10 Facts About The Father Of Indian Constitution, Dr. B.R Ambedkar, That We Should Know
B R Ambedkar or Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar is popularly known as the Father of Indian constitution. The first Law Minister of independent India, his life was a dedicated journey towards ending social discrimination and inspiring the Modern Buddhist Movement in India. Popularly known as Babasaheb, he was born in 1891 in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh and campaigned against social discrimination against Dalits, women, and labor.
On his death anniversary, here is a sneak peek into his extraordinary life that changed the lives of millions, pivoting opportunities for the underprivileged.
1. Original surname
His original surname was Ambavadekar (derived from the name of his native village ‘Ambavade’ in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra). His teacher Mahadev Ambedkar changed his last name in school records to his because he was too fond of him.
2. Studies and degrees
Ambedkar was the first Indian to have a doctorate in Economics abroad. He is also the first Ph.D. in Economics and the first double doctorate holder in Economics in South Asia. He was one of the highly educated Indians amongst his generation. During his three years in Columbia University, he had enrolled in 29 courses in Economics.
3. Mahad Satyagraha of 1927
Three years prior to Gandhi’s Dandi March, The Mahad Satyagraha of 1927 was a pioneering step by Ambedkar. Started in the small town of Mahad, Maharashtra, Ambedkar led Dalits to drink water from Chavadar lake in Mahad to establish an outcry for equality for Dalits.
4. Reserve Bank of India
Ambedkar’s ideologies influenced the setting up of the Reserve Bank of India. The bank was designed around the guidelines penned down by Ambedkar in his book, The Problem of the Rupee – Its Origin and Its Solution.
5. The 14 Hours work rule
Dr. Ambedkar was responsible for a lot of reforms in the labor laws of the country. As a member of viceroy’s council from 1942 to 1946, during the 7th session of the Indian Labour Conference in New Delhi in November 1942, he changed the 14-hour working rule to 8 hours.
He also introduced other reforms such as medical leave, equal wages for equal work, periodic pay revisions, dearness allowance etc.
6. ‘Ambedkar’ is a textbook at Columbia University
‘Waiting for a Visa’ is a 20-page autobiographical account by Ambedkar that was based on his experiences as a Dalit child. Ambedkar’s family belonged to the Mahar caste who were treated as untouchables. The book is a textbook at Columbia University.
7. Ambedkar was against ‘Kashmir’ getting special treatment
During the drafting of the Indian constitution, Dr. Ambedkar was not in favor of the Article 370, which gives special status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
8. Ambedkar had initially proposed splitting Madhya Pradesh and Bihar
45 years before Madhya Pradesh and Bihar finally split up, Ambedkar had proposed the same in his book, ‘Linguistic States’. Eventually, the states were split into Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand.
9. Personal life
Ambedkar’s family and ancestors had been working with the British East Indian Company. His first wife died in 1935 after an illness. Later, Ambedkar married Dr. Sharada Kabir, a Saraswat Brahmin. He suffered from diabetes and lack of sleep. Ambedkar died in his sleep on 6th December 1956.
10. Ambedkar had converted to Buddhism
In 1956, Ambedkar and his wife converted to Buddhism. He then proceeded to convert some 500,000 of his supporters who were gathered around him.
Adding to all of this, he pioneered multipurpose valley projects in India like Damodar Valley project, the Bhakra Nangal Dam project, the Son River Valley project, and Hirakud dam project. Other than that he set up the grid system in India which the country still relies on for its energy production.
On Dr. Ambedkar’s 126th birthday anniversary, we hope our generation would learn more about the father of the Indian constitution.
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