Popularly known as Babasaheb, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar is best remembered for his role as Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution. His visionary charter guarantees socio-economic equality for all (“Right to Equality & Right against Exploitation”), religious tolerance and secularism (“Right to Freedom of Religion”) and equally importantly, the “Right to Live with Human Dignity”. Together these vouchsafe legal protections for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” regardless of a person’s caste, religion, gender or ideological inclination. Under his able leadership, our Constitution made a drastic departure from the regressive social norms that had been pervasive in India.
However, in hailing Dr. Ambedkar for spearheading this pioneering social charter, we must not limit his contribution to just the Constitution. It is critical that we revisit the remarkable man, and the rich legacy that he has left behind for us.
First, Dr. Ambedkar was one of the foremost intellectuals that India has seen. His seminal analyses of the root causes of socio-economic and political inequities (not just in India, but in the Americas and Europe) and his strategies to overcome these have continued to be a source of inspiration to various struggles throughout the world. His masterful analyses on Indian culture and religion, on labour rights, on macro and development economics etc. continue to radically shape the study of politics, sociology, human rights and economics. Apart from MK Gandhi and J. Nehru, B. Ambedkar is the one of the few public figures from India who is systematically studied in various universities across the world.
Second, Dr. Ambedkar was an institution builder, and he has crafted a number of organisations of modern India. Most of these survive even today, and are critical to the day to day functioning of India. For instance, Dr. Ambedkar’s PhD thesis of 1923 titled “The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India” dealt with centre-state finances in British India between 1833 and 1921. It received international acclaim and went on to influence the federal structures adopted by various nations including India. India’s 14 Finance Commissions, which address problems of vertical and horizontal imbalances in finances, are an outcome of this seminal thesis.
Dr. Ambedkar was also inextricably connected with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). RBI was created on the basis of guidelines he presented to the “Royal Commission on Indian Currency & Finance” in 1925 and his book titled “The Problem of the Rupee- Its Problems and Its Solution”.
Similarly, Dr. Ambedkar was almost single handedly responsible for establishing the Central Technical Power Board, the National Power Grid System and the Central Water Irrigation and Navigation Commission. He also played an important role in the establishment of the Damodar Valley project, Hirakud project and Sone river project.
Third, B. Ambedkar was a champion of labour rights at a time when the concept of workers’ rights did not exist. In India, much before other nations even started thinking about instituting just and fair conditions for workers, Dr. Ambedkar successfully led the struggle for reducing work from 12 hours a day to 08 hours in 1942. He also vehemently (and successfully) protested against the “Black Bill” which the colonial government was using to suppress workers’ strikes.
His commitment to labour rights is also visible in Article 19 (c) of our Constitution which guarantees the fundamental right to form associations or unions.
Fourth, Dr. Ambedkar was one of the most prominent voices supporting the empowerment of women. His first academic paper, which he presented to Alexander Goldenweiser’s anthropology seminar in May 1916, specifically addressed the position of women in India. He posited that women traditionally enjoyed a high status in ancient India, and with unerring accuracy pointed out that because of the inherent patriarchy of the Manusmriti, women in India were accorded no rights to education, property or divorce, or even of mobility. Thus, in Dr. Ambedkar’s mind, reforming the social status of women was critical in the fight against caste.
As India’s first Law Minister, Babasaheb Ambedkar spearheaded the introduction of the Hindu Code Bill, giving rights of inheritance and property ownership to women. Both he and Jawaharlal Nehru believed it was a “vital step in the introduction of true democracy in India, and would remove the practices and the logic that underpinned the caste system. To them, it was state sanctioned legality to secure the “ethical revolution” needed to implement “true democracy in India.
Fifthly, Babasaheb firmly believed that a government’s primary duty was to guarantee and deliver those conditions that would actualise fullness of life for every citizen regardless of their caste, gender, religion or class. Therefore, along with the Congress Party, he gave India the world’s oldest and farthest-reaching affirmative action programme, which guarantees equality of opportunity for all. Today this programme is hailed the world over as the most radical programme of social justice ever conceived.
This programme is specifically designed to rectify centuries of historical injustices and create a holistic future for people who have hitherto been excluded from societies. It is nothing short of State sponsored social re-engineering to establish a just and equitable society, something Dr. Ambedkar firmly believed in. He saw in the institutions of Indian democracy the best guarantee for the future development and welfare of all peoples’ in India, especially the oppressed and marginalised.
Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born on the 14th of April, 1891 in Mhow Army Cantonment, Central Provinces (Madhya Pradesh) into a poor Mahar (Dalit) household. He was the 14th and last child of Ramji Maloji Sakpal and Bhimabai Murbadkar Sakpal, who originally hailed from Ambavade (Mandangad taluka) in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. Of the 14 children, three sons, Balaram, Anandrao and Bhimrao and two daughters, Manjula and Tulasa would survive beyond infancy.
Shri Sakpal, Babasaheb’s father retired as a Subedar-Major from the Indian Army in 1894, after which the family moved to Satara (also in Central Provinces) in 1896. Shortly after this, Babasaheb’s mother Bhimabai passed away. In 1900, his father remarried and the family shifted to Bombay.
Not exempted from the deplorable treatment meted out to Dalits (considered ‘untouchable’ by forward castes) at the time, Babasaheb was subjected to the vilest caste based discriminations from a young age (for understanding caste and varna, see Dr. Ambedkar’s books titled “Who Were The Shudras: How They Came To Be The Fourth Varna In The Indo-Aryan Society” and “Annihilation Of Caste”). This discrimination was most stark at all the schools young Bhimrao went to, where teachers would segregate and discriminate against untouchable students. Years later, Dr. Ambedkar would write (in his preface to “Buddha and his Dhamma”) of the humiliation he and other untouchable children had to suffer. Some of the less horrific examples include being routinely forced to sit on gunny bags outside classrooms to avoid ‘polluting’ children from forward castes or being barred from drawing water from the common well even when they were thirsty, again for fear of contamination. Such discrimination followed wherever Bhimrao went, even outside the school.
