The importance of B R Ambedkar Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar in the Indian politics is just incredible. Economist, educationist and the chief architect of the Indian Constitution, B R Ambedkar actually dedicated his entire life only to remove degradation, social discrimination and prejudice and social deprivation from the society.
B R Ambedkar was born as Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar on April 14, 1891, to parents Ramji Maloji Sakpal and Bhimabai Murbadkar Sakpal in Mhow in Madhya Pradesh. Ambedkar came from humble beginnings with the concept plain living high thinking indeed he becomes one of India’s greatest leaders of the nation with his right efforts.
On his 126th birth anniversary, here are some enthralling facts about him we are presenting by which you can know the legacy and inheritance of Baba Saheb!
1). B R Ambedkar’s real name was Ambavadekar:
Ambedkar actual name was Ambavadekar (derived from the name of his native village ‘Ambavade’ in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra). It was his teacher, Mahadev Ambedkar who gives him his own surname ‘Ambedkar’ and changed his real surname ‘Ambavadekar’ on his school records as Baba Saheb teacher was very fond of him.
2). B R Ambedkar was the first Indian who pursues a doctorate in economics from abroad:
Ambedkar was the first Indian who pursues an Economics doctorate degree from abroad, as well as the first person to completed PhD in Economics and the first candidates who are double doctorate holder in Economics in South Asia. He was also one of the highest educated persons from his generation.
During his three years at Columbia University, Ambedkar completed, eleven in history, twenty-nine courses in economics, five in philosophy, four in anthropology, six in sociology, three in politics and one each in elementary French and German!
3).B R Ambedkar played a crucial role towards the establishment of Reserve Bank of India, 1935:
Reserve Bank of India was conceptualised with the guidelines presented by Ambedkar to the Hilton Young Commission (also known as Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance) in his book, The Problem of the Rupee – Its Origin and Its Solution.
Ambedkar was also aware of it that the predicament with the rupee will be somehow linked to the problem of domestic inflation. In the foreword to the book version of his thesis, he pointed out: “…nothing will stabilise the rupee unless we stabilise its general purchasing power”.
4). B R Ambedkar’s first important crusade was the Mahad Satyagraha of 1927:
The Mahad satyagraha of 1927 was the first important mission of the Ambedkar which enhanced his political thought and action also in this crusade. The campaign was started from the small town of Mahad in Maharashtra, and gradually the Satyagraha was continued for three years prior to Gandhi’s Dandi march. While salt was at the centre of Gandhi’s campaign, and Ambedkar’s main movement was for the drinking water.
By leading a group of Dalits to drink water from Chavadar lake in Mahad, Ambedkar wanted to give the deserving right of Dalits that they can take water from public water sources, as well as he also spoke about the Dalit emancipation. In his famous quote, he mention, “We are not going to the Chavadar Tank to merely drink its water. We are going to the tank to assert that we too are human beings like others. It must be clear that this meeting has been called to set up the norm of equality.”
5). B R Ambedkar said that the working hours in India should be 8 hours:
Dr Ambedkar was active in bringing to bring labour reforms. So he changed the working hours of the labour from 14 hours to 8 hours on the 7th session of Indian Labour Conference in November 1942 at New Delhi.
He also introduced the massive course for workers like dearness allowance, leave benefit, employee insurance, medical leave, equal pay for equal work, minimum wages and periodic revision of scale of pay. He also strengthened trade unions and established employment in the nation.
6).B R Ambedkar’s autobiography is learnt by students at the Columbia University:
A 20-page autobiographical story written by Ambedkar in 1935-36 afterwards he had been the comeback from America and Europe. It was the period when he was waiting for a Visa and in the book he mentions his experiences with the subject called untouchability, starting from his childhood. The book is used as a textbook and study by the students at the Columbia University.
7).He was opposite of the Article 370 of the Indian constitution:
Ambedkar said no to draft Article 370 of the constitution (which gives special status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir) as he thought that this is discriminatory and against the principles of unity and integrity of our country. So article 370 was ultimately drafted by Gopalswamy Ayyangar, who was the former Diwan to Maharajah Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir.
8).Ambedkar gets the comprehensive Hindu Code Bill passed after 3 years of consecutive fights which gave importance to the immense rights of women:
When the comprehensive Hindu Code Bill was dropped by the Indian parliament Ambedkar thinks to resign from his post of the first law minister and he also did so. The bill mention by him was having two key purposes – first, Ambedkar wanted the Hindu women to have their social status, second, to abolish the social disparities and caste system and inequalities.
Some of the key features of this bill are mention here:
Women should inherit family property, permitting divorce and adoption of girls.
The code gave both men and women the right to divorce if their wedding is unsatisfied.
Remarriage for widows and divorcees should be allowing.
The ban on Polygamy.
Intercaste marriage, as well as adoption of children irrespective of caste, must be allowed.
Regarding this issue, B R Ambedkar quoted: “I measure the progress of the community by the degree of progress which women had achieved. Let every girl who marries stand by her husband, claim to be her husband’s friend and equal, and refuse to be his slave. I am sure if you follow this advice, you will bring honour and glory to yourselves”.
9). Being the first person B R Ambedkar said that there should be the division between Bihar and Madhya Pradesh:
In his book (published in 1995), Ambedkar suggested and wrote that the 2 states Madhya Pradesh and Bihar should be separated on the basis of linguistic issues. And after 45 years his statement it is actually Bihar get divided and Jharkhand formed. And eventually, Chhattisgarh also come out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000 era.
On splitting one-language states, he penned a book: “The number of pieces into which a state with people speaking one language should be divided into should depend upon (1) the requirements of efficient administration, (2) the needs of the different areas, (3) the sentiments of the different areas, and (4) the proportion of the majority and minority”.
10).B R Ambedkar’s efforts were revolutionary and his pioneer work was towards the development of India’s national policy for electricity and water:
The important and multipurpose work of the Ambedkar was started by the Damodar Valley project, the Son River Valley project, the Bhakra Nangal Dam project and Hirakud dam project. He also established the Central Water Commission which gives importance to the development of irrigation projects at both the Central and the state level.
To spark the development of India’s power sector, Ambedkar also established the Central Technical Power Board (CTPB) and Central Electricity Authority to explore the potential of and establish hydel and thermal power stations. He also emphasised and said about the grid system (which India still relies on) and well-trained electrical engineers in India.
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