Ambedkar Jayanti Hijacked By Mayawati

By S.R.Darapuri

Ambedkar Jayanti on 14th April has been celebrated by dalits in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) and other parts of the country at fixed venues for the last many years. But this time it has been hijacked by Mayawati in Uttar Pardesh. It was allowed to be celebrated at the places fixed by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) only and that too in the form of a political protest rally against the Central Congress Government. This undemocratic act of Mayawati has deeply hurt not only the Dalits but other sections of society also.

Let us take up the case of Lucknow; the capital of U.P. Ambedkar Jayanti has been traditionally celebrated at Hazratganj crossing where a statue of Dr. Ambedkar is installed. Ambedkarites of Lucknow used to take out processions and tableaus and reached the Hazratganj crossing to join the big rally in the evening. Different social and government employee’s associations used to put up their stalls in which water, sweets and small literature was distributed. The Jayanti has been celebrated at this point since its beginning in Lucknow. A large number of men, women and children used to throng this place in the evening till midnight. But this time this crossing presented a sad and deserted look for which Mayawati is responsible.

This time an undeclared ban was imposed on this celebration at this point by Mayawati government. It is learnt that a senior powerful minister of Mayawati government had summoned the office bearers of various Dalit organizations who used to arrange Ambedkar Jayanti at Hazratganj crossing. He told them that this time Ambedkar Jayanti will not be celebrated at this point rather it will be celebrated at Samajik Parivartin Sthal, Gomti Nagar as arranged by BSP. When some organizers objected to it they were threatened to comply with the orders. They were told that busses will be provided to them to carry their men to Gomti Nagar. In spite of these orders when some persons tried to take out a procession, they were obstructed by police and not allowed to proceed further. As such, this time Dalits had no option but to join BSP rally much against their wishes. This has greatly hurt the feelings of U.P. Ambedkarites.

It is also worth mentioning that previously Mayawati had forcibly removed the statue of Dr. Ambedkar and name plate of persons from this crossing which was got installed by Lucknow Dalits after a long struggle. In its place a different statue of Dr. Ambedkar was got installed by Mayawati and she put her own name plate there at. It was opposed by some persons but of no avail.

It is learnt that a similar action was taken in all other districts of U.P. The people were forced to join BSP protest rally rather than allowed to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti in their own way. Administrative power was effectively used to prevent people from celebrating the Jayanti independently. It is sad that Mayawati did not allow the Dalits of U.P. to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti in their own way rather they were forced to join the BSP protest rally. As such this time Ambedkar Jayanti has been hijacked by Mayawati which has hurt the feelings of the dalits of U.P.



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