The Yogi Adityanath government has decided to change the name of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar and plans to introduce ‘Ramji’ as his middle name in all official correspondence. Reportedly, he will now be referred to as Bhim Rao Ramji Ambedkar in all records in Uttar Pradesh. The order has raised opposition voices ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Passed on the recommendation of Governor Ram Naik, the order was issued on Wednesday night by principal secretary (admin) Jitendra Kumar. “I am a Marathi and so was he (Ambedkar). Hindi speaking states have been writing his name incorrectly. Most importantly his name is written as Bhim Rao as two words, however, the correct way to write is Bhimrao,” Ram Naik was quoted by Hindustan Times.
The campaign to write Ambedkar’s name in the correct way was initiated by Ram Naik in December 2017. In fact, he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM Yogi Adityanath in this regard, reported The Times of India. BR Ambedkar, who is referred as the father of the Constitution, was the son of Ramji. As per the common practice in Maharashtra, father’s name is used as the middle name of his son.
“I don’t find any reason to change his name, it’s an individual’s freedom to decide how he wants to be known. Why create a controversy unnecessarily? The Dalit community has expressed its displeasure,” BJP MP from Delhi Udit Raj was quoted by the daily.
The opposition Samajwadi Party has slammed Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the issue, and accused the state government of politicising the Dalit icon. SP leader Deepak Mishra said that the move by the BJP government is aimed at attracting Dalit vote bank.
While the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has rubbished these allegations, the UP government had passed an order to all departments in this regard. They have even asked the Allahabad High Court and its Lucknow bench to make the necessary changes in all the documents and records.