ambedkar embraced Buddhism at an historic ceremony at Diksha Bhoomi, Nagpur with his millions of followers. Announced to desolve S.C.F, and established Republican Party

24 Oct 1956 RPI was founded by Ambedkar


1956 Nov 20 Delegate, 4* World Buddhist Conference, Khalinandu, where he delivered his famous speech 'Buddha or Karl Marx'


1956 Dec 6 Maha Nirvana at his residence, 26 Alipore Road, New Delhi


1956 Dec 7 Cremation at Dadar Chowpatti - Now known as Chaitya Bhoomi, Dadar (Bombay)

1957 *"The Buddha and His Dhamma"*, Dr. Ambedkar's own version of a Buddhist scripture for his people, was posthumously published, by Siddharth College Publications, Bombay.

1957 and beyond A number of unfinished typescripts and handwritten drafts were found among his notes and papers and gradually made available. Among these were *"Waiting for a Visa"*, which probably dates from 1935-36, and *"Untouchables, or the Children of India's Ghetto"*, which refers to the census of 1951 and so must be quite late; other unpublished fragments as well will be found on the *ambedkar.org* website.



1991 At Columbia University's Ambedkar Centenary Celebration, Prof. David Lelyveld gives a talk about his achievements: *"Burning up the Dharmasastras: Group Identity and Social Justice in the Thought of B. R. Ambedkar"*. And Prof. Eleanor Zelliot gives a talk called *"Dr. Ambedkar in America"*.

1995 *Mrs. Savita Ambedkar visits Columbia*, on the occasion of the installation of a bust of Dr. Ambedkar.

2004 Columbia University honors Dr. Ambedkar in the course of its *250th birthday celebration*.

2009 Columbia University honors Dr. Ambedkar with a conference on *"Caste, Ambedkar, and Contemporary India"*. Associated with the conference is an online *area studies exhibit* by the Columbia University Libraries.



LIST OF INSTITUTIONS UNDER

PEOPLE'S EDUCATION SOCIETY
University affiliated colleges
1. Siddharth College of Arts and Science, Bombay (Estd, 1946)
2. Siddharth College of Commerce and Economics, Bombay. (Estd. 1953)
3. Siddharth College of Law, Bombay. (Estd. 1956)
4. Milind College of Science , Aurangabad (Estd. 1950)
5. Dr. Ambedkar College of Commerce , Aurangabad (Estd. 1960)
6. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Mahad,
Dist: Kolaba (Estd. 1961).
7. Dr. Ambedkar College of Law, Aurangabad (Estd. 1968)
8. Milind College of Arts, Aurangabad (Estd. 1962).
9. Dr. Ambedkar's College of Commerce and Economics (Estdl 978)
Diploma Institutes
1. Siddharth Institute of Commerce, Bombay (Estd. 1965)
2. Siddharth College of Mass Communications and Media, Bombay
(Estd. 1965)
3. Siddharth Institute of Industry and Administration, Bombay (Estd. 1967)


High Schools
1. Siddharth Night High School, Bombay (Estd. 1947)
2. Milind Multipurpose High School, Aurangabad (Estd. 1955)
3. Matoshri Ramabai Ambedkar High School, Aurangabad. (Estd. 1965)
4. Gautam Vidyalaya, Pandhai-pur (Estd. 1974)
5. Milind School, Aurangabad(Estd. 1975)
6. P.E.S. Marathi Primaiy School, Bombay (Estd. 1978)
7. Nagsen Vidyalaya Prunaiy School, Nanded (Estd. 1981)
8. People's Education K.G. School,
Bangalore (Estd. 1984)
9. PES English Medium School, Pune (Estd. 1985)
10. MUind Balwadi, Aurangabad (Estd. 1999)


Backward Classes Hostels
1. Shri Gadge Maharaj Vidyarthi Vasatigriha, Pandharpur. (Taken over by the
Society in 1949)
2. Matoshri Ramabai Ambedkar Vidyarthi Ashram, Dapoli. (Taken over by
the Society in 1962)


Centres
1. Buddhist Centre, Aurangabad (Estd, 1964)
2. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial Research Centre, "Rajgriha" , Dadar,
Bombay. (Estd. 1967)


Backward Classes Hostels Aided by the Society
1. Dr. Ambedkar Vidyarthi Ashram, Manmad, Dist, Nasik.
2. Shikshan Prasarak Ambedkar Vidyarthi Ashram Nandurbar, Dist: Dhulia.
3. Deenbandhu Ambedkar Vidyarthi Ashram Chalisgaon, Dist: Jalgaon.
4. Vidya Vikas Boarding, Nipani , Dist: Belgaum, Mysore State.
5. Sayajirao Vidyarthi Bhuvan, Patan, Gujarat State.
6. Siddharth Chhatralaya, Dholka, Gujarat State.
7. Backward Class Hostel, Poona.
8. Subhedar Savadkar Vidyarthi Ashram, Mahad, Dist: Kolaba.
9. Kanya Chhatralaya, Challisgaon, Dist: Jalgaon.




EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF
DR. BABASAHEB AMBEDKAR


1891 Apr 14 Bom at Mhow (Madhya Pradesh), the fourteenth child of Subehdar Ramji Sapkal and Mrs Bhimabai Ambedkar.


1896 Death of the mother, Mrs. Bhimabai Ambedkar

bhimabai ramji sakpal (murbadkar)
Birthdate: estimated between 1822 and 1854
Death: between January 01, 1854 and circa January 01, 1896
Immediate Family:
Daughter of major murbadkar, subedar major
Wife of ramji maloji sakpal, subedar major
Mother of child 1 sakpal; child 2 sakpal; child3 sakpal; child 4 sakpal; child 5 sakpal and 9 others



November 7, 1900 Ambedkar First joined Primary school at Depoli village in Konkan district Then moved to Pratapsingh High School in the Maharashtra's Satara distric. on November 7, 1900. ... got enrolled in school, the Maharashtra government has directed its schools and junior colleges in ...


1904 Entered the Elphistone High School at Bombay


1906 Married Ramabai, daughter of Mr. Bhiku Walangkar, one of the relations of Gopal Baba Walangkar


1907 Passed Matriculation Examination, secured 382 marks out of 750


1908 Jan Honoured in a meeting presided over by Shri S K Bole, Shri K A (Dada) Keluskar Guruji presented a book on the life of Gautam Buddha written by him



1912 Bhimrao (*an early photo*) passed the B.A. Examination (special subjects: Economics and Politics) from Bombay University, and prepared to take a position in the administration of Baroda State (*Imperial Gazetteer*; *Imperial Gazetteer map*). His oldest son, Yashwant, was born. (*Kadam*, p.71.)

