"Attempts to erase Baba Saheb Ambedkar's role failed, he has been more influential in the minds of people, much more than the family for which all this was done", he said.
In a clear damage control move, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi distanced himself and his party from Aiyar's remarks, stating "I do not appreciate the tone and language" used by the senior party leader to address the Prime Minister and asserted that both he and the Congress party "expect him (Aiyar) to apologise for what he said". He will also launch the Dr. Ambedkar International Centre For Socio-Economic Transformation (DAICSET).
Inaugurating the Dr Ambedkar International Centre here, he said, "It is a different matter that they are thinking more of Baba Bhole (Shiva) than Babasaheb... even that is okay". "Then nothing happened for 23 years... when our government came we not only laid its foundation in April 2015 but are also dedicating it to the nation today", he said.
The Prime Minister said Ambedkar Centre will function as a think-tank for inclusive growth and related socio-economic matters in line with Ambedkar's push for socio-economic equality.
"Baba Saheb's contribution to nation building is very important, there had been attempts to undermine his role, but such attempts were unsuccessful", he said.
He added that the five pilgrimage spots - in Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Mhow and London - were like homage from the present generation. He said that this "Panchteerth" is the today's generation's way of paying homage to Dr. Ambedkar. He said that we have still not been able to fulfil the vision of Dr. Ambedkar.
The Prime Minister recalled Dr. Ambedkar's words, that we should make our political democracy, a social democracy as well. "It will not be wrong if I say that more people are still influenced by Ambedkar's ideas than the family for which such efforts were made", Modi said.
The Prime Minister also mentioned programmes were taking off the ground either on time or ahead of the deadline.