Poona Pact

During the first Round Table Conference, when Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar favoured the move of the British Government to provide separate electorate for the oppressed classes (Dalit), Gandhi strongly opposed it on the plea that the move would give power to the oppressed classes (Dalit). He went for an indefinite hunger strike from September 20, 1932 against the decision of the then British Prime Minister J.Ramsay MacDonald granting communal award to the depressed classes in the constitution for governance of British India.

Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

In view of the mass upsurge generated in the country to save the life of Gandhi, Ambedkar was compelled to soften his stand. A compromise between the leaders of caste Hindu and the depressed classes was reached on September 24,1932, popularly known as Poona Pact. The resolution announced in a public meeting on September 25 in Bombay confirmed -" henceforth, amongst Hindus no one shall be regarded as an untouchable by reason of his birth and they will have the same rights in all the social institutions as the other Hindus have". This landmark resolution in the history of the Dalit movement in India subsequently formed the basis for giving due share to Dalits in the political empowerment of Indian people in a democratic Indian polity.

The following is the text of the agreement arrived at between leaders acting on behalf of the Depressed Classes and of the rest of the community, regarding the representation of the Depressed Classes in the legislatures and certain other matters affecting their welfare.
1.   There shall be seats reserved for the Depressed Classes out of general electorate seats in the provincial legislatures as follows: - Madras 30; Bombay with Sind 25; Punjab 8; Bihar and Orissa 18; Central Provinces 20; Assam 7; Bengal 30; United Provinces 20. Total 148. These figures are based on the Prime Minister's (British) decision.
2.   Election to these seats shall be by joint electorates subject, however, to the following procedure All members of the Depressed Classes registered in the general electoral roll of a constituency will form an electoral college which will elect a panel of tour candidates belonging to the Depressed Classes for each of such reserved seats by the method of the single vote and four persons getting the highest number of votes in such primary elections shall be the candidates for election by the general electorate.
3.   The representation of the Depressed Classes in the Central Legislature shall likewise be on the principle of joint electorates and reserved seats by the method of primary election in the manner provided for in clause above for their representation in the provincial legislatures.

Our President: Bahan Kumari Mayawati

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has emerged as one of the main national political parties of India under the stewardship of its National President Kumari Mayawati Ji, Member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council and fourth-time Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, which is the most populous state of the country having a population of about 170 million. Kumari or Miss Mayawati Ji, a serene figure, is affectionately known and called as Bahenji or Sister by one and all her workers, supporters, well-wishers as well as officials.
So far as the strength in the India's parliament is concerned, it had a total number of 19 members in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament while it has a total of six MPs in the Rajya Sabha. But so far as the percentage of votes goes, it is just on the verge of jumping to No. 3 position after the ruling Congress and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), relegating Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI-M to No. 4 position as per the official votes percentage released by the Election Commission of India after February-March 2004 general Lok Sabha elections. The BSP has received over 1 crore 31 lakh (13.1million) votes in that election in Uttar Pradesh itself, out of a total of 2.07 crores (207,65,229-----5.33 per cent) it had received in the 25 States/Union Territories its had contested. The total votes were a little less than the CPI-M, which is facing stagnation so far as the number of votes is concerned at the national level.
Apart from this electoral success, the most significant point is that the BSP is fast emerging as a political party with a difference. The Party president Kumari Mayawati Ji, identified as Iron lady and a no-nonsense leader has emerged as a lady of new hope and aspirations to varied and a wide section of the society, particularly in the state of Uttar Pradesh, bordering national capital of New Delhi, which most often guides the political destiny of the country.
Committed and fully devoted to the missionary cause and cherished goal of "Social Transformation & Economic Emancipation" particularly to the people belonging to "Bahujan Samaj" (that comprises Backwards (Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other backward classes) and Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis of religious minorities) and poor from other sections of the society mainly the high caste people, Kumari Mayawati Ji, a spinster by mission, is regarded in the Indian politics with respect, reverence and awe as she is the only politician in the India having a mass appeal and firm hold and command over her voters and also the charishma to get mass vote bank transferred to any individual and to any party, a rare thing, of course, in the contemporary Indian politics.
Given the charishma of the BSP supremo, the two main political parties----the Congress and the BJP----are always looking keen to have an electoral alliance/understanding with it either at the national level or at least at the state level, but the march of "Elephant ", the election symbol of the Party is on and the "Blue" flag of the BSP is flying high under the strong and towering leadership of Kumari Mayawati Ji, who is working assiduously with a missionary zeal to make them ruler of India to usher in here the golden era of Ashoka, the Great.

