DR BR AMBEDKAR
Babasaheb Ambedkar has, undoubtedly, been the central figure in the epistemology of the dalit universe. It is difficult to imagine anything serious or important in their collective life that is totally untouched by Ambedkar. For the dalit masses, he is everything together; a scholar par excellence in the realm of scholarship, a Moses or messiah who led his people out of bondage and ignominy on to the path of pride and a Bodhisattva in the pantheon of Buddhism. He is always bedecked with superlatives, quite like God, whatever may be the context in dalit circles.
It is not difficult to see the reason behind the obeisance and reverence that dalits have for Ambedkar. They see him as one who devoted every moment of his life thinking about and struggling for their emancipation, who took the might of the establishment head on in defence of their cause; who sacrificed all the comforts and conveniences of life that were quite within his reach to be on their side; who conclusively disproved the theory of caste based superiority by rising to be the tallest amongst the tall despite enormous odds and finally as one who held forth the torch to illuminate the path of their future. Few in the history of millenniums of their suffering had so much as looked at them as humans and sympathized with them as fellow beings. He was their own among these few. It was he, who forsook his high pedestal, climbed down to their level, gave them a helping hand and raised them to human stature. It is a commonplace occurrence to see dalits right from the humble landless labourer in villages to the highly placed bureaucrats in corridors of power, emotionally attributing their all to him. They all believe that but for him, they would still be living like their forefathers with spittoons around their necks and broom sticks to their behind.
It is thus natural for dalits to place him at the centre as their beacon and conduct their collective affairs as directed by its beam. This beam, however, is not monochromatic like a laser beam, to use an analogy from physics, but is composed of many light frequencies, the filters for which are controlled not by the masses but by some others. They manipulate this beam as per their desire, sometimes letting some frequencies pass and sometimes some other. They could selectively amplify some part and deamplify the other and present an entirely different spectrum. What reaches the masses, thus, is not the holistic and true picture of ‘Ambedkar’ but its part, sometimes a distorted part, carefully filtered out and amplified by the ‘technicians’. This fragmented and false Ambedkar is what reaches the masses. For them, Ambedkar is no more a historical personality named Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. He is already metamorphosed into a symbol—a symbol for their collective aspiration and an icon for the thesis of their emancipation. Because, for the masses, icons come handy. They are sans complexity of the main body, practical usable artifacts. Iconization of the great heroes and their ideas at the hands of masses is thus inevitable. Human history is replete with such icons; rather it is largely made of them. The dalit politicians who never let the masses see the material aspects of their problems and kept them entangled in the cobweb of emotional issued have, moreover, promoted ionization of Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar; chiefly irresponsible for drafting of the Constitution of India and a champion of human rights was born on the 14th April, 1891. After graduating from Elfinstone College, Bombay in 1912, he joined Columbia University, USA where he was awarded PhD. Later, he joined 1 the London School of Economics and obtained a degree of DSc (Economics) and was called to the Bar from Gray’s Inn.
On his return to India in 1923, he founded ‘Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha’ with the main objective of spreading education and improving the economic conditions of the depressed classes. With the slogan of ‘Educate-Agitate-Organize’, the social movement led by Dr. Ambedkar aimed at annihilation of caste and the reconstruction of Indian Society on the basis of equality of human beings.
In 1927, he led the March at Mahad, Maharashtra to establish the rights of the untouchables to taste water from the Public Chawdar Lake, traditionally prohibited to them. This marked the beginning of anti-caste and anti-priest movement. The temple entry movement launched by Dr Ambedkar in 1930 at the Kalaram Temple, Nashik, Maharashtra is another landmark in the struggle for human rights, political and social justice. Dr. Ambedkar held the view that “Only political power cannot be a panacea for the ills of the depressed classes. Their salvation lies in their social elevation”. As a Member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council from July 1942, he was instrumental in bringing about several legislative measures to protect the rights of labourers and workers.
One of the greatest contributions of Dr. Ambedkar was in respect of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Constitution of India. The Fundamental Rights provide for freedom, equality, and abolition of untouchability and remedies to ensure the enforcement of rights. The Directive Principles enshrine the broad guiding principles for securing fair distribution of wealth and better living conditions.
On 14th October, 1956, Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced Buddhism. He continued the crusade for social revolution till the end of his life on the 6th December, 1956. He was honoured with the highest national honour, ‘Bharat Ratna’ in April 1990.
