A historic moment unfolded as a 19-foot tall statue of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the visionary behind India’s Constitution, was formally unveiled in a suburb of Maryland, Washington. This iconic statue is now recognized as the tallest of its kind outside India, carrying immense importance for both Indian-Americans and the worldwide Indian diaspora.
The inauguration ceremony resonated with the enthusiastic chants of ‘Jai Bhim.’ Over 500 Indian-Americans, hailing from various parts of the United States, India, and other corners of the globe, converged to witness this momentous event, a testament to the global admiration for Dr. Ambedkar’s remarkable contributions.
The statue was meticulously crafted by the renowned artist and sculptor Ram Sutar, known for his creation of the ‘Statue of Unity’ of Sardar Patel, situated on an island in Gujarat’s Narmada River. Named the “Statue of Equality,” this new masterpiece seeks to address the issue of inequality not only in India but on a global scale, as highlighted by Ram Kumar, President of the Ambedkar International Center (AIC).
Deelip Mhaske, a prominent figure in the Ambedkarite movement in the United States, emphasized that the “Statue of Equality” symbolizes not only the 1.4 billion Indians but also the 4.5 million Indian Americans. The unveiling of the statue garnered congratulatory messages from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, recognizing the endeavors of the Ambedkarite movement in promoting unity and social justice.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, born on April 14, 1891, played a pivotal role as the chairman of the Constituent Assembly’s Drafting Committee. Affectionately known as Babasaheb, he is revered as the Architect of the Indian Constitution. Despite his passing on December 6, 1956, his legacy continues to inspire millions.
Significantly, the date of the statue’s inauguration, October 14, coincides with Dhamma Chakra Parivartan Din, a day celebrated by Ambedkarites to commemorate Dr. Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism. This symbolic date adds further weight to the statue’s unveiling, marking a momentous milestone in the global Ambedkarite movement.