Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Legend Lives On (1891 - Forever)

Dr. B. R. #Ambedkar (MA., Ph.D., M.Sc., D.Sc., Barrister-at-Law, L.L.D., D.Litt)
अथांग सागर एकत्र करुनी शाई बनविली जरी,
मेरु हिमालय करुनी लेखणी खुशाल धरु द्या करी,
कोटी विभूती कालिदास हे लिहीण्या बसले जरी,
कवी रमेशा पूर्ण #भीमायण कधी न होईल तरी...

"छाती ठोक हे सांगू जगाला असा #विद्वान होणार नाही...!"

Best wishes to everyone on 126th Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti!

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (MA., Ph.D., M.Sc., D.Sc., Barrister-at-Law, L.L.D., D.Litt)

1. Elementary Education, 1902 Satara, Maharashtra

2. Matriculation, 1907, Elphinstone High School, Bombay Persian etc.,

3. Inter 1909, Elphinstone College,BombayPersian and English

4. B.A, 1913, Elphinstone College, Bombay, University of Bombay, Economics & Political Science

5. M.A, 1915 Majoring in Economics and with Sociology, History Philosophy, Anthropology and Politics asthe other subjects of study.

6. Ph.D, 1917, Columbia University conferred a Degree of Ph.D.

7. M.Sc, 1921 June, London School of Economics, London. Thesis – ‘Provincial Decentralization of Imperial Finance in British India’

8. Barrister-at- Law 30-9-1920 Gray’s Inn, London Law

(1922-23, Spent some time in reading economics in the University of Bonn in Germany.)

9. D.Sc 1923 Nov London School of Economics, London ‘The Problem of the Rupee – Its origin and its solution’ was accepted for the degree of D.Sc. (Economics).

10. L.L.D (Honoris Causa) 5-6-1952 Columbia University, New York For HIS achievements, Leadership and authoring the constitution of India

11. D.Litt (Honoris Causa) 12-1-1953 Osmania University, Hyderabad For HIS achievements, Leadership and writing the constitution of India.

::Things you don’t know about Dr. Ambedkar:: 

Babasaheb Ambedkar and Post War Economic Planning
When IInd World war ended, there were many challenges for India, such as re-establishing the economy; including improvement in agriculture, development of industries, rehabilitation and re-deployment of defense services etc. For this, the Reconstruction Committee of Council (RCC) was established. Dr Ambedkar was a member of RCC and was assigned the role of the President of “Policy Committee for Irrigation and Power.”

Babasaheb’s Role in Damodar Valley, Hirakund and the Sone River Valley Projects

If you ask any school going child, where Damodar Valley, Hirakund and the Sone River Valley projects are, and who inaugurated these projects, they’ll tell you the names of Nehru-Gandhi family, although they have nothing to do with these projects. (Check out the wiki page giving details that “Jawaharlal Nehru, prime minister of India, Dr B C Roy, chief minister of West Bengal and Sri Krishna Sinha, chief minister of Bihar, took personal interest to ensure early success of the project.”).

We have been taught in schools about these projects but we don’t find a word about Dr Ambedkar’s prominent role and contribution towards all these projects. Why weren’t we told?

Since 1930 emphasis has been increasingly placed on engineering practices, on the hydrological unity of a river basin on treating the basin as the unit of development of its water resources. Credit for multipurpose project (irrigation and generating electric power together) goes to Irrigation and Power Department, under the leadership of Dr Ambedkar.

Keeping in view the enhanced magnitude of such projects, it was keenly felt that the technical expert bodies available then at the centre weren’t adequate. Dr Ambedkar approved the Central Waterway and Irrigation Commission (CWINC) in March 1944, and subsequently by the Viceroy on April 4, 1945. Thus Dr Ambedkar helped build a strong technical organisation for the development of India. (Source: Ambedkar’s Role in Economic Planning Water and Power Policy by Sukhadeo Thorat)

If our houses are illuminated and if our fields are green, it’s because of Dr Ambedkar’s stellar role in the planning of these projects, on which rests a major part of India’s economy today. If there is such a concept as water-management and development in India, then the credit goes to Dr Ambedkar for ably using the natural resources to serve India. If it was not for Dr Ambedkar’s vision, one can imagine the situation of electric supply, irrigation and development of India.

