Ambedkar and Brahmins

Ambedkar Saheb with second wife Savita, a Brahmin.
  • The surname Ambedkar was given to BRA by his Brahmin teacher. He was introduced to Maharaja S Gaikwad by Keluskar Saheb, called a forward. BRA’s second Doctor Wife was Brahmin. Notwithstanding criticism continues. Yet how many express Gratitude! 

On Social Media some followers of Dr Ambedkar criticise Brahmins and so called forward castes. Neither have I done deep study on all of BRA’s writings on the Brahmin community nor is this article about defending them. 


The intent of this article is to tell about how some forwards significantly helped Babasaheb (BRA) in his journey of life.


Years ago read ‘Dr. Ambedkar Life and Mission’ by Dhananjay Keer. Loved it. Written in 1954 the author has not bothered to be politically correct. I quote from Keer’s book and other published articles. 


1. BRA Brahmin Teacher name was Ambedkar who gave BRA his surname

D Keer wrote, “The Ambedkars came from Konkan. Ambedkar’s ancestral village is Ambavade, five miles off Mandangad, a small town in Ratnagiri District. Ambedkar’s grandfather Maloji Sakpal came of a good Mahar family. It enjoyed the honour of keeping the palanquin of the village goddess and naturally the yearly festival was a great occasion for the family to attract the attention of the whole village. 


The original surname of Bhim’s father was Sakpal, a family name. Bhim drew his surname Ambavadekar from his native village Ambavade. A Brahmin teacher in the High School, whose surname was Ambedkar, took such a liking to Bhim that he changed his surname to his own Ambedkar, in the schools records.

Krishnaji Arjun Keluskar introduced Ambedkar to Maharaja Sayajirao. 

2. During initial years BRA education was supported by Maharaja Sayirao Gaikwad of Baroda. Who was the man who introduced the young BRA to Sayajirao? Keluskarji.


It was Krishnaji Arjun Keluskar, former Principal of Wilson High School Mumbai and a forward who introduced the two. Source


Raja Shahu of Kolhapur supported BRA in 1920 that helped him complete his studies in Law and Economics at London.


Maharaja Sayirao Gaikwad helped too. Some say he was a forward, others say backward.   


3. BRA’s second wife Savita Bahena, was a Brahmin 

D Keer wrote, “He now felt the need for a companion who would attend to him in his old age. In the hospital he came across Dr Miss Savita Kabir.” Pg. 402


They got married in 1948. She was 39 and he 57. Her maiden name was Sharda Kabir. She was a Doctor who had treated BRA along with her mentor. “When I entered Dr Ambedkar’s life, he was suffering from diabetes, neuritis, rheumatism, high blood pressure and several other ailments,” writes Savita in her memoir.” Source


“In an unpublished preface of The Buddha and His Dhamma, Dr BRA credited her for extending his life by 8 to 10 years.” Source From experience say my mother, being a doctor, increased my father’s life by years. Reference


A ThePrint article states, “In an unpublished preface to his last book The Buddha and His Dhamma, Ambedkar credited Savita and his personal doctor, Dr Malvankar, for nursing him back to health during the five years while he was writing the book.” 2


How many people who praise Dr Ambedkar and follow him express gratitude to the above people who helped BRA realise his dreams. 


Non-stop criticism and negativity cannot sustain. Gratitude and a sense of Balance can.


In case of any errors am happy to stand corrected. Please mail me your view and reference source. 


Alternate view on Caste

Here are a series of articles that provide an alternate view on caste.


1. Gandhian Dharampalji's book says maximum number of scholars in Madras Presidency were Sudras  

2. Were Backward Classes always suppresed in India  

3. Caste is a socio political institution

4. Shivaji’s karmas matter not caste

5. Congress strategy is to divide Hindus by caste



1. Dr Ambedkar site

2. A social worker in her own right

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