Despite this, young Bhimrao developed a zest for learning because of the impact Mr. Mahadev Ambedkar, one of his teachers, made on him. Mr. Ambedkar was so fond of young Bhimrao that he even changed his surname from ‘Ambavadekar’ (which literally translated meant hailing from Ambavade, a village in Ratnagiri) to his own surname ‘Ambedkar’ in the school records.
In the meantime, as was the societal norm, 15 year old Bhimrao married Ramabai, then aged nine in 1906. The next year, Bhimrao Ambedkar became the only one of his brothers and sisters as well as the first Dalit student to have successfully passed the matriculate examinations. Consequently, at the instance of the noted literary figure Dada Keluskar, a felicitation function was organized for Bhimrao, where Keluskar gifted him a copy of his book on Buddha’s life, written for the Baroda Sayajirao Oriental series. The principles espoused by the Buddha made a lasting impression on Ambedkar, and would go on to shape his life in a significant manner.
Four years later, he graduated in Political Science and Economics from Elphinstone College, Bombay University, where he met the reform-minded Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda. Sayajirao was so impressed with Ambedkar that he offered him a job in Baroda, which he had to leave abruptly owing to his father’s ill health and eventual demise on the second of February, 1913. Keen on furthering what he considered a bright youngster, Sayajirao accordingly offered a monthly scholarship of £11.50 (sterling) per month to read at the University of Columbia in 1913. Ambedkar remained at Columbia from 1913 to 1917, and again from 1920 to 1923. Free from regressive societal norms and in an enabling environment, it was here that Ambedkar expanded his philosophical and intellectual horizons. He would tell New York Times in December 1930 that “the best friends I have had in life were some of my classmates at Columbia and my great professors, John Dewey, James Shotwell, Edwin Seligman and James Harvey Robinson”.
Ambedkar would eventually graduate from Columbia with an MA in Economics with Sociology, History, Anthropology and Philosophy as well as a PhD in Economics in 1927. In October 1916, Ambedkar enrolled for the Bar course at Gray’s Inn, and at the London School of Economics. In 1923, he completed a D.Sc. in Economics, and was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in the same year.
Obligated to Sayajirao Gaekwad, Dr. Ambedkar worked for a short while as his Military Secretary. After quitting the position, he worked as an accountant, an investment consultant and even a private tutor for short periods of time. In 1918, he even served as a Professor of Political Economy in the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai. Unfortunately, his caste proved to be a major obstacle in most instances.
Not one to be easily discouraged, Ambedkar then worked as a legal consultant. In 1926 for instance, he successfully defended three non-Brahmin activists who were being sued for charging the Brahmins of ruining India.
At the same time, Ambedkar started his social and political activism. Deposing before the Southborough Committee, which was finalizing the Government of India Act 1919, Ambedkar argued for the creation of separate electorates as well as reservations for untouchables and other religious minorities. Soon after, he started publishing the weekly Mooknayak (Leader of the Silent) in Mumbai.
Espousing the principle “Educate, Agitate and Organize”, Ambedkar went on to establish the “Bahishkirt Hitakarini Sabha” in July 1924 to promote education and culture amongst the depressed classes and to advance and improve their socio-economic conditions. This sabha would go on to establish numerous hostels for high school students belonging to the depressed classes.
In 1925, Dr. Ambedkar was appointed to the Bombay Presidency Committee to work with the Simon Commission, where he spearheaded a number of recommendations for the empowerment and upliftment of the depressed classes.
By 1927, Dr. Ambedkar has launched active campaigns against untouchability. Beginning with movements to open up public spaces for untouchables, he went on to launch struggles for the right to temple entry. He also launched the famous Mahad satyagraha to fight for the right of the untouchables to draw water from the main water tank in Raigad, Maharashtra.
On the 25th of December 1927, he led thousands of activists to publicly burn copies of the Manusmrti (Laws of Manu), because it justified untouchability and casteist discrimination.
In 1932, the colonial government proposed the institutionalization of separate electorates for the “Depressed Classes”. MK Gandhi fiercely opposed this arguing that a division of the Hindu community would absolve the forward castes of the responsibility to reform their terms of engagement with the depressed classes. He accordingly undertook a fast unto death in the Yerwada central jail. Consequently, activists such as Madan Mohan Malaviya and Palwankar Baloo conducted meetings with Dr. Ambedkar and eventually signed what has been characterized as the Poona Pact on the 25th of September 1932. Dr. Ambedkar signed as the principle representative of the depressed classes while Madan Mohan Malaviya signed as the key representative of forward castes. In stark contrast to the communal award, which was a political award meant only for 20 years, was available to Untouchables with the socially disadvantageous minority status and secured only 4.7 per cent seats in the Provincial Assemblies (71 out of 1522) and no seats in the Central assembly (Parliament), the Poona pact paved the way for proportionate number of seats in the Provincial Assembly leading to remarkably increase in seats for Scheduled castes. It also reserved 18 per cent of the seats in the central Assembly (Parliament).
The pact also initiated the overall development of the depressed classes by providing reservation of seats in services and providing funds for their education. It also declared the depressed classes eligible for contesting election in local bodies. Moreover, it laid the foundations for all the special provisions (for the empowerment of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) in the Constitution of India.
Dr. Ambedkar’s wife, Ramabai died after a long illness on the 26th of May, 1935. Deeply affected by this, Babasaheb announced at the Yeola Conversion Conference held on the 13th of October, 1935 that he would convert to a different religion. He also urged his followers to leave Hinduism because of its oppressive rules and regulations.
