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Indian History

The Life and Legacy of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar

  • 17 Apr 2023
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: Round Table Conferences, Poona pact, Drafting Committee, Buddhism, Bharat Ratna.

For Mains: Contribution of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Relevance of Ambedkar in Present Times.

Why in News?

India Celebrates Birth Anniversary of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar on April 14, 2023.

Who was Dr. BR Ambedkar?

  • About:
    • Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was a prominent Indian jurist, economist, social reformer, and politician.
    • He was born on April 14, 1891 in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh.
      • His father, Subedar Ramji Maloji Sakpal, was a well-read person and follower of Sant Kabir.
  • Education:
    • Ambedkar earned his Bachelor's degree from Bombay University and went on for further studies to Columbia University in New York and London School of Economics.
  • Contributions:
    • In 1924, he started an Association for the welfare of the depressed classes and in 1927, he started the Bahishkrit Bharat newspaper to address the cause of the depressed classes.
      • He also led the Mahad Satyagraha in March 1927.
    • He participated in all three Round Table Conferences.
    • In 1932, Dr. Ambedkar signed the Poona pact with Mahatma Gandhi, which abandoned the idea of separate electorates for the depressed classes (Communal Award).
    • In 1936, he formed the Independent Labour Party to safeguard the interests of the depressed classes.
    • In 1942, Dr. Ambedkar was appointed to the Executive Council of the Governor General of India as a Labour member and elected to the Constituent Assembly from Bengal in 1946.
    • In 1947, Dr. Ambedkar became Minister of Law in the first Cabinet of independent India.
      • He resigned from the cabinet in 1951, over differences on the Hindu Code Bill.
  • Additional Details:
    • Later in life, He converted to Buddhism. He passed away on December 6, 1956, which is commemorated as Mahaparinirvan Diwas
      • Chaitya Bhoomi is a memorial to B R Ambedkar, located in Mumbai.
    • He was also awarded India’s highest civilian honour the Bharat Ratna in 1990.
  • Important Works:
    • Journals:
      • Mooknayak (1920)
      • Bahishkrit Bharat (1927)
      • Samatha (1929)
      • Janata (1930)
    • Books:
      • Annihilation of Caste
      • Buddha or Karl Marx
      • The Untouchable: Who are They and Why They Have Become Untouchables
      • Buddha and His Dhamma
      • The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women
    • Organisations:
      • Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha (1923)
      • Independent Labor Party (1936)
      • Scheduled Castes Federation (1942)
  • Relevance of Ambedkar in Present Times:
    • His ideas and contributions continue to shape India's social and political landscape, particularly in the fight against caste-based discrimination and the struggle for social justice.
    • His vision for an inclusive and egalitarian society, as enshrined in the Indian Constitution, remains a guiding principle for the country's future development.
      • Additionally, his emphasis on education as a means of empowerment is particularly relevant today as India seeks to achieve its full potential as a global leader.
    • Dr. Ambedkar's legacy is an integral part of India's national identity and his ideas continue to inspire generations.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Questions (PYQ)


Q. Which of the following parties were established by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar? (2012)

  1. The Peasants and Workers Party of India
  2. All India Scheduled Castes Federation
  3. The Independent Labour Party

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)


Q. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, despite having divergent approaches and strategies, had a common goal of amelioration of the downtrodden. Elucidate. (2015)

Source: PIB

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