Life and times of Dr B.R. Ambedkar

An extensively researched timeline of Dr Ambedkar’s life is not yet available. Here, Lokesh Kumar tries to fill this void in the literature on the man who studied inequality in Indian society to the minutest detail and fought to remove it

For a comprehensive understanding of Ambedkar’s mission, a good place to start would be the sequence of events in his life. A properly drawn-up chronology of his life’s events would show us the various obstacles he had to negotiate during his struggle for social justice and how various experiences informed his conclusions. Given below is such a timeline which has been put together using reliable sources:

1891: In 14 April, Bhimrao is born in the British-founded town of Mhow in Central Provinces (today’s Madhya Pradesh) to Ramji Sakpal and Bhimabai; Mhow, near Indore, was and still is a cantonment.

1897: Bhimabai (Bhimrao’s mother) passes away in Satara.

1900: In November, Bhimrao joins the government high school in Satara. He got his primary education at a school in Dapoli, a small town in Ratnagiri District, in Konkan Maharashtra.

1904: Bhimrao joins the Elphinstone High School, Bombay.

1907: Matriculation from Elphinstone High School, Bombay, with 382 marks out of 750. Marriage with Rami (Ramabai), daughter of Bhiku Walangkar.

Bhimrao passes the high-school exam. This is a special moment not only for Bhimrao but also for the whole community. The community organizes a celebration. Krishnaji Arjun Keluskar, well-known Marathi author and social reformer, presents him with a copy of his new book, Life of Gautama Buddha. This probably is Ambedkar’s first “encounter” with Buddha. Marriage follows. Bhimrao marries Rami, renamed Ramabai, at a simple ceremony in the vegetable market in Byculla.[1]

1912: Graduation from Elphinstone College, affiliated to University of Bombay. His BA has papers in Persian and English. He scores 449 out of 1000 marks. While he is studying for his BA, Bhim’s father runs out of funds. Keluskar helps Bhim get a scholarship of Rs 25 rupees a month from the Maharaja of Baroda. In December, son Yeshwant is born.

1913: Joins Baroda State Force as a lieutenant. On 2 February, Bhim’s father, Ramji Sakpal, passes away. In July, Ambedkar arrives in New York for higher studies in Columbia University[2].

1915: On June 5, Ambedkar is awarded an MA. He majors in Economics; Sociology, History, Philosophy, Anthropology and Politics were the other subjects of study. For his MA, he wrote a thesis titled “Ancient Indian Commerce”.

1916: On 9 May, he reads a paper titled “Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development” at Dr Alexander Goldenweiser’s anthropology seminar. It is published in Indian Antiquary, Vol XII (New York) in May 1917.

In June, he writes another MA thesis, National Dividend of India – A Historic and Analytical Study. Later that month, he goes to London, and in October, joins Gray’s Inn to study Law. He also takes admission at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He requests the Maharaja of Baroda to grant him permission to pursue his studies in London.

Ambedkar with his professors and friends at the London School of Economics

1917: He starts working on his thesis, but he is informed that the period of his scholarship is over. He returns to India after spending a year in London working on the thesis for the MSc (Economics). In July, he is appointed Military Secretary to the Gaikwad of Baroda; he had agreed to join the Baroda service as a condition of his scholarship[3]. In September, he travels to Baroda to take up his job.

He meets Annie Besant in Calcutta. The Indian National Congress adopts a resolution endorsing “the justice and righteousness of removing all disabilities imposed by custom upon the Depressed Classes” for the first time in its history.

1918: In the new Journal of Indian Economics, he reviews Bertrand Russell’s book Principles of Social Reconstruction under the title “Mr Russell and the Reconstruction of Society”.


In the new Journal of the Indian Economic Society, he publishes Small Holdings in India and Their Remedies. He publishes his paper Castes in India in the form of a book.

Ambedkar becomes Professor of Political Economy in the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, in Bombay. [4]

1919: He testifies both orally and in writing before the Southborough Committee, which is investigating franchise matters in the light of the planned Montagu-Chelmsford reforms. Ambedkar demands separate electorate and reserved seats for Depressed Classes, in proportion to their population.

He comes in contact with Shahuji Maharaj of Kolhapur through Dattoba Powar.

1920: On 31 January, with the help from Dattoba Powar, Ambedkar launches Mook Nayak (Leader of the Dumb) newspaper. (Ambedkar was not its official editor, but he was the man behind it, and it was his mouthpiece. Nandram Bhatkar was the editor. Dyander Gholap succeeded him.)

