BR Ambedkar statue saffron; Dalits see red, paint it blue

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. The statue was earlier vandalised but quickly replaced with a new statue of Ambedkar (painted in saffron colour) which was brought in from Agra.

The statues of Ambedkar are usually in black or blue coat dress across the country.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who himself wears saffron robes, has defenced the colour and finds nothing wrong with it. "Saffron colour represents purity. can someone deny the existence of the sun which is also saffron. people questioning all these are narrow-minded", he has said many times in the past. Later the Hajj House was repainted after much protest. However, it turned blue after the fresh dash of paint by BSP district president Hemendra Gautam and his accomplices on Tuesday.

The statue has been installed in Badaun district and has become a subject of controversy.

The development comes after the state government by law officially added "Ramji" to Ambedkar's name. The statue was installed after the approval by the villagers.

Gautam evaded a reporter's question about why he had repainted the statue when villagers did not object to its colour.

The state has been draped in this colour hue ever since the Yogi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government came into the power.

However, others like Kalicharan, the head of Ambedkar Suraksha Samiti, were not ready to accept the saffron colour.

Similar incidents were reported where a statue of Dr Ambedkar was also vandalised by some unidentified people in Firozabad, Etah, Siddhartnagar and Allahabad districts recently.

  • Jon Douglas