1.MP (LS)First Term (Bijnor)02-12-198913-03-1991Lok Sabha Dissolved
2.MP (RS)First Term03-04-199425-10-1996Resigned MP Seat during CM tenure on 25-10-1996
3.CMFirst Term
03-06-199518-10-1995During MP (RS) tenure
4.MLAFirst Term
Oct. 9610-03-1998Resigned MP Seat during CM tenure on 25-10-1996
First Term
22-10-199625-10-1996Resigned Bilsi Seat
5.CMSecond Term
Resigned as CM on 20-09-97 after completing 6 months rotational arrangements
6.MP (LS)Second Term
Lok Sabha Dissolved
7.MP (LS)Third Term (Akbarpur) 10-10-199907-03-2002
Resigned to retain Harora Assembly seat
8.MLASecond Term
Feb. 200228-08-2003
Resigned as MLA from Harora on 28-08-03 after resigning as CM on 26-08-03
Second Term
Jahangir Ganj
Feb. 200204-03-2002
Resigned Jahangir Ganj to retain Harora seat
9.CMThird Term
Resigned as CM
10.MP (LS)Fourth Term (Akbarpur) 17-05-200226-06-2004
11.MP (RS)Second Term
12.CMFourth Term
13.MLC (UP)First Term

To serve the country's real natives-- Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and religious minorities-and encourage activities for their overall development.
Special Inclination : Educate and organise the poor, oppressed and impoverished sections of the society to fight for their legal and constitutional rights.
Life's Aim : To remain engaged in the fight for "social transformation and economic liberation" of the Bahujan Samaj" so that about 85 per cent people of India's more than a hundred crore population, representing the "Bahujan Samaj", could be brought in the national mainstream. Poor of other sections of the society are also to be educationally and economically uplifted,

Foreign Travels : 
  1. Visited Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, Switzerland, Korea and Taiwan in the capacity of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
  2. London: To inaugurate the Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Memorial Community Centre as Bahujan Samaj Party National Vice-President
  3. As a representative of India, addressed the UN General Assembly while participating in an international seminar on the topic, "Democracy through Partnership between Men and Women", organised by the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) on 7th June, 2000 in New York, USA

Other Information : As a teacher (government employee), remained associated with BAMCEF-The All India Backward (Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Castes) and Minority Communities Employees Federation since 1977. Entered politics through the Bahujan Samaj Party, set up on 14 April, 1984. At present, National President of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
November 1989 : Both she and the party, the BSP made debut in Parliament. Won Bijnore (reserved) Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh in the Ninth General Elections of 1989.
April 1994 : Elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, signaling her debut, as also of the party, in the Upper House of Indian Parliament
June 1995 : In 1995, Ms. Mayawati created history be becoming Indian's first Dalit woman chief minister, heading first Bahujan Samaj Party (Majority People's Party) government in India's most-populated state of Uttar Pradesh.
Became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the largest state of India in terms of population 4-times:
1. 1995 : 3 June, 1995 to 18 October, 1995
2. 1997 : 21 March, 1997 to 20 September, 1997
3. 2002 : 3 May, 2002 to 26 August, 2003
4. 2007 : 13 May, 2007 till date
1996-98 : Elected as a legislator. Elected from the two different constituencies of Uttar Pradesh-Harora (reserved) in Saharanpur district and Bilsi (reserved) in Budaun district. Represented the constituency of Harora in the state assembly, resigning from Bilsi seat as per the law.
21 March, 1997 : Became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for the second time.
February 1998 : Elected for the second time in the 12th Lok Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh's Akbarpur (reserved) parliamentary constituency in Ambedkar Nagar district.
February 1999 : Elected for the third time in the 13th Lok Sabha elections from Akbarpur (reserved) constituency.
14 April, 1999 : Senior journalist Mohammad Jamil Akhter's book, entitled "Iron Lady Kumari Mayawati", was released by Mr. Kanshi Ram Ji at a grand function in New Delhi on the occasion of Dr. Ambedkar's birth anniversary.
3 June, 2000 : Release of her own book book, "Bahujan Samaj Aur Uski Rajniti" (Bahujan Samaj and its Politics) by Mr. Kanshi Ram Ji at a function in New Delhi's Talkatora stadium on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the first 'Bahujan Samaj' government in Uttar Pradesh.
15 December, 2001 : BSP architect and founder, Manyawar Shri Kanshi Ram Ji, declared her as the sole heir and political successor of him and the "Bahujan Movement" at a grand rally in the Lakshman Mela ground on the bank of river Gomti in the Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow.
February 2002 : Re-elected as a legislator in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. Was declared a winner from the two constituencies-Harora (reserved) in Saharanpur district and Jahangirganj (reserved) in Ambedkar Nagar District. Represented Harora seat and resigned from Jahangirganj seat.
March 2002 : Resigned from Akbarpur (reserved) Lok Sabha seat.
3 May, 2002 : Became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for the third time.
18 September, 2003 : Assumed the office of Bahujan Samaj Party's National President after Mr. Kanshi Ram Ji suddenly fell seriously ill following a brain stroke.
April-May, 2004 : Elected for the fourth time in the 14th Lok Sabha elections from Akbarpur (reserved) seat in Uttar Pradesh.
July 2004 : After resigning from the Lok Sabha, elected for the second time as a member of the Rajya Sabha for a six-year term from Uttar Pradesh.
27 August, 2006 : Re-elected as National President of the Bahujan Samaj Party unanimously in an All India Delegate Conference held at Lucknow.
13 May, 2007 : Was administered oath for the office of the Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh fourth time after her party registered a comfortable majority win in the general elections for the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, trouncing Samajwadi party, BJP and the Congress. 3 July, 2007 : Joined as member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council after elected unopposed in the by-election for the upper house of the state legislature. Declared that she chose to become MLC as she wish to concentrate on the development of all the 403 assembly constituencies of state assembly rather than my constituency only .... I am not Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav, who had diverted all the funds to develop his home area only.
1. Bahujan Samaj Aur Uski Rajniti (October 2000)
2. Bahujan Samaj Aur Uski Rajniti, English(October 2001)
3. Mere Sangarshmai Jeevan Evam Bahujan Movement Ka Safarnama, three-volume over 3300 pages book, first two part of which was released by BSP founder Manyawar Shri Kanshi Ram Ji on 15 th January, 2006 on the occasion of 50 th birth anniversary of Ms. Mayawati Ji.
4. A Travelogue of My struggle-ridden life and of Bahujan Samaj, English, two volume book released on 15 th March, 2008 on the birth anniversary of Mamnyawar Shri Kanshi Ram Ji.
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   LIMCA BOOK OF RECORDS 2006 ( India at her Best )
Largest Political Rally :
The Bahujan Samaj Party under the leadership of Chief Minister Mayawati organised a mammoth rally on April 14, 2003, for which over 5.76 lakh people had gathered at the 27-acre Dr Ambedkar Maidan in Lukcnow, U.P. About 5,000 heavy and 2,000 light vehicles were requisitioned to transport more than 3.70 lakh people. Over and above that, about 1.01 lakh people arrived by train. Some 30,000 people came from neighboring states and 75,000 persons reached the spot by foot. For efficient crowd management, the entire area was divided into four zones, which were further split into 19 sectors. There were 3,771 security personnel on duty. In addition, 30 Companies and two Platoons of the PAC were deployed.
Limca Book of Records 2006
India at her Best (Pape.195)

