RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi (c) releases a special book ‘A Compilation of Works of B R Ambedkar’ on his 125th birth anniversary in New Delhi on Tuesday. Also seen are, from left, Prafull Ketkar, Narendra Jadhav, Vijay Kumar and Hitesh Shanker. PTI
After questioning Mother Teresa’s charity work, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) alleged that Dr B. R. Ambedkar was ignored while she was given Bharat Ratna 10 years before him.
On his 125th birth anniversary, RSS also equated the Dalit icon to Hindutva stalwart and its founder K B Hedgewar and claimed that his views matched its own on Article 370 and that he had supported complete transfer of Muslim population after Partition.
Unveiling a collector’s edition brought out by its mouthpieces, Organiser and Panchjanya, RSS General Secretary Suresh ‘Bhaiyaji’ Joshi said, “He (Ambedkar) was ignored… He struggled for social justice and reform but never rebelled against the society.”
“He was given Bharat Ratna in 1990. In this country, Mother Teresa was givenBharat Ratna 10 years before him. It is a question worth a thought,” he said.
Ambedkar was awarded the highest civilian honour in 1990 by the then NationalFront government.
A few weeks ago, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was critical of Teresa, saying converting people to Christianity was the main objective behind her service to the poor.
“Mother Teresa’s service would have been good. But it used to have one objective, to convert the person, who was being served, into a Christian,” he had said at an event.
The Narendra Modi government and BJP, which looks up to RSS for ideological guidance, have launched a series of events to claim the legacy of Ambedkar with an eye on crucial Dalit votes.
In a signed piece in the special issue of Organiser, RSS’ Joint General Secretary Krishna Gopal drew many similarities between views expressed by Ambedkar and the Hindutva organisation on several issues.
“I am the Law Minister of India. I cannot betray the interest of my country,” he had reportedly told Sheikh Abdullah, the preeminent Jammu and Kashmir leader, in his opposition to Article 370, according to Gopal.
On “The Muslim Problem”, the RSS leader said Ambedkar had wondered if IndianMuslims would consider India as their motherland and said “it is inevitable then there should be complete transfer of population as in the case of Egypt and Bulgaria” during Partition.
Heaping praise on Ambedkar, Joshi said he suffered many injustices throughout his life but always supported constitutional means of struggle and never rebelled.
He converted 21 years after he had announced in 1935 that he would not die a Hindu as he wanted to give Hindus enough time to reform and when they did not, he embraced Buddhism as it was rooted into the society.
Equating him to Hedgewar, he said both lives ran on parallel tracks in which they struggled to reform society and believed that a common Hindu identity was a cure to social inequity.
“Both were doctors who wanted to treat society… Ambedkar said the word ‘Hindu’ is the unifier for society,” he said, adding that the Bharat Ratna believed that if Hindus lived according to their principals then nobody could defeat them.
Joshi said it would be wrong to confine him to one group or community as he was a nationalist and great pioneer who thought above all in the interest of the country.
“He struggled for the society but never believed in the class struggle,” he said.