1912 Dec 12 Birth of the son Yeshwant

1913 Jan Passed B A Examination with Persian and English from University of Bombay, secured 449 marks out of 1000
1913 He had barely begun at his new post when he learned by telegram that his father was gravely ill; he rushed home just in time for a last farewell. "It was February 2, 1913, the saddest day in Bhimrao Ambedkar's life." (*Keer*, p. 24.)

1913 Jun 4 Selected as Gaekwad Scholar on agrrement to serve 10 years in Baroda State. Ambedkar was one of the four students selected by Baroda ruler Sayaji Rao Gaekwad.

1913 July He left for USA by sea in third week of July 1913.

1913 The Gaekwar of Baroda announced his decision to offer scholarships to send students for higher education at Columbia University. A scholarship of 11.50 British pounds a month, for three years, was awarded to the young Ambedkar. (*Kadam*, p.72.)

1913 Receives Baroda State Scholarship to join the Political Science Department of the Columbia University as a Post Graduate Student where he worked under Professors Seligman, Clark, Seager, Moore, Mitchell, Chadwick, Simkovitch, Giddings, Dewey and Goldenweiser." (Source: a curriculum vitae from the 1920's, preserved in the Columbia University archives, that was almost certainly prepared by Dr. Ambedkar himself.) NOTE: he was in fact admitted to the Graduate School in general (things were less compartmentalized in those days) and not formally to a "political science department."

1913 Arriving in New York during the third week in July, Bhimrao was housed in Hartley Hall (*site*). But he didn't care for the food, and only stayed for a week. In August he moved from Hartley Hall to "Cosmopolitan Club" (554 West 114th Street) (*photo*; *New York Times article*), a housing club maintained by a group of Indian students. He finally settled in a dormitory, Livingston Hall (since renamed Wallach Hall (*photo*), with his friend Naval Bhathena, a Parsi; the two remained friends for life. (*Keer*, pp. 26-27.)

1914 In later years, he told his biographer about his early months in New York--how he had at first enjoyed the social side of campus life, but then one night made a firm resolve, and started studying in dead earnest....

"'The best friends I have had in life,' Dr. Ambedkar says, 'were some of my classmates at Columbia and my great professors, John Dewey, James Shotwell, Edwin Seligman, and James Harvey Robinson.'" (Source: "'Untouchables' Represented by Ambedkar, '15AM, '28PhD," Columbia Alumni News, Dec. 19, 1930, page 12; from the Columbia University archives.)

At Columbia: Prof. John Dewey: One of the major philosophers of education of the twentieth century, John Dewey (1859-1952) (*site*) became one of the young Ambedkar's heroes. Writing in 1936, Ambedkar referred to the work of "Prof. John Dewey, who was my teacher and to whom I owe so much." (--*Annihilation of Caste, Section 25*). There is much evidence of Dr. Ambedkar's admiration for Dewey, including *the annotated books in his personal library*. Here is one modern scholar's view: *"The like-mindedness of Dewey and Ambedkar"*.

At Columbia: Profs. Shotwell and Robinson: Another of the young Ambedkar's mentors, Prof. James Shotwell (1874-1965) (*site*) was a Barnard historian who specialized in international relations, and a former student of Prof. James Harvey Robinson (1863-1936) (*site*), Barnard's first historian-- who himself was another of the mentors named by Dr. Ambedkar.

At Columbia: Prof. Edwin Seligman: A friend of Lala Lajpat Rai (*site*), the well-known economist Edwin R. A. Seligman (1861-1939) (*site*) became a particularly sympathetic mentor to the young Ambedkar, who continued to correspond with him for years.

At Columbia: coursework: During Ambedkar's time at Columbia he would sit for hours studying in *Low Library*; the rotunda then housed the main reading room. His *coursework* during his three years (including summers) at Columbia consisted of: 29 courses in economics, 11 in history, 6 in sociology, 5 in philosophy, 4 in anthropology, 3 in politics, and 1 each in elementary French and German. (Source: Office of the Registrar, Columbia University.)

"[Parents] can mold the destiny of children, and if we but follow this principle, be sure that we shall soon see better days; and our progress will be greatly accelerated if male education is pursued side by side with female education, the fruits of which you can very well see verified in your own daughter," Ambedkar wrote from New York in a Marathi letter to a friend of his father. "Let your mission therefore be to educate and preach the idea of education to those at least who are near to and in close contact with you." (*Keer*, pp. 26-27.)

1915 The young graduate student passed his M.A. exam in June, majoring in Economics, with Sociology, History, Philosophy, and Anthropology as other subjects of study; he presented a thesis, *"Ancient Indian Commerce"*. For his outstanding achievement, he was honored by students and professors of the Faculty of Arts at a special dinner. In 1916 he offered another M.A. thesis, "National Dividend of India--A Historic and Analytical Study"; it was this one that later became the nucleus of his Ph.D. dissertation. (*Keer*, p. 29.)



1915 May 15. He wrote thesis Entitled "Administration and Finance in Eat India Company" for MA.



1915 June 2 Passed M A Examination majoring in Economics and with Sociology, History, Philosophy, Anthropology and Politics as the other subjects of study

1916 On May 9th, he read his paper *"Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis, and Development"* before a seminar conducted by the anthropologist Prof. Alexander Goldenweiser (1880-1940) (*site*). Dr. Ambedkar was very proud of this paper, and remained so. He promptly got it published in the Indian Antiquary (May 1917). As late as 1936 he wrote that only shortage of time prevented him from reworking Annihilation of Caste so as to include in it this early seminar paper (Preface to the 3rd edition, Annihilation of Caste).

1916 In June he went to London, and in October he was admitted to Gray's Inn (*site*) for Law, and to the London School of Economics and Political Science (*site*) for Economics, where he was allowed to start work on a doctoral thesis. He often worked in the British Library Reading Room (*site*).



1916 May 9 Read a paper on 'The Castes in India' before Prof Goldenweiser's Anthropology Seminar. The paper was later published in The Indian Antiquary in May 1917. it was also republished in the form of a brochure, the first published work of Dr Ambedkar.


1916 June Wrote a Thesis entitled 'The National Dividend of India - A Historical and Analytical Study' for the Ph D Degree


1916 June Left Columbia University after completing work for the Ph D to join the London School of Economics and Political Science London as a graduate student



1916 Oct Admitted to Gray' Inn , London for Law.

1917 The term of his scholarship from Baroda ended, so that he was obliged to go back to India in June with his work unfinished; he was, however, given permission to return and finish within four years. He sent his precious and much-loved collection of books back on a steamer--but it was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine. (*Keer*, p. 32.)

