Karnataka: Judge Demands Removal of Ambedkar Portrait in Raichur, Leads to Protests

On the 73rd Republic Day, which was held on Wednesday, a photograph of Dr. BR Ambedkar placed, alongside the father of our nation Mahatma Gandhiji was removed before the flag hoisting ceremony in District Court premises in Karnataka’s Raichur district.

District Principal and Sessions Judge Mallikarjuna Gowda ordered his subordinates to take down the photo during the event. Thus the event operator had to take down Ambedkar’s photograph and flag was hoisted later.

Scheduled caste and other groups of lawyers have protested against the incident on the spot. They have also walked out in opposition to the flag-hoisting program.

Videos of the event have gone viral on social media which show the removal of Ambedkar’s potrait, following heated exchange of words.

There have been debates over whether to put Ambedkar’s photo on the Republic Day. Last year, the state government also said that the father of our constitution Ambedkar should be portrayed on Republic Day. He was honored with a photo during this year’s Republic Day. Ambedkar is remembered for his role in the drafting the Indian constitution.

Demanding the removal of Ambedkar’s photo, the judge disrespected him saying, “I have not received any orders. If there is Ambedkar’s photo, I will not hoist the flag.”

According to the protesting advocates, the issue cropped up during the last Republic Day celebrations. Raichur Bar Association had written to the High Court seeking permission to keep the portrait of Ambedkar along with Gandhiji during the celebrations. “However, no response has come from the Registrar of the High Court so far,” advocate Shivashankar told The Hindu.


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