Dr. B.R. Ambedkar a great crusader for social justice, champion of human rights and the father of Indian constitution was held at the House of Parliament and India house on 14th April.
Barry Gardiner M. P. welcomed the audience and read the extract from the Bible "the story of the woman of the blood" which demonstrated the scurge of human discrimination. He spoke about the importance of Dr. Ambedkar_s humanitarian crusade.
Lalit Mansingh the High Commissioner for India said : " Dr. Ambedkar was seen to be a man of the stature of Mahatma Gandhi and a Great man of India. Dr. Ambedkar had been influenced by history - he studied Thomas Jefferson_s 1776 US Bill of Rights and the events of 1789 _ the French Revolution_ major western landmarks of democracy. Dr. Ambedkar realised that the Indian constitution must incorporate the four elements : equality, liberty, fraternity and justice. But above all he knew the absolute necessity of social justice. He emphasised that Dr. Ambedkar_s status was equal to that of Dr.Martin Luther King. 250 million people look upon Ambedkar as a shining light . Ambedkar was a great democrat, a great patriot and a great man of his people."
Dr. N. Srinivasan, the President of Federation of Ambedkarite & Buddhist Organisation U. K. then spoke about Ambedkar_s ideas on social democracy for the downtrodden and how he endeavoured so that everyone_s basic human rights would be protected under the constitution. The President said that Ambedkar is responsible for the homogenous society of India today and that we all, like Ambedkar, must have faith in democracy.
Prof. Mohammed Arif explained that Dr. Ambedkar had realised that the fight against injustice needs intellectual ability in order to overcome injustice. He explained how Ambedkar placed huge emphasis on education in the fight against injustice and discrimination. Although Ambedkar believed in non-violence he wanted quick change and worked hard to achieve quick change. Human rights is now a global issue.
Prof. Arif mentioned the report published by New York-based Human Rights Watch , _ Broken people : Cast violence against India_s Untouchables._ Since the early 1990s, violence against Untouchables has escalated dramatically in response to the growing Untouchables rights movement.
Among others who paid their homage at the Palace of the Westminster were Sinna Mani, Kenneth Griffith, Dr. William Stones and H. L. Virdee.
Soon after the end of the Parliament function, the programme was held in the evening at the Indian High Commission, London. Ven. Bhikkhu Pannaloka administered the Buddhist prayer. The floral tribute were made to Ambedkar_s Portrait by the High Commissioners, Ambassadors, Peers, MPs and Mayors. The gathering was addressed by Master Anil, Satpal Muman and Gira Chakravarty. The vote of thanks was proposed by Ram Murti Summan.
A vegetarian Indian buffet meal was enjoyed by the gathering to finish the evening on a convivial note.
Dr N Srinivasan