Road Name: Dr BR Ambedkar Road named after Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (April 14, 1891 – December 6, 1956)
Road Location: Dr Ambedkar Rd, Sampangi Ramnagar, Ambedkar Veedhi, Sampangi Rama Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001
Famous for/ Contributions to society: This was to honour Dr. BR Ambedkar, the chairperson of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly of India, that which gave India its Constitution. He was also the first Law Minister of India.
In short, Dr B R Ambedkar was what can be called the Constitution Man of India. He was the principal architect of the Constitution of India being the Chairman of the Drafting Committee. He is also one of the first names that come to mind when one thinks of protest against the practice of the caste system.
He was the 14th and last child of Ramji Maloji Sakpal, a ranked army officer at the post of Subedar and Bhimabai Murbadkar Sakpal. His family was of Marathi background from the town of Ambavade in Ratnagiri district of modern-day Maharashtra. Ambedkar was born into a poor low Mahar (dalit) caste, who were treated as untouchables and subjected to socio-economic discrimination. Ambedkar’s father served in the British Indian Army at the Mhow cantonment. His true surname was Ambedkar, but his teacher, Mahadev Ambedkar was very fond of him and changed his surname to Ambedkar in the school records. Strangely, this man was a Brahmin. Popularly called Babasaheb, he was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired the Modern Buddhist Movement and campaigned against social discrimination against untouchables, while also supporting the rights of women and labour. He was Independent India’s first law minister and the principal architect of the Constitution of India. Ambedkar was a prolific student, earning a law degree and various doctorates from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, and gained a reputation as a scholar for his research in law, economics and political science. In his early career he was an economist, professor, and lawyer.
His later life was filled with political activities. He became involved in campaigning and negotiations for India’s independence, publishing journals advocating political rights and social freedom for Dalits, and contributing significantly to the establishment of the state of India. In 1956 he converted to Buddhism, initiating mass conversions of Dalits. He worked as a private tutor, as an accountant, and established an investment consulting business, which failed when his clients learned that he was an untouchable. In 1918, he became Professor of Political Economy in the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai. Ambedkar went on to work as a legal professional. In 1926, he successfully defended three non-Brahmin leaders who had accused the Brahmin community of ruining India and were then subsequently sued for libel. Anant Vithal noted that, “The victory was resounding, both socially and individually, for the clients and the Doctor”. The new Congress-led government appointed Ambedkar as the nation’s first Law Minister, which he accepted. On 29 August, he was appointed Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee to write India’s new Constitution.