Even if the seventh Nizam, Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan, was impressed with the intellect of Dr BR Ambedkar and had offered him the position of Chief Justice of Hyderabad High Court, today the former’s kin are expressing their dissent over renaming the Osmania University library, started by the Nizam, as Dr B R Ambedkar Library. Amid protests and call to rescind the decision to rename the library, a research centre and a statue of Ambedkar were all inaugurated by Prof Sukhdeo Thorat, former UGC chairman, as part of the university’s centenary celebrations and 120th birth anniversary of Ambedkar on Friday.
This is the second time that Dr Ambedkar is being honoured by the university, after he was conferred a honorary degree D Litt back in 1913 and Osmania became the first university to do so. University vice-chancellor, Prof S Ramchandram said that the research centre that has been named Dr BR Ambedkar Research Centre will be first of its kind to focus on the ideology followed by Dr Ambedkar and will facilitate the students to research in the areas that were dear to “Father of Indian Constitution’.
The research centre has been set up along with six other RUSA 2.0 centres of excellence, under which it has been sanctioned an amount of `107 crore. Separate faculty will also be appointed for the centre. Professors working on Ambedkar studies in various departments will also be called in to carry out their research in the Centre.
Speaking on the occasion, Thorat said that though Ambedkar’s contribution to the country and the academia has been immense, he was always neglected. “The research centre should follow the same method that Ambedkar followed -- study the problem, find the solution and then implement the solution. This is what he did with untouchability, an practice that he always wanted to eradicate and something that is relevant even today,” said the eminent economist.
He also noted that the research Centre should focus on topics like political freedom, enforcing the Constitution, discrimination, legal safeguards against discrimination, Centre-State relations, secularism and inclusion of minor communities and women.