Words of Wisdom:

"Dont ever give up on your hopes" - Bubu


  • Date Submitted: 02/18/2014 07:16 AM
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Dr Bimrao Ambedkar
Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956) was a man of great intelligence and vision, drive and passion. He was a social reformer of single-minded dedication. To millions of ‘new’ Buddhists in India who converted with him and since then he is an icon and a bodhisattva in our time. His life is little short of remarkable. He was born into an ‘untouchable’ family (a term he used himself) in Maharashtra. As he grew up he often experienced the deep indignity of caste prejudice, but was bright and hard working. With the philanthropic assistance of the Maharaja of Baroda he studied in New York, the University of London and the LSE and gained two Doctorates. His return to India in 1917 was a painful one. Although he had a good job he was still suffering discrimination and ostracization. The experience of stepping outside the caste system while aboard changed the direction of his life. His deep humiliation and frustration led him to identify with all peoples in the same situation as himself. His life’s work was to be doing whatever he could for his people the ‘untouchables’. He adopted his first slogan, ‘Educate, Agitate, Organise!’ he started organisations, newspapers and ran a legal practice to support his activism and family. He became a member of the Bombay Legislative Assembly. India was now approaching Independence and he was concerned that the few advantages ‘untouchables’ had under the Raj would disappear. He had little faith in Ghandi, who honestly believed that the caste system was based on a natural and desirable social ideal. He decided to challenge the caste structure and during a conference in Mahad he led several thousand delegates to a tank in a Brahmin area and took a sip of the water, in Hindu terms ‘polluting’ the water. There was a backlash that resulted in violence, death threats and a long legal battle. A few months later he publicly burnt the Manusmurti, the anthology of divinely inspired pronouncements on Hindu social life that gave...


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