5 February 1951: Hindu Code bill was introduced in the Parliament
Following India’s independence Jawaharlal Nehru entrusted his first Law Minister Dr. Ambedkar, who belonged to the Scheduled Caste Federation, with the task of codifying the Hindu personal law as the first step towards a uniform civil code. Dr. Ambedkar formed a committee with himself as its chairperson. The other members were K Y Bhandarkar. G R Rajagopal of the Ministry of Law and S V Gupte of the Bombay Bar. The committee made only minor revisions to the draft that was presented to the Consituent Assembly in 1947 before Independence. But even before the bill could be put up to the Constituent Assembly (Legislative) some vocal sections of Hindu public opinion raised the bogey ‘Hinduism in danger’. Dr. Ambedkar and his team, however, was undaunted and continued with their efforts with all seriousness and presented the draft bill to Nehru’s cabinet, which unanimously approved it. Emboldened by this exercise, on 5 February 1951 he introduced the bill to the Parliament. But to his utter surprise, many Hindu members, including some who had approved it in the cabinet earlier, now resisted it. Sardar Patel as the home minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, Syama Prasad Mookerjee as the industry minister who belonged to the Hindu Mahasabha, and Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, a tradionalist Congressman, strongly opposed the bill. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, the Congress president, also opposed it, particularly keeping in view its negative impacts on Hindu votes in the election of 1951-52. Mookerjee said it would ’shatter the magnificent structure of Hindu culture and stultify a dynamic and catholic way of life that had wonderfully adapted itself to the changes for centuries’. Even women belonging to the Hindu Mahasabha came to the forefront to oppose the bill. Already a year ago, in a long letter to President Rajendra Prasad, Janakibai Joshi, the President of the All India Hindu Women’s Conference that belonged to the Hindu Mahasabha, had written on 4 February 1950 that any move to replace the concept of Hindu marriage as sacrament by making it contractual would destroy the entire family system of the Hindus. ‘The Hindu family should be taken as a unit and fragmentation of the property should not be allowed so as to go away to other family through daughter’.
Check also – 5th February (1988) in Dalit History – Remembering Dalits’ fight to get publish Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Books
04 Feb 1889: Phules’ adopted son, Dr.Yashwant was married to Radha the daughter of Sasane.
The Satyashodhak Samaj (The Truth-Seekerís Society) was established on 24 September 1873, and Savitribai was an extremely dedicated and passionate activist of the Samaj. The Samaj undertook the programme of arranging marriages without a priest, without dowry and at minimum costs. The first such marriage was arranged on 25 December 1873. Later, this movement spread across the newly emerging nation. The first report of the Samaj proudly notes that Savitribai was the inspiration behind this revolutionary initiative of a constructive revolt to reject 21 centuries old religious traditions. The marriage of Radha, daughter of Savitribaiís friend Bajubai Gyanoba Nimbankar and activist Sitram Jabaji Aalhat was the first‘Satyashodhaki’ marriage. Savitribai herself bore all the expenses on this historic occasion. This method of marriage, similar to a registered marriage, is still prevalent in many parts of India. These marriages were opposed by priests and ‘bhatjis’ (Brahmans) all over the country and they also went to court on this matter. Savitribai and Jotirao had to face severe difficulties but that did not deter them from their path. On 4 February 1889, at the age of 16, they also got their adopted son married in this manner. This was the first inter-caste marriage in modern India. The Satyashodhak marriage required the bridegroom to take an oath of giving education and equal rights to women. The ‘mangalashtake’ (the Mantras chanted at the time of the wedding) were to be sung by the bride and the bridegroom themselves, and these were in the form of pledges made by the bride and the groom to each other. Yeshwant was married to Radha (this is another Radha) alias Laxmi, daughter of Satyashodhak Samaj leader Gyanoba Krishnaji Sasane in this manner. To ensure that they got better acquainted with each other and with each other’s likes and dislikes, Savitribai had made Radha stay in the Phule household even before the marriage took place. She also made provisions for Radha’s education.
