Ram Bahadur Rai, a former journalist and an ex-ABVP general secretary was recently appointed the chairman of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts by the Narendra Modi government.
His appointment had caused controversy as criticis of the BJP and the RSS accused the current central government of saffronising India’s renowned cultural institutions.
Rai has stirred a fresh controversy by questioning the role Dr BR Ambedkar in drafting the Constitution.
In an interview to Outlook magazine, Rai made shocking observations.
He said, “B.R. Ambedkar’s role was limited, so that whatever material B.N. Rau gave him, he would correct its language. It was like RAW or IB, where footsoldiers write reports in broken English and IPS officers turn it into good English, capable of being presented to the PM.
“So, Ambedkar did not write the Constitution. In fact, he said, if the Constitution is ever to be set afire, then ‘I will be the first to do so’. He said this in anger, reacting to being mocked for amending a constitution he himself wrote, during the RS debate on creation of Andhra Pradesh. But he also said it when he was calm.”
Reacting to the development, Supreme Court lawyer, Sanjay Hegde, sarcastically said, “He probably thinks Lord Ganesha broke his tusk and took dictation from Ved Vyas.”
Ambedkar, a Dalit, has never been a popular figure among the right-wing elements in India, even though Modi made desperate attempts to appropriate the architect of Indian constitution during the occasion of his 125th birth anniversary.
This, many analysts, felt was keeping the elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh next year. Both these states have sizeable Dalit population, whose support will be decisive in determining the outcomes of elections.