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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
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Whose Ambedkar Is He Anyway?

The true riddle of Ambedkar is: why did he consider himself a Hindu at all, despite having seen the ugly side of discrimination and his trenchant criticism of the religion?

Whose Ambedkar Is He Anyway?
Photo by Indian Express Archive
Whose Ambedkar Is He Anyway?
outlookindia.com
2016-04-08T11:25:40+05:30
  • The Beginning Ambedkar’s name derives from his name village ‘Ambavade’, located in Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra
  • Soldier Dad His father Ramji Maloji Sakpal retired as a subedar from the British Indian Army in Mhow
  • First Student Ambedkar was the 14th and last child of his parents. He was the only one of them to go to high school.
  • In Bombay Ambedkar was the first ‘unto­uchable’ to enter Elphinstone High School, affiliated to University of Bombay
  • Home Life When Ambedkar was 15, his marriage was arranged with 9-year-old Ramabai. She passed away in 1935.
  • Second Marriage In 1948, he married a Brahmin doctor, Sharda Kabir, who then took on the name Savita

***

On October 13, 1935, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar announced at the Depressed Classes Confer­ence in Yeola, in the Bombay Pre­s­idency: “I had the misfortune of being born with the stigma of an Untouchable. However, it is not my fault; but I will not die a Hindu, for this is in my power.” A few months later, in May 1936, he published Annihilation of Caste, a devastating cri­ti­que of Hinduism, focusing on its most distinguishing and dogmatic feature—caste.

Towards the end of this address to the Hindus, whom he calls “the sick men of India”, he says: “This would probably be my last address to a Hindu audience on a subject vitally concerning the Hindus.” He then makes it abundantly clear that he is determined to quit Hinduism: “I am sorry, I will not be with you. I have decided to change. This is not the place for giving reasons. But even when I am gone...

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