BR Ambedkar
A vendor sells portraits of BR Ambedkar on a pavement in New Delhi last year.Reuters

If one is to go by Hindu right-wing outfit RSS, there was another side to BR Ambedkar that not too many people are aware of. Apparently he was dead against Islamic 'aggression', conversion to Islam, communism and Article 370. Collector's editions and 200-page bumper issues on Ambedkar will be issued on his 125th birth anniversary next Tuesday.

The special editions would portray Ambedkar as a nationalist and have pieces by Sangh's Dalit leaders and joint secretary Krishna Gopal. Organising secretary Bhaiyyaji Suresh Joshi will launch the books, reports The Economic Times.

The main points of discussion will be Ambedkar's views on Pakistan. "He saw the universal brotherhood of Islam uniting just Muslims. He was critical of the spirit of aggression of political Islam that takes advantage of the weakness of Hindus and follows gangsterism. Also, when in Pakistan and some provinces such as Hyderabad, scheduled caste Hindus were forcibly converted, Ambedkar warned them against it and told the converted Hindus they would be welcomed back," said organiser editor Prafulla Ketkar.

"In a way, he also supported ghar wapsi. That he converted to Buddhism after Gandhi's death and as per his promise to Gandhiji chose the religion closest to Hinduism after giving a lot of time to Hindu society."

"He was a national leader, not just a Dalit icon and that is what we are trying to say by bringing out his various facets," Ketkar said, adding "Marxists celebrate Ambedkar but he had dismissed class struggles and declared himself as 'a confirmed enemy of communists' and knew the power of religion."

"He may have taken strategic political decisions but he was a nationalist to the core, never a casteist which most writings on Ambedkar choose to hide," Ketkar further said.

RSS will for the first time hold programmes in all its 55,000 shakhas on 14 April, where Ambedkar will be remembered for his writings on nation-building.

Special events will be conducted in Nagpur and Nashik to bring Ambedkar believers closer to RSS Ambedkarites and social rights activists say the Sangh has tried this even earlier.