B. R. Ambedkar

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was an Indian economist, politician and social reformer. He was also known as Babasaheb Ambedkar. He campaigned against social discrimination against the lower castes or Dalits of the country. Completing his doctorate from Columbia University and The London School of Economics, he gained reputation as a scholar for his research in economics, law and political science.

In the early phases of his career, he was an economist, professor and lawyer. Towards the later phases, he was actively involved in campaigns for India’s independence. He published journals and advocated for political and social rights for Dalits. He made a significant contribution to the establishment of the state of India. He was the first Minister of Law and Justice of India and the chief architect of the Constitution of India.

He had a Marathi family background and was from the town of Ambadawe in Ratnagiri district of modern-day Maharashtra. Ambedkar was born into a poor Mahar (Dalit caste), who were treated as untouchables and faced a lot of socio-economic discrimination. Although he attended school, Ambedkar and other untouchable children were segregated from the rest of the children and given little attention by teachers. They were not even allowed to sit inside the class. He had to sit on a gunny sack which he took home after school. When they needed to drink water, someone from a higher caste had to pour that water from a height as they were not allowed to touch the water vessel. It was usually the peon who did this for him and on days when the peon was not available, he had to go without water. He had later described this as “No peon, No water” in one of his writings.

During British rule, Ambedkar’s effort for the political representation of the oppressed untouchables of India bore fruit in the 1920s. The colonial state was forced to include two members from among the Dalits in the Round Table Conference in 1930. This eventually led to the framing of the Government of India Act, 1935.

From 1927, Ambedkar launched active movements against untouchability. He began public movements and marches to open up public drinking water resources for all. He led a satyagraha in Mahad to fight for the right of the untouchable community to draw water from the main water tank of the town. He also began a struggle for the right of Dalits to enter Hindu temples. In a conference in1927, Ambedkar publicly condemned the Hindu text Manusmriti (Laws of Manu), for ideologically justifying caste discrimination and “untouchability”. He ceremonially burned copies of the ancient text. On 25th December 1927, he led thousands of followers to burn copies of Manusmrti. Since then 25 December is celebrated as Manusmriti Dahan Din (Manusmriti Burning Day) by Ambedkarites and Dalits.

In 1956, he converted to Buddhism, initiating mass conversions of Dalits which eventually led to the Dalit-Buddhist movement.

A few days after completing his final manuscript ‘The Buddha and His Dhamma’, he died in his sleep on 6 December 1956 at his home in Delhi.

Multiverse

Parallel universe… Science fiction or scientific fact, I don’t know the answer for that, but certainly, the very idea of parallel universes sparks our wildest imaginations. If there is another universe with different outcomes of every decision ever made by us in this universe, might there be a way to access that world? A better life each one hopes for, and with the possibility of multiverses, this hope strengthens, that one day we would be able to transport ourselves there. Movies like “Star Trek”, “Dark”, “Avengers: Infinity wars” “Stranger Things” have bolstered such ideas.There are some shreds of evidence that advocate the existence of multiverses. We all know how we emerged from Big bang, an unknown force caused it to expand and as the expansion settled somewhat light began to emerge, the smaller pieces coalesced into bigger particles like Galaxies, stars, and planets. But the question arises, are we the only universe out there? Since the universe is curved, it looks like we are sitting in a fishbowl the only difference is that our universe is constantly expanding, and therefore we aren’t able to look beyond the bowl, if there is something beyond the bowl.
Some theories that advocate the existence of multiverse are-

  • Infinite universes- We don’t know what the shape of space-time is exactly. One prominent theory is that it is flat and goes on forever, and therefore it is possible that universes can start repeating themselves since particles can only be put together in so many ways. This would present the possibility of many universes being out there.
  • Mathematical universes- Another possible avenue is exploring mathematical universes, which, simply put, explain that the structure of mathematics may change depending on which universe you reside in. A mathematical structure is something that you can describe in a way that’s completely independent of human baggage, thus there could be a universe out there that can exist independently of me that would continue to exist even if there were no humans.
  • Parallel universes- And last but not least as the idea of parallel universes. Going back to the idea that space-time is flat, the number of possible particle configurations in multiple universes would be limited to 10^10^122 distinct possibilities, to be exact. So, with an infinite number of cosmic patches, the particle arrangements within them must repeat — infinitely many times over. This means there are infinitely many “parallel universes”: cosmic patches the same as ours (containing someone exactly like you), as well as patches that differ by just one particle’s position, patches that differ by two particles’ positions, and so on down to patches that are different from ours.
  • Daughter universes- Or perhaps multiple universes can follow the theory of quantum mechanics (how subatomic particles behave), as part of the “daughter universe” theory. If you follow the laws of probability, it suggests that for every outcome that could come from one of your decisions, there would be a range of universes – each of which saw one outcome come to be. Like in Schrodinger’s cat experiment, in one universe, the cat would be alive and in other, it won’t. 
  • Bubble universes- Another theory for multiple universes comes from “eternal inflation.” Based on research from Tufts University cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin, when looking at space-time as a whole, some areas of space stop inflating like the Big Bang inflated our universe. Others, however, will keep getting larger. So if we picture our universe as a bubble, it is sitting in a network of bubble universes of space. What’s interesting about this theory is the other universes could have very different laws of physics than our own, since they are not linked.

These are still hypotheses, and we are a long way before we can conclude anything about the presence of multiverses. But ignoring the possibilities would make us kind and we don’t do that in science. Researchers are working still to prove any of the hypotheses, Antarctica has got a station to look for evidence, as in theory already many noble minds have predicted multiverses.

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