B.R. Ambedkar carries multiple meanings for multiple constituencies. In this context, Ambedkar’s contribution becomes immensely significant. Numerous forces have attempted to claim Ambedkar due to variety of reasons. In this context, claim over Ambedkar by centrists and rightists (CRs) have to be rejected to accentuate the claim of the people over him. There could be two types of claims in the context of Ambedkar: negative and positive.
In India, presence of a cartoon in the school text book has generated a convoluted debate. Portrayal of B.R. Ambedkar, one of the most important revolutionaries, in a cartoon has invited multiple construals. The Government of India had immediately expunged the cartoon from the school text book and formed the committee to look into other cartoons. The expert committee has recommended the deletion of certain cartoons aimed at politicians and bureaucrats. In the entire debate, B.R Ambedkar’s idea of freedom was missed. Class of politics, another tool to understand the nature of politics, has given a miss. This article emphasizes on idea of Ambedkar’s freedom and class of politics. Class of politics of a political class which took decision has to be explained because of their continuous scant attention to B.R. Ambedkar and now intriguing defense of removal of a cartoon in the name of him.
The controversy over ‘Ambedkar-Nehru cartoon’ has to be discussed around two contexts: the current political scenario and State’s inappropriate treatment to Ambedkar which is nothing but marginalisation of him. I succinctly deal with these two contexts.
Books, cartoons and judgments are being discussed thoroughly from highest bodies of liberal democracy like Parliament to constituents of public sphere i.e. print to media artefacts. Primarily, there are two standpoints regarding inclusion/exclusion of cartoons in NCERT Books (political science). Inclusionary argument is based on idea of deliverance of great service to B.R.Ambedkar while emphasising his teachings, ideas and place in the book. Exclusionary argument is based on cartoon itself which means presence of it in the text book nullifies whatsoever is being given in the name of book.