1917 He was appointed Military Secretary to the Gaikwar of Baroda; he had agreed to join the Baroda service as a condition of his scholarship. But this experience was not a happy one. Even to reach Baroda, he had to pay his own expenses; to meet these expenses he used the damages paid by Thomas Cook and Company for his torpedoed luggage. And when he arrived in Baroda, things went from bad to worse:

"My five years of staying in Europe and America had completely wiped out of my mind any consciousness that I was an untouchable, and that an untouchable wherever he went in India was a problem to himself and to others. But when I came out of the station, my mind was considerably disturbed by a question, 'Where to go? Who will take me?'....[the story is continued in Part Two of Waiting for a Visa)

1917 Meeting in Calcutta with Annie Besant (*site*) as its President (*site*), for the first time in its history the Indian National Congress adopted a resolution endorsing "the justice and righteousness of removing all disabilities imposed by custom upon the Depressed Classes." (*Kadam*, p.74.)



1917 June 8 Columbia university conferred a Degree of Ph D


1917 June Returned to India after spending a year in London working on the Thesis for the M Sc (Econ.) degree. The return, before completion of the work, was necessitated by the termination the Scholarship granted by the Baroda State


1917 July Appointed Military Secretary to the Maharaja of Baroda with a view to being groomed for the post of the State Finance Minister.


1917 Nov But left shortly due to ill treatment meted out to him because of his lowly caste. Published 'Small Holdings in Indian and Their Remedies'

1918 After the Baroda fiasco, he tried to find ways to make a living for his growing family. With the help of Parsi friends, he became a private tutor, and found some work as an accountant. He also started an investment consulting business, but it failed when his clients learned that he was an untouchable. (*Keer*, pp. 37-38.)

1918 Finally he became Professor of Political Economy in the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics (*site*), in Bombay. (This position came about through the recommendation of his London acquaintance, Lord Sydenham, former Governor of Bombay.) He was mostly successful with his students, but some of the other professors objected to his sharing the same drinking-water jug that they all used. (*Keer*, p. 39.)

1918 In the new Journal of Indian Economics (1,1), he reviewed a book by Bertrand Russell: *"Mr Russell and the Reconstruction of Society"*. And in the new Journal of the Indian Economic Society (1,2-3) he published *"Small Holdings in India and Their Remedies"*.


1918 Gave evidence before the Southborough Commission on Franchise Attended the Conference of the depressed Classes held at Nagpur

1919 He testified both orally and in writing before the Southborough Committee (*site*), which was investigating franchise matters in the light of the planned Montagu-Chelmsford reforms. He demanded separate electorates and reserved seats for the untouchables: "The real social divisions of India then are: (1) Touchable Hindus. (2) Untouchable Hindus. (3) Mohammedans. (4) Christians. (5) Parsees. (6) Jews." (--from the *transcript* of the proceedings, Jan. 27, 1919). Discussion: *Chandrabhan Prasad*; *Syed Amjad Ali*.

1919 Nov (11 Nov 1918-1920) Professor of Political Economy in the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, Bombay



1920 Jan 31 Started a Marathi Weekly paper Mooknayak to champion the cause of the depressed classes. Shri Nandram Bhatkar was the editor, later Shri Dyander Gholap was the editor


1920 Mar 21 Attended depressed classes Conference


1920 Mar Resigned professorship at Sydenham College to resume his studies in London


1920 May Memorable speech in Nagpur, criticized Karmaveer Shinde and Depressed Classes Mission


1920 Again left for London to complete his studies.


1920 Sept Rejoined the London School of Economics. Also entered Gray's Inn to read for the Bar


1921 June The thesis 'Provincial Decentralisation of Imperial Finance in British India' was accepted for M Sc (Econ) Degree by the London University


1922 Oct Spent some time in reading economics in the University of Bonn in Germany


1923 Mar The Thesis 'The Problem of the Rupee-Its origin and its solution'
was accepted for the degree of D Sc (Econ) University of London . The thesis was
published in December 1923 by P S King & Company, London.




1923 Called to the Bar


1923 Apr Returned to India


1924 June Started practice in the Bombay high Court


1924 July 20 Founded the 'Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha' for the uplift of the depressed classes. The aims of the Sabha were educate, agitate, organize


1925 Published ' The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India - dissertation on the provincial decentralization of Imperial Finance in India'


1926 Gave evidence before the Royal Commission on Indian Currency (Hilton Young Commission) Nominated Member of the Bombay Legislative Council


1927 Mar 20 Started Satyagraha at Mahad (Dist - Kolaba) to secure to the untouchables the Right of access to the Chavdar Tank


1927 Apr 3 Started a fortnightly Marathi paper Bahiskrit Bharat Dr Ambedkar himself was the editor


1927 Sept Established 'Samaj Samata Sangh'


1927 Dec Second Conference in Mahad


1928 Mar Introduced the "Vatan Bill" in the Bombay Legislative Council


1928 May Gave evidence before the Indian Statutory Committee (Simon Commission)


1928 June Professor, Government Law College Bombay Principal, Government Law College Bombay


1928-9 Member, Bombay Presidency Committee of the Simon Committee

1930 Mar Satyagraha at Kalaram Temple, Nasik to secure for the Untouchables the right of entry into the temple


1930 Aug. 8, Dr. Ambedkar presided over the Depressed Classes Congress at Nagpur, and made a major speech: he endorsed Dominion status, and criticized Gandhi's Salt March and civil disobedience movement as inopportune; but he also criticized British colonial misgovernment, with its famines and immiseration. He argued that the "safety of the Depressed Classes" hinged on their "being independent of the Government and the Congress" both: "We must shape our course ourselves and by ourselves." His conclusion emphasized self-help: "Political power cannot be a panacea for the ills of the Depressed Classes. Their salvation lies in their social elevation. They must cleanse their evil habits. They must improve their bad ways of living.... They must be educated.... There is a great necessity to disturb their pathetic contentment and to instil into them that divine discontent which is the spring of all elevation." (-- *Keer*, pp. 141-143.)

1930 Dr. Ambedkar was invited by the Viceroy to be a delegate to the Round Table Conference, and left for London in October. He participated extensively in the work of the Round Table Conference, often submitting *written statements of his views*. His views at the time were described in an unpublished manuscript later found among his papers: *"The Untouchables and the Pax Britannica"*.

1930 "PRINCE AND OUTCAST AT DINNER IN LONDON END AGE-OLD BARRIER: Gaekwar of Baroda is Host to 'Untouchable' and Knight of High Hindu Caste..." (*...from an article in the New York Times, Nov. 30, 1930*).

