A massive 206-foot-tall statue of Dr BR Ambedkar in Vijayawada, named the "Statue of Social Justice," was unveiled on Friday, January 19 by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. As the tallest Ambedkar statue in the world, the sculpture is situated on an 81-foot pedestal at the Ambedkar Smriti Vanam in the historic Swaraj Maidan.
Addressing the meeting, CM Jagan said that the statue honours social reformer Babasaheb, who fought tirelessly for centuries against marginalised communities and women. He said that the statue is a symbol inspiring movements advocating human rights, women's rights, and equality and urged all generations to take inspiration from Ambedkar's revolutionary work and ideology.
“Despite 75 years after independence, various forms of untouchability persist in society. The disparities in education, healthcare, and access to government schemes, are modern forms of untouchability. Privatisation of buses and unequal distribution of benefits are continuing forms of social injustice,” CM Jagan said.
Attacking the opposition's plan to make Amaravati the capital of the state, Jagan accused the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) of practising untouchability. “By converting assigned dalit lands into a real estate venture for the affluent they wanted to make it a fort for themselves,” he added.
CM Jagan said that Ambedkar pioneered the reservation system, which has facilitated the progress of marginalised communities. “The unveiling of this statue is viewed as a reflection of the socio-economic and political commitment of the government. Our party adheres to the principles of social justice. We have allocated more than 50 percent of seats including Municipal corporations, Zilla Parishads, nominated posts, Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, Legislative Council, and Assembly elections to the Backward classes, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities.”