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  Ambedkar writings to be republished

Ambedkar writings to be republished

AGE CORRESPONDENT WITH AGENCY INPUTS
Published : Jan 25, 2016, 4:50 am IST
Updated : Jan 25, 2016, 4:50 am IST

Even as the nation celebrates the 125th birth anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, the Maharashtra government has responded positively to the Centre’s request for republishing the leader’s writings a

Narendra Modi with French President Francois Hollande visiting the Nek Chand Rock Garden in Chandigarh. (Photo: PTI)
 Narendra Modi with French President Francois Hollande visiting the Nek Chand Rock Garden in Chandigarh. (Photo: PTI)

Even as the nation celebrates the 125th birth anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, the Maharashtra government has responded positively to the Centre’s request for republishing the leader’s writings and speeches in English. The Centre has recently written to Ambedkar’s grandson, Prakash Ambedkar and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis seeking permission for the re-publication. However, Prakash Ambedkar has denied any such information.

“I have not received any letter from the government of India about republishing Dr Ambedkar’s writings. We have already given the rights to Maharashtra government so, it will take a call if any such communication has been made,” Prakash Ambedkar said.

Maharashtra education minister Vinod Tawde said the state would cooperate with the Centre in republishing the material. “We want Dr Ambedkar’s literature to reach the masses and there is no hurdle to republishing them. We will cooperate with the Centre, as we are celebrating 125th anniversary of Dr Ambedkar,” Mr Tawde said.

The Centre is commemorating Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary year as part of which it wants to publish the Collected Works of Bhimrao Ambedkar (CWBA).

“In accordance with the announcements made by Prime Minister, the 125th birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar is being celebrated from April 14, 2015 to April 14, 2016 and various programmes, stamp releases and symposiums are being organised. It has been learnt that during the meeting of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Source Material Publication Committee held on October 8, 2013, questions were raised on the permission accorded for republication of the Sampoorn Dandmay (Writings and Speeches) English Edition. Due to this, the principal secretary at department of higher and technical education, Maharashtra, notified vide letter dated July 7, 2014 that the re-publication of the Sampoorn Dandmay (Writings and Speeches) English edition of Dr Ambedkar has been restricted,” said a letter written by Union social justice minister Thawar Chand Gehlot.

Mr Gehlot said in his letter that the matter was discussed between him and Prakash Ambedkar over telephone and that the latter had agreed to accord permission, which Prakash Ambedkar has denied.

According to a senior official in the Ministry, the Maharashtra government had accorded permission for reprinting of writings and speeches of Ambedkar in English on May 9, 2013 after which Dr Ambedkar Foundation had published around 1,000 copies, all of which were sold. However, permission was later withdrawn by Maharashtra government in July, 2014.

“Since April last year we have been asking for NOC from Maharashtra government and Prakash Ambedkar, who is the copyright holder of these works, but are yet to get it,” the official said. Dr Ambedkar Foundation has already undertaken translation of Collected Works of Bhimrao Ambedkar from English into different languages — Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Odiya, Telugu, Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi and Urdu and their publication.