Vemula Was Forced to End Life for Talking About Ambedkar: Kejriwal

New Delhi
Vemula Was Forced to End Life for Talking About Ambedkar: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today claimed that Rohith Vemula was forced to commit suicide "for talking about B R Ambedkar among students" and demanded that the "two ministers" responsible for it be sacked.

He also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking whether the Dalit icon's dreams would be fulfilled by merely garlanding his portraits and said "there was no freedom of speech in the country".

"Vemula was forced to commit suicide for talking about Babasaheb among students. Why people who are holding constitutional offices not acting against those who forced him to commit suicide? Will Babasaheb's dream be fulfilled by the Prime Minister going to Mhou and garlanding his portrait?

"Babasaheb gave three words liberty, equality and fraternity...They say don't chant Bharat Mata ki Jai in Kashmir and beat them up who don't say it in the rest of the country. There's no freedom of speech in the country. There's no equality. There's no fraternity. They say one is a patriot and the other anti-national, Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri, JNU wallah and non-JNU wallah," he said.

Those who are making a mockery of the Constitution should not "pretend" that they respect Ambedkar by garlanding him at his birthplace. They are dividing the country, Kejriwal said in an apparent reference to Modi.

"I just want to say, Modi is not country, RSS is not Parliament and Manusmriti is not the Constitution," Kejriwal said to a rapturous applause at an event at Talkatora Stadium to mark the 125th birth anniversary of the Dalit icon.

RSS calls for a review of the quota system while the Prime Minister says he is "in favour of reservation", the Delhi Chief Minister said and wondered whom the BJP was "fooling".

Projecting AAP as a party of the poor and Dalits, Kejriwal the Centre was planning to include "Savarkar" in school curriculum while the Delhi government plans to "teach" Ambedkar.

Kejriwal also demanded that the PM "unfollow" those who abuse women on Twitter and "threaten" senior journalists over phone, saying they get courage from the fact that he follows them.

"Where do they get courage from? Because the PM follows them and invites them to his office and click pictures. Babasaheb, if alive, would have said don't garland me but learn to respect women," he said.

The AAP chief also wondered why the Vijaya Dashami event at RSS headquarters, where 'shastra puja' is held, is broadcast live while a gathering of lakhs of Dalits in Nagpur around the same time is not aired on TV.

"They have made Muslims fight against Hindus but for the first time they are making Hindus fight against themselves. Between a Hindu who says Bharat Mata and who does not. They are saying on live TV to send people to Pakistan, to behead. Baba Saheb's constitution does not say any of these. Don't pretend to garland his portrait and pay tribute," he said.

He also sought to use the occasion of the birth anniversary of the "architect" of the Constitution to make a pitch against "interfering" in the functioning of the Delhi government.

"Did Babasaheb say that an elected government will have no powers and the LG will be the supreme?"

Referring to the imposition of President's rule in states like Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, Kejriwal said, "Stop breaking governments and trying to enter through back door."

On the issue of 21 AAP Parliamentary Secretaries who have been served notices by the Election Commission on the issue of "office of profit", Kejriwal dared the BJP to disqualify them and contest elections.

He claimed that at a meeting of NCERT chaired by HRD Minister Smriti Irani, which was attended by Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, the discussion revolved around the probable inclusion of thoughts of Hindu ideologue Veer Savarkar in school syllabi.

"For 45 minutes they discussed this. When Manish protested, they thought the matter will go out of hand. So Smriti ji ended the discussion and said it will be included in the new education policy...Let them teach Savarkar, you (Sisodia) teach Ambedkar in Delhi's schools," Kejriwal said to loud cheers.

Speaking before Kejriwal, Narendra Kumar, director of DSFDC (Delhi SC/ST/OBC/Minorities and Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation Ltd), created a flutter saying that he faced discrimination in the bureaucracy under the UPA regime.

"That's because I was a Dalit. The situation did not change even after I took up the issue with the Home Minister P Chidambaram. I was transferred to Arunachal Pradesh. Nothing has changed for the community even after so many years," he said.

Economist Sukhdeo Thorat and DDG in UIDAI Raja Sekhar Vundru were awarded with Ambedkar Ratna by the Delhi government at the event.

Next Story : Bodies of Two Indian Fishermen Arrive From Pakistan
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