With all great regrets, It was only since the Vijayadashami of 2013, I started reading and leaning more about the greatest Indian who ever lived after the Mahatma. It was in Nagpur that time, when I witnessed lakhs of; I would say devotees gathered at the Deeksha bhoomi to commemorate the day when Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar went back to Buddhism along with his about 500,000 followers on 14 October 1956. Ambedkar’s return to Buddhism is still an important matter for many in India. It was a three day long programme and just like most of them who had gathered there from all over the country, it also became my annual pilgrimage in the following years.
Before I searched for learning more about him, all that I knew about this person was that he was the father of Indian constitution and that his statues and portraits would be there in every slums and government offices. Until then, I never knew he is the greatest Indian who ever lived after Mahatma and that he would eventually become an inspiration and a Hero.
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar popularly known as Babasaheb, was
- An Indian jurist,
- An economist,
- A politician,
- A social reformer,
- A Buddhist Activist
- An advanced Thinker
- A Philosopher
- An Anthropologist
- A Historian
- An Orator
- A prolific writer
- A great Scholar
He inspired the Modern Buddhist Movement and campaigned against social discrimination in India, striving for equal social rights for Dalits, women and labour. He was independent India’s first law minister and the principal architect of the Constitution of India.
Ambedkar was a prolific student, earning a law degree and various doctorates from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, and gained a reputation as a scholar for his research in law, economics and political science. In his early career he was an economist, professor, and lawyer. His later life was marked by his political activities, where he became involved in the negotiations for India’s independence campaigning by publishing journals advocating political rights and social freedom for untouchables and contributing significantly to the establishment of the state of India. In 1956 he converted to Buddhism, initiating mass conversions of Dalits. This is for some people of the country who lack the knowledge of him.
I have read and heard about the great leaders like Gandhiji and Nehruji. But while considering what Rajdeep Sardesai says, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. The architect of the Indian Constitution is that rare individual: Ignored in life, venerated in death. Ironically, we see the opposite with Jawaharlal Nehru: Hero-worshipped as India’s first prime minister, now targeted years later. The man who fought against the curse of “untouchability” is now an untouchable himself: You can question even Bapu’s politics and get away with it, but can’t say a single critical word about Babasaheb. The man who fought against deification is now a demigod for the Dalits and beyond.
Babasaheb’s versatile intellectualism, bravery and concern for the society has always inspired me to look at him as a Hero
(ref: Rajdeep Sardesai, wiki )