The general secretary of the Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisation (FABO) UK, Pankaj Shamkunwar, on Wednesday, called Dr BR Ambedkar a 'progressive thinker' while underlining his contribution to Indian democracy.
"Dr BR Ambedkar was a progressive thinker. The Constitution, which is a bedrock of our democracy, has given us fundamental rights and principles which work on the basis of equality, fraternity and freedom," he noted.
"Dr BR Ambedkar's biggest contribution to Indian democracy is in the form of women's empowerment and education...Today, the Dalit women are running shoulder to shoulder in competing with other women in the country, which is a matter of pride," he noted.
The remarks come as the Indian High Commission in the UK organised a memorial event to commemorate the 68th Parinirvan Divas of Babasaheb Dr BR Ambedkar on Wednesday.
The event was organised in association with the Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddist Organisation UK (FABO) at the Ambedkar Hall, India House, Aldwych in London.
Acting High Commissioner to India to the UK, Sujit Ghosh said Ambedkar's commitment to the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity laid the foundation of democratic India.
"The Parinirvan Divas of Babasaheb Dr BR Ambedkar is a solemn day of remembrance of a visionary leader, social reformer and the principal architect of the Indian Constitution. Dr Ambedkar's deep sense of justice and his unwavering commitment to the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity, guided the framing of a Constitution that not only laid the foundation for a democratic India but also aimed at dismantling age-old social hierarchies," he said at the commemoration event.
"Dr Ambedkar's contributions...extend far beyond the drafting of the Constitution...He recognized that education puts up as a powerful equalizer, breaking down barriers of caste, and fostering a sense of self-worth among the marginalised," he added.
Born on April 14, 1891, Baba Saheb Ambedkar was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who campaigned against social discrimination towards Dalits and supported the rights of women and workers.
Also regarded as the architect or father of the Indian constitution, Ambedkar died on December 6, 1956.
Baba Saheb was a prolific student, earning doctorates in economics from both Columbia University and the University of London. In 1956.He led a satyagraha in Mahad to fight for the right of the untouchable community to draw water from the main water tank of the town.
On September 25, 1932, an agreement known as the 'Poona Pact' was signed between Ambedkar and Madan Mohan Malaviya.
By virtue of the pact, the depressed class received 148 seats in the legislature, instead of the 71 as allocated earlier.
Ambedkar was also one of the seven members of the committee that drafted the Constitution after independence. In 1990, he was posthumously conferred with the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian honour.