The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday passed an order asking all departments and high court benches in Lucknow and Allahabad to change Dr BR Ambedkar’s name in all documents and records. According to the latest orders passed by the government, the use of ‘Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar’ has to be replaced by ‘Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar’, assigned by him on the pages of the Constitution, reports said.

Not just this, the spelling of his name in Hindi will also be changed as it is pronounced ‘Aambedkar’. However, the English spelling of the name will remain the same. The director of Babasaheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Mahasabha, Dr Lalji Prasad Nirmal, said that the campaign was initiated by Governor Ram Naik in December 2017, who had written to the Prime Minister, the chief minister and also the Mahasabha, expressing his concerns over the prevalent incorrect spelling of Ambedkar.

He told TOI that while the spelling in English is correct, they will have to make changes in Hindi. “The main point is the way the name should be pronounced. While its English spelling is correct, the spelling will have to change in Hindi, as will the pronunciation. Ramji was his father’s name. As per common practice in Maharashtra, father’s name is used as a middle name for sons,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party has accused the state government of politicising the Dalit icon. SP leader Deepak Mishra said that the move by the BJP government is aimed at changing the perception of the party being anti-Ambedkar.

He added that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) doesn’t respect Ambedkar or his ideology but was indulging in such acts to target specific vote bank.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), on the other hand, has dismissed these allegations. RSS thinker Rakesh Sinha claimed that the UP government has merely decided to use the real name of the father of the Indian Constitution, saying there was no politics involved in the move.

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