Tuesday, April 17, 2012


The birthday of Dr. Baba Sahib Ambedkarfalls on April 14. The followers of Ambedkar and other concerned observe theday with all solemnity and enthusiasm throughout India and abroad not only onApril 14 but also continue to do so in the following weeks. It only shows that Ambedkar is held in high esteem and rightly so. It began with the Face book. It
was full of tributes to Ambedkar on April 14 and day after by his followers.
Many government agencies remembered him through the print media and organized functions,
as usual. I also participated in a few functions and paid my respects to the memory
of the great leader and greeted the participants in these functions.
Guru Ravidass Mandir and Dham at Khurla
Kingra (near my residence in Jalandhar) invited me to be the chief speaker at a
function in the evening of April 14. The newly appointed Chief Parliamentary
Secretary in the Punjab Government Pawan Tinu was the Chief Guest at the
function. It was a well organized function at the local level. I found that the
audience was well meaning and full of reverence to Baba Sahib. The Indian sweet
( Ladoos) were distributed to celebrate the occasion. The next day, April 15, I
was the Chief Guest at a function organized by Dr. Ambedkar Sports, Education
and Welfare Association of village Johal, a progressive village in the area. My
NRI friend from Glasgow (Scotland) Sucha Bagha is the chief Patron of the
Association. He was instrumental in inviting me to the function which was
presided over by Chief Parliamentary Secretary Pawan Tinu. Many prominent
personalities including Rajesh Bagha, Chairman of SC and ST Commission of
Punjab, RPS Pawar, IAS (Retired) who is an active follower of Dr. Ambedkar and
is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ambedkar Bhawan at Nakodar Road
Jalandhar and Dr. Gian Chand Kaul former Head of the Punjabi Department of DAV
college Jalandhar also spoke at the function. The missionary and well acclaimed
poet Sohan Saijal and highly spirited singer Balwinder Bitoo regaled the
audience with befitting compositions. The highlight of the function was the
awards and recognition of the upcoming talent in the community in the field of
education like Dr. Harblas Heera and others by the Association. It is a
praiseworthy and appreciable activity. On April 16, I was invited as the lead
speaker at the function organized by SBI employees to celebrate the Ambedkar
Jayanti at the main branch of the State Bank of India at Jalandhar. It was a
very well organized function by the educated and well placed followers of the
great leader Dr. Ambedkar lead by Deputy General Manager of the SBI Pushpinder
Kaur, a highly talented officer and motivated member of the community. The poor
students from some local schools were given school bags by the employees
association. The Ladoos were distributed and the cake was cut to celebrate the
birthday of Ambedkar. I have at hand yet another invitation to speak at a
function to mark the Jayanti on April 22 at village Chukhiara (near Kathar). The process goes on.
I have deliberately not mentioned about
the speeches made at these functions. These were usual as required on such an
occasion. The crux remains that Dr. Ambedkar’s life and mission and also
thought and philosophy is as potent today as it was before and it will remain
so in the years to come. But I would like to make a couple of observations:
felt that Ambedkar is increasingly becoming the leader of the dalits alone. It
is not correct. Ambedkar did a lot for the dalits and the under privileged, it
is true. But his contribution to the nation building and making of the India of
day was no less. The non dalit communities shall understand this and rectify
the situation. It would be good for the county and the society at large.
is a considerable enthusiasm and sense of oneness among the dalit communities.
But something is lacking. I think the leadership, both political and spiritual,
is direction less. The younger generation have good energy but it requires to
be channelized and transmitted otherwise it would go waste. It is some food for
thought for the educated dalits.