Ambedkar Jayanti

Ambedkar Jayanti or Bhim Jayanti is an annual festival celebrated on 14 April to commemorate the birthdate of B. R. Ambedkar, a polymath and civil rights activist who is widely regarded as the Architect of India’s constitution.

Ambedkar Jayanti is celebrated not just in India but all around the world. Ambedkar struggled for equality throughout his life, hence his birthday is celebrated as ‘Equality Day’ in India

This article will give brief details about Ambedkar Jayanti as well as about B.R Ambekar himself within the context of the IAS exam

Overview of Ambedkar Jayanti

Processions for Ambedkar Jayanti are carried out by his followers at Chaitya Bhoomi and Deeksha Bhoomi in Mumbai and Nagpur respectively. It is customary to see national figures of the highest order such as the President, Prime Minister and major political leaders paying homage to the statue of B.R. Ambedkar at the Parliament.

It is even celebrated all over the world to declare this day as “International Equality Day” going to the United Nations.

Large numbers of people visit local statues commemorating Ambedkar in procession with much fanfare. In 2020, the first online Ambedkar Jayanti was celebrated in the world.

Brief Biography of B.R. Ambedkar

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891 in the military cantonment  of Mhow (today known as Dr Ambedkar Nagar and located in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Being the last of 14 children, his father – Ramji Maloji Sakpal – was a Subedar in the British-Indian army. Ambedkar’s family belonged to the Mahar caste.

The Mahars had served in the East India Company, famously taking part in the Battle of Koregaon when they fought against the Maratha Empire.

Moreover, the Mahars were also treated as an untouchable caste and subjected to socio-economic discriminaton. B.R. Ambedkar and other Mahar students who attended school were segregated and were seldom offered any attention to them by the teachers. They were not allowed to sit inside the class and were required to sit in a gunny sack. If they had to drink water, some from a higher caste had to pour it from a height as they were not allowed to touch the water or the vessel. If that person did not come to school, then they had to go without water. “No peon, No Water” is how he described the situation.

This experience would shape his future views about the condition of the so-called ‘untouchable castes’.

Ambedkar graduated from Elphinstone College, University of Bombay, before completing his higher education in economics at Columbia University and the London School of Economics receiving doctorates in 1927 and 1923 respectively and was among a handful of Indian students to have done so at either institution in the 1920s.

He would participate in the Indian Independence movement, publishing journalism advocating for social reforms for Dalits. It was during this time where he would play a crucial role in shaping the modern-state of India.

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Role in Drafting the Constitution of India

Following India’s independence on 15 August, 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru invited B.R. Ambedkar served as its first Law Minister. Two weeks later, he would be appointed as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution for the Republic of India.

The constitution B.R. Ambedkar helped frame guarantees a wide range of civil liberties such as freedom of religion, abolition of untouchability and banning discrimination in all forms. Ambedkar argued for extensive economic and social rights for women. He successfully argued for and won the assembly;s support for introducing a system of reservation of jobs in the civil services, schools, government jobs for members of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and Other Backward Class. The system was taking affirmative action.

The members of the drafting committee hoped to eradicate the social inequalities that prevailed in Indian society through these measures. The new constitution was adopted. The Constitution was adopted on 26 November 1949 by the Constituent Assembly.

Legacy of B.R. Ambedkar

B.R. Ambedkar’s efforts left a lasting legacy in the social fabric of modern India. In post-independence India, his influence is seen in various spheres of life and changed the way India saw certain socio-economic issues.

He was an ardent believer in individual freedom and vehemently opposed the caste system. His strong opinions about all religions, made him a controversial figure amongst many of its adherents.

Despite this, B.R. Ambedkar had a reputation as a scholar which led to his appointment as India’s first law minister, and chairman of the committee for drafting the constitution. He would later convert to Buddhism some time before his death. This would lead to a revival in interest in Buddhist philosophy in India and abroad.

Many public institutions are named in his honour, and the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur, otherwise known as Sonegaon Airport. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, Ambedkar University Delhi is also named in his honour.

Famous Quotes by B.R. Ambedkar

“For a successful revolution it is not enough that there is discontent. What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of the justice, necessity and importance of political and social rights”

“Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of himself”

“We are Indians, firstly and lastly”

Frequently Asked Questions about Ambedkar Jayanti

Why is Ambedkar Jayanti celebrated?

Ambedkar Jayanti is celebrated to honour Dr Ambedkar’s countless contributions in the making of present-day India. Ambedkar Jayanti is also celebrated to remember the jurist’s dedication in fighting social evils like caste discrimination and oppression.

Why is Dr BR Ambedkar famous?

An Indian jurist, economist, politician, Dalit leader, and social reformer– Dr Ambedkar headed the drafting committee of the Constitution of India. Hence he is also called the father of the Indian Constitution. Dr Ambedkar also served as the Law and Justice Minister in Jawaharlal Nehru’s first cabinet.

Who started the tradition of celebrating Ambedkar Jayanti?

Babasaheb Ambedkar’s first birthday was publicly celebrated on 14 April 1928 in Pune, by Janardan Sadashiv Ranapisay, who was an Ambedkarite and social activist. He started the tradition of Babasaheb’s birth anniversary of Ambedkar Jayant.

Aspirants can find complete information about upcoming Government Exams through the linked article. More exam-related preparation materials will be found through the links given below

 

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