Between 1935 and 1937, Dr. Ambedkar served as the principal of the Government Law College, Bombay as well as the Chairperson of the governing council of Ramjas College, Delhi University.
In 1936, Dr. Ambedkar threw himself into political work, and established the Independent Labour Party. The party contested the 1937 Bombay election to the Central Legislative Assembly for the four general and the 13 reserved seats, and eventually won three and 11 seats respectively.
The same year, Dr. Ambedkar published his seminal book titled “Annihilation of Caste” on the 15th of May, 1936. He was originally supposed to deliver it as a speech at the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal, but was unable to do so after the organizers felt it was too critical of the regressive norms within Hinduism. This book continues to be upheld as a precise rebuttal of Hindu orthodoxy and the caste system in general.
Babasaheb Ambedkar then served on the Viceroy’s Executive Council as minister for labour. He also served on the Viceroy’s Defence Advisory Committee during the same period.
On the 15th of April 1948, Dr. Ambedkar married his physician Dr. Sharada Kabir (who took the name Savita Ambedkar), who would stay by his side for the rest of his life.
Dr. Ambedkar also served as a Constituent Assembly member. Originally a member of the Constituent Assembly from Bengal, he was forced to relinquish his seat because of partition. Cognizant of this loss, the Congress Party ensured that M.R. Jayakar’s seat from Bombay went to Dr. Ambedkar, and not to G.V. Mavlankar (who went on to become independent India’s first Speaker of the Lok Sabha in 1952), as it was originally supposed to.
Recognizing his substantive body of work on caste, religion and women’s rights, the Congress Party appointed Dr. Ambedkar as the chairman of the Constituent Assembly’s drafting committee. Dr. Ambedkar subsequently worked in close collaboration with the Congress, and it is based on his directions that the party enshrined in the Constitution reservations for Dalits and Adivasis in government services, in educational institutions, and in elections (right from the panchayat and urban local bodies right up to the Lok Sabha), further extending the guarantees made in the Poona Pact of 1932.
In addition, despite vehement protests from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Congress Party appointed Babasaheb Ambedkar as India’s first Law Minister. One of the revolutionary things Babasaheb did was spearhead the revolutionary Hindu Code Bill, which guaranteed women the right to own property, to inheritance, to adopt children, or to divorce an abusive husband.
Unfortunately, the Hindu Code Bill faced bitter resistance from the orthodoxy on the floor of the House, including but not limited to the Hindu Mahasabha, as also the Hindu fundamentalists outside Parliament, including the RSS and others (in fact, the RSS organised 79 rallies in a single year in Delhi where effigies of Pt. Nehru and Dr. Ambedkar were publicly burnt). Dr. Ambedkar would eventually resign as Law Minister on the 27th of September, 1951, convinced that the Congress Party was not keen on passing the Hindu Code Bill. However, Pt. Nehru waited to garner the popular mandate in the first general elections of 1952, after which he successfully passed the revolutionary Hindu Code Bill as four separate bills, thus fulfilling Dr. Ambedkar’s long standing vision.
Babasaheb Ambedkar, as leader of the Scheduled Castes Federation (SCF), would go on to ally with the Praja Socialist Party in the 1952 elections. The manifesto of the SCF specifically ruled out any “alliance with any reactionary party such as Hindu Mahasabha and Jan Sangh” (the previous avatar of the Bhartiya Janata Party).
In October 1935 Dr. Ambedkar had first revealed his plan to leave the Hindu fold at the famous Yeola conference. Beginning in the 1940s, Ambedkar increasingly saw Buddhism as religion more suited to his egalitarian ideals. He travelled to Ceylon in 1950 to address a meeting of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in Kandy and to Burma in December, 1954 to attend the third Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists. In 1955, he founded the Bharatiya Bauddha Mahasabha, or the Buddhist Society of India. His final manuscript, “The Buddha and His Dhamma”, completed in 1956, was eventually published posthumously.
Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism took place among his supporters at a public meeting on 14th October, 1956 in Nagpur. Along with his wife Dr. Savita Ambedkar, he accepted the Three Refuges and Five Precepts from Ven. Chandamani Mahathera, a Buddhist monk from Burma and Abbot of the Kusinagara Mahavihara, thereby formally adopting Buddhism. Along with him, 500,000 of his followers accepted Buddhism. Following the mass conversion ceremony Ambedkar travelled to Kathmandu, Nepal to attend the Fourth World Buddhist Conference.
Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s health took a turn for the worse during 1955. He passed away peacefully in his sleep on the sixth of December 1956 in his home at 26 Alipore Road, New Delhi.
"To be happy in the present life, one should practice the ethics of normality, non-violence (ahimsa), equality and universal brotherhood. This is an eternal truth taught by Buddha."
"Cultivation of mind should be the ultimate aim of human existence."
A group photograph of Dr. Ambedkar with associates and Dr.Savita Ambedkar alongside with their pet dog
A group photograph of the Bhimraj sporting club with Ambedkar in the centre
A group photograph of the activists of the Scheduled Caste Federation with Dr. Ambedkar seated in the centre
A group photograph of traditional section of Dalit Bajan Mandal at Akola, that later shaped up into a powerful Dalit movement under the leadership of Dr. Ambedkar
A group photograph with the activists of the Social Equality Army.
A page of the paper 'Bahiskrit Bharat'-The discarded India, the second paper started by Dr. Ambedkar for furthering the movement of the oppressed Indians
A page of the paper 'Mook Nayak'-The leader of the Silent, the first paper started by Dr. Ambedkar that vangurdaded the glorious Dalit movement
A statue of Dr.Ambedkar in front of the Parliament House
Ambedkar discussing Hindu Code Bill (1955)
Ambedkar with C Rajagopalchari and his family members, 1948
Annihilation of Caste.
