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Writings & Speeches

22 Vows

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar prescribed 22 vows to his followers during the historic religious conversion to Buddhism on 15 October 1956 at Deeksha Bhoomi, Nagpur in India. The conversion to Buddhism by 800,000 people was historic because it was the largest religious conversion, the world has ever witnessed. He prescribed these oaths so that there may be complete severance of bond with Hinduism. These 22 vows struck a blow at the roots of Hindu beliefs and practices. The famous 22 vows are:

  1. I shall have no faith in Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh nor shall I worship them.
  2. I shall have no faith in Rama and Krishna who are believed to be incarnation of God nor shall I worship them.
  3. I shall have no faith in ‘Gauri’, Ganapati and other gods and goddesses of Hindus nor shall I worship them.
  4. I do not believe in the incarnation of God.
  5. I do not and shall not believe that Lord Buddha was the incarnation of Vishnu. I believe this to be sheer madness and false propaganda.
  6. I shall not perform ‘Shraddha’ nor shall I give ‘pind-dan’.
  7. I shall not act in a manner violating the principles and teachings of the Buddha.
  8. I shall not allow any ceremonies to be performed by Brahmins.
  9. I shall believe in the equality of man.
  10. I shall endeavour to establish equality.
  11. I shall follow the ‘noble eightfold path’ of the Buddha.
  12. I shall follow the ‘paramitas’ prescribed by the Buddha.
  13. I shall have compassion and loving kindness for all living beings and protect them.
  14. I shall not steal.
  15. I shall not tell lies.
  16. I shall not commit carnal sins.
  17. I shall not take intoxicants like liquor, drugs etc.
  18. I shall endeavour to follow the noble eightfold path and practise compassion and loving kindness in every day life.
  19. I renounce Hinduism which is harmful for humanity and impedes the advancement and development of humanity because it is based on inequality, and adopt Buddhism as my religion.
  20. I firmly believe the Dhamma of the Buddha is the only true religion.
  21. I believe that I am having a re-birth.
  22. I solemnly declare and affirm that I shall hereafter lead my life according to the principles and teachings of the Buddha and his Dhamma.


Important Events

1891, Apr 14: Born at Mahu (Madhya Pradesh), the fourteenth child of Subhedar Ramji Sapkal and Mrs Bhimabai Ambedkar. 

1900, Nov: Entered the Government High School at Satara. 

1904: Entered the Elphinstone High School at Bombay. 

1913: Passed B.A Examination with Persian and English from University of Bombay 

1913, July: Gaikwar’s Scholar in the Columbia University, New York, reading in the Faculty of Political Science.

1915, June 5: Passed M.A. Examination majoring in Economics and with Sociology, History Philosophy, Anthropology and Politics as the other subjects of study. 1916, May: Read a paper on The Castes in India’ before Prof. Goldernweiser’s Anthropology Seminar. The paper was later published in The Indian Antiquary in May 

1916, June: Left Colombia University after completing work for the Ph.D, to join the London School of Economics and Political Science, London as a graduate student. 1917. It was also republished in the form of a brochure, the first published work of Dr Ambedkar. Wrote a Thesis entitled ‘The National Divident of India – A Historical and Analytical Study’ for the Ph.D Degree. 1917: Columbia University conferred a Degree of Ph.D. 

1917, June: Return to India after spending a year in London working on the thesis for the M.Sc. (Econ) Degree. The return before completion of the work was necessitated by the termination the scholarship granted by the Baroda State. 1917, July: Published “Small Holdings in India and Their Remedies”.

1918 Gave evidence before the Southborough Commission on Franchise. Attended the Conference of the depressed Classes held at Nagpur. 

1918, Nov Professor of Political Economy in the Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics, Bombay. 

1920, Jan 31 Started a Marathi Weekly paper Mooknayak to champion the cause of the depressed classes. Shri Nandram Bhatkar was the editor, later Shri Dyander Gholap was the editor. 

1920, Mar 21 Attended depressed classes Conference held under the presidency of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj at Kolhapur. 1920, Mar Resigned professorship at Sydenham College to resume his studies in London. 