"But I tell you that the Congress is not sincere about its professions. Had it been sincere, it would have surely made the removal of untouchability a condition, like the wearing of khaddar, for becoming a member of the Congress." On August 14th, 1931, Dr. Ambedkar met with Gandhi for the first time. From Gandhi's side, *their discussion* was an absent-minded rebuke that seemed to be more in sorrow than in anger; from Ambedkar's side, it was an outburst of passionate reproach.

1932 The All-Indian Depressed Classes Conference, held at Kamtee near Nagpur on May 6th, backed Dr. Ambedkar's demand for separate electorates, rejecting compromises proposed by others.

1932 Gandhi, in Yeravda jail, started a fast to the death against the separate electorates granted to the Depressed Classes by Ramsay MacDonald's Communal Award. By September 23, a very reluctant Dr. Ambedkar was obliged by the pressure of this moral blackmail to accept representation through joint electorates instead. The result was the *Poona Pact*. In 1933, Gandhi replaced his journal "Young India" with a new one called "Harijan," and undertook a 21-day "self-purification fast" against untouchability (*Gandhi timeline*).



1930-32 Delegate, Round Table Conference representing Untouchables of India . These started in November 1930 and ended in December 1932.


1932 Sept Signed with Mr. M.K. Gandhi the Poona Pact giving up, to save Gandhi's life. Separate electorates granted to the Depressed Classes by Ramsay MacDonald's Communal Award, and accepting, instead, representation through joint electorates



1932-4 Member joint Parliamentary Committee on the Indian Constitutional Reform


1933 Dr. Ambedkar participated in the work of the *Joint Committee on Indian Legislative Reform*, examining a number of significant witnesses.

1934 Left Parel, Damodar Hall and came to stay in 'Rajgriha' Dadar (Bombay). This was done in order to get more accommodation for his library which was increasing day by day

1934 "In the year 1934, some of my co-workers in the movement of the depressed classes expressed a desire to go on a sight-seeing tour... [the story is continued in Part Four of Waiting for a Visa).

1935 Dr. Ambedkar was appointed Principal of the Government Law College, and became a professor there as well; he held these positions for two years. (--*Kadam*, p.106)

1935 In May, Dr. Ambedkar's wife Ramabai died after a long illness. Her great wish had been to make a pilgrimage to Pandharpur, but since as an untouchable she would not have been allowed to enter the temple, her husband had never allowed her to go.

1 935 On Oct. 13th, Dr. Ambedkar presided over the Yeola Conversion Conference, held in Yeola, in Nasikh District (*Imperial Gazetteer*; *Imperial Gazetteer map*). He advised the Depressed Classes to abandon all agitation for temple-entry privileges; instead, they should leave Hinduism entirely and embrace another religion. He vowed, "I solemnly assure you that I will not die as a Hindu." (--*Keer*, p. 253.)

1935 The struggle for social justice began to receive increasing attention and support from progressive writers. Mulk Raj Anand's powerful novel "Untouchable" (1935) was followed by "Coolie" (1936), with a foreword by E. M. Forster; both works called international attention to caste and class injustices (*K. Satchidanandan*; *Andrew M. Stracuzzi*). In Hindi, there was the work of Premchand (*Premchand*).



1935 May 26 Death of wife, Mrs. Ramabai Ambedkar


1935 June Dr. Ambedkar was appointed as Principal of Government Law College, Bombay. He was also appointed Perry Professor of Jurisprudence


1935 Oct 13 Historical Yeola Conversion Conference held under the Presidentship of Dr. Ambedkar at yeola Dist., Nasik. He exhorted the Depressed Classes to leave Hinduism embrace another religioin. He declared: 'I was bom as a Hindu but I will not die as Hindi'. He also advised his followers to abandon the Kalaram Mandir entry Satyagraha, Nasik


1935 Dec Dr. 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' the conference was cancelled by the Mandal on the ground that Dr. Ambedkar's thoughts were revolutionary. Finally, Dr. Ambedkar refused to preside and published his speech in book form in 1937


1935. Dr. Ambedkar was elected Member of Bombay Legislative Assembly (Total Seats 175. reserved Seats 15. Dr. Ambedkar's Independent Labour Party won 17 seats)

1935 In December, Dr. Ambedkar was invited by the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal of Lahore (*Imperial Gazetteer*; *Imperial Gazetteer map,*), a caste-reform organization, to preside over its annual conference in the spring of 1936.

1935/6 He composed (or began to compose?), but did not publish, a brief, moving, and largely autobiographical memoir called *Waiting for a Visa*.

1936 On April 13-14th, he addressed the Sikh Mission Conference in Amritsar (*Imperial Gazetteer*; *Imperial Gazetteer map*), and reiterated his intention of renouncing Hinduism.

1936 In late April, the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal realized the radical nature of its guest's planned speech, and withdrew its earlier invitation. On May 15th, Dr. Ambedkar published the speech he would have given, with an introductory account of the whole controversy. The result, a slim little book called *The Annihilation of Caste*, became (in)famous at once.

1936 On May 31st, Dr. Ambedkar addressed the Mumbai Elaka Mahar Parishad (Bombay Mahar Society), during a meeting at Naigaum (Dadar), in Bombay. He spoke in Marathi, to his own people, with vividness and poignancy: *"What Path to Salvation?"*. This was the only time he addressed an audience expressly limited to Mahars. [--Eleanor Zelliot, personal communication, Jan. 2005] Meanwhile, Gandhi was formulating his own highly eccentric view of *"The Ideal Bhangi"* [--text courtesy of Joel Lee].

1936 In August, he founded his first political party, the Independent Labour Party, which contested 17 seats in the 1937 General Elections, and won 15. (--*Kadam*, pp.109-10)



1936 Jan 11-2 The Depressed Classes Conference was held at Pune Dr. Ambedkar reiterated his resolve of the Yeola Conference to leave Hinduism. The conference was presided over by Rav Bahadur N. Shina Raj


1936 Feb 29 Dr. Ambedkar's Conversion Resolution was supported by the Chambars (Cobblers) of East Khandesh


1936 May 30 Bombay Presidency Conversion Conference (Mumbai i'. :'< Mahar Parishad) of Mahars was held at Naigaum (Dadar) to sound their opinion on the issue of Conversion. Mr. Subha Rao popularly known as Hyderabad! Ambedkar, presided over the Conference. In the morning the Asietics shaved their beards, moustaches and destroyed their symbols of Hinduism in an Ascetic's Conference


1936 June 15 Conference of Devdasis was held in Bombay to support Dr. Ambedkar's Resolution of Conversion


1936 June 18 Dr. Ambedkar- talks on conversion - Pro Sikkhism


1936 June 23 Matang Parishad in support of Conversion


1936 Aug Dr. Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour Party, a strong opposition party in Bombay's Legislative Council


1936 Sept 18 Dr. Ambedkar sent a delegation of 13 members to the Golden Temple Amritsar to study Sikkhism

1936 Nov 11 Dr. Ambedkar left for Geneva and London


1936 The Maharaja of Travancore (*Imperial Gazetteer*; *Gazetteer map*) issued a proclamation allowing temple entry to the Depressed Classes; this was the first such event in modern India. (--*Kadam*, p.110)

1937 Dr. Ambedkar published the second edition of *"The Annihilation of Caste"*, adding a concluding appendix that featured a debate with Gandhi over the speech. This work remained a bestseller, going through many editions in the coming years--and exciting much controversy. "It was logic on fire, pinching and pungent, piercing and fiery, provocative and explosive." (--*Keer*, p. 269.)



