Race to claim Ambedkar heats up: RSS to hold grand gala for Babasaheb's anniversary

New Delhi: In the ongoing battle of political parties to claim BR Ambedkar as their own, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has shot up the next big volley.

The Sangh Parivar will be organising a celebration of Ambedkar's 125th birth anniversary in the national capital in a big way at the Karnail Singh Stadium on Sunday.

PM Narendra Modi paying tribute to BR Ambedkar on his birth anniversary. Image courtesy: Twitter

PM Narendra Modi paying tribute to BR Ambedkar on his birth anniversary. Image courtesy: Twitter

According to a senior RSS functionary, the objective of the celebration is to propagate the ideals of the Dalit icon among the masses, especially since there is so much politics going on in the name of Dalits.

Prior to this, the Congress party had organised a tribute of their own in Nagpur on 11 April, which was seen as an attempt to counter the aggressive bid of the BJP and its ideological fountainhead RSS to usurp the legacy of the Dalit icon through its own brand of aggression.

“Last year, in its Pratinidhi Sabha (annual conclave), the RSS had taken the decision to celebrate Babasaheb’s 125th birth anniversary on a national level, which prompted others to also become active,” a senior RSS functionary told Firstpost.

“RSS is not organizing the event in Delhi to gain any political mileage, but they intend to make the world aware about the great contributions of this Dalit icon in our nation building,his fight for the upliftment of the Dalits and his message of equality and social harmony,” the RSS functionary said.

Exactly a year ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had kicked-off Ambedkar's 125th birth anniversary celebrations by laying the foundation stone of the BR Ambedkar International Centre in Delhi.

For the first time in its history, the RSS has planned to take out processions, in the form of its traditional march-past by the Swayamsevaks, from three locations in the city — Ambedkar Bhawan (Araam Bagh), Valmiki temple (Mandir Marg) and Hari Mandir School (Sadar Bazar) — which will culminate at Karnail Singh Stadium around 6 pm on Sunday. A public rally has also been scheduled at the stadium.

The gathering will be addressed by the RSS Sah Sarkaryavah, Krishna Gopal, who will speak on Babasaheb’s ideas on ‘Samajik Samrasta’ (Social harmony).

“Recent incidents across the country have shown disturbing trends of social inequality and social disharmony. A lot of politics has also been played in the name of Dalits. We hope that Babasaheb’s message would bring social harmony to our society,” the RSS functionary added.

Despite of strong efforts by the RSS to show its affinity to Ambedkar, his grandson Prakash Ambedkar had recently remarked that the right-wing organization (RSS) “will never be able to digest Ambedkar’s thinking and ideology”, and that his views would be in conflict with the RSS philosophy as“Ambedkar believed and taught an ideology that was against Hindu dominance.”

“DrAmbedkar was very much on the left side and the RSS, on the other hand,stands for the complete opposite. The thinking of both the RSS and DrAmbedkar are conflicting of each other,” Prakash Ambedkar had remarked while speaking on the 125th birth anniversary celebration of BR Ambedkar.

Reacting sharply to this, the RSS had said, “DrAmbedkar was everyone’s leader and should not be tagged as belonging to ‘left or right’.”

The Sangh Parivar has been trying for a long time to integrate Dalits under the broad Hindutva umbrella, which ultimately would help the BJP in expanding its voter base.

The 17 April issue of the right-wing weekly - Organiser, has BR Ambedkar on its cover with the title, "Ultimate Unifier, Dr Ambedkar is erroneously projected as a divisive figure by certain vested interests but recognition of his contributions will finally prove to be unifier for Bharat."

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Updated Date: Apr 17, 2016 08:46:45 IST

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