The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

December 7, 2011

Lakhs reach Chatiyabhoomi in Mumbai to observe Dr BR Ambedkar's death anniversary

People going to Chaitya Bhoomi
Lakhs of people reached Dadar in Mumbai on Tuesday to pay respects to Dr BR Ambedkar, who framed the constitution of India, and is also seen as an icon by Dalits and other socially disadvantaged groups in the country.

The Chaitya Bhumi at Dadar in South Central Mumbai is a pilgrimage place for Buddhists and Dalits other than thousands of Ambedkarites who arrive every year on December 6.

The day is observed as Ambedkar's Parinirvan Diwas. From elderly people who travelled barefoot and arrived from far-flung rural areas to suave professionals, nearly a million Dalits gathered at the place of pilgrimage.

Even though December 6 marks the demolition of Babri Masjid, the heavy security arrangements didn't deter the late leader's follower. Amid chants of Jai Bhim, followers got down from the trains and walked towards the venue.

Dr BR Ambedkar is lovingly remembered as Babasaheb. He was born in a family that was treated an untouchable caste then, fought against the caste system and turned the Dalits into a strong community.

Lakhs pay homage to him at his memorial in what has become an annual pilgrimage now. The strength of the crowd at the Chaityabhoomi has been growing with every passing year. Similar is the crowd size at Nagpur where the diksha bhumi is located.

A hero among India's 250 million Dalits, Ambedkar had passed away in 1956. He had left Hinduism and embraced Buddhism as he felt that Upper Castes would continue to oppress his caste-men unless they took to Buddhist fold.

TIH Bureau

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