Come 6 December 2017, Modi is planning to inaugurate two landmark monuments related to Babasaheb Ambedkar. The original plan was to inaugurate the two monuments, Ambedkar International Centre and Ambedkar Memorial, in the year 2018. The dates of inauguration are being brought forward with an eye on elections. The upcoming elections are crucial for Modi and RSS/BJP. The Gujarat is being seen as the bastion of RSS/BJP under the tutelage of Modi and hence the elections will be game changers.
The two monuments are Ambedkar International Centre which is located on Janpath, the famous road in New Delhi and Ambedkar memorial is located at 26, Alipur Road, where Babasaheb breathed his last.
The important plank of Modi’s electoral victory was appealing to the backward classes. In his many speeches before the union elections in 2014, Modi always underscored his social origin as the backward class member and that he was committed to social justice. He told people on Kerala that he is Dalit as he has been discriminated all his life.
RSS/BJP think tank has rightly identified that the coming era belongs to Babasaheb Ambedkar and his great struggle because all over India the backward classes are asserting their rights and their rightful share in the governance of the country. This is going to rise as any entity, even RSS/BJP, cannot rule India without the consent of the larger population and support of this population is crucial for any entity. Therefore, all the political parties are trying to woo people in the name of Babasaheb Ambedkar. The big gap that exists because of the lack of energy in the Ambedkarite political structures opens up the opportunity for others to occupy.
The established political parties that are represented by the non-backward classes will always try to woo the backward class masses with tokenism and monuments. The monuments and museums are the part of the stratagem of the established upper caste parties. The Congress Party for decades avoided the name of Babasaheb Ambedkar and even put an iron curtain over his life and the great mission. It suddenly found the saviour in Babasaheb Ambedkar. The Hindutva brigade always hated Babasaheb Ambedkar for his democratic ideas and his quest for rights for all, suddenly found an icon in his name.
This has not happened all of a sudden. The Ambedkarite movement was always thriving in the hearts of people, in the poor slums, and now increasingly reaching to all the levels. Its continuous growth is unstoppable and the ruling classes will use all the means possible to stop it, but as they realise that it is unstoppable by any means, the only option left is a “co-option”.
Author – Mangesh Dahiwale