April 14, 2021 will be marked by the nation as Ambedkar Jayanti 2021. On the occasion, we have compiled a list of 5 facts you must know about the architect of the Indian Constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Along with the facts, we will also tell you about the significance of the day and the life and times of Dr. Ambedkar.
Ambedkar Jayanti History & Origin
Ambedkar Jayanti is an annual festival observed on April 14 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R Ambedkar. The day was first celebrated publicly on 14 April 1928 in Pune by Janardan Sadashiv Ranapisay who started the tradition of celebrating Dr. Ambedkar’s birthday.
Since 2014, the day has been observed by Indian government as the first public holiday throughout the nation.
The day is celebrated in the memory of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar who spend his entire life fighting caste divide, discrimination, spreading the word on equality, and working on the draft of Indian constitution which gives equal right and responsibilities to all the citizens.
Ambedkar Jayanti 2021 Celebration:
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the day will not be celebrated across educational universities and government institutes with the same gatherings. However, to remember Dr. Ambedkar’s massive influence, JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) is scheduled to hold an online webinar that will be held from 4 PM to 5:30 PM.
All are cordially invited to the webinar organised by JNU on the occassion of Ambedkar Jayanti on 14 April 2021 at 4.00 p.m. pic.twitter.com/IWBRvvFCt4
— Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) (@JNU_official_50) April 10, 2021
In the remembrance celebration, JNU will be holding a talk on ‘Women empowerment and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’. In the discussion, there will be a panel of experts who will be reminiscing about the initiatives taken by Dr. Ambedkar to uplift women and to give the equal opportunities and resources.
5 Facts about Dr. B.R. Ambedkar You Must Know
1) Dr. Ambedkar’s original last name was Ambavadekar
Not many know this but Dr. Ambedkar’s original last name is actually Ambavadekar. The last name is derived from the name of Dr. Bhim Rao’s native village called Ambavade that’s situated in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri.
As to who was responsible for changing the last name, it was his teacher Mahadev Ambedkar who gave him his own surname as he was fond of the young Bhim Rao.
2) First ever Indian to pursue PhD in Economics in foreign.
A bright student with a heart of gold, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was the first ever Indian who went on to pursue a PhD in Economics. Moreover, he also holds the record of being the first PhD scholar in Economics and first double doctorate scholar in the entire South Asia. One of the highest educated Indians of his time, Ambedkar took 29 Economics courses, 11 history courses, 6 sociology courses, 5 philosophy courses, 4 anthropology courses, 3 politics courses and even 1 course each in French and German.
3) Dr. Ambedkar’s role in RBI establishment.
Although most people remember Dr. Ambedkar for being the person who drafted the Indian constitution, not many know that he also played a significant role in the formation of RBI. Reserve Bank of India was formed according to certain guidelines laid down by Ambedkar. He laid down those guidelines in his book called The Problem of Rupee – Its origin and Its Solution and presented it to The Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance.
4) Dr. Ambedkar changed working hours from 14 hours to 8
Dr. Ambedkar was a Member of the Viceroy’s Council from 1942-46 for labour. As the member, he played a significant role in drafting and passing several labour reforms for the betterment of Indian working class. One such reform was him changing working hours from 12 hours to 8 hours back in 1942. He passed this reform at the 7th session of ILC (Indian Labour Conference).
5) His life history is taught at Columbia University
Dr. Ambedkar wrote a 20-page story about his life in 1935-36 titled ‘Waiting for Visa’. In the book, he touched upon several topics such as untouchability, discrimination and other issues that plagued him in his childhood. To this day, the 20-page-book is used as a textbook at the prestigious Columbia University.