In March, Ambedkar presides over a conference of Untouchables, in Mangaon in Kolhapur state. Shahuji Maharaj is in attendance, too.

In May, Ambedkar is a prominent personality attending the first All-India Conference convened by Untouchables presided over by Shahuji Maharaj of Kolhapur.

Ambedakar resigns from his teaching job at Sydenham College to return to London. The Maharaja of Kolhapur and Naval Bhathena provide financial support. He attends the London School of economics and also Gray’s Inn to read for the Bar. He is a frequent visitor to the British Museum, where the likes of Marx, Engels, Mazzini and Lenin worked.

1921: On 21 June, LSE awards Ambedkar an MSc in Economics. His thesis is titled “Provincial Decentralization of Imperial Finance in British India”.

1922: In October, he completes his thesis, “The Problem of the Rupee”, and submits to LSE. He is also called to the Bar. He was not able to take the Bar examination earlier because of his work on the thesis.

1923: Ambedkar travels to Bonn University, Germany. However, after around 3 months there, in March, Professor Edwin Cannan asks him to return to London. It is because his thesis is challenged on political grounds. However, after resubmission it is finally accepted. It is at once published in London by P. S. King & Son Ltd. He dedicates this work to his father and mother. Edwin Cannan[5] himself has written the introduction.

In April, he returns to India. Ambedkar decides to start practising law. He does not have money to pay for the sanad, though. In June, Naval Bhathena comes to his rescue.

1924: In June, he starts practising in the Bombay High Court. On 20 July, he launches the Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha (Group for the Wellbeing of the Excluded), to mobilize Depressed Classes. Its motto is “Educate, Agitate, Organise”. Ambedkar is the chairman of the managing committee.

1925: Ambedkar’s LSE MA thesis as The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India is published by P.S. King & Son Ltd; it is dedicated to the Gaekwad of Baroda (“for his help in the matter of my education”), and has an introduction by Columbia’s Prof Edward Seligman.

1926: Ambedkar submits evidence before the Royal Commission on Indian Currency (Hilton Young Commission)

The Governor of Bombay nominates him as a member of the Bombay Legislative Council

He leads the satyagraha in Mahad to secure the right of Untouchables to draw water from the Chavdar Tank. He ceremonially takes a drink of water from the tank, after which local caste Hindus run riot, and Brahmins take elaborate measures for the ritual purification of the tank.

1927: On 3 April, Ambedkar launches his Marathi fortnightly Bahishkrit Bharat. He himself is the editor.

On June 8, he is formally awarded a PhD by Columbia University. His PhD thesis is titled The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India (Note: different dates are given in different sources for this event, but this is the one given on his own official transcript, preserved in the Registrar’s Office, Columbia University.)

In September, he establishes “Samaj Samata Sangh”.

On 2 October, he presides over a conference of the students from the Depressed Classes in Poona.

On 24 December, he addresses a second Depressed Classes Conference in Mahad.[6]

1928: Dr Ambedkar becomes professor at the Government Law College, Bombay; his term ends in 1929. In March, he introduces the “Vatan Bill” in Bombay Legislative Council. Dr Ambedkar is selected by the Bombay Presidency Committee to work with the Simon Commission. The Congress boycotts the Simon Commission because it has no Indians in it. In May he submits statements to the Simon Commission on behalf of the Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha suggesting measures that need to be taken to improve the condition of the Depressed Classes.

1929: Dr Ambedkar closes his second journal, Bahiskrit Bharat (“Excluded India”), which started in 1927, and replaces it with Janata (“The People”).

On October 23, during a visit to Chalisgaon, he meets with an accident, and is confined to bed until the last week of December.

1930: In March, he leads a satyagrah at the Kalaram Temple in Nasik to secure for Untouchables the right of entry into the temple. On August 8, Dr Ambedkar presides over the Depressed Classes Congress in Nagpur, and delivers a speech favouring Dominion status.[7]

Dr Ambedkar is invited by the Viceroy to be part of the First Round Table Conference, and leaves for London in October.

1931: Ambedkar and Gandhi attend the Second Round Table Conference held from 7 September- 1 December

Ambedkar and Gandhi at the Second Round Conference in London (1931)

1932: The All India Depressed Classes Conference, held at Kamptee, near Nagpur, on 6 May, backs Dr Ambedkar’s demand for separate electorates for the Untouchables, rejecting compromises proposed by others.