Bharat Ratna Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar(Babasaheb):

An Indian nationalist, jurist, Dalit political leader and a Buddhist revivalist. (April 14, 1891 - December 6, 1956)

He was also the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. Born into a poor Untouchable family, Ambedkar spent his whole life fighting against social discrimination, the system of Chaturvarna - the Hindu categorization of human society into four varnas - and the Indian caste system. He is also credited with having sparked the Dalit Buddhist movement. Ambedkar has been honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.
Overcoming numerous social and financial obstacles, Ambedkar became one of the first "untouchables" to obtain a college education in India. Eventually earning law degrees and multiple doctorates for his study and research in law, economics and political science from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, Ambedkar returned home a famous scholar and practiced law for a few years before publishing journals advocating political rights and social freedom for India's untouchables.

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born in the British-founded town and military cantonment of Mhow in the Central Provinces (now in Madhya Pradesh). He was the 14th and last child of Ramji Maloji Sakpal and Bhimabai Murbadkar. His family was of Marathi background from the town of Ambavade in the Ratnagiri district of modern-day Maharashtra. They belonged to the Hindu Mahar caste, who were treated as untouchables and subjected to intense socio-economic discrimination. Ambedkar's ancestors had for long been in the employment of the army of the British East India Company, and his father served in the Indian Army at the Mhow cantonment. He had received a degree of formal education in Marathi and English, and encouraged his children to learn and work hard at school.
Belonging to the Kabir Panth, Ramji Sakpal encouraged his children to read the Hindu classics. He used his position in the army to lobby for his children to study at the government school, as they faced resistance owing to their caste. Although able to attend school, Ambedkar and other Untouchable children were segregated and given no attention or assistance by the teachers. They were not allowed to sit inside the class. Even if they needed to drink water somebody from a higher caste would have to pour that water from a height as they were not allowed to touch either the water or the vessel that contained it. This task was usually performed for the young Ambedkar by the school peon, and if he could not be found Ambedkar went without water.[2] Ramji Sakpal retired in 1894 and the family moved to Satara two years later. Shortly after their move, Ambedkar's mother died. The children were cared for by their paternal aunt, and lived in difficult circumstances. Only three sons - Balaram, Anandrao and Bhimrao - and two daughters - Manjula and Tulasa - of the Ambedkars would go on to survive them. Of his brothers and sisters, only Ambedkar succeeded in passing his examinations and graduating to a bigger school. His native village name was "Ambavade" in Ratnagiri District so he changed his name from "Sakpal" to "Ambedkar" with the recommendation and faith of Mahadev Ambedkar, a Deshasta Brahmin teacher who believed in him.
Ramji Sakpal remarried in 1898, and the family moved to Mumbai (then Bombay), where Ambedkar became the first untouchable student at the Government High School near Elphinstone Road. Although excelling in his studies, Ambedkar was increasingly disturbed by the segregation and discrimination that he faced. In 1907, he passed his matriculation examination and entered the University of Bombay, becoming one of the first persons of untouchable origin to enter a college in India. This success provoked celebrations in his community, and after a public ceremony he was presented with a biography of the Buddha by his teacher Krishnaji Arjun Keluskar also known as Dada Keluskar, a Maratha caste scholar. Ambedkar's marriage had been arranged the previous year as per Hindu custom, to Ramabai, a nine-year old girl from Dapoli. In 1908, he entered Elphinstone College and obtained a scholarship of twenty five rupees a month from the Gayakwad ruler of Baroda, Sahyaji Rao III for higher studies in the USA. By 1912, he obtained his degree in economics and political science, and prepared to take up employment with the Baroda state government. His wife gave birth to his first son, Yashwant, in the same year. Ambedkar had just moved his young family and started work, when he dashed back to Mumbai to see his ailing father, who died on February 2, 1913.

Fight against untouchability:
As a leading Indian scholar, Ambedkar had been invited to testify before the Southborough Committee, which was preparing the Government of India Act 1919. At this hearing, Ambedkar argued for creating separate electorates and reservations for Dalits and other religious communities. In 1920, he began the publication of the weekly Mooknayak (Leader of the Silent) in Mumbai. Attaining popularity, Ambedkar used this journal to criticize orthodox Hindu politicians and a perceived reluctance of the Indian political community to fight caste discrimination. His speech at a Depressed Classes Conference in Kolhapur impressed the local state ruler Shahu IV, who shocked orthodox society by dining with Ambekdar . Ambedkar established a successful legal practise, and also organised the Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha to promote education and socio-economic uplifting of the depressed classes. In 1926, he became a nominated member of the Bombay Legislative Council. By 1927 Dr. Ambedkar decided to launch active movements against untouchability. He began with public movements and marches to open up and share public drinking water resources, also he began a struggle for the right to enter Hindu temples. 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.
He was appointed to the Bombay Presidency Committee to work with the all-European Simon Commission in 1928. This commission had sparked great protests across India, and while its report was ignored by most Indians, Ambedkar himself wrote a separate set of recommendations for future constitutional reformers.

Poona Pact:
By now Ambedkar had become one of the most prominent untouchable political figures of the time. He had grown increasingly critical of mainstream Indian political parties for their perceived lack of emphasis for the elimination of the caste system. Ambedkar criticized the Indian National Congress and its leader Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi, whom he accused of reducing the untouchable community to a figure of pathos. Ambedkar was also dissatisfied with the failures of British rule, and advocated a political identity for untouchables separate from both the Congress and the British. At a Depressed Classes Conference on August 8, 1930 Ambedkar outlined his political vision, insisting that the safety of the Depressed Classes hinged on their being independent of the Government and the Congress both:
We must shape our course ourselves and by ourselves... Political power cannot be a panacea for the ills of the Depressed Classes. Their salvation lies in their social elevation. They must cleanse their evil habits. They must improve their bad ways of living.... They must be educated.... There is a great necessity to disturb their pathetic contentment and to instill into them that divine discontent which is the spring of all elevation.
In this speech, Ambedkar criticized the Salt Satyagraha launched by Gandhi and the Congress. Ambedkar's criticisms and political work had made him very unpopular with orthodox Hindus, as well as with many Congress politicians who had earlier condemned untouchability and worked against discrimination across India. This was largely because these "liberal" politicians usually stopped short of advocating full equality for untouchables. Ambedkar's prominence and popular support amongst the untouchable community had increased, and he was invited to attend the Second Round Table Conference in London in 1931. Here he sparred verbally with Gandhi on the question of awarding separate electorates to untouchables. A fierce opponent of separate electorates on religious and sectarian lines, Gandhi feared that separate electorates for untouchables would divide Hindu society for future generations.
When the British agreed with Ambedkar and announced the awarding of separate electorates, Gandhi began a fast-unto-death while imprisoned in the Yeravada Central Jail of Pune in 1932. Exhorting orthodox Hindu society to eliminate discrimination and untouchability, Gandhi asked for the political and social unity of Hindus. Gandhi's fast provoked great public support across India, and orthodox Hindu leaders, Congress politicians and activists such as Madan Mohan Malaviya and Palwankar Baloo organized joint meetings with Ambedkar and his supporters at Yeravada. Fearing a communal reprisal and killings of untouchables in the event of Gandhi's death, Ambedkar agreed under massive coercion from the supporters of Gandhi to drop the demand for separate electorates, and settled for a reservation of seats, which although in the end achieved more representation for the untouchables, resulted in the loss of separate electorates that was promised through the British Communal Award prior to Ambedkars meeting with Gandhi which would end his fast. Ambedkar was later to criticise this fast of Gandhi's as a gimmick to deny political rights to the untouchables and increase the coercion he had faced to give up the demand for separate electorates.