1920, May Memorable speech in Nagpur, criticised Karmaveer Shinde and Depressed Classes Mission. 1920, Sept Rejoined the London School of Economics. Also entered Gray’s Inn to read for the Bar. 

1921, June The thesis ‘Provincial Decentralisation of Imperial Finance in British India’ was accepted for M.Sc. (Econ) Degree by the London University. 1922-23 Spent some time in reading economics in the University of Bonn in Germany. 

1923, Mar The Thesis ‘The Problem of the Rupee – Its origin and its solution’ was accepted for the degree of D.Sc. (Econ.). The thesis was published in December 1923 by P S King & Company, London. Reissued by Thacker & Company, Bombay in May 1947 under the title History of Indian Currency and Banking Vol. 1. 1923 Called to the Bar. 

1923, Apr Returned to India. 1924, June Started practice in the Bombay High Court. 1924, July 20 Founded the ‘Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha’ for the uplift of the depressed classes. The aims of the Sabha were educate, agitate, organise. 

1925, Published ‘The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India’ – dissertation on the provincial decentralisation of Imperial Finance in India’.Opened a hostel for Untouchable students at Barshi. 

1926, Gave evidence before the Royal Commission on Indian Currency (Hilton Young Commisssion).Nominated Member of the Bombay Legislative Council. 

1927, Mar 20 Started Satyagraha at Mahad (Dist Kolaba) to secure to the untouchables the Right of access to the Chavdar Tank. 

1927, Apr 3 Started a fortnightly Marathi paper Bahiskrit Bharat Dr Ambedkar himself was the editor. 

1927, Sept Established ‘Samaj Samata Sangh’. 1927, Dec Second Conference in Mahad. 

1928, Mar Introduced the “Vatan Bill” in the Bombay Legislative Council. 

1928, May Gave evidence before the Indian Statutory Committee (Simon Commission). 

1928, June Professor. Government Law College Bombay.Principal. Government Law College Bombay. 

1928-29 Member. Bombay Presidency Committee of the Simon Committee. 

1930, Mar Satyagraha at Kalram Temple. Nasik to secure for the Untouchables the right of entry into the temple. 

1930-32 Delegate. Round Table Conference representing Untouchables of India. 

1932, Sept Signed with Mr. M.K. Gandhi the Poona Pact giving up, to save Gandhi’s life. separate electorates granted to the Depressed Classes by Ramsay MacDonald’s Communal Award, and accepting, instead representation through joint electorates. 

1932-34 Member joint Parliamentary Committee on the Indian Constitutional Reform. 

1934 Left Parel, Damodar Hall and came to stay in ‘Rajagriha’ Dadar (Bombay). This was done in order to get more accommodation for his library which was increasing day by day. 

1935, May 26 Death of wife. Mrs. Ramabai Ambedkar. 

1935, June Dr. Ambedkar was appointed as Principal of Government Law College, Bombay. He was also appointed Perry Professor of Jurisprudence. Oct 13 Historical Yeola Conversion Conference held under the Presidentship of Dr. Ambedkar at Yeola Dist., Nasik. He exhorted the Depressed Classes to leave Hinduism and embrace another religion. He declared: ‘I was born as a Hindu but I will not die as a Hindu’. He also advisedhis followers to abandon the Kalaram Mandi entry Satyagriha, Nasik. Dec Dr. Ambedkar was invited by the Jat Pat Todak Mandal of Lahore to preside over the Conference. Dr.Ambedkar prepared his historical speech. The Annihilation of Caste’. The conference was cancelled by the Mandal on the ground that Dr.Ambedkar’s thoughts were revolutionary. Finally, Dr. Ambedkar refused to preside and published his speech in book form in1937. 

