New Delhi, Jan 24: The Centre has written to B R Ambedkar's grandson, Prakash Ambedkar and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis seeking permission for re-publication of the writings and speeches of the Dalit icon.
The Centre is commemorating Ambedkar's 125th birth anniversary year as a part of which it wants to publish the Collected Works of Bhimrao Ambedkar (CWBA) so his message and ideology can be disseminated far and wide.
A National Committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been constituted for overseeing the birth anniversary celebrations.
"In accordance with the announcements made by Prime Minister, the 125th birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar Jee is being celebrated from April 14, 2015 to April 14, 2016 and various programmes, stamp releases and symposiums are being organized.
"It has been learnt that during the meeting of 'Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Source Material Publication Committee' held on October 8, 2013, questions were raised on the permission accorded for re-publication of the Sampoorn Dandmay (Writings and Speeches) English Edition.
"Due to this, the Principal Secretary at Dept of Higher and Technical Education, Govt of Maharashtra, notified vide letter dated July 7, 2014 that the re-publication of the Sampoorn Dandmay (Writings and Speeches) English edition of Dr Ambedkar has been restricted," said the letter written by Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot. Gehlot said in his letter that the matter was discussed between him and Prakash Ambedkar over telephone and that the latter had agreed to accord permission.
"Therefore, you are requested to kindly cooperate in getting the permission for re-publication of the Sampoorn Dandmay (Writings and Speeches) English Edition (1 to 17) of Dr Ambedkar, which was earlier published by Dept of Education, Govt of Maharashtra, by Ambedkar Foundation," he said.
According to a senior official in the Ministry, Maharashtra government had accorded permission for reprinting of writings and speeches of Ambedkar in English on May 9, 2013 after which Dr Ambedkar Foundation had published around 1,000 copies, all of which were sold.
However, permission was later withdrawn by Maharashtra government in July, 2014.
"Since April last year we have been asking for NOC from Maharashtra government and Prakash Ambedkar, who is the copyright holder of these works, but we are yet to get it. We want to republish the English originals as there is a huge demand for them," the official said.
Dr Ambedkar Foundation has already undertaken translation of Collected Works of Bhimrao Ambedkar from English into different languages -- Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Odiya, Telugu, Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi and Urdu and their publication.