Architect of India's Constitution. His contributions and return gift from India

By - Abhudai Pal

Today, 14th April 2020 is the 129th birthday of Architect of India’s constitution Bharat Ratna Bhim Rao Ramji Ambedkar lovingly known as Babasaheb.


Before telling you about the immense contribution of Babasaheb. I have a small incidence from my childhood.

I was in the 7th standard, it was 14th April. A carpenter who was making furniture at my home asked me.

“Today, you will lighten Dias? " 

“No”. I said

Then he asked, who are you?

I sensed his intention behind the question.

 “I am a human” I replied with a deliberate innocent face. 

Then he understood that he won’t get to know the “thing” which he was interested in.

Since then I always wondered why only a few houses lighten Dias on Babasaheb Birthday. Why my house doesn't celebrate this day? Was he just a man of few? And being the most learned man of pre-independent India. Doesn't his contributions belong to every Indian?

CHILDHOOD OF ARCHITECT OF INDIA's CONSTITUTION

The architect of India’s constitution was born on 14th April 1891. You could say, India was fortunate to be the motherland of this great man. He was the  14th and the last child of his parents. His father worked at Subedar Rank in the Indian Army.

Therefore, his condition was okay financially. But social status worse than animals. Yes, worse than them.

In his autobiography, “Waiting for a Visa”, Ambedkar recalls that, though he was allowed to study in a school, he had to carry his own sack on which he used to sit. Other children didn’t mingle with him, because he was an untouchable/Shudra.

In school, he couldn’t drink water from the pot. A peon used to pour water for him at an above distance, so he doesn't become impure. The day when peon didn’t come to school, he remained thirsty. In his book, Ambedkar called this incident, “NO PEON, NO WATER”.

BABASAHEB AND HIGHER EDUCATION

Babasaheb pursued his B.A from the University of Bombay. Since he was an outstanding student with stellar academic performance. He got a scholarship from King of Baroda to pursue higher education.

He went to America, studied M.A, and got a Ph.D. for his thesis in economics from Columbia University. To quench his thirst for knowledge, Babasaheb went to the London School of Economics and pursued his M.S.C and D.S.C. In total, he wrote 4 theses. The foundation of India’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India, is based on the guidelines of Babasaheb's book, "The problem of money- Its origin and Its Solution".

Don’t assume that his interest was just economics, he pursued Barrister in Law from Gray’s Inn, London. He has a thesis on the social issue, Caste – Its origin and India.

You must be me knowing that having a bilingual brain is advantageous. But Mr. Ambedkar wasn’t just bilingual, he was multilingual he knew  Hindi, English, Pali, Sanskrit, English, French, German, Marathi, Persian, and Gujrati. Just imagine the intellectual ability of Babasaheb!

BABASAHEB CAREER CHOICE

If Babasaheb wanted he could have easily left the country and lived a luxurious life in any part of the world. No one would have refused him, considering his achievements.

But he chose something which shudders and pained him. That was the 2nd class treatment of people of lower caste by upper caste. Could you sense the audacity of so-called upper-caste Hindu, who justified their discriminatory and cruel behavior then and some radical Hindu still justifies it and under the banner of religion?

I love to hate such a religion and will continue to chastise such religion with reasons. The religion which justifies the cruelty on its fellow human being on the basis of birth. I refuse to accept such religion whose roots are regressive perse.

That may be the reason which compelled Babasaheb to say:

“When injustice becomes a law, Resistance becomes the duty”.

POLITICS AND MR AMBEDKAR

When the India Act of 1919 was prepared. Babasaheb was sought for his opinion by the British government. He suggested to the Southborough committee that a separate electorate be prepared for the untouchables and religious minorities.

He does publish periodicals like Mooknayak, Bahiskrat Bharat, and Equality Janta. From these periodicals, he explained his vision, and how Manuvaadi mindset is inflicting cruelty on his own people, whom they called HINDU.

In 1927, he began the Dalit movement in India.  He, supported by thousands of fellow Dalits drank water from the pond, which was restricted for the untouchables. He fought with strength and determination against the Manuvaadi Minded people for basic human rights.

On 25th December 1927, He publicly burned Manusmriti – a law book of Hindus. So, 25th December is also known as “Manusmriti Dahan Diwas”.By doing this he rejected Hinduism and refused to accept the antihuman, antiwomen, regressive, and insane laws of Manu. If you are a lady you must read Manusmriti, especially the 5th part of the book. Then, you will be zillion times thankful for Babasaheb. 

In 1932, he signed Poona Pact after an agreement with Gandhi. His demand for a separate electorate wasn’t fulfilled but he got reserved seats for Untouchables in the election. On 13th October 1935 in Nasik, he announced that he will convert to other religions to be free from the “so-called justifiable” injustice of Hinduism.

