82 Facts About Ambedkar


Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was an Indian jurist, economist, social reformer and political leader who headed the committee drafting the Constitution of India from the Constituent Assembly debates, served as Law and Justice minister in the first cabinet of Jawaharlal Nehru, and inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement after renouncing Hinduism.

FactSnippet No. 452,752

Ambedkar graduated from Elphinstone College, University of Bombay, and studied 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.

FactSnippet No. 452,753

Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891 in the town and military cantonment of Mhow (now in Madhya Pradesh).

FactSnippet No. 452,754

Ambedkar was the 14th and last child of Ramji Maloji Sakpal, an army officer who held the rank of Subedar, and Bhimabai Sakpal, daughter of Laxman Murbadkar.

FactSnippet No. 452,755

Ambedkar's family was of Marathi background from the town of Ambadawe in Ratnagiri district of modern-day Maharashtra.

FactSnippet No. 452,756

Ambedkar was born into a Mahar caste, who were treated as untouchables and subjected to socio-economic discrimination.

FactSnippet No. 452,757

Ambedkar's ancestors had long worked for the army of the British East India Company, and his father served in the British Indian Army at the Mhow cantonment.

FactSnippet No. 452,758

Ambedkar was required to sit on a gunny sack which he had to take home with him.

FactSnippet No. 452,759

In 1897, Ambedkar's family moved to Mumbai where Ambedkar became the only untouchable enrolled at Elphinstone High School.

FactSnippet No. 452,760

Ambedkar's wife had just moved his young family and started work when he had to quickly return to Mumbai to see his ailing father, who died on 2 February 1913.

FactSnippet No. 452,761

Ambedkar passed his M A exam in June 1915, majoring in economics, and other subjects of Sociology, History, Philosophy and Anthropology.

FactSnippet No. 452,762

Ambedkar was influenced by John Dewey and his work on democracy.

FactSnippet No. 452,763

Ambedkar got permission to return to London to submit his thesis within four years.

FactSnippet No. 452,764

Ambedkar returned at the first opportunity, and completed a master's degree in 1921.

FactSnippet No. 452,765

Ambedkar's thesis was on "The problem of the rupee: Its origin and its solution".

FactSnippet No. 452,766

Ambedkar was appointed Military Secretary to the Gaikwad but had to quit in a short time.

FactSnippet No. 452,767

Ambedkar described the incident in his autobiography, Waiting for a Visa.

FactSnippet No. 452,768

Ambedkar worked as a private tutor, as an accountant, and established an investment consulting business, but it failed when his clients learned that he was an untouchable.

FactSnippet No. 452,769

Ambedkar had been invited to testify before the Southborough Committee, which was preparing the Government of India Act 1919.

FactSnippet No. 452,770

At this hearing, Ambedkar argued for creating separate electorates and reservations for untouchables and other religious communities.

FactSnippet No. 452,771

Ambedkar's first organised attempt was his establishment of the central institution Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha, intended to promote education and socio-economic improvement, as well as the welfare of "outcastes", at the time referred to as depressed classes.

FactSnippet No. 452,772

Ambedkar was appointed to the Bombay Presidency Committee to work with the all-European Simon Commission in 1925.

FactSnippet No. 452,773

Ambedkar began a struggle for the right to enter Hindu temples.

FactSnippet No. 452,774

Ambedkar led a satyagraha in Mahad to fight for the right of the untouchable community to draw water from the main water tank of the town.

FactSnippet No. 452,775

In 1930, Ambedkar launched the Kalaram Temple movement after three months of preparation.

FactSnippet No. 452,776

In 1935, Ambedkar was appointed principal of the Government Law College, Bombay, a position he held for two years.

FactSnippet No. 452,777

Ambedkar served as the chairman of Governing body of Ramjas College, University of Delhi, after the death of its Founder Shri Rai Kedarnath.

FactSnippet No. 452,778

In 1936, Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour Party, which contested the 1937 Bombay election to the Central Legislative Assembly for the 13 reserved and 4 general seats, and secured 11 and 3 seats respectively.

FactSnippet No. 452,779

Ambedkar published his book Annihilation of Caste on 15 May 1936.

FactSnippet No. 452,780

In 1937, Ambedkar tabled a bill in the Bombay Legislative Assembly aimed at abolishing the khoti system by creating a direct relationship between government and farmers.

FactSnippet No. 452,781

Ambedkar served on the Defence Advisory Committee and the Viceroy's Executive Council as minister for labour.

FactSnippet No. 452,782

Jinnah and Ambedkar jointly addressed the heavily attended Day of Deliverance event in Bhindi Bazaar, Bombay, where both expressed "fiery" criticisms of the Congress party, and according to one observer, suggested that Islam and Hinduism were irreconcilable.

FactSnippet No. 452,783

Ambedkar argued that the Hindus should concede Pakistan to the Muslims.

FactSnippet No. 452,784

Ambedkar proposed that the provincial boundaries of Punjab and Bengal should be redrawn to separate the Muslim and non-Muslim majority parts.

FactSnippet No. 452,785

Ambedkar thought the Muslims could have no objection to redrawing provincial boundaries.

FactSnippet No. 452,786

Ambedkar saw Shudras and Ati Shudras who form the lowest caste in the ritual hierarchy of the caste system, as separate from Untouchables.

FactSnippet No. 452,787

Ambedkar oversaw the transformation of his political party into the Scheduled Castes Federation, although it performed poorly in the 1946 elections for Constituent Assembly of India.

FactSnippet No. 452,788

Ambedkar contested in the Bombay North first Indian General Election of 1952, but lost to his former assistant and Congress Party candidate Narayan Kajrolkar.

FactSnippet No. 452,789

Ambedkar became a member of Rajya Sabha, probably an appointed member.

FactSnippet No. 452,790

Ambedkar tried to enter Lok Sabha again in the by-election of 1954 from Bhandara, but he placed third.

FactSnippet No. 452,791

Ambedkar argued for extensive economic and social rights for women, and won the Assembly's support for introducing a system of reservations of jobs in the civil services, schools and colleges for members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and Other Backward Class, a system akin to affirmative action.

FactSnippet No. 452,792

Ambedkar was the first Indian to pursue a doctorate in economics abroad.

FactSnippet No. 452,793

Ambedkar argued that industrialisation and agricultural growth could enhance the Indian economy.

FactSnippet No. 452,794

Ambedkar stressed investment in agriculture as the primary industry of India.

FactSnippet No. 452,795

Ambedkar advocated national economic and social development, stressing education, public hygiene, community health, residential facilities as the basic amenities.

FactSnippet No. 452,796

Ambedkar favoured the stoppage of all further coinage of the rupee and the minting of a gold coin, which he believed would fix currency rates and prices.

FactSnippet No. 452,797

Ambedkar analysed revenue in his PhD dissertation The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India.

FactSnippet No. 452,798

Ambedkar contributed in Land Revenue Tax and excise duty policies to stabilise the economy.

FactSnippet No. 452,799

Ambedkar played an important role in land reform and the state economic development.

FactSnippet No. 452,800

Ambedkar emphasised a free economy with a stable Rupee which India has adopted recently.

FactSnippet No. 452,801

Ambedkar advocated birth control to develop the Indian economy, and this has been adopted by Indian government as national policy for family planning.

FactSnippet No. 452,802

Ambedkar believed there was an "ideal proportion" of production factors that would allow agricultural land to be used most productively.

FactSnippet No. 452,803

Ambedkar was trained as an economist, and was a professional economist until 1921, when he became a political leader.

FactSnippet No. 452,804

Ambedkar went to Bombay for treatment, and there met Sharada Kabir, whom he married on 15 April 1948, at his home in New Delhi.

FactSnippet No. 452,805

Ambedkar's adopted the name Savita Ambedkar and cared for him the rest of his life.

