Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar is likely to be added to the pantheon of RSS icons soon. The organisation is preparing to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of the Dalit leader from April onwards in a big way. Sangh sources said programmes will be launched across the country to create awareness among various castes to generate “social harmony and homogeneity.” The itinerary of the programmes will be chalked out during the RSS’s annual meeting in Nagpur in March. It is looking for the integration of Dalits into the mainstream Hindu ecosystem so that they are not marginalised and susceptible to conversion attempts. Seminars, outreach programmes and events will be held to highlight Ambedkar’s contribution. Though the events are being planned around Ambedkar’s views when elections in caste-ridden states like Bihar are around the corner, Sangh sources said the two issues should not be clubbed.
Dalit politics has positioned itself as separate from the ideology practised by national parties whom they perceivs as being dominated by ‘upper castes’. The Sangh and BJP reached out to Dalits during the last Lok Sabha elections, eliciting an overwhelming response in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The latest push may again cause an upheaval in the Hindi heartland politics. The RSS also will be bring out special anniversary issues honouring Dr Ambedkar.