Lucknow: The UP state government on Wednesday issued orders to change the name of social reformer and Dalit activist Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar as Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar in all government documents and records.
The move has invited sharp criticism from the opposition, which has questioned the timing of the order and alleged that it was a political decision.
Speaking to News18, BJP leader and minister Swami Prasad Maurya said, “There has been no change made to Dr Ambedkar’s name, orders have been issued to write his full name, which is Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. This was written by Baba Saheb himself on the pages of the constitution. There was a tradition to include the father’s name in Maharashtra, the place where Baba Saheb originally hails from.”
The opposition’s charge against the move was led by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who said, “Yogi Adityanath should read the Constitution written by Dr BR Ambedkar and follow it. Each and every child knows the name of Baba Saheb, he does not require any introduction.”
The order was issued by Principal Secretary of general administration department, Jitendra Kumar, who took cognizance of the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, in which Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar’s name is written as Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.
High Court benches in Lucknow and Allahabad, along with all government departments, have also received the notification.
This comes after the issue was raised by Governor Ram Naik last year. He pointed out that the signature by Dr Ambedkar on the pages of the Constitution includes his full name and he should, therefore, be referred to by his complete moniker.
Governor Naik had even written to Prime Minister Modi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to express his concerns over the prevalent spelling of Dr Ambedkar.