By September 23, though, a very reluctant Dr Ambedkar is forced to accept joint electorates, with Gandhi fasting unto death in Yerwada jail, Poona, against the separate electorates granted to the Depressed Classes by Ramsay MacDonald’s Communal Award. The result is the Poona Pact. (In 1933, Gandhi replaces his newspaper “Young India” with “Harijan”, and undertakes a 21-day “self-purification fast” against untouchability.)

1933-34: Dr Ambedkar participates in the work of the Joint Committee on Indian Legislative Reform (Also Indian Constitutional reform), examining a number of significant witnesses. He also writes a treatise on the Indian Army.[8]

Ambedkar in a family photo alongside wife Ramabai (to his left), son Yeshwant (to his right), sister-in-law Laxmibai, nephew Mukundrao and pet dog Tobby (1934)

1935: On May 26, Dr Ambedkar’s wife Ramabai dies after a long illness. In June, Ambedkar is appointed as principal of Government Law College, Bombay. He is also appointed the Perry professor of Jurisprudence.

On October 13, Dr Ambedkar presides over the Yeola Conversion Conference, held in Yeola, in Nashik district. He advises the Depressed Classes to abandon all agitation for temple-entry privileges; instead, he says, they should leave Hinduism entirely and embrace another religion. He vows, “I solemnly assure you that I will not die as a Hindu.”

1936: He writes, but does not publish, a brief, moving, and largely autobiographical memoir called Waiting for a Visa.

On February 29, Dr Ambedkar’s conversion resolution is supported by the Chambers of East Khandesh.

On 13-14 April, he addresses the Sikh Mission Conference in Amritsar and reiterates his intention of renouncing Hinduism.

In late April, the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal withdraws its invitation to Dr Ambedkar to deliver the presidential address at the Mandal’s annual conference in Lahore, after reading the text of his speech. On 15 May, he publishes the speech text, with an introductory account of the whole controversy. The result is the now-famous The Annihilation of Caste.

On 31 May, Dr Ambedkar addresses a meeting of the Mumbai Elaka Mahar Parishad (Bombay Mahar Society) at Naigaum (Dadar), in Bombay – the only time he would address an audience of just the people of his community. He speech in Marathi is vivid and poignant.

On 15 June, a conference of Devdasis is held in Bombay to support Dr Ambedkar’s resolution on conversion.

On 18 June, Dr Ambedkar and Dr B.S. Moonje of the Hindu Mahasabha hold talks on conversion.

In August, he founds the Independent Labour Party.

On 18 September Ambedkar deputes 13 men at the Sikh Mission in Amristar to study Sikhism.

1937 Dr Ambedkar publishes the second edition of The Annihilation of Caste, adding a concluding appendix that features a debate with Gandhi over the speech text. This work would be a bestseller, going through many editions and creating much controversy.

He forms the Municipal Workers’ Union, Bombay.

On 17 February, the first general election under the Government of India Act 1935 is held. Dr Ambedkar is elected member of the Bombay Legislative Assembly. Dr Ambedkar’s Independent Labour Party wins 17 seats.

On 17 March, Mahad Chavdar tank case is decided, and Depressed Classes are allowed to use public wells and tanks.

Dr Ambedkar receives a grand reception at Chalisgaon railway station.

On 17 September, Dr Ambedkar introduces the Bill to abolish the Mahar Watan in the Assembly.

1938: In January, Congress introduces a Bill for the amendment of the Local Boards Act in which the Untouchables are defined as Harijans, ie sons of God. Dr Ambedkar criticizes the nomenclature as in his opinion the change of name would make no real change in their condition. (He is against the use of this word in legal matters. In protest of this Bill, the Labour Party members walk out of the assembly.)

On 23 January, Dr Ambedkar addresses a Peasants’ Conference in Ahmedabad.

On 12 February, he addresses a historic conference of railway workers at Manmad in Nasik.

In April, he opposes the creation of a separate state of Karnataka in the national interest.

In May, he resigns as principal of Government Law College, Bombay.

In August, he attends a meeting at R.M. Bhatt High School, Bombay, that was held to expose Gandhi’s discriminatory attitude towards an untouchable man

In September, he speaks on “Industrial Disputes Bill” in Bombay Assembly. He opposes it because it takes away the worker’s right to strike.

In 6 November, industrial workers go on strike. Dr Ambedkar leads a procession in Mumbai from Kamgar Maidan to Jambori Maidan (Worli).

On 10 November, he moves a resolution for adoption of birth control measures in the Bombay Assembly.

1939: On 29 January, he delivers a lecture titled Federation versus Freedom at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. It is published later in the year.

