Today marks the 129th birth anniversary of jurist, politician, economist and social reformer BR Ambedkar who is also called the architect of the Indian Constitution.
He is one of those leaders of our country whose contribution to Indian politics cannot be overstated. He is also credited to be the force behind the Dalit Buddhist movement in India.
Every year his birth anniversary celebrations across the country are nothing less than a festival. This year, however, due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the Centre has directed all the states to not allow any kind of gathering. The police have also directed the citizens to stay indoors.
On the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti, also known as Bhim Jayanti, here are a few interesting facts about the leader:
– Ambedkar’s birthplace Mhow in Indore district was renamed as Dr. Ambedkar Nagar in 2003 by the Government of Madhya Pradesh.
– His full name is Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar and he was the 14th and last child of his parents. Also, his original surname was Ambawadekar. However, reportedly, it was changed by his teacher in school.
– His father Ramji Maloji Sakpal was an army officer who held the rank of Subedar.
– Ambedkar moved to Mumbai in the year 1897 with his family. He became the only ‘untouchable’ enrolled at Elphinstone High School.
– He was married at the age of 15 to a nine-year-old girl, Ramabai. He married for the second time in the year 1948.
– When Ambedkar had cleared his English examinations, the people of his community wanted to celebrate because they considered that he had reached “great heights.”
– In 1913, at the age of 22, Ambedkar moved to the United States for further studies.
– He has received a many awards and recognitions including 1956’s Bodhisattva, Bharat Ratna in 1990, First Colombian Ahead of Their Time Award in 2004 and The Greatest Indian in 2012.
– The Reserve Bank of India was conceptualised according to the guidelines presented by Ambedkar to the Hilton Young Commission.
– Ambedkar was instrumental in bringing several labour reforms and changing the working hours from 12 to 8 hours in the year 1942. He also introduced dearness allowance, leave benefit, employee insurance and medical leave for workers.
– While drafting the Constitution, Ambedkar had opposed Article 370, which granted a special status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.