Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar popular known as Babasaheb or B. R. Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891. This year we celebrate his 127th birth anniversary. B. R. Ambedkar was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who stimulated the Dalit Buddhist Movement and campaigned against social discrimination against Untouchables since he was a Dalit too and also supported the rights of women and labor. He was independent India’s very first minister of law, the principal architect of the Constitution of India and a founding father of the Republic of India.
In 1990, he was honored with the Bharat Ratna award and Ambedkar’s legacy continues till today with numerous memorials and depictions in popular culture. Babasaheb viewed the Shudras as Aryans and rejected the Aryan invasion theory which depicts scenarios around the theory of an origin from outside South Asia of Indo-Aryan peoples. Ambedkar was doubtful about various hypotheses of the Aryan homeland being outside India and concluded the Aryan homeland was India itself. The first Indian constitution was drafted by Ambedkar which was also the first social document of the constitution of India. The text that was prepared by Ambedkar provided its citizen with constitutional guarantees and protections for a wide range of civil liberties that included freedom of religion, the abolition of untouchability, and the outlawing of all forms of discrimination. Later, he went on to oppose the Article 370 of the constitution, which granted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
On the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti, we bring you some of the quotes by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar
“Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.”
“Freedom of mind is the real freedom. A person whose mind is not free though he may not be in chains is a slave, not a free man. One whose mind is not free, though he may not be in prison, is a prisoner and not a free man. One whose mind is not free though alive is no better than dead. Freedom of mind is the proof of one’s existence.”
“Caste may be bad. Caste may lead to conduct so gross as to be called man’s inhumanity to man. All the same, it must be recognized that the Hindus observe Caste not because they are inhuman or wrong-headed. They observe Caste because they are deeply religious.”
“Political tyranny is nothing compared to the social tyranny and a reformer who defies society is a more courageous man than a politician who defies Government.”
“I do not want that our loyalty as Indians should be in the slightest way affected by any competitive loyalty whether that loyalty arises out of our religion, out of our culture or out of our language. I want all people to be Indians first, Indian last and nothing else but Indians.”
“History shows that where ethics and economics come into conflict, victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them.”
“Lost rights are never regained by appeals to the conscience of the usurpers, but by relentless struggle… Goats are used for sacrificial offerings and not lions.”
“Constitution is not a mere lawyers document, it is a vehicle of Life, and its spirit is always the spirit of Age.”
“If I find the constitution being misused, I shall be the first to burn it.”
“Democracy is not merely a form of government. It is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience. It is essentially an attitude of respect and reverence towards fellow men.”