Qazi Faraz Ahmad Lucknow Updated:April 10, 2018
A new controversy has broken out in Uttar Pradesh over BR Ambedkar after the district administration of Badaun installed a statue of the Dalit icon in a saffron coat.
This comes after the state government by law officially added ‘Ramji’ to Amedkar’s name.
The issue began when an Ambedkar statue was vandalised on Friday night in Dugraiyya village in the district in the presence of police officers and locals.
After protests by locals, the administration arranged an Ambedkar statue from Agra and inaugurated it on Sunday.
The statue left many surprised as it was saffron rather than the usual blue. Surprisingly, BSP regional head Hemendra Gautam was also present on the occasion along with his supporters.
Accusing the BJP-led state government of playing politics, Samajwadi Party MLA and SP spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan alleged that the government is busy saffronising everything, but it won’t help them.
“The government is busy doing politics of colour. They are busy painting buildings, boundaries, parks and so on in saffron colour. Now they are getting exposed by changing the colour of Ambedkar statue to saffron. This is not going to help them; instead people will know their intentions better now,” he said.
The Saffron Ambedkar statue which was installed in Badaun has now been turned blue in the presence of BSP District President Hemendra Gautam. On April 7, the Ambedkar statue was vandalised and on April 8 it was repainted to blue by locals in the presence of the police.
The state government had recently, issued orders to change the name of social reformer and Dalit activist Bhimrao Ambedkar as Bhimrao ‘Ramji’ Ambedkar in all government documents and records. The move has invited sharp criticism from the opposition, which has questioned the timing of the order and alleged that it was a political decision.
The order was issued by principal secretary of general administration department, Jitendra Kumar, who took cognizance of the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, in which Ambedkar’s name is written as Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. This was done after the issue was raised by Governor Ram Naik last year. He pointed out that the signature by Ambedkar on the pages of the Constitution includes his full name and he should, therefore, be referred to by that. ( News 18 )