Many firsts to the credit of Baba Sahib Dr.B.R.Ambedkar.
(Reverential Tributes on his 61st Mahaparinirwan Divas falling on 6th December,2017)
By :- Er. H. R. Phonsa
It is prudently said that some people are born great others are made great and still others become great by surmounting hurdles in their paths by themselves. Another philosopher said that some people read history, some teach history, some people make history and a few become history by themselves. As per both these statements Dr. Ambedkar fell in the last category of people who become history by overcoming all worldly barriers in his way. There was not even a singly favourable hurdle free step in his life. There was not even a single act of his life which did not warrant him to use his highest skills. He rarely earned anything through favour or courtesy of others. All throughout his life he had to row against the currents. He was born in rags and died with rupees Forty thousand debt, bore loincloth in school , sat alone on the corner of classroom floor many times in outside school veranda , remained thirsty for hours , hated as untouchable by his classmates, teachers, students, follow politicians including his office Brahmin peon. He slept on floor; lived night through on single loaf of bread but was first to reach daily the entry gate of London Museum and last to leave it. He was termed as poor man’s lawyer despite his world class Law Degrees. He restored all lost hopes of Jedhe-Jawalkar and R D Karve by winning them their cases in Poona Court. This proved Dr. Ambedkar’s superiority as an imminent lawyer. He has earned the honour of being only one Asian among the 12 Gay’s personalities whose portrait are displayed in the Gay’s Inn. He was called traitor by his opponents for his caring for those to whom even God never cared. He over worked at the cost of his health and life comforts including family life. He lost his poise and caring wife in her youth and four children (Three sons Romesh , Gangadhar, Rajratana and one daughter named Indu ) for want of medicines for their treatment. On the death of his sons son his wife had to tear out a part of her sari to cover the dead child before giving burial. But Dr. Ambedkar never deviated from the set goal of securing honouable life conditions to his people whom he loved even dearer to his life. They too stood by his in thick and thin. He often said he was born to safe guard interests of untouchable and he was prepared to offer any sacrifice. He remained awake even during nights to see that their interests were not sabotaged. He never acted against the interests of his country. He said in clear terms in Bombay Legislative Council as its member in 1927 “Whenever there is a conflict between my personnel interests and the interests of country as a whole, I have always placed the claims of the country above my personnel claims --- when there is a conflict in interests between country and the Untouchables, the untouchable’s interests will take precedence over the interests of the country”. In another statement he said that he was Indian in the beginning, in the middle and in the end. He said he was not like those who are the Hindu, the Muslim, the Sikh, the Christian and alike first then Indian. Against all odds he did what he thought fit for his peoples and country. He struck to his words and fulfilled promises made with his people. Dr. Ambedkar was convinced that Hindus shall never cherish getting the human rights to Depressed classes people. Show of love of Hindus for the Dalits was to use them for their numbers and for their unpaid services. Mahatama Gandhi a Snatani Hindu to core has acknowledged that Dr. Ambedkar was the greatest Challenge to Hinduism. Dr. Ambedkar declared in 1935 that he shall not die as a Hindu and he full filled this promise on 14th October 1956 only 52 days before his death by embracing Buddhism along with nearly ten Lacs of his followers . Such en-mass religion change by choice was perhaps the only example in world history. He was opponent to religious superstitions and rigidity. He was against none but suppression, hate and denial of political, social, educational and economic rights to Dalits including women. He waslower caste Mahar Dalit but adopted his surname “Ambedkar” from his soft hearted Brahmin teacher and he re- married Dr. Sharda Kabir ( later Mrs.Savita Ambedkar)a Maharashtrian Brahmin Saraswati bride. Some of good hearted friends, colleagues and teachers were from higher castes, so he enjoyed confidence of all those who stood for welfare of humanity at large. Had he not born at the right hour of history, the present