Modern India's greatest public intellectual (Harvard)
& 1 of history's foremost Human Rights Icons
Koya University, Japan
Grey's Inn, London
London School of Economics
University of Toronto
Babasaheb Ambedkar is without question the greatest ever human rights icon of modern India -- as well as her most esteemed scholar and expert. He is also the Chief Author of India's Constitution and the Leader of the Buddhist Revival in India. An Untouchable who was not allowed to even drink water at school -- and was subject to the tyranny of the caste system first-hand -- Babasaheb. against all odds and oppression, went on to become the "greatest scholar ever" at Columbia University as well as London School of Economics. His statues are placed in Universities around the world -- from Toronto to Japan. A CNN poll announced that Babasaheb Ambedkar was voted the "greatest Indian of modern India" by a record landslide that has never been equalled. The results of the poll were announced by India's biggest movie star Amitabh Bachchan, among others. (Coincidentally, Zenji Nio has also raised large sums of money for an Indian charity endorsed by this megastar). Ambedkar believed that teaching the Untouchables of their great Buddhist history - and the Buddhist genocide that birthed caste slavery - was the only way to give them a sense of self-esteem, self-respect, self-worth and an identity free from mockery, ridicule and inhumanity.
Ambedkar is considered a Bodhisattva or Spiritual hero because he patterned his Mission on the Mahayana school of Buddhism. Instead of wearing a monk's robe and meditating in a monastery (Hinayana/Theravada ideal), he wore flashy suits and worked for the empowerment of Dalits and Women (the Mahayana ideal). Unfortunately, Ambedkar did not have enough time to grow in his practice of Buddhism for he passed away soon after his conversion -- but he planted the seeds of a Buddhist revival and declared "that his followers should sacrifice everything to promote Buddhism as a means of ending the caste system at its very roots."
As each and every inch of Buddhism had been exterminated in India in the single greatest Extinction in human history, Babasaheb was not able to connect his lineage to any established school of Buddhism. Hence, he called his brand of Buddhism Navayana -- in order to gear it towards emancipation of Dalits in particular, as opposed to just liberation from suffering in general. However, Japanese monks played the lead role in the revival of Buddhism in India, and also happen to lead the Ambedkarite Movement -- hence, Zenji Nio is helping forge an alliance between Ambedkaite Buddhists and Japanese Buddhists. He is also working to enlist the support of Buddhists around the world in order to assist the Dalits of India striving to make Ambedkar's dream come true. Click here to read about how Japan is taking the lead in empowering Dalits by reviving Buddhism in India.