Today’s History: Biggest incident of mass conversion, Bhimrao Ambedkar adopted Buddhism with his 3.65 lakh supporters

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On 14 October 1956, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, along with his 3.65 lakh supporters, left Hinduism and converted to Buddhism. This incident in Nagpur is remembered as the biggest change of religion in history.

Ambedkar, the youngest of 14 brothers, was born in Mhow, a small town near Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Being born in a Dalit family, he had to face discrimination since childhood. Ambedkar was made to sit in the last row in the school. It was from here that Ambedkar became against this system of discrimination.

Ambedkar said, “I like a religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity. I measure the progress of a community by the degree to which women have achieved; religion is for man and not man for religion.” .

Ambedkar was so against the caste system that on October 13, 1935, in Yevala, Maharashtra, he said, “I am born as a Hindu, but I will not die as a Hindu, at least it is under my control.”

Ambedkar also resorted to legislation to end the varna system prevalent in Hinduism, but in the end he felt that the changes he wanted would probably never happen. Eventually he decided to adopt Buddhism.

Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar addressing the people at the religious conversion meeting.

Ambedkar had also given the reason behind adopting Buddhism instead of Islam, Sikhism or any other religion. In May 1950, Ambedkar wrote an article titled ‘The Buddha and the Future of His Religion’ in the monthly magazine of the Mahabodhi Society of Calcutta. In this article, he compared Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam on different scales.

Ambedkar, who was the voice of the oppressed and downtrodden of the country, died on 6 December 1956. In 1990, he was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.

1981: Hosni Mubarak becomes President of Egypt

On 6 October 1981, the then Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated during an army parade. Hosni Mubarak, who was then the Vice President of Egypt, was also present with him at the time of the accident. Mubarak was also injured in the attack. Hosni Mubarak became the President of Egypt on this day in 1981 after Saadat’s death.

In 2011, Egyptians took to the streets against the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak ruled Egypt for 3 decades. His tenure is said to have been a mixed period of peace and turmoil in Egypt. He served as the President of Egypt until 2011. He had to resign after violent protests in 2011. Mubarak died in February 2020 at the age of 91.

The day of October 14 is also remembered because of these important events in history.

2010: The ongoing 19th Commonwealth Games concluded in the capital Delhi.

2008: The Reserve Bank of India announced the release of an additional Rs 200 billion to meet the needs of mutual funds.

2007The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has given approval to Nepal for the use of nuclear technology in the medical and agricultural sectors.

2004: Pakistan’s National Assembly passed a bill to retain President Pervez Musharraf as the army chief.

1953: The Estate Duty Act came into force in India.

1946: A ceasefire agreement was signed between Holland and Indonesia.

1882: Panjab University was established in Shimla.

1322: The Scottish army defeated King Edward II of England in battle and liberated Scotland from British rule.

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