FactSnippet No. 452,806

Savita Ambedkar, who was called 'Mai', died on May 29, 2003, aged 93 in Mumbai.

FactSnippet No. 452,807

Ambedkar considered converting to Sikhism, which encouraged opposition to oppression and so appealed to leaders of scheduled castes.

FactSnippet No. 452,808

Ambedkar twice visited Burma in 1954; the second time to attend the third conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in Rangoon.

FactSnippet No. 452,809

Ambedkar then proceeded to convert some 500, 000 of his supporters who were gathered around him.

FactSnippet No. 452,810

Ambedkar prescribed the 22 Vows for these converts, after the Three Jewels and Five Precepts.

FactSnippet No. 452,811

Ambedkar then travelled to Kathmandu, Nepal to attend the Fourth World Buddhist Conference.

FactSnippet No. 452,812

Ambedkar remained in bed from June to October in 1954 due to medication side-effects and poor eyesight.

FactSnippet No. 452,813

Three days after completing his final manuscript The Buddha and His Dhamma, Ambedkar died in his sleep on 6 December 1956 at his home in Delhi.

FactSnippet No. 452,814

Ambedkar's birthdate is celebrated as a public holiday known as Ambedkar Jayanti or Bhim Jayanti.

FactSnippet No. 452,815

Ambedkar was posthumously awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1990.

FactSnippet No. 452,816

Ambedkar's initiatives have influenced various spheres of life and transformed the way India today looks at socio-economic policies, education and affirmative action through socio-economic and legal incentives.

FactSnippet No. 452,817

Ambedkar passionately believed in individual freedom and criticised caste society.

FactSnippet No. 452,818

Ambedkar was voted "the Greatest Indian" in 2012 by a poll organised by History TV18 and CNN IBN, ahead of Patel and Nehru.

FactSnippet No. 452,819

The portrait of Ambedkar, painted by Zeba Amrohawi, was unveiled by the then Prime Minister of India, V P Singh.

FactSnippet No. 452,820

Ambedkar has been criticised for his one-sided views on the issue of caste at the expense of cooperation with the larger nationalist movement.

FactSnippet No. 452,821

Ambedkar has been criticised by some of his biographers over his neglect of organization-building.

FactSnippet No. 452,822

Ambedkar said in 1935 that he was born a Hindu but would not die a Hindu.

FactSnippet No. 452,823

Ambedkar viewed Hinduism as an "oppressive religion" and started to consider conversion to any other religion.

FactSnippet No. 452,824

Ambedkar was critical of Hindu religious texts and epics and wrote a work titled Riddles in Hinduism in 1954 to 1955.

FactSnippet No. 452,825

Ambedkar wrote that "It is an incontrovertible fact that Christianity was not enough to end the slavery of the Negroes in the United States.

FactSnippet No. 452,826

Ambedkar criticized distinctions within Islam and described the religion as "a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction".

FactSnippet No. 452,827

Ambedkar opposed conversions of depressed classes to convert to Islam or Christianity added that if they converted to Islam then "the danger of Muslim domination becomes real" and if they converted to Christianity then it "will help to strengthen the hold of Britain on the country".

FactSnippet No. 452,828

Ambedkar viewed Shudras as originally being "part of the Kshatriya Varna in the Indo-Aryan society", but became socially degraded after they inflicted many tyrannies on Brahmins.

FactSnippet No. 452,829

Ambedkar disputed various hypotheses of the Aryan homeland being outside India, and concluded the Aryan homeland was India itself.

FactSnippet No. 452,830

Ambedkar accepted the Marxist theory that the privileged few's exploitation of the masses perpetuated poverty and its issues.

FactSnippet No. 452,831

Ambedkar saw Communists as willing to resort to any means to achieve proletarian revolution, including violence, while he himself saw democratic and peaceful measures as the best option for change.

FactSnippet No. 452,832

Ambedkar opposed the Marxist idea of controlling all the means of production and ending private ownership of property: seeing the latter measure as not able to fix the problems of society.

FactSnippet No. 452,833