About Dr. B. R. Ambedkar


Born:            14th April 1891

Died:            6th December 1956


Dr. Ambedkar was the main architect of the Indian Constitution who fought untiringly for the downtrodden. He was born in a very poor low caste family of Madhya Pradesh and rose to stand alone at the summit of humanism. He worked as professor of law and set up his legal practice at Bombay High Court. He was the main inspiration behind inclusion of special provisions for the development of Scheduled Castes in the Indian Constitution. He remained India’s Law Minister from 1947 to 1951. Dr Ambedkar was the emancipator of ‘untouchables’ as he led from the front in the satyagraha of untouchables at Nasik in 1930, for opening of hindu temples for Dalits. This liberator of the down trodden was affectionately called Baba  Sahib. Casteism, the curse of human kind has gripped the Indian social structure so firmly that it has sown the seeds of discord instead of brotherhood. God made all humans equal but narrow minds and orthodox traditions gave rise to untouchability and inequality.


Humans ???

Two brothers, who were studying at school, went to see their father at My sore. As they alighted at the Railway Station, they engaged a cart and started their journey. After a while, the driver came to know that they belonged to the Mahar caste. He angrily stopped the cart and pushed them off the cart, while doing that he showered them with abuses. It was a hot afternoon and the young boys were stranded in the scorching sun. They eventually got thirsty, begging people for water. Their plea was unrequited as, nobody was willing to pollute his person by giving them water. As hours passed, their thirst grew unbearable and the younger one “Bhimrao Ambedkar” drank from a well. A villager noticed that and gave the boy a thrashing along with others.

On another occasion, the same boy needed a haircut. But even the barber who used to cut buffalo’s hair, refused to touch him, because the boy was a low caste. One day, the boy was going to school and there was a heavy down pour. He took shelter beside the wall of a house. Some how, the land lady saw him and was infuriated. She sadistically pushed him in the rain, the poor boy fell in the mud puddle and his books got drenched.

In this manner, the boy was humiliated again and again, fueling a deep hatred and resentment against the upper class Hindus. He had not committed any sin except being born in the Mahar caste and according to the retrogressive Hindu caste system; the upper caste Hindus could not have any physical contact with the lower castes. This injustice was suffered by the lower caste “Untouchables” for centuries.


Birth of A Beacon

Bhimrao was admitted to Elphinstone High School, Satara and passed his matric in 1908. Later he graduated from Bombay University in 1912.

In July 1913, he took admission in Colombia University, started studying Politics, Anthropology, Philosophy, History, Ethics, Sociology and Economics. He did his MA in 1915 and PhD in 1916. Even at the time Ambedkar had a revolutionary mind. He had made an unshakeable resolution to wipe out the injustice done to the people of low caste. In this way he wanted to bring about a revolution in the Hindu society.


Pledge to Remove Untouchability

After completing his studies, he started his legal practice in Bombay High Court.

It was a result of his extensive knowledge that he succeeded in making a name in his profession. He pledged to remove untouchability and challenged the upper castes.

In order to highlight the humiliation, faced by the untouchables, Dr Ambedkar started a periodical named ‘Mook Nayak’. In its first issue, he commented on the caste based society in following words.

“The hindu society is like a multi-storey tower. It neither has a ladder, nor a door to go out A society which believes in the existence of God, even in inanimate things, also says that humans, who are a part of that very society, should not be touched”.


Awakening of a Dalit

Dr. Ambedkar left no stone unturned to extricate the low castes from tyrant clutches of Brahman oppression. The untouchables, who have been subjected to humiliation for hundreds of years, had to strive for justice and equality. Some people argued that low castes were not fit for equality. Dr Ambedkar retorted that such people have no right to speak of equality and democratic values since they do not consider low castes as humans. He argued that if the upper caste Hindus can touch Christians and Muslims, why can’t the dalits touch upper caste hindus (as dalits are also hindus).

In 1927, it was resolved that there should be no caste differences in the Hindu Dharma and that people of all castes should be allowed to work as priests in temples. Those who suffer in the Hindu society should get justice, this was Ambedkar’s undeterred decision.

In the 1930s, the British Government invited several Indian leaders to discuss the problems of India. These conferences were held in London; and were called the ‘Round Table Conferences’. Gandhi also took part in them. At the Round Table Conferences, Ambedkar lambasted the government. He said that the backward sections did not enjoy equality even under the British Government and the British had just emulated Hindus. This was a time when Gandhi was very popular in India. Millions of people followed his foot-steps with devotion. Ambedkar openly opposed Gandhi’s views on how justice should be dispensed to the ‘untouchables’.

At the Second Round Table Conference in 1931, Dr Ambedkar secured separate electorates for the low castes. He not only fought for Dalits in political arena but also arranged “Mahar conferences” thus moulding the Dalit movement.

