Ambedkar was votary of human rights: C T Ravi

Zilla Panchayat president Chaitrashree Malathesh on Friday said the values and principles propagated by Dr B R Ambedkar are still relevant.

She was speaking at the 126th birth anniversary programme of Ambedkar organised jointly by the district administration, Zilla Panchayat, Social Welfare Department, City Municipal Council (CMC) and Dr B R Ambedkar Development Corporation here.

Chaitrashree said Ambedkar Jayanti should not be restricted for the occasion, as Ambedkar was not just a Dalit leader. He was also a votary of human rights endearing to people irrespective of caste or creed, he added.

Describing the caste system as the biggest curse on the society, MLA C T Ravi said the district BJP unit has been organising ‘Saha Pankti Bhojana’ (taking food along with people irrespective of caste) and ‘Padapuja’ of civic workers to get rid of casteism. However, the organisation is not under the illusion of eradicating caste system, he added.

Ravi also said it was the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre that played a key role in United Nations (UN) observing the birth anniversary of the great leader. Moreover, the Centre has taken up the mantle of developing six places in commemoration of Ambedkar, he said.

Chairman of Jungle Lodges and Resorts Limited A N Mahesh said, “One who ate the fruits of reservation must distribute the same to others, instead of harming others interests. Ambedkar has the credit of opening Reserve Bank, launching power and irrigation projects, building of Hirakud dam and founding of soldiers welfare committee and others.”

Mahesh described the UN’s decision to celebrate Ambedkar’s birth anniversary as a matter of pride to every Indian. He also advised the elected representatives to not to restrict their ‘Dine with Dalit’ programme for a day, but to make it a routine programme. Ambedkar should not be used as a political tool, he said.

Writer Krishnamurthy Chamaram said, “The representation of communities is called as reservation. While Ambedkar wanted reservation in politics only for 20 years, he had also set a cap on the period of reservation in the fields of education and job. Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj was the first ruler to introduce reservation, who had allotted 50% representation in his court and education for Backward Classes. In the later years, Wadiyars, the erstwhile rulers of Mysuru, introduced 75% reservation in their province.”

Highlighting the achievement of Ambedkar, Chamaram said Imperial Bank, the first-ever autonomous bank which later became Reserve Bank of India, was also the contribution of Ambedkar. Had the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru heeded to the advice of Ambedkar over the still burning issue of Jammu and Kashmir, the issue would have died down much earlier. Ambedkar was the law minister when he advised Nehru to divide Jammu and Kashmir into three parts: Jammu and Ladakh, thickly populated by Hindus and Buddhists should be retained with India and Kashmir with large number of Muslims should be handed over to Pakistan, he added.

Earlier, a portrait of Ambedkar was carried out in a colourful procession along with cultural troupes from taluk office to Kuvempu Kalamandir.

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