June 08, 2016

India: Arts Centre IGNCA chair Ram Bahadur Rai (former ABVP gen sec) Trashes role of Ambedkar in Constitution framing

IGNCA chief's Ambedkar remark singes BJP
TNN | Jun 8, 2016, 02.23 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Concerned about the ramifications of IGNCA chairman Ram Bahadur Rai's comment that "Ambedkar's role in framing the Constitution was a myth", BJP functionaries swung into action so that rivals do not take political mileage of the line which contradicts concerted efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP members to eulogise B R Ambedkar and woo the politically decisive Dalit community.

In an interview to a weekly, Rai suggested that Ambedkar's role in framing the Constitution was limited. "Whatever material B N Rau gave him, he would correct its language. So Ambedkar did not write the Constitution. In fact, he said, if the Constitution is ever to be set on fire, then I will be the first to do so," Rai said in the interview, apparently quoting Ambedkar.

BJP's Scheduled Caste Morcha chief Dushyant Kumar Gautam said, "Rai's comments reflect his lack of awareness about Ambedkar. But it also smacks of some conspiracy," He claimed he had spoken to Rai, who assured him that his statement was in a context that he himself will clarify.

The NDA government had in April appointed Rai, a former ABVP general secretary, as chairman of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). Rai said in an interview that Ambedkar merely "corrected" the language as the head of the drafting committee and the assertion that he played a key role in writing the Constitution was a "myth".

BJP spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said the party and the NDA government were committed to national icons like Ambedkar and this was reflected in the way the 125th birth ann- iversary of Ambedkar was celebrated recently. "The NDA government has developed five places related to Ambedkar as panch teertha and party workers have organised events on these venues," said Sharma.

He said any individual comments should not be attributed to the party or the government. "There is a section worried about the growing popularity of BJP and they are making desperate bids to malign the party," he added.

BJP vice-president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said Ambedkar continued to be a "supremely important icon" of the emancipation of downtrodden sections of society, especially Dalits.

source URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/IGNCA-chiefs-Ambedkar-remark-singes-BJP/articleshow/52645571.cms