Monday, February 26, 2024

President Droupadi Murmu to unveil statue of Dr BR Ambedkar in Supreme Court on Constitution Day

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The Supreme Court is set to unveil a statue of the Architect of the Indian Constitution, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar on November 26, which is celebrated across the country as the Constitution Day.

The statue will be unveiled by President Droupadi Murmu in the Supreme Court premises on Sunday. Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud will be present on the occasion.

The 7-foot-tall statue, portraying Dr Ambedkar wearing a lawyer’s dress and holding a copy of the Constitution in his hand, is presently under construction at Manesar in Haryana. 

Mounted atop a pedestal, the statue of Dr Ambedkar will be located on the front lawn and garden inside the Supreme Court premises. 

Around 50 labourers are presently at work in the Apex Court premises, giving finishing touches to the platform that will house the statue. 

As per sources, the statue has been sculpted by famous sculptor Naresh Kumavat. 

The decision to erect a statue of Dr. Ambedkar stems from the persistent request made by a group of lawyers who identify with the Ambedkarite movement.

In December last year, they had penned a letter to Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud asking for a statue of Dr. Ambedkar on the lawns of the Supreme Court.

In September this year, the Supreme Court Arguing Counsel Association (SCACA) had also made a representation seeking the installation of the statue.

The Full Court of the Madras High Court had on April 11 reiterated its earlier decision to not have photos, statues or portraits of any leader other than Mahatma Gandhi and Saint Thiruvalluvar in courts and court premises in Tamil Nadu.

The Court had, therefore, turned down requests made by various advocates associations to have a portrait of Dr Ambedkar inside courts in the State.

A circular was also issued by the Registrar General on July 7, which said that the Full Court took the decision in view of earlier resolutions passed since October 2008, when it had first rejected the plea by a lawyers’ group to display the portrait of Dr Ambedkar inside the Court.

However, on July 25, the State government informed that status quo would be maintained insofar as the existing statues and portraits of Dr BR Ambedkar are concerned.

Dr Ambedkar hailed from the Mahar caste, which was then an untouchable Dalit caste. This resulted in Ambedkar struggling to gain access to even primary education. He eventually went on to hold 26 degrees and titles, becoming one of the most highly educated Indians of his generation.

As Chairman of the Drafting Committee, Dr Ambedkar was known as the Architect of the Indian Constitution.

The Supreme Court complex at present houses a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, which faces the Chief Justice of India’s court. Last year, three lawyers wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of India seeking the installation of an Ambedkar statue inside the Supreme Court premises.

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