Phule, Ambedkar, Ashoka remembered & celebrated

Photo- SAT/NN.

MELBOURNE, 9 April 2022: Great Indian thinkers, social reformers, and champions of Freedom, Equality, Justice, and Fraternity were remembered today by the South Asian community in an event organized by the Ambedkar International Mission, Australia. Candles were lit in their honor in front of their photographs amidst red and yellow flowers. Three confident kids conducted the day’s program with aptness.

Ambedkar Jayanti or Bhim Jayanti is an annual festival observed globally on 14 April each year to commemorate the memory of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, it marks Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s birthday who was born on 14 April 1891. He is credited as the father of the Indian constitution and a fighter for the cause of India’s Dalits and oppressed castes.

Prof. Hari Bapuji & Dr. Vikrant Kishore at the function. Photo- SAT/NN.

Addressing the august gathering, Dr. Vikrant Kishore, Academic and Filmmaker explained the necessity of not being marginalized or being visible in the Indian Diaspora in Australia. He quoted Dr. Ambedkar as saying that caste is cultural baggage we take with us wherever we go. And, he said, we need to tell our stories because there is a tendency to whitewash our identity in the Indian/South Asian media.

The approach, he said, was to talk about ‘racism’ here but to hide their own prejudices over caste. Dr. Vikrant also touched on the need to be well connected and educate ourselves and keep questioning and raising issues facing us.

The University of Melbourne’s Prof. Hari Bapuji also addressed the gathering saying the caste system assigns a position to everyone and it is an ideology and does not come from one faith as it is our ‘soch’ (thinking). Whether caste should create our identity people should think about it. And, we should take education as a lifelong journey and learn more and more about society and the world. Educate others that caste is inequality and affects everyone, he said.

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The program also included mesmerizing singing by three singers from the Guru Ravidas Temple Campbellfield, who captivated those gathered with their singing including one in Punjabi. A colorful ladies Maharashtrian dance created the much-needed cultural ambiance. Mementos were given away to children who performed during the event and there was plenty of food for everyone.

By SAT News Desk

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