30 yrs on, Ambedkar kin to finally get due royalty

The total royalty due to the family since the time the agreement was signed works out to Rs 28.95 lakh.

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Mumbai | Published: April 3, 2015 1:21 am

Amount of Rs 21.67 lakh released; except for one installment more than a decade ago, the family was never paid the royalty on sales of Ambedkar’s books and publications.

The descendants of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar will get the royalty amount due to them from the sales of books and publications authored by the architect of the Indian Constitution, nearly 30 years after they had signed an agreement with the state government giving it the publishing rights. Unpaid for several years, except for one installment more than a decade ago, the royalty amount due to Dr Ambedkar’s legal heir stands at Rs 21.67 lakh.

After the finance department approved the payment on March 19, the higher and technical education department Tuesday issued a government notification releasing the amount.

Prakash Ambedkar, Dr Ambedkar’s grandson, said, “I was supposed to get a yearly payment of 10 per cent for the sales of his works in that year, but I haven’t received anything. Till now, our family has received this royalty only once, an installment of a few lakh rupees, nearly 10-15 years ago. I have never appealed to the state government as I don’t want to go asking for the royalty.”

The total royalty due to the family since the time the agreement was signed works out to Rs 28.95 lakh, of which the state government has paid Rs 7,27,500, with Rs 21,67,500 being the outstanding amount.

“The payment will be made from the 2014-15 budget, from the amount provisioned for ‘other  expenses’ under arts and culture. We have appointed the director, higher education, as the distribution officer,” said a state government official.

The state government had formed a ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Charitra Sadhana Prakashan Samiti’ on March 15, 1976 to publish Ambedkar’s published and unpublished works. Later, on February 17, 1987, the government signed the agreement with his legal heirs, defining the royalty payment on works that the organisation publishes and markets.

Prakash Ambedkar said the organisation had on several occasions during its meetings verbally decided to clear the pending royalty amount but the actual payment never came.

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