Ambedkar Room and portrait
The Inn is delighted to have received a new painting of Dr B. R. Ambedkar which will be mounted in our newly dedicated Ambedkar Room.
The portrait was kindly donated to the Inn by the Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations UK (FABO UK), with thanks to Ms Santosh Dass MBE, President of FABO UK.
"We proudly celebrate the connection Dr. B. R. Ambedkar had to Gray’s Inn. He could not have known that over half a century after his passing, his portraits would grace his Inn, that the Walks would boast a tree dedicated in his name, and people would gather to dedicate a room to his memory. Even for a man of his talents, that may have seemed too much – but one does not shape a nation in the way he did without the capacity to dream. Dr. Ambedkar was an agent for change. From today, he will be woven much deeper into the fabric of his Inn, reminding us that no challenge is insurmountable and that the law can be a vehicle for social evolution that may previously have been considered impossible."
Ali Malek QC
Dr B. R. Ambedkar (1891–1956) was Called to the Bar by Gray's Inn. He was a crusader for social justice and was the chief architect of India’s Constitution which secured social and fundamental legal rights and equality for its citizens.
The painting was unveiled in Hall on 30 June 2021 and the small (Covid-19 Secure) gathering was attended by our Master Treasurer, Ali Malek QC, and distinguished guests including Sujat Ambedkar (Dr. Ambedkar’s great grandson), Dr Suraj Yengde, David Newens and Lord David Alton of Liverpool.
The portrait is by artist David Newens from a photo taken for LIFE magazine in May 1946 by photojournalist, Margaret Bourke-White. The portrait shows Dr Ambedkar beside magenta pink bougainvillea on his veranda in his garden in Delhi.
The new Ambedkar Room is situated within the recently refurbished 10 South Square and will be used for educational training.
Master Malek unveils the portrait in Hall (image courtesy of FABO UK)