Going ahead with its “elaborate plan” to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar, the NDA government has instructed all ministries as well as missions abroad to undertake a string of activities on April 14 for propagating the ideology and philosophy of the architect of the Constitution.
A National Committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has asked ministries to ensure that the celebrations include the active participation of their ministers and senior officials.
The Ministry of External Affairs has been asked separately to make certain that Indian embassies and consulates organise celebrations to mark the anniversary.
“The latest instructions are part of an elaborate plan for the year-long celebrations of the 125th birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar. While the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has been designated as the central ministry to undertake more than a dozen activities, the recent communication makes it clear that other ministries must also play a significant and an appropriate role,” a senior official told The Indian Express.
The observance of Constitution Day on November 26 last year was a step in this direction, the official said.
Plans are also afoot to organise special events at London’s Ambedkar House, where a memorial was inaugurated by Modi during his UK visit last November.
According to sources, the RSS has also assured the government of its support in “making the celebrations a success”. The RSS has received a note on the proposed activities to be undertaken on April 14, and deliberations are on to lend organisational strength to the government, said sources.
Last September, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had pitched for a review of the reservation policy, contending that it has been used for political ends. In an interview to Sangh mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ and ‘Panchjanya’, he had suggested setting up an “apolitical” committee to examine who needs the facility and for how long. His comments had kicked up a political storm with even BJP leaders admitting that the remarks had dented the BJP’s electoral chances in the Bihar assembly polls that followed.
The NDA government appeared to have been caught on the wrong foot again recently when it declared that the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad, following his suspension for allegedly assaulting an ABVP leader, was “not a Dalit issue”.
In the wake of protests, the HRD ministry first formed a fact-finding committee, and later appointed a one-man judicial commission to probe the sequence of events leading to the suicide on January 18. It also announced measures to sensitise administrators to ensure “zero tolerance” for any acts of discrimination on campus.