2 February 1913: Death of Subedar Major Ramji Maloji Sakpal, father of Dr. Ambedkar.
Dr. Ambedkar’s ancestral village is Ambavade, five miles off Mandanged, a small town in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. His grand father Maloji Sakpal was a retired Havaldar in the Bombay Army of the East India Company. He is said to have been allotted some land for acts of bravery in the battle field. Maloji had two children – Ramji (son) and Mira Bai (daughter).
Like his father, Ramji also joined the army. He was an enlightened person who worked hard and attained proficiency in English language. He obtained Diploma in Teaching from the Army Normal School in Poona. Consequently, he was appointed as a teacher in the Army School. He served as Head Master and had attained the rank of Subedhar Major. The Sakpal’s belonged to the Kabir cult along with the untouchability (Mahar) tag attached.
Ramji had 14 children, the 14th being Bhimrao (Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar). However only three sons – Balaram, Anandrao and Bhimrao – and two daughters – Manjula and Tulasa –survived. The Bhakti movement in Maharashtra had impressed the Sakpal’s family to imbibe its spiritual content, Ramji Sakpal brought up his children under strict religious atmosphere at time performing poojas and offerings with great devotion. Thus, during childhood Bhimrao used to sing devotional songs. Ramji Sakpal’s attitude towards his children was basically responsible to the all-around development of Dr. Amebdkar. Ramji was good in English and Arithmetic. He was a teetotaler and as mostly interested in his won and his children’s spiritual development.
Father of Dr. Ambedkar
Ramji Sakpal retired in 1894 and the family moved from Dapoli to Satara two years later. Shortly after their move, Bhimrao’s mother (Bhima Bai) died. After the death of his wife Ramji married for the second time, which was opposed by Bhimrao. The children were cared for by their paternal aunt. However, Ramji did not curtail the ambition of Bhimrao towards his education. Ramji stood firm and committed to his children’s betterment and Bhimrao’s intellectual aspirations in particular.
“As I met Mr. Gandhi in the capacity of an opponent, I’ve a feeling that I know him better than most other people, because he had openly real fangs to me, and I could see the inside of the man….
“I feel quite surprised at the interest of the outside world — Western World, particularly, seems to be taking in Mr. Gandhi. I cannot understand that. So far as India is concerned, he was, in my judgment, an episode in the history of India, never an epoch maker….
“He was all the time double-dealing. He conducted two papers. One in English…. In Gujarati, he conducted another paper…. If you read the two papers, you will see how Mr. Gandhi was deceiving the people. In the English paper, he posed himself as an opponent of the caste system, and of untouchability, and that he was a Democrat. But if you read his Gujarati magazine… he has been supporting the caste system and all the orthodox dogmas which have been keeping us down all through the ages…
“The Western World only reads the English paper, where Mr. Gandhi, in order to keep himself in the esteem of the Western people, who believe in democracy, was advocating democratic ideals. But you have to see what he actually talked to the people in his vernacular paper.”
“We want untouchability to be abolished. But we also want that we must be given equal opportunity so that we may rise to the level of the other parties…. Mr. Gandhi was totally opposed…. He wasn’t like Garrison, in the United States, who fought for the Negroes.”
Today is birth anniversary of Mahapran Jogendernath Mandal (1904-1968) a man today largely forgotten except living in the imagination of Bahujan community was a learned person from Bengal. As the leader of Schedule Caste Federation in Bengal forged an alliance with Muslim League and mobilised numbers to get Babasaheb elected to constituent assembly from Bengal. Similar to Babasaheb, he too went on to become the first Minister of Law and Labour of independent Pakistan. Later, he too resigned due to the differences and discomfort arouse on multiple issues. According to him, ‘On battlefield, sword is powerful, on battleground of Philosophy, Pen is Mighty. In democracy, rights of every creature if safeguarded as it is based on liberty, equality, fraternity and justice’. Let’s strive to carry on his dream of creating a social and economic equality in India and establish a Bahujan rule in India.
Jogendra Nath Mandal was the leader of Scheduled Caste communities in Bengal, born in an untouchable Namasudra family. He was the son of Ramdayal Mandal and Sandhyadebi. He passed his B.A examination in 1932 from B.M College located in Barisal then he joined Calcutta Law College and passed the Law examination in 1934. He was the member of Bengal Legislative Assembly 1937 from the Bakarganj North-East General Rural Constituency.
2. “Education is something which ought to be brought within the reach of every one..the policy therefore ought to be to make higher education as cheap to the lower classes as it can possibly be made. If all these communities are to be brought to the level of equality, then the only remedy is to adopt the principle of equality and to give favoured treatment to those who are below level.”
