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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

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Dr B.R Ambedkar in 1950, Wikimedia
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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.

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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

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two about the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read : China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s boarders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June, 2017 and 5 July, 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons  as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July, 2017, China asked India again to withrew its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July, 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read : Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab ?

What followed till 16th August, 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters awayfrom their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue for now is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.