Ignore divisive forces, put nation’s interest first

Ambedkar birth anniversary

MHOW : President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday cautioned people against divisive forces and said nation needed harmony and not conflict. “We need samrasta (harmony),” he remarked while delivering keynote address at the function held here to mark 127th birth anniversary of Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, the father of Indian Constitution.

He said all Indians should put nation’s interest first and urged people to follow the path of peace, harmony and brotherhood shown by Baba Saheb.

His statements assume significance as they come in the backdrop of April 2 nationwide Dalit bandh, which saw large -scale violence in several states, including Madhya Pradesh where more than half a dozen people died.

Speaking further, he appealed to youths to follow the path of peace, harmony and brotherhood shown by Ambedkar.

“Today is April 14 and I am the 14th President. I came to know I am the first president to visit Ambedkar’s birthplace on the occasion of his birth anniversary and I feel proud about it,” Kovind said.

He further said that as President, he has responsibility to protect the Constitution, whose main architect was Babasaheb Ambedkar. “If, after becoming president, I did not bow my head at his birthplace, then I would have felt guilty,” he said.

Speaking further Kovind said, “In his last speech in the Constituent Assembly, Ambedkar had said now we have constitutional ways to protest and therefore we should stay away from lawlessness. Our country works on the basis of democratic processes. Today, we need to follow it and while doing so we should always remain cautious about the good and the bad.”

Recalling Ambedkar’s contributions to the country, Kovind said he had always adopted non-violent means to fight for the rights of SCs, STs, other weaker sections of the society and women. “The chant of Jai Bhim means glory to Ambedkar’s legacy, ideals and the Constitution that he had given to the country,” he said.

Addressing youths, Kovind said that they should understand that Dr Ambedkar had laid the foundation of the new India. He worked towards forming RBI, cut down working hours from 12 to 8 and laid foundation of huge dam and power projects like Damodar Velly and Hirakund. He fought for gender equality.

The function was chaired by Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and union minister for social justice and empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot also expressed their views.

Footfall at anniversary function drops

Mhow : The growing competition among political parties to highjack legacy of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar has affected the turnout of followers at his birth anniversary functions. About 25,000 Ambedkar followers reached Mhow this year. This trend is continuing for last three years.

Earlier, the function was called ‘Ambedkar Mahakumb’ as more than 50,000 followers would visit here on Ambedkar birth anniversary. Normally, people would reach Mhow two days prior to anniversary function. But there was no rush this time. Administrative sources claimed that 40,000 followers visited Mhow last year. In 2016, nearly 80,000 followers present.

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Free Press Journal