The Debate of Shrikant Jichkar vs Ambedkar and is There any Merit Behind?

In some quarters, you will see people drawing comparison between Shrikant Jichkar and Dr. B. R, Ambedkar. And, mostly the comparison of Shrikant Jichkar vs Ambedkar is inspired from the fact in recent times, Dr. Shrikant got credit of earning a title from Limca Book of Records as “most educated person in India”

For a long time in Independent India, the people quoted  Dr. Ambedkar as a person of highest intellect who mastered many other subjects apart from Law. He was more of a cult figure among the educated section of  India for so long,. Ambedkar’s achievements in academic space  was kind of unparalleled of late, until Dr. Shrikant grabbed the title from Limca Books. However, the reasons of drawing a parallel between the two great personalities doesn’t seem to be the academic solely.

Natural Reasons of Shrikant Jichkar vs Ambedkar Debate

Academics alone, doesn’t seem to trigger the comparison of  Dr. Shrikant with Ambedkar. In fact, there are other reasons that drags people into this comparison making. People find a couple of similarity between the two

The Both are from state of Maharashtra

One is from from Nagpur another from Ratnagiri district

The One is from Kunbi another from Mahar both the communities figure low in the development Index

While Ambedkar had 8 degrees, Jichkar had 16 degrees (University Degrees alone)

At the time of independence, Ambedkar was the most qualified public figure with several feats of academic excellence under his belt.

However, at the time of death of Jichkar in 2004, he was having 20 degrees (if you include IAS & IPS as degrees) and was most qualified politician in the country.

Comparison of Shrikant Jichkar vs Ambedkar: Key Stats

Key PointsDr. Shrikant JichkarDr. B.R. Ambedkar
Born inKatol Taluka, Nagpur, MaharashtraMhow (now, Dr Ambedkar Nagar), Madhya Pradesh
Family OriginMarathi (Nagpur)Marathi (Ambadawe village, Mandangad taluka, Ratnagiri
D.o.BSept 14th,  1954, Independent IndiaApril 14th, 1891, British India
Caste/ CommunityKunbi ( OBC )Mahar (SC )
Degrees16 (graduate and above)8 (graduate and above)
Area of WorkProminent area of work: Medicine, Law, Bureaucrat turned Politician, Minister (14 Portfolios at a time)Social Crusader, Economist, Lawyer, Constitution maker, Legal Advisor to Govt. of India
Fag end of LifePolitical Figure with Highest Qualifications, Had Lost Lok Sabha election just before.Law Expert of highest stature, more into Socio-religious activities, diabetic, had just finished the book “The Buddha and His Dhamma’
AuthoredNo books on record18 titles including the controversial Riddles in Hinduism, The Annihilation of Caste &  Who were the Shudras
Personal LibraryHad 52000 books in his personal library (Nagpur)50,000 books in his personal liobrary, Rajgrah, Dadar (Mumbai)
Religious BeliefsHindu and strong believer in Vedic Rituals & ScripturesEstranged Hindu, Converted Buddhist
Political LaddersMLA, MLC, M.P (Rajya Sabha)Law Minister (First of Independent India)
Major ContributionsDiabetic Expert, Holistic Health EnthusiastWriting & Compilation of Constitution, Founding RBI
Comparison Chart of Jichkar vs Ambedkar

Claims and Contentions on Superiority

So, although there are some tangible grounds to allow people draw the comparison between Dr. Jichkar and Dr. Ambedkar, there are others which seems unfounded and just are to make the news. I feel some independent and credible evidences are needed to make the claims stand.

Establishing the one superior to the other is not the objective of this research but accommodating unverified views of course, spice up the discourse.  

Some sources however claim that Dr. Ambedkar had 32 degrees in different subjects and had a mastery of 8 languages: English, German, French, Gujrati, Marathi, Sanskrit, Pali, Farsi.

It is also claimed that, the highest number of books and songs have been written over the works and life of Dr.  Ambedkar.

Some sources also claim that the highest number of statues are also in the memory of Dr. Ambedkar.

Few sources also claim that the studies of London School of Economics spans over 8 years which Ambedkar had finished just in 2 years. This however, appears a fact from chronology of his degrees.