Political career:
In 1935, Ambedkar was appointed principal of the Government Law College, a position he held for two years. Settling in Mumbai, Ambedkar oversaw the construction of a large house, and stocked his personal library with more than 50,000 books. His wife Ramabai died after a long illness in the same year. It had been her long-standing wish to go on a pilgrimage to Pandharpur, but Ambedkar had refused to let her go, telling her that he would create a new Pandharpur for her instead of Hinduism's Pandharpur which treated them as untouchables. His own views and attitudes had hardened against orthodox Hindus, despite a significant increase in momentum across India for the fight against untouchability. and he began criticizing them even as he was criticized himself by large numbers of Hindu activists. Speaking at the Yeola Conversion Conference on October 13 near Nasik, Ambedkar announced his intention to convert to a different religion and exhorted his followers to leave Hinduism. He would repeat his message at numerous public meetings across India.

In 1936, Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour Party, which won 15 seats in the 1937 elections to the Central Legislative Assembly. He published his book The Annihilation of Caste in the same year, based on the thesis he had written in New York. Attaining immense popular success, Ambedkar's work strongly criticized Hindu religious leaders and the caste system in general. He protested the Congress decision to call the untouchable community Harijans (Children of God), a name coined by Gandhi. Ambedkar served on the Defence Advisory Committee and the Viceroy's Executive Council as minister for labour.
Between 1941 and 1945, he published a large number of highly controversial books and pamphlets, including Thoughts on Pakistan, in which he criticized the Muslim League's demand for a separate Muslim state of Pakistan. With What Congress and Gandhi Have Done to the Untouchables, Ambedkar intensified his attacks on Gandhi and the Congress, charging them with hypocrisy. In his work Who Were the Shudras?, Ambedkar attempted to explain the formation of the Shudras i.e. the lowest caste in hierarchy of Hindu caste system. He also emphasised how Shudras are separate from Untouchables. Ambedkar oversaw the transformation of his political party into the All India Scheduled Castes Federation, although it performed poorly in the elections held in 1946 for the Constituent Assembly of India. In writing a sequel to Who Were the Shudras? in 1948, Ambedkar lambasted Hinduism in the The Untouchables: A Thesis on the Origins of Untouchability:

Architect of India's constitution:
Upon India's independence on August 15, 1947, the new Congress-led government invited Ambedkar to serve as the nation's first law minister, which he accepted. On August 29, Ambedkar was appointed chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, charged by the Assembly to write free India's new Constitution. Ambedkar won great praise from his colleagues and contemporary observers for his drafting work. In this task Ambedkar's study of sangha practice among early Buddhists and his extensive reading in Buddhist scriptures was to come to his aid. Sangha practice incorporated voting by ballot, rules of debate and precedence and the use of agendas, committees and proposals to conduct business. Sangha practice itself was modelled on the oligarchic system of governance followed by tribal republics of ancient India such as the Shakyas and the Lichchavis. Thus, although Ambedkar used Western models to give his Constitution shape, its spirit was Indian and, indeed, tribal.
The text prepared by Ambedkar provided constitutional guarantees and protections for a wide range of civil liberties for individual citizens, including freedom of religion, the abolition of untouchability and the outlawing of all forms of discrimination Ambedkar argued for extensive economic and social rights for women, and also won the Assembly's support for introducing a system of reservations of jobs in the civil services, schools and colleges for members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, a system akin to affirmative action. India's lawmakers hoped to eradicate the socio-economic inequalities and lack of opportunities for India's depressed classes through this measure, which had been originally envisioned as temporary on a need basis. The Constitution was adopted on November 26, 1949 by the Constituent Assembly. Speaking after the completion of his work, Ambedkar said:
Ambedkar resigned from the cabinet in 1951 following the stalling in parliament of his draft of the Hindu Code Bill, which sought to expound gender equality in the laws of inheritance, marriage and the economy. Although supported by Prime Minister Nehru, the cabinet and many other Congress leaders, it received criticism from a large number of members of parliament. Ambedkar independently contested an election in 1952 to the lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha but was defeated. He was appointed to the upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha in March 1952 and would remain a member until his death.

