Rescuing Ambedkar - D. KARTHIKEYAN AND H. GORRINGE
A statue of Ambedkar in Tirunelveli. One of the responses to the desecration of his statues has been to put them in protective cages. The caged Ambedkar statues will stand as a synonym for the containment of Dalit aspirations.
At a time when B.R. Ambedkar has just come out on top in a nationwide poll to select the “Greatest Indian after Mahatma Gandhi”, statues of the chief architect of the Indian Constitution are being vandalised in Tamil Nadu. Earlier in the year a statue was garlanded with chappals in Tiruchi. Now the heads of two statues in Madurai have been cut or knocked off, and even after two weeks neither has been replaced or fixed. Such assaults raise a host of complicated issues. One major question is: what do these frequent incidents of desecration in a State that has always been portrayed as progressive because of its rationalist and anti-caste movements imply?