Check also – 4th February in Dalit History – Dr. Ambedkar met Gandhi in Yervada Jail
4th February 1956 in Dalit History – Dr. Ambedkar renamed “Janata” newspaper as “Pradbuddha Bharat”
Mahatma Jyotiba Phule
Jalkari Bai was born on 22nd November 1830 in village Bhojalla on Balaji Marg. His father was Sadova Singh and mother named Dhania but some authors say her father was named as Mool Chand & mother Jamuna Devi. They were agriculturists, belonging to Kori Caste of Untouchables having Laria Gotar. Kori Caste has a glorious history and Kories are said to have been rulers of this country . Shamba Asur Maharaj was a Kori ruler as also revered Yashodhara wife of Gotam Budha was too from Kori Caste. How this so warrior and prosperous Kori peoples were reduced to a unknown position is a mystery. Jalkari Bai also nicknamed as Chaloria was the only child of her parents and she lost her mother at a very young age. So she was brought up by her father with utmost care, love and affection. Jalkari Bai grew into a strong, courageous, beautiful girl.
She was an Indian woman soldier who played an important role in the Indian Rebellion of 1857 during the battle of Jhansi. She was a soldier in the women’s army of Queen Laxmibai of Jhansi.
On 18th July 1927, Dr. Ambedkar said, ‘Send your children to schools. Education is as necessary for Females as it is for males. If you know how to read and write, there would be much progress’ while addressing a gathering of women from depressed classes.”
8th July 1945 in Dalit History: People’s Education Society was formed by Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar
At present there are many schools, colleges and hostels run by People’s Education Society.
Read also – 20th June in Dalit History – Siddharth College was started in Mumbai by People’s Education Society
On 30 June 1947, Dr. Rajendra Prasad (the then President of India) requested Mr. B. G. Kher (the then Prime Minister of Bombay), to elect Dr. Ambedkar immediately.
This was because from 23 June 1947, Dr. Ambedkar ceased to be a member of the Constituent Assembly, as a consequence upon the partition of India in particular Bengal, where from he had got himself elected. Earlier, M.R. Jayakar, a jurist from Bombay, had resigned from the Assembly, and his place was to have been filled by G.V. Mavlankar. The plan was for Mavlankar to preside over the Constituent Assembly when it functioned as the central legislature for the Indian dominion from 15 August 1947 (Rajendra Prasad was in the cabinet and could not preside over the legislature).
But the Congress party decided it would rather have Ambedkar fill Jayakar’s place to ensure his continuance in the Assembly. The presence and participation of Dr. Ambedkar in the framing of the Constitution of India was so indispensable and important that the members of the Constituent Assembly and leaders of the Nation could not think even a day, what to talk about a session, without Dr. Ambedkar in the Assembly’s deliberations. There was no other member in the Assembly so senior, qualified and equipped as Dr. Ambedkar was. None in the Constituent Assembly was associated for such a protracted period as Dr. Ambedkar in the process of framing of the Constitution of India from so early stages. Dr. Ambedkar started contributing in the fathering of the Constitution of the country from the year 1928 by his working with the Simon Commission. This Commission eventually turned into the Round Table Conference which gave the Communal Award 1932 and the Government of India Act, 1935. Constituent Assembly was responsible to give it its final shape. [Tweet “On 29thAugust, 1947, Dr. Ambedkar was unanimously elected as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee by its seven members”],
On 29thAugust, 1947, Dr. Ambedkar was unanimously elected as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee by its seven members which was up only on the previous day. Therefore, Dr. Rajendra Prasad very rightly wrote to direct the then P.M. of Bombay Province :
“Apart from any other consideration we have found Dr. Ambedkar’s work both in Constituent Assembly and the various committees to which he was appointed to be of such an order as to require that we should not be deprived of his services. As you know, he was elected from Bengal and after the division of the province he was ceased to be a member of the Constituent Assembly commencing from the 14th July 1947 and it is therefore necessary that he should be elected immediately.”
21st June (1928) in Dalit History – Dr. Ambedkar was appointed as a Professor at the Government Law College, Bombay.
20th June 1946, Siddharth College was started in Mumbai by People’s Education Society, founded by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on 8th July 1945.
At present there are many schools, colleges and hostels run by People’s Education Society.