Today is the celebration of Dr. Ambedkar's conversion to Buddhism. There are huge celebrations in Nagpur, the place/BHUMI where the conversion/DIKSHA took place.
Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar came from a community then-labelled "Untouchable". He converted to Buddhism to free himself of caste prejudice and to create social change within the new Indian democracy.
Many Indian Buddhists today, coming from Dalit/"ex-Untouchable" backgrounds, still suffer from caste prejudice and discrimination. Our belief, as Buddhists, is that one's actions in this life make a difference, and that one's social status and access to education, employment, and personal growth opportunities should not be determined by speculation on past lives. We believe that there is no place for caste prejudice and discrimination in a democratic society.
In his lifetime Dr. Ambedkar drafted the Indian constitution in the 1940's and advocated for an Independent India, free of the oppression of caste. Ambedkar is loved, admired and celebrated across India, particularly among the "ex-Untouchable" community, which now identifies as Dalit. People greet one another with folded hands and the words "Jai Bhim".
"JAI BHIM": "Long live the legacy and inspiration of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar."