Milestone’s Inspirations

May 13, 2009

INTRODUCTION

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Milestone Education Society is fully dedicated to education development in society. For us Education means “Education  refers to any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character, or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense education is the process by which society, through schools, colleges, universities, and other institutions, deliberately transmits its cultural heritage–its accumulated knowledge, values, and skills–from one generation to another.”1 So, we are going to characterize some great educationist of India from Ancient to Modern Time, the list is very long, but we have selected a few personalities. Because here are two fundamental types of human nature -creative and possessive. Creative humans use human intellect for creative endeavors which enriches human thought; knowledge and wealth thereby contribute to the development of human heritage for the posterity. Possessive people, on the other hand do not believe in the use of human intellect for creative purpose. Gautam Buddha, Jesus Christ, Guru Nanak Kabeer, Ravidas, Tukarama, Krantiba Jotirao Phoolay, Periyar and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Bhagat Singh , they all belong to the great class of Creative humans  called as Humanists in Indian context. Here we have mentioned just eight thinkers. The first two Mahrishi Valmiki, who is the writer of great epics “Ramayana”, we should call him the first educationist because the Ramayana is the first book of loukik Samskrit and it contains the old social philosophy and ethics. The Buddha, we should call him the first humanist in India, because of its positive attitude towards human’s efforts. This is one of the materialist philosophies of India. Savitribai Phule  and Jyotirao Govindrao Phule  are from social reforms, who gave new dimensions to Indian Social and education revolution.

Dr. Ambedkar was a revolutionary, rationalist-humanist, human rights intellectual-activist, a man who looked ahead of his time. His philosophy of education, aims at creation of a liberating consciousness, which is not just formal education, but the conscientisation process of education, agitation and organization, put together. Dr. Ambedkar will be remembered for all time to come as the architect of the Indian Constitution, especially for the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles Chapters which, aim at eradicating “all injustice and tyranny” and ushering in social democracy and social equality.2 Dr. Ambedkar’s quest for social justice can be visualized in the philosophy, policy and ideals of the constitution of India. The substance of justice, liberty, equality and benefiting human dignity of individual are made more elaborate in Parts III and IV of the constitution.3

As a socialist, Bhagat Singh had a true international outlook. That there was no tinge of provincialism in him is a fact that is common to all revolutionaries. But he had gone beyond that and left nationalism also behind in his stand as a man; free from the shackles of Geography and language. For the Indian revolutionaries, the appeal of nationalism and patriotism have a supreme charm, and it was no small matter for Bhagat Singh to have come out of the confines of nationalism to take his stand as an internationalist.4 He understood the basic scientific principles and applied these to the realities around and was thus able to effect the direction and outcome of the events qualitatively.  As proclaimed by him that revolution is a social change and for that is only possible by a “Scientific, dynamic, social force”. We can see that his transcendence to a revolutionary was complete. Humanism is basic motive force of a revolutionary. All his actions are motivated by his deep concern for the weakest person in the society and it is with his benefit in view.5

In the end we will discuss two another well known modern educationists of India Ravindernath Tagore and Sri Aurobindo Ghosh. Their ideas on education are influential because these are student centric and contributed new methods of learning to school education. May this collection help us to find out the right direction to do better in the area education and this attempt will give us a integrated approach to find the right way of educating.

 

Kurukshetra                                                    DESH RAJ SIRSWAL

Dated: 21-04-2009                                                                  http://drsirswal.webs.com

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Mahrishi Valmiki’s Biography

Gautam Buddha

Savitribai Phule

Jyotirao Govindrao Phule

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Biography

Shaheed Bhagat Singh

Rabindranath Tagore

Aurobindo Ghose

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January 29, 2009

Gautam Buddha

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Buddha

Life

Buddha, meaning ‘one who is awake’ in the sense of having ‘woken up to reality’ was the title first given to Lord Buddha. It was about 2500 years ago when Prince Siddhartha Gautam left all the worldly pleasures to attain the reality of life, and became the Buddha – the enlightened one. It was a state in which the Buddha gained an insight into the deepest workings of life and therefore into the cause of human suffering, the problem that had set Him on his spiritual quest in the first place.

Early Life

Siddhartha Gautama was born in 563 BCE in Lumbini, Nepal as a son of Shuddhodhana, the king of Kapilavastu and his Queen, Mayadevi. Unfortunately, Mayadevi died only seven days after the birth of Siddhartha and so, He was brought up by His stepmother, Gautami. It is interesting to note that when Siddhartha was born, the astrologers had predicted that the prince would renunciate the comforts of the materialistic world and instead, opt for a path of His own. When the King Shuddhodhana came to know about the prediction, he naturally became extremely cautious and tried to prevent a thing that was bound to happen, and he did not let Siddhartha even move out of the palace. It was the deepest desire of the king that his son would fulfill his father’s dream one day by becoming a King.

The Turning Point

When Siddhartha had grown into an intelligent young man, He moved out of his palace one day, and saw certain things that changed the entire course of His life. He first saw a very old man who could barely walk, a sick man who was in A severe pain, and lastly a corpse. Since, He had never been exposed to pain before, these sights affected him immensely, although His charioteer tried to explain Him that pain and death – both were inevitable.


This entire episode turned His life and His heart compelled Him to evaluate His life completely and then, He began the search for the reason of existence. King Shuddhodhana got perturbed by whatever his son was going through and therefore, he arranged Siddhartha’s marriage with a young and beautiful princess, Yasodhara. For some time, Siddhartha again got involved into the worldly pleasures, but somewhere at the back of His head, He had still not forgotten what He had seen! It was soon after the birth of son Rahul, that Siddhartha on a starry night, left His wife and son in deep sleep and left the palace.

 

A Quest for Light or Truth

Siddhartha was only 29, when He had left home. For some time, He moved around the entire country meeting various sadhus and saints in His search for inner peace. It was during this period that Siddhartha lived the life of a hermit and involved Himself in rigorous ‘ tapasya’ in order to comprehend the reason for life and death. A time came when He realised that it was useless to torture one’s body while finding the truth, and then, He denunciated the method of tapasya and fast.

