Life of Dalits hasn’t changed since Ambedkar’s times: Chidambaram

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New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) Revisiting the death of Rohith Vemula and the assault against Dalits in Gujarat’s Una, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said that people of India should hang their heads in shame for not protecting the country’s Dalits in the country.

“All of us should hang our heads in shame that we have not been able to stop the persecution of Dallits. Not much has changed in India from the India he (Ambedkar) portrayed,” he said.

Speaking on Tuesday evening at the launch of “The Essential Ambedkar,” which has been edited by former Planning Commission member Bhalchandra Mungekar, Chidambaram grieved that not much has changed since the days of the Dalit icon.

The event was attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, among others.

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Describing Vemula’s life as a miracle, Chidambaram said he was “raised as a Dalit” and it is not really significant whether he was actually Dalit or no because he and his peers believed so.

Desperation made him hang himself, Chidambaram said, asking what has changed in India now since the times of Ambedkar.

In “The Essential Ambedkar,” the finest extracts from Ambedkar’s impressive body of work have been selected and thematically arranged, covering issues such as caste and untouchability, the philosophy of the Hindu religion, the making of the Indian Constitution, the emancipation of women, India’s education policy, the Partition and much more.

The book has been published by Rupa publications. The author, Bhalchandra Mungekar is the founder-president of Dr Ambedkar Institute of Social and Economic Change. He is currently a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha.

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