1936, Jan 12-13 The Depressed Classes Conference was held at Pune.Dr. Ambedkar reiterated his resolve of the Yeola Conference to leave Hinduism. The conference was presided over by Rav Bahadur N. Shina Raj. Feb 29 Dr. Ambedkar’s Conversion Resolution was supported by the Chambars (Cobblers) of East Khandesh. May 30 Bombay Presidency Conversion Conference (Mumbai Elaka Mahar Panshad) of Mahars was held at Naigaum (Dadar) to sound their opinion on the issue of Conversion. Mr. Subha Rao, popularly known as Hydrabadi Ambedkar, presided over the Conference. In the morning the Ascetics shaved their beards, moustaches and destroyed their symbols of Hinduism in an Ascetic’s Conference. June 15 Conference of Devadasis was held m Bombay to support Dr. Ambedkar’s Resolution of Conversion. June 18 Dr. Ambedkar-Dr. Moonje talks on conversion. Pro Sikkhism. June 23 Matang Parishad in support of Conversion. Aug Dr. Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour Party, a strong opposition party in Bombay’s Legislative Council. Sept 18 Dr.Ambedkar sent a delegation of 13 members to the Golden Temple Amritsar to study Sikkhism. Nov 11 Dr.Ambedkar left for Geneva and London. 

1937 Dr.Ambedkar organised the ‘Municipal Workers’ Union’ Bombay in 1937. Jan 14 Dr. Ambedkar returned to Bombay. Feb 17 The First General Elections were held under the Govt. of India Act of 1935. Dr. Ambedkar was elected Member of Bombay Legislative Assembly (Total Seats 175. Reserved Seats 15. Dr. Ambedkar’s Independent Labour Party won 17 seats.) Mar 17 The Mahad Chowdar Tank case was decided in favour of D.C. by which they got a legal right to use the public wells and tanks. July31 Dr. Ambedkar received a grand reception at Chalisgaon Railway station. Sept 17 Dr. Ambedkar introduced his Bill to abolish the Mahar Watan in the Assembly Dec31 Reception at Pandhapur on the way to Solapur, where he was going to preside over the Solapur District D.C’. Conference. 1938, Jan 4 Reception given by the Solapur Municipal Council. 

1938, Jan The Congress Party introduced a Bill making a change in the name of Untouchables. i.e. they would be called Harijans meaning sons of God. Dr. Ambedkar criticised the Bill. as in his opinion the change of name would make no real change in their conditions. Dr. Ambedkar and Bhaurav Gaikwad protested against the use of the term Harijans in legal matters. When the ruling party by sheer force of numbers defeated the I.L.P., the Labour-Party group walked out of the Assembly in protest under the leadership of Dr. Ambedkar. He organised peasants march on Bombay Assembly. The peasants demanded the passing of Dr. Ambedkar’s Bill for abolition of the Khoti system.

1938, Jan 23 Dr. Ambedkar addressed a Peasants’ Conference at Ahmedabad. 1938, Feb 12-13 Dr. Ambedkar addressed a historical Conference of Railway workers at Manmad (Dist. Nasik). 

1938, Apr Dr. Ambedkar opposed creation of a separate Karnataka State in the national interest. 

1938, May Dr. Ambedkar resigned from the Principal-ship of the Government Law College, Bombay. 

1938, May 13-21 Dr. Ambedkar went on tour of Konkan Region. He also went to Nagpur in connection with a court case. 

1938, Aug A meeting was held at R.M. Bhat High School, Bombay for exposing Gandhiji’s attitude in disallowing a D.C. man being taken into the Central Ministry. 1938, Sept Dr. Ambedkar spoke on the Industrial Disputes Bill in the Bombay Assembly. He bitterly opposed it for its attempt to outlaw the right of workers to strike. He said: If Congressmen believe that Swaraj is their birth-right, then the right to strike is the birth-right of workers. 

1938, Oct 1 Dr. Ambedkar addressed a large gathering at Bawala, near Ahmedabad. On return he addressed another meeting at Premabhai Hall, Ahmedabad. 1938, Nov 6 The Industrial Workers strike. The procession (under the leadership of Dr. Ambedkar, Nirnkar, Dange, Pasulkar etc) was organised from Kamgar Maidan to Jambori Maidan, Worli. Dr.Ambedkar toured the workers areas with Jamvadas Mehta. 

1938, Nov 10 Dr. Ambedkar moved a Resolution for adoption of the methods for birth-control in the Bombay Assembly. 1938, Dec Dr. Ambedkar addressed the first D.C. Conference in Nizam’s dominion at Mahad. 

