B.R. Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar, was an economist, politician, and social reformer who fought for the rights of the Dalit community who were considered as untouchables back in the day (they are still considered untouchables in certain parts of the country). A principal architect of the Constitution of India, Ambedkar also advocated for women’s rights and labours’ rights.
Recognised as the first Law and Justice Minister of Independent India, Ambedkar’s contribution to constructing the entire concept of the Republic of India is immense.
A brief history of Ambedkar and his contributions
Ambedkar was a brilliant student and practitioner of law and economics. He earned doctorate degrees in Economics from both Columbia University and London School of Economics. He used his strong grasp in economics to free the state of India from archaic beliefs and ideas. He opposed the concept of creating separate electorates for the untouchables and advocated equal rights for all.
He established the Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha to promote education among the “social outcastes” which consisted of non-Brahmin classes of people. He introduced five periodicals—Mooknayak, Bahishkrit Bharat, Samta, Janata, and Prabuddha Bharat to write more about the deprived classes.
He fiercely opposed a separate electorate for the backward class of people as suggested by the British. Following long discussions, a pact was signed between Ambedkar on behalf of the backward classes and Congress activist Madan Mohan Malaviya on behalf of the other Hindu communities. This pact, known as the Poona Pact, allowed the deprived class of people to receive 148 seats in the legislature as opposed to 71 seats as suggested by the British Government. This deprived class was later recognised as “Scheduled Caste” and “Scheduled Tribe” in the Indian Constitution. After gaining independence from British rule, Ambedkar was invited to become the first Law and Justice Minister, an offer he accepted. He was later appointed to draft India’s first Constitution to which he obliged, and thus the Constitution of India came into existence.
How is Ambedkar Jayanti is celebrated?
The birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar is celebrated across the country, especially among women, Dalits, Adivasis, labourers, and all the other communities for whom Ambedkar fought. Ambedkar’s statues and portraits are commemorated with garlands as people pay their respect to the social reformer. Even the United Nations observed Ambedkar Jayanti in the years 2016, 2017, and 2018. Cultural events and discussions pertaining to Ambedkar’s life are common practices on this day.
Ambedkar’s philosophy is still relevant to this day. Without Babasaheb’s active role in shaping India’s socio-cultural system, it would have been nearly impossible to make any progress from dated and archaic beliefs to the country the world’s biggest democracy
Why Is Ambedkar Jayanti Celebrated?
India celebrates the Jayanti of Dr B R Ambedkar in order to remember and honour his significant contribution to the Indian poor. He was the main brain behind the Indian Constitution. In 1923, the Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha was founded by him to spread the need for education and enrich the financial status of the low-income group. A social movement, which was aimed at eradicating casteism in the country, was run by him. He commenced social movements such as the anti-priest movement, temple entry movement, anti-caste movement, etc.
In 1930, the temple entry movement was led by him to Nashik for human rights. According to him, the problems of oppressed people are not resolved completely through political power. Oppressed people should be given equal rights in society. In 1942, he was a member of Victoria’s Executive Council. During his tenure, he fought for safeguarding the rights of the low-class people. He was a social reformer and economist throughout his life.
Significant Contributions Of Dr B R Ambedkar
- The contributions of Dr B R Ambedkar have been significant. He fought for protecting the rights of the Dalit community by organising several events. The notable events include Equality Janta, Mook Nayaka, etc.
- The Congress Government had invited him to become the first Law Minister when the country was freed from the British administration on 15 August 1947. He was deputed as a Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee on 29 August 1947.
- He crafted the new constitution for the country. The Constituent Assembly adopted the new constitution on 26 November 1949.
- His contributions have been enormous in establishing the Central Bank of India, which is the Reserve Bank of India, as he was an economist. He authored three books: “The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin and its Solution,” “Administration and Finance of East India Company,” and “The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India.”
- Since he was an economist, Dr B R Ambedkar played a vital role in comprehending the Indian economy.
- People were motivated by him for the growth of the agricultural sector and industrial activities. He also motivated people for better education and community health.
- The Dalit Buddhist Movement was inspired by him.
Ambedkar Jayanti is an important day for Indian officials and citizens, oriented around happiness and reflection. It is a public holiday that allows the Indian people to reflect on the social progress of India.
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