New Delhi, April 16, 2018
Indians Prime Minister Narendra Modi has paid rich tributes to Dr Ambedkar, widely regarded as the ‘Father of the Indian Constitution,’ and as the champion of the poor.
Speaking at the ‘Ambedkar Jayanti,’ held to mark the 127th birth Anniversary of the late Barrister and Constitutional expert in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh and in New Delhi, he said that India remains indebted to the great man for his efforts towards making of the Constitution.
Describing Dr Ambedkar as ‘Punta Babasaheb’ he said, that Babasaheb gave hope to millions of people belonging to the poorest and marginalised sections of society.
Government for the Poor
By crediting Babasaheb for his rise to the highest post in the government from being a simple party worker, Modi associated himself with Ambedkar, who championed Dalit rights and also was instrumental in drafting the Constitution.
Terming his government as one for the poor, Dalits, the oppressed, the disadvantaged and Adivasis, Modi assured full support in their welfare and development.
Tributes to Dr Ambedkar
In the last four years, the BJP-led Central government has developed all places associated with Ambedkar in order to associate itself with Babasaheb and his heritage.
On April 13, the Prime Minister dedicated the Ambedkar Memorial located in Delhi’s Alipur Road, to the Nation.
“I am fortunate to be present and to salute the place where the great Dr Ambedkar was born. He fought against injustice in society. His fight was for equality and respect,” Mr Modi said.
He said that a person whose mother used to clean utensils, if he has become Prime Minister, then the credit for that goes to Babasaheb.
“Some people have been calling themselves the messiah of the poor for the last six decades. The account of what they have done for the poor in last 60 years is shocking even as they keep talking of the poor day and night,” Mr Modi said, in an obvious dig at the Congress Party.
But the recent incidents and the Opposition’s relentless attacks have troubled BJP.
Case against the government
However, his speech was seen as an attempt to assuage the current environment wherein Congress and the entire Opposition are determined to prove the Modi government as anti-Dalit. The Congress blamed the government for the Supreme Court order on SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act while Congress President Rahul Gandhi accused the government of not presenting its side properly at the apex court.
Such was the atmosphere in the country that even Dalit leaders from BJP’s allied parties filed motions in the Supreme Court to reconsider the order. In the end, the government filed a motion urging the apex court to reconsider its decision, and thus repeated its commitment to protect the rights of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
While the government has placed BJP and Dalit leaders to the front to challenge this Opposition narrative, the Sangh has accused the Opposition of spreading lies as well.
Now the Prime Minister wants to end this perception. The backward card played by the Party is being considered as an answer to the Opposition attack.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiling a plaque dedicated to Dr B R Ambedkar in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh in the presence of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare J P Nadda and others on April 14.
- Narendra Modi speaking in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh on April 14, 2018