Under fire, NCP (SP) leader publicly apologises for ripping B.R. Ambedkar’s poster

Raigad (Maharashtra), May 29 (IANS) Under attack from the ruling MahaYuti alliance and other parties, Nationalist Congress Party (SP) National General Secretary Jitendra Awhad on Wednesday tendered a public apology for ‘unintentionally’ tearing off a poster with a photograph of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

He ripped off the poster during a mass protest in Mahad town against the decision of the state government to include two verses of the Manusmriti (The Laws of Manu) in the school curriculum.

“The government is attempting to include Manusmriti teachings in the school curriculum. We were protesting against it by burning a copy of Manusmriti at the Kranti Pillar in Mahad. While doing this, I inadvertently made a big mistake,” said Awhad.

He said that some activists brought posters of Manusmriti printed on it and B.R Ambedkar’s picture was also on them, and he unintentionally tore it up, sparking huge protests.

“I apologise publicly for this. Everyone knows that I have been trying to follow the ideology of Dr. Ambedkar for many years. I have never apologised for any matter till now. I have always remained in my role and played it. However, today, I am tendering an apology as this was an insult to my Father. I hope all Ambedkar followers will also forgive me,” Awhad said in a social media post.

He, along with hundreds of other supporters had carried out the protests at Mahad town, to torch symbolic copies of the Manusmriti, raising slogans against the government to oppose the move.

Incidentally, Mahad town went down in history 97 years ago, when B.R. Ambedkar had led a huge protest there on March 20, 1927, to allow the Dalits, untouchables and other lower castes equal access to the Chavdar Lake water, and in December that year, his followers had also burnt Manusmriti copies there.

Awhad’s action on Wednesday afternoon triggered strong protests, comments and police complaints from leaders of the ruling MahaYuti allies Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party-Nationalist Congress Party plus other Dalit organisations also gunning for him in Maharashtra and elsewhere.



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