From Ambedkar to Mayawati

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Patangbaazi greets one at the magnificent Parivartan Sthal (Ambedkar Memorial Park) complex constructed by the orders of Chief Minister Mayawati and completed by 2009-10. It is a park today and has from khomche to ice-cream, from couples to families, from beggars to bourgeoisie and all castes in the midst. Stretching along the river-front, a tourist-spot complete with statues and footpaths, in marbles and sandstones, it has a marvellous sense of space. An extraordinary, larger-than-life and gargantuan assertion of identity, dignity and deities – Ambedkar and wife, Kanshiram and Mayawati on opposite sides – this is not merely a reclaiming, recovery of history. It is not even an attempt to re-write history. This set-up, so reminiscent of the Lincoln and Luther King Memorials in Washington, is a grabbing of past and present by its throat and laying down a marker for future. 

The geometrically precise, expansive space – rational and theistic with its human-Gods – has a jarring note struck by the VIP Lounge on one side of the entrance with the other side being for reserved for others. One long path takes tourist-pilgrims to a stupa-hill, rock-cut alignment with huge mural depictions of Ambedkarite Buddhism from deeksha to nirvana. Hues of blue lighting enhanced the sandstone, soil-coloured backdrop amidst which stood exceptionally well-done, real-life-likeness statues. Ambedkar is sitting majestically in the Lincoln pose in the sanctum-sanctorum. On the circular walls, on one side, Ambedkar is ‘giving’ the gift of Constitution to Babu Rajendra Prasad, the upper-caste Chairman of the Indian Constituent Assembly and on the other, Ambedkar is shown receiving the gift of deeksha from a Baudh-Bhikshu. 

Guest Post.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s