Another photograph of Dr. Ambedkar in group with the soldiers of the Mahar Regiment
Associates of Dr. Ambedkar
At the time of signing the Pune Pact in 1932 at Yerwada Central Prison, Pune. Seen in the picture are Barrister Jaikar (second from left) and Barrister Sapru (to Dr. Ambedkar's left)
Babasaheb Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi, Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya and others at second Round Table Conference, 1931
Babasaheb visits saint Eknath Maharaj's tomb at Paithan with D. Gaikwad, K.Chitre and other activists in 1949
Bhayyasaheb Ambedkar, Dr. Ambedkar's son collecting his ashes from Chaitya Bhoomi, Bombay on 8.12.1952. With him is Dahivailkar Buwa who was the treasurer of Republican party of India
Bombay improvement Trust Chawl, No. 1 (BIT) Parel Bombay. Here Dr. Ambedkar stayed in room nos. 50 &51 for 20 to 25 years from the age of 14 till he became Barrister from Grey's Inn London in 1924
Central Cabinet before the President drove in state to the Indian Parliament to deliver his first address, 31.01.1950
Chaitya Bhoomi- the memorial of Dr. Ambedkar at Dardar, Bombay. Here his mortal remains were consigned to flames on December 7, 1956
Chowdar tank at Mahad, Raigadh. This is where Dr. Ambedkar launched his famous Mahad Satyagraha
Deeksha ceremony at Nagpur on 14. 10. 1956. Seen in the picture are Dr. Savita Ambedkar, Mr. Nanakchand Rattu (Dr. Ambedkar's PA) and Samta Sainik Dal Volunteers
Dr. Ambedkar being supported Shankranand Shastri while attending a gathering with Dr. Savita Ambedkar
Dr. Ambedkar addresses a public function, date unknown.
Dr. Ambedkar addressing Deeksha ceremony in Nagpur
Dr. Ambedkar addressing Labour Commissioners as Law Minister
Dr. Ambedkar addressing a meeting held in Ambedkar Bhavan on 2.5.1950. Mr. Shankranand Shastri standing on the right
Dr. Ambedkar addressing a public function in the presence of Nepal's King in Kathmandu
Dr. Ambedkar addressing a rally
Dr. Ambedkar addressing his followers at the Deeksha ceremony at Nagpur
Dr. Ambedkar addressing his followers on Buddhism
Dr. Ambedkar addressing one of his meetings
Dr. Ambedkar addressing women members at one of the conferences
Dr. Ambedkar among the delegates at the Round Table conference at London during 1930-31
Dr. Ambedkar and Babu Jagjivan Ram with associates
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Rajendra Prasad during their visit to Ellora caves in September 1950
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Savita Ambedkar among a few activists
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Savita Ambedkar as they arrive for the Deeksha ceremony at Nagpur October 14, 1956
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Savita Ambedkar being attended by the SFC volunteers
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Savita Ambedkar share a light moment with Rao Bahadur. C.K. Bole sitting in his lap
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Savita Ambedkar with C. Rajgopalachari and foreign delegates in the garden of Rashtrapati Bhawan on 18.01.1950
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Savita Ambedkar with Tamil delegates and people of Sri Lanka in 1950. Behind them (third from right are Mr. Kashiran Vishran Savadkar, B.S. Gaikwad and Balu Kabir
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Savita Ambedkar with few others at Aurangabad supervising mapping of land for Milind College
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr.Savita Ambedkar at a public meeting
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr.Savita Ambedkar being received at the Railway Station by Dadasaheb Gaikwad during his visit to Aurangabad
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr.Savita Ambedkar seeing off Mr. Kadam for England in 1953
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr.Savita Ambedkar with Dadasaheb Gaikwad and others in Aurangabad
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr.Savita Ambedkar with followers
Dr. Ambedkar and Dr.Savita Ambedkar with their associates getting escorted by an official during his visit to Aurangabad
Dr. Ambedkar and India's first cabinet with Lord Mountbatten.
Dr. Ambedkar and Mrs. Savita Ambedkar during their visit to Aurangabad in connection with Milind College, 1950
Dr. Ambedkar and Mrs. Savita Ambedkar with Baburao Pendharkar, Sulochana and Acharya Atre at the inauguration ceremony of film titled Mahatma Phule
Dr. Ambedkar and Mrs. Savita Ambedkar with St. Gadge Maharaj
Dr. Ambedkar and Mrs. Savita Ambedkar.
Dr. Ambedkar and Shri Jagjivanram, Dadasaheb Gaikwad and others
Dr. Ambedkar and his son Yashwantrao support the head of Dr. Ambedkar's first wife, Ramabai after her demise
Dr. Ambedkar as Labour Minister with colleagues of Lord Wavel's Executive Council, July 1942
Dr. Ambedkar as a Barrister, London.
Dr. Ambedkar as a bhikhu (Buddhist monk) after the demise of his first wife Ramabai, 1935
Dr. Ambedkar as he passed away in his sleep at his residence in Delhi on December 6,1956
Dr. Ambedkar at Aurangabad attending a court hearing (for reasons unknown) in 1950
Dr. Ambedkar at Benaras with Saddatissa and Bhikku Sumedh
Dr. Ambedkar at Deekshabhoomi ceremony with Ven. Chandramani, 14th April, 1956 (Nagpur).
Dr. Ambedkar at Milind College, 21st July, 1953.
Dr. Ambedkar at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Dr. Ambedkar at Siddartha College's annual gathering
Dr. Ambedkar at Siddharth College, 1953.
Dr. Ambedkar at a tea party, Rajbhog house, 1950.
Dr. Ambedkar at his alma mater-Columbia University at New York, while receiving an Honoris Causa LL.D. conferred for being the chief architect of the Constitution of India
Dr. Ambedkar at his library, New Delhi
Dr. Ambedkar at lunch with India's first cabinet. Inset are Pandit Nehru, Maulana Azad, Sardar Patel and others.