 

Then one fine day as Siddhartha reached Bodh Gaya and being very exhausted, He took a seat under the shade of a peepal tree and closed His eyes. It was then He felt a divine light coming within Himself. This was the turning point in His quest as He realised that the truth is within every human being and to search for it outside was baseless. After this incidence, He came to be known as ‘ Buddha’ or the enlightened one.


The Right Path and Immortality

For 45 years, Buddha spread His message of spiritual life to not only His disciples but the common people as well. He gave emphasis on the purification of mind, heart and ultimately, soul by following the Eightfold Path, the Four Noble Truths and the Five Preceptions. This path included the right speech, understanding, determination, deeds, efforts, awareness, thinking and living. As per Buddhism, if one follows these paths, one could overcome desires, which were the reason for all the grieves and miseries.

After spreading His message to the world successfully, Buddha died at the age of 80 years in 483 BCE. at Kushinagar, India. Today, Buddhism has a strong following in various Asian countries and is gradually finding its feet in some of the western countries as well.

 

 

From:http://www.buddhist-tourism.com/buddhism-information/lord-gautam-buddha.html, Date:27-01-2009

January 24, 2009

Jyotirao Govindrao Phule

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jyotirao-govindrao-phule

Born – 11 April 1827


Died – 28 November 1890


Achievements – He was a prominent activist, thinker and social reformer from the Indian state of Maharashtra during the 19th century. During his time, he tried bringing in positive renovations in the spheres of education, agriculture, caste system, social position of women et al.


Jyotirao Govindrao Phule, who was a prominent activist, thinker and social reformer from the Indian state of Maharashtra during the 19th century, was also famous by the name of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule. During his time, he tried bringing in positive renovations in the spheres of education, agriculture, caste system, social position of women et al. Out of everything that Phule ever did, he’s most remembered for his selfless service to educate women and lower caste people.


Read on to get more info on Jyotirao Govindrao Phule, who after educating his wife, opened the first school for girls in India in August 1848. Later on, Phule set up the Satya Shodhak Samaj or the Society of Seekers of Truth along with Jyotirao, who was made its first president and treasurer in 1973. The real aim of this institute was to prevent exploitation and misbehavior to people from the low caste Shudra at the hands of the upper class Brahmins in the society.


Due to his relentless struggle to derive justice and equal rights for the farmers and the lower caste, Jyotirao Govindrao Phule is regarded as one of the most significant figure in the social reform movement in Maharashtra state during his time. Phule himself belonged to a humble family from the Mali caste in the city of Pune. His father Govindrao was a vegetable-vendor, whereas his mother died when he was just nine months old.

The life history of Jyotirao Govindrao Phule took a meaningful turn after his intelligence was detected by his Muslim and Christian neighbors who convinced his father to allow him to study at the local Scottish Mission’s High School. Highly swayed by Thomas Paine’s book ‘Rights of Man’, Phule developed an impeccable sense of social justice and grew passionately critical of the Indian caste system.


Interestingly, Mahatma Phule nurtured a favorable perspective on the British Rule in India because he thought it at least introduced the modern notions of justice and equality into the Indian society. Phule vehemently advocated widow-remarriage and even got a home built for housing upper caste widows during 1854. In order to set an example before the people, he opened his own house and let all make use of the well water without any prejudice.

 

http://www.bhagwanvalmiki.com/savitribai.htm

Events

Year

Birth of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule.

11th April, 1827

Marathi education in Panthoji’s school.

1834 to 1838

Married to Savitribai, the daughter of Khandoji Nevase at Naigaon.

1840

Primary education(English) in Missionary School.

1841 to 1847

Study of Thomas Paine’s book ‘Rights of Man’.

1847

Humiliation at marriage procession of upper caste friend.

1848

Started school for girls of shudra and atishudra.

1848

Left home with wife because of oath taken to educate the Shudras.

1849

Started girls school at Chiplunkar’s wada

1851

Major Candy felicitated Jyotiba Phule for his contribution in the field of education.

16 Nov. 1852

Joined a Scottish school as a part time teacher.

1854

Started night school.

1855

Took retirement from the management board of school.

1858

Helped in the remarriage of widows.

1860

Started Infanticide Prohibition Home.

1863

Death of Jotirao’s father Govindrao.

1868

Opened the well of his house to the untouchables.

1868

‘Chatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhonsle yancha povada’.

1st June, 1869

Gulamgiri.

1 June 1873

Formation of ‘Satya Shodhak Samaj’.

24 Sept. 1873

Procession of Dayanand Saraswati.

1875

Report of Pune’s branch of Satya Shodhak Samaj.

20 March 1877

Member of Pune Muncipality.

1876 to 1882

Made presentation to Hunter Education Commission.

19 Oct. 1882

Written the most famous book ‘Shetkarayacha Aasud (Cultivator’s Whipcord)’.

18 July 1883

Published the book ‘Ishara’

1 Oct.1885

Junnar Court‘s decision in favour of villager’s right

29 March 1885

Felicitated by Duke of Connaught.

2 March 1888

Felicitated by public and was honoured with the title of’ MAHATMA’

11 May 1888

Started writing the book ‘Sarvajanik Satya Dharma Poostak’

1st April 1889

Death of Mahatma Jotirao Phule.

28 Nov 1890

Cited from:

http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-heroes/jyotirao-govindrao-phule.html, Date:24-01-2009

 

 

Aurobindo Ghose

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Sri Aurobindo

Born: August 15, 1872


Died: December 5, 1950


Achievements: He was a freedom fighter, poet, scholar, yogi and philosopher. Worked towards the cause of India’s freedom, and for further evolution of life on earth.

Aurobindo Ghose was a multifaceted person. He was a freedom fighter, poet, scholar, yogi and philosopher. He spent his life working towards the cause of India’s freedom, and for further evolution of life on earth.


Sri Aurobindo Ghosh was born on August 15, 1872 at Calcutta. His father was Krishnadhan and his mother was Swamalata. Aurobindo Ghose had an impressive lineage. Raj Narayan Bose, an acknowledged leader in Bengali literature, and the grandfather of Indian nationalism was Sri Aurobindo’s maternal grandfather. Aurobindo Ghosh owes not only his rich spiritual nature, but even his very superior literary capacity, to his mother’s line. His father was an M.D. from England.


