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Ambedkar appears in traditional feudal lord's attire in Unni R's book, publisher draws flak

Ambedkar appears in traditional feudal lords attire in Unni Rs book, publisher draws flak

Kochi: The appearance of Dr BR Ambedkar, the celebrated Dalit activist, in a traditional Kerala savarana attire on the cover of acclaimed Malayalam writer Unni R's latest book Malayali Memorial courted controversy, for the many critics the illustration is a deliberate attempt by the Nairs to claim the legacy of the architect of the Indian Constitution.

In the illustration, Dr Ambedkar is found on a white shirt, mundu (a long cloth tied over the waist) and a shawl with golden borders, the entire clothing is said to be an iconic attire of men belonging to the upper caste in Kerala.

The Dalit revolutionary is also found to be relaxing on an easy chair where a traditional pitcher, called Kindi in Malayalam, is also featured nearby him, is a picture of a family head of a traditional Kerala house. The illustration depicts the aristocracy in which the Dalit leader is being presented.

'Malayali Memorial', written by Unni R, is a collection of seven short stories, published by DC Books.

Amid the criticism over the presentation of Dr Amdedkar as a typical savarna Hindu man, the designer of the cover, Sainul Abid, claimed that the illustration represents one of the short stories in the book, where the lead character, who is also highly proud upper casteist, is found to have a close likeliness to Dr Ambedkar in looks.

The character has also been nicknamed Ambedkar because of his resemblance which the proud casteist abhors, said Sainul Abid adding that the illustration is a portrayal of the irony between the character's mentality and physicality.

Meanwhile, Dalit writer and activist Sunny M Kapicadu called the cover illustration as a marketing technique to sell the book by creating controversy and urged DC Books to withdraw the cover on moral grounds.

Kapicadu was quoted as saying by The News Minutes "This is a deliberate attempt to create controversy, as a marketing technique. So we have decided not to make it a huge controversy because that is exactly what they want. Ambedkar is above all such attempted insults,"

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TAGS:Unni R Dr BR Ambedkar DC Books controversy on attire 
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