Free Press Journal

Ambedkar a victim of “political untouchability”: Modi


Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Describing B R Ambedkar as a victim of “political untouchability”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today credited the key architect of the Constitution for his own growth from a humble background. He also said it would be a disrespect for Ambedkar if he is only viewed as a “messiah” of the oppressed and the downtrodden and added that the first Law Minister of the country had worked for the welfare of the entire humanity.

“Personally, I think had Ambedkar not been there, where would have been Narendra Modi?” the Prime Minister said. Attacking successive opposition governments at the Centre for not giving due respect to Ambedkar, he said the social reformer faced social untouchability in his life and was also facing “political untouchability after his death…governments which were formed due to the Constitution framed by Ambedkar perhaps had problems in finalising plans for the Dr Ambedkar International Centre.”

He said when supporters of Ambedkar thought of establishing the Centre in 1992, the files kept moving back and forth for over 20 years. “When the responsibility came upon me, I was perturbed why this (delay) has happened. But I decided that while 20 years have been wasted, the project should be completed in 20 months,” Modi said at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Centre on Janpath.

Modi said “in a way” the memorial centre is also a “victim” of the political untouchability. In an attack on rival political parties, Modi said people who have not read Ambedkar’s works are delivering discourse on his life. “How will those not willing to embrace him will try to read his works?” Modi said.