Yogi govt adds Ramji to BR Ambedkar’s name in official records, Oppn cries vote bank politics
The Uttar Pradesh government’s order introducing ‘Ramji’ in the Dalit social reformer’s name follows a recommendation by Governor Ram Naik.Updated: Mar 29, 2018, 19:12 IST
The Yogi Adityanath government has decided to introduce ‘Ramji’ as the middle name of Dr BR Ambedkar in all official correspondence and records in Uttar Pradesh, an order that has raised opposition hackles ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The order, passed on the recommendation of Governor Ram Naik, was issued on Wednesday night by principal secretary (admin) Jitendra Kumar, an official spokesman said in Lucknow on Thursday.
“I am a Marathi and so was he (Ambedkar). Hindi speaking states have been writing his name incorrectly. Most importantly his name is written as Bhim Rao as two words, however, the correct way to write is Bhimrao,” said Ram Naik.
‘Ramji’ was the name of the father of BR Ambedkar, the father of the Constitution, and as per practice in Maharashtra, father’s name is used as the middle name by his son.
The Dalit social reformer, whose full name is Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, is named as only BR Ambedkar in all official records.
Reacting to the state government’s move, BJP MP from Delhi Udit Raj said, “I don’t find any reason to change his name, it’s an individual’s freedom to decide how he wants to be known. Why create a controversy unnecessarily? The Dalit community has expressed its displeasure.”
The order soon got mired in political controversy with the opposition Samajwadi Party saying the move smacked of politics ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
“The BJP government is playing politics with the name of the Dalit icon,” SP leader Anurag Bhadoria said.
He charged the state government with politicising Ambedkar’s name for attracting Dalit vote bank.
UP cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya, however, said there was no politics in the decision and no ulterior motive should be seen in it.
The campaign to write Ambedkar’s name in the correct way was initiated by Ram Naik in December 2017, citing the manner in which Ambedkar signed on the pages of the Constitution.
The spelling of Ambedkar in English will remain unchanged, but in Hindi it will be spelt as ‘Aambedkar’.
The governor had written to the prime minister, the chief minister and also the Babasahib Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Mahasabha, expressing concerns over the prevalent “incorrect spelling” of Ambedkar.