Dr. Ambedkar at rest house, Aurangabad.
Dr. Ambedkar at state dinner with Dr. Vijaylaxmi Pandit.
Dr. Ambedkar at the Deeksha ceremony in Nagpur
Dr. Ambedkar at the First World Fellowship of Buddhist Conference at Srianka in 1950
Dr. Ambedkar at the forth world conference of Buddhists at Kathmandu on June 20, 1956. Seen are the Prime Minister of Burma Mr.U.Nu and Dr.Savita Ambedkar
Dr. Ambedkar at the gathering of prominent social workers and activists of the Independent Labour Party at Mumbai
Dr. Ambedkar at the inaugration ceremony of the movie Mahatma Jyothibha Phule made by Acharye Atre at Bombay
Dr. Ambedkar at the inauguration of Paro-Story of an Untouchable Girl at West End Theatre, Bombay 1949.
Dr. Ambedkar being administered Deeksha by Ven. Bhante Chandramani of Kushinara at Nagpur on October 14, 1956.
Dr. Ambedkar being felicitated at St. Xavier College, Bombay by Mr. Narendra Manotrao Kamle and Mr. Dharamaji Pundlik Gambre
Dr. Ambedkar being received at Hyderabad railway station
Dr. Ambedkar being supported by his associates as he walks on among his followers with Dr.Savita Ambedkar
Dr. Ambedkar being supported by his associates as he walks
Dr. Ambedkar campaigning during the first general elections, Bombay 1952.
Dr. Ambedkar delivering a speech at the annual gathering of Elphinston college celebrated at the C.Hall, Bombay on December 16, 1952
Dr. Ambedkar delivering a speech in the public meeting held to celebrate Buddha Jayanti, at Narepark, Mumbai. Shri BG Kher, then Chief Minister of Bombay state is seen inset
Dr. Ambedkar delivering a speech. Shri Shankaranad Shastri is inset
Dr. Ambedkar delivering a speech
Dr. Ambedkar delivers speech, Nagpur 1956.
Dr. Ambedkar during his visit to the office of service commission at Bombay as the member of the Viceroy's Executive Council
Dr. Ambedkar evaluating land for Milind College, Aurangabad. Accompanying are Dr.Savita Ambedkar, Dadasaheb Ambedkar and other activists (1949)
Dr. Ambedkar examining the site plan the Milind College in Aurangabad, 1949
Dr. Ambedkar felicitated by the Belgaum Teacher Association at Belgaum in 1940
Dr. Ambedkar full length portrait, published in Life Magazine.
Dr. Ambedkar getting escorted by an official among his followers and admirers
Dr. Ambedkar having dinner at Milind College, 21.7.1953
Dr. Ambedkar having tea at Rajbhoj House, 1950
Dr. Ambedkar in Aurangabad, 1950
Dr. Ambedkar in Birla Temple at New Jersey with his wife Mrs. Savita Ambedkar and his followers
Dr. Ambedkar in England
Dr. Ambedkar in Maharashtra
Dr. Ambedkar in a disussion
Dr. Ambedkar in a gathering with his followers
Dr. Ambedkar in a group photo with his followers
Dr. Ambedkar in a group photograph (available in the Rajgruha collection)
Dr. Ambedkar in a group photograph with his followers
Dr. Ambedkar in a group photograph with the activists of his movement
Dr. Ambedkar in a jovial mood while watching a play in Bombay
Dr. Ambedkar in a large gathering with his followers
Dr. Ambedkar in a press conference in Bombay (1951)
Dr. Ambedkar in a public meeting organised by All India Buddhist People's Council, Delhi Branch
Dr. Ambedkar in cabinet meeting. Mr. V.N. Gadgil sitting next to him and Sir Servapalli Radhakrishnan on the extreme right
Dr. Ambedkar in conversation with people
Dr. Ambedkar in court at Aurangabad in 1950
Dr. Ambedkar in discussion with Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (1950)
Dr. Ambedkar in his final resting place, 06th December, 1956.
Dr. Ambedkar in his last public meeting in Mumbai, held at Nare Park on 24th May 1956
Dr. Ambedkar in library.
Dr. Ambedkar in middle. On his right are Mr. Rao Bahadur N Shivraj, Rao Bahadur Bole, Justice R.R. Bole. To his left are Mr. D.G.Jadhav, Chairman, People's Education Society
Dr. Ambedkar in the Constituent Assembly. Seen are the president Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru among other members
Dr. Ambedkar in the office of the Law Minister, New Delhi.
Dr. Ambedkar inaugurating the conference on the Hindu Code Bill at New Delhi, 21.4.1950
Dr. Ambedkar indulging in photography, Sachi 1950
Dr. Ambedkar inside Parliament premises, New Delhi.
Dr. Ambedkar inspecting the construction work of the Milind College, Aurangabad
Dr. Ambedkar inspecting the land for the Milind College at Aurangabad 1949
Dr. Ambedkar laying the foundation stone of Ambedkar Bhawan in New Delhi on April 16, 1951
Dr. Ambedkar listening to the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly
Dr. Ambedkar making a point whilst delivering a speech
Dr. Ambedkar making corrections as Dr.Savita Ambedkar and others look on
Dr. Ambedkar on a visit to Ajanta caves, Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Dr. Ambedkar on his birthday at Hardinge Avenue, New Delhi, 14.4.1948
Dr. Ambedkar on his birthday with Mrs. Savita Ambedkar and his followers, 1950
Dr. Ambedkar on holiday with his wife in Srinagar, 1949
Dr. Ambedkar perusing papers during the making of India's Constitution
Dr. Ambedkar planting a sapling of Bodhvriksha in the campus of Milind college, Aurangabad
Dr. Ambedkar portrait 1.
Dr. Ambedkar portrait, published in Life magazine.
Dr. Ambedkar portrait, unknown.
