I wrote about the International Day of Equality in this blog earlier.
sources at my command and disposal, I have been carrying this proposal to
declare April 14, birthday of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, as the International Day of
Equality for about two months ever since I wrote to EAM Sushma Swaraj on the
subject. In the process, after my letter to EAM Sushma Swaraj in June 2015, I
wrote and requested understanding and consideration of Shri Charanjit Singh
Atwal, Speaker of Punjab Legislative Assembly who is a member of the High
Powered Committee to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of
Babasaheb Ambedkar. My letter to EAM has
been acknowledged by the UN Division of MEA. Meanwhile, I also informed and
sent copies of my letters to important Ministers and MPs/MLAs cutting across
the party affiliations namely, inter alia, Ram Vilas Paswan, G.C. Gehlot, Vijay
Sampla, Mayawati, Sonia Gandhi, P.L. Punia, Santokh Singh Chaudhary, Udit Raj,
Harinder Khalsa, Sadhu Singh, Rajesh Bagha, Pawan Tinu and others. I also
hosted the proposal on social media like Facebook etc. and also wrote to some
of the dalit media organs like the Ambedkar Times, Appni Mitti, Bheem Patrika,
Begumpura Sehar, and Samayak Bharat with a view to gather support for the
proposal. During my public interaction in these months, I spoke at the Annual
Meet of the Punjab Chapter of All India SC/ST Employees Federation at Jalandhar
and the Annual Meet of the Punjab Chapter of the BAMCEF at Ludhiana in the
month of August, 2015 and solicited the understanding and support of the intelligentsia
of the community. I write with pain and anguish that response from the
political class of the community remained negligible. On social media, it is
satisfying to note, there has been good response and a good number of people
liked and supported the proposal to honour the worthy son of India, Dr. B.R.
With a view to carry the proposal to the top echelons of the Government and political circles, I decided and wrote to PM Narendra Modi and Vice President of the Congress Party Rahul Gandhi on September 11, 2015 well before the forthcoming address of PM Narendra Modi at the UNGA. The letter to PM has been acknowledged by OSD (Appointments) at PMO. Let us hope the proposal to declare April 14, Birthday of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in its 125th Anniversary, which will be celebrated by the Government of India as a special event, is considered positively and the greatest Indian is celebrated and honoured in a befitting manner. I append below the following letters for information and all possible support:
Letter to EAM Sushma Swaraj –
I am one among the IFS fraternity. After retirement in December, 2010, I have come back to my roots in Jalandhar. As post retirement activities, I engage myself in educational and social matters pertaining to the socially and economically weaker sections of the society. I am a dalit and a humble follower of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. After the Government’s decision to observe 125th Anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar, I wrote to Foreign Secretary Dr. S. Jaishankar (copy enclosed for kind perusal) and offered my services with regard to the programmes to be made and conducted by the MEA in this regard.
The purpose of this letter is to make a humble suggestion for your kind consideration. PM Narendra Modi’s government, particularly you as the Minister of External Affairs, has given due weightage to India’s “Soft Power” in diplomacy. The latest feather in your cap is the International Yoga Day under the aegis of the UN. With a view to honour Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, one of the greatest sons of India, by celebrating his 125th Birth Anniversary, the Government has taken a right and laudable decision. It will go a long way in assuaging the ruffled feelings of millions of poor and socially backward followers of the great leader. My humble submission is that it will only be appropriate if India makes yet another proposal at the next UNGA in September, 2015 to declare 14th April, birthday of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, as International Day of Equality. You would agree, Madam Minister, that it would not only carry forward the UN goals of “Empowerment” of the weaker sections of the world population but also instill the democratic values of “Equality, Liberty and Fraternity” in the world order. These democratic and humane values were dear to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and his spiritual Guru Mahatma Buddha, the greatest son of India.
I am confident that this decision and action of the Government will be much appreciated by the weaker sections of the society. It will also be a befitting tribute to the memory and legacy of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, messiah of the under privileged and neglected sections of humanity at large.
Smt. Sushma Swaraj,
Minister of External Affairs,
South Block, NEW DELHI - 110011
Letter to Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal –
July 15, 2015
I am taking the liberty of writing to you on an important matter of mutual interest that of an immense significance to the community at large. You are aware that Government of India has decided to observe the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as an official celebration. You are a member of the high power Committee appointed for the purpose.
I have made a proposal to declare April 14, birthday of Dr. Ambedkar, as International Day of Equality. PM Narendra Modi may take up the matter appropriately at the next UNGA in September, 2015. In this regard, I have written to EAM Smt. Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Secretary Dr. S. Jaishankar. I am enclosing a copy of my letter to the Hon’ble Minister for your kind perusal. I am confident, Sir, your support and intervention in the matter will make a definite dent in taking a favourable decision by the Government. I may inform you that I have sent copies of my letter to Hon’ble Ministers T.C. Gehlot, Ram Vilas Paswan and Vijay Sampla.
