New Delhi: Calling himself a 'bhakt' of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Monday, said the iconic leader was a 'vishwa manav', not just the messiah of Dalits.
Delivering the Ambedkar Memorial Lecture after laying the foundation stone of Ambedkar National Memorial, PM Modi said, “We do injustice to Babasaheb by portraying him only as the messiah of Dalits, he was someone who raised the voice for all the downtrodden and suppressed people.”
“Babasaheb was the voice of the marginalised. He is a Vishwa Manav. Only talking about him with respect to India is injustice to him,” he said.
“Babasaheb Ambedkar was as iconic as Martin Luther King who fought for the oppressed,” he said, adding, “Babasaheb was messiah of all labourers, he was the architect of labour laws.”
Going back to history, PM Modi said, “Few people know about the reason why Dr Ambedkar had to resign from ministry? This part of history is either forgotten or diluted. When issue of equal rights to women came up, Babasaheb was clear that if women don't get equal rights I can't be a part of the ministry.”
“Babasaheb could never see anyone remain deprived/backward,not only Dalits but also women of Tata Birla families. Look at his vision,” he said.
“If Babasaheb had served in government for longer time, he could've done 60 years before what I did today,” PM said.
Expressing his commitment to the timely completion of the Ambedkar Memorial, Modi said, “Our aim is to complete it by 2018, I want to tell the minister and the department that I will come to inaugurate it on April 14, 2018.”
The Prime Minister said that the memorial will be among the iconic building in Delhi. “For the world it will be iconic building, for us it will be a place of inspiration,” he said.