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What facts will completely change your perception about Dr B. R. Ambedkar ?
All over India 14th April is celebrated as Ambedkar Jayanti. We hear songs about Ambedkar at every nook and corner and we keep wondering, why are some people so crazy about him. We all recognize Dr. B. R. Ambedkar as the architect of the Indian constitution and a crusader for the rights of the untouchables. But one won’t be wrong to say that history has been a bit unfair to Ambedkar. All that we know about Dr. Ambedkar is that he was the messiah of untouchables and someone who drafted our constitution. When we talk about the pre and post-independence India, we talk about several leaders but limit Ambedkar’s role only to writing of the constitution. The life and works of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Sarojini Naidu, etc. are studied and appreciated by all. While, we find that Ambedkar’s narrative is somewhere lost. However, the contribution of Ambedkar to the formation of our modern day Indian society is immense. He was an erudite leader whose thoughts were prophetic. Some of these facts will change your perception about Ambedkar completely.
Here you go!
1. Way back in the year 1955 Ambedkar had suggested the divison of both Madhya Pradesh and Bihar for better governance. The states were bifurcated 45 years later and in the year 2000 states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were formed.
2. Ambedkar played a key role in establishment of the Reserve Bank of India in 1935. It was formed based on the guidelines provided by Dr. Ambedkar. His book ‘The Problem of the Rupee - Its Origin and Its Solution’ was widely referred during the formation of RBI.
10. Apart from being the saviour of the untouchables, Ambedkar also fought for the emancipation of women. He resigned from the cabinet in 1952 because his Hindu Code Bill was not passed. He had argued in it for the equal rights for women in inheritance and marriage. Later on these laws were enacted under the Hindu Marriage Act.
Most Indians know BR Ambedkar as the Father of Indian Constitution and a crusader for the rights of untouchables. Though he is held in high regard, most people know precious little about this great statesman and visionary. While much has been written about his contemporaries, from Gandhi to Nehru to Sardar Patel, Ambedkar's life continues to be underreported. Here are a few lesser-known facts about Ambedkar that will enrich your knowledge of this iconic figure.
Your saviour - and mine
At the 7th Session of Indian Labour conference, Ambedkar changed the number of working hours in India from 14 hours to 8. So, if it wasn't for him, your average work day would be 9 am to 11 pm. You've got to be thanking him, like seriously!
Way back in 1955, Ambedkar had suggested the division of both Madhya Pradesh and Bihar for better governance. The states were bifurcated 45 years later, leading to the formation of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
Teacher changed his surname
Ambedkar's original name was Ambavadekar, but his teacher (who was very fond of this brilliant child) changed his surname from 'Ambavadekar' to 'Ambedkar' in school records. 'Ambedkar' was the teacher's own surname.
Ambedkar played a key role in establishment of the Reserve Bank of India in 1935. His book 'The Problem of the Rupee - Its Origin and Its Solution' was widely referred to during the formation of the RBI.
Quite the engineer
Ambedkar played a crucial role in heralding large-dam technology in India. He contributed in setting up Damodar, Hirakud and Sone river dam projects.
Autobiography as textbook
Ambedkar's autobiography, 'Waiting for a Visa', which he wrote during 1935-36, is used as a textbook in Columbia University.
Creator of employment agency
Ambedkar was instrumental in forming the National Employment Exchange Agency, which tells us he had an unprecedented ability to spot future crises.
Not really a politician
Despite being a great statesman, Ambedkar wasn't a very successful politician - probably because, for him, India was above petty politics. Ambedkar contested Lok Sabha election in 1952 from Bombay North and lost to Congress candidate Naryan Kajrolkar.
Ambedkar was opposed to Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which gives special status to Jammu & Kashmir.