At the Mahar conference; Dr Ambedkar said, “We untouchables lack determination that is why we are unsuccessful in our efforts. We can achieve success in our efforts only if we have strong determination. He stated that we should be united”.


Dr. Ambedkar`s Reawakening in the Religion

Dr Ambedkar was fed up with the Hindu religion due to the cancer of casteism, he wanted Dharm; but wanted to do away with casteism. He believed that ‘Untouchability’ is an extremity of casteism; unless casteism is wiped out ‘untouchability’ will prevail. He believed that Dharma was essential for men but he revolted against those who treated some of their fellowmen like animals in the name of religion. Many people criticized him. Some newspapers castigated him. There were many occasions when his life was imperiled. Ambedkar also knew from his own experience that Hindus are narrow-minded.

In September 1935, in a place called Yevla in the Nasik district, a conference was organized where he announced that he was going to renounce his faith. He stated on numerous occasions that his being born in a Hindu family was not his prerogative. But it was not necessary for him to die as a Hindu.

He curtly addressed the members by saying that:

“There is no religion worse than this in the whole world. So, you should discard this religion. in this religion, people are considered even worse than animals. People call all religions good. But, in this religion, the untouchables are considered to be separate from the society, whereas they serve the society in many ways”.

In Yevla conference, Dr Ambedkar said that this conference should be considered historic because all the Mahars of India were announcing here that they were going to change their religion. Ambedkar told the Mahars that they should stop celebrating the Hindu festivals. They should not worship Hindu gods and goddesses and neither should they go to temples. Where they were not given respect and dignity, it was better to abandon such a religion.



Dr Ambedkar stated “We are ashamed of being Hindus. As long as we adhere to the Hindu religion, we will not be able to speak against injustice. Power is needed to speak against injustice, people power, financial power and mental power. Hindu religion is based on the principle of different classes of people. It does not appeal to me because man is not made for religion, but religion is made for man. The religion, which does not understand the value of humanity, that prohibits people, who share the same faith from eating and drinking in the same utensils, does not merit to be a universal truth”.


Fight Against Casteism

In December 1935, Dr Ambedkar presided over the “Jaat-Paat Todak Mandal’ (Caste-Creed Breaking Party). Shri Sant Ram was the organizer of this party. The speech that Ambedkar gave in this function was talked about in the whole of India. Afterwards, Ambedkar turned his speech into a booklet and published it with the caption ‘Annihilation of Caste’.

In this booklet, Dr Ambedkar writes “During the Peshwas’ rule, if a high-caste Hindu was walking on the road, the low-caste Hindus didn’t have the permission to walk on the same road lest the former becomes impure by the shadow of latter. It was necessary that every low caste Hindu tie a black thread on his wrist or neck so that the high-caste Hindus recognized him and did not touch him by mistake. In the Peshwas’ capital Poona, it was the royal edict that the untouchables tie a broom on their waists and walk so that their footprints, which were etched on the ground, would be removed by the broom because if the footprints of the high-caste Hindus had fallen on those footprints, they would have become impure”.

There are four classes of people in a society — Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Different tasks have been delegated to different classes, which is a social injustice. It is a personal matter of a person to choose the work he wants to do and to do it; the society has no right to dictate certain jobs for selected people.


The Chief Architect

Baba Sahib Ambedkar was appointed to the Drafting committee by the Constituent Assembly of India, which elected him Chairman on 29th Augusdt 1947. Consequently the entire responsibility for drafting the Constitution came upon Baba Sahib Ambedkar`s shoulders and he did his work in such a praiseworth manner that today the whole India nation is gratful to him.

He prepared the Constitution in such a way so to establish social and economic equality in the society.


Provisions of the Constitution.

On 20th August 1947, Baba Sahib included these points for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the Constitution.

The state will try to ameliorate the weaker sections of the society, especially the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. it will provide education and will safe guard their economic rights and their progress. The state will also protect them from exploitation and other types of injustices.



The doors of the educational institutions were closed for the scheduled castes and tribes due to social injustices, hatred, untouchability and discrimination. In Article 29(2) the following provisions were included:-



“The claims of the members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall be taken into consideration, consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration, in the making of appointments to services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State (Article 335)”.

Seats have been reserved for the scheduled castes and tribes in the Lok Sabha by Article 330 of the Constitution and in the state Legislative Assemblies by Article 332. The members of these seats have been decided in accordance with the population of the scheduled castes and tribes in the concerned states.


Equality of Opportunities

In  Article 15, any discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex and place of birth or any one of these has been prohibited. The scheduled castes and tribes were now given equality of opportunity which they did not have before.