I oppose Mahatma Gandhi over his tough stance towards Poona Pact, said Revenue and District In-Charge Minister V Srinivas Prasad here on Wednesday. He was speaking at the Buddha, Basava, Ambedkar Jayanthi organised by Dalit Students Federation of University of Mysore.
The Poona Pact refers to an agreement between Babasaheb Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi signed on 24 September 1932 at Yerwada Central Jail in Pune. It was signed by Pt Madan Mohan Malviya and B R Ambedkar and some Dalit leaders to break the fast unto death undertaken by Gandhi in Yerwada prison to annul the Macdonald Award giving separate electorates to Dalits for electing members of state legislative assemblies in British India.
The minister said: “Though I had an opportunity to enter politics and become the Member of Parliament because of the amended Poona Pact, it would have been a boon to Dalits if the previous draft of Poona Pact was accepted by Mahatma Gandhi, he said.
Motivating students, Prasad said that the youth have to follow Ambedkar as a role model, instead of being exploited and victimised by vested interests. It was discipline and punctuality that made Ambedkar a stalwart and a scholar and helped him make positive changes in the society. Youths have to focus on excelling in academics.
Speaking at the event, UoM B N Bahadur Institute of Management Science Professor D Anand said that Ambedkar’s life itself was a struggle and despite odds, he strived for the welfare of society and never worked for personal gains.
As part of the event, a grand procession with portraits of Buddha, Basavanna, and Ambedkar was taken out and a cultural dance by traditional troupes was performed.