Dr. B R Ambedkar

  • He was born in 1891 in a poor untouchable family in Mhow.
  • Popularly known as Baba Saheb was the Principal Architect of Indian Constitution because he was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly and was a scholar par excellence, a jurist, an idealist, an emancipator and a nationalist.
  • He led several social movements to secure and safeguard human rights for the oppressed and miserable sectors of society.
  • He became the first Indian to get a Doctorate (PhD) degree in Economics from abroad and is the only Indian whose statue is attached to Karl Marx in the London Museum.
  •  He was an ardent advocate of resolving all issues through democratic, peaceful, non-violent, and harmonious means.
  • The path shown by him strengthens the spirit of fraternity, compassion, and equity.
  • His death anniversary is observed as Mahaparinirvan Din or Ambedkar Jayanti on 14 April every year.

Important Life Events And Contributions

  • Ambedkar was against caste-based discrimination and untouchability in society and advocated for Dalits to organize and demand their rights.
  • He condemned Hindu scriptures that he thought propagated caste discrimination.
  • He was part of the Bombay Presidency Committee that worked with the Simon Commission in 1928.
  • Established Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha to promote education and socio-economic improvements among the Dalits. He started magazines like Mooknayak ,Bahishkrit Bharat and Equality Janta.
  • Advocated separate electorates for ‘Depressed Classes’. However, Gandhi was against a separate electorate for Depressed classes. Later, an agreement was signed between Gandhi and Ambedkar, whereby it was agreed to give reserved seats to the depressed classes within the general electorate. (Poona Pact 1932).
  • Founded the Independent Labour Party (later transformed into Scheduled Castes Federation) in 1936.
  • He advocated a free economy with a stable Rupee. He also mooted birth control through family planning for economic development. He also emphasized equal rights for women.
  • Ambedkar considered the Right to Constitutional Remedy as the soul of the Constitution.
  • Being the Law Minister, Dr Ambedkar fought vigorously for the passage of the Hindu Code Bill, the most significant reform for women’s rights to marriage and inheritance.

Current Relevance

  • He wanted an egalitarian society and was against the humiliation of caste discrimination and violence. This thought has found a lot of relevance to our modern-day society, where various schemes are being implemented by the government for the upliftment of the depressed classes. 
  • He strictly advocated against untouchability and wanted equality of opportunity. For this, Fundamental rights have been incorporated into the Indian Constitution (Art 14-15-16).
  • His thoughts paved the way for a socialist democracy and advocated for a reform of the social order.

Comparison Ambedkar And Mahatma Gandhi

 GandhiB.R. Ambedkar
SocietyGandhi perceived depressed classes to be an integral part of Hindu society. However, he did not support the abolition of the caste system or Varnashrama order.Ambedkar was in favour of the annihilation of the caste system as, according to him, it was beyond reforms
Political StruggleGandhi believed in peaceful political struggles like non-cooperation and civil disobedience and other forms of Satyagraha.Ambedkar had developed a deep faith in the constitutional means of change and improvement.
Village SarvodayaGandhi gave a central place to village autonomy and self-sufficiency in his vision of future IndiaAmbedkar was highly critical of the village as a unit of local administration. He claimed that village isolation in India would lead to an increase in localism, communalism, and narrow interests.

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