Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chronology Of Dr. Ambedkar’s Life

This can be considered as continuation of my last post on “Dr. Ambedkar and Dalits of India”. There were few requests from some of my readers (it really feels good to write *my readers* ) to give a very brief introduction on Dr Ambedkar’s life.

Here you go …

14th April 1891 - Born to Bhimabhai and Ramji Ambadvekar in the town of Mhow near Indor in Madya Pradesh.

1896 - His family moved to Satara in Bombay and he was enrolled in school in Satara.

1908 - Cleared his matriculation and got the opportunity to study at the Elphinstone College, affiliated with Bombay University. (Ambedkar also obtained a scholarship of twenty five rupees a month from the Gayakwad ruler of Baroda, Sahyaji Rao III)

1912 - Graduated with the economics and political science as major subjects from Bombay University and got a job in Baroda.

1913 to 1916 - Went to USA for further studies at Columbia University (Columbia University had awarded him the PhD for his thesis, which was later published in a book form under the title “The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India”)

1917-1919 - Taught at a College in Bombay and also brought out Marathi weekly whose title was ‘Mook Nayak’.

1920 to 1923 - Went to London and completed his thesis titled “The Problem of the Rupee” (for this thesis he was awarded the degree of DSc )

1923 - set up the ‘Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha’ (Out-castes Welfare Association), which was devoted to spreading education and culture amongst the downtrodden, improving the economic status and raising matters concerning their problems in the proper forums to focus attention on them and finding solutions to the same.

1927 - Led the Mahad March at the Chowdar Tank at Colaba, near Bombay, to give the untouchables the right to draw water from the public tank where he burnt copies of the ‘Manusmriti’ publicly.This marked the beginning of the anti-caste and ant-priest movement.

1930 - Launched The temple entry movement at Kalaram temple, Nasik. This is one more landmark in the struggle for human rights and social justice.

1932 - Signed Poona Pact. (some more info on poona pact; Ramsay McDonald announced the ‘Communal Award’ as a result of which in several communities including the ‘depressed classes’ were given the right to have separate electorates. This was a part of the overall design of the British to divide and rule. Gandhiji wanted to defeat this design and went on a fast unto death to oppose it. So Dr. Ambedkar and Gandhiji reached an understanding, which became the famous Poona Pact. According to this Pact, in addition to the agreement on electoral constituencies, reservations were provided for untouchables in Government jobs and legislative assemblies. The provision of separate electorate was dispensed with. The Pact carved out a clear and definite position for the downtrodden on the political scene of the country. It opened up opportunities of education and government service for them and also gave them a right to vote.)

1935 - Appointed principal of government law college and also once publicly proclaimed, his famous quote, “ I was born a Hindu because I had no control over this but I shall not die a Hindu” ( He was of the view that there was no future for untouchables in the Hindu religion and they should change their religion if need be.)

1936 - Founded “The Independent Labour Party”, participated in the provincial elections and was elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly.

Between 1941 - 1945 - Published number of books and pamphlets including his famous book Thoughts on Pakistan.

1947 - Joined the First Cabinet of independent India as a Law Minister. (Resigned because of the differences of opinion with the Government over the Hindu Code Bill)

1948 - Completed the draft of the Constitution and presented it in the Constituent Assembly

1949 - Draft adopted with very few amendments. ( Many provisions have been made in the Constitution to ensure social justice for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes).

1952 - Independently contested an election to the Lok Sabha but was defeated. He was appointed to the Rajya Sabha in March 1952 and would remain a member until his death.

14th 0ctober 1956 - Embraced Buddhism along with many of his followers. The same year he completed his last writing ‘Buddha and His Dharma’.

6th December 1956 - Baba Saheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Delhi.

1990 - Bestowed with Bharat Ratna

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