Dr Bhimrao ‘Ramji’ Ambedkar: Yogi govt orders change of Dalit leader’s name in UP official records

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Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar is now officially “Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar” in Uttar Pradesh. At a time when BJP’s Dalit MPs are pushing for central government’s intervention in the Supreme Court order on the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Atrocities (Prevention) Act, the Yogi Adityanath government in UP has decided to use the middle name of the Dalit leader in government records. While ‘Ramji’ will be added as his middle name, the surname will be ‘Aambedkar’ in Hindi.

Principal secretary, general administration department, Jitendra Kumar on Tuesday issued a circular in this regard to all the departments as well as the registrar of Allahabad and Lucknow benches of the High Court. The circular has directed to make changes accordingly in all the records of the departments concerned.

Justifying its decision, the government cited the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution where Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar’s name is written as “Dr Bhimrao Ramji Aambedkar”— in Hindi.

The demand for making those changes was earlier raised by UP Governor Ram Naik, who had met President Ramnath Kovind in December last year, saying the complete name of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar was Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s previous ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio address had focused on farmers and BR Ambedkar. PM Modi in his address had said that on the occasion of Bhimrao Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, ‘Gram-Swaraj Abhiyan’ is being organised from April 14 to May 5. He also said that Ambedkar showed us that to succeed it is not necessary to be born in an illustrious or rich family.

BJP MP from North West Delhi Udit Raj has objected the move, saying it has led to unnecessary controvery. He is likely to approach the Chief Minister on the same. “It is surprising that there was no demand for that, but it has been done,” Raj said. He adding that Dalits were reacting to the government’s move.

Opposition Samajwadi Party, meanwhile, has accused to Aditynath government of playing politics, and trying to woo the Dalit vote bank. SP leader Anurag Bhadoria was quoted as saying by news agency PTI, “The BJP government is playing politics with the name of the Dalit icon.”

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