President Droupadi Murmu along with Union Law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal and the chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud unveiled a 7 ft tall statue of Dr BR Ambedkar, the founder of the Constitution in Supreme Court on Sunday, 26 November.
President Murmu also paid tributes to Ambedkar, the first law minister, on the occasion of Constitution Day.
The 7-ft-tall statue portrays Ambedkar wearing a lawyer’s dress and holding a copy of the Constitution in his left hand. Mounted atop a pedestal, the statue will is located on the front lawn and garden inside the Supreme Court premises.
"Today, we commemorate the day the Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India in 1949 after a close of 3 hours of brainstorming. Earlier, this day was celebrated as Law day. In 2015, the nation celebrated the 125th birth anniversary of the key architect of the Constitution, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, the government of India declared 26 November as Constitution Day."President Droupadi Murmu at an event in SC
This statue was made by sculptor Naresh Kumawat. So far, two statues have been installed at the Supreme Court complex. One is a mural of Mother India, created by Indian-origin British artist Chintamoni Kar. The second statue of Mahatma Gandhi was also made by a British sculptor.
This year also happens to mark the 132nd birth anniversary of Ambedkar, who was the chairman of the drafting committee of the Constituent Assembly and played an important role in the drafting of the Constitution.
Earlier this year, on the eve of the birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar on 14 April, advocate-on-record Pratik Bombarde had handed over a memorandum to the CJI Chandrachud raising the demand for Ambedkar's statue.
The decision to erect this statue at the apex court also stems from the request made by lawyers last year who are part of the Ambedkarite movement.
The lawyers, under the umbrella of the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Lawyers for Social Justice which was formed in 2014, noted that while lawyers and judges quote Dr Ambedkar often, getting symbols to honour him on the premises has been a tremendous task.
The lawyers had noted that inside the Supreme Court, there are two statues, of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak and of Mahatma Gandhi, “but there is no statue of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar who is not only revered as emancipator of crores of downtrodden/marginalised people of India but Father of Indian Constitution and First Law Minister of India.”
The signatories to the letter are advocates Bombarde, Jitendra Kumar and Abhishek Kumar.
“In fact, history tells us that, in 70s under the leadership of Dadasaheb Gaikwad, we Ambedkarites had to struggle for installation of his statue inside the parliament. And we are now struggling since many years for installation of statue of Babasaheb inside Supreme Court,” they had written in their letter.
In September this year, the Supreme Court Arguing Counsel Association (SCACA) had also made a representation seeking the installation of the statue.
(With inputs from PTI)