history of poor, women, unprivileged, hated Dalit untouchables and working class people would have been completely different with their slavery chains intact andthe Constitutional rights for millions would have been buried deep in the free Indian soil? Whatever he did during his life he did with conviction, whatever he spoke or wrote, it was historic truth backed by deep studied. He remained loyal to his people and his country, the Bharat. He never said a word against any religion, but challenged religion based inhuman norms, “ isms” in them of hate to wards humanity more so to their own religious fellows, who did not toe their( Brahmins) wrong convictions. He was Masiha or saviour of poor, deprived, hated and neglected humanity. He was the only highest qualified academician, who entered the Indian politics. Politicians of his times proved dwarfs to his qualifications, qualities, character, labour and steadfastness to commitments. Despite all odds Bharat Ratana Baba Sahib Bhimrao Ambedkar was credited with such unique qualities that whatever field he touched, he left on it indelible marks of his scholarly intellect. He was born on 14th April,1891 in a poor Dalit Mahar family carrying history of military service. Bhimrao Ambedkar’s grandfather Maloji Sakhpal was a Havaldar in the British Army and his father Ramji Sakhpal was Subedar Major in Bombay Army of the East India Company. Dr. Ambedkar too joined service as the Military Secretary to the Maharaja of Baroda, who had granted scholarship to Bhim for his higher studies abroad. Later Dr. Ambedkar was to be appointed as Finance Minister of the Baroda state but the unbearable caste based hate and prejudices forced him to soon resign. The arrogant behaviour of a Brahmin peon with Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar deprived, the kingdom of Baroda of the scholarly services of economist of world repute. Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar never compromised with his self honour and honour of his people. He preached to his fellowmen to live with dignity keeping spine erect. He succeeded in getting legal provisions and privileges for his people in t he Constitution of free India of which he was the Father. The worst enemy of Dalits and women, the Practice of untouchability in any of its form was made punishable offence in the Constitution of India. This negated the inhuman Hindu Laws of Manu. Earlier on 25th December 1925 Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar had burnt the Manusmriti page by page in full public view.
Dr .Ambedkar was the first in his community to pass Matriculation Examination in 1907 .He was first Dalit to get education in foreign lands in one of most prestigious world Universities like Columbia University USA, London School Of Economics U.K, Bonn University in Germany, Bar at the Gray’s Inn. He was rare of rarest Indian who obtained M.A; PhD ; DSc.; Barrister –at- Law; LL.D; D. Litt and many more Honorary Degrees from many foreign Universities. It is also a hard fact that despite being a world class supper human, he was not given any befitting honour by his Alma Mater the University Of Bombay during his life times. He was a reputed scholar in Economics, Political Sciences, Law, Constitutional Law, Anthropology, and Religion Philosophy. He was a great teacher also, backed by his deep studies of the subjects he taught. Perhaps he was first among Dalits to be appointed professor ( June 1928 to March 1929) and to occupy the chair of the Principal of the Government Law College Bombay( Now Mumbai) affiliated to Bombay University June 1,1935 to May 1938 where he was hated during his studies.
Dr. Ambedkar observed that the journalism which was earlier a profession had turned into business exploitation in the hands of capitalists. Dr Ambedkar sensed the need of a news paper of his own and said a leader without a news paper was like a bird without wings. He was perhaps the first Dalit to enter the world of journalism when launched on the Mook Nayak ( Leader of dumb) on January 31st,1920 ,on 3rd April,1927 the Bahiskrit Bharat( Excluded India), the Samta( Equality) the Janta ( People) on 24th November,1930,The Prubh Bharat ( Awakened Bharat ). His writings in these news papers spread his message very quickly among the depressed class masses. He stated his news papers much earlier than Mahatama Gandhi’s the Harijan, started in February 1933.
Baba Sahib Dr. Ambedkar was first Dalit to be awarded Bharat Ratana in 1990 posthumously after a lapse of 34 years after his death. This shows apathy of the ruling parties towards their National celebrities.
