BR Ambedkar Statue In UP Painted Saffron, After Dalit Protests Re-Painted Blue

| April 10 , 2018 , 12:03 IST

Dalit icon Dr BR Ambedkar's statues can be spotted across the nation, and in the majority of the statues, as well as his photographs, he is spotted wearing western clothes, blazers, generally in the shade of blue.

So when a vandalised statue of BR Ambedkar in UP's Badaun was replaced with a new statue on Tuesday in which Ambedkar was depicted wearing a saffron sherwani, local Dalits were outraged and they demanded a correction in the statue's attire.

Hours later, the statue's Sherwani was re-painted blue by BSP Leader Himendra Gautam.

Bharat Singh Jatav, Badaun district president, Aarakshan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, said to TOI, “There is anger among the community members due to the colour of the coat. Saffron is unusual as we have always seen his pictures and statues in dark coloured western outfits, blazer and trousers. It must be repainted.”

Veeru Sonkar, state general secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Khatik Samaj, said, “The saffron statue of the Dalit icon comes soon after the state government emphasised on ‘Ramji’ as his middle name. The local unit of our organisation will give a memorandum to the Badaun district magistrate condemning the statue’s colour and demand that it be painted blue.”

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Former BSP MLA from Dataganj in Badaun, Sinod Shakya, said, “After painting many buildings saffron across the state, the BJP government now wants to saffronise Ambedkar statues, which is unacceptable. If the statue is not painted blue, we will launch a stir against the district administration.”

Shakya also demanded the arrest of the people involved in vandalising the statue in the first place.

The Badaun sub-divisional magistrate Parasnath Maurya stated that selection of the Sherwani-clad statue was made by local residents along with a BSP coordinator and was chosen due to the statue's size.

“The statute installed here was selected by local residents with the help of a BSP coordinator. They had claimed that other statues available at Agra were small in size and that they did not like those,” Maurya said.