New Delhi- While much of the nation marked January 22 with celebrations for the Ram Mandir consecration – filled with Ram dhun, bhajans, and festive lights – there was another faction choosing a different path. Ambedkarites took 22 vows, emphasizing their commitment to certain principles. Students at BBAU Lucknow recited 22 Vows of Ambedkar and read the preamble to counter the right-wing forces. Meanwhile, the many from the Malayalam film industry, led by actresses and filmmakers shared the constitution's preamble, reaffirming their belief in secular values. Amidst the religious fervor, this alternative observance provided a unique and meaningful perspective.
In a compelling display of solidarity with the nation's constitutional ideals, several prominent Malayalam film personalities recently engaged in an alternate observation. Notable figures such as actors Parvathy Thiruvothu, Rima Kallingal, Divya Prabha, Rajesh Madhavan, Kani Kusruti, directors Jeo Baby, Aashiq Abu, Kamal KM, Kunjila Mascillamani, and singer Sooraj Santhosh shared images of the Constitution's Preamble on their social media platforms.
This collective act, emphasizing principles of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity, garnered widespread support. However, it also sparked a backlash from some right-wing individuals who accused the celebrities of being 'anti-Hindu' and questioned the historical inclusion of the term "secular" in the Preamble.
IIT-Bombay organized a Ramdhun Programme at the campus ahead of the consecration ceremony at Ayodhya. A procession called Shriram Darbar Shobha Yatra was taken out on the campus. A section of students has opposed these events, emphasizing that this goes against the ethos of the campus, and the institute has, on previous occasions, barred students from holding political discussions on the campus.
In a letter circulated to all staff members and students, it was informed that a program based on Geet Ramayan would be organized on Saturday, January 20.
Ambedkar Phule Periyar Student Circle of IIT Bombay wrote on Twitter, “We condemn the surrender of this institute in front of the right-wing political forces, while on the other hand, it continues to suppress any activity by the independent student collectives.”
The students at Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, recited 22 Vows of Ambedkar to counter the Hindutva forces. The students also read the Preamble on the occasion. Praveen Kumar, a student of B.Tech, said, “It was on this day that the Objective resolution was passed, which is the basis of the constitution and calls for equal treatment to everyone, and therefore we read the preamble and also the 22 Vows of Ambedkar.
While another student said on the condition of anonymity, “The program was organized with the aim to counter the right-wing forces; we want to ensure that the Brahminical forces do not subsume the country. ‘I shall have no faith in Rama and Krishna, who are believed to be incarnations of God, nor shall I worship them,’ says the second vow.”
January 22nd is a crucial day in the making of the Indian Constitution, as it was on this day that the objective resolution was moved in the constituent assembly by Jawaharlal Nehru, and the preamble is based on the objective resolution. To mark this occasion, constitution lovers and Ambedkarite groups recited the Preamble and observed this on social media.
Meanwhile, some people used the occasion to highlight the 22 Vows of Babasaheb, which exhorted people not to worship Ram or Krishna, among other vows.
Didi Nirdesh, a social activist, highlighted that the 22 vows of the constitution are a year-long program, and I have myself made people recite these vows in thousands of villages. These vows spread knowledge in these times of foolishness.
Arvind Sontakke, a retired bureaucrat and an activist, who has launched the 22 Pratigya campaign, said, “On 6th December Baba Saheb attained mahaparinirvana and RSS demolished the Babri Masjid to celebrate it as a shaurya diwas, and on January 22, the preamble of the country was adopted by the constituent assembly and it was chosen as the day of Pran Pratisthan, so whatever the RSS does has a deep conspiracy behind it. So, today is the day to take a resolve for taking the 22 Pratigyas, which reject Ram and Krishna in every home.”