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Dr. BR Ambedkar's Death Anniversary : Important Things You Should Know About Baba Saheb

Remembering Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on his Death Anniversary

Dr. BR Ambedkar's Death Anniversary : Important Things You Should Know About Baba Saheb

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar or Dr. BR Ambedkar was born in April 14, 1891, is popularly known as Baba Saheb, the principal architect of the Indian Constitution, was also a jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired several social movements later. Dr. BR Ambedkar, who campaigned against social discrimination against Untouchables (Dalits), was the first law minister of independent India.

Dr. Ambedkar was a prolific student, obtained doctorates in economics from both Columbia University and the London School of Economics. In 1990, the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, was posthumously conferred upon Dr. Ambedkar.

Baba Saheb Ambedkar's role is important in constitutionalising India, evident first in his witness to the 1919 Southborough Committee on Franchise, followed by his intervention in the 1930 Round Table Conference in London, where he defended compensatory discrimination for the untouchables in opposition to Mahatma Gandhi.

As an avowed supporter of equality, Dr. Ambedkar rejected the idea of birth-driven social segregation and he strongly felt that the social order of caste was antithetical to the political institutions of democracy.

Being born an 'Untouchable', Dr. Ambedkar faced caste discrimination of the worst kind. He was treated like a leper and was shown his way out of hairdressing salons, hotels, temples and offices. Despite this stigma he worked his way forward fighting discrimination at every step and achieved the highest degrees from world-famous universities and rose to become one of the makers of modern India.

As a scholar, Baba Saheb Ambedkar wrote several books on caste, economics, sociology, law, history and politics. 


As a mass leader, he led social, political and labor movements, and founded political parties and colleges.

"Ambedkar achieved what was virtually impossible for his people to achieve. He obtained what was beyond the dream of his community. Taking a vow of ridding untouchability and inhuman injustice, he rebelled against Manu, Ancient India's lawmaker, the supporter of the caste system, and dethroned him. Ambedkar insured by his efforts that untouchability was abolished in the Constitution of Independent India. This was a victory unparalleled in the history of India," wrote Indira Y. Junghare, University of Minnesota.

Last day of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

5 Dec 1956: On the morning of 5 December, Dr. Ambedkar woke up a little late. Nanak Chad Rattu, his assistant was there till then, and after Dr. Ambedkar’s waking up, he took permission from him and left for office. Only his wife (Mrs. Savita Ambedkar) and his doctor, Dr Mavlankar, from Bombay remain in the house. In the afternoon, Dr. Savita and Dr. Mavlankar went to market. They had to do some shopping before Dr. Mavlankar’s return to Bombay, so they got late in returning home.

At 6 o’clock in the evening when Rattu came back from his office to Dr. Ambedkar’s house. Mrs. Ambedkar had not returned from the market till them. At this Dr. Ambedkar felt that he was neglected, and he was beginning to feel angry due to this. Ratu realized this. Gathering his composure, Dr. Ambedkar gave Ratu some work to type. Ratu was about to go to this room, when Mrs. Ambedkar returned from the market. 

Jawaharlal Nehru looking at the dead body of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.jpg
Jawaharlal Nehru looking at the dead body of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

Dr. Ambedkar could not control his anger, and he said some harsh words to Mrs. Ambedkar, He also said that he wanted to divorce Mrs. Ambedkar. Dr. Savita Ambedkar saw that Dr. Ambedkar was angry and anything she would say would only provoke him further. So, she told Ratu to try to calm Dr. Ambedkar. Ratu tried to pacify him, and Dr. Ambedkar calmed down after a little while.

That evening at 8’o clock, a deputation of Jain followers met Dr. Ambedkar as per the scheduled appointment . Dr. Ambedkar was thinking of calling them the next day; but since they had come, he said, he should have a talk with them.  After about 20 minutes he went to the bathroom. With his hand on the shoulder of Rattu he came out of the drawing room, flung himself into the sofa and sat with his eyes closed.

