Ambedkar was an Indian Dalit, a person that was inflicted with social untouchability. Despite being a social outcast, he was able to earn degrees from Columbia and the London School of Economics. He started numerous political parties in India and served as India’s first Law Minister. While serving as Law Minister, he was commissioned to write the Indian constitution.

He is most famous for his show-down with Gandhi for the right of Dalits to have a separate electorate. Gandhi goes on his indefinite fast to force Ambedkar to concede power. Finally, the two agree to the Poona Pact in compromise and Gandhi narrowly avoids death. The rivalry between the two will continue. Gandhi will hold a paternalistic view toward the Dalit and Ambedkar will advocate for Dalit self-determination.

However, the mass conversion to Buddhism is what endeared Ambedkar in the hearts of many. In 1956, he converted to Buddhism along with 500,000 followers. This action made him the father of modern Buddhism and the founder of Navayana Buddhism. Many from all over the world consider Ambedkar a Bodhisattva.

Dr. Ambedkar’s Library

Biography