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Who is the real inheritor of Ambedkar's legacy?

Apr 15, 2008 01:18 AM IST India India

New Delhi: Its Ambedkar Jayanti on Monday and unlike previous years this time its been declared a national holiday. Full page ads, tributes from all political parties - something never seen before. So who is the real inheritor of Ambedkar's legacy?

It’s the kind of love reserved so far for members of the Gandhi family. Bhim Rao Ambedkar emerging as the latest object of adulation for parties across the political spectrum.

Ideologies don’t matter for all these parties. What matters is Ambedkar's image of being the tallest Dalit leader seen so far.

His belief that inequality is the soul of Hinduism doesn’t make him untouchable anymore for the custodians of Hinduvta in the country.

BJP member Venkaiah Naidu said, “Ambedkar has done so much for us."

He may have fallen out with the Congress in his later years but the Congress is increasing the intensity of its love for him.

So far restricted to his portraits in its hall of fame. Now the NCP has put his name on the Nagpur Airport and the UPA has converted his birth anniversary into a national holiday.

Till now Ambedkar's legacy was confined to few parties in Maharashtra and the BSP. While the Dalit revolution failed to take off in Maharashtra, in UP Chief Minister Mayawati is busy projecting herself in the same league as Ambedkar.

"There is no one who has done so much for us," Mayawati said.

Baba Saheb Ambedkar was the first one who gave a sense of self-belief to the Dalits in India.

On his anniversary while the jury may still be out on whether his mission is on the right path or not. For the practitioners of real politics the reality has already dawned – ‘Jeetne ke liye majboori hai, Ambedkar ka naam zaroori hai.’