Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, known as Babasaheb Ambedkar, was born in a Mhow in Madhya Pradesh. He was the 14th and last child of his parents. He was above all an economist and educator. Dr Ambedkar, the standard-bearer of Dalit activism in India, is called the chief architect of the Indian Constitution.
He embraced Buddhism on October 14, 1956. Even though the conversion took place on October 14, Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din, which marks the event, is celebrated annually in Ashoka Vijayadashami (Dussehra).
On the occasion of the Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din, here is an overview of 10 lesser known facts about the Father of the Indian Constitution:
1. Ambedkar, who is known as a Buddhist, was born into a Hindu family belonging to the Mahar caste of Maharahtra, who at the time was considered a lower caste and people belonging to the same case were called “untouchables”. It was in 1956 that he converted to Buddhism.
2. He had completed his Masters in 64 subjects, knew 9 languages and had studied around the world for 21 years. He was also the first Indian to pursue a doctorate.
3. The chief architect of the 20-page autobiography of the Indian Constitution, Waiting for a Visa, is used as a textbook at Columbia University.
4. He is to this day the only Indian whose statue has been erected alongside Karl Marx at the London Museum.
5. Rajgirh, Babasaheb’s personal library was the largest library in the world with over 50,000 books.
6. All over the world, all paintings and statues of Buddha have Buddha’s eyes closed, Ambedkar was the first person to paint him with his eyes open.
7. He was the first lawyer belonging to a backward caste.
8. His original surname was Ambawadekar, which was changed to Ambedkar by his teacher at school.
9. Ambedkar was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.
10. He was the only Satyagrahi in the world, who made Satyagraha for drinking water.
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