Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to beloved wife Rama

I have read this letter’s Hindi translation at the following site — https://www.forwardpress.in/2020/02/ambedkar-poign-letter-to-ramabai-hindi/?fbclid=IwAR2NVaLnhCVjMwT5_5f9JPvboAvAC-UWr3ZGvQx4aEOOfZdSy_vj5WBENwE

I am trying to translate it in English, though the word to word translation is not possible but will try my best to keep the spirit up.

It was written on Dec 30th, 1930 from London and Prof. Yashwant had included it in Marathi in his book ‘Ramayi’ and For the article in FORWARD PRESS this has been translated by Mr Bharat Yadav, who is editor/poet/ translator of the Marathi web General SAMAJ RANG (Social Color).

In This letter Dr Ambedkar says to hiw beloved wife Rama that- Rama, I am bringing the sea of knowledge out. I do not notice any other thing. But, this energy which I got also has your contribution in it. You have supported the entire world of mine. You are encouraging my self-confidence by spreading the pious water from your tears. Therefore, I can sink this unlimited knowledge in.

He says–

“Rama, how are you Rama?

Today I missed you and Yashwant a lot. It was feeling heavy with your memories. In last few days some of my speeches have been famous. Some of the local newspapers have written that the speeches were really good and effective. Before this I was just thinking of my role in the round table conference and the picture of the victimized Indians came in front of me. These people are going through these sorrows since last thousands of years. This burden has no rescue, which they are carrying forward. They think so. I am surprised but I am fighting, Rama.

My power of intelligence has become stronger. Perhaps, there are so many things coming up  in my mind. Heart is getting emotional. I am very perplexed and missing you all at home. Missing you. Missing Jaswant. You came to see me off at the ship. I was saying no to you. But your heart was not ready to accept that. You came to drop me there. I was going for the Round-Table conference. Everyone was shouting my name and you were looking at everything. Your heart was full of emotions and you are grateful. You were speechless. But, your eyes were telling everything which your words were not able to tell. Your silence was speaking more than words. The voice from your throat was hitting your lips. Rather than the language of words, the language of tears was there to help you out.

And now on this morning in London, all those things are crossing my mind. Heart is getting emotional. I am not feeling good. How are you, Rama? How is our Yashwant? Does he remember me? How is his problem of arthritis? Please support him Rama1 Four of our kids have left us and passed away. Now Yashwant is the only surviving child. That is the only base of your Mother’s love. We need to support him. Please take care of Yashwant, Rama. Make him study a lot. Make him awake at night, for studies. Like my father used to awake me up at nights. And he used to be awake till the time I get up and start studies. He was the man behind all this discipline I have learnt. In the beginning I used to get lazy in waking up at nights. That time the sleep seemed to feel better than studies. But, later on I learnt that I liked studies the most for life.

The largest credit to all that I could do, goes to my Father. He kept burning himself, so that the lamp of my education/studies keeps lightening. He burnt the midnight oil and converted the dark into light for me. The results of my respected Father’s hard works are visible now. I feel very happy today, Rama. Rama, Yashwant also need to lost into his studies in the same way. He must feel the lust for books.

Rama, there is no use of the luxurious things in life. As you see around you. People are after all pop and show, day and night. Their lives stop at the same place, where they started. The life of these people can never change the place. But, we can not move ahead while living a life like this, Rama. We do not have anything except sorrows. There is no friend of ours except the poverty. Problems are not ready to leave us. Disrespect, cheating, violation of our dignity are some of the things which are with us like a shadow.

Only darkness is there. The sea of sorrows or pains is there. We will have to raise out own Sun, Rama. We need to make our own path. The garland of lamps on that way is also to be made by us only. The journey of success on that path is also supposed to be completed by us only. We do not have any world. We will have to make our own world.

We are like this only, Rama. Therefore I say that please educate Yashwant a lot. Take care of his clots. Make him calm down and understand things. Try to get the yearning in him. I miss you a lot. I miss Yashwant a lot. I do not understand. This is not the fact, Rama, I do understand what difficulties you are going through. You have become like a tree which is losing its leaves and getting dried up. But Rama, what do I do? On the one hand this poverty after us and on the other hand the promise made by me and my insistence. The promise of knowledge!

I am spreading the sea of knowledge. I do not know about anything else. But this strength which I have got has your contribution too. You are there supporting my entire world. You are boosting my confidence by spreading the pious water of tears. Therefore I can sink this sea od knowledge without any fear.

Truly speaking Rama, I am not harsh. But, spreading my feathers of insistence I am flying in the sky. If someone calls back then too that is painful. My heart gets full of pain and I get angry. I too have a heart, Rama, I too agonize. But I am tide up with this revolution. Therefore I have to set my feelings on fire. The heat of which, at times, touches to you and Yashwant too. This is true. But, this time Rama, I am writing with my left hand and wiping up the tears from the right one. Please take care of the thin guy(Yashwant). Please do not hit him. I have beaten him, some day. Please do not remind him of that. He is the only part of your heart.

I need to find the address of the mental slavery, religious slavery, and that of the socio-economic hierarchies, in human lives. These things are fixed in the human life. They need to be fully get rid of. Also, they need to be vanished from the memories and rituals of the society.

Rama, you are reading this letter and your eyes are wet. Your throat is choked. Your heart is fumbling. Your lips are vibrating. The words in the heart  are too heavy to walk to the mouth. You have been so worried.

Rama, What if you would not have come to my life?

Had I not found you as my life-partner, then? What would have happened? If she would have believed in only the worldly affairs, she would have left me by now. Starving half the times, to go in the search of cowcake or make the cowcake of the cowdung or use of cowdung, who will like that? Who will like to arrange fuel for cooking like this in Mumbai? Keep sewing the torn apart cloths. Not even this, spending a month with the help of just one matchstick box. Just a small amount of flour, oil and salt and you spent months using them. I want to say that- What if you would not have accepted these directions of poverty as a sweet life?

Then I would have been devastated. My heart would have broken. My insistence would have got scratches. I would have got fever/sick and would have lost the battle of life. The game of my dreams would have totally been spoiled.

Rama, all the sounds of my life song would have got flat. Everything would have gone upside down. I would have been surrounded by sorrows and darkness, alone. This plant would have remained bonsai, forever and could never become a tree.

Please take care of yourself, as you care for me. I will start from here soon. Do not worry.

Tell everyone all good.




Dec 30, 1930”

Translation by Rachana Dhaka

Please suggest corrections to express the language better, if possible.



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