ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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In Thy Name, Ambedkar

There is a rush for memorials dedicated to Ambedkar. The Sangh Parivar is leaving no stone unturned to appropriate Ambedkar who, given his vitriolic comments on Hinduism, should have been their greatest enemy. At the same time, the gap between the Dalits and non-Dalits continues to widen and atrocities against Dalits continue with impunity.

Now, there shall be an international memorial to Babasaheb Ambedkar in London. Ambedkar used to live in this house in the early 1920s, when he was a student at the London School of Economics. Bureaucratic bungling over the issue was revealed in the third week of August when the current owner of the house issued an angry ultimatum. This was too embarrassing for the braggart ministers of Maharashtra, who had declared, months ago, that they had acquired this house. Things moved fast after the ultimatum and it appears that the deal is clinched so far as the acquisition of the 2,050 sq ft house for £3.1 million is concerned.

In India, Narendra Modi has already laid the foundation stone for a grand Ambedkarinternational convention centre at Janpath in Lutyen’sDelhi. Another memorial would be constructed at 26, Alipur Road in Outer Delhi, Ambedkar’s residence when he was heading the constitution drafting committee. The memorial is touted to be grand enough to thrill aerial viewers. Still another memorial is slated to come up at Mahu, where he was born when his father was in the British army. In Mumbai, yet another, and perhaps the grandest of all memorials is planned at the premises of Indu Mills. This is where the Republican Sena had erected a makeshift memorial after forcefully occupying the premises on 6 December 2011, unleashing a competitive spurt of Ambedkar- bhakti.

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