Fact Check

What is the role of Brahmins in Ambedkar’s life?

Claim

Who took care of Ambedkar as a child? A Brahmin.

Who took care of Ambedkar’s education? A Brahmin

Who gave his surname Ambedkar?

A Brahmin

Who funded Ambedkar’s Foreign education? A Hindu Nationalist King Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad.

Who married Ambedkar? A Brahmin lady.

Who married Ambedkar’s sisters? Brahmins.

Whom do Ambedkarites abuse?

Hindu+brahmins

What does this tell us about them?

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Explanation

A series of questions on the role of Brahmins in the life of Ambedkar is shared on social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. This set of questions seems to be circulating on social media since 2021 and has resurfaced again now. Some of the posts shared can be seen here, here, and here. Following is the complete set of questions from the series where few posts seem to have excluded questions on Ambedkar’s marriage and his sisters’ marriage.

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Who took care of Ambedkar as a child? A Brahmin!

Who took care of Ambedkar’s education? A Brahmin!

Who gave his surname Ambedkar? A Brahmin

Who funded Ambedkar’s foreign education? A Hindu nationalist king Sayajirao Gaekwad.

Who married Ambedkar? A Brahmin lady.

Who married Ambedkar’s sisters? Brahmins.

Whom do Ambedkarites abuse? Hindus &  Brahmins!

What does this tell us about them?

What is the truth?

Who took care of Ambedkar as a child?

When searching with the relevant keywords, an article by ‘Bangalore Mirror’ on ‘Ambedkar’s childhood’ reported that Ambedkar was named Bhim at birth and he was the youngest of fourteen children born to Ramji Sakpal and Bhimbai. His mother died when he was five years old. At this time, only two brothers and two sisters of his had survived. His aunt looked after all of them from then on.

It is mentioned in Ambedkar’s ‘Waiting for a Visa’ that he was in charge of his aunt and some kind neighbours after his mother’s demise.

Who took care of Ambedkar’s education? Who funded Ambedkar’s Foreign education?

It is mentioned in the book ‘Dr.Ambedkar’s Life and Work’ by M.L.Shahare that Ambedkar’s education was always encouraged by his father. And his father supported his early education even by borrowing money from his two married daughters to buy books for him.

The same book mentioned that Bhim’s higher studies were financially supported by The Maharaja of Baroda, Shri Sayajirao Gaekwad who had earlier announced to help poor’s higher studies. And he granted scholarship to Bhim after feeling satisfied from Bhim’s answers to his questions.

The conversation between them is clipped from ‘Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches’ (Volume17_Part_I).

H. H. Maharaja : What will you do by studying these subjects ?

Bhimrao : The study of these subjects would give me clues for improving the depressed condition of my society and I shall undertake the work of social reforms on those lines.

H. H. Maharaja : (Laughingly) But you are going to serve us, is’t it ? Then how are you going to study, serve and also do the social service ?

Bhimrao : If H. H. Maharaja gives me due opportunity, I shall manage to do all the things.

H. H. Maharaja : I have been thinking on the same lines. I am thinking sending you to America will you go?

Bhimrao : Yes Sir.

H. H. Maharaja : Now you can go. Send an application of foreign proposed study to our Academic Officer asking for a scholarship and inform me accordingly.

“Sayajirao’s educational and social reforms included, along with others, ban on child marriage, legislation of divorce, removal of untouchability, spread of education, development of Sanskrit and ideological studies, religious education, encouragement of fine arts”, mentioned ‘The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda’ website.

Who gave his surname Ambedkar?

Bhim’s father’s name is Ramji Sakpal and hence his original surname was Sarpal. The book ‘Dr.Ambedkar’s Life and Work’ mentions that a Brahmin teacher named ‘Ambedkar’ changed Bhim’s surname from Sarpal to Ambedkar in school records.

Who married Ambedkar?

Ambedkar had two wives. He got married to Rami (who was named Ramabai after marriage) when he was 16 years old in 1906. Ramabai Ambedkar passed away in 1935 after a prolonged illness.

He then got married to Sharada Kabir (who was later named Savita Ambedkar) in 1948. She was a doctor and a social activist from the Marathi Brahmin community. An article from ‘She the people’ mentioned ‘She converted to Buddhism along with her husband Dr Ambedkar, however, due to her Brahmin roots aspirations were made regarding her dedication to the Dalit-Buddhist movement. She was even blamed for Dr Ambedkar’s death in 1956’.

Who married Ambedkar’s sisters?

The books that we referred mentioned about his two sisters and them being married but had no mention of whom they got married to. It would have been made a mark if they were married to Brahmins.

Conclusion

It is found that most of the questions about the role of Brahmins in the life of Ambedkar are false.

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