Dr. B. R Ambedkar, Mother Teresa, Jyotirao Phule and William Carey’s works are the source of ideological guidance and moral inspiration for the ICS Party’s inception.

Dr. Bheem.Rao. Ambedkar (1891-1956)

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was the leader of Independent India from 1947 to 1956. A profound philosopher, committed organisation man and a leader who maintained the highest standards of personal integrity and dignity in public life, he is one of the sources of ideological guidance and moral inspiration for ICS Party’s inception. His treatise “Religions in India and their origin” and “Nationalists in India” - a historical study”, is a critique on the dominance of upper classes and deprived rights of the marginalised classes in India. It provides a holistic alternative perspective for political action and statecraft, consistent with the needs of human race and sustainability of our natural habitat. ICS Party’s philosophy “Do Unto Others...” or “Integral Humanist Nationalism” has his ideological guidance and moral inspiration.

A Short Biography

Bheem Rao Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891 at Ambedkar village in Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra state. His father was Ramji. He was the 14th son of his father. After leaving school, Ambedkar studied F.A. at the Elphinstone College, Bombay (Mumbai). With the help of the Rajah of Baroda, Ambedkar went to Colombia University, America and completed his B.A. and M.A. degrees in 1912 and 1913 respectively. For his M.A. degree he wrote a research paper “Commerce in India”. He wrote many more research essays while staying at Colombia. His research paper, “Nationalists in India - a historical study”, was awarded Ph.D. by Colombia University. He went to England to study law. Along with law, he studied Economics and Political Science. He acquired the degree of Barrister-at-law and also M.Sc. degree simultaneously.

Dr. Ambedkar hailed from the community of Mahars who are condemned as untouchables. On this account Dr. Ambedkar had to face a number of problems. He was looked down upon and ill-treated. Hence he wanted to agitate against untouchability. In 1918, he took up a job as a professor in a college and in 1920 he took part in the first meet of the Depressed Classes held at Nagpur. In 1923, he started practicing at Bombay High Court. In 1924, he started a paper “Bahishkrita Hitakarini”. He took up the cause of the Depressed Classes before the Simon Commission which visited India in 1928. He attended the First Round Table Conference held at London and argued that the Depressed Classes should have voting rights and the right to elect their own leaders.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was first Law Minister of India after we got Independence in 1947. He was also the chairman of the drafting committee of our Constitution and in fact, he is one of the main architects of our Constitution. As a brilliant law minister and an intelligent person, he could include in the Constitution, the required safeguards for the depressed Classes. On November 1, 1949 the Draft Constitution was approved by the Government and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was since then called, the “Modern Manu of India”. The caste system in Hinduism forced Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to embrace Buddhism along with 5 lakhs of other Depressed Classes people. He attended a conference of Buddhists in Sri Lanka in 1950. He was a lover of books. On a visit to New York, it is said that he purchased as many as 2000 books. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar passed away on December 6, 1956. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s life is an example to others. He had shown how men born in humble surroundings could rise up in life.

Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

Albanian born, Nobel Laureate Mother Teresa was an Indian Roman Catholic Religious Sister who devoted herself towards working for the poor from 1946 to 1997. Mother Teresa is a household name for her good works, but many people don’t know much about her beyond “a nun who helped the poor.” She is one of the sources of ideological guidance and moral inspiration for the ICSP’s inception.

A Short Biography

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910 in Albania, to a financially comfortable family – they lived in one of the two houses they owned. Her father died when she was 8 years old, which ended her family’s financial security. She was fascinated with missionaries from an early age and she knew by age 12 that she would commit herself to a religious vocation. When she was 18 years old she left for Ireland and never saw her mother or sister again after the day. After a year of learning English in Ireland, she transferred to the Sisters of Loreto convent in Darjeeling, India. She took her vows as a nun in 1931, and that’s when she chose the name Teresa – to honour Saints Teresa of Lisieux and Teresa of Avila. Teresa of Lisieux is the patron saint of missionaries, which attracted Mother Teresa to her, as well as patron saint of florists, Australia, AIDS sufferers and others. Teresa of Avila is the patron saint of people in religious orders, lace makers, Spain and more. Teresa began teaching history and geography in Calcutta at St. Mary’s, a high school for the daughters of the wealthy. She remained there for 15 years and enjoyed the work, but was distressed by the poverty she saw all around her.

In 1946, Teresa travelled to Darjeeling for a retreat. It was on that journey that she realised what her calling was: “I heard the call to give up all and follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor”. It took two years of preparation before she was able to begin doing the work she felt compelled to do. She needed to receive permission from the Sisters of Loreto to leave the order, while retaining her vows, as well as permission from the Archbishop of Calcutta to live and work among the poor. She also prepared by taking a nursing course. In 1948, Teresa set aside her nun’s habit, adopting instead the simple sari and sandals worn by the women she should be living amongst, and moved to a small rented hovel in the slums to begin her work. Teresa’s first year in the slums was particularly hard. She was used to a life of comparative comfort, and now she had no income and no way to obtain food and supplies other than begging. She was often tempted to return to convent life, and had to rely on determination and faith to get her through it.

