The Republican Party of India (Athawale) Sunday urged its followers, other political parties and social organisations to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti at home and avoid public celebrations.
Ambedkar Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar, architect of the Constitution, is held every year on April 14.
Balasaheb Janrao, general secretary of the Republican Party of India (Athawale), told The Indian Express, “Coronavirus cases have risen because of the Nizamuddin Markaz. A similar thing should not happen because of Ambedkar Jayanti celebrations,” he said, adding followers of Ambedkar should mark the occasion at home.
Pointing out that the government was making all efforts to contain the pandemic, Janrao said,
“The floral garlanding of Babasaheb’s statue is done by government officials in cities and at district-levels. But Dalit leaders should avoid coming near the statues. If the leaders come, followers will also gather there which will defeat the purpose of social distancing,” Janrao said.
Ambedkar’s birthday was first celebrated publicly in 1928. “However, it was after Babasahe’s death in 1956 that his birth anniversary started being celebrated across the country. It is also a public holiday,” Janrao said, adding this will be first time since 1957 that Ambedkar Jayanti will not be celebrated openly.
“We will celebrate the Jayanti after coronavirus cases come down,” the RPI (A) said.
Meanwhile, associates of Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, said he will comment at “the appropriate time”.