When Sri Aurobindo was five years old, he was sent to Loretto Convent School at Darjeeling. Two years later in 1879, Aurobindo Ghose, was sent to England along with his brothers for higher studies. Aurobindo completed his schooling from St. Paul’s in London. In 1890, at the age of eighteen, Sri Aurobindo got admission into Cambridge. Here, he distinguished himself as a student of European classics. To comply with the wish of his father, Sri Aurobindo Ghose also applied for the ICS while at Cambridge. He passed the Indian Civil Service Examination with great credit in 1890. He, however, failed to stand the required test in horsemanship and hence was not allowed to enter the Covenantal Service of the Indian Government.


In 1893, Aurobindo Ghose, returned to India, and became the Vice-principal of the State college in Baroda. He drew a salary of Rs.750/-. He was held in great respect by the Maharaja of Baroda. Aurobindo was an accomplished scholar in Greek and Latin. From 1893 to 1906 he extensively studied Sanskrit, Bengali literature, Philosophy and Political Science.


In 1906, in the wake of partition of Bengal, resigned his job and joined the Bengal National College on a salary of Rs.150/-. He plunged headlong into the revolutionary movement. Aurobindo Ghose played a leading role in India’s freedom struggle from 1908. Sri Aurobindo Ghosh was one of the pioneers of political awakening in India. He edited the English daily Bande Mataram and wrote fearless and pointed editorials. He openly advocated the boycott of British goods, British courts and everything British. He asked the people to prepare themselves for passive resistance.


The famous Alipore Bomb Case proved to be a turning point in Sri Aurobindo Ghosh’s life. For a year Aurobindo was an undertrial prisoner in solitary confinement in the Alipore Central Jail. It was in a dingy cell of the Alipore Jail that he dreamt the dream of his future life, the divine mission ordained for him by God. He utilized this period of incarceration for an intense study and practice of the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. Chittaranjan Das defended Sri Aurobindo, who was acquitted after a memorable trial.

During his time in prison, Aurobindo Ghosh, had developed interest in yoga and meditation. After his release he started practicing pranayama and meditation. Sri Aurobindo Ghose migrated from Calcutta to Pondicherry in 1910. At Pondicherry, he stayed at a friend’s place. At first, he lived there with four or five companions. Gradually the number of members increased and an Ashram was founded.


In 1914 after four years of concentrated yoga at Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo launched Arya, a 64 page monthly review. For the next six and a half years this became the vehicle for most of his most important writings, which appeared in serialised form. These included Essays on The Gita, The Secret of The Veda, Hymns to the Mystic Fire, The Upanishads, The Foundations of Indian Culture, War and Self-determination, The Human Cycle, The Ideal of Human Unity, and The Future Poetry. In 1926, Sri Aurobindo Ghose retired from public life.


Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy is based on facts, experience and personal realisations and on having the vision of a seer or Rishi. Aurobindo’s spirituality was inseparably united with reason. The goal of Sri Aurobindo was not merely the liberation of the individual from the chain that fetters him and realization of the self, but to work out the will of the Divine in the world, to effect a spiritual transformation and to bring down the divine nature and a divine life into the mental, vital and physical nature and life of humanity.

Sri Aurobindo passed away on December 5, 1950 at Pondicherry at the age of 78.

 

 Cited from:

http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-heroes/aurobindo-ghose.html

Date;24-01-2009

 

October 6, 2008

Rabindranath Tagore

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Rabindranath Tagore was born in Calcutta, India into a wealthy Brahmin family. After a brief stay in England (1878) to attempt to study law, he returned to India, and instead pursued a career as a writer, playwright, songwriter, poet, philosopher and educator. During the first 51 years of his life he achieved some success in the Calcutta area of India where he was born and raised with his many stories, songs and plays. His short stories were published monthly in a friend’s magazine and he even played the lead role in a few of the public performances of his plays. Otherwise, he was little known outside of the Calcutta area, and not known at all outside of India.

 This all suddenly changed in 1912. He then returned to England for the first time since his failed attempt at law school as a teenager. Now a man of 51, his was accompanied by his son. On the way over to England he began translating, for the first time, his latest selections of poems, Gitanjali, into English. Almost all of his work prior to that time had been written in his native tongue of Bengali. He decided to do this just to have something to do, with no expectation at all that his first time translation efforts would be any good. He made the handwritten translations in a little notebook he carried around with him and worked on during the long sea voyage from India. Upon arrival, his son left his father’s brief case with this notebook in the London subway. Fortunately, an honest person turned in the briefcase and it was recovered the next day. Tagore’s one friend in England, a famous artist he had met in India, Rothenstein, learned of the translation, and asked to see it. Reluctantly, with much persuasion, Tagore let him have the notebook. The painter could not believe his eyes. The poems were incredible. He called his friend, W.B. Yeats, and finally talked Yeats into looking at the hand scrawled notebook.
 

The rest, as they say, is history. Yeats was enthralled. He later wrote the introduction to Gitanjali when it was published in September 1912 in a limited edition by the India Society in London. Thereafter, both the poetry and the man were an instant sensation, first in London literary circles, and soon thereafter in the entire world. His spiritual presence was awesome. His words evoked great beauty. Nobody had ever read anything like it. A glimpse of the mysticism and sentimental beauty of Indian culture were revealed to the West for the first time. Less than a year later, in 1913, Rabindranath received the Nobel Prize for literature. He was the first non-westerner to be so honored. Overnight he was famous and began world lecture tours promoting inter-cultural harmony and understanding. In 1915 he was knighted by the British King George V. When not traveling he remained at his family home outside of Calcutta, where he remained very active as a literary, spiritual and social-political force.
 

