Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, was born on April 14, 1891, in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh. His parents belonged to the Mahar Caste, which was considered as ”untouchable”. He was lucky to get a good education in his early childhood as his father was in the British Army.
Even after Bhimrao’s father retired from the army, he continued his studies and passed his Matriculation examination from Bombay University with excellent results in 1908. In the year 1912, Bhimrao graduated in Political Science and Economics from Bombay University. Though he got a job in Baroda, he moved to the United States in 1913 for further studies after the Maharaja of Baroda awarded him a scholarship.
He earned his doctorate from the Columbia University in 1916 and became the first Indian to pursue a doctorate in economics abroad. Bhimrao moved to Bombay in 1917 and founded a fortnightly newspaper, the “Mooknayak” (Dumb Hero) in 1920.
In late 1920, he moved back to London to complete his studies. After returning to India again, he founded the Bahishkrit Hitkaraini Sabha (Outcastes Welfare Association) in July 1924 for the welfare of the downtrodden.
Under Ramsay McDonald’s ‘Communal Award’, a separate electorate was announced for the backward classes. Protesting against this move, Mahatma Gandhi went on a fast-unto-death. He finally managed to convince Dr. Ambedkar to drop his demand. The two prominent leaders reached an understanding on September 24, 1932, which came to be known as the Poona Pact.
Dr.Ambedkar was appointed as the Chairman of the drafting committee set up by the Constituent Assembly to draft a constitution for independent India. Dr. Ambedkar became the first Minister of Law and Justice of Independent India. Dr. Ambedkar presented the draft constitution in February 1948 before the people of India.
In October 1956, Dr. Ambedkar embraced Buddhism along with thousands of his followers. This great son of India passed away on December 6, 1956, three days after completing his final manuscript of “The Buddha and his Dhamma”. He was conferred the Bharat Ratna in 1990 posthumously.