The life and activities of every great thinker or activist, depend to a great extent on the various problematic conditions under which he/she lives and works and struggles to bring about desired changes. In the case of Ambedkar, this societal relationship is far more evident, as he was born in a community which, for centuries, had been subjected to deprivations, miseries, humiliations, oppression’s and denials in every worthy aspect of human life.
Dr. Ambedkar’s thoughts as reflected in his writings and speeches have significant importance in tracing the history and growth of social thought in India. In the course of time so many of his publications are not even available in the market. In some cases the authentic editions are getting out of print. Besides, as time passes, many of his observations in matters social, economic and political are coming true. Social tensions and caste conflicts are continuously on the increase. Dr. Ambedkar’s thoughts have therefore, assumed more relevance today. If his solutions and remedies on various socioeconomic problems are understood and followed, it may help us to steer through the present turmoil and guide us for the future. It was therefore very apt on the part of the Government of Maharashtra to have appointed an Advisory Committee to compile all the material available on Dr. Ambedkar for publishing the same in a suitable form. All efforts are therefore being made to collect what the learned Doctor wrote and spoke.
Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar, was a jurist, social reformer and politician. He is also known as the Father of Indian Constitution. A well-known politician and an eminent jurist, his efforts to eradicate social evils like untouchablity and caste restrictions were remarkable. Throughout his life, he fought for the rights of the dalits and other socially backward classes. Ambedkar was appointed as India’s first Law Minister in the Cabinet of Jawaharlal Nehru. He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, in 1990.
Early Life and Education
B.R. Ambedkar “Babasaheb” was an Indian political reformer who campaigned for the rights of the ‘untouchable’ caste of India. He played a role in the Indian independence movement and also played a key role in drafting the Indian constitution and the reformation of Indian society through the promotion of greater equality and rights for both the poor and women.
Bhimrao Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891 in Madhya Pradesh. He was the fourteenth child of his parents. Ambedkar’s father Ramji was a Subedar in the Indian Army and posted at Mhow cantonment, MP. Ambedkar had to face severe discriminations from every corner of the society as his parents hailed from the Hindu Mahar caste. Mahar cast was viewed as “untouchable” by the upper class. The discrimination and humiliation haunted Ambedkar even at the Army school, run by British government. Discrimination followed wherever he went. In 1908, Ambedkar went to study at the Elphinstone College, Mumbai. Ambedkar obtained a scholarship of twenty five rupees a month from the Gayakwad ruler of Baroda, Sayaji Rao III. He graduated in Political Science and Economics from the Bombay University in 1912. Ambedkar went to USA for higher studies.
He earned enough money to complete his studies in London and then was appointed as barrister in the British bar. Determined to work for eradication of discrimination in India, he returned. He started the ‘Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha’ which provided education and socio-economic improvement to the backward classes. He followed the footsteps of Gandhi to fight for water source and right to enter temples for the untouchables. He also published a book ‘Annihilation of caste’ in which he strongly criticised the discriminative Indian society. He also published ‘Who were the shudras?’ where he explained the formation of untouchables.
Facts about Dr. B R Ambedkar
The importance of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar in Indian polity cannot be overstated. Economist, educationist and the chief architect of the Indian Constitution, Ambedkar fought all his life to remove discrimination, degradation and deprivation from the society.
- Ambedkar’s original name was actually Ambavadekar.
- Ambedkar was the first Indian to pursue a doctorate in economics abroad.
- Ambedkar played a key role in establishment of Reserve Bank of India in 1935.
- The Mahad Satyagraha of 1927 was Ambedkar’s first important crusade.
- Ambedkar’s autobiography is used as a textbook in the Columbia University.
- Ambedkar had opposed Article 370 of the Indian constitution.
- Ambedkar fought for three years to get the comprehensive Hindu Code Bill passed which gave several important rights to women.
- Ambedkar was the first to suggest the division of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh
Since 1954-55 Ambedkar was suffering from serious health problems including diabetes and weak eyesight. On 6 December, 1956 he died at his home in Delhi. Since, Ambedkar adopted Buddhism as his religion, a Buddhist-style cremation was organized for him. The ceremony was attended by hundreds of thousands of supporters, activists and admirers.
 Vasant Moon “Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches”, Volume 1, available online at: https://www.mea.gov.in/Images/attach/amb/Volume_01.pdf
 “Ambedkar: Life, Time and Struggle”, available online at: http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/28174/7/07_chapter%202.pdf
 “Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar”, available online at: http://baou.edu.in/dr-br-ambedkar
 Sanchari Pal, “B R Ambedkar: 10 Facts You Probably Don’t Know About the Father of the Indian Constitution”, available online at: available online at: https://www.thebetterindia.com/95923/bhimrao-ambedkar-father-indian-constitution-little-known-facts-life/