Hardly anybody could imagine that a Mahar Subedar Major’s 14th child Bhiva ( Bhimrao’s first name) could one day divert the world attention towards the deplorable condition of Indian Untouchable millions, seeking constitutional rights for them in Round Table conferences called by the mighty British Crown’s Government in their heartland . Dr. Ambedkar was one of the two Untouchables who were first to be nominated to represent the slaves to the British Indian Slaves. Dr. Ambedkar’s courage , convections backed by world’s highest degrees forced the British Crown’s Government along with Indian monarchs, politicians to listen the woes of half feed, half naked, illiterates socially lowest of the low through their own representative who had studied world history in foreign lands. He also warned the British to leave India soon as they have failed to make any improvement in the, social, religious, political, educations and economic conditions of poor particularly untouchable millions during their rule. In the three Round Table conference in London Dr. Ambedkar’s narrations were so logical and force full that all eye brows were raised to listen the plight of those who had never been represented before, in history in any such official forum. About his narrations news items were carried by news papers world over with editorials written in praise of the new found leaders of Indian untouchables. Not only Dr. Ambedkar’s views were highly acclaimed in all world spheres but they brought dividends for Untouchable in the future governments Of India. The problems of untouchable were brought on world forum for finding their solutions speedily. This way the British were made to realise their folly of siding with the the exploiters of Dalits by giving them treatment even worst than animals.
The British were made to find space for Indian untouchable in the future governance of India. To give political representation to untouchables Simon Commission was established. Dr. Ambedkar’s plea before Simon Commission with other organisations and leaders of Depressed classes was so forceful that the British India government announced Communal Award outlining the method of reserving seats in representative bodies with a right of duel votes to untouchables to use in the future election. This established the existence of untouchables as a definite and separate identity and equal stake holders in the future constitution. Another feather in Dr. Ambedkar’s cap was added.
On this Mahatama Gandhi backed by Hindu reactionary forces , under took fast unto death in Yarwada Jail Poona ( Now Pune). Mahatma Gandhi was against granting any political rights to untouchables, saying theirs was an internal social problems to be solved within the frame work of Hindu Verna system. Dr. Ambedkar disputed Gandhi’s contentions by saying that if it was so, why hate against untouchables had remained intact for centuries. Tremendous pressure was mounted against Ambedkar to save Mahatma’s life. Therefore the Poona pact was signed by Dr. Ambedkar under duress to save Gandhi’s life but standing on equal pedestal with those who had denied evening touch shadow of untouchable but to talk of granting any human right to them for centuries. Reservation in the provincial and central legislatures, appointments in public services and local bodies with removal of disabilities of the depressed classes were the direct result of the Poona Pact. Denial of double election and duel voting as per Communal Award or separate electorates, gave a chance to upper caste political body heads to select dummy candidates from scheduled castes and scheduled Tribes to contest the reserved seats and be a party to denial of Constitutional Rights to the Dalit communities.
Dr. Ambedkar himself a great lover of books and a writer with millions of readership was the first to burn the Hindu Code book “ Manusmiriti” as Manu, its writer claimed “It contain laws with Divine sanction”. Dr. Ambedkar disputed Manu’s claims by saying .it was devised to give sanctions of inhuman suppression of untouchables and women. He was also first in the history of caste struggle to sip water of Choudar Tank ( Water Tank) by organising Satyagraha. Taking water from Choudar Tank was banned from centuries for the untouchable Hindus. He was hurt gravely in the melee but did not lose heart to fight law suit instituted against him and his followers. It took him ten years to win the law suit. To register untouchable’s just right to worship in Hindu temples, he organised Kalaram Temple entry struggle on 2nd March, 1930 with his follow men and women. This Dalit organised struggle was carried for five long years but caste Hindus did not yield any ground for untouchable’s right to worship in the Kalaram temple. Even now after nine decades of the temple entry struggle for five years superstitious Hindus do not allow the Untouchable to enter many of their temples.