Dr. Ambedkar portrait.
Dr. Ambedkar reading newspaper.
Dr. Ambedkar seated with a crowd of people
Dr. Ambedkar sharing a light moment with Dr. Rajendra Prasad after presenting Constitution of India
Dr. Ambedkar signing a register as others look on
Dr. Ambedkar signing the marriage registrar as witness at the wedding of Mr. N.G.Uke in New Delhi
Dr. Ambedkar sitting in his library in New Delhi with two Ven. monks from Srilanka, 14 April 1950
Dr. Ambedkar speaking in Bombay.
Dr. Ambedkar speaking in his election meetings in Bombay for Lok Sabha in January in 1952
Dr. Ambedkar speaking on Budhha Jayanti, 2. 5. 1950
Dr. Ambedkar speaking on the Hindu Code Bill at Delhi. Non-Brahmins from south India are sitting at the back
Dr. Ambedkar taking oath from the President of India Rajendra Prasad as Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru looks on
Dr. Ambedkar talking with C. Rajagoplachari in the garden of Rashtrapathi Bhavan, 18.1.1950
Dr. Ambedkar talking to people as the Labour Minister in the Viceroy's Executive Council, Dhanbad Jharkhand
Dr. Ambedkar visiting the court at Aurangabad, 1950
Dr. Ambedkar walking in the precincts of Parliament
Dr. Ambedkar walking with Sardar Baldev Singh and cabinet colleagues
Dr. Ambedkar was presented a purse of Rs. 1,18,000 by Dr. R.D. Bhandare on behalf of SCF , Bombay city in the public meeting held at Purandare Park, Dadar on October 29, 1954
Dr. Ambedkar watching a football match at Cooperage, Bombay, organised by the Dr. Ambedkar Sporting Club
Dr. Ambedkar waving while boarding a flight
Dr. Ambedkar while at the London School of Economics.
Dr. Ambedkar while delivering his speech
Dr. Ambedkar while inspecting the land for Milind College, Aurangabad, Dadasaheb Gaikwad, Dr. Savita Ambedkar and other activist
Dr. Ambedkar while taking Deeksha, 15.10.1956. To his right are Mr. Shankaranand Shastri and Nanakchand Rattu. To his left is Dr. Savita Ambedkar
Dr. Ambedkar with Bhante Chandramani and King of Nepal while he makes his famous 'Buddha or Marx' speech, Kathmandu Nepal, 1956.
Dr. Ambedkar with C. Rajagopalachari.
Dr. Ambedkar with C. Rajagoplachari in the garden of Rashtrapathi Bhavan
Dr. Ambedkar with Congress leader UN Dhebar.
Dr. Ambedkar with Congress leaders at function.
Dr. Ambedkar with Constituent Assembly members
Dr. Ambedkar with Dadasaheb Gaikwad and other activists
Dr. Ambedkar with Dadasaheb Gaikwad
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr. Savita Ambedkar and Mahasthavir Chandramani in Nagpur
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr. Savita Ambedkar and other activists
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr. Savita Ambedkar at the Deeksha ceremony in Nagpur
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr. Savita Ambedkar taking Deeksha from Mahasthavir Chandramani in Nagpur, 14 October, 1956
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr.Savita Ambedkar , Rao Bahadur C.K.Bole, Mr. Balu Kabir and (behind) Mr. Mukundrao Ambedkar and other activists
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr.Savita Ambedkar at Deeksha ceremony at Nagpur, October 14, 1956
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr.Savita Ambedkar in Mussourie
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr.Savita Ambedkar with Buddha idol at Deeksha ceremony at Nagpur, October 14, 1956
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr.Savita Ambedkar with followers
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr.Savita Ambedkar with some family friends
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr.Savita Ambedkar
Dr. Ambedkar with Dr.Vijay Lakshmi Pandit
Dr. Ambedkar with EV Periyar Ramasamy during his visit to Madras, 1944
Dr. Ambedkar with EV Periyar and M. Jinnah, New Delhi.
Dr. Ambedkar with Jagjivan Ram, Dadasaheb Gaikwad and other political activists
Dr. Ambedkar with Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil of Satara (a famous educationist and social worker), Saint Gadge Baba, Dadasaheb Gaikwad
Dr. Ambedkar with King of Nepal in Kathmandu on Buddha or Karl Marx as the King of Nepal looks on
Dr. Ambedkar with Mahar regiment, 1950
Dr. Ambedkar with Maula Hasrat Mohani at the reception held by Sardar Patel at New Delhi on October 17, 1949
Dr. Ambedkar with Mr. Homi Bhabha and other colleagues at Siddhartha College
Dr. Ambedkar with Mr. N. Shivraj (first President of the Republican Party of India).
Dr. Ambedkar with Mr. Shantaram Annaji Upshyam Guruji at the railway station, Bombay. Guruji was the secretary of Bombay Scheduled Caste Improvement Trust founded by Dr. Ambedkar
Dr. Ambedkar with Mrs. Savita Ambedkar at the construction site of Milind College, Aurangabad
Dr. Ambedkar with Mrs. Savita Ambedkar, 14th April, 1948.
Dr. Ambedkar with Mrs. Savita Ambedkar, 14th April, 1950.
Dr. Ambedkar with Mrs. Savita Ambedkar, Baburao Pendharkar, PK Atre, Maisaheb Ambedkar and Sulochana watching the Marathi film Mahatma Phule.
Dr. Ambedkar with Mrs. Savita Ambedkar, Bombay 1954.
Dr. Ambedkar with Mrs. Savita Ambedkar, Deeksha ceremony, Nagpur 1956.
Dr. Ambedkar with Mrs. Savita Ambedkar, Mr. Chitnis and Mr. Warale.
Dr. Ambedkar with Mrs. Savita Ambedkar, at Pan Chakki, Aurangabad
Dr. Ambedkar with Prime Minister Burma U. Nu at World Conference on Buddhism, Kathmandu Nepal, 20th June, 1956.
