A short biography of Dr. B R Ambedkar
Born on 14 April 1891 to the Mahar family in Mhow, Maharashtra, Bhimrao Ambedkar became an outstanding scholar, statesman, social democracy pioneer, and mass leader of modern India. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar is comfortably ranked among India’s most well trained and educated politicians. He spent several years researching a wide variety of topics from economics and geography to politics, law, and religion, receiving a B.A. Elphinstone College, Bombay, M.A. And Ph.D. from Columbia University, USA, and M.Sc. And then a second Ph.D.from the London School of Economics and his Bar-at-Law from the prestigious Gray’s Inn in London. His entire education was made possible by a grant he won from a reform-minded local monarch (the Gaikwad of Baroda).
Upon his return to India, Ambedkar soon faced casteism and inviolability that neither of his degrees saved him from – accommodation segregation, work discrimination, and discrimination in all walks of social and political life.He soon became a force to be reckoned with in Indian politics-a mass leader of Dalits who lived and worked in Dalit societies, founded many political parties and mass-circulation publications, and led many remarkable and unforgettable political movements and demonstrations against the profoundly rooted casteism in India. His powerful legal, sociological, political-economic mind quickly made him the leading public interlocutor and challenger to the near-Messianic figure of the 20th-century Indian independence movement, M.K.Gandhi.
Dr. Ambedkar was a Labour member of the pre-independence Viceroy Council and later became India’s first Law Minister and Chairman of the Indian Constitution Drafting Committee (a defining position that gained him the much-deserved title of Architect of the Constitution of India).In addition, he led legislative attempts to fundamentally change Hindu law (known as the Bill of the Hindu Code), an initiative that he did not see beyond his resignation in protest at the pressure from the right-wing powers.
Near to the end of his life (1956), Dr. Ambedkar made a vow that he had made to himself more than 20 years ago – that while he was born a Hindu, he would not die a Hindu. In a dramatic and moving public intervention, he – along with some 50,000 other Dalits – openly converted to Buddhism as an act of self-respect and honor and an act of rebellion against the religiously accepted order of casteism that he saw as the origin of many of the problems of Indian society.
As an undergraduate, Ambedkar was influenced by his professors, including John Dewey. He was also greatly influenced by Bertrand Russel, whom he never knew. He also exchanged letters briefly with W.E.B Dubois. For those who want comparisons between anti-caste campaigns and anti-racist movements in the USA, we might conclude that Ambedkar was a mixture of W.E.B.duBois writers, Ida B Wells and Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther King Jr., a prophetic spiritual conscience and mass activist, and Malcolm X, a progressive teacher/leader.
Ambedkar was a great man, but people don’t know much about his life and his writings.
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