1937 Dr. Ambedkar organized the 'Municipal Workers' Union' in Bombay in 1937


1937 Jan 14 Dr. Ambedkar returned to Bombay


1937 Feb 17 The first General Election were held under the Govt, of India Act of 1935. Elections were held in eleven provinces - Madras, Central Provinces, Bihar, Orissa, United Provinces, Bombay Presidency, Assam, NWFP, Bengal, Punjab and Sindh.



1937 Mar 17 The Mahad Chowdar Tank case was decided m favour of D.C. by which they got a legal right to use the public wells and tanks


1937 July 31 Dr. Ambedkar received a grand reception at Chaligaon Railway station


1937 Sept 17 Dr. Ambedkar introduced his Bill to abolish the Mahar Watan in the Assembly

1937 Dec 31 Reception at Pandhapur on the way to Sholapur, where he was going to preside Sholapur District DC. Conference

1938 Over Dr. Ambedkar's vigorous protests, in January Congress adopted Gandhi's own term "Harijans" ("Children of God") as the official name for the "scheduled castes." In protest against a term that he considered condescending and meaningless, Dr. Ambedkar and his party staged a walkout from the Bombay Legislative Assembly. Dr Ambedkar made a number of significant *speeches to the Assembly, 1938-39*. (--*Kadam*, p.111)



1938 Jan 4 Reception given by the Sholapur Municipal Council


1938 Jan , The Congress Party introduced a Bill making a change in the name of Untouchables i.e. they would be called Harijans meaning sons OT God. Dr. Ambedkar criticized the Bill, as in his opinion the change of name would make no real change in their conditions. Dr. Ambedkar and Bhaurav Gaikwad protested against the use of the term Harijans in legal matters. When the ruling party by sheer force of numbers defeated the I.L.P., the Labour Party group walked out of the Assembly in protest under the leadership of Dr. Ambedkar. He organized a peasants' march on Bombay Assembly. The peasants demanded the passing of Dr. Ambedkar's Bill for abolition of the Khoti system


1938 Jan 23 Dr. Ambedkar addressed a Peasants' Conference at Ahmedabad


1938 Feb 12-13 Dr. Ambedkar addressed a historical Conference of Railway workers at Manmad (Dist. Nasik)


1938 Apr Dr. Ambedkar opposed creation of a separate Kamataka State in
the national interest


1938 May Dr. Ambedkar resigned from the Principal ship of the Government
Law College, Mumbai


1938 May l3-21 Dr. Ambedkar went on tour of Konkan Region. He also went to Nagpur in Connection with a court case


1938 Aug A meeting was held at R.M. Bhat High School, Bombay for exposing Gandhiji's attitude in disallowing a D.C. man being taken into the Central Ministry


1938 Sept Dr. Ambedkar spoke on the Industrial Disputes Bill in the Bombay Assembly. He bitteriy opposed it for its attempt to outlaw the right of workers to strike. He said: 'If Congressmen believe that Swaraj is their birthright, then the right to strike is the birth-right of workers'


1938 Oct 1 Dr. Ambedkar addressed a large gathering at Bawala, near Ahmedabad. On return he addressed another meeting at Premabhai Hall, Ahmedabad


1938 Nov 6 The Industrial Workers' strike. The procession (under the leadership of Dr. Ambedkar, Nimkar, Dange, Pasulkar etc) was organized from Kamgar Maidan to Jambori Maidan , Worli. Dr. Ambedkar toured the workers' areas with Jamvadas Mehta


1938 Nov 10 Dr. Ambedkar moved a resolution for adoption of the methods for
birth-control in the Bombay Assembly


1938 Dec Dr. Ambedkar addressed the first D.C. Conference in Nizam'sdominion at Mahad


1939 In January, he delivered to the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics a lecture called *"Federation versus Freedom"*.

1939 During the debate over Congress's plan to leave the government in protest at not having been consulted about the declaration of war on Germany, Dr. Ambedkar made his own loyalties very clear: "Wherever there is any conflict of interests between the country and the Untouchables, so far as I am concerned, the Untouchables' interests will take precedence over the interests of the country. I am not going to support a tyrannising majority simply because it happens to speak in the name of the country.... As between the country and myself, the country will have precedence; as between the country and the Depressed Classes, the Depressed Classes will have precedence." (--*Keer*, p. 329.)

1939 In November, Congress left the government. Jinnah arranged the celebration of a "Day of Deliverance," and Dr. Ambedkar enthusiastically joined him. Dr. Ambedkar was careful to emphasize, however, that this was an anti-Congress rather than an anti-Hindu move; if Congress interpreted it as anti-Hindu, the reason could only be, he said, that Congress was a Hindu body after all. (--*Keer*, p. 330.)



1939 Jan 18 Dr. Ambedkar addressed a large gathering at Rajkot


1939 Jan 19 Ambedkar-Gandhi talks


1939 Jan 29 Kale Memorial Lecture of Gokhale School of Politics and Economics, Poona reviewing critically the All India Federation Scheme set out in the Govt, of India Act of

1939 July Dr. Ambedkar addressed a meeting organized fir Rohidas Vidya Committee


1939 Oct Ambedkar-Nehru first meeting


1939 Dec The Conference at Haregaon was held under the Presidentship of Dr. Ambedkar to voice the grievances of Mahar and Mahar WatandaYs



1940 May Dr. Ambedkar founded the ' Mahar Panchayat'


1940 July 22 Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose met Dr. Ambedkar in Bombay

1940 Dec Dr. Ambedkar published his Thoughts on Pakistan. The Second edition with the title Pakistan or Partition of India was issued in February 1945. A third impression of the book was published in 1946




1940 In December, Dr. Ambedkar published the first edition of his *"Thoughts on Pakistan"*. In this work he argued that though partition would be an unfortunate thing, it wouldn't be the worst possible outcome, and if the Muslims wanted it they had a perfect right to claim it.



