Today Google have marked the 124th birthday of Indian social reformer and official, Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (B R Ambedkar) with a doodle on its homepage.
Born in central India in 1891, Dr Ambedkar was a politician and jurist who fought for the rights of the dalits (known in India as the ‘untouchables’)and other oppressed groups in the Indian social system.
The fourteenth child of his parents, Ambedkar was a member of the Hindu Maher caste – seen as untouchable by the upper class. Throughout his childhood and much of his adult life, Dr Ambedkar was a victim of discrimination; he was segregated at school and scorned at work.
Ambedkar decided to campaign properly against caste discrimination following a trip to England where was awarded a DSc at the London School of Economics, he organised marches and fought for the untouchables’ right to use water supplies and enter Hindu temples.
Eager to ensure that dalits were treated fairly and normal, Ambedkar worked with Mahatma Ghandi and was asked to be the Law Minister of the newly independent country in 1947.
As part of his new job, Dr Ambedkar was responsible for drawing up a new constitution. It is at this point that he was able to outlaw discrimination and abolish untouchability. Dr Ambedkar died in Delhi in 1956, but his memory lives on in India and around the world to this day.