3. “I am very fond of teaching profession. I am also very fond of students. I have dealt with them. I have lectured them in my life. I am very glad to talk to the students. A great lot of the future of this country must necessarily depend on the students of this country. Students are an intelligent part of the community and they can shape the public opinion.”
4. To deny them that right (i.e. Education) is to create a situation full of injustice. To keep people illiterate and then to make their literacy the ground of their enfranchisement is to add insult to the injury. But the situation indeed involves more than this. It involves an aggravation of the injury for to keep illiterate and then to deny them franchise which is the only means where by they could effectively provide for the removal of illiteracy is to perpetuate illiteracy and postpone indefinitely the days of their enfranchisement.
Purpose of Education
Purpose of Education is to moralize and socialize the people.
W. & S. Vol. 2-p-39
Aim and functions of University Education
The aim and functions of University Education should be to see that the teaching carried on there is suited to adults; that it is scientific, detached and impartial in character; that it aims not so much at filling the mind of the student with facts or theories as at calling forth his own individuality, and stimulating him to mental effort; that it accustoms him to the critical study of the leading authorities, with perhaps, occasional reference to first hand sources of information, and that it implants in his mind a standard of toughness, and gives him a sense of the difficulty as well as the value of reaching at truth.”
W. & S. Vol. 2-p-296
Students should learn
The student so trained should learn to distinguish between what may fairly be called matter of fact and what is certainly mere matter of opinion. He should be accustomed to distinguish issues, and to look at separate questions each on its own merits and without an eye to their bearings on some cherished theory. He should learn to state fairly, and even sympathetically the position of those to whose practical conclusions he is most stoutly opposed. He should become able to examine a suggested idea, and see what comes of it, before accepting it or rejecting it. Without necessarily becoming an original student he should gain an insight into the conditions under which original research is carried on. He should be able to weigh evidence, to follow and criticize argument and put his own value on authorities.” W. & S. Vol. 2-p-296 297
Character is more important than education
That education was a sword and being a double edged weapon, was dangerous to wield. An educated man without character and humility was more dangerous than a beast. If his education was detrimental to the welfare of the poor, the educated man was a curse to society. Fie upon such an educated man. Character is more important than education.” L.&M.— P-305
27 January 1919: Dr. Ambedkar submitted a memorandum and gave evidence before the Southborough Commission. The memorandum was attached as a supplementary in the commissions report.
In the examination of Dr. Ambedkar‘s views the commission found that he had unmistakenly presented the division of Hindu society into touchables and untouchables. If a particular community had a majority of votes in a constituency, there was no need for that community to have separate communal representation. If the untouchables had a majority of votes in a particular constituency, he would not ask for communal representation. It was because they were in a minority and would always remain so on a uniform franchise that he asked for separate representation. He was opposed to any system under which the representatives of the depressed classes were drawn from other classes. His justification for asking for a low qualification for franchise was that as a result of being untouchable, the untouchables had no property; they could not trade because they could not find customers. He remembered a case in which a Mahar caste woman was taken to the police court for selling watermelons. In the mills in the Bombay Presidency the untouchables were not yet allowed to work in the weaving department: in one case an untouchable did work in the weaving department of a mill saying that he was a Mohammedan, and when found out, he was severely beaten. The definition of an “untouchable” as a person, who would cause pollution by his touch, was a satisfactory one for electoral purposes. It was not the case that some castes were considered to be untouchable in some districts and touchable in others.
In the whole Bombay Presidency there was one B.A. and 6 or 7 matriculates among the depressed classes. The proportion of those who were literate in English was very small, but not much smaller than in the case of the backward classes. The depressed classes especially the Mahars and the Chamars, were fit to exercise the vote. He would also give them the votes by way of education. He could find at least 25 or more men amongst them who had passed the 6th or the 7th Standards of a High School, and, although the number was not large, the 9 seats which he suggested for the depressed classes could be filled from amongst them. Such a candidate in practical matters would be as good as a graduate although the latter might be able to express himself better.
He suggested large constituencies for the depressed classes’; if such large constituencies had been accepted for the Mohammedans he did not see why they were not practicable in the case of the depressed classes.
In order to obtain the required number of seats for the depressed classes he would reduce the number of seats suggested by Government for the Mohammedans, from 38 to 10. This reduction was justifiable, as on the population basis the Mohammedans were only entitled to 20 per cent of the seats. He did not consider the Congress League Pact as binding on all.
In the evidence he piointed out that Untouchables were persons to whom certain rights of citizenship had been denied. For instance, it was the right of every citizen to walk down the street, and if a man were prevented from doing so, even temporarily, it was an infringement of his right. Whether a man was prevented from exercising his rights by law or social custom, made very little difference to him. Government had recognised custom and persons belonging to the untouchable classes were not employed in Government service.
