PM Modi true follower of Ambedkar: Former president Ram Nath Kovind

NEW DELHI: Former president Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a true follower of B R Ambedkar and is working towards turning the social reformer’s vision into a reality.

Kovind also listed out initiatives of the government in the fields of education, labour welfare, women empowerment, building a self-reliant country and the reading down of Article 370 of the Constitution with respect to Jammu and Kashmir, and said these steps were in congruence with Ambedkar’s vision.

“Babasaheb, as the chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly, had rejected a proposal to grant a special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Later, after a complicated turn of events, Jammu and Kashmir was granted a special status, which was against the wishes of Babasaheb,” Kovind said.

He said this disparity with regard to Jammu and Kashmir was removed in August 2019 following the efforts of the Modi government.

“This order also fulfils the ideals of Babasaheb. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to sign this order as the president of India,” Kovind said.

The former president was speaking after releasing a book, titled “Ambedkar & Modi: Reformer’s Ideas, Performer’s Implementation” and put together by Bluekart Digital Foundation.

Former chief justice of India K G Balakrishnan, Hitesh Jain, director, Bluekraft Digital Foundation, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur and Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting L Murugan were also present on the occasion.

Earlier, Balakrishnan inaugurated an exhibition on the “Life and Times of Dr B R Ambedkar” at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library here.

Kovind said during the freedom struggle, when the country was in the throes of communalism, there were suggestions from a large section of leaders that people should not be viewed through the prism of religion.

“A large section of leaders said we should say we are Indians first and later Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians. But Babasaheb’s thinking was at a higher level. He insisted that we should say we are Indians first, Indians later and Indians till the end. Indianness is our true identity and religion, caste, and sect have no place,” Kovind said.

“Narendra Modi also speaks of India first. As Babasaheb had said we are Indians first, Indians later and Indians till the end, Prime Minister Modi also says India first. Modi is vindicating the vision of Babasaheb,” the former president said.

“The book that has been released today is a testimony to the fact that Modi is a true follower of Ambedkar,” he added.

Kovind said the prime minister has taken several initiatives for good governance and to address social issues, in line with the ideals laid down by Ambedkar.

Thakur said when Modi became the prime minister in 2014, he had said his government will work on the principle of “antyodaya” (the welfare of the last person in the queue), which is no different from the ideals of Ambedkar. (PTI)

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