- Name : Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
- Date of Birth : Apr 14, 1891
- Passed Away On : Dec 06, 1956
- Religion : Hindu
- Death Place : Delhi
- Address : Delhi
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Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb
DATE OF BIRTH: 14th April 1891
PASSED AWAY ON: 6th December 1956
PLACE OF BIRTH: Mhow, Central Provinces, India, (Currently in Madhya Pradesh)
DEATH PLACE: Delhi
Family background: Babasaheb’s father was Ramji Maloji Sakpal who was a subedar in the Army and mother was Bhimabai Murbadkar Sakpal. He was their 14th child. His Marathi family had its roots in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. He was born in a poor family of the Mahar caste that was called Dalit. People belonging to the Dalit community were considered as untouchables and were discriminated.
His early life: Ambedkar, though a Dalit, went to school. But the flames of discrimination touched his life as well. He and his fellow Dalits were made to sit separately from the other students who belonged to the upper castes. Thus, unlike other pupils, they were not allowed inside the class nor did the teachers pay attention to them. Also, they were not allowed to drink water from the common vessel that others used.
His father served in the Mhow cantonment of the Indian Army then.
How he became ‘Ambedkar’
There was Brahmin teacher named Mahadev Ambedkar in Babasaheb’s school who was fond of him. Thus he changed his surname from 'Ambavadekar' that was his own surname to 'Ambedkar' and registered ‘Ambedkar’ surname in the school records.
Ambedkar was a very learned man. Following are his qualifications in chronological order:
Matriculation: From Elphinstone High School in the year 1907
Degree in Economics and Political science: From University of Bombay in 1912
Post-graduation in Economics, Columbia University: Completed his M.A. in June 1915 with the following subjects: Economics, Sociology, Philosophy, History and Anthropology. Also, as a part of academics he presented a thesis on the topic Ancient Indian Commerce.
PhD from Columbia University: Ambedkar completed his second thesis on National Dividend of India -- A Historical and Analytical Study -- for another M.A. in 1916. Thus, he finally received his PhD in Economics from Columbia University in 1927.
London School of Economics: He enrolled for the Bar course at Gray's Inn in October 1916. Also, he simultaneously enrolled at the London School of Economics where he started working on a doctoral thesis. In June 1917, he returned to India because his scholarship from Baroda ended. His book collection was dispatched on a different ship and not the one he was returning on. Unfortunately, the ship carrying his written records was sunk by a German submarine.
He thus got permission to go back to London and submit his thesis within a span of four years. Consequently, he returned back to London and completed a master's degree in 1921.
His major contributions
Opposition of untouchablity: Ambedkar was invited to testify before the Southborough Committee which was preparing the Government of India Act 1919. At the meeting, Ambedkar demanded separate electorates and reservations for untouchables and other religious communities.
Formulation of Constitution: On India’s Independence, the new Congress-led government gave the important post of the nation’s first Law Minister to Ambedkar which he gracefully accepted.
On 29th August 1947, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, charged by the Assembly to write India's new Constitution.
Following are the main highlights that Ambedkar incorporated in the Constitution:
• Freedom of religion
• Abolition of untouchability,
• Outlawing all forms of discrimination.
• Social and Economic rights for women
He won the Assembly's support for introducing a system of reservations for scheduled castes/tribes and other backward classes in the civil services, schools and colleges.
The lawmakers aimed to eradicate the socio-economic inequalities through these measures. The Constitution of India was adopted on 26th November 1949 by the Constituent Assembly.
Babasaheb was suffering from diabetes and consequently was bedridden between June and October 1954. The major reason for his deteriorated health was the increased political issues. His condition became serious in 1955 and remained so till his death on 6th December 1956. He died in his sleep at his residence in Delhi. Also, it is said that he had completed the final manuscript of his book “The Buddha and His Dhamma”.
Babasaheb was cremated at Dadar Chowpatty beach on 7th December 1956. He was survived by his second wife and son Yashwant.