“My final word of advice to you is to educate, agitate, organize and have faith in yourself. When justice is on our side, I don’t see how we can lose our battle. For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is a battle for freedom. It is a battle for the reclamation of the human personality.”—Dr BR Ambedkar
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Dr. Ambedkar Foundation (DAF) is organizing National Essay Competition on the occasion of 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar. The aim of the Dr. Ambedkar Foundation National Essay Competition is to encourage writing on social issues, among the Students of Schools / Colleges / Universities / Institutions and arousetheir interest in Dr. Ambedkar’s thoughts on fundamental social issues like social justice,removal of untouchability, caste based prejudices, removal of inequality and discrimination,social democracy, national integration, communal harmony etc. The students are expected to analyze and suggest ways and means to establish a stronger social democracy and a just society.
Dr. Ambedkar Foundation National Essay Competition is for Students of recognized
(a) Schools (Secondary & Senior Secondary Schools i.e. from class 9th to class 12th ), and
(b) Colleges / Universities / Institutions.
The topics of Essay shall be selected every year from the themes based on Dr. Ambedkar’s thoughts on social justice, removal of inequality and discrimination, ameliorating the conditions of weaker sections of the society, removal of untouchability, caste based prejudices, disparities,equality of opportunity, social democracy etc.
The essays may be written in Hindi and English.
(i) The winner students of the recognized Colleges /Universities /Institutions will be given the following prizes;
|Language||1st prize||2nd prize||3rd prize|
Financial implication: Rs.1.75 lakh X 2 languages = Rs. 3.50 lakh
(ii)The winner students of the recognized School will be given the following prizes
|Language||1st prize||2nd prize||3rd prize|
Financial implication: Rs.0.50 lakh X 2 languages = Rs. 1.00 lakh
Accordingly, the total financial implications for Prize money are (Rs. 3.50 lakh + Rs. 1.00 lakh) = Rs. 4.50 lakh
TERMS & CONDITIONS
(i) There is no entry fee.
(ii) The essay shall be of 3500 words and 2000 words for entries from students of Colleges /Universities / Institutions and Schools respectively.
(iii) Each participant should submit only one essay entry on the suggested topic.
(iv) The participants shall submit a certificate that the essay is their original work.
(v) The individual participant shall enclose a certificate issued by the concerned recognized school/ college/ University/ institutions, certifying that he/she is a bonafide student.
(vi) Participants should send two clean typed copies (one original & other photocopy) of theessay. One copy should include name, address, topic, language, e-mail, phone no. etc.with the signature of the participant, while the other copy need not show any suchparticulars.
(vii) Submission of the essay entry to the competition implies the acceptance of the rules and regulations of the competition.
(viii) No correspondence will be entertained in this regard.
(ix) Plagiarism will result in immediate disqualification.
(x) Relevant information like name, e-mail address, postal address, institution, course and year of study etc. of the student participant should be indicated in the covering letter and strictly not in the essay.
(xi) The organizers reserve the right to reject entries that do not conform to these guidelines.
(xii) All entries received for competition will become the property of the Dr. AmbedkarFoundation. The winning entries may be considered for publication in a book form bythe Foundation.
(xiii) In all matters of dispute, the decision of the Dr. Ambedkar Foundation will be final andbinding.
PARTNERS IN IMPLEMENTATION
(i) One of the Dr. Ambedkar Chairs set up by Dr. Ambedkar Foundation will be requested tobe a partner in the implementation of the Scheme and extend assistance in the evaluation ofthe essays and an amount of Rs. 1 lakh would be paid to the Chair for their services.
Presently, Dr. Ambedkar Chair at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), which had volunteered toimplement this Scheme on behalf of DAF, has been approved to be a partner in theimplementation of the Scheme.
An amount of Rs.1 lakh would be paid to the Chair for its services, which would includeevaluation of the entries & preparation of results.
(ii) The essays will be judged by an evaluation committee (to be set up by the Chair) for theselection of the prize winning entries. The essay will be evaluated on the basis of contents,analysis / interpretation, presentation and writing skills as per the following provisions:
Analysis/ interpretation 20
Writing Skills 15
ANNOUNCEMENT OF PRIZES
A full list of winners would be placed on the websites of the Foundation (www.ambedkarfoundation.nic.in). Winners may be invited to Delhi for felicitatioin in a befitting manner.
DISTRIBUTION OF PRIZES
- The prizes money will be sent to winners in the form of an account payee Bank draft by registered post through the concerned recognized Schools / Colleges /Universities / Institutions.
- In case the Foundation invites the winners for a felicitation at Delhi, the winnerand one escort will be paid actual fare by sleeper class train/bus from their place ofstudy or from the hometown (Both ways). Arrangements for their boarding / lodging inDelhi will also be made by the Foundation. A sum of Rs. 8,000/- @ Rs. 4,000/- each (onan average) for the winner students and escort will be earmarked for their travellingexpenses, boarding and lodging.
Topics: Dr. Ambedkar Foundation | Law School Competitions | Legal Essay Writing Competition