‘Ramji’ will now officially be part of Ambedkar’s name as his middle name. The order was passed by the UP state government on 28th March. The order asked the high court and the departments to replace ‘Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar’ with ‘Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar’.
According to the signature in the constitution, Ambedkar had signed his name as such. The English spelling of ‘Ambedkar’ will not be changed but the Hindi spelling will change to ‘Aambedkar’. The campaign for this change was begun by Governor Ram Naik in December 2017 said, Dr. Lalji Prasad, Nirmal, the director of Babasahib Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Mahasabha. Governor Ram Naik had written to the Prime Minister expressing his concerns over the spelling.
His argument was, “The main point is the way the name should be pronounced. While its English spelling is correct, the spelling will have to change in Hindi, as will the pronunciation. Ramji was his father’s name. As per common practice in Maharashtra, father’s name is used as a middle name for sons.”
BJP MP, Udit Raj from Delhi said there was no reason to change his name, it was an individual’s freedom to decide how to be known. he said. He also said that there was no need to create controversy unnecessarily and that the Dalits had expressed their displeasure over the matter. The opposition believes that the BJP government is only playing politics and using Ambedkar as a ploy. Jitendra Kumar issued the circular directing that the change be made. Naik had met with Ramnath Kovind too to discuss the issue. Samajwadi Party has taken particular offence to the matter. A household name like Ambedkar’s cannot be changed that easily by the government. But why the change is being made now and not before is an entirely different question, for which the answer is not known.