Ambedkar in Bombay, 1939

In July, Dr Ambedkar addresses a meeting of the Rohidas Vidya Committee.

In October, Dr Ambedkar and Nehru meet for the first time.

In November, the Congress leaves the government. Jinnah arranges for a celebration calling it the “Day of Deliverance”, and Dr Ambedkar enthusiastically joins him. Dr Ambedkar is careful to emphasize, however, that this is an anti-Congress rather than an anti-Hindu move; if Congress interpreted it as anti-Hindu, the reason could only be, he says, that Congress was a Hindu body after all.

1940: In May, Dr Ambedkar founded the Mahar Panchayat.

In July, he meets Subash Chandra Bose in Bombay.

In December, Dr Ambedkar publishes the first edition of his Thoughts on Pakistan. [9]

1941: In January Dr Ambedkar takes up the issue of recruitment of Mahars in the Army. As a result, the Mahar Battalion is created.

On 25 May, Dr Ambedkar forms the Mahar Dynast Panchayat Samiti.

The viceroy appoints him a member of the Defence Advisory Committee.

1942: He founds his second political party, the All India Scheduled Castes Federation, which goes on to perform poorly in the 1946 elections. Dr Ambedkar is inducted into the Viceroy’s Executive Council as Labour Member, a position which he holds until his resignation in June 1946.

Congress launches the “Quit India” movement. Dr Ambedkar severely criticizes this move.

In December, he presents a paper on The Problems of the Untouchables in India at the conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations held in Canada.

1943: Dr Ambedkar speaks on “Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah” at the 101st Birth Celebration of Mahadev Govind Ranade held in Gokhale Memorial Hall, Poona. It was published in book form in April, under the title Ranade, Gandhi, and Jinnah[10].

In September he publishes the paper he presented the year before at the conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations, Canada, as the book titled Mr Gandhi and the Emancipation of the Untouchables.

On 25 October, he addresses the Reconstruction Policy Committee meeting. The speech titled Post-War Development of Electric Power in India is published in Indian Information on 15 November.

On 26 October, he writes Urgency of Industrialisation of India (Times of India, 26 October).

1944: On 29 January, he presides over the second meeting of the All India Scheduled Castes Federation, in Kanpur.

He founds The Building Trust and the Scheduled Castes Improvement Trust.

On May 6, he addresses the annual conference of All-India Scheduled Castes Federation at Parel, in Mumbai. This speech is later published under the title The Communal Deadlock and a Way to Solve it.

1945: In February, he publishes a revised version of Thoughts on Pakistan; this second, expanded edition is titled Pakistan or the Partition of India. (The third edition of this book is published in 1946.)

On 6 May he addresses the annual conference of the All India Scheduled Castes Federation, held in Parel, Bombay. This speech is soon published as The Communal Deadlock and a Way to Solve It.

In June, he publishes a political manifesto, detailing the problems of dealing with the Congress and accusing it of many acts of betrayal: What Congress and Gandhi Have Done to the Untouchables. (He publishes a second edition, with major revisions in one chapter, in 1946.)

In June, he founds Siddharth College of Art and Science, in Bombay, as an institution of the People’s Education Society that he established earlier in the year.

In July, he exchanges letters with W. E. B. DuBois, comparing Untouchables with Africian Americans. In October, he publishes Who Were the Shudras? How They Came to Be the Fourth Varna in the Indo-Aryan Society. He dedicates the book to the great reformer, Jotirao Phule. It was published in 1946 by Thacker and Co, Bombay.

His book Mahatma and the World is published by Thacker & Co.

1946: Bharat Bhushan Printing Press, founded by Dr Ambedkar, is burnt down in a clash between Depressed Classes and Caste Hindus.

In September, he goes to London to urge British Government and opposition parties to provide safeguards for the Depressed Classes.

He is elected member of the Constituent Assembly. In his first speech in the Constituent Assembly, he calls for a strong and united India.

1947: In March, he publishes States and Minorities: What Are Their Rights and How to Secure them in the Constitution of Free India, a memorandum on fundamental rights, minority rights, safeguards for the Depressed Classes, and the problems of Indian states.

On 29 April, the Article 17 (forbidding and abolition of the practice of untouchability) of Indian Constitution is passed.

In August (after Partition and Independence), Dr Ambedkar accepts Nehru’s invitation to become Minister of Law in the first Cabinet of independent India. On 29 August, he is appointed chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution.

