RSS all praise for Dr Ambedkar

Entity’s mouthpiece claims that Dr Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi were admirers of Hedgewar, the first RSS chief; Hindutva body also says that the Dalit icon and reformer was not against the Hindu faith

The RSS mouthpiece, Organiser, has stirred a controversy in its latest edition by claiming that Dr B R Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi were admirers of Dr Hedgewar, the first RSS chief. The article titled ‘Dr Ambedkar, a misunderstood national leader’, has even claimed that both Hedgewar and Ambedkar were alike.

Buddhist monks in a procession during B R Ambedkar’s 124th birth anniversary at Chaitya Bhoomi, Dadar, on Tuesday. Pic/Atul Kamble

The article states, “In the 1920s and 30s, many people were hoisting the flag of social equality but those progressive voices remained confined to resolutions and speeches. On the contrary, through his approach and efforts, Dr Hedgewar proved that sincere efforts could yield desired results.

It is said, both Gandhi and Ambedkar were surprised to see the complete absence of caste discrimination in RSS camps and became admirers of Dr Hedgewar and his work.” It further claims, “Like Ambedkar, founding leader of RSS Dr Hedgewar’s mainstay was also focused on socio-cultural transformation.

Both believed that socio-cultural change can only influence the individual, social and national consciousness, and can bring constructive, creative and experimental approach in our national life.” The article also claims that Ambedkar was never against Hinduism, he was against only a few dichotomies that existed in the religion.

“He was fighting against the dichotomies, contradictions and evils of the Hindu society and not the Hindu society and civilisation itself.” This is not the first time the RSS has tried to invoke the issue of Ambedkar and tried to prove that he was not anti-Hindu.

Last week, at a gathering of RSS ideologues for a function at Dadar’s Savarkar Smarak, Bhaiyyaji Joshi, RSS general secretary, had likened Ambedkar with Hedgewar, noting that both leaders were born in the same year and worked for the same objectives. The RSS is now running a programme called ‘One Temple, One Well, One Crematorium’, and wants to attract the Dalit community.

That is why the organisation is trying to ‘Hinduise’ the Dalit icon. However, Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar has refuted that Ambedkar was Hindu. He had earlier told mid-day, “There are four castes in Hinduism, which are Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra, but Ambedkar was untouchable and hence wasn’t a Hindu.

People have tried the Gandhian way and Nehruvian way but have reached a dead end, and the factor now remaining is the Ambedkarian way. RSS wants to accept it and claim there is no conflict between Ambedkar’s ideology and the RSS ideology. They are trying to use Dr Ambedkar because he will be a rallying point in the future.” Repeated attempts to contact Vyankatesh Apdeo, senior RSS leader and Prakash Ambedkar proved futile.

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