Rijiju’s party, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has been trying to cash upon Ambedkar and his legacy to woo dalits.
Mumbai: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday said he sees dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar as “a form of God.” Mr Rijiju was speaking at an event organised by Maharashtra’s social justice department on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. Mr Rijiju’s party, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has been trying to cash upon Ambedkar and his legacy to woo dalits.
The minister said, “When I think of Buddha, I also think of Dr Ambedkar and his great contribution to our country. Dr Ambedkar became the voice of the oppressed classes in this country. Imagine how much hardship he must have faced while pursuing his career and education. I look at him as a form of God.... The way he gave the Constitution to India, it is important,” he said.
For quite some time, BJP has been trying to woo dalits and even the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been talking on the same lines. The RSS had even asked it workers to implement several of its programmes to try and bring dalits into its fold along with other castes in Hinduism.
Many senior RSS leaders have held various programmes talking about Ambedkar and his contribution. In further comments, Mr Rijiju said, “He (Ambedkar) struggled hard even after his education and unfortunately his defeat was ensured by some people in thosedays,” referring to Ambedkar’s defeats in electoral politics.
The minister said he wanted to “remember and bow before” those who helped Ambedkar in drafting of the Constitution.
The minister also spoke about how Buddhism helps his state — Arunachal Pradesh — and his people. “(Lord) Krishna’s (consort) Rukmini is from my native place — Arunachal. As a bordering state, we face more tension, but Buddha’s philosophy helps us,” he said.