Global Ambedkarites

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s ‘Love’ Letter To His Beloved Wife Ramabai

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s ‘Love’ Letter To His Beloved Wife Ramabai

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s ‘Love’ Letter To His Beloved Wife Ramabai

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s ‘Love’ Letter To His Beloved Wife Ramabai

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s ‘Love’ Letter To His Beloved Wife Ramabai

Rama! How are you, Rama?

Today, I missed you and Yashwant very much. Your memories saddened my heart. My speeches from the last few days were very much discussed. The conference had very good and effective speeches. This is what newspapers here have written about my speeches. Earlier, I was thinking about my role in the Round Table Conference and in front of my eyes, a picture of all the victims of my country emerged. From thousands of years, these people have been buried under suffering. There is no cure for this suppression. This is what they understand. I am shocked. Rama, but I am fighting.

My intellectual strength has become very strong. Perhaps a lot of things are springing up in the mind. The heart has become very emotional. The mind became very much perplexed and I started missing you and everyone at the house very much. I missed you. I remembered Yashwant. You came to see me off at the ship. I was saying not to come. Still, you did not accept that. You came to drop me. I was going to the Round Table Conference. There was cheering for me everywhere and you were watching it all. Your heart was filled with emotions and you were moved with gratitude. You were speechless. But, your eyes were speaking everything, which words could not say. Your silence had become more vocal than words. The voice coming out of your throat was hitting your lips. Instead of the language of words coming out of the lips, only the language of tears from your eyes came running to rescue you.

And now in London this morning all these things are crossing in my mind. The heart is becoming emotional. I am getting nervous. How are you, Rama? How is our Yashwant? Does he miss me? How is his problem of arthritis? Take care of him, Rama! Our four children have passed away. Now, only Yashwant is left. He is the basis of your motherhood. We have to take care of him. Rama, take care of Yashwant. Teach Yashwant a lot. Keep on waking him to study at night. My father used to wake me up at night to study. Till then he would stay awake. He has only taught me discipline. Only when I would get up and sit to study then he would sleep. In the beginning, I used to get very lazy when I had to get up at night to study. At that time, sleeping more seemed better than studies. Going forward, studying started becoming more important for life than sleeping. The credit mostly goes to my Baba (father). So that the flame of my education keeps on burning, my Baba kept on burning like an oil. He did everything he could. Converted the darkened into the light. The labour of my father is bringing fruit now. I feel very happy today, Rama.

Rama, Yashwant should also get engaged in studies the same way. He has to inculcate a fervent desire for books.

Rama, luxurious things are of no use. You can be around yourself. People are always chasing such things. Their lives start from that and stop there. The lives of these people do not change. Rama, we can not live such a life. We have nothing except sorrow. We have no partner except poverty, impoverishment. Difficulties and problems do not leave us. Humiliation, cheating, disregarding are things that follow us like a shadow.

Only darkness is there. There is a sea of ​​sorrow. We will have to bring sunrise ourselves, Rama. We have to make our path. We have to become a garland of lamps on that path as well. We also have to travel the path to victory on that road. We do not have any world. We have to make our world.

We are like this Rama. That is why I say that educate Yashwant a lot. Stay concerned about his clothes. Explain and make him understand things. Try to create ardour in Yashwant’s mind. I miss you a lot. I miss Yashwant. I do not understand. It is not like that Rama, I understand that you are burning in this fire. You have started to become like [a tree, whose] leaves are falling apart and life is drying up. But Rama, what should I do? On one side there was this impoverishment after us and on the other hand my stubbornness and the promise that I made to myself. The vow of knowledge!

I am extracting the sea of knowledge. I do not care about anything else. But this strength that I have got, in that, there is your contribution too. You are sitting here holding my world. You are boosting my morale by sprinkling pious tears. That is why I can imbibe the infinite ocean of knowledge with any fear.

To tell the truth, Rama, I am not cruel. But, by spreading the wings of stubbornness I am flying in the sky. Even if someone calls, even that is torturous. My mind gets scratched and my anger flares up. I also have a heart, Rama. I yearn. But, I am tied to the revolution! So, I have to put my feelings on the pyre. The heat of that reaches you and Yashwant also sometimes. This is true. But, this time Rama, I am writing with my left hand and wiping my tears with my right hand. Take care of skinny (Yashwant), Rama. Do not beat him. I had beaten him. Never remind him of that. He is the only piece of your soul (heart).

I have to find out the origin of religious slavery, economic and social hegemony and mental slavery of man.

These things have become immutable in human lives. These should be completely burnt and buried.

These things need to be eradicated from the memories and the rituals of society.

Rama, you are reading this letter and you have tears in your eyes. The throat is full. Your heart is shaking. Lips are trembling. The words that popped in the mind cannot even come to the lips. You have become distraught.

Rama, what if you had not come in my life?

Had I not met you as a life-companion, then? What would have happened then? A woman who considers world happiness as a goal would have left me. Who would love to stay half-stomach, go in search of cow-dung or find cow dung and work to make upla (cow-dung cakes)? Who would like to bring fuel to the stove in Mumbai? To keep sewing torn clothes at home. Not only this but spending a month also with just one matchbox. With this much oil and grains, salt should be used for a month. I say. What if you had not found these orders of poverty sweet?

So, I would have been shattered to pieces. My firmness would have cracked. Wave/high tide of my aspirations would have receded/disappeared in the thin air without you being you. The game of my dreams would have been completely ruined.

Rama, all the music of my life would have become unpleasant. Everything would have been twisted. Everything would be sorrow. I would probably have remained a dwarf plant.

Take care of yourself, as you take care of me. I will be leaving soon to come back. Do not worry.

Convey best wishes to everyone.

30 December 1930

Translated from Hindi to English by Pardeep Attri