In 1919, following the Amritsar massacre of 400 Indian demonstrators by British troops, Sir Tagore renounced his Knighthood. Although a good friend of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, most of the time Tagore stayed out of politics. He was opposed to nationalism and miltiarism as a matter of principle, and instead promoted spiritual values and the creation of a new world culture founded in multi-culturalism, diversity and tolerance. He served as a spiritual and creative beacon to his countrymen, and indeed, the whole world. He used the funds from his writing and lecturing to expand upon the school he had founded in 1901 now known as Visva Bharati . The alternative to the poor system of education imposed by the British, combined the best of traditional Hindu education with Western ideals. Tagore’s multi-cultural educational efforts were an inspiration to many, including his friend, Count Hermann Keyserling of Estonia. Count Keyserling founded his own school in 1920 patterned upon Tagore’s school, and the ancient universities which existed in Northern India under Buddhist rule over 2,000 years ago under the name School of Wisdom. Rabindranath Tagore led the opening program of the School of Wisdom in 1920, and participated in several of its programs thereafter.
 

 Rabindranath Tagore’s creative output tells you a lot about this renaissance man. The variety, quality and quantity are unbelievable. As a writer, Tagore primarily worked in Bengali, but after his success with Gitanjali, he translated many of his other works into English. He wrote over one thousand poems; eight volumes of short stories; almost two dozen plays and play-lets; eight novels; and many books and essays on philosophy, religion, education and social topics. Aside from words and drama, his other great love was music, Bengali style. He composed more than two thousand songs, both the music and lyrics. Two of them became the national anthems of India and Bangladesh. In 1929 he even began painting. Many of his paintings can be found in museums today, especially in India, where he is considered the greatest literary figure of India of all times.
 

Tagore was not only a creative genius, he was a great man and friend to many. For instance, he was also a good friend from childhood to the great Indian Physicist, Bose. He was educated and quite knowledgeable of Western culture, especially Western poetry and Science. This made him a remarkable person, one of the first of our planet to combine East and West, and ancient and modern knowledge. Tagore had a good grasp of modern – post-Newtonian – physics, and was well able to hold his own in a debate with Einstein in 1930 on the newly emerging principles of quantum mechanics and chaos. His meetings and tape recorded conversations with his contemporaries such Albert Einstein and H.G. Wells, stand as cultural landmarks, and show the brilliance of this great man. Although Tagore is a superb representative of his country – India – the man who wrote its national anthem – his life and works go far beyond his country. He is truly a man of the whole Earth, a product of the best of both traditional Indian, and modern Western cultures. The School of Wisdom is proud to have him as part of its heritage. He exemplifies the ideals important to us of Goodness, Meaningful Work, and World Culture.

Cited from:http://www.schoolofwisdom.com/tagore-bio.htmlDated:06-10-2008

September 25, 2008

Shaheed Bhagat Singh

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bha

Bhagat Singh (بھگت سنگھ) (September 27, 1907[1] – March 23, 1931) was an Indian freedom fighter, considered to be one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement. He is often referred to as Shaheed Bhagat Singh (the word shaheed means “martyr“).

Born to a family which had earlier been involved in revolutionary activities against the British Raj in India, Singh, as a teenager, had studied European revolutionary movements and was attracted to anarchism and communism.[2] He became involved in numerous revolutionary organizations. He quickly rose through the ranks of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) and became one of its leaders, converting it to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). Singh gained support when he underwent a 63-day fast in jail, demanding equal rights for Indian and British political prisoners. He was hanged for shooting a police officer in response to the killing of veteran freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai. His legacy prompted youth in India to begin fighting for Indian independence and also increased the rise of socialism in India.[3]

Early life

 

 

Bhagat Singh at the age of 17

Bhagat Singh was born into a Sandhu[2] family to Sardar Kishan Singh Sandhu and Vidyavati in the Khatkar Kalan village near Banga in the Lyallpur district of Punjab.[4] Singh’s given name of Bhagat means “devotee”. He came from a patriotic Sikh family, some of whom had participated in movements supporting the independence of India and others who had served in Maharaja Ranjit Singh‘s army.[5] His grandfather, Arjun Singh, was a follower of Swami Dayananda Saraswati‘s Hindu reformist movement, Arya Samaj,[6] which would carry a heavy influence on Singh. His uncles, Ajit Singh and Swaran Singh, as well as his father were members of the Ghadar Party, led by Kartar Singh Sarabha Grewal and Har Dayal. Ajit Singh was forced to flee to Persia because of pending cases against him while Swaran Singh was hanged on December 19, 1927 for his involvement in the Kakori train robbery of 1925.[7]

Unlike many Sikhs his age, Singh did not attend Khalsa High School in Lahore, because his grandfather did not approve of the school officials’ loyalism to the British authorities.[8] Instead, his father enrolled him in Dayanand Anglo Vedic High School, an Arya Samajist school.[9] At age 13, Singh began to follow Mahatma Gandhi‘s Non-Cooperation Movement. At this point he had openly defied the British and had followed Gandhi’s wishes by burning his government-school books and any British-imported clothing. Following Gandhi’s withdrawal of the movement after the violent murders of policemen by villagers from Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh, Singh, disgruntled with Gandhi’s nonviolence action, joined the Young Revolutionary Movement and began advocating a violent movement against the British.[10]

In 1923, Bhagat famously won an essay competition set by the Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan. This grabbed the attention of members of the Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan including its General Secretary Professor Bhim Sen Vidyalankar. At this age, he quoted famous Punjabi literature and discussed the Problems of the Punjab. He read a lot of poetry and literature which was written by Punjabi writers and his favourite poet was Allama Iqbal from Sialkot.[11]

In his teenage years, Bhagat Singh started studying at the National College in Lahore,[12] but ran away from home to escape early marriage, and became a member of the organization Naujawan Bharat Sabha (“Youth Society of India”).[2] In the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Singh and his fellow revolutionaries grew popular amongst the youth. He also joined the Hindustan Republican Association at the request of Professor Vidyalankar, which was then headed by Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqulla Khan.[citation needed] It is believed that he had knowledge of the Kakori train robbery. He wrote for and edited Urdu and Punjabi newspapers published from Amritsar.[13] In September 1928, a meeting of various revolutionaries from across India was called at Delhi under the banner of the Kirti Kissan Party. Bhagat Singh was the secretary of the meet. His later revolutionary activities were carried out as a leader of this association. The capture and hanging of the main HRA Leaders also allowed him to be quickly promoted to higher ranks in the party, along with his fellow revolutionary Sukhdev Thapar.[citation needed]

