B. R. Ambedkar

Other names: 

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar


10 King Henry's Road NW3 3QU
United Kingdom
51° 33' 48.6144" N, 0° 11' 2.2236" W
Date of birth: 
14 Apr 1891
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
06 Dec 1956
Location of death: 
Delhi, India

10 King Henry's Road, Chalk Farm, London (1921-2)


B. R. Ambedkar was a politician and pioneer social reformer for the rights of 'untouchables' in India. With the financial help of the Maharaja Gaekwad of Baroda, Ambedkar studied at Elphinstone High School and Elphinstone College in Bombay. In 1913, he went to study at Columbia University, New York, on a three-year scholarship from the Gaekwad. He received a PhD in economics and then went to England. He was admitted to the London School of Economics for a DSc and to Gray's Inn to study for the Bar. However, short of money, Ambedkar returned to India and entered the Baroda state service.

In 1920, Ambedkar returned to England. In 1923 he was called to the Bar and received his DSc. He then returned to India and set up a legal practice in Bombay. Ambedkar became a champion of untouchable rights. In 1930, he was invited to attend the Round Table Conference in London. This cemented his role as spokesperson for the 'scheduled castes' and he became involved in negotations with M. K. Gandhi which led to the 1932 Poona Pact. The Poona Pact gave separate electoral representation to the scheduled castes.

Ambedkar was one of the chief authors of the Indian Constitution after independence and the Hindu Code Bill, but he resigned from government in 1951. In 1956 he converted to Buddhism, and he died later that year.

Involved in events: 
Published works: 

Mr Gandhi and the Emancipation of the Untouchables (Bombay: Thacker, 1943)

The Problem of the Rupee (London: P. S. Kin & Son. 1923)

Thoughts on Pakistan (Bombay: Thacker, 1941)

The Untouchables: Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables (New Delhi: Amrit, 1948)

What Congress and Gandhi Have Done to the Untouchables (Bombay: Thacker, 1945)

Secondary works: 

Moraes, Frank, ‘Ambedkar , Bhimrao Ramji (1891–1956)’, rev. Eleanor Zelliot, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/30399]

Archive source: 

Ambedkar Library, Nagpur

Ambedkar Library, Mumbai

Bombay University Library, Mumbai