Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar’s birthday is annually celebrated as Ambedkar Jayanti. On April 14, 1891, he was born in Mhow, near Indore, in Madhya Pradesh. On April 14, 1928, in Pune, social reformer and activist Janardan Sadashiv Ranapisay publicly celebrated Ambedkar’s birthday for the first time.
This day has been observed as Ambedkar Jayanti or Bhim Jayanti ever since. His birthday is celebrated throughout India as ‘Equality Day,’ and a petition has been sent to the United Nations, to commemorate his birth anniversary as the ‘International Equality Day’.
Ambedkar rose from humble beginnings to become one of the country’s top legal minds. Dr. Ambedkar chaired the Indian Constitution’s drafting committee. He established himself as an internationally renowned social reformer, educator, jurist, economist, politician, and legal expert. His views on society, classes, and groups were accepted among all political parties.
"Equality may be a fiction but one must accept it as a governing principle." - Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar
Ambedkar served the downtrodden throughout his life and was a strong follower of gender equality. He fought for women’s liberation via education and worked to eradicate caste barriers to facilitate equality for all members of society.
Ambedkar founded the Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha (Outcastes Welfare Association) in 1923, intending to educate the poor and enhance their economic condition. His many efforts to emancipate the poorest strata of society promoted him to the dignity of messiah for a huge portion of the national population.
In 1956, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar headed a sociopolitical organization in India known as the Dalit Buddhist Movement, which drew in half a million community members. Later on, the movement came to be known as ‘Navayana Buddhism’ or ‘Neo-Buddhism’, which reinterpreted Buddhism.
Ambedkar Jayanti or Bhim Jayanti is celebrated annually on April 14th in a bid to pay homage to the father of the Constitution of India Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar.
It is observed worldwide, particularly by Dalits, Adivasis, laborers, women, and those who converted to Buddhism due to his example. In India, massive crowds gather in procession to pay tribute to Ambedkar’s local monuments.
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti is observed as a public holiday in over 25 Indian states and union territories, including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Pondicherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim.
Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was a politician, economist, philosopher, anthropologist, and social reformer who fought for the rights of the Dalit community by raising his voice against the Indian caste system. He also stood for women and labor rights.
Below is the list of his educational degrees, which is remarkable and highly impressive:
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 with Sociology, History Philosophy, Anthropology and Politics
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
9) (1922-23, Spent some time reading economics in the University of Bonn in Germany.)
10) D. SC Nov 1923, London School of Economics, London ‘The Problem of the Rupee – Its origin and its solution’ was accepted for the degree in Economics
11) L.L.D (Honoris Causa) 5-6-1952 Columbia University, New York For his achievements, Leadership and authoring the constitution of India
12) D.Litt (Honoris Causa) 12-1-1953 Osmania University, Hyderabad For his achievements, Leadership and writing the constitution of India.
The Ambedkar Jayanti holds importance because it attracts concern about the caste-based discrimination that prevails in our society 75 years after independence.
"I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved. The Constitution is not a mere lawyer's document, it is a vehicle of life, and its spirit is always the spirit of the age." - Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar
Dr. Ambedkar drafted the Indian constitution that guarantees equal rights to all citizens, regardless of caste, creed, religion, race, or culture. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar also formed the Central institution Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha in 1923 to promote untouchables’ basic rights and education, as well as movements to provide Dalits with access to public drinking water supplies and the right to enter Hindu temples.
On Bhim Jayanti, People pay homage to Ambedkar sculptures in their institutions and communities. His devotees hold a procession to Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai and Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur. Plays and dramatic adaptations based on the life of B.R.Ambedkar are being staged in schools, colleges, and other institutions.
Apart from that, it is customary for the President, Prime Minister, and leaders of all major political parties in India to pay homage to Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar’s statue at the Indian Parliament in New Delhi.
Commonly known as Babasaheb, Dr. Ambedkar was a professional economist. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was India’s first doctorate recipient (Ph. D.). He was the first minister of Law and Justice of India from August 29, 1947, to January 24, 1950.
"Democracy is not merely a form of government. It is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience. It is essentially an attitude of respect and reverence towards fellow men." - Dr. BR Ambedkar
He was the chief architect of the Constitution of India, the biggest and most complex constitution in the world. On August 29, 1947, he organized a seven-member body dubbed the ‘Drafting Committee’.
Due to this, he is also known as the Father of the Indian Constitution. He founded the Finance Commission of India. The Reserve Bank of India runs on strategies and concepts formed by Dr. Babsaheb Ambedkar.
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar is considered one of the leading men behind the abolishment of untouchability in India. He organized various protests and undertook vigorous campaigns to uplift the untouchables.
Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891, and died on 6th December 1956. After 34 years of his death, he was posthumously awarded the highest civilian award in India, Bharat Ratna Award.
"We are Indians, firstly and lastly." - Dr. BR Ambedkar.