Later revolutionary activities

Lala Lajpat Rai’s death and the Saunders murder

The British government created a commission under Sir John Simon to report on the current political situation in India in 1928. The Indian political parties boycotted the commission because it did not include a single Indian as its member and it was met with protests all over the country. When the commission visited Lahore on October 30, 1928, Lala Lajpat Rai led the protest against Simon Commission in a silent non-violent march, but the police responded with violence.[14] Lala Lajpat Rai was beaten with lathis at the chest.[14] He later succumbed to his injuries.[14] Bhagat Singh, who was an eyewitness to this event, vowed to take revenge.[15] He joined with other revolutionaries, Shivaram Rajguru, Jai Gopal and Sukhdev Thapar, in a plot to kill the police chief. Jai Gopal was supposed to identify the chief and signal for Singh to shoot. However, in a case of mistaken identity, Gopal signalled Singh on the appearance of J. P. Saunders, a Deputy Superintendent of Police. Thus, Saunders, instead of Scott, was shot. Bhagat Singh quickly left Lahore to escape the police. To avoid recognition, he shaved his beard and cut his hair, a violation of the sacred tenets of Sikhism.

Bomb in the assembly

In the face of actions by the revolutionaries, the British government enacted the Defence of India Act to give more power to the police.[citation needed] The purpose of the Act was to combat revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh. The Act was defeated in the council by one vote.[citation needed] However, the Act was then passed under the ordinance that claimed that it was in the best interest of the public. In response to this act, the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association planned to explode a bomb in the Central Legislative Assembly where the ordinance was going to be passed. Originally, Chandrashekhar Azad, another prominent leader of the revolutionary movement attempted to stop Bhagat Singh from carrying out the bombing. However, the remainder of the party forced him to succumb to Singh’s wishes. It was decided that Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt, another revolutionary, would throw the bomb in the assembly.[citation needed]

On April 8, 1929, Singh and Dutt threw a bomb onto the corridors of the assembly and shouted “Inquilab Zindabad!” (“Long Live the Revolution!”).[16] This was followed by a shower of leaflets stating that it takes a loud voice to make the deaf hear.[17] The bomb neither killed nor injured anyone; Singh and Dutt claimed that this was deliberate on their part, a claim substantiated both by British forensics investigators who found that the bomb was not powerful enough to cause injury, and by the fact that the bomb was thrown away from people. Singh and Dutt gave themselves up for arrest after the bomb.[citation needed] He and Dutt were sentenced to ‘Transportation for Life‘ for the bombing on June 12, 1929.

Trial and execution

 

 

Front page of The Tribune announcing Bhagat Singh’s execution.

Shortly after his arrest and trial for the Assembly bombing, the British came to know of his involvement in the murder of J. P. Saunders. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were charged with the murder. Bhagat Singh decided to use the court as a tool to publicize his cause for the independence of India.[citation needed] He admitted to the murder and made statements against the British rule during the trial.[citation needed] The case was ordered to be carried out without members of the HSRA present at the hearing. This created an uproar amongst Singh’s supporters as he could no longer publicise his views.

While in jail, Bhagat Singh and other prisoners launched a hunger strike advocating for the rights of prisoners and those facing trial. The reason for the strike was that British murderers and thieves were treated better than Indian political prisoners, who, by law, were meant to be given better rights. The aims in their strike were to ensure a decent standard of food for political prisoners, the availability of books and a daily newspaper, as well as better clothing and the supply of toilet necessities and other hygienic necessities. He also demanded that political prisoners should not be forced to do any labour or undignified work.[18] During this hunger strike that lasted 63 days and ended with the British succumbing to his wishes, he gained much popularity among the common Indians. Before the strike his popularity was limited mainly to the Punjab region.[19]

Bhagat Singh also maintained the use of a diary, which he eventually made to fill 404 pages. In this diary he made numerous notes relating to the quotations and popular sayings of various people whose views he supported. Prominent in his diary were the views of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.[20] The comments in his diary led to an understanding of the philosophical thinking of Bhagat Singh.[21] Before dying he also wrote a pamphlet entitled “Why I am an atheist”, as he was being accused of vanity by not accepting God in the face of death.

On March 23, 1931, Bhagat Singh was hanged in Lahore with his fellow comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev. His supporters, who had been protesting against the hanging, immediately declared him as a shaheed or martyr.[22] According to the Superintendent of Police at the time, V.N. Smith, the hanging was advanced:

Normally execution took place at 8 am, but it was decided to act at once before the public could become aware of what had happened…At about 7 pm shouts of Inquilab Zindabad were heard from inside the jail. This was correctly, interpreted as a signal that the final curtain was about to drop.[23]

Singh was cremated at Hussainiwala on banks of Sutlej river. Today, the Bhagat Singh Memorial commemorates freedom fighters of India.[22]

Ideals and opinions

 

 

Bhagat Singh in jail at the age of 20

Bhagat Singh was attracted to anarchism and communism.[2] Both communism and western anarchism had influence on him. He read the teachings of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Mikhail Bakunin.[24][25] Bhagat Singh did not believe in Gandhian philosophy and viewed that Gandhian politics will replace one set of exploiters by another.[26] Singh was an atheist and promoted the concept of atheism by writing a pamphlet titled Why I am an Atheist.

Bhagat Singh was also an admirer of the writings of Irish revolutionary Terence MacSwiney.[citation needed] When Bhagat Singh’s father petitioned the British government to pardon his son, Bhagat Singh quoted Terence MacSwiney and said “”I am confident that my death will do more to smash the British Empire than my release” and told his father to withdraw the petition.[citation needed]

Anarchism

From May to September, 1928, Bhagat Singh serially published several articles on anarchism in Punjabi periodical Kirti.[2] He expressed concern over misunderstanding of the concept of anarchism among the public. Singh tried to eradicate the misconception among people about anarchism. He wrote, “The people are scared of the word anarchism. The word anarchism has been abused so much that even in India revolutionaries have been called anarchist to make them unpopular.” As anarchism means absence of ruler and abolition of state, not absence of rule, Singh explained, “I think in India the idea of universal brotherhood, the Sanskrit sentence vasudhaiva kutumbakam etc., have the same meaning.” He wrote about the growth of anarchism, the “first man to explicitly propagate the theory of Anarchism was Proudhon and that is why he is called the founder of Anarchism. After him a Russian, Bakunin worked hard to spread the doctrine. He was followed by Prince Kropotkin etc.”[2]

