Dr B.R. Ambedkar (1891-1956) was the Dalit (untouchable) who helped write the constitution of India. He is a hero to Dalits and Sudras, who live at the bottom of the Indian caste system.

He has no US counterpart: no Black man or Native helped to write the US constitution – it was White men all the way.

Reservations (affirmative action) was something he wrote into the constitution. It requires the government to reserve places in government employment and at universities for “backward” groups like the Dalits. It was only meant to last ten years (till 1960), but everyone wanted to be “backward”, so it became a way to win elections: count more people as “backward” and promise more places.

“Dalits” was a term he pushed. It means “broken men” in his native Marathi. He thought it was better than calling oneself “untouchable”.

Growing up Dalit, he was not allowed…

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