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Mahaparinirvan Diwas: Why is it celebrated?

Dec 06, 2022

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Upgrade your UPSC CSE preparation with our today’s edition of Current Affairs where we will talk about Mahaparinirvan Diwas and why is it celebrated. The relevance of today’s topic to the IAS syllabus is mentioned below.

For Prelims: Indian National Movement

Mahaparinirvan Diwas, Lord Gautam Buddha, Dr. B R Ambedkar, Bhim Jayanti, Manusmriti Dahan Din, Communal Award, 1932, Poona Pact, 1932.

For Mains: GS Paper I-Important contributors of Freedom Struggle

About Mahaparinirvan Diwas, About Dr. B R Ambedkar, Popular Events in Ambedkar’s life, Literature by DR. B R Ambedkar.

Context

Recently the Indian Prime Minister paid homage to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on his 66th Mahaparinirvan Diwas and recalled his exemplary service to our nation.

Probable Question

Elucidate the contributions of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar in Indian Freedom Struggle. (150 words, 10 marks)

About Mahaparinirvan Diwas

  • ‘Parinirvan’ can be translated as ‘nirvan’ after death, or freedom from the cycles of life and death. 
  • Parinirvan is regarded as one of the major principles of Buddhism.
  • Mahaparinirvan is originally considered the death of Lord Gautam Buddha, as suggested in  Mahaparinibbana Sutta, a Buddhist text.
  • Dr. Ambedkar breathed his last on December 6, 1956, less than two months after he had converted to Buddhism, fulfilling his declaration of “I will not die a Hindu”.
  • December 6 is observed as the Mahaparinirvan Diwas, or the death anniversary, of Dr. BR Ambedkar, the Father of the Indian Constitution. 

About Dr. B R Ambedkar

  • Birth: 
    • Dr. Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891, in Mhow (in present-day Madhya Pradesh), officially known as Ambedkar Nagar.
    • The day is also known as ‘Bhim Jayanti’.
  • Education:
    • Bhimrao was the only untouchable who got enrolled in the Elphinstone High School, in Bombay in 1897.
    • For his further education he was awarded a scholarship by Sayajirao Gaekwad III (Gaekwad of Baroda) for his post-graduation in Columbia.
  • Recognition: 
    • He is regarded as the Architect of the Indian Constitution’ or the ‘Father of the  Indian Constitution’.
    • He is also known as the father of modern India.
    • He is also referred to as ‘Babasaheb’.
    • His capabilities provided him the opportunity to be the Law and Justice Minister in the first cabinet of Jawahar Lal Nehru.
    • His followers used the salutation ‘Jai Bhim’ to honor him.

Popular Events in Ambedkar’s Life

  • Encountering Buddhism: Ambedkar’s encounter with Buddhism, in a public ceremony, where he was gifted a biography of the Buddha by Dada Keluskar, the author and a family friend.
  • Manusmriti Dahan Din (Manusmriti Burning Day): Manusmriti is a Hindu text that justifies caste discrimination and "untouchability", thus it was burnt by Babasaheb along with his followers on 25 December 1927.
  • Communal Award, 1932: The efforts of Ambedkar recognize by the British colonial government, by announcing the formation of a separate electorate for "Depressed Classes"
  • Poona Pact, 1932: It was between Mahatma Gandhi and Ambedkar, giving 148 seats to the depressed class in the legislature.
  • Chairman of Drafting Committee: Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar was the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. He headed the drafting Committee.
  • Finance Commission of India: It was established by Ambedkar in 1951.
  • Dalit Buddhist Movement: It was in 1956, a socio-political movement. The movement later got converted to ‘Navayana Buddhism’ or ‘Neo-Buddhism’, a re-interpretation of Buddhism.
  • Establishment of RBI: The ideas that Ambedkar presented to the Hilton Young Commission, is credited for the establishment of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • Bharat Ratna: It was awarded to him posthumously in 1990.

Watch this video by Atul Garg sir, if you struggle to focus while studying:

https://youtu.be/rSlcadZ6A4Y

Literature by DR B R Ambedkar

  • Waiting for a Visa: It is his autobiography.
  • Mooknayak (Leader of the Silent): The weekly magazine by Ambedkar with the help of Shahu of Kolhapur, that is, Shahu IV (1874–1922).
  • Bahishkrit Bharat: Periodicals in defense of Dalits.
  • Equality Janta: Another Periodical that defends Dalits.
  • Problem of the rupee, its origin, and its solution: The work along with Administration and Finance of the East India Company and The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India is on economics, depicting Ambedkar’s command on the subject.
  • Annihilation of Caste: The book criticized the caste system.
  • Who Were the Shudras: The text is an attempt to explain the formation of untouchables.
  • The Buddha and His Dhamma: This is his final book in 1956, which was published posthumously.
Additional Information:

Dr. Ambedkar’s father’s surname was Sakpal, but his surname ‘Ambedkar’ was given to him in Ambedkar’s school records by one of his Brahmin Marathi teachers, who were so fond of him. 

Ambedkar initially wanted to convert to Sikhism, but after his encounter with various Sikh leaders, he concluded that he would be treated as a second-rate Sikh.Ambedkar also participated in all three round-table conferences (1930-1032).

The Buddha or Karl Marx and Revolution and counter-revolution in ancient India, these texts of Ambedkar remained incomplete.

News Source: The Indian Express, PIB

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-culture/mahaparinirvan-diwas-ambedkar-buddhism-marxism-8307875/

https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1881072 

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