I will be grateful, Mr. Speaker, if you could kindly consider and pursue the matter not only in your capacity as a Member of the High-Power Committee headed by the Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi but also as a recognized leader of the community and follower of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. You would appreciate, Sir, that time schedule is of essence to prepare for PM’s address at the UN and include this idea in his address. I would, therefore, request you to kindly make a suitable approach to the Committee at the earliest.
Shri Charanjit Singh Atwal,
Speaker of the Punjab Legislative Assembly,
Letter to PM Narendra Modi –
September 11, 2015
At the outset, let me say, Sir, you are one of the pro-active leaders of India who understands the pulse of the Indian masses. It is a well deserved compliment and rightly so. As PM of India, you have done well and have initiated many good ideas and programmes for further progress and prosperity of India. I take this opportunity to wish you and your government all the very best and all success.
I am writing this to invite your kind attention to an important matter of public interest. You are aware, Sir, under your able leadership, GOI has decided to celebrate and observe 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. It is a good decision which has found universal appreciation. It is a befitting tribute to the memory of Dr. Ambedkar, the greatest son of India in contemporary times. I thank and congratulate you and your government for this commendable gesture.
You would agree with me, Sir, that Dr. Ambedkar was such a personality that limiting his contribution and legacy to India alone will not do justice to the greatest son of India. Some of the foreign universities and other political and social fora have duly recognized the great contribution and work of DR. B.R. Ambedkar in bringing about the world order where the principles of Equality, Liberty and Fraternity would be the cardinal fundamentals of governance. We Indians are proud of this. With a view to fete Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as a world leader on his 125th birth anniversary, I made a humble proposal to EAM Smt. Sushma Swaraj and requested that India under your stewardship shall make a demarche to UNGA to declare April 14, birthday of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, as the International Day of Equality. A copy of my letter to Hon’ble EAM is enclosed for your kind perusal. My letter to her has been duly acknowledged by the Joint Secretary (UNES) in the MEA vide his letter dated August 6, 2015. Subsequently, I endorsed copies of my letter to the concerned Ministers and BJP MPs and also wrote to Shri Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker of Punjab Legislative Assembly who is a Member of the High Power Committee to celebrate 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar under your able Chairmanship with a view to seek their support and understanding.
You would agree with me, Sir, that if GOI under your leadership approaches the UNGA and you kindly consider and make this proposal to declare April 14 as International Day of Equality in your forthcoming address to the UNGA, it will be a befitting tribute to the worthy son of India, Dr. Ambedkar on his 125th anniversary. I need not add, as you very well understand and know, Sir, how it will be appreciated not only by the under-privileged masses not only of India but also by the suffering humanity the world over crying for their empowerment. You are aware that Empowerment and Equality are the cherished fundamentals of the aims and objectives of the UN. Dr. Ambedkar remained the champion of these lofty ideals to establish an equitable world order. The dalit communities and followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar in India and abroad would appreciate and support you in this regard. Obviously, the social and political dividends in this regard would be considerable which would further strengthen you and your resolve in taking India to further heights.
I am confident, Sir, my submissions would find due consideration at your hands. Your office may like to visit my blog to know my views and thinking on various issues of interest and concern: www.diplomatictitbits.blogspot.com
With personal regards,
Shri Narendra Modi,
Prime Minister of India,
Letter to Vice President of Congress Party Rahul Gandhi –
September 10, 2015
I am writing to you on a matter of public importance. You must be aware that Government of India has decided to celebrate 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. In this regard, I wrote to Minister of External Affairs and proposed that GOI shall consider and make a demarche to UNGA to declare April 14, birthday of Dr. Ambedkar, as the International Day of Equality. I enclose herewith my letter to EAM for your kind perusal. The letter has been duly acknowledged by the Joint Secretary (UNES) of the MEA vide his letter dated August 6, 2015.
The purpose of writing to you is to solicit your understanding and support in the matter. I don’t think the government has taken the proposal seriously. Your support and voice to the proposal can flag the issue and in turn would provide considerable political mileage to you and the Congress Party. You very well understand the importance and relevance of the legacy of Dr. Ambedkar not only now but also in the years to come. You may be aware, Sir, on the initiative of the UPA government in 2007-08, 2nd October, birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, was declared as the Internal Day of Non-violence by the UN.
You know that time is of essence. PM is scheduled to address the UNGA in two weeks time. Your articulation of the proposal appropriately, either by writing to the PM or supporting it publically at the forthcoming rally in Bihar (I read in the media that Congress Party is considering to call it Ambedkar rally), to declare April 14 as International Day of Equality will go a long way in assuaging the ruffled feelings of the dalit community and all followers of Dr. Ambedkar irrespective of their party affiliations.
I am confident, Sir, my proposal will find due consideration at your hands. You may like to visit my blog to know my views and thinking on various issues of relevance: www.diplomatictitbits.blogspot.com
With personal regards,
Shri Rahul Gandhi, MP,
Indian National Congress Party,
i) Smt. Sonia Gandhi, MP, President of Indian National Congress Party, New Delhi
ii) Chaudhary Santokh Singh, MP, Jalandhar.