PM lays foundation stone for Dr. Ambedkar National Memorial
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today laid the foundation stone for the Dr. Ambedkar National Memorial, to be built at 26, Alipur Road in Delhi, the place of Mahaparinirvan of Dr. Ambedkar.
The plaque for the foundation stone was unveiled by the Prime Minister at Vigyan Bhawan. Later, delivering the sixth Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Lecture, the Prime Minister categorically asserted that no changes will be made to the Union Government’s reservation policy, so as to deprive the weaker sections of society, of their existing entitlements. He strongly condemned those who he said were spreading lies and misinformation in this regard. He recalled that such misinformation had been spread even when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister.
Recalling the contributions of Dr. Ambedkar, the Prime Minister said that the Dr. Ambedkar National Memorial would soon become one of the iconic buildings of Delhi, and declared that he would himself inaugurate it on Babasaheb’s birthday – April 14th – in 2018.
The Prime Minister explained that five places were being developed as “Panchteerth” in honour of Dr. Ambedkar. These included his birthplace in Mhow, the place in London where he stayed while studying in the UK, Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur, Mahaparinirvan Sthal in Delhi, and Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai. In addition, the Prime Minister also referred to the building for the Dr. Ambedkar Foundation being built at Janpath in New Delhi.
Describing Dr. Ambedkar’s contributions for the nation, he said that while Sardar Patel had united the country politically, Dr. Ambedkar had united it socially through the Constitution. He recalled how Dr. Ambedkar had advocated equal rights for women, even in an era where this idea faced stiff political opposition. He said that it is an injustice to Dr. Ambedkar to limit his contributions to just the Dalits, or even just to India. He said Dr. Ambedkar raised his voice for all those who suffered injustice, and had a global stature, much like Martin Luther King in the US. Dr. Ambedkar was a Messiah for all labourers – not just Dalit labourers – the Prime Minister said, explaining how he had contributed to limiting working hours to eight.
Talking of recent policy initiatives and legislative measures, the Prime Minister said the vision for developing India’s maritime potential, and indeed for Inland Waterways, was first conceived by Dr. Ambedkar. Similarly, the vision for providing electricity to all unconnected villages, which the Union Government has promised by 2018, is also a step towards fulfilling Dr. Ambedkar’s vision, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister recalled his recent meetings and interactions with Dalit Entrepreneurs, and the suggestions made by them. He said all these suggestions had been implemented by the Union Government in the recent Union Budget.
The Prime Minister said that the National Agriculture Market, an e-platform for farmers to get the best possible price for their produce, would be launched on 14 April this year.