Ambedkar Smriti Vanam Launched By Naidu

Estimated Budget for this smrithi vanam is 100 crore and the time for completion of project is 2 years.

Vijayawada: As a mark of 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar, AP CM Chandrababu Naidu laid foundation stone for Smrithi Vanam (memorial park) at Inavolu village on Friday.

Spread over 20 acres, Park will have 126 ft statue of Ambedkar at the centre. There will be meditation hall, Library, landscaped gardens, open air theatre, are few features of Smrithi vanam.

Along with these a convention hall with a seating capacity of 3000 persons will come up in this memorial park.
Estimated Budget for this smrithi vanam is 100 crore and the time for completion of project is 2 years.

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Ambedkar Memorial To Come Up In 20 acres At Amaravati

Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government had decided to build Ambedkar memorial in the new capital, Amaravati. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu would lay foundation stone for the memorial that would come up on a sprawling 20 acres of land.

Minister for Social Welfare Ravela Kishore Babu had inspected the site located between Inavolue and Sakhamuru close to the temporary secretariat in Velagapudi. The Minister said that the government would establish a 125-ft height statue of Dr B R Ambedkar. The government would also celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar on April 14 this year after the Chief Minister lays foundation stone.

The memorial would come up facing the prestigious speed access road in the new capital. This would be a special attraction to the people, particularly the Buddhist tourists visiting the State, the Minister said.

The Minister asked the officials of the Social Welfare Department and the AP Capital Region Development Authority to get the land ready for the Ambedkar birthday celebrations and the foundation laying ceremony for the statue and memorial construction.

Social Welfare Principle secretary S S Ravat, Commissioner Rama Rao, APCRDA commissioner Cherukuri Sridhar, officials G Nageswara Rao, N Raghunadha Reddy and others were present.

 

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TRS neglecting Dalits ’ Welfare: Congress

HYDERABAD: The Telangana Congress leaders have accused the TRS Government of completely neglecting the welfare of Dalits in Telangana State.

Addressing a gathering at Gandhi Bhavan on the occasion of birth anniversary of Ambedkar on Tuesday, TPCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged the State Government was not giving any importance to the growth and development of SCs in the State. He said the Dalits have been facing humiliation and discrimination under the TRS regime. Recalling the steps taken by the previous Congress Governments for the welfare of Dalits, he hoped that the golden days return for the Dalits of Telangana after his party returns to power in the State.

Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir said Ambedkar was in favour of smaller states, and based on his ideals, the Congress party turned the 60-year-old dream of Telangana into a reality. He accused Chief Minister Chandrashekar Rao of openly cheating the Dalits of Telangana. Had KCR honored his promises, Ambedkar’s birth anniversary this year would have been celebrated under a Dalit CM, Shabbir said. He also slammed the government for not fulfilling any of the promises he made with the Dalits. Disclosing statistics, he said only 36 percent of 7,579.45 crore rupees meant for the SC Sub-Plan for 2014-15 was spent by the State Government. Similarly, he said, only 45 percent of 2,799 Crore rupees was allocated for SC Welfare and released during the financial year.

Meanwhile, TPCC Working President Bhatti Vikramarka announced that Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary celebrations would be celebrated throughout the year. Other senior Congress leaders, including AICC Secretary Khuntia, MadhuYashki, Mallu Ravi and others also addressed the meeting. (NSS)

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Politics in the name of Nehru and Patel

  • History being rewritten to suit political ends
  • Nehru was a political thinker respected by Russel
  • Man of peace averted world wars
  • He was the architect of modern India
  • Sangh Parivar trying to co-opt icons from freedom struggle

(P Ravi)

Obviously there aren’t national heroes worth their while after the likes of Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and Ambedkar. Decades after they have lived and strived for the country, political parties in India continue to live on their legacy. By refusing to clarify the non-existent familial relation between Gandhi and Indira, the Congress party, for a long time, let the masses believe that the Gandhi/Nehru family are the descendants of the Mahatma, who had his ardent follower in Nehru. And later, Congress projected Indira Gandhi (they continue to do so, even as Nehru re-featured on their banners in a big way lately) as the ablest leader and used her popularity to get into the hearts of people.

