A statue of Dr BR Ambedkar, which was recently vandalised in Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, has been rebuilt, but with a change. Instead of his usual suit, Ambedkar has now been dressed in a prince suit, which is saffron in colour.
The statue was vandalised on April 7 by unidentified miscreants in Dugraiya village in Kunwargaon area of Badaun. It led to protests in the area and the administration replaced it in haste with another status of Ambedkar brought in from Agra.
Badaun: A BR Ambedkar statue which was vandalized recently has been rebuilt and painted saffron in colour pic.twitter.com/saW7U9BBUi
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 10, 2018
When Zee News made attempts to approach the police and district administration over the statue turning saffron, there was no response from either. However, former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Prem Swarup Pathak dismissed any role of the party. “This is being made a political issue, BJP has got nothing to do with the statue. As far as saffron is concerned, the colour is a symbol of Indian culture,” he said.
In March, two statues of Dr Ambedkar were vandalised within 24 hours in Siddharthnagar and Allahabad. Despite strong words by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and clear directives from the Ministry of Home Affairs, there seems to be no end to incidents of vandalism of statues of iconic leaders and ideologues. Several incidents of statue vandalism have been reported from various parts of the country over the last few months.
In another recent row in the name of the father of the Constitution, the Uttar Pradesh government last month decided to change the official name of Ambedkar by including his middle name Ramji. As per the decision, all official correspondence with his name would carry it as Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. This was done on the recommendation of Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik.
Justifying the move, the UP Governor had said that Ambedkar was a Marathi and Hindi speaking states have always written his name “incorrectly”. “I am a Marathi and so was he. Hindi speaking states have been writing his name incorrectly. Most importantly his name is written as Bhim and Rao as two words, however, the correct way to write is Bhimrao,” he had said.