20th July in Dalit History – Dr. Ambedkar arrived at New York and joined Columbia University, in the Faculty of Political Sciences.
Arriving in New York during the third week in July, Bhimrao was housed in Hartley Hall. But he didn’t care for the food, and only stayed for a week. In August he moved from Hartley Hall to “Cosmopolitan Club” (554 West 114th Street), a housing club maintained by a group of Indian students. He finally settled in a dormitory, Livingston Hall (since renamed Wallach Hall, with his friend Naval Bhathena, a Parsi; the two remained friends for life.
Check also – Dr. Ambedkar’s degree from Columbia University.
Cosmopolitan Club, where Dr. Ambedkar stayed for some time while studying at Columbia University.
Wallach Hall, where Dr. Ambedkar stayed while studying at Columbia University.
14th June in Dalit History – Dr. Ambedkar returned to Bombay from America on 14 June after receiving Doctor of Law from Columbia University.
A hundred years ago, on June 2nd, 1915, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
got his MA. from Columbia University. Born an ‘untouchable’, the young Ambedkar had to sit outside the classroom in school and listen to the teacher through an open window. Humiliated and hounded by Hindu students and teachers, not even allowed to drink water from a common tap, Babasaheb Ambedkar nevertheless went on to study at one of the finest universities in the world – Columbia at New York
. There he studied with people of the caliber of John Dewey. It was also at Columbia that he experienced equality for the first time.
Balchandra Mungekar, vice chancellor of Bombay University, points to a statue of B.R. Ambedkar at Columbia University
The young graduate student passed his M.A. exam in June, majoring in Economics, with Sociology, History, Philosophy, and Anthropology as other subjects of study; he presented a thesis, *”Ancient Indian Commerce”*. For his outstanding achievement, he was honored by students and professors of the Faculty of Arts at a special dinner.
All this seems almost out of mythology! Yet here in Hindustan, an institute by the name of IIT Madras, has ‘de-recognized’ a student study circle named after Ambedkar devoted to studying his philosophy. Clearly the Ambedkarite revolution has many hurdles to cross before ‘equality, liberty, fraternity’ becomes a part of the culture here.
Tumhi kara re kitihi halla /
Mazbut Bhimacha quilla
Watch Video – Tribute to Dr Ambedkar at Columbia University, New York City: Prof.Nicolas Dirks
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On 15th May, 1936 Babasaheb Ambedkar published Annihilation Of Caste book. Dr. Ambedkar was scheduled to deliver this speech to a conference in Lahore, but could not. The conference organizers cancelled his invitation as they felt the contents of the speech were too radical for the time. Dr. Ambedkar later released the speech in written format, and it became one of his most famous work – title, ‘Annihilation of Caste’. In this work, Dr. Ambedkar discussed the problems in ending the caste system in India, and how those problems could be countered.
If you’d like to read the text, Columbia University in the City of New York has designed a special e-text format of the speech for easy readability and cross-referencing at http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/mmt/ambedkar/web/index.html
Annihilation of Caste – Front Page
– By Mangesh Dahiwale
Babasaheb loved India. His love is expressed in his service to India. Babasaheb quoted Leo Tolstoy to make the same point: those who love can only serve. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, people follow him and look at him as their source of inspiration. On his 124th birth anniversary, two major political parties are competing to co-opt him. The Indian National Congress declared an yearlong celebration. The RSS, which is the mother of BJP, is publishing “Collector’s issue” on Babasaheb. Ironically, Babasaheb was opposed to their brands of nationalism and their idea of India. The emergence of Babasaheb in the current situation is natural in the way polity of India is conceived in the constitution as democratic republic. In India, “We, the people” are supreme. Who are we in this “we, the people”? The answer to this question is all of us born in this country. We constitute the Indian republic. Well, at least, constitutionally, if not in practice. But this abstract idea that we constitute India is liberating for citizens of this country. The people of India elect their representatives by casting votes every five years. This is a big achievement for Indians to be able to chose who will govern them.
Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War in United State remarked that constitution will rule whatever is below it and destroy whatever is above it. The constitution gives that power to us. On to this question, Babasaheb directed his entire energy as to who is the ruler of India. He opposed the British Raj. His scathing remarks on exploitation of natives, his analytical criticism of Raj’s social policies, and his objective analysis of British policy are testimonies to his criticism of the British Raj. He didn’t want India to be ruled by the British. To him, it was exploitative and undermining natives of India. He was also opposed to Congress’s brand of India. Since 1937, Indian National Congress came to power in the Central Assembly and majority of the provinces of British India, their rule was similarly exploitative and it was not for “We, the people of India”. Indian National Congress was supported by the capitalists and media even during this period. They won the elections since 1937. The Indians that made Indian National Congress and larger population of Indians they ruled reflected the clear social fact of India. The Indian National Congress was elitist and led by the upper castes, mainly the Brahmans and Banias. This is the reason why Jotiba Phule was opposed to the Indian National Congress. Here lies the importance of Jotiba Phule, who created a platform for the politics of Bahujans. He was the progenitor of the idea of India ruled by the Non-Brahmans and by the current implications not by the axis of Brahmans and Banias.
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was honored by the HMT company through wrist watches on birth centenary year, 1991, of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.
Also Watch – Tribute to Dr Ambedkar at Columbia University (USA)