BUDGET 2017 – Ever since it came to power in May 2014, the Narendra Modi government has displayed a penchant for appropriating legacies of political leaders outside of the Sangh Parivar pantheon. These have included Mahatma Gandhi, BR Ambedkar and Jayaprakash Narayan.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has consistently argued how successive Congress governments ignored their contributions to nation building and extolled only the Nehru-Gandhi family. But even for the BJP and Modi government, attempts at appropriating their legacies has at times coincided with immediate political exigencies.
In the run up to the Bihar assembly polls in October-November 2015 and with an eye to reach out to the significant Dalit electorate in the Hindi heartland, the Sangh Parivar commemorated the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar. A special parliament session was called to commemorate Ambedkar’s role as the architect of the Constitution. On October 11, 2015, the birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan, the Modi government felicitated political activists arrested during the Emergency. No such event took place the subsequent year. READ MORE