With the enforcement of the model code of conduct proving a dampener, the 123 birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar was observed in a low-profile manner on Monday.

After the customary garlanding of the statue at Town hall by district officials and various Dalit sanghas, District Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim said the greatest tribute to the social worker would be to follow the laws and procedure listed in the constitution framed by him.

He believed there was a tendency to “opt” for extra-legal means for solutions, including bandhs and call for arms in order to “blackmail” the administration.

Mr. Ibrahim iterated that work on the Ambedkar Bhavan would start within this year, while admitting that the administration could not honour the previous promises on the construction.

NMPT function

The New Mangalore Port Trust observed the birth anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar by garlanding his statue and planting saplings in front of the Administrative Office building. T.S.N. Murthy, Deputy Chairman, NMPT, recalled Dr. Ambedkar’s contribution in bringing a semblance of equality to the country by fighting the caste system.

Jatha

At the “Jai Bheem Chalo” jatha organised by the district unit of Karnataka Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (DSS) and Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike (KKSV), P. Yuvaraj, president of Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC) urged people, especially the youth, to follow the ideals of the architect of the constitution.

“He was not the leader of just the Dalits but the entire country,” said K. Phaniraj, writer, who said Dr. Ambedkar stressed that Dalits should not have just political rights – given through reservations of Assembly and parliamentary seats – but also social and economic rights.

At another function organised by the Udupi District Administration, Deputy Commissioner Muddu Mohan said democracy was one of the means of attaining equality in the country.

More In: Mangalore