Singh explained anarchism in the article:

The ultimate goal of Anarchism is complete independence, according to which no one will be obsessed with God or religion, nor will anybody be crazy for money or other worldly desires. There will be no chains on the body or control by the state. This means that they want to eliminate: the Church, God and Religion; the state; Private property.[2]

Marxism

Bhagat Singh was also influenced by Marxism. Indian historian K. N. Panikkar described Singh as one of the early Marxists in India.[26] From 1926, Bhagat Singh studied the history of the revolutionary movement in India and abroad. In his prison notebooks, Singh used quotations from Lenin (on imperialism being the highest stage of capitalism) and Trotsky on revolution.[2]

Atheism

During his teenage years, Singh was a devout Arya Samajist.[27] However, he began to question religious ideologies after witnessing the Hindu-Muslim riots that broke out after Gandhi disbanded the Non-Cooperation Movement.[28] He did not understand how members of these two groups, initially united in fighting against the British, could be at each others’ throats because of their religious differences. At this point, Singh dropped his religious beliefs, since he believed religion hindered the revolutionaries’ struggle for independence, and began studying the works of Bakunin, Lenin, Trotsky — all atheist revolutionaries. He also took an interest in Niralamba Swami’s[29] book Common Sense, which advocated a form of “mystic atheism”.[30]

While in a condemned cell in 1931, he wrote a pamphlet entitled Why I am an Atheist in which he discusses and advocates the philosophy of atheism. This pamphlet was a result of some criticism by fellow revolutionaries on his failure to acknowledge religion and God while in a condemned cell, the accusation of vanity was also dealt with in this pamphlet. He supported his own beliefs and claimed that he used to be a firm believer in The Almighty, but could not bring himself to believe the myths and beliefs that others held close to their hearts. In this pamphlet, he acknowledged the fact that religion made death easier, but also said that unproved philosophy is a sign of human weakness.[31]

Last wish

 

This section’s factual accuracy is disputed. Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page. (March 2009)

Bhagat is said to have mentioned to Randhir Singh, prison inmate, Gadhar revolutionary and a known figure in Sikh circles, that he (Bhagat Singh) had shaven “hair and beard under pressing circumstances” and that “It was for the service of the country” that his companions “compelled him to give up the Sikh appearance” adding to it that he was “ashamed” [32][33]. He had supposedly expressed, as last wish before being hanged, the desire to get “amrit” from Panj Pyare including Randhir Singh and to adorn full 5 k’s[33][34]. However, his last wish, of getting “amrit” from Panj Pyare was not granted by the British[34].

This version of events was largely discussed by Randhir Singh himself and so it has come under question. Some scholars claim that it was Bhagat Singh’s meeting with Randhir Singh that compelled him to write his famous “Why I Am An Atheist” essay.

Death

Bhagat Singh was known for his appreciation of martyrdom. His mentor as a young boy was Kartar Singh Sarabha.[35] Singh is himself considered a martyr for acting to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, also considered a martyr. In the leaflet he threw in the Central Assembly on 9 April 1929, he stated that It is easy to kill individuals but you cannot kill the ideas. Great empires crumbled while the ideas survived.[36] After engaging in studies on the Russian Revolution, he wanted to die so that his death would inspire the youth of India to unite and fight the British Empire.

While in prison, Bhagat Singh and two others had written a letter to the Viceroy asking him to treat them as prisoners of war and hence to execute them by firing squad and not by hanging. Prannath Mehta, Bhagat Singh’s friend, visited him in the jail on March 20, four days before his execution, with a draft letter for clemency, but he declined to sign it. [37]

Quotations

 

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Bhagat Singh

·         “The aim of life is no more to control the mind, but to develop it harmoniously; not to achieve salvation here after, but to make the best use of it here below; and not to realise truth, beauty and good only in contemplation, but also in the actual experience of daily life; social progress depends not upon the ennoblement of the few but on the enrichment of democracy; universal brotherhood can be achieved only when there is an equality of opportunity – of opportunity in the social, political and individual life.” — from Bhagat Singh’s prison diary, p. 124

·         “Inquilab Zindabad” (Long live the revolution)[47]

Cited from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagat_Singh, 24-04-2009.

August 19, 2008

Savitribai Phule

Filed under: Revolutionary — Milestone Education Society (Regd.) Pehowa @ 7:59 am
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First Woman Teacher of India Krantijot Savitri Bai Phoolay

Dr. S. L. Virdi Advocate

In the middle of 19th century one of the most respected personality, father of the Indian Social Revolution Jyoti Rao Phoolay and his life Partner Krantijot Savitri Bai Phoolay revolted against Brahminical system and hegemony of the Brahmins in all spheres of life. An incident in 1848 made young Phule aware of the inequities of the caste system and the predominant position of the Brahmins in the social set-up. As a bridegroom was being taken in a procession, Jyotiba was accompanying him along with the relatives of this friend. Upon knowing that Jyotiba belonging to “Mali” caste which was considered to be inferior. The relatives of the bridegroom insulted him for taking part in that auspicious occasion. This incident triggered young Jotirao’s impressionable mind to defy the caste system and to serve the Shudras and women who were deprived of their rights as human beings under the caste system throughout his life.

Jotirao Phoolay and Krantijot Phoolay boldly attacked the stronghold of the Brahmins, who prevented others from having access to all the avenues of knowledge. They denounced them as cheats and hypocrites. They organised the untouchables and women and started the anti-Brahmin movement. They opened schools for the untouchables and women and gave the message of equality then high caste Hindus ostracized him and demolished his house. Phule launched a jihad against the priesthood and brahminical supremacy with a deep sense of commitment. They declared that social slavery is worst than political slavery. Phoolay wrote a book Gulamgiri for the salvation of Shudras and Ati Shudras in which he gave a clarion call to the Shudras and Ati Shudras for waging a decisive war against social system of the Hindus. They formed a Satya Sodhak Samaj for this purpose.