Conversion to Buddhism:
In the 1950s, Ambedkar turned his attention to Buddhism and travelled to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) to attend a convention of Buddhist scholars and monks. While dedicating a new Buddhist vihara near Pune, Ambedkar announced that he was writing a book on Buddhism, and that as soon as it was finished, he planned to make a formal conversion to Buddhism. Ambedkar twice visited Burma in 1954; the second time in order to attend the third conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in Rangoon. In 1955, he founded the Bharatiya Bauddha Mahasabha, or the Buddhist Society of India. He completed his final work, The Buddha and His Dhamma, in 1956. It was published posthumously.
After meetings with the Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Hammalawa Saddhatissa, Ambedkar organised a formal public ceremony for himself and his supporters in Nagpur on October 14, 1956. Accepting the Three Refuges and Five Precepts from a Buddhist monk in the traditional manner, Ambedkar completed his own conversion. He then proceeded to convert an estimated 500,000 of his supporters who were gathered around him. Taking the 22 Vows, Ambedkar and his supporters explicitly condemned and rejected Hinduism and Hindu philosophy. He then traveled to Kathmandu in Nepal to attend the Fourth World Buddhist Conference. He completed his final manuscript, The Buddha or Karl Marx on December 2, 1956.

Death / Mahanirvana:
Since 1948, Ambedkar had been suffering from diabetes. He was bed-ridden from June to October in 1954 owing to clinical depression and failing eyesight.[7] He had been increasingly embittered by political issues, which took a toll on his health. His health worsened as he furiously worked through 1955. Just three days after completing his final manuscript The Buddha and His Dhamma, it is said that Ambedkar died in his sleep on December 6, 1956 at his home in Delhi.
Since the Caste hindus denied the cremation at Dadar crematorium, A Buddhist-style cremation was organised for him at Chowpatty beach on December 7, attended by hundreds of thousands of supporters, activists and admirers.
Ambedkar was survived by his second wife Savita Ambedkar, born as a caste Brahmin and converted to Buddhism with him. His wife's name before marriage was Sharda Kabir. Savita Ambedkar died as a Buddhist in 2002. Ambedkar's grandson, Prakash Yaswant Ambedkar leads the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangha and has served in both houses of the Indian Parliament.
A number of unfinished typescripts and handwritten drafts were found among Ambedkar's notes and papers and gradually made available. Among these were Waiting for a Visa, which probably dates from 1935-36 and is an autobiographical work, and the Untouchables, or the Children of India's Ghetto, which refers to the census of 1951. A memorial for Ambedkar was established in his Delhi house at 26 Alipur Road. His birthdate is celebrated as a public holiday known as Ambedkar Jayanti. He was posthumously awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1990. Many public institutions are named in his honour, such as the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, B. R. Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, the other being Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur, which was otherwise known as Sonegaon Airport. A large official portrait of Ambedkar is on display in the Indian Parliament building.
On the anniversary of his birth (14 April) and death (6 December) and on Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din, 14th Oct at Nagpur, at least half a million people gather to pay homage to him at his memorial in Mumbai. Thousands of bookshops are set up, and books are sold.
His message to his followers was " Educate!!!, Organize!!!, Agitate!!!".


