Statues Of Trivandrum : Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Located at the Legislative Assembly building compound | By Mukesh Venu
On Sep 26, 2012

Yentha’s series on historical personalities - those who now live as 'lifeless' statues in various parts of the capital city. Here comes the fifteenth in the series.



 Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar - 14 April, 1891 – 6 December, 1956





Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born in an ‘untouchable’ family as the youngest of fourteen children in the British founded town of Mhow in present day Madhya Pradesh. Despite being born as an untouchable and relegated to the lowest strata of society, Ambedkar's father Ramji Maloji Sakpal, who served as a Subeidar in Mhow cantonment of the Indian Army, used his influence to get his son admission into a Government run school meant for educating the children of army personnel. But Ambedkar had to suffer cruel discrimination because of his caste; he was made to sit on the floor away from the other children and was also avoided by teachers. If he needed water to drink, someone had to pour it from a height for him, as he wasn't allowed to touch the vessel containing water. A man of immense patience, Ambedkar went through all this agony and humiliation without any fuss.



In spite of all the hurdles, he passed his Matriculation exams from the Mumbai University in 1908 and then graduated in Political Science and Economics in 1912 from the same university. He was then employed by the Maharajah of Travancore, who gave him the scholarship to continue his education in America. In 1916 he acquired doctorate from the Columbia University for his thesis on 'National Dividend for India: a historical and analytical study'.



The same year he enrolled in the London school of Economics after having passed the bar examination. However he had to return in 1917 when the Maharajah cancelled his scholarship. Ambedkar was then employed under the Maharajah of Baroda. But the cruel caste discrimination continued from his peers and fed up, Ambedkar started his movement to eradicate caste system and untouchability from the society. He went to London and acquired a degree in law to become a barrister.



On his return to India in 1923, he founded the 'Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha' with the main objective of spreading education and improving the economic condition of the depressed classes. Ambedkar criticized both the Indian National Congress and the British for failing to curb the problem of caste inequality and untouchability. In 1932 he was invited to attend the second Round Table Conference at London, where the British agreed to his demand of having separate electorates for the untouchables. Gandhi protested this move by beginning a fast unto death. The fast by Gandhi caused widespread civil unrest in the country and Ambedkar had to finally relent from his demand of having separate electorates for untouchables.



He was made the Principal of the Government Law College, Mumbai for two years from 1935. He also held some key positions in the Government. After independence, the Congress invited Ambedkar to become the first Law Minister of independent India. On August 29, 1947 he was made the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee to write India's new constitution. Ambedkar was a scholar who enshrined the fundamental rights and directive principle of state policy into the Indian Constitution, which provided for freedom, equality and abolition of untouchability. The draft was submitted to the Governor General of India on February 21, 1948. The draft was finalised on November 1949 and was put into enforcement on January 26, 1950. In 1951 he resigned from the cabinet protesting against the stalling of the draft of his Hindu code bill. He contested unsuccessfully in the 1952 Lok Sabha Elections, but was appointed to the Rajya Sabha in the same year, a post he held till his death.



Ambedkar suffered from diabetes post 1948. In his last years, he was attracted towards the principles of Buddhism. He established the Buddhist society of India and wrote books on its principles and beliefs. In October 1956, he, along with two lakh dalit men and women converted to Buddhism. He died soon afterwards on December 6, 1956 and was cremated with Buddhist rites.



Statue unveiled by Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India on September 3, 2005.



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Where is the Ambedkar statue located?
Jithin, on Feb 17, 2014 02:05:43 PM
Located at the Legislative Assembly building compound.
Team Yentha, on Feb 18, 2014 11:38:36 AM
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