Dr. B R Ambedkar~ The Father of Indian Constitution
- Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956) was born into a Mahar (‘Untouchable’/ Dalit) family. His father served in the British Indian Army at the Mhow cantonment in the Central Provinces (now in Madhya Pradesh).
- During his school days, being Dalit, he was not allowed to sit inside the class. The teachers refused to touch the notebooks of him and his friends. Even they faced difficulty while drinking water as the peon who is in upper-caste pour the water to them from a height. Even Bhim and his friends have to spend the whole day without water when the peon was absent.
- Bhim was very much interested in learning and his interest has made him the first Dalit to get enrolled in prestigious Elphinstone High School in Bombay.
- He later won the Baroda State Scholarship for three years and finished his postgraduate education from Columbia University in New York. He passed his M.A. exam in June 1915 and continued his research.
- He put forward a thesis on the topic “Caste in India” at Columbia University.
“The caste problem is a vast one, both theoretically and practically. Practically, it is an institution that portends tremendous consequences. It is a local problem, but one capable of much wider mischief, for as long as caste in India does exist, Hindus will hardly intermarry or have any social intercourse with outsiders; and if Hindus migrate to other regions on earth, Indian caste would become a world problem.”
- After completing three important theses that dealt with Indian society, economics, and history, Dr Ambedkar enrolled at the London School of Economics where he started working on a doctoral thesis. He stayed in London for the next four years and finished two doctorates. He was conferred with two more honorary doctorate degrees much later in the fifties.
- Returning to Indian in 1924 he started to initiate an active movement against untouchability in India. In 1924, he founded the Bahishkrut Hitkaraini Sabha, aimed at uprooting caste system in India. The organisation ran free schools and libraries for all age groups. Dr Ambedkar took the grievances of the Dalits to court, and brought them justice.
- He also organise march demanding Dalit’s right on drinking water from public well and granting entries for them in temples. Despite getting several attacks and threats from the Hindu upper-caste men, Ambedkar marched to public wells and reservoirs to drink water from it.
- In the conference held in 1927, Ambedkar criticized Manusmriti for justifying caste system and untouchability. On December 25, 1927, Dr Ambedkar led thousands of Dalits and burnt copies of the text.
- In 1937, when the British government agreed to hold elections on the provincial level, Dr Ambedkar’s Independent Labor Party won in the Bombay province with a thumping majority. Dr Ambedkar led many social, labour, and agricultural reforms in the region in the years that followed.
- Post-independence, Dr Ambedkar was invited by Congress to serve as the nation’s first Law Minister, which he accepted. He was soon appointed the Chairman of the Drafting Committee formed to write India’s new Constitution. Article 11 of the Constitution abolished untouchability in every form. Granville Austin in his famous book The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation (1964) described the Constitution of India as one of the most progressive and revolutionary political documents of its time.Read more at: https://yourstory.com/2016/04/bhimrao-ambedkar