The battle for rights should be fought outside India: Rajratna Ambedkar

Image from Youtube

By Nikhat Fatima,

After the demolition of the Guru Ravidas Temple in the Tughlakabad forest area on August 10, there have been protests not just in India but in many countries across the world where there are Ravadasias and Ambedkarites.

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Rajratna Ambedkar, the great-grandson of Dr. B R Ambedkar, flew from Delhi to participate in the protest in London at Parliament square on August 18.

During the protest, he spoke to ‘National Dastak’ an Indian media channel that focuses on the issues of Bahujan sections and marginalized sections of India that are often ignored by the mainstream.

The Prime Minister of India is likely to attend the United Nations conference in New York on September 22 and on that day Rajratna Ambedkar plans to stage a large protest right outside the venue along with all the supporters. He said, “It is our responsibility to ensure that other nations support us in our fight for our rights. And this battle can be fought only outside India”.

Rajratna Ambedkar said the constitutional rights of the people are being denied and the Constitution of India is being tampered with.

He said 100 years ago Dr. BR Ambedkar had voiced his demands for the people of India in London at the Round Table Conference. And now again we are making the same demands in London which imply that nothing has changed even after 100 years. India has continued to deny Dalits their rights as equal citizens.

He said that it is disappointing that the Dalit MPs and MLAs have not said a word of protest when the temple in Tughlakabad was demolished.

He said it has become imperative to take this fight for their rights outside India and get support from other nations that are democratic in their approach.

Rajratna Ambedkar is the president of the Buddhist Society of India that was founded by Dr. BR Ambedkar and is associated with Buddhist organizations in 125 nations. He says he is going to put across their demands in front of the United States Commission of Religious freedom, Guru Ravidas organisations in the US, and the United Nations to tell them how human rights are being violated in India. spoke to some protestors in India who are Ambedkarites and Ravidasias to know what they thought of fighting for Indians outside India.

Pardeep Attri, founder of Velivada and owner of the twitter handle Ambedkar caravan and a Ravidasia said when the United Nations was being formally established there were many marginalized groups from different parts of the world who were trying to get their concerns reflected in the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’.

About Rajratna Ambedkar’s plan, he says, “I also strongly believe that Dalits need to raise the issue at international level as successive Indian governments have failed to tackle the discrimination faced by Dalits and it is time for us to take the fight against caste discrimination at international level. There is no hope in the future as well that; Indian casteist governments would care to handle discrimination faced by Dalits.”

But another Dalit activist Gannumala Ganeshwar based in Telangana feels “it should be fought both within the country as well outside. But if Rajratna has planned it in the US then all Indians who support this fight should join him on September 22.”

Rakesh Ginni, a staunch follower of Kanshi Ram and a Ravidasia, based in Jalandhar, Punjab resonates Rajratna Ambedkar’s thoughts and told, “ Guru Ravidas wanted ‘Begumpura’ where all human beings are equal irrespective of their class, religion, caste, profession not just in Punjab or India but in the entire world. We, Ravidasias also want the same – equality. Our temple that had all legal papers was demolished on the orders of the court by the Delhi Development Authority. We feel this order is unjust.”

He also feels that if Rajratna Ambedkar has planned this protest then he will have done so with sound reason.

“We have confidence in him,” he concluded.