The Resilience and Revolution of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and his statues
Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar is an unparalleled leader who is the Architect of the Indian Constitution and a jurist, economist, as well as a champion for the rights of the Dalits and marginalized sections of the society. Ambedkar is and will always be a beacon of hope in a society that is breeding intolerance and caste based-discrimination thereby destroying the fabric of our society.
He has always been the pathbreaker when it comes to formulating laws and reforms that brought respect to the oppressed sections of society amidst the rising hate from a society that cannot bear the assertion of Dalits and women as well as their progress. Ambedkar has become an icon who will forever stand as a representation of equality, liberty, and fraternity. Casteism has been the main reason for widespread violence in our country. There are various Dalit movements that are demanding political rights, equal space, respect, and dignity. The most symbolic iconography of the Dalit Struggle and fight for justice is undoubtedly the statues of Dr. Ambedkar. The statues of Dr. Ambedkar became structures that brought about social empowerment as for a very long period of time Dalits and other marginalized sections of the society were not allowed to a lot of places. The statues of Dr. Ambedkar help in reclaiming the public and private spaces that were denied for so long to the oppressed sections of society.
But the rise of Dalit Visibility and Empowerment has led many individuals, organizations, and parties that comprise predominantly oppressor caste people to be uncomfortable and rigorously try to find ways to stop further progress, growth, and assertion of Dalit rights. The oppressor caste people start to look at ways to end the Dalit Movement and hence the vandalism of Dr. Ambedkar's sculptures is rampant in our country.
Caste-based struggles have been rarely recognized for thousands of years and there are very few historical records that detail the problems. The presence of Ambedkar Memorials and statues is a way to portray the Dalit resilience that is constantly overlooked by society at large. Memorials and statues of great leaders help in serving as a statement of the historical struggles that Dalits had to face and the barriers that they have overcome. Statues of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar are a sign of resistance against the oppressor castes who look to make the struggles of Dalits invisible and silence their voices. Political symbols are an integral part of the way a nation remembers information and hence Ambedkar’s sculptures stand as a testament to standing strong against apathy and dissent for justice.
Destruction of the sculptures of Dr. Ambedkar has been rampant for decades. A statue of Dr. Ambedkar was broken following caste clashes at Vedaranyam, Tamilnadu. A wave of support and agitation from the online community led to the hashtag #1000AmbedkarsRaised. Many exclaimed that Ambedkar will always remain through his ideologies and can never be destroyed.
The oppressor castes break the sculptures of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar out of the eternal fear that every representation of this great ideologue will always voraciously fight against the evils of society.
The breakage of Ambedkar’s sculptures has led to authorities having to cage his sculptures in enclosures to prevent any form of vandalism. This is seen as a failure of the government to preserve the rights of the citizens and the legacy of such a great leader. These chilling instances of vandalism are a reminder of Ambedkar’s speeches, where he wondered how long Indians would continue to deny equality in their social and economic life. "If we continue to deny it for long, we do so only by putting our political democracy in peril."
SILAII wanted to play an integral part in making a difference in the absolutely horrific instances of vandalism on Dr. Ambedkar’s sculptures. The sculpture of this great revolutionary started to reach homes through our e-commerce platform where we wanted to bridge the gap with our motto that sculptures can be customized and adorn our homes providing you with happiness and motivation, bursting the notion that sculptures can be only present in public exhibitions or displays. We wanted to display our love and absolute admiration through the larger-than-life-size sculptures as well as six feet sculptures that we have crafted to perfection.
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar is a formidable legend who will always remain the soul of every individual who works for the upliftment and empowerment of our society. He will always remain the symbol of resistance, revolution, and dreams of a better future. A thousand Ambedkars will rise gloriously in our hearts, homes, and our spaces for every sculpture of his that is broken. The rallying cry for equality will always remain a raging fire in our collective consciousness!
Written By: Krithika A