Since the death of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in 1956, a wave of hatred among Hindu groups is flourishing. Hindu groups and its leaders claim that ‘Reservation’ for the Scheduled Castes (SCc) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) has pushed back Hindus economically. Reservation for socially and economically SCs/STs was safeguarded by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar that reserved seats for SCs/STs in the government educational institutions and government bodies. Not only this but also, Hindu groups want to perpetuate hatred against Dr. Ambedkar for their own vested interest. The leaders of Hindu groups from, time to time, attack Dr. Ambedkar ideology that talks about casteless society. Dr. Ambedkar`s social philosophy talks about complete annihilation of the caste system. Dr. Ambedkar`s economic philosophy talks about equal opportunity for all irrespective of caste, creed, or color. All these ideals are not acceptable to Hindus groups As a matter of fact, they do not want to establish casteless society. They do not want to share economic development of the country with other backward communities.
By erecting Dr. Ambedkar statue, the SC/STs feel empowered. It is a state of sorry that every time we hear about vandalization of Dr. Ambedkar statue erected by his followers either in the public parks or in the vicinity of residential colonies. Some below quoted incidents recently are few examples.
According to Hindustan Times (03.10.2023) Dr. Ambedkar statue was vandalized by miscreants in Begusarai , Bihar. The local police registered a case against unknown people. No culprit yet has been arrested. The protestors were pacified.
Deccan Herald (05.07.2023) the vandalization of Dr. Ambedkar statue in Lucknow sparked a row. The local followers of Dr. Ambedkar staged a protest against the incident.
Decan Herald (27.06.2023) reports the vandalization of Dr. Ambedkar statue in Bhatla village, Haryana, The policed registered FIR against the culprit but still no arrest.
According to media report(Times of India, 20 April,2023), the statue of Dr. Ambedkar was vandalized in Jewar village , Noida. The police could not catch the miscreants till date.
The list is very long of such incidents across India. Now the question is who are the people behind it and what is their mentality? What do they gain out of it? What is their politics? Whom they want to please by vandalizing the statue of Dr. Ambedkar? What is the role of the government and the police administration to stop such incidents? All these questions puzzle SCs/ STs across the country.
In most of the cases of vandalization of Dr. Ambedkar statue, the media reports and investigations by the police found that the miscreants belongs to the Hindu groups (Bajrang Dal, VHP, and RSS). RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said, “Everyone living in India is Hindu” (Indian Express 15.11.2022). Savarkar`s landmark text, Hindutva: Who is a Hindu ?(1923) describes “ the Buddha – the Dharma – the Sangha .They are all ours.( Douglas Ober(2023 ) Dust on the Throne: the search for Buddhism in modern India, Stanford University Press, Standford , California, p.160)
It is unfortunate, RSS has never raised voice against vandalization of Dr. Ambedkar statue. There is no statement issued by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to stop vandalization of Dr. Ambedkar statue. Similarly, no Hindu group ever raise voice against vandalization of Dr. Ambedkar statue. No Bollywood celebrity ever raise such issue whereas they feel proud visiting Hindu temples and Mosque to attract the fans. Indian actors and actresses hardly visit Buddha Vihara barring one or two( Dalia Lama temple). It manifests that hatred against Dr. Ambedkar is embedded in the minds and hearts of Hindus. The leader of Hindu groups does not treat the icons of Dalits respectfully as they treat their own Hindu Gods and Goddesses. This mentality of hatred against Dr. Ambedkar must come to an end. The duality of character would not be tolerated by SCs/ STs.
The Government of India or ruling political parties in states and districts must see to it that no statue of Dr. Ambedkar is vandalized. This can be done if the local administration keeps a close watch on miscreant who try to disturb peace and harmony by committing such crimes.
The vandalization of Dr. Ambedkar statue smear the image of the country at the international level. It also maligns the image of Hindu groups at the world level. The responsibility also falls on the shoulders of Dalit political leaders who remain silent in the Parliament of India on such issues. On the other hand, all SCs/STs organization in India and abroad must write a letter to Prime Minister and Home Minister and register their complaints and should demand that no person or group should be allowed to vandalize Dr. Ambedkar statue- the father of Indian Constitution.
Dr. Ambedkar is a world-renowned personality. The foreign universities feel proud in erecting the statue of Dr. Ambedkar in the premises of the university. Dr. Ambedkar shines like a star in the world because his social, economic philosophy has been accepted by learned professors. Dr. Ambedkar economic thoughts and ideas solve economic woes of the world. Dr. Ambedkar talks about Equality, Liberty and Fraternity which is appealing to the people of the world especially the socially and economically backward communities across the world. Had the constitution of India was implemented honestly by the respective ruling class and ruling parties in India, India would have become Vishaw Guru long time back. Now is the time for Hindu groups to change their hatred mentality against Dr. Ambedkar and stop vandalization of statues and bow their heads respectfully to the father of the Indian Constitution.
Dr. Rahul Kumar, PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi ( India), is an independent researcher . His area of interest encompasses social & political issues, diplomacy, foreign policy and international relations. The views expressed in this article are personal.