1941 May 25 Mahar Dnyati Panchayat Samiti was formed by Dr. Ambedkar


1941 July 22 Dr. Ambedkar was appointed to sit on the Defense Advisory Committee


1941 Aug The Conference was held at Sinnar in protest of tax on Mahar Watans. Dr. Ambedkar launched a no-tax camp. He saw the Governor. Finally, the tax was abolished The Mumbai Elaka Conference of Maharashtra Mangs and Devdasis were organized under the Chairmanship of Dr. Ambedkar

1942 He founded his second political party, the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation, which didn't do so well in the elections of 1946. (--*Kadam*, p.115)

1942 Dr. Ambedkar was inducted into the Viceroy's Executive Council as Labour Member, a position which he held until his resignation in June 1946. His thoughtful comments in that forum cover *various topics* (see #6.). (--*Kadam*, p.115)

1942 Congress started the "Quit India" movement (discussion: *Abul Kalam Azad*; *Gandhi's original draft resolution*; *Sir Stafford Cripps's reply*; *The Hindu, August 1942*; *Manas*). Dr. Ambedkar severely criticized this move. He described it as "both irresponsible and insane, a bankruptcy of statesmanship and a measure to retrieve the Congress prestige that had gone down since the war started. It would be madness, he said, to weaken law and order art a time when the barbarians were at the gates." (--*Keer*, p. 354.)



1942 Apr Dr. Ambedkar founded the All India Scheduled Castes Federation in Nagpur


1942 July 18 Dr. Ambedkar addressed All India D.C. Conference at Nagpur


1942 July 20 Dr. Ambedkar joined the Victory's Executive Council as a Labour Member


1942 Dec Dr. Ambedkar submitted a paper on "The problems of the Untouchables in India" to the Institute of Pacific Relations at its Conference held in Canada. The paper is printed in the proceedings of the Conference. The paper was subsequently published in December 1943 in the boo Inform under the title Mr Gandhi and Emancipation of the Untouchables


1943 On January 19th he delivered the Presidential Address on the occasion of the 101st birth anniversary of Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade. It was published in book form in April, under the title *"Ranade, Gandhi, and Jinnah"*.

1943 In September he also prepared and published the vigorous memorandum, *"Mr. Gandhi and the Emancipation of the Untouchables"*.



1943 Jan 19 Dr. Ambedkar delivered a Presidential address on the occasion of the lOr' Birth Anniversary of Justice Mahadeo Govind Ranade. It is published in book form in April 1943 under the title Ranade, Gandhi andJinnah
1944 On January 29th, he presided over the second meeting of the Scheduled Caste Federation, in Kanpur; here is a report, sixty years later, by *Maren Bellwinkel-Schempp*.



1944 Dr. Ambedkar founded "The Building trust and the Scheduled Caste Improvement Trust"


1944 May 6 Dr. Ambedkar addressee the Annual Conference of the All India S.C. Federation at Parel (Bombay). The speech was later published under the title "The Communal Deadlock and a way to solve it"


1944 June Dr. Ambedkar published his book What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables a complefe compendium of information regarding the movement of the Untouchables for political safeguards. Dr. Ambedkar attended the Simla Conference


1944 July Dr. Ambedkar founded the "People's Education Society" in Bombay


1945 In February, he published a revised version of "Thoughts on Pakistan"; this second, expanded edition was called *"Pakistan; or Partition of India"*. A third edition of this book was published in 1946.

1945 On May 6th he addressed the Annual Conference of the All India Scheduled Caste Federation, held at Parel, Bombay. This speech was soon published as *"The Communal Deadlock and a Way to Solve It"*.

1945 In June, he published a political manifesto detailing the problems of dealing with Congress, and accusing it of many acts of betrayal: *"What Congress and Gandhi Have Done to the Untouchables"*. The next year, he published a second edition, with *major revisions in one chapter*.

1946 In June, he founded Siddharth College, in Bombay; it was a project of the People's Education Society, which he had founded in 1945. (--*Kadam*, pp. 116-17) Meanwhile, Gandhi made it clear that he did not have any use for such "graduates": *"Left-handed Compliment"* [--text courtesy of Joel Lee].



1946 Dr. Ambedkar gave evidence before the British Parliament delegation


1946 Apr Opening of Siddhartha College of Arts and Science in Bombay


1946 May The Bharat Bhushan Printing Press (founded by Dr Ambedkar) was burnt down in the clashes between D.C. and the Caste-Hindus


1946 June 20 Siddhartha College started


1946 Sept Dr. Ambedkar went to London to urge before the British Government and the Opposition Party the need to provide safeguards for the D.C. on grant of Independence to India.


1946 Oct Dr. Ambedkar published his Book Who were Shudras? An enquiry into how the Shudras came to be the fourth Varna in the Indo-Aryan Society Dr. Ambedkar was elected member of the Constitution Assembly of India



1946 Nov Dr. Ambedkar's first speech in the Constituent Assembly. He called for a 'strong and United India'


1946 In July, he exchanged letters with W. E. B. DuBois, comparing Untouchables with black Americans [site]. In October, he published *"Who Were the Shudras? How They Came to Be the Fourth Varna in the Indo-Aryan Society"*. He dedicated the book to the great early reformer Jotiba Phule (*site*).



1947 Mar Published 'States and Minorities ". A memorandum of Fundamental Rights. Minorities Rights, safeguards for the D.C. and on the problems of Indian States


1947 Apr 29 Article 17 of the Constitution of India for the abolition of Untouchables was moved by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the Constituent Assembly and it was passed


1947 Aug 15 India obtained her Independence.B,R. Ambedkar was elected to the Constituent Assembly by the Bombay Legislature Congress Party. Dr. Ambedkar joined Nehru's Cabinet. He became the first Law Minister of Independence India. The Constituent Assembly appointed him to the drafting Committee which elected him as a Chairman on 29* August 1947


1947 In March he published *"States and Minorities: What Are their Rights and How to Secure them in the Constitution of Free India"*, a memorandum on fundamental rights, minority rights, safeguards for the Depressed Classes, and the problems of Indian states.

1947 INDEPENDENCE and Partitioncame in August; Dr. Ambedkar accepted Nehru's invitation to become Minister of Law in the first Cabinet of independent India. On August 29th he was appointed Chairman of the Drafting Committee for the new Constitution.



