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At Ambedkar birth anniversary, Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at BJP

Mhow: Invoking Dalit icon B R Ambedkar's idea of “annihilation of caste”, Rahul Gandhi today made a strong pitch to end social discrimination and took a veiled dig at BJP cautioning against the “ideology that
PTI June 02, 2015 21:02 IST
PTI

Mhow: Invoking Dalit icon B R Ambedkar's idea of “annihilation of caste”, Rahul Gandhi today made a strong pitch to end social discrimination and took a veiled dig at BJP cautioning against the “ideology that pits one against another”.

Launching the functions marking the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar from his birth place, the Congress Vice President referred to the triumvirate of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Ambedkar crediting them with giving the right of equal franchise to all citizens as he sought to project Congress in the front to fight for Dalits.  

“We should not think that India has no danger from those ideologies which look down at one section of people. These powers are all the time trying to strengthen those walls against whom Baba Saheb fought his whole life. These ideologies weaken us by pitting one individual against the other.

“The centralisation of power strengthens casteism while its decentralisation weakens it. Ambedkarji had also said it.  It is not easy to fight these ideologies,” he said without naming BJP or any BJP leader.
Gandhi said that the dream of Babasaheb to end casteism is still unfulfilled.

“His dream of annihilation of caste is still unfulfilled. Even today, caste is given importance in our country,” he said.

Holding that a person like Ambedkar cannot be bound by the confines of a particular caste or country, Gandhi said that the late leader was a “symbol of protest against persecution”.

“Baba Saheb Ambedkar brought light in the life of Dalits and weaker sections. Through his thinking, he dealt a big blow to thousand years-old wall of casteism. The contribution of Baba Saheb cannot be restricted to the confines of one country or community.

“Baba Saheb worked a lot for Dalits but he did not belong to Dalits alone. Baba Saheb had a huge contribution to ensuring rights of women and enacting laws for labour,” he said.

Making a strong pitch to “root out casteism,”  Gandhi said “the Congress government took initiatives like land right to education and MNREGA for all Indians and not keeping in mind the people of one particular caste or religion.  

“While celebrating the 125th year anniversary programmes of Baba Saheb, we will remember for whom he fought. Congress party will stand with everyone.

Wherever there is injustice, be it with tribals, women or people of any religion, Congress will be seen standing by them,” he said.  Keen to arrest its sliding vote base, Congress leadership has planned to reach out to Dalits and other deprived sections in a big way.