Dr BR Ambedkar now has a new middle name in Uttar Pradesh (UP). The state government Wednesday, March 28, passed an order after a campaign was initiated raising concerns over the spelling of the Dalit icon's name.
The unprecedented move was initiated by UP governor Ram Naik in December 2017 after he wrote to prime minister Narendra Modi and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led UP government has asked high courts and other government departments to change the name of the father of Indian constitution from Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar to Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar in all the official documents.
Although the name in English remains the same with Ambedkar's father's name Ramji added in the middle, his spelling in Hindi will now be written as Bhimrao Ramji Aambedkar.
"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," Dr Lalji Prasad Nirmal, the director of Babasaheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Mahasabha was quoted by Times of India.
The state government will now start referring to Ambedkar with his new name in its official correspondence.
The move, however, did not go down well with the Samajwadi Party (SP) in UP. Deepak Mishra, an SP leader, felt that the move to change the name was a mere political strategy to change the perception of the ruling government from being anti-Ambedkar. He also claimed that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was politicising Ambedkar to target certain vote banks in UP, according to Zee News.
However, the RSS denied the allegations by SP and said that it was just officially changing it to his actual name and does not involve any political angle.