1948 Feb Dr. Ambedkar completed the Draft Constitution of Indian Republic


1948 Apr 15 Second marriage - Dr. Ambedkar married Dr. Sharda Kabir in Delhi


1948 Oct Published his book The Untouchables. A thesis on the origin of Untouchablity. Dr. Ambedkar submitted his Memorandum "Maharashtra as a linguistic Province" to the Dhar Commission (The Linguistic Provinces Commission)


1948 Nov 4 Dr. Ambedkar presented Draft Constitution to Constituent Assembly


1948 Nov 20 The Constitution Assembly adopted Article 17 of the Constitution for the abolition of Untouchability

1948 In the last week of February, the Draft Constitution was submitted for public discussion and debate: *Constitutional discussions and debates* (see #7).

1948 On April 15th, Dr. Ambedkar married Dr. Sharda Kabir (a Saraswat Brahmin) in Delhi; she adopted the name Savita. He was now diabetic and increasingly ill, and she took care of him for the rest of his life.


1948 In October, he prepared a memorandum on *"Maharashtra as a Linguistic Province"*, expressing his views for submission to the Linguistic Provinces Commission.

1948 He published *"The Untouchables: a Thesis on the Origin of Untouchability"*(New Delhi: Amrit Book Company), as a sequel to his book on the Shudras. As always on this subject, he wrote with passion. In the Preface he said, "The Hindu Civilisation.... is a diabolical contrivance to suppress and enslave humanity. Its proper name would be infamy. What else can be said of a civilisation which has produced a mass of people... who are treated as an entity beyond human intercourse and whose mere touch is enough to cause pollution?"

1948 In November, the Draft *Constitution* with its 315 articles and 8 schedules was formally introduced to the Constituent Assembly. Dr. Ambedkar concluded his speech: "I feel that the Constitution is workable; it is flexible and it is strong enough to hold the country together both in peace time and in war time. Indeed, if I may say so, if things go wrong under the new Constitution the reason will not be that we had a bad Constitution. What we will have to say is that Man was vile." (--*Keer*, p.410.)

1949 In November, the Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution, including Article 17, which formally abolished untouchability.



1949 Jan Dr. Ambedkar, Law Minister of India visited Hyderabad (Deccan)


1949 Jan 15 Dr. Ambedkar was presented with a Purse at Manmad by his admires. He addressed a large gathering


1949 Jan 21 He stayed at Aurangabad in connection with his opening proposed College. During the stay he visited Ajanta-Ellora Caves


1949 Mar/May Dr. Ambedkar visited Bombay in connection with College Work and for a medical check-up


1949 Sept Meeting between Dr. Ambedkar and Madhavrao Golvalkar,


1949 Nov Dr. Ambedkar came to Bombay for college work meeting and medical check-up


1949 Nov 25 Dr. Ambedkar addressed the Constituent Assembly


1949 Nov 26 Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution. Dr. Ambedkar came to Bombay for check-up




1950 Dr. Ambedkar gave several addresses about Buddhism; in May, he flew to Colombo (*site*), in Sri Lanka, to pursue further Buddhist connections. Here is a modern scholar's view: *"Pragmatism, Persuasion, and Force in Bhimrao Ambedkar's Reconstruction of Buddhism"*.



1950 Jan 11 Dr. Ambedkar addressed the Siddharth College Parliament on the Hindu Code Bill. In the evening he was presented with a silver casket containing a copy of the Indian Consitution at NAre Park Maidan, Bombay


1950 May Dr. Ambedkar's article 'The Buddha and the Future His Religion' was published in the journal of Mahabodhi Society, Calcutta. Dr. Ambedkar addressed the Young Men's Buddhist Association on 'The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women'. Dr. Ambedkar spoke on the 'Merits of Buddhism' at the meeting arranged on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti, in Delhi


1950 Sept 1 Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of Indian Republic laid the foundation stone of Milind Maha Vidyalaya, Aurangabad. Dr. Ambedkar delivered a speech on the occasion (The printed speech is available with Mr. Surwade)


1950 Dec Dr. Ambedkar went to Colombo as a Delegate to the World Buddhist Conference



1951 In February, he introduced in Parliament the "Hindu Code Bill" that he had drafted, which included greatly expanded rights for women; it proved very controversial, and consideration of it was postponed: *on the Hindu Code Bill* (see #8). (--*Kadam*, pp. 121-22)

1951 In September, Dr. Ambedkar resigned from the Cabinet, embittered over the failure of Nehru and the Congress to back the Hindu Code Bill as they had earlier pledged to do. He became the *Leader of the Opposition* (see #9.) Discussion: *The Hindu*; *Time Magazine*. (--*Kadam*, pp. 121-22)



1951 Feb 5 Law Ambedkar, Law Minister announced his "Hindu Code Bill" in the Parliament


1951 Apr 15 Dr. Ambedkar laid the foundation stone of "Dr. Ambedkar Bhavan", Delhi


1951 July Dr. Ambedkar founded "The Bharatiya Buddha Jansangh"


1951 Sept Dr. Ambedkar compiled a Buddhist prayer book Buddha Upasana Patha


1951 Sept 9 Dr Ambedkar resigned from the Nehru Cabinet because, among other reasons, the withdrawal of Cabinet support to the declaration in the Parliament by the Prime Minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, that his Government would stand or fall with the Hindu Code Bill. Apart from this Neliru announced that he will sink or swfm with Hindu code Bill Dr Ambedkar published his speech in book form under the title The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women


1951 Sept 19 The marriage and divorce Bill was discussed in the Parliament


1951 Oct 11 Dr Ambedkar left the Cabinet


1952 Dr. Ambedkar received an honorary L.L.D. degree from Columbia University as part of its Bicentennial Special Convocation. The President described him as "one of India's leading citizens--a great social reformer and a valiant upholder of human rights."

1952 Jan Dr Ambedkar was defeated in the first Lok Sabha elections held under the Constitution of India Republic. Congress candidate N S Kajrolkar defeated Dr Ambedkar



1952 Mar Dr Ambedkar was introduced into Parliament as a member of the Council (Rajya Sabha) of States, representing Bombay


1952 June 1 Dr Ambedkar left for New York from Bombay





1952 June 14 Ambedkar returned to Bombay from America after receiving Doctor of Law from Columbia University.

1952 June 15 Columbia University (USA) conferred the honorary Degree of LL.D. ihits Bi- Centennial Celebrations Special Convocation held in New York



1952 Dec 16 Dr Ambedkar addressed Annual Social Gathering of Elphinstone College, Bombay


1952 Dec 22 Dr Ambedkar delivered a talk on "Conditions precedent to the Successful working of Democracy" at the Bar Council, Pune

1953 His political thinking included analysis of the issue of linguistic states; he published *"Need for Checks and Balances"* (Times of India, April 23, 1953) on this question. In 1955, he was still working on the subject, as the preface (dated Dec. 23, 1955) to *"Thoughts on Linguistic States"* testified.