Vidya Subrahmaniam, Press Release
That today sections of upper castes seem to prefer the BSP to the BJP speaks to the long distance travelled by Mayawati's party.
FOR THE past month, medical students in the Capital have been protesting the "quota issue" with brooms and mops in their hands - in a crude symbolism against the Scheduled Castes. Were they to travel to Uttar Pradesh, they would discover how much behind the times they are. In her book, " Mere sangharshmai jeevan evam bahujan movement ka safarnama " (My struggle-filled life and the journey of bahujan movement), Mayawati explains how she reached out to Brahmins (and later other upper castes) and how the latter, in trickles to begin with but gradually in greater numbers, began to respond. The first step was to tap the more socially committed among Brahmins and through them appeal to the larger community. But lest this should be understood as a dilution of the Bahujan Samaj Party's opposition to "manuwad", there was a caveat. The BSP needed Brahmins - and other forward castes - to come over but on its terms. Those who responded, Ms. Mayawati let it be known, would be amply rewarded, by way of the party ticket, Rajya Sabha nominations, and ministerial berths.
The BSP chief's earliest breakthrough was the induction of Satish Chandra Misra, Advocate General in the BSP Government, who agreed to canvass support among like-minded Brahmins. Mr. Misra's positive feedback led to the appointment of coordinators tasked with organising district-level Brahmin mahasammelans (Brahmin congregations). The job was not easy. Forward castes in the north were not only more sizeable compared to the south, caste barriers were more entrenched in the absence of an enlightened social movement. The BSP itself was deeply resented for its strident anti-manuwadi campaign.
But mission "Brahmin jodo" (integrate Brahmins) was the worth the time and effort, and on June 9, 2005, Ms. Mayawati addressed the BSP's first State-level Brahmin mahasammelan. "It is not by chance that you have turned up here in such large numbers here," the BSP chief told the gathering. Her repeated assurance: the BSP was against "manuwad", or the Brahminical disdain for lower castes, but it was not against Brahmins. Therefore, any fear of a reverse discrimination in the BSP was unfounded. The Brahmin mahasammelan spawned other mahasammelans - of Rajputs, Vaishyas, and Yadavas, representing forward and backward castes. Each was an attempt to add another community to the BSP's Dalit core vote.
The enormity of the BSP's forward caste project is best understood in terms of the BSP-BJP relationship. Each time the BSP aligned with the BJP, the former gained and the latter lost. Between 1991 and 2004, the BJP's Lok Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh declined from 51 of 84 seats to 10 of 80 seats. Between 1991 and 2002, its Assembly seats declined from 221 of 425 seats to 88 of 403 seats. In the same period, the BSP's Lok Sabha tally went up from just one to 19 and its Assembly seats from 12 to 98. There seemed but one explanation for this dramatic reversal: the BJP's core voters were disillusioned by its repeated pacts with the forward caste-baiting BSP. That the same segments, or even a section of them, could prefer the BSP to the BJP speaks to the amazing journey of a party that targeted, and was in turn targeted by, forward castes. As Sudhir Goyal, national spokesperson of the BSP puts it: "The transformation is a measure of our confidence. It is from a position of strength that we are talking to upper castes."
So, how do the BSP's Dalit workers react to the co-option of the "manuwadi" castes? With stoic acceptance: "Our fight is with the system. This is the only way the BSP can capture power on its own." Undoubtedly, this is the voice of a deeply committed cadre. On the outside, the BSP is all about Ms. Mayawati, with the media obsessively focussing on her clothes, jewellery, and "imperious" manner. On the ground, the BSP could be a cult instead of a party, with the cadre doggedly and silently propagating the party's ideology in the remotest villages. The commonest refrain among workers is " hum marne mitne ke liye taiyar hain " (we are ready to die for the party). For Salim Ansari and Raj Vijay, former and current presidents of the party's Mau unit, the BSP is a mission where the poorest workers give up bidis and paan to raise funds. The election drill is rigorous and starts early, with party candidates chosen almost two years in advance and put on test. Each constituency is divided into 25 sectors with ten polling booths to a sector. Each booth, accounting roughly for 1000 voters, is under the care of a nine-member committee, headed by a president and with at least one woman member deputed to motivate and mobilise women voters.
Says Mr. Ansari, " Behenji 's one message is: do not sleep. And we do not. The booth committees have a single goal - to ensure the maximum turnout of our voters. Each member has a specific duty, and we have already had rehearsals for what to do on voting day [eight months away]." So has the BSP really put together an unbeatable Dalit-forward caste-most backward caste combination? The many caste mahasammelans and the systematic targeting of the smaller caste groups - Chauhan, Rajbar, Malla, Maurya to name a few - would suggest so. Say BSP workers Ashok Kumkar and M.S. Chauhan: "As important as the Brahmin mahasammelans are the many more unpublicised efforts directed at the smaller castes."
Yet the experiment is not without its pitfalls. For instance, the pro-Mayawati mood, so visible among Allahabad forward castes, seemed driven less by a genuine change of heart towards the BSP than by the immediate imperative of removing Mulayam Singh. The language bordered on communal, with Mr. Mulayam Singh accused of "pandering to Muslims" and "protecting Muslims bullies." This leads to the question: Is forward caste support for the BSP merely opportunistic, with the BSP temporarily substituting for the BJP?
As important is a second question: Has the BSP been able to break traditional barriers in the villages? This writer travelled into the villages of Mau with a band of BSP workers. The Dalit villagers were easily identified by their enthusiasm and shouts of "Jai Bhim" (for Bhim Rao Ambedkar). The fervours made it impossible to tell between voters and workers. Both spoke of "working to the last breath " for the BSP and behenji . Bright-eyed Ranjana from Nausopur village typified this mix. "There is a BSP wave. The Brahmins are voting the haathi (elephant)," she gushed, even as she insisted on accompanying us to forward caste homes to "witness the revolution."
Ashok Kumar, the village pradhan, was emphatic that Brahmins would vote the BSP: " I have complete respect for Maywati as an administrator. She was tough on criminals and that is what we need now." Banke Bihari, another Brahmin, voted the BJP in 2002 and wants to give the BSP a try: "I would like to believe that she has changed." But were forward castes not jailed and harassed by previous BSP regimes? "Those who ought to be jailed, ought to be jailed." Ram Ashish Tiwari was bitter about the BJP's forgotten Ram mandir and the "Jinnah betrayal." "I do not know if I will vote the BSP. But I am not voting the BJP."
Yet attitudinal mindsets are not so easily demolished. At Umapur, our group ran into the openly hostile Rajnath Tiwari and his son. Said Mr. Tiwari: "The Ram mandir will be built and we will vote the BJP as long as we live." But were Brahmins not turning to the BSP? The son's hands flew to his ears, his disgust apparent, his words a torrent of abuse: "Ram, Ram, what are you saying? The BSP and us?" The effect was instantaneous. "Don't you dare," began Ranjana only to stop abruptly, her eyes misty, her fists clenched tightly. It was evident that she was holding herself back. Did she not want to retaliate? "I do but we have a larger goal. We have to win."
That the BSP has gained phenomenally on the ground is clear. But U.P. is a complex State where every day brings a new challenge. In the villages, each major caste has its own political party and the numbers can only increase as election day draws near. The Samajwadi Party's Muslim base is under threat from a new, more strident Muslim party. This could benefit the BSP or it could breathe life into the BJP. If the Congress revival is better than currently anticipated, it could affect forward caste movement towards the BSP. On the other hand, should the anti-quota forward caste anger spread to U.P. - currently reservation is a non-issue here - the Congress will be affected the most.

