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Ambedkar Jayanti: Why it is celebrated as Equality Day?

Ambedkar Jayanti, also known as Bhim Jayanti, is celebrated on April 14th to remember B. R. Ambedkar, who was an important leader and worked to make society better. He was born on April 14th, 1891. Some people in India also call this day ‘Equality Day’ because it reminds us of the importance of treating everyone fairly.

Why 14th April is celebrated as Equality Day?

In 2022, the state of Tamil Nadu made April 14th “Equality Day” to honor Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s contributions. They did this by passing Assembly Rule 110.

Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar is known as a key figure in the battle for equality in India. His birthday is celebrated as Equality Day for two main reasons:

  1. Lifelong Advocate for Equality: Ambedkar was born into a Dalit family and faced discrimination because of the caste system. This personal experience drove him to dedicate his life to fighting for equality for everyone, regardless of their caste, religion, or gender. He worked tirelessly to uplift marginalized communities.
  2. Architect of a Fair India: Ambedkar played a crucial role as the head of the drafting committee for the Indian Constitution. This constitution laid the foundation for a secular, democratic nation and included fundamental rights that ensure equality for all citizens.

Ambedkar’s legacy continues to inspire people today. His ideas about social justice and individual rights remain relevant, reminding us of the ongoing struggle for a truly inclusive and fair society.

Celebration

On Ambedkar Jayanti, his followers gather for processions at places like Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai and Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur. Important national leaders, like the President and Prime Minister, along with leaders of big political parties, pay respects at Ambedkar’s statue in the Parliament of India in New Delhi. People from all over the world, especially those from dalit, adivasi, labor, and women communities, as well as those who have embraced Buddhism like him, celebrate this day. In India, many people visit local statues of Ambedkar with a lot of excitement and joy. In 2020, the first online Ambedkar Jayanti was celebrated worldwide.

Background

Babasaheb Ambedkar’s first birthday celebration was held on April 14, 1928, in Pune by Janardan Sadashiv Ranapisay, who was an Ambedkar supporter and social activist. He began the tradition of celebrating Babasaheb’s birthday, which we now call Ambedkar Jayanti.

Ambedkar finished his high school in 1907 and then went on to study economics and political science for his BA honors at Elphinstone College. Later, he went to Columbia University in New York to do his Masters of Arts and earned his PhD in economics in 1927. In 1916, he also started studying law at Gray’s Inn, alongside another PhD in economics from the London School of Economics. Ambedkar was incredibly knowledgeable, mastering 64 subjects and being fluent in 11 languages.

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