Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar, was a prominent Indian jurist, social reformer, and politician. He played a pivotal role in the drafting of the Indian Constitution and is considered the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. He dedicated his life to fighting against social discrimination, advocating for the rights of marginalized communities, and working towards social justice.


Family of Ambedkar

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar hailed from a humble family background, belonging to the Mahar caste, which was considered an “untouchable” or Dalit community in the Indian caste system. Here is a summary of his family background:

Ambedkar’s father, Ramji Maloji Sakpal, was a subedar in the Indian Army, serving in the Mhow Cantonment. Ramji faced social discrimination and was subjected to caste-based prejudices.Despite facing numerous challenges, he steadfastly believed in the power of education and, therefore, encouraged his children to pursue learning.

Ambedkar’s mother, Bhimabai Sakpal, was a homemaker who played a crucial role in nurturing her children and supporting their education. She instilled values of perseverance and hard work in her children, laying the foundation for their future achievements.

Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891, in the town of Mhow in the Central Provinces of British India (now in Madhya Pradesh). He was the fourteenth child of his parents. Unfortunately, tragically, some of his siblings succumbed at a young age due to the poor health conditions prevalent at the time.

Growing up, Ambedkar witnessed firsthand the social discrimination and oppression faced by his family and his community. These experiences deeply impacted him and fueled his determination to fight against social injustice.

Nevertheless, despite facing numerous hardships, Ambedkar’s family placed a strong emphasis on education.. His parents made significant sacrifices to ensure their children received an education. They recognized that education was the key to breaking the chains of caste-based discrimination and achieving social upliftment.


Ambedkar’s Education

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s pursuit of education played a pivotal role in his life and shaped his journey as a social reformer, jurist, and political leader. Despite facing numerous challenges and discrimination, Ambedkar demonstrated remarkable academic brilliance and determination. Here is an overview of his education:

  1. Primary and Secondary Education: Ambedkar received his early education in various schools.Additionally, he attended the Primary School in Satara and then proceeded to the Government High School in Satara. Despite facing discrimination, he excelled academically and displayed a thirst for knowledge.
  2. Elphinstone College, Mumbai: In 1907, Ambedkar moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) for further studies. He enrolled at Elphinstone College and obtained his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science. During his time at the college, he faced social discrimination but continued to excel academically.
  3. Higher Education in the United States: In 1913, Ambedkar received a scholarship from the Maharaja of Baroda and traveled to the United States to pursue higher education. He enrolled at Columbia University in New York and obtained a master’s degree in Economics in 1915. His thesis focused on the problem of the rupee.
  4. London School of Economics: After completing his studies in the United States, Ambedkar went to England and enrolled at the London School of Economics. In 1921, he earned a Ph.D. in Economics for his thesis on the “Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India.” He became the first Dalit to earn a doctorate from a foreign university.
  5. Legal Education: Additionally, while pursuing his education in London, Ambedkar also studied law at Gray’s Inn and became a barrister. Consequently, he was called to the Bar in 1922 and gained expertise in law, which proved crucial in his later efforts as a jurist and constitutional expert.
education of ambedkar

Ambedkar for Dalit’s

Moreover, Ambedkar is regarded as an iconic figure and a champion for the rights and empowerment of Dalits (formerly known as “untouchables”) in India.. His tireless efforts and visionary leadership have had a profound impact on the Dalit community. Here are some key aspects of Ambedkar’s contributions to Dalits:

  1. Annihilation of Caste: Ambedkar strongly criticized and fought against the caste system, which perpetuated social discrimination and oppression against Dalits. He believed in the annihilation of the caste system and worked relentlessly to challenge its oppressive structures and practices.
  2. Dalit Movement: Ambedkar led the Dalit movement, advocating for the rights and social upliftment of Dalits. He organized various movements and campaigns to raise awareness about the plight of Dalits and to demand equality, dignity, and justice for them.
  3. Social Reform: Ambedkar was a staunch advocate for social reform and worked towards eradicating social practices that perpetuated discrimination against Dalits. He fought against practices like untouchability, caste-based segregation, and discrimination in social and religious institutions.
  4. Reservation Policy: Ambedkar played a significant role in the introduction of reservation policies in India. He believed that affirmative action was necessary to address historical injustices and ensure representation and opportunities for marginalized communities like Dalits. The reservation system provides reserved quotas in education, employment, and politics to uplift Dalits and other disadvantaged groups.
  5. Legal Reforms: Ambedkar, being a legal expert, worked extensively to ensure legal protection for Dalits. He played a crucial role in the framing of laws and provisions that safeguarded the rights and interests of Dalits, including the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
  6. Conversion to Buddhism: Ambedkar embraced Buddhism as a means of liberation for Dalits from the oppressive caste system. He initiated mass conversions of Dalits to Buddhism to reject the hierarchical structure of Hinduism and find equality and dignity in a new faith.

Indian Constitution for Ambedkar

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s influence on the Indian Constitution is profound and far-reaching. As the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, he played a pivotal role in shaping the foundational principles and provisions of the Constitution. Here are some key aspects of Ambedkar’s contributions to the Indian Constitution:

  1. Fundamental Rights: Ambedkar was a staunch advocate for fundamental rights and worked diligently to ensure their inclusion in the Constitution. Furthermore, he emphasized the principles of equality, liberty, and justice for all citizens, irrespective of their caste, religion, gender, or social background.. The Fundamental Rights, enshrined in Part III of the Constitution, include the right to equality, right to freedom, right against discrimination, right to life and personal liberty, and right to constitutional remedies. These rights serve as the bedrock for protecting individual liberties and ensuring social justice.
  2. Abolition of Untouchability: Ambedkar spearheaded the inclusion of Article 17 in the Indian Constitution, which abolished untouchability. This provision made it a punishable offense to practice or promote untouchability in any form, marking a significant step towards eradicating caste-based discrimination.
  3. Social Justice: Ambedkar championed the cause of social justice and worked to secure the rights of marginalized communities in the Constitution. He advocated for reservations and affirmative action policies to uplift socially and educationally backward classes, including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Articles 15(4), 16(4), and 46 of the Constitution provide for reservations in education, employment, and representation in legislatures to ensure social and economic empowerment.
  4. Protection of Civil Rights: Ambedkar played a key role in drafting laws and provisions to protect civil rights. He was instrumental in formulating the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, which aimed to prevent and eradicate practices of untouchability and caste-based discrimination. This act provides legal safeguards and remedies for victims of such discrimination.
indian constituent

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s life was marked by relentless efforts and tireless advocacy for social justice and equality. Unfortunately, his journey came to an untimely end on December 6, 1956, when he passed away at the age of 65. Here is a summary of the events surrounding his death:

Despite declining health, Ambedkar persisted in his work and advocacy, even with a diagnosis of diabetes and other ailments.. Despite his declining health, he continued to work tirelessly for the welfare of the oppressed and marginalized.

On the evening of December 5, 1956, Ambedkar addressed a gathering in Bombay (now Mumbai) to commemorate the conversion of thousands of Dalits to Buddhism. His speech, titled “Buddha and His Dhamma,” emphasized the teachings of Buddhism and its relevance to social and moral progress.

The next morning, December 6, 1956, Ambedkar suffered a severe diabetic coma at his home in Delhi. He was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, but his condition worsened rapidly. Despite efforts to revive him, Ambedkar passed away around 6:30 PM.

News of Ambedkar’s demise spread quickly, leading to a wave of grief and mourning across the nation. His death was a significant loss for both the Dalit community and the entire country, given his immense contributions as a social reformer, jurist, and political leader, which earned him widespread respect and reverence.

Ambedkar’s funeral took place on December 7, 1956, in Dadar Chowpatty, Bombay. A large number of people from all walks of life, including political leaders, social activists, and thousands of grieving followers, attended his funeral. They cremated his mortal remains with full state honors.

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