Dr. Ambedkar claimed Mahatama jyotirao Phule (1827-1890) as his political guru. When Phule was convinced that illiteracy was main reason of untouchable slavery he along with his wife Mata Savitribai Phuley opened 18 schools in and around Poona ( now Pune) starting from January 1st in 1848’.Some of these schools were excursively for girl students of all castes. After a centaury of opening schools by Phuley Couple Dr. Ambedkar founded People’s Education Society on 8th July, 1945 base on five principles namely the ideal of knowledge, the ideals of compassion, the ideal of democracy, the ideal of equality and the ideal of justice is parents. The primary aim of this society is to promote higher education among the poorer people in general and Buddhists Scheduled Castes a,Scheduled Tribes and other backward Classes in particular. The Peoples Education Society founded “The Milind College, Aurangabad Maharashtra” a most backward area of Maharashtra state. Its foundation was laid by Dr. Ambedkar on 9th July,1953. The People’s Education Society is now manning a large chain of quality educational Institutions giving employment to thousands of youth.
A few more fields where Dr Ambedkar was also first in his achievements
· Dr. Ambedkar was youngest of the 14th Child of his parents.
· Birth control:-In 1927 there were only three Indians who were talking about birth control and warning that India will face consequences of neglecting these reforms. These three people were J R D Tata, Dr B.R. Babasaheb and R D Karve. Dr Ambedkar locked horns with those, who in the name of tradition and religion, opposed sex education," said historian Hari Narke. R D Karve published a magazine called Samaj Swasthya (society's health) from July 15, 1927 to 1953. The magazine was dedicated to sex and health education to curve growing Indian population It preached birth control methods .Some orthodox Puneites dragged R D Karve to court, accusing him of spreading and encouraging "obscenity" by talking about sex education. Dr. Ambedkar as R.D. Karve’s advocate won him the case. ( TOI Pune City edition Apr 14, 2016,)
· Personal collection of books: 50000 (excluding the collection of books, which were lost when the ship on which they were dispatched from London was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine)
Perhaps there was nobody else in the world with this much collection of personal books in the human history?
Perhaps there was nobody else in the world with this much collection of personal books in the human history?
· To challenge discriminatory rules and systems like a Khoti System, Mahar Vatan, bonded labour, unequal wages to women workers, long hours of labour in factories or houses on nominal wages, non existence of maternity leave for women workers, non entry of depressed classes students into government funded education institutions, non employment of depressed class persons in higher posts in government services, non payment for over time in factories.
· To advocate of nationalisation of agriculture, land to be vested in government, paid maternity leave, political rights to depressed classes people, paid over time in offices and factories at the double rate of normal wages, no religious interference in government affairs and such other government progressive measures.
· To launch a political party ( I L P) of Dalits for the Dalits and by Dalits. He won 17 seats in 1937 Provincial Elections including 3 from general constituencies. This was history of its sorts for Dalits to occupy the same political pedestal as their opponents from upper
· To be appointed as Member of Viceroy’s Executive council as Labour, Employment, CPWD Minister from among Dalits. Dr. Ambedkar wrote the whole text single-handedly, as a duty to parliament, in-spite of his bad health and busy personal social service.
· To earn honour to be the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee to draft Constitution for free India.
· The First union Minister in the world history who resigned when his drafted Bill, Viz.The Hindu Code Bill for rights of women was not passed by parliament due to caste and sex prejudices of orthodox Upper Caste Hindus in and outsides of Parliament .
· He was first in history of Bombay on whose death Bombay witnessed largest funeral procession , where over five lacs Dalits embraced Buddhism in one go.
· He was perhaps first Minister of Indian Union, who was not allowed to address the Parliament to announce his resignation as Law Minister Of India. The Constitution he fathered was quoted to hinder to his last address as Union Law Minister.
