Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind Saturday said Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi had “power” as their “sole objective” in comparison to B R Ambedkar who worked as a social crusader without aiming for political gains.
He was speaking at the inauguration of a two-day seminar on “The Influence of Ideology of Dr B R Ambedkar on Marginal Literature” at Gujarat National Law University in Gandhinagar. The event has been organised jointly by the state social justice and empowerment department, Gujarat Sahitya Akademi and GNLU.
Comparing a social reformer (Samaj Sudharak) and a political leader (Rajnetik Neta), Kovind said, “Whenever any social reformer challenges the society and social ills, no one welcomes his/her views. Babasaheb did this throughout his life. But when a political leader speaks out against the government, he is appreciated and honoured.”
He then said: “On one hand, we had Nehru and Gandhi for whom political power was the sole objective. Compare them to Ambedkar, he never craved for political power. His belief was if social ills were removed, development will follow.”
He exhorted scholars to deliberate upon different facets of Ambedkar’s personality rather than focusing on his popular image of the Father of the Indian Constitution and his work as a torchbearer for the backward and marginalised sections of the society.
He also lauded Gujarat government’s efforts to allocate funds in the state budget in order to hold Ambedkar’s 125th anniversary celebrations across the state. Kovind has earlier been a Rajya Sabha member, chief of BJP’s Scheduled Caste Morcha and president of All India Koli Samaj.