Dr.B.R. Ambedkar’s life, struggle and mission is motivational and inspiring. A man who fought the battle to liberate and uplift the ostracized and discriminated people of Indian society, here is a study of Dr. Ambedkar’s life initially as a student and later as a social reformer, offering hope and inspiration who are yet to discover their ‘ inner calling’ and ‘path’.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar: An Epitome of Inspiration
Each of us functions as a cog in the societal wheel, tediously moving through the different facets of life under the illusion that we are free because we have achieved Independence. But, do we truly educate ourselves enough to break the shackles that bind us? It takes immense faith, belief and courage to go against the “normal” flow and create something anew by challenging the old. One such unbelievably brave individual in the recent history of the world is Dr B. R. Ambedkar, who not only challenged the thousands of years old belief system, practices and evil culture of discrimination sanctified by religious dictums but liberated their victims from the shackles that reduced them to the status lower than the lowest of animals. He was able to do that. It was ‘EDUCATION’ that became a lethal weapon in his hands that enabled him to change the destiny of billions of people rotting in the darkest prison of cruel caste system in India.
Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar’s childhood was full of challenges. It was an extraordinary life that he then had to live which we in 2018 could not imagine. At every step he was made to realize that he is inferior to the animals. The society that venerated ‘Cow’ and condemned ‘human being’ created huge impact on his delicate mind during his childhood. When so called higher caste students would be allowed to sit inside the classroom, Bhimrao would be made to sit outside. When higher caste students would share their food and water with each other, Bhimrao would sit alone in the corner thinking about his fate. When peon of his school would not be around Bhimrao had to be without water. No Peon! No Water! These experiences have been documented in autobiographical notes “Waiting For Visa”. In such a challenging environment Bhimrao qualified matriculation from Elphinstone High School and joined Elphinstone College, Bombay in 1908 for post-matriculation studies. He was the first from the community to do so. By 1912, he obtained his degree in economics and political science from Bombay University, and prepared to take up employment with the Baroda state government. However, he had to quickly return to Mumbai to see his ailing father, who died on 2 February 1913. In the same year Bhimrao with the scholarships awarded firstly by Prince Sayajirao Gaikwad of Baroda and later Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj of Kolhapur State, joined Columbia University where he successfully completed M.A., by 1915, finished his second MA by 1916 and also PhD by 1916 which was awarded in 1927. Also, In October 1916 Ambedkar joined London School of Economics and Political Science, and Greys-Inns, from where he successfully completed M.Sc. in 1921 and D.Sc. 1922. By 1923 with M.A., Ph.D (Columbia, USA); M.Sc., D.Sc. (London University); BAR-AT-Law (Greys-Inn, London) Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was the most educated Indian of His times; much ahead of the leading personalities of that era. Not only the most educated Indian, but most educated Asian too.
Dr Ambedkar said, “Education is what makes a person fearless, teaches him the lesson of unity, makes him aware of his rights and inspires him to struggle for his rights.” He believed that education is a movement. If it does not fulfil its objectives, it is useless. Dr Ambedkar unambiguously stated that “an education that does not make a person capable, that does not teach him equality and morality, is not true education. True education cradles humanity, generates sources of livelihood, imparts wisdom and imbues us with egalitarianism. True education makes society alive”. He wanted to use education to establish justice, equality, fraternity, freedom and fearlessness in society. He wanted to replace the birth-based society with a value-based one. While examining aims and functions of education Dr. Ambedkar said, “The student so trained should learn to distinguish between what may fairly be called matter of fact and what is certainly mere matter of opinion. He should be accustomed to distinguish issues, and to look at separate questions each on its own merits and without an eye to their bearings on some cherished theory. He should learn to state fairly, and even sympathetically the position of those to whose practical conclusions he is most stoutly opposed. He should become able to examine a suggested idea, and see what comes of it, before accepting it or rejecting it. Without necessarily becoming an original student he should gain an insight into the conditions under which original research is carried on. He should be able to weigh evidence, to follow and criticize argument and put his own value on authorities.”
The Life and Mission of Dr. Ambedkar has been inspiring millions of people especially students worldwide. Being a second generation educated person, a product of individual struggle; I am personally indebted to Babasaheb Ambedkar for his struggle and sacrifices that brought me where I reached today. The story of the struggle of young Bhimrao in his student days will inspire every child who wishes to challenge the adverse circumstances to take education. It is only EDUCATION that will LIBERATE and EMPOWER us and lift us from the quicksand of poverty, slavery, suffering and humiliation.
Dear Parents, if you are poor, do not take one time meal, but send your child to school, to college. Let your sorrows and sacrifices be the foundation of the future of your child. Let your child become someone like Babasaheb Ambedkar who with education not only liberated himself but also liberated millions of people who were the prisoners of ‘social system’-the helpless victims of great injustice for thousands of years.
Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Aniruddha, Meren and Kvulo Lorin.
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