1953 Jan 12 The Osmania University conferred the honorary Degree of LL.D. in Dr Ambedkar


1953 Mar The Untouchability (offences) Bill was introduced in the Parliament by the Nehru Government


1953 Apr Dr Ambedkar contested the By-Election for Lok Sabha from Bhandara Constituency of Vidarbha Religion but was defeated by Congress Candidate Mr Borkar


1953 May Opening of Siddhartha College of Commerce and Economics in Bombay


1953 Dec Dr Ambedkar inaugurated the All India Conference of Sai devotees at the St Xavier's Mai dan Parel Bombay (His inaugural speech is available with Mr Surwade)



1954 In the midst of his round of (increasingly embittered) Parliamentary and other activity, his health gave way; he was confined to bed for two months.

1954 While dedicating a new Buddhist vihara near Poona, Dr. Ambedkar announced that he was writing a book on Buddhism, and that as soon as it was finished, he planned to make a formal conversion to Buddhism. He also claimed that the image of Vithoba at Pandharpur (*site*) was in reality an image of the Buddha, and said that he would write a thesis to prove this claim. (--*Keer*, p. 482.)



1954 May Ambedkar visited Rangoon to attend the function arranged on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti


1954 June The Mahraraja of Mysore donated 5 acres of land for Dr Ambedkar proposed Buddhist Seminary to be started at Bangalore


1954 Sept 16 Dr Ambedkar spoke on the Untouchability (Offences) Bill in the Rajya Sabha


1954 Oct 3 Dr Ambedkar broadcast his talk on "My Personal Philosophy"


1954 Oct 29 Shn R D Bhandare, President of Bombay Pradesh S.C.Federation presented a purse of Rs 118,000 on behalf of S.C.F. to Dr Ambedkar at Purandare Stadium, Naigaum (Bombay)


1954 Dec Dr Ambedkar participated as a delegate of the 3"'^ World Buddhist Conference at Rangoon


1954 Dec 25 Dr Ambedkar installed an istatue of Buddha at Dehu Road (near Pune)



1955 Apr 3 Delivered a speech "Why Religion is necessary"


1955 May 4 Dr Ambedkar established Bhartiya Buddha Mahasabha (The Buddhist Society of India)


1955 Aug Founded "Mumbai Rajya Kanishtha Garkamgari Association"


1955 Dec 23 Published his opinions on linguistic states in book form under the title Thoughts on linguistic States


1955 Dec 27 Dr Ambedkar spoke against reservation of seats in the State and Central Legislatures


1956 Dr. Ambedkar brought the manuscript of *"The Buddha and His Dhamma"* to completion. "In February 1956 two new chapters are added to it: 'There is no god'; 'There is no soul'.... On March 15, 1956, Ambedkar wrote the Preface to his book in his own handwriting and dictated it to Rattu [his secretary]." Printing began in May, but was slowed by constant last-minute revisions of the proofs. (--*Keer*, pp. 488-489, 491.)

1956 From June to October, he was bedridden in his Delhi residence. His eyes were failing, he suffered from side effects of the drugs he was given for his diabetes, he felt deeply depressed.

1956 His formal conversion took place on Oct. 14th in Nagpur, a town selected for reasons he explained in his moving speech, *"Why Was Nagpur Chosen?"*. Many thousands of Mahars and other Dalits accepted Buddhism along with him.

1956 In November, he flew to Kathmandu to attend the Fourth World Buddhist Conference.

1956 Dec. 2, he completed the manuscript of *"The Buddha or Karl Marx"*, his last finished work, and gave it for typing.

1956 On the night of Dec. 5 or the early morning of Dec. 6, he died quietly in his sleep; on Dec. 7 there was a huge Buddhist-style funeral procession in Bombay, and he was cremated on the seashore.

1956 Feb Dr Ambedkar completed his The Buddha and His Dhamma, Revolution & Counter-revolution in Ancient India



1956 Mar 15 Dr Ambedkar wrote and dictated the preface of The Buddha and his Dhamma


1956 May 1 Dr Ambedkar spoke on Linguistic states in the Council of States Dr Ambedkar spoke on BBC London on "Why I like Buddhism Also, he spoke for Voice of America on "The Future of Indian Democracy"


1956 May 24 Dr Ambedkar attended a meeting at Nare Park organized on the eve of Buddha Jayanti, Shri B G Kher, Prime Minister of Bombay was Chief Guest. This meeting was the last meeting of Dr Ambedkar in Bombay


1956 June Opening of Siddharth College of Law in Bombay


1956 Oct 14 Dr Ambedkar embraced Buddhism at an historic ceremony at Diksha Bhoomi, Nagpur with his millions of followers. Announced to desolve S.C.F, and established Republican Party

24 Oct 1956 RPI was founded by Ambedkar


1956 Nov 20 Delegate, 4* World Buddhist Conference, Khalinandu, where he delivered his famous speech 'Buddha or Karl Marx'


1956 Dec 6 Maha Nirvana at his residence, 26 Alipore Road, New Delhi


1956 Dec 7 Cremation at Dadar Chowpatti - Now known as Chaitya Bhoomi, Dadar (Bombay)

1957 *"The Buddha and His Dhamma"*, Dr. Ambedkar's own version of a Buddhist scripture for his people, was posthumously published, by Siddharth College Publications, Bombay.

1957 and beyond A number of unfinished typescripts and handwritten drafts were found among his notes and papers and gradually made available. Among these were *"Waiting for a Visa"*, which probably dates from 1935-36, and *"Untouchables, or the Children of India's Ghetto"*, which refers to the census of 1951 and so must be quite late; other unpublished fragments as well will be found on the *ambedkar.org* website.



1991 At Columbia University's Ambedkar Centenary Celebration, Prof. David Lelyveld gives a talk about his achievements: *"Burning up the Dharmasastras: Group Identity and Social Justice in the Thought of B. R. Ambedkar"*. And Prof. Eleanor Zelliot gives a talk called *"Dr. Ambedkar in America"*.

1995 *Mrs. Savita Ambedkar visits Columbia*, on the occasion of the installation of a bust of Dr. Ambedkar.

2004 Columbia University honors Dr. Ambedkar in the course of its *250th birthday celebration*.

2009 Columbia University honors Dr. Ambedkar with a conference on *"Caste, Ambedkar, and Contemporary India"*. Associated with the conference is an online *area studies exhibit* by the Columbia University Libraries.

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