gandhi-nehru-patel 1-14

Ambedkar on the other hand has always been messiah of the depressed and the oppressed. Never mind Gandhi’s policy of equality and campaign against caste discrimination and untouchability; his birth as a Gujarati bania alienated him, atleast in principle, as the icon of the marginalised. The differences between both the leaders, who share the common belief and have equally championed the cause of backward classes, goes back to their times. And their followers, along the decades, have been even more critical about each other. And it is this conflict that led to the controversy over the foreword by Arundhati Roy for the latest edition of  Ambedkar’s book ‘Annihilation of Caste’. She says, “Notwithstanding the name-calling, the fact is that neither Ambedkar nor Gandhi allows us to pin easy labels Ambedkar-14on them that say “pro-imperialist” or “anti-imperialist.” Their conflict complicates and perhaps enriches our understanding of imperialism as well as the struggle against it.” Today, Ambedkar who has been a nationalist first and staunchly opposed orthodoxy and caste annihilation is restricted to a certain section of Indians. And, the so called followers of Dadasaheb Ambedkar – Bahujan Samaj Party, went on an installing spree by setting up statues of their idol across UP.

Coming back to Nehru; who is forever blamed for every mistake that has happened in independent India – the Congress too was not overtly enthusiastic about correcting or countering the process of maligning him that has only grown in proportions over the years. Today, not many acknowledge the fact that he was one of the greatest political scientists of his time and is given the credit of refuting major international conflicts by effectively curtailing the Korea war (1950), Suez Canal dispute (1956) and the civil war in Congo and Bertrand Russel is believed to have said that on several occasions he had prevented major conflicts from gaining proportions of a world war. His non-alignment policy was majorly responsible for a peaceful India and had proved its effectiveness across the world. Under his captainship India emerged as the only successful democracy when compared to its neighbours.

sonia-rahul gandhi-14It is only now, after 125 years, under the aegis of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party is making some noise over the issue. This outburst may also be attributed to Modi-led BJP openly criticising the first prime minister of India. And, saying Patel would have made a better prime minister. And in a veiled and at times not so hidden agenda, BJP is building up a parallel image of Patel. Until now the party and RSS lacked an icon from the national movement, which they wish to change by making Patel their hero. And one of the initiatives taken to this effect is the proposed 240 metres tall statue of Sardar Patel in Gujarat. Sardar Patel who had openly denounced RSS and had even banned the organisation until it promised to restrict itself to cultural activities – “All their (RSS) leaders’ speeches were full of communal poison. As a final result of the poison…an atmosphere was created in which such a ghastly tragedy (Gandhi’s assassination) became possible…RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhiji’s death.” – Excerpts from Sardar Patel’s letters to M.S. Golwalkar (Outlook) – is being portrayed as the BJP icon – ironical indeed.

It is quite a mockery of the life-long alliance between both the iconic leaders – Sardar Patel and Nehru – who had their differences – but together went ahead in building an independent India, a sub-continent that was taking its baby steps and were dealing with various issues – from backwardness and poverty to illiteracy and unemployment and the larger problems like the partition and the aftermath, wars etc.,

modi-adwani-14It is like the tug of war between Congress and BJP, and in their enthusiastic competition to outdo each other, are trying to recreate history (in their favour) by bringing the national leaders into the contemporary context.

In the mindless game of politics, history bears the brunt. Sagarika Ghose in one of her columns says, “History is now competitive politics. So harnessed is history to party politics that any complex understanding of the past is attacked as vociferously as a political opponent.” James Laine’s book on Shivaji is not seen as book of history but as an anti-NCP-Shiv Sena document; Romila Thapar is not a doyenne of history, she becomes a political ‘enemy’ of the Hindu rashtra; A K Ramanujan’s essay ‘Three Hundred Ramayanas’ cannot be studied in Delhi University because it conflicts with ABVP’s notion of the Ramayana. In the process, future citizens are not allowed to access varied readings of the past because the history class is turning them into political activists.

Hero worship is not wrong. But the agenda is. The worship of the national heroes has never translated into study of history and national leaders. Even as there are many books on Nehru, several others like Ambedkar need to be studied and their lives and philosophies understood. Instead, what we get are more statues, more schemes named after the national heroes and name calling each other’s self-proclaimed heroes – an ominous trend that may further disintegrate the country already ridden with caste and religious politics.

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