Aims and Objectives

The chief aim and objective of the party shall be to work as a revolutionary social and economic movement of change with a view to realise, in practical terms, the supreme principles of universal justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enunciated in the Constitution of India, to be followed by State in governance, and in particular summed up in the following extract from the Preamble of the Constitution.
We, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
Justice, social, economic and political;
Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
Equality of status and opportunity; and promote among them all
Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;"
The Party shall regard its ideology as a movement for ending exploitation of the weaker sections and suppression of the deprived through social and economic change in keeping with the above stated chief aim, and its political activity and participation in governance as an instrument of furthering such a movement and bringing in such a change.
This being the chief aim of the Party, the strategy of the Party in public affairs will be governed by the following general principles:­
1. That all citizens of India being equal before law are entitled to be treated as equal in true sense and in all matters and all walks of life, and where equality does not exist it has to be fostered and where equality is denied it has to be upheld and fought for.
2. That the full, free, uninhibited and unimpeded development of each individual is a basic human right and State is an instrument for promoting and realising such development;
3. That the rights of all citizens of India as enshrined in the Constitution of India and subject to such restrictions as are set out in the Constitution, have to be upheld at all costs and under all circumstances;
4. That the provisions of the Constitution requiring the State at Center and in States to promote with special care and protect the socio-economic interests of the weaker sections of the society denied to them for centuries, have to upheld and given practical shape in public affairs as a matter of prime most priority.
5. That economic disparities and the wide gaps between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' must not be allowed to override the political principle of "one man, one vote, one vote, one value" adopted by our republic.
6. That unless political empowerment is secured for the economically deprived masses they will not be able to free themselves from the shackles of economic and social dependence and exploitation.
In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the aims stated above the Party will work specially towards the following objectives:­
1. The Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the other Backward Castes, and the minorities, are the most oppressed and exploited people in India. Keeping in mind their large numbers, such a set of people in India is known as the Bahujan Samaj. The Party shall organise these masses.
2. The party shall work for these down trodden masses to­-
a. to remove their backwardness;
b. to fight against their oppression and exploitation;
c. to improve their status in society and public life;
d. to improve their living conditions in day to day life; 
2. The social structure of India is based on inequalities created by caste system and the movement of the Party shall be geared towards changing the social system and rebuild it on the basis of equality and human values. All those who join the party with the commitment to co-operate in this movement of social change shall be ingratiated into the fold of the Party.
Towards the furtherance of the above noted aims and objectives the organisational units of Party as designated in this constitution, shall be empowered to:-
1. purchase, take on lease or otherwise acquire, and maintain, moveable or immovable property for the Party and invest and deal with monies of Party in such a manner as may from time to time be determined;
2. raise money with or without security for carrying out any of the aims and objectives of the Party;
3. to do all other lawful things and acts as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of any of the aforesaid aims and objectives,
Provided that none of these activities will be undertaken without the express approval of the National President.