The architect of Indian constitution, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary will be observed in a grand manner by the Government and thousands of followers from all over the state will converge at his memorial ‘Chaityabhoomi’. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb, was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired the Modern Buddhist Movement and campaigned against social discrimination against Dalits, women and labour. 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 Ambedkar 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 the Indian citizens. In 1956 he converted to Buddhism, initiating mass conversions of Dalits. In 1990, Ambedkar was posthumously conferred with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award. Ambedkar’s legacy includes numerous memorials and depictions in popular culture. Dr. Ambedkar was given the responsibility of drafting India’s Constitution, which he did in a time bound manner and to the satisfaction of everyone. His birthday is celebrated all over India and that is a great tribute for him.
He was an able leader leading from the front throughout his life, fought for the rights of the Dalits and other socially backward classes. An iconoclastic social reformer who being an untouchable fought against untouchability and brought social justice reforms in the society. The social reform movement of the caste Hindus could not win him to its side because of his existential understanding of the pangs of untouchability. In 1936, Ambedkar established the Independent Labour Party. In the 1937 elections to the Central Legislative Assembly his party won 15 seats. Ambedkar administered the transformation of his political party into the All India Scheduled Castes Federation, although it performed poorly in the elections held in 1946 for the Constituent Assembly of India.
He understood that adapting a democratic system in the Constitution would not suffice. Social parity among society, equality before law and administration, constitutional morality, lack of totalitarianism of the majority and evolving public morality are conditions for the success of democracy in India. The foremost condition is equality in society as equality is the foundation stone where the notions of liberty and fraternity develop. He remarked that equality is the original notion and respect for human personality is a reflection of it. If equality is denied, everything else may be taken to be denied.
The Constitution has guaranteed Fundamental Rights to every citizen. The idea behind them is to ensure certain basic rights to the citizens, so that they are not at the mercy of the shifting opinions of the legislators. He carved a unique and impregnable pride of place and honour in the history of the free Indian nation. So long as the Indian Constitution survives, the name of Babasaheb Ambedkar will remain immortal. He lives forever in the hearts of every downtrodden. He deserves all the accolades and his 125 birthday should show the way for national integration and freedom spirit among all.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)