Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar ([bʱiːmraːw raːmdʑiː aːmbeːɽkər]; 14 April 1891 – 6 December 1956), popularly also known as Babasaheb, was an Indian jurist, political leader, philosopher, anthropologist, historian, orator, economist, teacher, editor, prolific writer, revolutionary and a revivalist for Buddhism in India. He was also the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. Born into a poor Mahar (considered an Untouchable caste) family, Ambedkar campaigned against social discrimination, the system of Chaturvarna – the categorisation of Hindu society into four varnas – and the Hindu caste system. He converted to Buddhism and is also credited with providing a spark for the transformation of hundreds of thousands ofDalits or untouchables to Theravada Buddhism. Ambedkar was posthumously awarded theBharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 1990. Overcoming numerous social and financial obstacles, Ambedkar became one of the firstDalits (untouchables) to obtain a college education in India. Eventually earning a law degree and doctorates for his study and research in law, economics and political science from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, Ambedkar gained a reputation as a scholar and practised law for a few years, later campaigning by publishing journals advocating political rights and social freedom for India's untouchables. He is regarded as a Bodhisattva by some Indian Buddhists, though he never claimed himself to be a Bodhisattva. Ambedkar said at a public function in 1956, while he was converting, that, "accepting Buddhism does not only mean getting into new religion it means entering into new form of life where everybody has responsibility to cultivate wisdom, compassion and morality in this life moments, buddha`s dhamma is here to guide and protect humanity, what we have to do is to strive for creating a moral order" Contents [hide] * 1 Early life and education * 2 Higher education * 3 Opposition to untouchability * 4 Protests * 5 Poona Pact * 6 Political career * 7 Role in drafting India's Constitution * 8 Role in the formation of Reserve Bank of India * 9 Second marriage * 10 Conversion to Buddhism * 11 Death * 12 Writings and speeches * 13 Legacy * 14 In popular culture * 15 Notes and references * 16 Further reading
Early life and education
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar seen as a young man
Ambedkar was born in the town and military cantonment of Mhow in the Central Provinces(now in Madhya Pradesh). He was the 14th and last child of Ramji Maloji Sakpal and Bhimabai. His family was of Marathi background from the town of Ambavade (Mandangad taluka) in Ratnagiri district of modern-day Maharashtra. They belonged to the Mahar caste, who were treated as untouchables and subjected to socio-economic discrimination.Ambedkar's ancestors had for long been in the employment of the army of the British East India Company, and, his father served in the Indian Army at the Mhow cantonment. Having had little formal education in Marathi and English, but encouraging his children to learn and work hard at school. Belonging to the Kabir Panth, Ramji Sakpal encouraged his children to read the Hindu classics. He used his position in the army to lobby for his children to study at the government school, as they faced resistance owing to their caste. Although able to attend school, Ambedkar and other untouchable children were segregated and given little attention or assistance by the teachers. They were not allowed to sit inside the class. Even if they needed to drink water somebody from a higher caste would have to pour that water from a height as they were not allowed to touch either the water or the vessel that contained it. This task was usually performed for the young Ambedkar by the school peon, and if the peon was not available then he had to go without water, Ambedkar states this...
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