Brussels: Belgium’s most prestigious and oldest university, KU Leuven (KUL) marked India’s Constitution Day as an honour to BR Ambedkar with a big audience of international relations and law students on federalism in India.
The event took place on Friday in Aula Pieter de Somer, the largest lecture hall of the university and was attended by more than 300 students and faculty of KUL.
Professor Idesbald Goddeeris, who runs the India programme at KU Leuven, organised the event.
A panel discussion compared the Indian Constitution with the Belgian Constitution.
M.S Vishnu Sankar, a practising lawyer in the Supreme Court of India, spoke on the concept of federalism as enshrined in the Constitution of India.
Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri delivered the opening address while a visiting Indian professor, Rajendra Jain, provided a European Union (EU) perspective.
The Constitution of India was adopted on November 26, 1949, before it came into force on January 26, 1950.
BR Ambedkar was the main architect of the Indian constitution.
Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar
Dr BR Ambedkar inspired the Modern Buddhist Movement in India
In 1924, Dr BR Ambedkar formed a community for removing difficulties of the untouchables and placing their grievances before government
“I do not want that our loyalty as Indians should be in the slightest way affected by any competitive loyalty whether that loyalty arises out of our religion, out of our culture or out of our language. I want all people to be Indians first, Indian last, and nothing else but Indians.”
These were the words from one of the greatest social reformers of our nation and the most influential name who worked against social discrimination. Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar. He was an exceptional leader that modern India has ever seen. Dr BR Ambedkar had multi feathers like that of a jurist, politician and an economist in his hat.
Dr BR Ambedkar was independent India’s first Law Minister and known to be the author of India’s constitution. He used education as a means to rise above all odds and envisioned India to stand on the ladder of prosperity and development. He inspired the Modern Buddhist Movement in India and pioneered campaigns against social discrimination against Dalits, women and labour. He wanted India’s to be a real democratic country and even quoted:
“Democracy is not merely a form of government.It is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience. It is essentially an attitude of respect and reverence towards our fellow men.”
Dr BR Ambedkar was born in 1891 in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh and died due to severe diabetic neurosis on 6 December 1956 at his home in Delhi. After his demise, his political party was renamed as Republican Party of India in 1957 by his followers. This visionary’s birthday is celebrated as Ambedkar Jayanti in India, every year. He came from a middle-class Dalit family and barely had money to make ends meet but still, he didn’t budge on his efforts against social injustices.
The legacy of one of India’s brilliant leader should be noted down well and hence; we have taken up few of the facts about his life and struggle, take a look:
Dr BR Ambedkar ‘s real name was Ambavadekar but his teacher, Mahadev Ambedkar, who was very fond of him, changed his surname from ‘Ambavadekar’ to his own surname ‘Ambedkar’.
Ambedkar was very much against the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gives a special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. He even offered his resignation for his condition of removing Article 370 from the constitution.
In 1924, Dr BR Ambedkar formed a community for removing difficulties of the untouchables and placing their grievances before government. He named it ‘Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha’.
In First Round Table Conference which was held in London on November 12, 1930, Dr BR Ambedkar and Rao Bahadur Srinivasan represented the depressed classes in the assembly.
In 1936, Dr BR Ambedkar formed the Independent Labour Party and participated in the provincial elections of Bombay. In that election, he won 13 seats out of 15 seats reserved for scheduled castes. The Party was transformed by Ambedkar as the All India Scheduled Castes Federation in 1942.
Dr BR Ambedkar was against the strikes and protest by civil servants. In his views, the strike was nothing more than a breach of contract of service.
Dr BR Ambedkar was appointed the member of Executive Council of Viceroy as a Labour member in July 1942 and he resigned from this post in May 1946.
In January 1920, Dr BR Ambedkar started a weekly paper called ‘Mooknayak‘(Leader of the Dumb). Through this, he wanted to spread the cause of depressed classes in India.
Due to differences with Jawahar Lal Nehru on the Hindu Code Bill, Dr BR Ambedkar resigned from the Cabinet on September 1951.
Dr BR Ambedkar was elected as the first Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly. He is also referred as the father of the Indian Constitution. However, K.V. Rao portrayed Ambedkar as the mother of the Indian Constitution because according to him, the vital decisions about the Constitution were taken by Nehru and Patel, and Ambedkar followed the same.
In 1952, Dr BR Ambedkar was defeated in the election mainly due to his advocacy of partition of Kashmir. But later in March, he was elected as a member of Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra.
It was Dr BR Ambedkar, who changed the working hours in India from 14 to 8 hours.
Dr BR Ambedkar efforts to eradicate untouchability and the caste system were phenomenal. Also Being a writer, he wrote many famous books including-The Untouchable: Who are They and Why They Have Become Untouchables, Buddha and His Dhamma, The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women and many more.