Thursday October 19, 2017
Home India Ambedkar has ...

Ambedkar has emerged as a most revered leader in Independent India

Bhimrao Ambedkar's 125th birth anniversary falls on April 14

0
159
Ambedkar accompanied with Maulana Hasrat Mohani
  • Praveen Davar

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, whose 125th birth anniversary falls on April 14, has emerged as one of India’s most revered leader especially during the last two decades. No political party can afford to ignore him though the reasons for doing so are more electoral than emotional.

Independent India’s first cabinet of prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had only 14 members with B.R. Ambedkar as law minister listed at No.11 in the order of precedence, below Jagjivan but above Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherji of the Hindu Mahasabha (later the Jan Sangh founder). Mahatma Gandhi had prevailed upon Nehru Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to include non-Congressmen as well because independence had come for the whole country – and not only for those who led the freedom movement.

It was only four years later, on September 27, 1951 after Ambedkar quit the Nehru cabinet that it became known that one of the causes for his doing so was that he was not given the portfolio of his choice: ministry of planning. However, the prime reason for his resigning was over the government’s failure to pass the Hindu Code Bill, faulting Nehru with “lack of determination” to get the measure through.

Suffering from many ailments, including diabetes, rheumatism and high blood pressure contacted in a life full of relentless struggles, Ambedkar died in December 1956 after turning 65. Only two months earlier, he had formally embraced Buddhism and converted lakhs of his followers to his new faith. It was a culmination of a long process spanning nearly 50 years. But it was really after independence that Ambedkar made up his mind to adopt Buddhism, a religion he saw as a liberating force for the entire country.

Even though he had ceased being a minister, the government allowed him to retain his bungalow where he spent the final years of his life focussed on studying Buddhism. He also began to learn Pali and translated Buddhist texts into Gujarati and Marathi. In 1954, during a trip to Burma (now Myanmar), Ambedkar made a proposal for sponsoring a campaign for Buddhist conversion in India, arguing that Budhism was a religion for the whole world.

At a dhammadikha ceremony held in Nagpur, attended by nearly 500,000 people, Ambedkar and his followers converted to Buddhism. Besides dedicating them to social service and eradication of casteism, Ambedkar adminstered 21 vows to his followers, which included renunciation of all aspects of ‘Brahmanic Hinduism’. The neo-Buddhists took a vow against worshipping Hindu gods and goddesses and not to perform shraddh ceremonies or worship the cow.

As Ambedkar will be remembered most by posterity for his monumental contribution to the making of India’s constitution it is appropriate to quote from his last speech in the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949, the eve of the statute being adopted the following day:

“On January 26, 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be reorganizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up.”

But Ambedkar was much more than the architect of India’s constitution and a Dalit leader who today towers above others of his ilk. He was an educationist, economist, anthropologist, sociologist, journalist, jurist and, above all, a great parliamentarian and social reformer who devoted his whole life for the uplift of the weakest and most vulnerable sections of Indian society.

This much and, more, will be remembered, and said, about Ambedkar during the year of his 125th birth anniversary celebrations. (IANS)

(Praveen Davar, an ex-army officer, is a member of the National Commission for Minorities. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at praveendavar@gmail.com)

Next Story

Ambedkar Jayanti 2017: Remembering Dr. B.R Ambedkar, the Architect of Indian Constitution

Father of modern India, champion of human & civil rights, father of India's Constitution, polymath, genius, revolutionary and Buddhism revivalist

0
2011
Dr B.R Ambedkar in 1950, Wikimedia

April 14, 2017: To commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R Ambedkar, India celebrates Ambedkar Jayanti or Bhim Jayanti on April 14, every year. The “father of the constitution” is very well known for his contribution to the independent India.

He fought for India’s independence and post-Independence; he made sure that the interests of the common man in the nation are safeguarded via the largest constitution in the world.

Popularly known as Baba Saheb, was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist Movement and campaigned against social discrimination against Untouchables (Dalits), while also supporting the rights of women and labour.

 
In 1990, the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, was posthumously conferred upon Ambedkar. Ambedkar’s legacy includes numerous memorials and depictions in popular culture.

Ambedkar Jayanti or Bhim Jayanti is an annual festival observed on 14 April to commemorate the memory of B. R. Ambedkar. It marks Ambedkar’s birthday in 1891 and is a public holiday throughout India.

Ambedkar Jayanti Processions are carried out by his followers at Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai and Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur It is a customary for senior national figures, such as the President, Prime Minister and leaders of major political parties, to pay homage at the statue of Ambedkar at the Parliament of India in New Delhi.

It is celebrated throughout the world especially by Dalits who embraced Buddhism after his example. In India, large numbers of people visit local statues commemorating Ambedkar in procession with a lot of zeal and fervour.

Schools and Colleges across the nation organize activities like dance, painting, debate, dramatics, essay writing, as well as sports to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti.

Look for latest news from India in NewsGram.

Few Interesting facts- 

  • A Google Doodle was published for Ambedkar’s 124th birthday.
  • Dr. Ambedkar Jayanti is such a big event in India that Dr. Ambedkar topped on Google Search and Twitter Trends on 14 April 2015.
  • In 2017, on the occasion of Dr. Ambedkar Jayanti, Twitter launched Dr Ambedkar emoji as a tribute to the legend.
  • Dr. Ambedkar Jayanti is celebrated not only in India but also in abroad; significantly in United Kingdom, United States etc.
  • In order to celebrate this occasion, a big seminar is organized yearly by the Bhartiya Journalists Welfare Association, Lucknow.
  • Three days long festival (from 15th of April to 17th of April) is held at the Baba Mahashamshan Nath temple at Manikarnika ghat Varanasi where various cultural programs of dance and music are organized.
  • Students from junior high school and primary schools make a prabhat pheri in morning and secondary school students take part in the rally at this day.
  • At many places, free health check up camps are also organized in order to provide free of charge check up and medicines to the poor group people.

B.R Ambedkar has contributed immensely to this nation and his legacy is being embraced by the youth readily. The youth on the right path fulfilling the dreams of the architects of the nation is the best homage to these national heroes.

-prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram Twitter @NikitaTayal6

Next Story

Fulfilling Ambedkar’s vision of inclusive India: PM Modi

0
72
Ambedakr
Ambedkar

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that his government was doing everything to fulfil BR Ambedkar’s dreams of “creating a prosperous and inclusive India”.

“Our government is leaving no stone unturned to fulfil the vision and dreams of Ambedkar to create a prosperous and inclusive India,” he said while paying tributes to Baba Saheb on his 60th death anniversary.

He also released two commemorative coins on the occasion which are of the 10-rupee and 125-rupee denomination.

“Honoured to release commemorative coins on Ambedkar. It is because of great men like Babasaheb that India scaled heights of progress,” Modi said.

“He will always be remembered as an original and profound thinker. His views on inclusiveness and harmony continue to inspire us.

“We are aware of Ambedkar’s contributions towards social justice but Babasaheb’s thoughts on economic issues are equally enlightening.”

He also said that Dalit leader’s vision on women empowerment, federalism and economy had their relevance today.

“The more we recall Ambedkar’s thought in the context of issues currently faced by India, the more we come to respect his vision and his approach to inclusiveness.”

Modi said Baba Saheb and the constitution of India should always be discussed and talked about.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was present on the occasion. President Pranab Mukherjee also paid homage to the iconic leader. The government has announced that it will have a year-long celebration of the 125th birth anniversary of Baba Saheb.

(IANS)

Next Story

Belgian University honors BR Ambedkar

0
56
B R Ambedkar

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.

(IANS)