New Delhi: Penguin Random House India (PRHI) on Wednesday announced the acquisition of the first English language translation of the autobiography of Savita Ambedkar, a social activist and Dr BR Ambedkar's wife.
Originally written in Marathi, "Babasaheb: My Life with Dr B.R. Ambedkar", has been translated by critically acclaimed and award-winning translator Nadeem Khan. It will be released in late 2022 under the 'Vintage' imprint.
April 14 (Thursday) marks the 131st birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar, fondly called Babasaheb, the chief architect of the Indian Constitution.
"Since it opens another important (and certainly the most personal) window into Dr B. R. Ambedkar's life, it is easily the most significant book I have translated," said Khan, who has translated over a dozen books -- mainly from Marathi into English -- including Vishwas Patil's celebrated Marathi novel "Panipat" and Avadhoot Dongare's award- winning novel "Swatahala Phaltu Samajnyaachi Gosht".
Born in a middle-class Sarasvat Brahmin family, Dr Sharada Kabir met and got to know Dr BR Ambedkar as a patient riddled with life-threatening diseases. She eventually married him on April 15, 1948 and got rechristened as Savita Ambedkar.
From the day of their marriage to the death of Dr BR Ambedkar on December 6, 1956, she aided him in some of his greatest achievements -- drafting the Constitution of India, framing the Hindu Code Bill, writing some of his most celebrated books, including "The Buddha and His Dhamma", leading millions of Dalits into Buddhism.
In the book, Savita Ambedkar brings alive a different side of her husband -- a man who wrote romantic letters, dictated what she should wear, whipped up delicious mutton curry, played the violin, and even tried his hand at sculpting.
"Dr Savita Ambedkar's book on her husband and the father of our constitution Dr BR Ambedkar has been expertly translated by Nadeem Khan from Marathi to English. I am delighted to acquire this hidden gem that will give us a fresh and intimate insight into one of the most iconic Indians of the 20th century through some of the most defining moments in Indian history," said Milee Ashwarya, publisher, Ebury Publishing and Vintage at PRHI.