The Big Picture – B R Ambedkar: Mascot or Philosopher?
Recently 125th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar was celebrated all over India with much excitement and vigour. Ambedkar was no less a leader compared with Gandhi whose contribution for upliftment of downtrodden people deserve applauds. The values that he stood is beyond all party lines, however there are elements in the society who interpret his teachings for gaining undue advantage. This article deals with certain interpretations by scholars to understand whether Ambedkar was a mascot or a philosopher.
Ambedkar in a sense can be summed as both philosopher and mascot for not just the downtrodden but for all the kind of inequality that is existing in the society. He is contemporary and modern whose thoughts align with inequality. Also there are efforts by certain elements who glorify Ambedkar as if he belongs to one particular community or so. But on a larger side Ambedkar and his thoughts are obscured or beyond the comprehension of a common man.
Political parties have appropriated Ambedkar legacy through various means like elections etc. However the Inherent contradiction that exists between the political parties on reclaiming the legacy is something which is not desirable. Even though various governments have made sustained efforts to instil the values of Ambedkar at the same time certain elements in the society are just reducing him to mere statues and posters by forming numerous associations etc.
Finally political parties need to play pragmatic politics when it comes to appropriating icons of great stature. Regardless of party lines there should be synchronisation of philosophy with the philosophy of the icons they are appropriating. If these things do not happen then it should be condemnable and is highly disrespectful for the icon.