India remembered the icon and Bharat Ratna Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar on his 124th birth anniversary. President Pranab Mukherjee, leaders across the political parties and members of public paid rich tributes to the icon considered as the architect of the Constitution of India and a robust social and political reformer.
Since the early morning Tuesday, members of general public assembled in the capital to pay floral tributes at his grand statue within the Parliament House complex.
Nation’s first law minister and an eminent jurist Dr. Ambedkar was born in Mhow, Central province (then) in 1891 into a poor dalit family. Fighting odds, atrocities and rampant social discrimination Dr. Ambedkar was the first ever dalit student to have studied in any Indian university. Add to that, he was among very few of the early Indian students to have studied in a United States university. After studying in prestigious Sydenham College in Bombay (then) he went on to earn a law degree along with several honours in Doctorates from Columbia University and the London School of Economics. Establishing himself a prolific student, he gained a reputation of an eminent scholar for his research in law, economics and political science.
Back home he aggressively pushed for social reforms aiming at emancipation of dalits and the untouchables, as they were termed then and continues to term even now. He tirelessly fought for the equality status and political rights of the scheduled castes and tribes.
In 1936, Dr. Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour Party, which contested in 1937 Bombay election to the Central Legislative Assembly. In all for the 13 reserved and 4 general seats, Independent Labour Party secured 11 and 3 seats respectively.
One of the greatest leaders of the movement for the struggle of Independence, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar served as independent India’s first Union Law Minister and was appointed Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee on the 29th August, 1947.
A brilliant mind on legal jurisprudence, he was a robust Parliamentarian with an honour of being a member in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. He was nominated to the upper house in 1952, where he continued till his demise on 6th December, 1956.
Dr. Ambedkar, also referred to as Babasaheb, was posthumously honoured with highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna in 1990.
Babasaheb’s legacy lives on with various educational institutions and Government of India programmes named in his honour. Several political movements aimed at social justice and equality has been drawing an inspiration from him.
Among his works “Annihilation of Caste”, “Buddha and his Dhamma”, “Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development”, “Pakistan or the Partition of India” is considered among the best of works on social, political, subaltern, modernist and post-modernist subjects.