Ambedkar is sworn in as India’s first law minister by president Rajendra Prasad as prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru looks on (1947)

1948: In the last week of February, Ambedkar submits the Draft Constitution for public discussion and debate

On 15 April, Dr Ambedkar marries Dr Sharda Kabir (a Saraswat Brahmin) in Delhi; she adopts the name Savita. By then he is a diabetic and frequently ill, and she takes care of him.

On 4 October, Ambedkar presents the Draft Constitution to the Constituent Assembly.

In October, he prepares a memorandum on Maharashtra as a Linguistic Province for submission to the Linguistic Provinces Commission. It is later published by the Maha Bodhi journal, Calcutta.

He publishes The Untouchables: A Thesis on the Origin of Untouchability (New Delhi: Amrit Book Company), as a sequel to his book on the Shudras.

On 20 November, the Constitution adopts Article 17 of Indian Constitution, abolishing and outlawing untouchability.

1949: In September, Dr Ambedkar meets Madhavrao Golwalkar, chief of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), in Delhi

On 26 November, the Constituent Assembly adopts the Constitution of India.

1950: On 11 January, Dr Ambedkar addresses the Siddharth College Parliament on the Hindu Code Bill.

Dr Ambedkar speaks on Buddhism on several occasions.

He founds Milind College in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. President Dr Rajendra Prasad lays the foundation stone.

His essay “Buddha and the Future of his religion” appears in the journal Maha Bodhi Vol 58, April-May.

He speaks on the merits of Buddhism at the meeting arranged on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti in Delhi.

In December, he goes to Colombo, Sri lanka, as a delegate to the World Buddhist Conference.

1951: In February, he introduces in Parliament the Hindu Code Bill that he drafted to enhance rights of women; it proves very controversial, and consideration of the Bill is postponed.

In June, his essay “The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women” is published by the Maha Bodhi journal. Calcutta.

In 9 September, Dr Ambedkar resigns from the Cabinet, embittered over the failure of Nehru and the Congress to back the Hindu Code Bill as they had earlier pledged to do. He becomes the leader of the Opposition.

On 15 April, he lays the foundation stone for the Ambedkar Bhawan in Delhi.

In July, he founds Bhartiya Buddha Jan Sangh.

In September, he compiles the Buddhist Prayer Book Buddha Upasana Palha.

1952: In January, Dr Ambedkar suffers loss in the first Lok Sabha Election of independent India. Congress’ Narayan Sadoba Kajrolkar defeats him. However, he enters the the Rajya Sabha representing Bombay.

On 1 June, he leaves for New York. Columbia University confers on him an honorary LLD, as part of its Bicentennial Special Convocation. The president of the university describes him as “one of India’s leading citizens – a great social reformer and a valiant upholder of human rights”.

On 22 December, Dr Ambedkar delivers a talk at the Bar Council, Pune, on conditions required for the successful working of Democracy.

Ambedkar and American poet Wallace Stevens after receiving honorary LLD in Columbia University (1952)

1953: On 12 January, Osmania university confers the honorary degree of LLD on Dr Ambedkar

In April, he contests the Lok Sabha by-election from the Bhandara Constituency of Vidharba region but is again defeated by a Congress candidate.

In May, Ambedkar establishes the Siddharth College of Commerce and Economics in Bombay.

His political thinking includes analysis of the issue of linguistic states; he publishes Need for Checks and Balances (Times of India, 23 April 1953) on this question. (In 1955, he is still working on the subject, as the preface (dated 23 December 1955) to Thoughts on Linguistic States testifies.)

1954: His health gives way; he is confined to bed for two months.

While dedicating a new Buddhist Vihara near Pune, Dr Ambedkar announces that he is writing a book on Buddhism and that as soon as it is finished, he will formally convert to Buddhism. He also claims that the image of Vithoba at Pandharpur is actually an image of the Buddha, and says that he will write a thesis to prove this claim.

In May, he visits Rangoon, Burma, to attend a function to be held on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti.

In June, the Maharaja of Mysore, donates 5 acres of land for Dr Ambedkar’s Proposed Buddhist Seminary in Bangalore.

In September, he speaks on the Untouchability (Offences) Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

In October, a talk by him, My Personal Philosophy, is broadcast on All India Radio.

In December, he attends the third World Buddhist conference in Rangoon.

1955: Dr Ambedkar delivers a speech on “Why religion is necessary”

In May, He establishes the Bharatiya Baudh Mahasabha.

In December, his book Thoughts on Linguistic States is published.

