Indians live on the principles of equality, democracy, liberty, fraternity and socialism, taught to us by our Indian Constitution. The Constitution of India was designed and prepared by Dr B R Ambedkar, also known as the father and chief architect of the Indian Constitution.
A jurist, economist, politician as well as social reformer, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891. He dedicated his life towards the cause of achieving equality and respect for Dalits and untouchables. The political activist completed his studies at Columbia University and the London School of Economics.
He later converted to Buddhism in 1956 and began a new path of mass conversions for Dalits and untouchables. On his 129th birth anniversary this year, here are a few interesting facts about independent India’s first law and justice minister:
· Dr B R Ambedkar’s birthplace in Madhya Pradesh was Mhow, a small cantonment in the Indore district. However, the town was renamed as Dr. Ambedkar Nagar in 2003 by an initiative of the Government of Madhya Pradesh.
· He has received a number of awards and recognitions including 1956’s Bodhisattva, Bharat Ratna in 1990, First Colombian Ahead of Their Time Award in 2004 and The Greatest Indian in 2012.
· Dr Ambedkar was the 14th and last child to his parents. While his original surname was Ambawadekar, his teacher Mahadev Ambedkar gave him ‘Ambedkar’ surname during school.
· While the Indian flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya, it was Dr Ambedkar who is credited for placing the Ashok Chakra in the middle of the tricolour.
· Not just economics, but Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was a master in 64 subjects and knew nine languages. He could speak Hindi, Pali, Sanskrit, English, French, German, Marathi, Persian, and Gujarati.
· Dr Ambedkar is rightly recognised as the modern Buddha of his age. This title was given to him by Mahant Veer Chandramani, the great Buddhist monk who initiated Babasaheb to Buddhism.