His view was that British rule in India was meant to provide equal opportunities for all, and that in transferring a large share of the power to popular assemblies, arrangements should be made whereby the hardships and disabilities entailed by the social system should not be reproduced and perpetuated in political institutions. As regards the exact position at present, he admitted that, for instance, at the Parel school which was meant for the depressed classes, there were many higher-caste pupils, who came there because it was a good school. Similarly as a professor he, being a member of a depressed class, had pupils of all classes and found no difficulty in dealing with his higher caste pupils. If the untouchable classes were recognized by Government by the grant of seats, their status would be raised and their powers would be stimulated. He was not very particular about the number of their seats; all he wanted was something adequate.
On 29 August, 1947, the constituent assembly set up a drafting committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to prepare a draft constitution for India. While deliberating upon the draft constitution, the assembly moved, discussed and disposed of as many as 2,473 amendments out of a total of 7,635 tabled.
The assembly met in sessions open to the public, for 166 days, spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on 24 January 1950.
Dr. Ambedkar was one of the very few Indian statesmen-politicians who actively participated in the discussions on Constitutional matters from the Monsford Reforms (1919) to the Cabinet Mission (1946) proposals.
26th January is the real independence day of Dalits because on this day Manusmriti/Vedic laws came to end.
Dalit-Bahujans got human rights on this day. It is the real Independence Day for Dalits, otherwise on 15th August there was just a power transfer from British to so called upper caste people of India.
Indian constitution is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, containing 448 articles in 25 parts, 12 schedules, 5 appendices and 98 amendments.
At the time of commencement, the constitution had 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules.
As of December 2014, 98 amendments have been made to the Constitution of India since it was first enacted in 1950.
It consists of almost 80,000 words and took 2 years 11 months and 18 days to build. Main work was done by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar only.
Dr. B R Ambedkar is regarded as the architect of the Indian Constitution. Dr. B R. Ambedkar was an untouchable, who was denied access to education but he struggled and educated himself and became the first law minister of India.
The Constitution came into a legal circulation at 10:18am IST on the 26th of January, 1950.
There are just two original copies of the Constitution in the country written in Hindi and English.
Indian constitution was all hand-written and it was on the 26th of January that marked the celebration of Independence in its true sense.
The Indian emblem is adapted from the Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath, dating back to 250 BC.
The original book of our Constitution is a 479 page calligraphic edition signed by all our framers and
The original book of our Constitution is preserved in a helium filled case in the Library of Parliament.
Dr. Ambedkar said on constitution that ‘I feel that the constitution is workable, it is flexible and it is strong enough to hold the country together both in peacetime and in wartime. Indeed, if I may say so, if things go wrong under the new Constitution, the reason will not be that we had a bad Constitution. What we will have to say is that Man was vile.’
Granville Austin described the Indian Constitution drafted by Dr. Ambedkar as ‘first and foremost a social document’. … ‘The majority of India’s constitutional provisions are either directly arrived at furthering the aim of social revolution or attempt to foster this revolution by establishing conditions necessary for its achievement.
In India, Republic Day means the day honours the date on which the Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935), Dr B R Ambedkar was the Drafting committee chairmen of constitution of India. Therefore, this day is remember the contributions of Dr B. R. Ambedkar.
The date 26 January, as everyone knows, was when the Constitution of India came into force. This date was, later on, chosen to honour the memory of the “Declaration of Independence of 1930” from the British Rule.
Dr Ambedkar – On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics, we will have equality and in social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of democracy which this Constituent Assembly has so laboriously built up.
Dr Ambedkar was criticized for giving more powers to centre government. In the draft Constitution Dr. Ambedkar offered more powers to the Centre and made it strong. Some members of the constituent assembly criticised him on the ground that since Dr. Ambedkar postulated – the rights and values of each individual and the development of each province and each–village, it was contradictory of his part to make the Centre strong.
Justifying the provisions for a strong Central authority Dr. Ambedkar said that he made the centre strong not only to ‘save minorities from the misrule of majority’ but also “for it is only the centre which can work for a common end and for the general interests of the country as a whole.”
On the night of January 25, 1999 – on the eve of Republic Day – around 100 armed Ranvir Sena activists raided a Dalit hamlet at Shankar Bigha village in central Bihar’s Jehanabad district and gunned down at least 23 villagers in cold blood while they were asleep in their mud-built houses and huts. The marauders had also set afire their houses before fleeing the scene. Of the dead, five were women and seven children — the youngest being six months old.
These are the opening words of the preamble to the Indian Constitution
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.