Dr. Ambedkar with RB Srinivasan, GA Gawai and other after signing the Poona Pact.
Dr. Ambedkar with Rajbhog, Kamalakant Chitre, Dadasaheb Gaikwad at St. Eknath's tomb, Paithan Maharashtra.
Dr. Ambedkar with Rao Bahadur Shri CK Bole and others
Dr. Ambedkar with Samta Sainik Dal, Tadwadi Bombay, 1938.
Dr. Ambedkar with Sardar Patel in Central Hall of Parliament.
Dr. Ambedkar with Shankaranand Shastri.
Dr. Ambedkar with Shri Jagjivan Ram, Mrs. Jagjivan Ram, Shri VV Giri and others
Dr. Ambedkar with Shri. N.Sivraj
Dr. Ambedkar with Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Ad. Jayakar and others at Yerwada, Pune after signing the Poona Pact.
Dr. Ambedkar with activists and leaders of the Scheduled Caste Federation in Nagpur, 1942
Dr. Ambedkar with activists of Independent Labour Party, 1937
Dr. Ambedkar with activists
Dr. Ambedkar with an associate
Dr. Ambedkar with associate
Dr. Ambedkar with associates
Dr. Ambedkar with followers and monks
Dr. Ambedkar with followers in Aurangabad, Maharashtra,
Dr. Ambedkar with followers, New Delhi.
Dr. Ambedkar with followers
Dr. Ambedkar with group photograph
Dr. Ambedkar with his fellow faculty at the Government Law College in Bombay in 1928
Dr. Ambedkar with his followers during one of his visits to Aurangabad
Dr. Ambedkar with his second wife -Dr. Savita Ambedkar
Dr. Ambedkar with his second wife-Dr. Savita Ambedkar
Dr. Ambedkar with his wife -Dr. Savita Ambedkar. Servant -Sudama and their pet dog
Dr. Ambedkar with his wife Dr. Savita Ambedkar after his cataract operation at Delhi in 1953
Dr. Ambedkar with his wife Ramabai and their pet
Dr. Ambedkar with his wife at Hardnair, 1948
Dr. Ambedkar with his wife, Mr. Chitris and Mr. Warale looking on at some event
Dr. Ambedkar with leaders and activists of All India Untouchable Women's Conference in Nagpur, 1942
Dr. Ambedkar with leaders and activists of Indian Labour Party in 1937
Dr. Ambedkar with local government officials at Collector office, Nashik 1956
Dr. Ambedkar with one of his associates at Rajgruha (his residence at Dadar, Bombay)
Dr. Ambedkar with one of his associates
Dr. Ambedkar with prominent social worker of the Independent Labour Party at Bombay in 1936. Seen in the second row (seated) are Mr.RR Bole, Adv. Gadhari, Dr.Ambedkar, Nanasaheb Tipnis of Mahad.
Dr. Ambedkar with students
Dr. Ambedkar with the Executive Committee members of the Historical Conversion Ceremony at Nagpur, 1956
Dr. Ambedkar with the Historical Conversion Ceremony, Nagpur 1956.
Dr. Ambedkar with the activists from Vidarbha at the Akola Railway station (1947)
Dr. Ambedkar with the families of some of his associates
Dr. Ambedkar with the lady activists of the Dalit movement
Dr. Ambedkar with the members of the Drafting Committee of Constitution of India.
Dr. Ambedkar with the officials of the People's Education Society at Aurangabad
Dr. Ambedkar with the support of Dr.Savita Ambedkar lighting the candle during the Deeksha Ceremony at Nagpur
Dr. Ambedkar's address to students of Siddartha College-Inauguration of students Parliament on 25.9.1947
Dr. Ambedkar's dead body was brought to his residence-Rajgruha in Bombay
Dr. Ambedkar's portrait, unknown period.
Dr. Ambedkar's portrait
Dr. Ambedkar's turbaned portrait.
Dr. Ambedkar's undated portrait.
Dr. Ambedkar, Jagjivan Ram, VV Giri and others.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar with Dr.Savita Ambedkar
Dr. and Mrs. Ambedkar at Hardnair, 1948.
Dr. and Mrs. Ambedkar in Milind College, Aurangabad
Dr.Ambedkar and Dr.Savita Ambedkar among acivists
Dr.Ambedkar and Dr.Savita Ambedkar before going to meeting
Dr.Ambedkar and Dr.Savita Ambedkar with an idol of Buddha
Dr.Ambedkar delivering his speech titled Buddha or Karl Marx at Kathmandu, with king of Nepal sitting inset
Dr.Ambedkar in a group photograph at Hyderabad with Dr.Pradhan, Dr.Savita Ambedkar, Mr. Balu Kabir and others
Dr.Ambedkar in a group photograph with his followers
Dr.Ambedkar in a group photograph with women activists
Dr.Ambedkar in a group photograph
Dr.Ambedkar in his Mahaparinirvana
Dr.Ambedkar on his 60th birthday being celebrated by his followers at a public function
Dr.Ambedkar with his followers
Dr.Ambedkar with some officials
Dr.Ambedkar with the architect of the Milind college, Principal M.B Chitnis, Dr.Savita Ambedkar, Rao Bahadar C.K. Bole and Mr. B.H.Varale
Dr.Ambedkar with the member of the Executive Committee of the People's Education Society
Dr.Savita Ambedkar helping Dr. Ambedkar at Deeksha ceremony at Nagpur
Dr.Savita Ambedkar helps Dr. Ambedkar with his speech at Deeksha ceremony
Early associates of Dr. Ambedkar in the Independent Labour Party, a political party founded by Babasaheb Ambedkar in 1937
Electoral roll listing Dr. Ambedkar's candidature in Bombay North, Presidency elections, 1937.