Ambedkar and second wife Savita after their conversion to Buddhism in Nagpur (1956)

1956: Dr Ambedkar completes the manuscript of The Buddha and His Dhamma.

In June, he established the Siddharth College of Law in Bombay.

From June to October, he is bedridden in his Delhi residence. His eyes are failing and he suffers from the side-effects of the drugs he is taking for his diabetes; he goes into depression.

On 14 October, his formal conversion takes place in Nagpur, a town selected for reasons he explains in his moving speech, Why Was Nagpur Chosen? Many thousands of Mahars and other Dalits accept Buddhism along with him. The place is now known as Diksha Bhoomi.

After his conversion, Janta is renamed Prabuddha Bharat

In November, he flies to Kathmandu to attend the Fourth World Buddhist Conference. Here, he delivers his speech on “Buddha and Karl Marx”.

Ambedkar speaks in Kathmandu as King Mahendra looks on (1956)

On 2 December, he completes the manuscript of The Buddha or Karl Marx, and gives it for typing.

On the night of 5 December or the early morning of 6 December, he dies in his sleep at his residence, 26 Alipore road, New Delhi. The place is now known as Mahaparinirvan Bhoomi.

On 7 December a huge crowd joins his funeral procession in Bombay, and he is cremated with Buddhist rites on the seashore. The place is now known as Chaitya Bhoomi

1957: The Buddha and His Dhamma[11], Dr Ambedkar’s own version of a Buddhist scripture for his people, is posthumously published, by Siddharth College Publications, Bombay. His work Gandhi and Gandhism is also published this year.

1987: Philosophy of Hinduism, India and Prerequisite of Communism, Revolution and Counter Revolution in India[12] and Buddha and Karl Marx published posthumously as part of Dr Ambedkar Writings and Speeches: Vol 3

1990: Ambedkar is posthumously awarded India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna

Copy-editing: Anil

References:

[1] According to Dhananjay Keer, Ambedkar passed matriculation and his marriage took place afterwards. However, according to the Encyclopaedia of Dr B. R. Ambedkar by Raj Kumar, Marriage with Ramabai took place (in 1906) before matriculation (in 1907).

[2] The Maharaja of Baroda wanted to send some students for higher studies to Columbia University, USA. On 4 June 1913, Ambedkar signed an agreement to study prescribed subjects and serve the Baroda State for 10 years after completion of studies. In July he arrived in New York. He took Political science, Moral Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology and Economics as the subjects for his study.

[3] But he did not enjoy the experience. He had to pay for his travel to Baroda, for which he used the compensation paid by Thomas Cook and Company for his luggage that was lost when the ship carrying it was torpedoed. According to his bond, he had to serve the State of Baroda for 10 years. However, he quit shortly after joining the service due to the ill treatment he faced for belonging to a low caste.

[4] This position came about through the recommendation of his London acquaintance, Lord Sydenham, former Governor of Bombay. He was mostly successful with his students, but some of the other professors objected to his sharing the drinking-water jug with them.

[5] Ambedkar’s Economics tutors included Professor Edwin Cannan

[6] The following important resolutions were adopted here:

  1. Declaration of Human Rights
  2. Condemnation of the Manusmriti. On 25 December, Untouchables placed the Manusmriti on a pyre in a specially dug pit and ceremoniously burnt it.
  3. That Hindu society be reduced to one class only
  4. That the priestly profession be turned into a democratic institution.

[7] In his speech he criticized Gandhi’s Salt March and civil disobedience movement, saying they were ill-timed. He also criticized British colonial misgovernance that oversaw famines and economic impoverishment of the masses. He believed that the Depressed Classes must shape their course themselves.

[8] Ambedkarism: Essays on Select Economic and Cultural Issues , edited by Praveen K. Jadhav

[9] In this work, he argues that though the Partition would be unfortunate, it wouldn’t be the worst possible outcome, and if the Muslims wanted it they had a right to claim it. The first edition was published in 1940 and revised edition was published under the title Pakistan or Partition of India in 1945.

[10] Ambedkar compared Ranade with Gandhi and Jinnah. He was of the view that personal ascendency mattered the most to Gandhi and Jinnah.

[11] Ambedkar started writing the book in 1951. He began working simultaneously on ‘Revolution and Counter Revolution in India’ and ‘Buddha and Karl Marx’.

[12] Ambedkar started working on this book in 1954. He wrote how Dr Rajendra Prasad, the president of India, washed the feet of Brahmins on the banks of the Ganges.


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