1939, Jan 18 Dr. Ambedkar addressed a large gathering at Rajkot Jan 19 Ambedkar-Gandhi talks. Jan 29 Kale Memorial Lecture of Gorkhale School of Politics and Economics, Poona reviewing critically the All India Federation Scheme set out in the Govt. of India Act of 1935. The speech was issued in March 1939 as a tract for the times under the title ‘Federation v/s Freedom’. July Dr. Ambedkar addressed a meeting organised for Rohidas Vidya Committee. Oct Dr.Ambedkar-Nehru first meeting. Dec The Conference at Haregaon was held under the Presidentship of Dr.Ambedkar to voice the grievances of Mahar and Mahar Watandass 1940, May Dr. Ambedkar founded the ‘Mahar Panchayat’. 

1940, July 22 Netaji Subash Chandra Bose met Dr. Ambedkar in Bombay. 

1940, Dec Dr. Ambedkar published his Thoughts on Pakistan. The second edition with the title Pakistan or Partition of India was issued in February 1945. A third impression of the book was published in 1946 under the title India’s Political What’s What: Pakistan or Partition of India. 

1941, Jan Dr.Ambedkar pursued the issue of recruitment of Mahars in the Army. In result the Mahars Battallion was formed 1941, May 25 Mahar Dynast Panchayat Samiti was Formed by Dr. Ambedkar. 

1941, July Dr.Ambedkar was appointed to sit on the Defence Advisory Committee. 

1941, Aug The Conference was held at Sinnar in protest of tax on Mahar Watams. Dr.Ambedkar launched a no-tax campaign. He saw the Governor. Finally, the tax was abolished. The Mumbai Elaka Conference of Mahars, Mangs and Derdasis were organised under the Chairmanship of Dr.Ambedkar 

1942, Apr Dr. Ambedkar founded the All India Scheduled Castes Federation in Nagpur. 

1942, July 18 Dr. Ambedkar addressed All India D.C. Conference at Nagpur. 

1942, July 20 Dr.Ambedkar joined the Viceroy’s Executive Council as a Labour Member 

1942, Dec Dr. Ambedkar submitted a paper on “The problems of the Untouchables in India” to the Institute of Pacific Relations at its Conference held in Canada. The paper is printed in the proceedings of the Conference. The paper was subsequently published in December 1943 in the book form under the title Mr Gandhi and Emancipation of the Untouchables. 

1943, Jan 19 Dr. Ambedkar delivered a Presidential address on the occasion of the 101st Birth Anniversary of Justice Mahader Govind Ranade. It is published in book form in April 1943 under the title Ranade. Gandhi and Jinnah. 

1944 Dr. Ambedkar founded “The Building Trust and the Scheduled Caste Improvement Trust”. 

1944, May 6 Dr.Ambedkar addressed the Annual Conference of the All India S.C. Federation at Parel (Bombay) The speech was later published under the title “The Communal Deadlock and a way to solve it.’ 

1944, June Dr.Ambedkar published his book What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables – a complete compendium of information regarding the movement of the Untouchables for political safeguards. Dr.Ambedkar attended the Simla Conference. 

1944, July Dr Ambedkar founded ‘People’s Education Society’ in Bombay. 1946, Dr Ambedkar gave evidence before the British delegation. 

1946, Apr Opening of Siddharth College of Arts and Science in Bombay 

1946, May The Bharat Bhushan Printing Press (founded by Dr Ambedkar) was burnt down in the clashes between D.C. and the Caste-Hindus 

1946, June 20 Siddharth College started Sept Dr Ambedkar went to London to urge before the British Government and the Opposition Party the need to provide safeguards for the D.C., on grant of Independence to India and thus to rectify the wrongs done to the D.C. by the Cabinet Mission. Oct 13 Dr Ambedkar published his book. Who were Shudras? An enquiry into how the Shudras came to be the fourth Varna in the Indo-Aryan Society.Dr Ambedkar was elected Member of the Constitution Assembly of India. Nov Dr Ambedkar’s First speech in the Constituent Assembly. He called for a ‘strong and United India’. 

