Ambedkar Jayanti is celebrated every year on the 14th of April in the memory of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. This is done as a mark of respect for the service he delivered towards the up-liftment of the people of India.
He is often conferred the epithet of the “Father of Indian Constitution”, as his contribution towards the framing of Indian Constitution is invaluable. It has already been declared as a Public Holiday in India.
Life of Dr. B R Ambedkar
DR B R Ambedkar was born on the 14th of April, 1891 in the military cantonment in Madhya Pradesh and was earlier known as Central Provinces. He was born to poor parents and belonged to an untouchable caste of Mahar or Dalit, who were the untouchables in the then social and caste system. The situation was so bad that the dalit children were segregated in the school, and teachers paid scant attention to them. Water had to be poured from a height so that they don’t get in contact with the vessel, and if someday there was no one to pour the water, the children had to remain thirsty.
His original surname of Ambavadekar which was derived from the place they hailed from, Ambavade’ of the Ratnagiri district was later changed to Ambedkar by his Brahmin teacher, Mahaden Ambedkar in the school records as he was fond of his bright pupil.
In 1897, after moving to Mumbai, Ambedkar took admission in the famous Elphinstone high school. He was then the only untouchable to take admission. In 1907, Ambedkar passed the Matriculation and set a record of being the first untouchable to achieve so and caused much needed joy amongst the untouchables. In 1912 he was awarded his degree in economics and political science from Bombay University. Then in 1913, he moved to the United States of America following a Baroda State Scholarship. Then in 1916, he enrolled in The London School of Economics and also the Bar Course at Gray’s Inn. He amidst the World War and other difficult situations, managed to submit his doctoral thesis in 1923.
Human Rights Activism
Ambedkar was one of the greatest human rights activists that India had ever produced. He founded the “Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha” in the year 1923 to emphasize the importance of spreading education amongst the lower untouchable classes. He also organized a social movement which he called “Educate-Agitate-Organize” which aimed to do away with casteism in India and also establish the fundamental value that all men are equal. He was deeply involved in proposing and making changes legally towards doing away with ostracizing the lower castes in India.
Drafting of the Indian Constitution
Upon gaining Independence in the year 1947, Dr B R Ambedkar was invited to serve the country as the first ever Law Minister and he was appointed as the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee. The constitution that he drafted was more of a social documentary than anything else, as it distinctly summarized the Civil liberties for individual citizens, the freedom of religion, abolition of ostracizing the untouchables, and doing away with all forms of discrimination. He was very vocal about the rights and privileges of the women in India. He was the pioneer in introducing reservations for scheduled Castes, Scheduled tribes and other backward classes in civil services and other schools, colleges and universities.
In terms of economic planning, Ambedkar maintained that agriculture and industrialization should go hand in hand and it was his vision regarding agriculture which is believed to have been responsible for India achieving its food security goal. It was based on his idea and theories that the Reserve Bank of India was set up.
His Last Day
Following diabetes, Ambedkar breathed his last on 6 December 1956 at Delhi.
Observance of the day
Dr B R Ambedkar’s birthday is observed with deep devotion and humility. His greatest influence as a socio-political reformer played a huge role on modern India. He deeply believed in freedom of thought and was rigidly opposed to the caste system prevalent then.
On Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, nearly half a million people congregate to pay homage to his visionary greatness. In Varanasi, Dr. Ambedkar Jayanti Samaroh Samiti in Kutchehri areas organize a number of events as painting, general knowledge, debate, writing, dancing etc. a seminar by Bhartiya Journalists Welfare Association, Lucknow too is organized on this day. A festival running up to 3 days is held at the Baba Mahashamshan Nath temple at Manikarnika Ghat at Varanasi. At various places free health checkups or Doctors camps are also organized to commemorate Ambedkar birthday.
Dr. B R Ambedkar led an exemplary life, which should be a model for all to be emulated. As he rose and got himself educated at a time, when the belonging to the lower caste meant being denied of even the basic rights and privileges. He drafted the constitution which encompassed all the important human rights. It is also recorded that in his tenure as a visionary statesperson he firmly opposed the Article 370 which granted Jammu and Kashmir special powers but debarred India from exercising state rights on Jammu and Kashmir.
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