Babasaheb Ambedkar and India’s Water Policy and Electric Power Planning

Almost everyone ignores the role of Dr Ambedkar as a Labour leader.  Department of Labour was established in the year November 1937 and Dr Ambedkar took over the Labour portfolio in July 1942. The policy formulation and planning for the development of irrigation and electric power was the major concern. It was the Labour Department under the guidance of Dr Ambedkar, who decided to establish “Central Technical Power Board” (CTPB) for power system development, hydro power station sites, hydro-electric surveys, analysing problems of electricity generation and thermal power station investigation.

Dr Ambedkar emphasised on the significance and need for the “Grid System”, which is still working successfully even today. If today power engineers are going abroad for training, the credit goes to Dr Ambedkar again, who as a leader of Labour Department formulated policy to train the best engineers -overseas. It is a matter of shame that nobody credits Dr Ambedkar for the role he played in India’s water policy and electric power planning.

His Role in the Formation of Reserve Bank of India

Did you know Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came into picture according to the guidelines laid down by Dr Ambedkar? RBI was conceptualized 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 – It’s origin and it’s solution.”

(The legislative assembly passed this under the name of RBI act 1934, its need, working style and its outlook was presented by Dr Ambedkar in-front of Hilton Young Commission. Read, “Evidence before the Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance” and “The Problem of the Rupee – It’s origin and it’s solution.” )

Now, walking through the streets of India, on most of the “State Bank of India’s” (SBI’s) street hoardings it shows Rabindranath Tagore as “The banker to this nation”, as if Rabindranath Tagore is the brand ambassador of SBI!

What hurts many of us is the picture of Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi on the Indian currency. We need to ask everyone what’s the contribution of these two leaders (Rabindranath Tagore and Mr. Gandhi) towards Indian currency, finance and economics, and who deserves to be there on the signposts or on Indian currency?

And have you ever noticed the language panel displayed on Indian rupee banknotes? Sanskrit language is there but not Pali language. Does RBI have any answers? First April is the day when RBI celebrates its foundation day, making April fools of common masses!

Writing about who deserves the place on Indian currency reminds me of a Hollywood movie “Do the Right Thing” directed a way back in 1989 by Spike Lee. Movie revolves around the demand of Afro-Americans to place some pictures of black heroes on the “Wall of Fame” in a pizza shop (where all pictures are of Italian heroes as pizza shop owner is from Italy and very proud of that) as the pizzeria is situated in a black neighbourhood and sells pizza to black people.

At the end of the struggle Afro-Americans succeeded to have a picture of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, shaking hands on the “Wall of Fame.”

Dr Ambedkar and United Nations

Did you know of the role played by Dr Ambedkar to raise caste issue at the international level?

Dalit leaders and Afro-American leaders since nineteenth century started drawing connections between Dalits of India and Blacks of USA. In 1945-46 when ‘League of Nations’ was preparing for the formal establishment of United Nations (UN), there were many marginalized groups from different parts of the world who were trying to submit memorandums. So that their concerns also gets reflected in the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights.’

At that time there was an exchange of letters between Dr B R Ambedkar and the prominent Afro-American thinker William Edward Burghardt Du Bois. In his book ‘The correspondence of W.E.B. Du Bois, Volume 3’ W.E.B Du Bois writes, “The necessity of a document of this sort is emphasized by the fact that other groups of people, notably from Indians of South Africa, the Jews of Palestine, the Indonesians and others are making similar petitions. I have on my desk a letter from Dr. [B.R.] Ambedkar of the Untouchables of India, in which he intimates that they may make an appeal.”

Dr Ambedkar was well aware of the Black movement as many of his professors/guides were from the Black community, like Herbert Apthekar and C. Vaan Woodward (Woodward said in his autobiography ‘Thinking Back: Perils of Writing History’, that Dr Ambedkar’s description of oppression of Untouchables in India encouraged him to write about the oppression of Blacks) and Dr Ambedkar knew that to some extent Indian Dalits are similar to Blacks of America –segregated, denied right to education, deprived of religious and political power.