1947, Mar Published ‘States and Minorities’. A memorandum of Fundamental Rights, Minority Rights, safeguards for the D.C. and on the problems of Indian states. 1947, Apr 29 Article 17 of the Constitution of India for the abolition of Untouchability was moved by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the Constituent Assembly and it was passed. 1947, Aug 15 India obtained her Independence. Dr Ambedkar was elected to the Constituent Assembly by the Bombay Legislature Congress Party. Dr Ambedkar joined Nehru’s Cabinet. He became the First Law Minister of Independent India. The Constituent Assembly appointed him to the drafting Committee, which elected him as a Chairman on 29th August 1947. 

1948, Feb Dr Ambedkar completed the Draft Constitution of Indian Republic. 1948, Apr 15 Second marriage – Dr Ambedkar married Dr Sharda Kabir in Delhi. 1948, Oct Published his book The Untouchables. A thesis on the origin of Untouchability. Dr Ambedkar submitted his Memorandum, “Maharashtra as a linguistic Province” to the Dhar Commission. The Linguistic Provinces Commission). 

1948, Oct 4 Dr.Ambedkar presented the Draft Constitution to Constituent Assembly. 

1948, Nov 20 The Constituent Assembly adopted Article 17 of the Constitution for the abolition of Untouchability. 

1949, Jan Dr Ambedkar, Law Minister of India visited Hydrabad (Deccan) 

1949, Jan 15 Dr Ambedkar was presented with a Purse at Manmad by his admirers. He addressed a large gathering. 

1949, Jan 21 He stayed at Aurangabad in connection with his opening proposed College. During the stay he visited Ajanta – Ellora Caves. 

1949, Mar/ may Dr Ambedkar visited Bombay in connection with College work and for a medical check-up. 

1949, Sept Meeting between Dr Ambedkar and Madhavrao Golvalker, Chief of RRs and the residence of Dr Ambedkar at Delhi. 

1949, Nov Dr Ambedkar came to Bombay for college work meeting and medical check-up. 

1949, Nov Dr Ambedkar addressed the Constituent Assembly. 

1949, Nov 26 Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution. Dr Ambedkar came to Bombay for check-up. 

1950, Jan 11 Dr Ambedkar addressed the Siddharth College Parliament on the Hindu Code Bill. In the evening he was presented with a silver casket containing a copy of the Indian Constitution at Nare Park Maidan, Bombay. May Dr Ambedkar’s article The Buddha and the Future His Religion’ was published in the journal of Mahabodhi Society, Calcutta. Dr.Ambedkar addressed the Young Men’s Buddhist Association on “The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women”. Dr Ambedkar spoke on the “Merits of Buddhism” at the meeting arranged on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti in Delhi. 

1950, Sept 1 Dr Rajendra Prasad, the First President of the Indian Republic laid the foundation stone of Milind Maharidyalaya, Aurangabad. Dr.Ambedkar delivered a speech on the occasion (The printed speech is available with Mr Surwade) 

1950, Dec Dr Ambedkar went to Colombo as a Delegate to the World Buddhist Conference. 

1951, Feb 5 Dr.Ambedkar, Law Minister introduced his “Hindu Code Bill” in the Parliament. 

1951, Apr 15 Dr Ambedkar laid the foundation stone of “Dr Ambedkar Bhavan”. Delhi. 

1951, July Dr Ambedkar founded “The Bhartiya Buddha Jansangh”. 

1951, Sept Dr Ambedkar compiled a Buddhist prayer book Buddha Upasana Palha 

1951, Sept 9 Dr Ambedkar resigned from the Nehru Cabinet because, among other reasons, the withdrawal of Cabinet support to the Hindu Code Bill in spite of the earlier declaration in the Parliament by the Prime Minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, that his Government would stand or fall with the Hindu Code Bill. Apart from this Nehru announced that he will sink or swim with the Hindu Code Bill.Dr Ambedkar published his speech in book form under the title The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women. 

1951, Sept 19 The marriage and divorce Bill was discussed in the Parliament. 

1951, Oct 11 Dr Ambedkar left the Cabinet. 

1952, Jan Dr Ambedkar was defeated in the First Lok Sabha elections held under the Constitution of Indian Republic. Congress candidate N. S. Kajrolkar defeated Dr Ambedkar. 

