The foreword to a book on Ambedkar and Prime Minister Modi by the legendary composer has drawn flak for drawing parallels between the two of them.

Ilaiyaraaja, who drew parallels between Ambedkar and PM Modi in foreword to bookFacebook/Ilaiyaraaja
news Controversy Saturday, April 16, 2022 - 13:00

Celebrated music composer Ilaiyaraaja has drawn parallels between Dr BR Ambedkar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the foreword to a recently launched book titled ‘Ambedkar & Modi: Reformer’s Ideas, Performer’s Implementation.’ In the book, launched on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti on April 14, the foreword by Ilaiyaraaja says that there were parallels between Ambedkar and Modi as both of them “saw poverty and stifling social structures from close quarters and worked to dismantle them.” The legendary music composer has drawn flak on social media for the comparison, with many upset over his equating the revolutionary leader and scholar with PM Modi.  

The foreword by Ilaiyaraaja says that the book, launched by BlueKraft Digital Foundation, “brings out some striking parallels between the personalities of Dr BR Ambedkar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Both these striking personalities succeeded against odds that people from socially disempowered sections of society face. Both saw poverty and stifling social structures from close quarters and worked to dismantle them. Both dreamt big for India, but both are also practical men who believe in action rather than mere thought exercises.”

The foreword also suggests that Ambedkar “would have been proud of” PM Modi for his “work for the progress of women,” including criminalising of triple talaq and the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ program. It also mentions and appreciates the proposed legislation to raise the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21. 

Read: Will raising legal age of marriage to 21 empower women in India?

Calling the book an attempt to study “the intersection of India's development journey under Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the ideals and vision of Dr BR Ambedkar,” the foreword also suggests that PM Modi has “strengthened the legal safeguards for socially marginalised communities through a number of laws and constitutional protections.” It says that “by building toilets, constructing homes and opening bank accounts,” the Prime Minister has made efforts to help people from socially disadvantaged communities. 

Reacting to the statements in the foreword, Rajya Sabha MP from DMK TKS Elangovan told India Today that Modi and Ambedkar cannot be compared. Elangovan said that while Ambedkar worked for those oppressed by the Varna system, Modi belonged to the Manudharma system that Ambedkar was fighting against. He also said that the policies and legislations hailed by Ilaiyaraaja like the triple talaq law were flawed and detrimental to Muslim men. 

Read: 'Tamil is the link language': AR Rahman in response to Amit Shah’s comment

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