The Road Map to realize the proposal on April 14, birthday of Babasaheb Ambedkar as the “International Day of Equality” - Letter to EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar
On April 14, I shared the Road Map (details are available in the link given in my letter to EAM Dr. Jaishankar given below) to realize the proposal on April 14, birthday of Babasaheb Ambedkar as the “International Day of Equality”. I have started the exercise right earnestly by writing to the Minister of External Affairs, Dr. S. Jaishankar, the text of which is produced below:
April 15, 2020
You may recall that I was one of your junior colleagues in IFS, now happily retired and settled in Jalandhar, my native place. As post retirement activity, I engage myself with some community service with regard to education and empowerment of the weaker sections of the society.
Today, Sir, I am writing to you on an on important subject, of which I was the initiator in June, 2015 when you were the FS, resting with the MEA. It is the proposal on April 14, birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, as “International Day of Equality”. You must have heard about the proposal from one source or the other as it has been revisited and renewed, of late, by the stake holders in the matters.
I am attaching herewith my letter of June 12, 2015 written to your predecessor EAM Sushma Swaraj and acknowledgement dated August 6, 2015 received from the then JS(UNES) of the MEA for ready reference and perusal. I am not too happy to add, Sir, nothing much has happened in India on the said proposal on “International Day of Equality” whereas the proposal is increasingly being endorsed abroad to honour the greatest son of India in the contemporary times, Babasaheb Ambedkar. The Proclamation dated April 6, 2020 of the City of Burnaby in Canada, which is also enclosed, to declare April 14 as “Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Day of Equality” has ignited the issue. I also decided to do my humble bit to again approach and urge the GOI, through you, a well meaning and able Minister, to consider and accept the suggestion on International Day of Equality and make a suitable demarche to the UN through diplomatic channels. You would know further details in this regards from my latest Blog on the subject:
Without taking more time of your busy schedule, I conclude with my request to kindly consider, decide and deliver on the proposal on “International Day of Equality” to get another feather on your hat which is already full of many colourful feathers. I remain available at your disposal, Sir, for any formal or informal information and consultation, if required, in this regard.
With personal regards,
Dr. S. Jaishankar,
Minister of External Affairs,
Sothe Block, New Delhi
I hope, though I visualize many difficulties in the journey, we are able to make a dent and succeed in making our proposal reach home. All the political parties are falling on each other to own Ambedkar and his legacy for their respective political agenda. Let it be. I have nothing to do with that. My only question to them is what prevents them from giving his due to the greatest son of India, Babasaheb Ambedkar when he is increasingly getting recognized and honoured abroad by the international community. The latest case which has ignited the issue – International Day of Equality – isthat of the Proclamation of the City of Burnaby in Canada declaring April 14 as “Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Day of Equality”. Our own government in India is sitting tight on the proposal since June, 2015 in spite of the fact that the proposal was duly taken up with PM Narendra Modi in November, 2015 and May, 2016 by the Forum of Scheduled Caste MPs and MLAs under the leadership of Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal. Ever since, I have been pursuing the matter in my own small way but nothing much has happened so far. Let us do something together. I invite each and every one to join hands to get the proposal accepted by the GOI without delay. GOI should consider, accept, prepare and take it up with the UN through diplomatic channels and finally announce it at UNGA at New York in September, 2020, in which EAM/PM would participate, with a view to celebrate and observe April 14, 2021 as “International Day of Equality”. It will be a right step not only to realize the “Millennium Goals” of the UN but to also celebrate “Equality” as a leap forward in establishing a just and equitable world order. We the people of India will have a - ‘win-win’ - consolation and pride to give to the world at large two consecutive stances to celebrate the lofty ideals of Non-violence and Equality attributed to the two great sons of India – Mahatma Gandhi for International Day of Non-Violence on October 2 which is already on the Calendar of the UN since 2007-08 and now Babasaheb B. R Ambedkar for International Day of Equality on April, 14. Let us register this century in the name of India that is Bharat.
I will continue to engage all of you in this work in whatever small way I could.