B.R. Ambedkar Essay

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar or Babasaheb as he was fondly called was one of the leading political and social figure of pre independence India and also the Independent India. He had achieved many academic excellences, initiated social reforms and had played a vital role in the politics of Colonial rule governed India as well as Independent India.

Long Essay on B.R. Ambedkar in English

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Long Essay on B.R. Ambedkar (1100 Words)

Introduction

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was a leading politician, an excellent economist and a social activist. Throughout his career he fought for the rights of untouchables (Dalits) against their social discrimination, also advocating equal rights for women. Amdedkar was an excellent student, earning Doctarates in Economics from the Columbian university and the London School of Economics. He also served as the independent India’s first law minister.

Childhood

Ambedkar was born as the 14th and last child of Ramji Maloji Sakpal and Bhimabai Sakpal on April 14, 1891 in the town of Mhow in Central Province (now Madhya Pradesh). His father was an army subedar originally of Marathi origin hailing from the town of Ambadawe in Ratnagiri district of Maharastra.Born in a poor dalit family, Ambedkar experienced discrimination at a very early age. He and other dalit students were made to sit separately from other higher castes students. They were not allowed to sit in class and were given less attention by teachers.

They were not allowed to even drink water from the same vessel. Even if they did, the water was to be poured from height by someone from the higher caste as they were not allowed to touch the vessel. Usually the school peon gave water to Ambedkar, but during peon’s absence he had to go without water. His family moved to Satara after his Father’s retirement in 1894. His mother died soon after that and the children lived a very hard and poor life.

Among his other siblings Ambedkar was the only one who cleared examinations and went to study high school and was the only untouchable student enrolled in Elphinstone High School in Bombay in 1906.

Higher Education

B.R. Ambedkar was an excellent student throughout his academic career. He was enrolled in Elphinstone College for graduation, which came under the Bombay University in 1907. He was the first untouchable to do so and his achievement was hugely applauded by dalits. He obtained his degree in Economics and Political Science from Bombay University in 1912. In 1913 Ambedkar moved to Columbia University in New York City for a M.A. Degree, majoring in Economics with other subjects being Sociology, History, Philosophy and Anthropology. He obtained his M.A degree in 1915. He wrote three thesis after his post graduation, but his third thesis got him a PhD in Economics in 1927, after leaving London.

 

Social Reformer

Since Ambedkar was educated in America with a grant provided by the princely state of Baroda, he was bound to serve there. He served for a short duration as a Military Secretary to the Gaekwads (Maharajas of Baroda state). He also tried establishing an investment consulting business, but failed as he was untouchable and his clients desisted him.

He joined Sydenham college of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai as a professor of Political Economy in 1918.During the preparation of Government of India Act 1990, Ambedkar was called to testify before the Southborough committee, which was preparing the Act. It was during this hearing that Ambedkar expressed the need for separate electorates and reservation for dalits or other religious communities. Ambedkar went on to pursue his legal career and also published a weekly magazine Mooknayak (Hero of the silent) in Mumbai.

During 1927 he became active in social reforms, organizing marches and protests against discrimination. He led processions of people belonging to dalit community to drink water from the common tap, which was used by other higher castes too. Processions were organized for drawing water from the same wells as other castes. Ambedkar condemned Manusmriti (Ancient Hindu scripture) for its caste classification.  On December 25 he led thousands of dalit for burning Manusmriti, and since then the day is celebrated by dalits as Manusmriti dahan divas.

Political carrier

Poona pact

In 1932 Gandhi fiercely opposed a separate electorate for untouchables as he thought that it would further divide the Hindu community. He protested by fasting while in the Yerawada Central Jail of Pune. Following the fast congressman Madan Mohan Malviya had a meeting with Ambedkar and his supporters at Yerawada. Following the meeting on 25th September 1932, Poona pact was signed between the two, which allotted 148 seats in legislature to the depressed classes.

In 1936 Ambedkar founded the National Labour Party and contested the Bombay Legislative Assembly in 1937 from 13 reserved and 4 general seats, winning on 11 and 3 seats respectively.

 

Thoughts on Pakistan

In 1940 Ambedkar wrote a 400 page pamphlet titled “Thoughts on Pakistan”, supporting the separation of India and Pakistan. He thought that Hindu’s should concede to the demands of Muslim League. “Thoughts on Pakistan” played an important role during the meetings between Indian and Muslim league leaders and played an important part in the Partition of India.

Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha elections

After losing to his congress counterpart in Bombay North general election in 1952, Ambedkar was nominated as a Rajya Sabha member. He again contested election from Bhandara (Maharashtra) for Lok Sabha seat in 1954, but lost to the Congress. Ambedkar died in 1957.

Independent India’s first Law Minister

Upon India’s independence on 15th August 1947, he was invited by the newly formed Congress government to be India’s first law minister, which he accepted.

Drafting the Constitution

On 29th August, he was also appointed as the Chairman of the Constitution drafting committee and was given the responsibility of drafting the Constitution of India. The 299 members drafting committee took nearly three years for drafting the Constitution, under the Chairmanship of Ambedkar. On November 26, 1949 Ambedkar presented the draft to the President of the Constituent Assembly Dr. Rajendra Prasad. The Constitution was effected from January 26 1950.

Death

Bed ridden from June to October 1954 due to illness and poor eye sight, Ambedkar breathed his last on 6th December 1956 at his Delhi residence. He was cremated with Buddhist rituals at Chowpatty beach, Mumbai on 7th December in presence of half million grieving supporters. In 1990 Ambedkar was awarded India’s highest civilian honour “Bharat Ratna”. His birthday is observed as Ambedkar Jayanti or Bhim Jayanti.

Conclusion

Ambedkar was a politician, a social reformer, an excellent economist and a crusader of justice for the depressed classes. By himself experiencing discrimination at a very early age Ambedkar understood the plight and sorrow of being an untouchable. This experience had however made him more determined in fighting against discrimination and advocating equal rights for the untouchables.