1952, Mar Dr Ambedkar was introduced into Parliament as a member of the Council (Rajya Sabha) of States, representing Bombay. 

1952, June 1 Dr Ambedkar left for New York from Bombay. 

1952, June 15 Columbia University (USA) conferred the honorary Degree of LL.D., in its Bi-Centennial Celebrations Special Convocation held in New York. 

1952, June 16 Dr Ambedkar returned to Bombay. 

1952, Dec 16 Dr Ambedkar addressed Annual Social Gathering of Elphinstone College, Bombay. 

1952, Dec 22 Dr Ambedkar delivered a talk on “Conditions Precedent to the Successful working of Democracy” at the Bar Council, Pune. 

1953, Jan 12 The Osmania University conferred the honorary Degree of LL.D on Dr Ambedkar. 

1953, Mar The Untouchability (offences) Bill was introduced in the Parliament by the Nehru Government. 

1953, Apr Dr Ambedkar contested the By-Election for Lok Sabha from Bhandara Constituency of Vidarbha Region but was defeated Congress Candidate Mr Borkar. 

1953, May Opening of Siddharth College of Commerce and Economics in Bombay. 

1953, Dec Dr Ambedkar inaugurated the All India Conference of Sai devotees at the St. X’avier’s Maidan Parel Bombay (His inaugural speech is available with Mr Surwade) 

1954, May Dr Ambedkar visited Rangoon to attend the function arranged on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti. 

1954, June The Maharaja of Mysore donated 5 acres of land for Dr Ambedkar’s proposed Buddhist Seminary to be started at Bangalore 

1954, Sept 16 Dr Ambedkar spoke on the Untouchability (Offences) Bill in the Rajya Sabha 

1954, Oct 3 dj- ambedkar broadcast his talk “My Personal Philosophy” 

1954, Oct 29 Shri R. D. Bhandare, President of Bombay Pradesh S.C. Federation presented a purse of Rs 118,000 on behalf of S.C.F. to Dr Ambedkar at Purandare Stadium, Naigaum (Bombay) 

1954, Dec Dr Ambedkar participated as delegate to the 3rd World Buddhist Conference at Rangoon. 

1955, April 3 Delivered a speech “Why Religion is necessary”. 

1955, May Dr Ambedkar established Bhartiya Bauddha Mahasabha (The Buddhist Society of India 1955, Aug Founded ‘Murnbai Rajya KanishthaGarkamgart Association’ 

1955, Dec Published his opinions on linguistic states in book form under the title Thoughts on linguistic States. 

1955, Dec Dr Ambedkar installed an image of Buddha at Dehu Road (near Pune) 

1955, Dec 27 Dr Ambedkar spoke against reservation of seats in the State and Central Legislatures. 

1956, Feb Dr Ambedkar completed his The Buddha and His Dhamma, Revolution & Counter-revolution in Ancient India. 

1956, Mar 15 Dr Ambedkar wrote and dictated the Preface of The Buddha and His Dhamma. 

1956, May 1 Dr Ambedkar spoke on Linguistic states in the Council of States.Dr Ambedkar spoke on BBC London on “Why I like Buddhism”, Also, he spoke for Voice Voice of America on “The Future of Indian Democracy”. 

1956, May 24 Dr Ambedkar attended a meeting at Nare Park organised on the eve of Buddha Jayanti, Shri B.G.Kher, Prime Minister of Bombay was Chief Guest. This meeting was the last meeting of Dr Ambedkar in Bombay. 

1956, June Opening of Siddharth College of Law in Bombay. 

1956, Oct 14 Dr Ambedkar embraced Buddhism at an historic ceremony at Diksha Bhoomi, Nagpur with his millions of followers. Announced to desolve S.C.F and establish Republican Party. 

1956, Nov 20 Delegate, 4th World Buddhist Conference, Khalinandu, where he delivered his famous speech famous speech ‘Buddha or Karl Marx’. 

1956, Dec 6 Maha Nirvana at his residence, 26 Alipore Road,New Delhi. 

1956, Dec 7 Cremation at Dadar Chawpatti – Now known as Chaitya Bhoomi Dadar (Bombay).