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In Photos: Ambedkar Jayanti Celebrations at New Delhi's Parliament Street

Among others, there was an old lady who had accepted Buddha’s Dhamma with her parents back on 14 October 1956.

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Every year on 14 April, people commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar to pay tribute to his life and his ideals as an academician, politician, and social reformer. People who believe in him and his ideas of liberty, equality, and fraternity take to the streets across the nation to celebrate and commemorate his birth anniversary.

Among others, there was an old lady who had accepted Buddha’s Dhamma with her parents back on 14 October 1956.

Dr Ambedkar being venerated by his followers.

(Photo: Ankush Pal)

Among others, there was an old lady who had accepted Buddha’s Dhamma with her parents back on 14 October 1956.

A street-side stall on Parliament Street displaying framed pictures of Dr BR Ambedkar and Gautama Buddha.

(Photo: Ankush Pal)

Among others, there was an old lady who had accepted Buddha’s Dhamma with her parents back on 14 October 1956.

A book stall displaying various books on sale, from texts on Babasaheb to Marx, as well as bookmarks and postcards of social reformers such as Savitribai Phule.

(Photo: Ankush Pal)

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In the national capital, New Delhi, people flock to Parliament Street today in huge numbers to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti. The atmosphere was exhilarating. Everyone present could feel a sense of belonging among strangers who had no idea about each other except knowing that they all looked up to the same person and wished to strive towards continuing his legacy.

The various stalls had idols and pictures of not just Ambedkar but also Buddha, Savitribai & Jotiba Phule, Raidas, and other reformers who stood against the caste system. The day is a reminder that Ambedkar is much more than a Dalit leader, a figure who stood for those deprived of their rights by struggling to ensure their rights until the very end.

Among others, there was an old lady who had accepted Buddha’s Dhamma with her parents back on 14 October 1956.

Posters of Ambedkar and other revolutionaries like Phoolan Devi, Udham Singh, and others.

(Photo: Ankush Pal)

Among others, there was an old lady who had accepted Buddha’s Dhamma with her parents back on 14 October 1956.

Flags bearing the phrase ‘Jai Bhim’ and the Panchsheel colours, the former as a phrase used by Ambedkarites and the latter a significant part of Buddhism’s Dhamma.

(Photo: Ankush Pal)

Among others, there was an old lady who had accepted Buddha’s Dhamma with her parents back on 14 October 1956.

A stall set up by a group of various grassroots organisation commemorating Babasaheb Ambedkar, Birsa Munda, Savitribai Phule, and Fatima Sheikh.

(Photo: Ankush Pal)

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The different activist organisations present highlighted the necessity to commemorate this day as it acts as a reminder for us to continue our struggle and protect the Constitution, which they say is being undermined. The entire locality is filled with various stalls of different organisations for marginalised communities.

At the same time, some are organisations meant for marginalised caste groups from Bank, Railway, and MCD workers, then were also stalls of organisations like Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch (DASAM), a grassroots organisation working with Adivasis and Dalits for their rights. There were several book stalls with texts on various topics in multiple languages, highlighting how Ambedkar’s slogan of ‘educate, agitate, organise’ continues to resonate with his followers.

Among others, there was an old lady who had accepted Buddha’s Dhamma with her parents back on 14 October 1956.

A person holds up a picture of Ambedkar in a crowd of people. 

(Photo: Ankush Pal)

Among others, there was an old lady who had accepted Buddha’s Dhamma with her parents back on 14 October 1956.

A young man waves a blue flag with the phrase ‘Jai Bhim.’

(Photo: Ankush Pal)

Among others, there was an old lady who had accepted Buddha’s Dhamma with her parents back on 14 October 1956.

A stall of the SC/ST Employees Welfare Association of the Engineers India Limited highlighting the principles of ‘educate, agitate, organise.’

(Photo: Ankush Pal)

Harsh, a young student from Jamia Millia Islamia who took part in the celebrations on Parliament Street, expressed his wonderful experience of attending the procession and taking part in remembering Ambedkar. He said, “Babasaheb is an inspiration and pride for Dalits worldwide, and celebrations on his Jayanti give an opportunity to Dalits and backward castes to celebrate their ideals/leaders and emancipators who were pushed to the margins by those who held a casteist mindset.”

An old lady who had accepted Buddha’s Dhamma with her parents back on 14 October 1956 expressed her delight with tear-filled eyes and remarked that the oppressed groups are building themselves up with time, educating themselves and making attempts to organise. She believes there is no greater way to respect Babasaheb Ambedkar than to learn what he stood for and to stand up for the rights of the oppressed to the best of our capacities.

(Ankush Pal is an undergraduate student of sociology at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He studies and writes about the intersections of various identities, the power structures they operate within and perpetuate, and hegemonic narratives.’ He has previously been published in Economic & Political Weekly, Indian Express, Newsclick, and Outlook.)

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Topics:  Ambedkar Jayanti   BR Ambedkar 

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