The winter session of the parliament began today with Home Minister Rajnath Singh addressing the parliament and speaking about BR Ambedkar, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhai Patel.

Paying tribute to Dr. Ambedkar on Constitution Day, Rajnath Singh said, “Dr. Ambedkar introduced the concept of reservation for equality and called it a socio-political necessity. Dr. Ambedkar worked as a binding force for India. He too had to face a lot of criticism, but he kept on presenting an objective point of view for a unified India. Ambedkar ji never said that he wanted to leave the nation just because he had been insulted”.

“People try to present Dr. Ambedkar ji as a Dalit leader, but I don’t think he should be restricted to such a narrow purview,” Rajnath said.

Speaking on the issue of secularism, the Home Minister said, “The words Socialist and Secular were added later to the Preamble. The word Secular has been misused.”

“Dr. BR Ambedkar didn’t add the words Socialist and Secular possibly because he believed that they were already an integral part of India. If there’s any word which is being misused in Indian politics it is Secular”, Rajnath said.

Rajnath also said, “Our founding fathers believed that the Preamble is the soul of the Constitution and no changes should be made to that.”

“Nehru ji played an essential role in establishing democracy in the country,” Rajnath added.

Rajnath also invoked Sardar Vallabhai Patel and said, “Patel ji played the role of a unifying force”.

“Our government has introduced schemes such as ‘Swachh Abhiyaan’, sending across the message that there are no menial jobs under the leadership of PM Modi.”

Rajnath Singh said that “Whoever is born from the womb of Mother India, they are all Indians and we are all brothers”.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, during her address in parliament touched on the secular issue and said that the principles that inspired the country for decades were being “deliberately attacked”.

Criticising the Modi government during the debate on commitment to India’s constitution, Congress President said, “Whatever we have seen for the past few months, it is against the values of constitution.”

Sonia Gandhi also said, “Dr. Ambedkar’s vision was great. He worked to ensure equality and give voice to those who were discriminated in society. The history of Constitution is very old and is linked to our freedom struggle and that’s why it is interlinked with the Congress Party”.

“When Dr. Ambedkar came back to India after his studies, he had only one aim which was to provide respect to the poorest of the poor. There is no doubt that the Constitution gave an equal voice to the poor and gave secular values to the country, she added.

(With inputs from IANS)

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