Establishment of people's education society in 1945
Family photograph of Dr. Ambedkar with his second wife Dr.Savita Ambedkar
Felicitation of Dadasaheb Sambhaji Tukaram Gaikwad at the hands of Dr. Ambedkar. L to R are Mr. Mohite Guruji, B.R.Kadrekar, editor of Janta, Subedar Gangadhar Ghatge, Subedar Raghoram Sajja
Felicitation of Karmveer Dadasaheb Sambhaji Tukaram Gaikwad at the hands of Dr. Ambedkar
First cabinet with Governor General C. Rajagopalchari.
First marriage ceremony of Mahar caste couple at Damodar Thakrasi Hall, at Parel, Bombay in 1929 with Vaidik rites. Bridegroom was Mr. Keshavrao Govindrao Andrekar.
Foundation stone for Milind college was laid by President Dr. Rajendra Prasad on September 1, 1950. Seen are representive of Nizam of Hyderabad, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. Ambedkar and others
Kalaram Mandir satayagraha at Nashik that ran from 1930 to 1935. From left are Dadasaheb Gaikwad, and Dr. Ambedkar with other prominent social workers
Kalaram Mandir, Nashik. Dalits campaigned at this site for nearly five years demanding entry into Hindu temples
Karamveer Bhaurao Patil, social activist & educationist, Sant Gadge Maharaj, social crusader & Dr. Ambedkar
Kranti Stambha at Mahad erected in 1970 to commemorate the epic struggle at Mahad
Last journey of Dr. Ambedkar on 7.12.1956 in Bombay
M Shankarrao, Narayan Rao Kajrolkar and UN Debar (then president of Indian National Congress) pay respects to Dr. Ambedkar
Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad -the king of Baroda whose assistance in the form of scholarship played a crucial part in making of Ambedkar
Mahasthaveer Chandramani and the other Bhikshus are seated while (from left) Mr. Balu Kabir, Dr.Savita Ambedkar, Dr. Ambedkar, Dr. Niyogi, Mr. Nanakchand Rattu and one activist are standing behind them
Maniben Patel (Sardar Patel's daughter), YC Shankaranand Shashtri, Hotilal Pipal and others pay respect to Dr. Ambedkar, 06.12.1956
Masthead of Dr. Ambedkar's newspaper 'Bahishkrit Bharat'.
Milind College building inspection, 1953
Milind College, Aurangabad
Mohd. Sayed Masoori, All J&K National Conference taking oath in Constituent Assembly. Dr. Ambedkar in background, June 16, 1949
Mooknayak's cover page.
National Defense Council meets. The first meeting of the National Defense Council was held in the Council Chamber of Viceragal lodge, Simla, on October 6, 7 and 8, 1941
One of the earliest statues of Dr. Ambedkar erected in Bombay
Pandals for the Convention of Scheduled Caste Fedration in 1942 at Nagpur
Portrait of Dr. Ambedkar as a student.
Portrait of Dr. Ambedkar.
President Dr. S.Radharkrishnan unveiling the statue of Dr. Ambedkar in front of the Parliament house. Among those present include Mr. Sanjeev Reddy, Yashavantrao Chavan and others
Prof. Patankar speaking in Siddharth college. L to R are Prof. V.G. Rao, Dr. Ambedkar , Rao Bahadur Shri. CK Bole, governor of Bombay, Raja Maharaj Singh and Dr. Savita Ambedkar
Prof. V.G. Rao, Gajendrag Gadkar, Principal , Milind College, Mr. M.V.Donde, Dr. Ambedkar, Rao Bahadur C.K.Bole, Mr. D.G.Jadhav and Mr. Kamalakant Chitre of People's Education Society, Bombay
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru arrives to pay his respects to Dr. BR Ambedkar at 26 Alipore Road, New Delhi, 06th December, 1956.
Rajgruha- the house Dr.Ambedkar built as his residence cum library
Rao Bahadur C.K.Bole and other activists meet Dr. Ambedkar -member of the Flag Committee to request him to make the saffron flag as the national flag of Indian on July 10, 1947
Reception committee of Mahad satyagraha.
Samadhi of Dr. Ambedar's mother -Bhimabai Ambedkar
Shri. Balaram Ramji Ambedkar -elder brother of Dr. Ambedkar
Soldier of the Social Equality army in the making of a revolution that abruptly came to halt after Dr. Ambedkar passed away
Subhedar-Major Ramji Maloji Ambedkar, Dr. BR Ambedkar's father
The activists of the Indian Labour Party at the 'Ambedkar Gate' erected for their conference
The first round table conference -16th November 1930 to 19th January 1931. Dr. Ambedkar is sitting in the first row left
The ocean of people taking the mortal remains of Dr. Ambedkar towards its destination-the Chaitya Bhoomi
Tomb of Dr. Ambedkar's mother, Satara.
Undated photography of Dr. Ambedkar
Undated picture of Dr. Ambedkar.
Undated portrait of Dr. Ambedkar.
With Dadasaheb Gaikwad and other social activists
With Independent Labour Party workers in Sholapur-1940
With Samata Sainik Dal, Volunteers at Tadwadi, Bombay in1938
With female activists
With social activists, Maharashtra
With social workers of the Independent Labour Party, Bombay 1936.
With social workers.
Yashvantrao Ambedkar (son of Dr. Ambedkar), Dadasaheb Rupwate and others
Yashvantrao Ambedkar (son of Dr.Ambedkar) and Mukandrao Ambedkar (nephew) collecting ashes of Dr. Ambedkar after funeral at Chaitya Bhoomi on December 8, 1956
Yashvantrao and Mukandrao Ambedkar collecting Babasaheb's ashes at Chaitya Bhoomi on December 8, 1956
"Equality may be a fiction but nonetheless one must accept it as a governing principle."