Guyana joined India in celebrating the life and work of Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination.
Ambedkar also played an integral role in drafting the Constitution of India.
A section of those gathered
The Indian High Commission in Guyana hosted an evening of elegance at the Marriott Hotel on Monday where members of the diplomatic community, businesspeople, and other prestigious guests gathered to reflect on Ambedkar’s contributions to Indian society.
Indian High Commissioner Venkatachalam Mahalingam expressed that Ambedkar’s greatest contribution was protecting the fundamental rights of the depressed classes called Dalits who were subjected to untouchability for many centuries.
Guest speaker Justice Carl Singh, Guyana’s Chancellor of the Judiciary, highlighted the many struggles were faced by Ambedkar.
Other speakers took turn in reminiscing on some of Ambedkar’s most notable moments.
Ambedkar, born on April 14, 1891, was a prolific student, earning a law degree and various doctorates from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, and gained a reputation as a scholar for his research in law, economics and political science.
In his early years he was an economist, professor, and lawyer. His later life was marked by his political activities; he became involved in campaigning and negotiations for India’s independence, publishing journals advocating political rights and social freedom for Dalits, and contributing significantly to the establishment of the state of India.
Upon India’s independence on 15 August 1947, the new Congress-led government invited Ambedkar to serve as the nation’s first Law Minister, which he accepted. On 29 August of that year he was appointed Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, charged by the Assembly to write India’s new Constitution.
Those in attendance at the event included Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, Guyana Elections Commission Chairman Dr Steve Surujbally and businessman Yesu Persaud.