Er. H.R Phonsa
Bharat Ratana Baba Saheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar was born on 14 th April 1891 at Mhow to revered Subedar Major Ramji Sakhpal & Mata Bhimabai of Mahar Community. Mata Bhimabai died when Bhim was only six years old, so he was brought up in the care of married sisters & his father’s sister Mirabai. Ambedkar worked over 18 hours a day. Bhimrao married Ramabai at the tender age of 17 years when his wife was only of 9 years. Mata Ramabai stood like a rock by her Saheb in the later life till her death on May 27, 1935. Bhiva as he was named in his childhood had to sit on a mat brought from his house out side the class room as untouchables then were not allowed to get education and his very touch could pollute a high caste students as per orthodox norms. Despite all this his handwork, earned him world’s highest academic Degrees of D.sc ( London ); PhD & LL.D (Columbia ); M.A ; D. Lit ( Osmania ) Bar -at- Law (London ) .etc. He knew nine languages and was strict disciplinarian.
He sacrificed his life comforts for the just cause of his poverty, illiteracy and suffering brethren because he had seen poverty and its ill effects from a very close angle.
Some of his life incidents left life long impressions on Bhim which became turning points of his later life.
While Bhim was in primary school his father remarried which Bhim disliked, so he decided to go to Bombay (Now Mumbai) to get employed in some factory. For arranging journey fare he decided to steal money from the purse of his aunt Mirabai with whom he used to sleep on floor at night. Bhim spent four sleepless night to steal the purse and when he succeeded in his efforts, he found only half an Anna (Rs 0.03), with which he could not go to Bombay. This gave him the first jolt of his life and insight of what poverty was, so he decided to concentrate on his studies to pass his examination as early as possible to become independent of his father and step mother.
He felt the stigma of untouchability in his childhood. He along with his elder brother Balram and little nephew were going from Satara to Goregaon to meet his father, who worked at Goregoan as cashier. They got down at Padali railway station, but their father had not reached to receive them. So with the assistance of the station master, a caste Hindu, the children boarded a bullock cart to go to Goregoan. Only after going a few yards, the god fearing caste Hindu cart man came to know the well dressed children were untouchables, so he threw them down on the road saying they had polluted his cart and animals. As the night was falling, so the children begged to the cart man to help them. The cart man agreed on the terms that he will take double the fare and one of them shall drive the cart and he shall walk on foot behind the cart. On the way nobody offered them a drop of water. Few days after this Bhim was mad with thirst and started drinking water at a public water place. On seeing this caste Hindus beat him black and blue. One day a barber turned Bhim out of his shop and refused to cut his hair, as by doing so his razor shall get polluted and no caste Hindu shall come to his shop. However this barber gladly performed buffalo- shaving with his razor. These insulting and rude behaviors cast an impression on young Bhim that he belonged to a caste which had no respect. He decided to oppose it with all his might in his later life and he fulfilled this promise by leaving the Hindu religion. But still another instance reinforced his will to work for his downtrodden brethren to get them equal rights in political, constitutional, Religious, educational and economical fields.
Bhim was not allowed to take Sanskrit as a subject in his school. As Sanskrit called Dev Bani as language was believed to be spoken by the gods and goddesses and on the earth reserved for Bhudevs or Brahmins self declared gods on the earth) He studied it later in foreign land and it is said ,he acquired mastery over seven languages
After obtaining world’s highest academic Degrees he joined service as Military Secretary to the Maharaja of Baroda. On reaching Baroda he was not accorded any reception befitting his official position. He and his elder brother, who had accompanied him, were not given any accommodation by any hotel owner. They took shelter in a Parsee inn. On protest from caste Hindus his luggage was thrown out only after a few days from the inn, abusing him as despicable untouchable. He got spine shivering experience when poor illiterate but high Caste peons thought it polluting and sinful to hand over files and official papers to Doctor Ambedkar. They threw from a distance files and papers at his table. They rolled the mates when the Military Secretary, an untouchable got up to go out. Drinking water was not made available to him and he had to go to public library for taking water and spending his spare time. His note to the Maharaja was sent to the Diwan, who showed his inability to help Ambedkar. He suffered hunger in absence of food availability. The sky was his roof and ground his floor. He decided to return to Bombay after two months only staying in humiliations and rebukes from mid September to mid November 1917. Subsequently Dr, Ambedkar resigned from the job and dedicated his whole life for the service of millions of oppressed peoples, who were denied all means of decent livelihood by their own religious rules books. This also proved wrong the claims of caste Hindus including Mahatma Gandhi that untouchability shall automatically vanish from India when Untouchables shall get educated.
One of the major contributions of Dr. Ambedkar was to give fight to change the age old system of the Hindus to deny major chunk of their co- followers called the untouchables or Dalits, the right to have better prospects in the education social, economical, religious & political fields. By dint of his hard labour Dr. Ambedkar proved that given proper helping circumstances any body can excel in all fields including education irrespective of one’s caste, creed, religion, faith, sex or place of birth.. It was the partial treatment in the Hindu society which resulted in giving poverty to the Dalits and administrative rod to the Upper Castes. So all human rights to Dalits as to have equal opportunities for education, religion, economical and social status in the society were denied. He advised the society to encourage girl education and family planning to boost all out progress of the society. He introduced in Parliament on 5th February 1951 The Hindu Code bill, which was opposed by many including the Hindu Mahasabha & other orthodox Hindus As Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee. Dr Ambedkar granted equal fundamental rights, including equal wages for equal work, equality before Law to all citizen irrespective of caste, creed, race, sex, religion or place of birth. His single handed efforts routed out by law the stigma of untouchability in the Hindu religion, although it is yet clinging the orthodox Hindus in a big way even after five decades of enactment of Law to ban it in all its forms.. He brought back Buddha to India when he embraced Buddhism on 14 th October 1956 along with over three lacs of men & women. Dr. Ambedkar lived for 22 days after conversion to Buddhism and during this small period over Five Lacs Dalits got converted to their original faith.
Er. H.R Phonsa