The claims made by Arun Anand in his article Why RSS considers Ambedkar as one of its own icons in ThePrint are not correct, historically and factually. I was the editor of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches — a multi-volume project published by the government of Maharashtra. And so, I want to bring some documentary evidence and facts to refute Anand’s claims.
The RSS was clearly circulating false articles and videos on the occasion of B.R. Ambedkar’s 129th birth anniversary. Arun Anand, CEO of Indraprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra, an RSS affiliate, makes three claims in his video and article:
Ambedkar was ‘impressed’ by the RSS.
Fact: On 14 May 1951, Ambedkar had made very scathing remarks regarding the RSS, which are available in the records of Parliament. He said: “May I mention the R.S.S. and Akali Dal? Some of them are very dangerous associations.”
(Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, Vol. 15, edited by Vasant Moon, Govt. of Maharashtra, Mumbai, 1997, pp. 560), (Parliamentary Debates, Vol. 11, Part Two, 14 May 1951, pp. 8,687-90).
This remark of Ambedkar, made in Parliament, irrefragably proves that he was very acerbic about the ideology of the RSS. So, Anand’s claims are not just surprising, but demonstrates the shrewd politics of the RSS.
Ambedkar’s Scheduled Caste Federation and Bharatiya Jana Sangh formed a ‘pre-poll alliance’ in 1952 Madhya Pradesh election.
Fact: This is what Ambedkar said before the 1952 elections in the Scheduled Caste Federation’s manifesto: “As regards other Political Parties, the Scheduled Caste Federation’s attitude can be easily defined. The Scheduled Caste Federation will not have any alliance with any reactionary Party such as Hindu Mahasabha or the RSS.”
(Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, Vol. 17, Part One, edited by Prof Hari Narke, Govt of Maharashtra, Mumbai, 2003, pp. 402).
Dr. Ambedkar’s statement shows he strongly opposed the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha. Still, Anand, with utmost confidence, quotes Dattopant Thengadi to say that Ambedkar had a pre-poll alliance with the RSS in Madhya Pradesh elections.
Dattopant Thengadi was appointed as secretary of Scheduled Caste Federation when Ambedkar was chairman.
Fact: Only a Scheduled Caste person could be appointed as a member of the Federation, this was the rule. And Dattopant Thengadi was not an SC. So, how come Ambedkar allowed Thengadi to be appointed as the secretary of the party?
Arun Anand is playing a heinous game to stigmatise Ambedkar. This is the usual dirty politics of the RSS. I strongly condemn Arun Anand’s defamation of Ambedkar.
The author is the Editor of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, Vol. 17 to 22, published by the Government of Maharashtra. Views are personal.