New Delhi: Renowned music composer Ilaiyaraaja has drawn comparisons between Dr B.R. Ambedkar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the foreword to a new book, saying both of them were “striking personalities” and practical men who believed in action rather than “mere thought exercise”.
The book titled ‘Ambedkar & Modi: Reformers ideas, Performers Implementation’ – published by Bluekraft Digital Foundation – was launched on 14 April, the birth anniversary of Ambedkar.
In his foreword, Ilaiyaraaja, who is a Dalit himself, said there were many similarities between Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Indian Constitution and a Dalit icon, and the prime minister of India.
The music maestro also said that both the men had seen “poverty and stifling social structures from close quarters and worked to dismantle them”.
He further said that they dreamt big for India and had “succeeded against odds that people from socially disempowered sections of society face”.
An extract from one of India's greatest musicians, @ilaiyaraaja's foreword for the 'Ambedkar & Modi' Book.
The para on striking similarities between Babasaheb and PM Modi's life as insightful.
— Akhilesh Mishra (@amishra77) April 14, 2022
“Pro-women legislations such as the banning of triple talaq and the rise in sex-ratio due to the historic ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ movement, which has brought in social transformation, is something that Dr. B.R. Ambedkar would have been proud of,” he wrote.
Ilaiyaraaja’s comments drew flak from the DMK and allies for his comparison of Modi with Ambedkar. The BJP Tamil Nadu unit clapped back saying no one could silence Ilaiyaraaja and asserted that he too had the right to freedom of expression.
Former Tamil Nadu BJP chief and cabinet minister L Murugan defended Ilaiyaraaja’s words, saying he had a point of view that the DMK and their eco-system don’t like. He also alleged the ruling Tamil Nadu party of showing its “anti-Dalit and anti-Constitutional nature”.
The Constitution of India allows #freedomofexpression and by denying the same to Ilaiyaraaja sir, DMK has shown its anti-Dalit and anti-Constitution nature.
— Dr.L.Murugan (@Murugan_MoS) April 16, 2022
BJP state chief K Annamalai said: “Just like no one could silence Maestro Ilayaraja sir’s music for years, no DMK led Eco system can dare to throttle his voice now! (sic)”
Just like no one could silence Maestro Ilayaraja sir’s music for years, no DMK led Eco system can dare to throttle his voice now!
His foreword to this book, ‘Ambedkar & Modi’ has rattled known political power brokers.
In his foreword he says, ‘Both dreamt big for India…
— K.Annamalai (@annamalai_k) April 16, 2022
This is not the first book on Modi published by Bluekraft Digital Foundation. Earlier, the foundation had released a book called ‘Modi @ 20: Dreams meet Delivery’, which has a chapter written by Amit Shah. The foreword for the book was written by Lata Mangeshkar.