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B. R. Ambedkar
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, 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, inspiring the Dalit Buddhist movement. He was also the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. Born into a poor Mahar 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 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.
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