One of Teresa’s first projects was to teach the children of the poor, drawing on her experience with teaching the children of the rich. She didn’t have any equipment or supplies this time, but she taught them to read and write by writing in the dirt with sticks. In addition to promoting literacy, Teresa taught the children basic hygiene. She visited their families, inquiring about their needs and helping provide for them when she could. Word began to spread about Teresa’s good works, and soon she had other volunteers wanting to help. By 1950, she was able to start the Mission of Charity, a congregation dedicated to caring for “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, and all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.” She went on to open a hospice for the poor, a home for sufferers of leprosy, and a home for orphans and homeless youths. Mother Teresa was honoured with many awards throughout her life, from the Indian Padma Shri in 1962 to the inaugural Pope John XXIII Peace Prize in 1971 to Albania’s Golden Honour of the Nation in 1994 and most famously the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She refused the traditional Nobel honour banquet, instead requesting that the $192K funds be given to help the poor of India. She continued her work with the poor for the rest of her life, leading the Missionaries of Charity until just months before her death on September 5, 1997. Post her death, the Catholic Church began the move towards beatification of Mother Teresa. On October 12, 2003, and she was beatified, thereby bestowing on her the title “Blessed”.

William Carey (1761-1834)

William Carey inspired millions of poor citizens of India to lead a purposeful life. As a young man, he had great confidence in himself and in God and became a missionary. Carey lived in India for 41 long years. He loved his adopted homeland so much that he did not return to his own country for a long time. During this period, he rendered yeoman services to India. He produced seven grammar books, four dictionaries, thirteen polyglot vocabularies, and translations of the bible in forty Indian languages, 132 books of learning on various subjects such as botany, social-customs and literature. Carey was a great scholar and philanthropist. He is one of the sources of ideological guidance and moral inspiration for the ICS Party’s inception.

A Short Biography

William Carey was born in Paulerspury village in England on January 17th, 1761. With six children to look after, his cobbler father found it extremely difficult to make both ends meet. Hence he could not afford to provide any of his children with a formal education. At the age of ten, Carey was taken up with fascinating stories of far-away countries and made a promise to himself to someday visit India. As a young man, he had great confidence in himself and in God and became a missionary. After a five-month long sea voyage, he landed at Kolkata (a.k.a. Calcutta) on January 9th, 1793. He was accompanied by his wife Dorothy and four children. During his journey Carey kept himself busy with the study of Bengali language and literature. Upon arrival he rented a house in Kolkata, and then later moved to the Sunderban area, finally settling in Shirampur (in the present day state of West Bengal). He worked with a missionary zeal and attracted like-minded people to his camp. The community first started a school for boys and later added a school for girls.

A cobbler's son by birth, Carey rose by sheer dint of effort to great heights - he was appointed to teach Sanskrit, Bengali and Marathi at Fort William College, Kolkata, in 1806. After five years of teaching, he was promoted to be a full-fledged professor and continued to teach there for the next thirty years. He introduced the idea of "savings bank" to protect local people from the clutches of money-lenders. He campaigned for better facilities for lepers and for the aged. He also introduced the use of steam engine in India. He was fascinated by the power and beauty of Indian classics and felt inspired to translate the Ramayana, the Sankhya (a system of philosophy first propounded by Sage Kapila) and the Itihaasamaala for the benefit of English readers. Carey undertook the publication of periodicals such as the monthly Bengali magazine, "Dig-Darshan," English monthly called "Friends of India" and "Samachar Darshan" on a regular basis. He founded the "Agricultural and Horticultural Society of India" and completed a survey of agriculture in India. William Carey died on June 9th, 1834 while he was still physically and mentally very active. In 1993, the Government of India brought out a postal stamp to commemorate the bicentennial of his landing in India, a fitting memorial to this great scholar and philanthropist.

Jyotirao Phule (1827-1890)

A radical and liberal thinker who received his early education at Scottish Mission's High School, Mahatma Phule worked for the upliftment of the lower castes. A great reformer of India, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, authored the Sarvajanik Satyadharma Pustak, which emphasised equality of all men and called for equality before the law and equality of opportunity. He is the source of ideological guidance and moral inspiration along with the other three for the ICS Party’s inception.

A Short Biography

Jyotirao Phule was born in Satara district of Maharastra in 1827. His father, Govindrao was a vegetable-vendor at Poona. Originally Jyotirao's family belonged to 'mali' caste, considered as inferior by the Brahmins. Since, Jyotirao's father and uncles served as florists, the family came to be known as `Phule'. Jyotirao's mother passed away when he was nine months old. In 1841, Jyotirao got admission in the Scottish Mission's High School, Poona. There, he met Sadashiv Ballal Govande, a Brahmin, who remained his close friend throughout his life. Jyotirao was married to Savitribai, when he was thirteen years old. In 1848, he sparked off the dalit-revolution in the Indian society. He then started his campaign of serving the people of lower castes who were deprived of all their rights as human beings. In 1851, Jyotiba established a girls' school and asked his wife to teach the girls in the school. Jyotirao, later, opened two more schools for girls and an indigenous school for the lower castes, especially the Mahars and Mangs.

He agreed that the British rule had ushered in a general improvement in the condition of the masses. English educa¬tion had made the depressed classes aware of their rights and inspired thoughts of overcoming domination by the higher castes. But he criticised the British administration for its many injustices including diversion of funds meant for higher education purposes. He condemned the Prarthana Samaj and the Sarvajanik Sabha. He aimed at replacing the Hindu religion with the 'Sarvajanik Ishwar Pranit Satya'. In 1873, he founded the Satyashodhak Samaj (Truth Seekers' Society), the leadership of which came from the backward classes. The Samaj aimed at spreading education amongst women and lower caste people. In 1876 there were 316 members of the 'Satya Shodhak Samaj'. In 1868, in order to give the lower caste people more powers Jyotirao decided to construct a common bathing tank outside his house. He also wished to dine with all, regardless of their caste. Jyotiba Phule devoted his entire life for the liberation of untouchables. He revolted against the tyranny of the upper castes. On 28 November, 1890, the great reformer of India, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, passed away.