Dalit icon and father of the Indian Constitution Bhimrao Ambedkar will now be written as “Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar” in all the official documents and records in Uttar Pradesh, a state government order stated.
The order to insert “Ramji” as the middle name of Ambedkar was passed by the Yogi Adityanath government on the recommendations of Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik.
“I am a Marathi and so was he (Ambedkar). Hindi speaking states have been writing his name incorrectly. Most importantly his name is written as Bhim Rao as two words, however, the correct way to write is Bhimrao,” the UP governor said.
Ramji was the name of Ambedkar’s father and adding the father's name in the middle is a practice in Maharashtra.
The order to change the Dalit icon’s name didn’t go down well with the Opposition parties and the Samajwadi Party accused the Yogi Adityanath government of indulging in vote bank politics.
“The BJP government is playing politics with the name of the Dalit icon,” SP leader Anurag Bhadoria said.
The decision was not even welcomed by some of the BJP’s own leaders and party’s MP from Delhi Udit Raj termed the move ‘unnecessary’.
“I don’t find any reason to change his name, it’s an individual’s freedom to decide how he wants to be known. Why create a controversy unnecessarily? The Dalit community has expressed its displeasure,” the BJP MP said.