ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Appropriating Ambedkar

On the occasion of the centenary celebration of B R Ambedkars birth anniversary, the eminent scholar of jurisprudence, Upendra Baxi, had warned us: Centenary celebrations are organised political events having distinctive ideologies of recall and distinctive modes of appropriating a historical figure for the purposes of the present. Baxi identified seven Ambedkars in his discourse to highlight different dimensions of his life and thought.

The changing face of Ambedkar in the Hindutvavadi discourse is an interesting phenomenon. A controversy has cropped up in the context of the attempt by the Modi government to print the original collected works of Ambedkar as a part of his 125th birth anniversary celebrations. This venture is facing stiff opposition from Ambedkars grandson, Prakash Ambedkar, who has refused to allow the printing of the original collected works in English. Suspecting the motives of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Prakash Ambedkar told the media that he would not forget history wherein the Ambedkarites were pitted against the BJP and RSS. He recalled that when Ambedkars complete works were being published during the tenure of the Shankarrao Chavan government, it was the BJP and RSS who had vehemently opposed it.

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