One of the most prominent leaders of India in the 20th century was Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, also known as Babasaheb. During the time of his writing of the Indian Constitution, he focused on promoting the rights of Dalits (formerly known as “untouchables”), one of the most oppressed and marginalized groups in Indian society.
In 1891, Ambedkar was born in a small village in what is now Maharashtra. Throughout his life, he faced significant discrimination and hardship because of his low-caste background. However, he was an extremely talented student and was able to earn a scholarship to study at Columbia University in New York City. Later, he earned a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.
As soon as he returned to India, Ambedkar became involved in politics and social reform. Seeing the caste system as the root of India’s social and economic problems, he tirelessly promoted Dalit and other marginalized rights. His particular concern was the plight of Dalit women, who faced even greater discrimination than men.
As chairman of the Indian Constitution drafting committee between the 1930s and 1940s, Ambedkar is regarded as the “father” of the Constitution. In addition to advocating for the inclusion of the universal adult franchise, he ensured that the Constitution included provisions to promote the rights of marginalized groups. This includes scheduled castes and tribes.
Despite the drafting of the Constitution, Ambedkar continued to work for the rights of Dalits throughout his life. He advocated the abolition of the caste system as well as the creation of an equal and just society. He fought for the rights of Dalits to own their land and access to education and employment.
Ambedkar’s major contribution to the upliftment of Dalits was converting to Buddhism. Buddhism was viewed by him as a religion that rejects caste distinctions, and he believed it would lead to a more just and egalitarian society. Almost half a million Dalits marched in Nagpur on October 14, 1956, to convert to Buddhism.
Indians continue to honor and celebrate Ambedkar’s life and legacy today. His work to promote the rights of marginalized groups has had a lasting impact on the country’s history. This makes him one of the most significant figures in the country’s history. Ambedkar Jayanti, the anniversary of his birth, is celebrated by the Indian government on April 14. There are numerous memorials and statues of him throughout the country commemorating his birth anniversary.
To conclude, Dr. B R Ambedkar is considered an icon of the Dalit community. He fought for their rights, dignity, and equality against oppression and discrimination. His work continues to serve as a guide for people working to build a more just and equitable society around the world. He is an inspiration to millions of people, not just in India, but across the globe.