Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar ([bʱiːmraːw raːmdʑiː aːmbeːɽkər]; 14 April 1891 – 6 December 1956), popularly also known as Babasaheb, was an Indian jurist, political leader, philosopher, anthropologist, historian, orator, economist, teacher, editor, prolific writer, revolutionary and a revivalist for Buddhism in India. He was also the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. In 2012 he was chosen greatest Indian after Mahatma Gandhi in a nationwide poll held by History TV and CNN-IBN.
Born into a poor Mahar (considered an Untouchable caste) family, Ambedkar campaigned against social discrimination, the system of Chaturvarna – the categorisation of Hindu society into four varnas – and the Hindu caste system. He converted to Buddhism and is also credited with providing a spark for the transformation of hundreds of thousands of Dalits or untouchables to Theravada Buddhism. Ambedkar was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 1990.
Overcoming numerous social and financial obstacles, Ambedkar became one of the first Dalits (untouchables) to obtain a college education in India. Eventually earning a law degree and doctorates for his study and research in law, economics and political science from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, Ambedkar gained a reputation as a scholar and practised law for a few years, later campaigning by publishing journals advocating political rights and social freedom for India's untouchables.
He is regarded as a Bodhisattva by some Indian Buddhists, though he never claimed himself to be a Bodhisattva. Ambedkar said at a public function in 1956, while he was converting, that, "accepting Buddhism does not only mean getting into new religion it means entering into new form of life where everybody has responsibility to cultivate wisdom, compassion and morality in this life moments, buddha`s dhamma is here to guide and protect humanity, what we have to do is to strive for creating a moral...