BABASAHEB-READER AND A WRITER  

The Architect of India’s constitution was a well-read person. He knows about the various ideologies that existed on earth, knows about the different forms of the democracies/autocracies/theocracy/Hitler's fascism to Stalin Communism, he knew everything.

His personal library has more than 50000 books.

He wasn’t just a reader. He was a writer too. You must feel fortunate that you have an opportunity to read the thoughts of a man who rose from ashes and gave you the right to freedom of speech and thought.

Some books of Architect of India's Constitution which you must read are:

  1. Annihilation of Caste
  2. Who were the Shudras
  3. What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables
  4. Thoughts on Pakistan
  5. Riddles in Hinduism
  6. The Untouchables
  7. Waiting for a VISA an Autobiography

There are other books too.  If you are interested read his thesis on, CASTES IN INDIA: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development.

CONTRIBUTIONS

The greatest contribution of Babasaheb was “THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA”, the book which defines how India should functions.

He was made the law minister in National Government on Mr. Gandhi's advice. It’s a matter of great pride for every Indian, that a well-learned man who has knowledge of Culture, Religions, Tradition, Ideologies, Economics, and Sociology was the head of the Drafting Committee.

His immense knowledge helped him to draft a constitution that is obligated to ensure socio-economic equality for every Indian, with a focus on the equitable allocation of resources.

Just see, how well Babasaheb summarizes the whole constitution in the PREAMBLE of the constitution which promises, equality, fraternity, justice for every Indian.

Another contribution of him was the HINDU CODE BILL which gave more rights to women. But some ultra-progressive forces of that era opposed the bill, as it was against the “HINDU DHARMA”. So, ladies now you can sense what HINDU DHARMA has to offer for you! Now you have a valid reason to be an Ambedkarite rather than Religious person.

In the constitution, he talked about scientific temper. How scientific was the temper of the people, who opposed the HINDU CODE BILL? Do think, if your religion allows you to think!

Due to the opposition, Nehru govt didn’t pass the bill. Thus, Ambedkar resigned.

HINDU DHARMA AND ARCHITECT OF CONSTITUTION

In October 1956, he chose to leave the religion which called him untouchable throughout his life. He along with his thousands of supporters accepted BUDDHISM as his new religion. On 6th December 1956, he decided to sleep till eternity after awakening millions of Indians.

I believe it's justified to leave a religion that failed to treat his fellow mates with basic dignity. Moreover, such religion doesn't deserve to be called a religion perse. It's better to call such religion an institution of chicanery, treachery, and Irrationality.

Return Gift and Identity

Undoubtedly, Babasaheb's contribution to the nation is unforgettable. But what this nation has given him in return?

A Bharat Ratna that too after his death in 1990.

You can call Babasaheb an Economist, Sociologist, Architect Of India's constitution, an anti-caste activist, Law minister of Independent India, Lawyer, Editor of magazines, an intellectual, Doctor, etc.

But a conscious effort has been made by some ultra-progressive religious forces to limit his identity to his caste.

Because of his highlighted caste identity, his birthday isn’t celebrated on a nationwide scale-like Mahatama Gandhi. Because celebrating Ambedkar Jayanti comes with a tag that, “You are an SC”. And the "SC" tag is no matter of pride in India.

Unfortunately, this nation has failed the vision of this great man by limiting his identity to his caste only. The constitution he made, ensures socio-economic equality and justice for every Indian not just for SCs. 

To the carpenter who wanted to know my caste identity and then predict whether I will celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti? He must know that the man whom he sees as a low caste person fought hard to ensure the basic human rights for him too.

 And yes, it's very painful that I never lightened the Dia on 14th April every year. But not this year, after all, I must not limit the identity of a great man to his caste only. He freed every Indian from the Shackles of orthodoxy and empowered them with the right to freedom of speech, thought, religious belief, etc.     

PRACTICAL WISDOM

I am astonished that people who identify Great men like Ambedkar with his caste only. Then, they argue that its been 70 years since Independence, so caste-based reservations should end but they never argue against the caste system.

But in the hearts of the UPPER CASTE HINDU caste system is deep-rooted. I can prove that. The biggest proof of their caste-based discrimination is that the 21st-century UPPER CASTE HINDU doesn't consider SC/ST/OBC's equal to them in social status that's why they don't marry their daughters with them. Despite the fact that SC/ST/OBC's are HINDU

With so much inequality they practice, still, they are shameless enough to oppose the caste-based Reservations and at the same time defend the caste system. After all, it is irrational to expect rationality from people whose pride lies in their caste and not in their karma. To such people, I would say, you don't deserve to live in India. The idea of India is Humanity and against discrimination of any form.


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