The government of Gujarat has withdrawn a book on BR Ambedkar, the father of the Indian Constitution, from all primary schools in the state because “anti-Hindu”. A “very unhappy,” move according to – director of the Prashant Center for Human Rights, Justice and Peace.
Gujarat, August 12, 2015: The government of Gujarat has withdrawn a book on BR Ambedkar, the father of the Indian Constitution, from all primary schools in the state because “anti-Hindu”. A “very unhappy,” move according to Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ – director of the Prashant Center for Human Rights, Justice and Peace – given that it was the same administration to decide to include the volume in the curriculum, as part of celebrations of the 125th anniversary of the man’s birth . In total, the authorities had had printed more than 400 thousand copies, most of which has already been distributed.
The government ordered the withdrawal of the book after discovering that the publisher included the “22 vows” that Ambedkar made during the mass conversion of 1956, in which thousands of his supporters left Hinduism to embrace Buddhism. According to the Department for Social Justice and Empowerment (which had decided to publish the text, ed), the original author did not include those passages.
Born into a family of Hindu Dalits (“untouchables”) all his life Ambedkar fought to assert political rights and social freedom of the “untouchables” like him. In his fight against the caste system dictated by Hinduism, he became interested in Buddhism, and decided to convert.
To do so, he organized a public ceremony in Nagpur October 15, 1956, which was also attended by 500 thousand supporters. In order to make the conversion, Ambedkar and his followers uttered the “22 vows”: with these, as well as giving up the worship of the Hindu gods, they established the equality of men and the commitment to create a society of equals.
“It is clear – Fr. Prakash tells AsiaNews – that, with this book, the government wanted to co-opt as many Dalits and Buddhists as possible. However, they realized that in highlight Ambedkar, they also had to address the honest but painful reality of what he thought of Hinduism “.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, the Hindu nationalist, the government), adds the Jesuit, “find it difficult to digest all that Ambedkar had to say. But the citizens of India can not be fooled so easily. It was Dr. Ambedkar to have played a crucial role in the drafting of the Constitution of India and he is rightly regarded as the father of our Constituent Assembly. “
“The slogan of Ambedkar -he recalls – was ‘to educate, agitate, organize’. Many in Gujarat and India will think of these words today. ”