As Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vie for appropriating B R Ambedkar’s legacy, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is seeking to project him as a “nationalist” leader with a “holistic” view and his caution against the threat of political Islam by bringing out a publication on him on his 125th birth anniversary.
RSS mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ and ‘Panchjanya’ are coming out with a “collector’s edition” of his writings as well as those written on him by his followers and critics in a bid to project Ambedkar as a leader who had a “holistic” view.
“Ambedkar has been reduced to being a Dalit icon or a Constitution-maker only. We want to project his contribution as a leader in all spheres of life. We should look at him with a holistic perspective.
“His views on religion and dharma are more profound. He has also written extensively on the threat of political Islam in his book. These aspects of him have been neglected,” Organiser’s editor Praful Ketkar said.
He said Ambedkar had also given a call in 1948 to all SC people left behind in Pakistan and were forced to convert there as also in Nizam’s Hyderabad, asking them not to consider conversion as the only escape route and had said he would would welcome them back in the country.
“We wanted to embrace all of them after they were converted,” he said, adding that it is not “Ghar Wapsi” aspect
that RSS wants to highlight. Panchjanya’s editor Hitesh Shankar said the compilation of works on Ambedkar being brought out by RSS’ mouthpieces are a tribute to the “nationalist” leader who has contributed in every sphere.
He said opinion is divided on Ambedkar and “we want to project his holistic and right perspective”.
He said the collectors’ edition, that will be unveiled before RSS’ general secretary Suresh Bhayyaji Joshi, besides Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on April 14 is a collection of all articles and books written on him covering various dimensions of his life and personality.
Asked why RSS was giving this tribute to Ambedkar, Ketkar said RSS considers him as a great nationalist leader and the Sangh remembers him and his contribution to society-building everyday.
He said his understanding of Indian culture has been “completely neglected” and hence the need for this.