The united opposition and the fiberal (the fake liberal) is fuming on social media. The BJP government in Uttar Pradesh led by Yogi Adityanath has decided to change the name of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar to ‘Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Aambedkar’ (his real and full name) in government and court records. This, as expected, is invoking criticism from the opposition and the icon’s grandsons.
Media reports say ‘Ramji’ will be added as the middle name; ‘Ambedkar’ will be changed to ‘Aambedkar’ when written in Hindi. In English, it will still be spelled as ‘Ambedkar’. However, how do you add something that is already a part of one’s name? One can say it is a correction, and that too of an act of deliberate omission by people who object to the name and utterance of ‘Ram’. One might also call it an attempt to invoke Ram for political gains, but it can never be called an addition or alteration.
Principal Secretary (state general administration) Jitendra Kumar issued a circular in this regard earlier this week to all departments and the registrars of the Allahabad and Lucknow benches of the high court. In another order issued on Thursday, the government made it compulsory for all its offices to put up Ambedkar’s photographs displaying his full name from April 1st 2018.
While issuing Tuesday’s order, the government cited the Eighth Schedule of Constitution, where Ambedkar’s name is written as ‘Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Aambedkar’ in Hindi.
Discussions around Dr. Ambedkar’s name have been going on for a while now. The campaign to write Ambedkar’s original name was initiated by Governor Ram Naik in December 2017. Ambedkar’s grandsons, Prakash Ambedkar and Anand Ambedkar, however, call the move “vote bank politics by the BJP”.
“BJP wants to have their own agenda before the 2019 elections. My sense is close to elections, they might try to tell the voters that Ambedkar was also a ‘Ram bhakt’,” Prakash said. He used to write Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar only in signatures and for all other purposes he used initials, he added. However, one wonders why Dr. Ambedkar did not drop Ramji from his name. That Dr. Ambedkar chose to embrace Buddhism is no secret, but the Ramji in his name has nothing to do with an ideology or a religion. It is a no-brainer that Dr. Ambedkar’s father was Ramji Maloji Sakpal.
BSP supremo Mayawati said the move is selfish politics on the part the BJP. She also suggested that the BJP must use Narendra Damodardas Modi, the full name of the Prime Minister on all government advertisements. While Mayawati is fuming, she might have made a great suggestion.
Generations in India have grown up with the misconception that BR Ambedkar stands for Bhim Rao Ambedkar and not Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. While Shakespeare says, ‘what’s in a name’, and we could agree or disagree with the bard, shouldn’t young India know the full name of its icons?
Shouldn’t we know more about the man who gave us our constitution and stood by the weaker sections of our society? Similarly, young India must know the full name of its Prime Ministers.
Also, while it is appealing to cook up a storm around Ramji and Yogi Adityanath, postage stamps dating back to the 90s also write Dr. Ambedkar’s name as Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. It is to be noted that even after Dr. Ambedkar embraced Buddhism, he did not drop Ramji from his name. The Constitution of the Buddhist Society of India bears testimony to the fact.
The usual suspects who are outraging about this move need to answer two simple questions:
Why are they opposed to the government using the icon’s real and full name?
And who gave the right to omit and systematically hide his middle-name from the country for so many years?
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