“My final words of advice to you are educate, organise and agitate. Ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is a battle for freedom. It is a battle for the reclamation of human personality.”
—Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
In 1901, at age 10, young Bhim realised he could not drink the water at his school in Satara. Like most Dalits in India, he did not have to be kicked out of a train in a foreign country to get a taste of discrimination. Still, Ambedkar’s thirst for education made him persist. In 1918, on returning with doctorates from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, Ambedkar was once again reminded of his untouchability. The patronage of the Baroda maharaja, a fine education, money, good clothes, none of it helped him quench his thirst with dignity or find shelter. To overcome the poison of a system that believed in the innate inferiority of certain castes, he offered the antidote of reservation. And he gave Dalits the Fabian Socialist slogan: educate, organise, agitate.