· As Labour Executive Member of the Viceroy Lord Wavel ‘s council( 1942 and 1946) . He was sworn as the Labor Member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council in July 7, 1942. Dr. Ambedkar did a pioneering work . Dr. Baba saheb Ambedkar believe that caste is not merely the division of Labour but division of labourers based upon the graded inequality. He laboured hard to framed Labour benefit laws as an Executive Council Member. Detail of the Laws framed during Dr. Ambedka’s tenure as member of the Executive Council Council.
· Reduction in Factory Working Hours (8 hours duty) : Today the working hours in India per day is about 8 hours. We do not know that how many Indians know, that Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was the Savior of Labors in India. He brought 8 hours duty in India and change the working time from 14 hours to 8 hours and became a light for workers in India. He brought these laws in the 7th session of Indian Labor Conference in New Delhi, November 27, 1942.
· Health Insurance Scheme.
· Labor Welfare Funds
· Provident Fund Act.
· Factory Amendment Act.
· Labour Disputes Act.
· Minimum wage
· Dearness Allowance (DA) to Workers.
· Leave Benefit to Piece Workers.
· Revision of Scale of Pay for Employees.
· Coal and Mica Mines Provident Fund:
· Creator of Damodar valley project, Hirakund project, The Sone River valley project
· The Indian Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill:
· Indian Statistical Law.
· Post War Economic Planning.
· India’s Water Policy and Electric Power Planning
· The original source of reference for all the 13 Finance Commission reports, in a way, are based on Dr. Ambedkar’s P.hd thesis, "The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India", written in 1923.
· Laying basis of establishing the RBI. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came into picture according to the guidelines laid down by Dr Ambedkar? Reserve Bank of India was conceptualised as per the guidelines, working style and outlook presented by Dr Ambedkar in front of the Hilton Young Commission. When this commission came to India under the name of “Royal Commission on Indian Currency & Finance”, each and every member of this commission were holding Dr Ambedkar’s book named “The Problem of the Rupee – Its origin and its solution.” (VELIVADA). Despite this the Indian currency Notes Carry Mahatama Gandhi’s Portrait on them and Rabindernath Tagore as Brand Ambassador of SBI ,However GOI has issued set of 10 coins in honour of Dr.Ambedkar on his 125th birth anniversary
· Employees State Insurance (ESI.
· Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar framed many laws for Women Labors in RBI India :
· Mines Maternity Benefit Act.
· Women Labor welfare fund.
· Women and Child, Labor Protection Act.
· Maternity Benefit for women Labour.
· Restoration of Ban on Employment of Women on Underground Work in Coal Mines,
· Indian Factory Act.
· National Employment Agency (Employment Exchange
· Equal wages for equal work irrespective of Sex and caste of the labourer was brought in India.
· He inspired the Modern Buddhist Movement in India.
· Baba Sahib Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Ambedkar was a rare jewel and earned uncountable first in his life and after. Many surveys have been carried world over after Baba Sahib’s death which selected him as first among many world personalities.
· Ambedkar was opposed to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which gives a special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
· Dr. Ambedkar the Father of Indian Constitution was voted undisputed as the “Greatest Indian” in a poll Spearheaded by history TV18 and CNN IBN. Nearly two crore voters took part in the voting. The results were declared on 12 August 2012.
· Dr. Ambedkar the Messiah of Dalits and oppressed world garnered the second highest ( Next only to Mr. M.K. Gandhi, the Mahatma) jury votes in a three pronged process which gave equal weight -age to the popular vote, a jury and on ground poll. The poll was conduced by A+E Networks,TV18.
· Dr. Ambedkar ‘s name was placed at serial number ONE out of the 100 most pioneering students of USA’s most prestigious Columbia University since its start 250 years ago in2004.
Dr.Ambedkar said“ A great man is different from an eminent one in that he is ready to be the servant of the society”. He himself qualified this definition.
Words :- 3900 Er. H. R. Phonsa
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