Degrees of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar- in Public Domain

B.A, 1913, Elphinstone College, Bombay, University of Bombay, Economics & Political Science

M.A, 1915 Majoring in Economics with Sociology, History Philosophy, Anthropology and Politics

Ph.D, 1917, Columbia University conferred a Degree of Ph.D.

M. Sc 1921 June, London School of Economics, London. Thesis – ‘Provincial Decentralization of Imperial Finance in British India’

Barrister-at- Law 30-9-1920:  Gray’s Inn, London

D. SC Nov 1923, London School of Economics, London ‘The Problem of the Rupee – Its origin and its solution’ was accepted for the degree in Economics

L.L.D (Honoris Causa) 5-6-1952 Columbia University, New York For his achievements, Leadership and authoring the constitution of India

D.Litt (Honoris Causa) 12-1-1953 Osmania University, Hyderabad for his achievements, Leadership and writing the constitution of India

The two degrees at the bottom are ‘Honoris Causa’ meaning these were conferred as a mark of respect and not earned by virtue of some examination.

CHECK the Degrees of Dr. Shrikant Jichkar Here

Works & Literature by Dr. Ambedkar

The Education Department, Government of Maharashtra (Mumbai) published the collection of Ambedkar’s writings and speeches in different volumes.

Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development and 11 Other Essays

Ambedkar in the Bombay Legislature, with the Simon Commission and at the Round Table Conferences, 1927–1939

Philosophy of Hinduism; India and the Pre-requisites of Communism; Revolution and Counter-revolution; Buddha or Karl Marx

Riddles in Hinduism ISBN 978-81-89059-77-4

Essays on Untouchables and Untouchability

The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India

The Untouchables Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables?

The Annihilation of Caste (1936)

Who Were the Shudras? (1946)

Pakistan or the Partition of India

What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables; Mr. Gandhi and the Emancipation of the Untouchables

Ambedkar as member of the Governor General’s Executive Council, 1942–46

The Buddha and his Dhamma

Unpublished Writings; Ancient Indian Commerce; Notes on laws; Waiting for a Visa; Miscellaneous notes, etc.

Ambedkar as the principal architect of the Constitution of India

Dr. Ambedkar and The Hindu Code Bill (2 parts)

Ambedkar as Free India’s First Law Minister and Member of Opposition in Indian Parliament (1947–1956)

The Pali Grammar

Ambedkar and his Egalitarian Revolution – Struggle for Human Rights.

(Events starting from March 1927 to 17 November 1956 in the chronological order; )

Concluding Words on Shrikant Jichkar vs Ambedkar

Dr. Jichkar and Ambedkar both existed in different time periods and what was uncommon to people in Ambedkar’s life time, was absolutely a regular thing during the life time of Dr. Jichkar.

After the death of Dr. Ambedkar there have been many great scholars of Law, Polity and Economics who earned a host of degrees. Dr. Shrikant was one of those personalities who earned the laurels.

Dr. Jichkar held a Limca Book of Records for being most educated person. The Ambedkar hasn’t got this credit. The reasons are simple, this Book of Records never existed at the time of Ambedkar.

When I talk about earning multiple degrees a feasibly regular idea, there are people in India including VN Parthiban who even broke the records of Dr. Shrikant too. Mr. Parthiban , the  61 year old Chennai Professor has  become the most educated person in today’s India with 145 degrees to his credit.

So, the idea of significance is not about amassing degrees alone. It is about the impact one leaves on society when he is longer around. While Dr. Shrikant showed the way to generations that qualified politicians are the need of the time, Ambedkar scripted altogether a different society.

Dr. Ambedkar through his writings mellowed down many rough edges of orthodoxical religious beliefs. Be it Hinduism, Islam or Christianity he tried polishing it with hammers of his insights.

To Ambedkar, egalitarianism in society was supreme and mankind was above all the discriminatory sects. The world’s largest codified constitution might seem as borrowed pieces of wisdom to some, but it is in fact, a huge painstaking by Ambedkar to make India a great society. After all, any super script can’t evolve from some local wisdom alone, it has to be an amalgamation of various tested wisdoms from all across the societal settings.

To conclude,  the debate of Shrikant Jichkar vs Ambedkar has no point in so far as the line of superiority has to be drawn. Both were great in their own capacity and their impacts aren’t comparable. Jointly however, both are pride to the India which common man will ever cherish.

Beyond The Debate of Jichkar vs Ambedkar


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