Dr Ambedkar knew if all discriminated communities come together they can improve their status in society, also he knew how to bring together all the discriminated communities and pressurize leaders at UN to take concrete steps towards the emancipation of discriminated communities. There might have been a conspiracy to stop Dr Ambedkar from going to UN at that time, so this significant issue couldn’t get addressed.

Jai Bhim and Jai Hind

Did you know that “Jai Bhim” originated before “Jai Hind”? In his article “Jai Bhim and Jai Hind”, Dr K Jamanadas argues and gives reference that “Jai Bhim” came into picture before “Jai Hind”, not as the people think that “Jai Bhim” derives from “Jai Hind”. “Jai Bhim” was coined by Babu L. N. Hardas, a strong follower of Ambedkar; Chief Secretary of the Independent Labour Party and In-Charge of C.P and Berar.

He was elected legislator on ILP Ticket, in 1937, from Kamptee near Nagpur. He was one of the signatories to the “Poona Pact” and had participated in discussions with Gandhi following the Poona Pact. He was the Labour Leader and Founder of the “Beedi Kamgar Sangh” of C.P. and Berar. A writer, thinker, dramatist and a poet, Hardas, was also the editor of a Marathi weekly “Maharattha” and “Chokhamela Visheshanka”. He died young at the age of 35, in 1939.

I think, the slogan “Jai Hind” was given by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, for the first time, after the formation of Indian National Army in Burma, and a call was given to “Chalo Delhi” (”March on Delhi”). This was just before the end of Second World War in 1945. It is clear that Jai Bhim did not originate from Jai Hind. May be it is the other way round.  (Source: “Jai Bhim and Jai Hind” an article by Dr K Jamanadas)

Another Important Fact about Dr Ambedkar: Why Weren’t We Told?

Did you know before handing over the work of drafting constitution of India to Dr. Ambedkar, work was assigned to many other prominent leaders of that time? But everyone declined/refused to work, as this was such a tiresome work and required lots of intellectual depth and hard work, which only Dr. Ambedkar could put in. (Source: Begumpura Sehar, weekly newspaper)

Did you know Dr Ambedkar had suggested division of Madhya Pradesh into northern and southern states also he had suggested division of Bihar way back in 1955 for the better development of states? After almost 45years both states were divided and Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were formed in the year 2000.  (Read Dr Ambedkar’s book “Thoughts on Linguistic States” for more detail) Dr Ambedkar was a far-sighted person and he had anticipated and provided solutions to many of the pertinent problems we are facing today.

Did you know along with Dr Ambedkar more than half a million embraced Buddhism leaving behind the inhuman caste practice of Hinduism? No-where in this world has ever taken place such a BIG mass conversion, not even any religious guru could do this magic!
via-- AmbedkarCarvan
"He who is not a slave of circumstances and is always ready and striving to change them in his favour, I call him free. One who is not a slave of usage, customs, of meaningless rituals and ceremonies, of superstitions and traditions; whose flame of reason has not been extinguished, I call him a free man."  -- Dr  Babasaheb Ambedkar 

"Freedom of mind is the real freedom. A person, whose mind is not free though he may not be in chains, is a slave, not a free man. One, whose mind is not free, though he may not be in prison, is a prisoner and not a free man. One whose mind is not free though alive, is no better than dead. Freedom of mind is the proof of one’s existence.

We must break the chains, once and forever!" 
--Babasaheb Ambedkar

Thnaks for your time to read this article. Do Share it with others!
Siddhartha Chabukswar


  1. अशा या महान पुरुषाला विनम्र अभिवादन. खंत वाटते त्यांच्या पिढीत न जन्मल्याची. Great work Siddhartha. Awesome wallpaper u hv made. Proud of u.

  2. Thanks for such info n wallpaper :) Jai Bhim

  3. jaybhim....Thanku so much Siddh for wallpaper n Info..u doing a good job....keep it up....