Events Year
Birth of SavitriBai.(Naigaon,Tha. Khandala Dist. Satara) Father’s name- Khandoji Nevse, Mother’s name- Laxmi. 3rd Jan.1831
Marriage with Jotirao Phule. 1840
Education started. 1841
Passed third and fourth year examination from Normal school. 1846-47
Started school with Sagunabai in Maharwada. 1847
Country’s first school for girls was started at Bhide’s wada in Pune and Savitribai was nominated as the first head mistress of the school. 1 Jan.1848
School for adults was started at UsmanSheikh’s wada in Pune. Left home with Jotirao for educating Shudra and ati Shudra’s . 1849
First public Til-Gul programme was arranged by Mahila Seva Mandal. 14 Jan.1852
Phule family was honoured by British government for their works in the field of education and Savtribai was declared as the best teacher. 16 Nov.1852
Infanticide prohibition home was started. 28 Jan.1853
Prize giving ceremony was arranged under the chairmanship of Major Candy. 12 Feb.1853
“Kavya Phule”-the first collection of poems was published. 1854
A night school for agriculturist and labourers was started. 1855
‘Lecture’s of Jyotiba’ was published. 25 Dec.1856
Orphanage was started. 1863
Opened the well to untouchables. 1868
Adopted son of Kashibai, a Brahmin Widow’s Child. 1874
Done important work in famine and started 52 free food hostels in Maharashatra. 1876 to 1877
Adopted son, Dr.Yashwant was married to the daughter of Sasane. 4 Feb.1889
Death of her husband Jotirao Phule . 28 Nov. 1890
Chairperson of Satya Shodhak Samaj Conference at Saswad. 1893
Again famine in Maharashtra. Forced government to start relief work. 1896
Plague epidemic in Pune.Had done social work during this hour. 1897
Died while serving the Plague paitents during plague epidemic. 10 March 1897
Centenary year in Maharashtra and National honour. 10 March 1997 to 98
Government of India honoured her by publishing a postage stamp. 10 March 1998

http://www.bhagwanvalmiki.com/savitribai.htm, dated:19-08-2008

Mahrishi Valmiki’s Biography

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Mahrishi  Valmiki Ji
Maharishi (the great sage) claims the distinction of being the author of the holy epic ‘Ramayana’, consisting of 24,000 verses. He is also believed to be the author of Yoga Vasistha, a text that elaborates on a range of philosophical issues. Written approximately 500 years ago, it was taught to Lord Rama when He lost all the hopes in life. Read on this biography to know more about Maharishi Valmiki and his life history.
 

Citation from:

http://www.iloveindia.com/spirituality/gurus/valmiki.html ,dated:19-08-2008

Valmiki (Sanskrit, vālmīki) (ca. 400 B.C.E., northern India) is celebrated as the poet harbinger in Sanskrit literature. He is the author of the epic, Ramayana, based on the attribution in the text of the epic itself. He is the inventor of the vedic poetic meter shloka, which defined the form of the Sanskrit poetry in many latter works.

He is revered as the first poet in Hinduism. There is also a religious movement based on Valmiki’s teachings as presented in the Ramayana and the Yogavashista called Valmikism. .

Ramayana

The Rāmāyaa, originally written by Valmiki, consists of 24,001 verses in six cantos (some say seven i.e. including the Uttara Ramayana) (ṇḍas). The Ramayana tells the story of a prince, Rama of Ayodhya, whose wife Sita is abducted by the demon (Rākshasa) king of Lanka, Rāvana. The Valmiki Ramayana is dated variously from 500 BC to 100 BC, or about co-eval with early versions of the Mahabhārata. As with most traditional epics, since it has gone through a long process of interpolations and redactions it is impossible to date it accurately.

In the original Valmiki Ramayana, Valmiki wrote that Rama was nothing more than an ideal human being. However, Brahminical reshaping and interpolation of the Ramayana eventually presented Rama as a supreme deity. The first stage includes the composition of books 2 – 6 sometime in the fifth century BCE and their oral transmission up to and including the fourth century BCE. Rama is presented as an essentially human hero. The second stage extends from the third century BCE to the first century CE, during which time those five books were reworked and expanded. This period brings greater status for the king. For most of this period, Rama is viewed as an ethical human. The third stage extends from the first to the third century CE, bringing with it the addition of book 1 (‘The book of childhood’) and the somewhat later book 7 (epilogue). This stage is marked by the presentation of Rama as an avatar of Vishnu. This stage also produced a pronounced emphasis on Varna- Dharma: Sambuka, the Sudra ascetic, is killed by Rama in order to bring a Brahmin boy back to life.


Valmiki was going to the river Ganga for his daily ablutions. A disciple by the name Bharadwaja was carrying his clothes. On the way, they came across the Tamasa Stream. Looking at the stream, Valmiki said to his disciple, “Look, how clear is this water, like the mind of a good man! I will bathe here today.” When he was looking for a suitable place to step into the stream, he heard sweet chirping of birds. Looking up, he saw two birds flying together. Valmiki felt very pleased on seeing the happy bird couple. Suddenly, one of the birds fell down hit by an arrow; it was the male bird. Seeing the wounded one, its mate screamed in agony. Valmiki’s heart melted at this pitiful sight. He looked around to find out who had shot the bird. He saw a hunter with a bow and arrows, nearby. The hunter had shot the bird for food. Valmiki became very angry. His lips opened and he uttered the following words:

mAnishAda pratishTAtum samagah ssAshvatIssamAh

yat krouncha mithunAdEkam sokam avadhIm kAma mOhitam

“You who have killed one of the birds engaged in the act of love,

thus, may you not yourself live long!”

This was the first shloka in Sanskrit literature. Later Valmiki composed entire Ramayana due to the blessings of Lord Brahma in the same meter that issued forth from him as a sloka. Thus this sloka is revered as the “first sloka” in Hindu literature. Valmiki is revered as the first poet, or Adi Kavi, and the Ramayana, the first kavya.

