On 21 August 2016, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Shivpratap Shukla, while addressing a programme of Brahmin Chetna Manch at Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, said, “Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was not a Dalit; he was a Sanadya Brahmin and was inspired by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. Ambedkar worked for the upliftment of the people and that is why he drafted the Constitution. His name was Bhimrao but now he is known as Babasaheb Ambedkar.” It would be wrong to presume that the MP was just making an off-the-cuff remark. It smells of a conspiracy to brahmanize Dr Ambedkar.
Without naming the BSP, he said, “Brahmins had created history in this country but today, we are witnessing politics in the name of Ambedkar. On every slight pretext, riots erupt. I ask the people who address Ambedkar not as Bhimrao but as Babasaheb Ambedkar, ‘Who had arranged for primary education of Ambedkar? Who had financed his studies in Europe?’ The surname ‘Ambedkar’, which he added to Bhimrao, was not his.”
This is not the first time the RSS and its progeny, the BJP, have made attempts to usurp Ambedkar and create fissures among the SCs. A book titled Rashtra Purush: Baba Saheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, edited by Dr Krishna Gopal and Shree Prakash and published by Suruchi Prakashan, Jhandewalan, is full of such falsehoods and concoctions. The book presents Dr Ambedkar as a Sanatani leader, a patron of Bhagwad Gita, a wearer of the sacred thread and as someone who persuaded the Mahars to wear the sacred thread. All these events relate to the early part of his life. But the book does not talk about what Ambedkar did between 1929 and 1949, the period when he was the most active in public life. The editors seem to be bent upon proving that Ambedkar was anti-Muslim. Their real intent is evident from the following line in his book: “A boy born into an untouchable family became the giver of the law of Indian society. The flower of earth reached the skies and the head.” These lines stink of Manuvad.
For a detailed exposition of the concept of Bahujan literature, read Forward Press Books’ Bahujan Sahitya Ki Prastavna.
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