Politicians vie to pay tribute to Dr Ambedkar; BJP observes social justice week
Political leaders across the country vied with one another to pay homage to Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, the Dalit icon, the principal architect of the Indian constitution, on his 131st birth anniversary on Thursday (April 14). This week is also being observed as ‘social justice week’ by the BJP, with an eye on the Dalit votebank, to show their commitment towards the vision of social reformers like BR Ambedkar and Jyotirao Phule (whose birth anniversary fell on April 11).
As a host of festivals, such as Baisakhi, Bohag Bihu, Odia New Year, Tamil New Year Puthandu, Mahavir Jayanti, is celebrated across the country, political parties are going all out to observe ‘Ambedkar Jayanti’.
Every year, April 14 is marked as Ambedkar Jayanti to honour Dr Ambedkar’s countless contributions to the making of present-day India and to remember the jurist’s dedication to fighting social evils like caste discrimination and oppression. A staunch critic of the Indian caste system, Ambedkar is credited with bringing various reforms to elevate the marginalised communities.
While the Tamil Nadu government had declared today as Equality Day, the Delhi government announced that it will rename its Schools of Specialized Excellence after Dr Ambedkar. CM Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia will participate in the programme in which a school situated in Khichripur will be named ‘Dr BR Ambedkar Schools of Specialized Excellence’.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is also likely to pay a visit to Ambedkar’s birthplace Mhow, even as two lakh followers are estimated to gather there. Senior Congress party leaders, including State Congress President Kamal Nath and Rajya Sabha member Digvijaya Singh, will visit Mhow and attend the party’s programme organised on Ambedkar Jayanti.
Dr Ambedkar was born in the Kali Paltan area of Mhow. The memorial built at his birthplace has become a center of reverence for Ambedkar’s followers.
BJP marks Ambedkar Jayanti with Social Justice Week
This entire week, BJP will showcase their work on social welfare, empowerment and representation of the downtrodden in the sphere of political power and development. In Uttar Pradesh, party workers will visit Dalit households to spread the message about central government schemes that will benefit them.
Also, PM Modi will open a museum and exhibition complex on the life and work of all the Prime Ministers of India at Teen Murti Bhavan on April 14. He also paid tribute to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar on Twitter, by posting a video on Baba Saheb’s life and struggles and the Central government’s policies dedicated to him. The 1 minute 46 second video has a voice-over by the PM himself emotively lauding the man who had made “indelible contributions” to the country.
Tributes to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on his Jayanti. He has made indelible contributions to India’s progress. This is a day to reiterate our commitment to fulfil his dreams for our nation. pic.twitter.com/mLTgmJ8tNi
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 14, 2022
In Lucknow, Dalit stalwart and Bahujan Samaj party chief Mayawati, garlanded a statue of Ambedkar at her party office. Her party, which is striving hard to control its eroding Dalit base by laying claim to the legacy of Ambedkar, has organised a series of programmes around Ambedkar Jayanti.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also took to Twitter to pay his respects to the BR Ambedkar by posting a video as well.
On the occasion of his 131st birth anniversary, my tributes to Babasaheb Dr BR Ambedkar, who gave India its strongest pillar of strength – our sacred Constitution.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 14, 2022
“On the occasion of his 131st birth anniversary, my tributes to Babasaheb Dr BR Ambedkar, who gave India its strongest pillar of strength – our sacred Constitution,” wrote Gandhi. His video featured a clip of Babasaheb’s speech in which he said: “Our difficulty to make this heterogenous mass that we have today to take a decision in common and march in a cooperative way on that road which is bound to lead us to unity”.
In Maharashtra, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya paid tribute at Ambedkar’s memorial ‘Chatiyabhoomi’ in Shivaji Park in central Mumbai. As for the Samajwadi Party, all its workers and public representatives will read out the Preamble of the Constitution in every district of the state to honour the architect of the Indian Constitution. They will take the oath of the constitution and take a pledge to follow the path shown by Dr Ambedkar by lighting a lamp in the evening.