The Jain leaders stood up as a mark of respect and then sat down. There was complete silence for some minutes, the Jain leaders gazing on his face intently. After Dr. Ambedkar rose his head, they discussed for a few minutes questions concerning Buddhism and Jainism. . He was presented a book ‘Jain Buddha’ at that time. Actually, they had come to invite Dr. Ambedkar to a function that they were organizing the next day. They gave their invitation to him and Dr. Ambedkar accepted it and assured them that if his health permitted, he would definitely take a part in the function.

Dr. Ambedkar was busy in his conversation with the Jain deputation, when Dr. Mavlankar who had come there especially to look after him, left for Bombay according to his pre-decided programme.

After the Jain deputation left, Rattu pressed his master’s legs. Dr. Ambedkar asked him to anoint his head with oil. He did so. Dr. Ambedkar felt a little relaxed. Suddenly a gentle, pleasant, musical tone was heard; and it took little time for Rattu to know that his master was, with his eyes shut, singing a song, the fingers of his right hand striking the arm of the sofa. Slowly the song became distinct and louder. Its lines became firm as Dr. Ambedkar recited ‘Buddham Sarnam Gacchami’ with full concentration. 

Ratu felt happy on seeing this. Afterwards, Dr. Ambedkar told Ratu to put on a record of the same song on the radiogram and with devotion Dr. Ambedkar accompanied the song. While the song was playing on the radiogram, he asked Ratu to take out a few of his books including the preface and introduction to The Buddha and His Dhamma and keep them on the table besides to his bedside so that he could work on them during the night.

After some time, Dr. Ambedkar’s cook Sudama came out and said that supper was ready. Dr. Ambedkar said that he would have simply a little rice and nothing else. He was still under the spell of the song. The servant came a second time and Dr. Ambedkar rose up to go to the dining room. While walking with his head on the shoulder of Rattu, he took out some books from different almirahs and told him to place these books too on the table. 

After his dinner, he came into his room. There he kept humming the song of Kabir ‘ Chal Kabir tera bhav sagar dera’  for some time. Then he got up and went to his bedroom. There, he looked at the books that he had asked Ratu to keep. He worked on the preface of The Buddha and His Dhamma and fell asleep by keeping his hand over the book.

06 Dec 1956: Mahaparinirvan Din

On the morning at around 6.30 a.m, Dr. Ambedkar’s wife Savita Ambedkar got up as usual, when she had a look at the bed she saw Dr. Ambedkar’s leg resting on the cushion as usual. She soon realized that he had departed. She sent her car for Nanak Chand Rattu (assistant of Dr. Ambedkar) and he came. 

On his arrival Mrs. Ambedkar collapsed in the sofa crying that Babasaheb had departed the world. Rattu could not bear the thought, and with a trembling voice he exclaimed, “What! Babasaheb has departed this world. Rattu attempted to stimulate heart action in the mortal remains by massaging his limbs, moving his arms and leg, pressing upward the diaphragm and putting in his mouth a spoonful of brandy; but they failed to stimulate respiration. He had passed away in sleep.

dr_ambedkars_last_journey
                                          

Dr.Ambedkars Last Journey


Mrs. Ambedkar now louldly mourned her husband, and Rattu wept bitterly over the dead body of his master, crying “Oh! Babasaheb, I have come, give me work.”

(Four year earlier Dr Ambedkar had written to his chief lieutenant Bahurao Gaikwad that he would not live long, and so Bahurao Gaikwad should prepare his mind for the event. )

Rattu then broke the shocking news to circles closest to Babasaheb and then Ministers of the Central Government. The news spread like wild fire. Many of his admirers and lieutenants and followers ran to 20 Alipore Road, and soon a throng of mourners collected outside his residence to have a last glimpse of the great man.

The Bombay associates of the leader were intimated through Siddarth College, and they were also informed that the body was being flown to Bombay that night



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