Born on April 14 in 1891, Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar who was popularly known as the architect of the Indian Constitution indeed wanted to burn the constitution if it did not take into consideration the welfare of the minorities in India. Yes, you read that right!
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It is by placating the sentiments of smaller communities and smaller people who are afraid that the majority may do wrong, that the British Parliament works. Sir, my friends tell me that I have made the Constitution. But I am quite prepared to say that I shall be the first person to burn it out. I do not want it. It does not suit anybody. But whatever that may be, if our people want to carry on, they must not forget that there are majorities and there are minorities, and they simply cannot ignore the minorities by saying, "Oh, no. To recognise you is to harm democracy." I should say that the greatest harm will come by injuring the minorities,- said Ambedkar in the Rajya Sabha on September 2, 1953.
This year is BR Ambedkar's 126th Birth Anniversary which is also celebrated as Ambedkar Jayanti. Here are ten lesser known facts about the messiah of the Dalits:
- Born in the military cantonment of Mhow in Madhya Pradesh as the 14th and last child to his parents, Ambedkar's father was a Subedar major, Ramji Maloji Sakpal — the highest rank for an Indian under the British rule. His mother's name was Bhimabai Murbadkar Sankpal.
- His original name was actually Ambavadekar. But his teacher, Mahadev Ambedkar, who was fond of him, changed his surname to his own surname—Ambedkar— in the school records.
- Though Ambedkar went to a government school, he and the other untouchable children faced discrimination. When they were thirsty, the people from the higher caste used to pour the water from a height so that they would not come in contact with the vessel. The school peon would do this for Ambedkar and when the peon was not around, Ambedkar had to go without water.
- Ambedkar who was the first untouchable to pass matriculation, had once considered converting to Buddhism.
- He was the only one among all his brothers and sisters to pass his examinations and complete his graduation.
- The Maharaja of Baroda funded his doctorate degree in Economics. He was the first Indian to get an Economics doctorate from abroad.
- He was appointed as the first Minister of Law and Justice in 1947, but he resigned when his women rights bill was opposed by the Parliament
- It was during the governance of Atal Bihari Vajpayee that Madhya Pradesh and Bihar was slpit but it was first suggested by Ambedkar 45 years ago.
- The Article 370 of the Indian Constitution has accorded special status to Jammu & Kashmir, but Ambedkar was against Article 370.
- Ambedkar was a diabetes patient and died in his sleep in the year 1956 on December 6, three days after he completed his manuscript— The Buddha and his Dhamma.