Cited from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valmiki ,dated:22-08-2008

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Biography

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D.B.R.Ambedkar

Born: April 14, 1891
Died: December 6, 1956
Achievements: Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was elected as the chairman of the drafting committee that was constituted by the Constituent Assembly to draft a constitution for the independent India; he was the first Law Minister of India; conferred Bharat Ratna in 1990.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar is viewed as messiah of dalits and downtrodden in India. He was the chairman of the drafting committee that was constituted by the Constituent Assembly in 1947 to draft a constitution for the independent India. He played a seminal role in the framing of the constitution. Bhimrao Ambedkar was also the first Law Minister of India. For his yeoman service to the nation, B.R. Ambedkar was bestowed with Bharat Ratna in 1990.

Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891 in Mhow (presently in Madhya Pradesh). He was the fourteenth child of Ramji and Bhimabai Sakpal Ambavedkar. B.R. Ambedkar belonged to the “untouchable” Mahar Caste. His father and grandfather served in the British Army. In those days, the government ensured that all the army personnel and their children were educated and ran special schools for this purpose. This ensured good education for Bhimrao Ambedkar, which would have otherwise been denied to him by the virtue of his caste.

Bhimrao Ambedkar experienced caste discrimination right from the childhood. After his retirement, Bhimrao’s father settled in Satara Maharashtra. Bhimrao was enrolled in the local school. Here, he had to sit on the floor in one corner in the classroom and teachers would not touch his notebooks. In spite of these hardships, Bhimrao continued his studies and passed his Matriculation examination from Bombay University with flying colours in 1908. Bhim Rao Ambedkar joined the Elphinstone College for further education. In 1912, he graduated in Political Science and Economics from Bombay University and got a job in Baroda.

In 1913, Bhimrao Ambedkar lost his father. In the same year Maharaja of Baroda awarded scholarship to Bhim Rao Ambedkar and sent him to America for further studies. Bhimrao reached New York in July 1913. For the first time in his life, Bhim Rao was not demeaned for being a Mahar. He immersed himself in the studies and attained a degree in Master of Arts and a Doctorate in Philosophy from Columbia University in 1916 for his thesis “National Dividend for India: A Historical and Analytical Study.” From America, Dr.Ambedkar proceeded to London to study economics and political science. But the Baroda government terminated his scholarship and recalled him back.

The Maharaja of Baroda appointed Dr. Ambedkar as his political secretary. But no one would take orders from him because he was a Mahar. Bhimrao Ambedkar returned to Bombay in November 1917. With the help of Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur, a sympathizer of the cause for the upliftment of the depressed classes, he started a fortnightly newspaper, the “Mooknayak” (Dumb Hero) on January 31, 1920. The Maharaja also convened many meetings and conferences of the “untouchables” which Bhimrao addressed. In September 1920, after accumulating sufficient funds, Ambedkar went back to London to complete his studies. He became a barrister and got a Doctorate in science.

After completing his studies in London, Ambedkar returned to India. In July 1924, he founded the Bahishkrit Hitkaraini Sabha (Outcastes Welfare Association). The aim of the Sabha was to uplift the downtrodden socially and politically and bring them to the level of the others in the Indian society. In 1927, he led the Mahad March at the Chowdar Tank at Colaba, near Bombay, to give the untouchables the right to draw water from the public tank where he burnt copies of the ‘Manusmriti’ publicly.

In 1929, Ambedkar made the controversial decision to co-operate with the all-British Simon Commission which was to look into setting up a responsible Indian Government in India. The Congress decided to boycott the Commission and drafted its own version of a constitution for free India. The Congress version had no provisions for the depressed classes. Ambedkar became more skeptical of the Congress’s commitment to safeguard the rights of the depressed classes.

When a separate electorate was announced for the depressed classes under Ramsay McDonald ‘Communal Award’, Gandhiji went on a fast unto death against this decision. Leaders rushed to Dr. Ambedkar to drop his demand. On September 24, 1932, Dr. Ambedkar and Gandhiji reached an understanding, which became the famous Poona Pact. According to the pact the separate electorate demand was replaced with special concessions like reserved seats in the regional legislative assemblies and Central Council of States.

Dr. Ambedkar attended all the three Round Table Conferences in London and forcefully argued for the welfare of the “untouchables”. Meanwhile, British Government decided to hold provincial elections in 1937. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar set up the “Independent Labor Party” in August 1936 to contest the elections in the Bombay province. He and many candidates of his party were elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly.

In 1937, Dr. Ambedkar introduced a Bill to abolish the “khoti” system of land tenure in the Konkan region, the serfdom of agricultural tenants and the Mahar “watan” system of working for the Government as slaves. A clause of an agrarian bill referred to the depressed classes as “Harijans,” or people of God. Bhimrao was strongly opposed to this title for the untouchables. He argued that if the “untouchables” were people of God then all others would be people of monsters. He was against any such reference. But the Indian National Congress succeeded in introducing the term Harijan. Ambedkar felt bitter that they could not have any say in what they were called.

In 1947, when India became independent, the first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, invited Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, who had been elected as a Member of the Constituent Assembly from Bengal, to join his Cabinet as a Law Minister. The Constituent Assembly entrusted the job of drafting the Constitution to a committee and Dr. Ambedkar was elected as Chairman of this Drafting Committee. In February 1948, Dr. Ambedkar presented the Draft Constitution before the people of India; it was adopted on November 26, 1949.

In October 1948, Dr. Ambedkar submitted the Hindu Code Bill to the Constituent Assembly in an attempt to codify the Hindu law. The Bill caused great divisions even in the Congress party. Consideration for the bill was postponed to September 1951. When the Bill was taken up it was truncated. A dejected Ambedkar relinquished his position as Law Minister.

On May 24, 1956, on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti, he declared in Bombay, that he would adopt Buddhism in October. On 0ctober 14, 1956 he embraced Buddhism along with many of his followers. On December 6, 1956, Baba Saheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar died peacefully in his sleep.

 

Citation from:

http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-heroes/br-ambedkar.html ,dated:19-08-2008

Welcome

Filed under: Uncategorized — Milestone Education Society (Regd.) Pehowa @ 4:49 am

In this I mentions the Biographies of those Educationists,Social Workers, Thinkers and Philosophers who are the inspiration for the Milestone Education Society.

May be you feel happy to read this collection.

Desh Raj Sirswal

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