‘Bheem Pratignya’ in OU on April 11, 14

The controversy created around IPS officer and Secretary of the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutes Society (TSWREIS) R.S.Praveen Kumar taking part in ‘Bheem Deeksha’ is all set to be taken to its next level by students of Osmania University.

Members of several students’ outfits, coming under the banner of ‘Osmania University Students’, have decided to conduct a ‘Bheem Pratignya’ (Bheem’s Pledge) event on April 11 & 14 in affirmation of an alternative culture.

The pledge will be given on both days, on the occasion of the birth anniversaries of anti-caste social reformer Jyotirao Phule and the first Law Minister and leading light of Dalits B.R. Ambedkar respectively, representatives of the event said.

All COVID-19 protocols will be followed including masks and social distancing for the event, in view of the rising number of infections in the city, D. Kotesh, an organiser informed. In all, about 100 persons will be taking the pledge on each day. “We are organising the event in the context of Mr. Praveen Kumar dissociating himself from the pledge post controversy. We wish to reclaim the Navayana Buddhist pledge administered by B.R. Ambedkar to lakhs of Dalits who converted to Buddhism along with him in 1956. Even while hailing him as the father of the Constitution, the Hindutva forces wish to sweep his legacy under the carpet, and our aim is to focus on reaffirming this alternative cultural practice,” Mr.Kotesh said.

He urged all outfits with similar ideology across the State to replicate the event at their respective locations for a week, in remembrance of both the stalwarts.

Osmania University students had earlier organised a Beef Festival to assert their alternative food culture vis-a-vis dominant religious practices, on the same occasion.

Dr.Praveen Kumar had, earlier this month, attended an event of Bheem Deeksha organised by the alumni of the social welfare residential schools (Swaeros) at a famous Buddhist shrine at Dhulikatta in Peddapalli district.

The oath containing 22 precepts, some with overt phrases repudiating the Hindu Gods and Goddesses, given by Dr.Ambedkar to his followers 65 years ago during their conversion to Buddhism, was reportedly administered at the event to hundreds of attendees. Presence of Dr.Praveen Kumar at the event stirred up a hornet’s nest, giving rise to severe castigations and allusions of religious propaganda to the officer.

A clarification issued by Dr.Praveen Kumar distancing himself from the pledge, had put paid to the controversy for the time being.

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