Dr Ambedkar and Untouchability: Analysing and Fighting Caste Christophe Jaffrelot

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218 pages


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Dr Ambedkar and Untouchability: Analysing and Fighting Caste  by  Christophe Jaffrelot

Dr Ambedkar and Untouchability: Analysing and Fighting Caste by Christophe Jaffrelot
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About the Book: B.R. Ambedkar (1891-1956) was the first Dalit or low-caste Hindu to be formally educated to the highest level, gaining his PhD in the West. Despite this huge achievement he remained true to his background and origins, fighting forMoreAbout the Book: B.R. Ambedkar (1891-1956) was the first Dalit or low-caste Hindu to be formally educated to the highest level, gaining his PhD in the West. Despite this huge achievement he remained true to his background and origins, fighting for Dalit rights throughout his life. No one today doubts Ambedkars status as Indias first and foremost Dalit.

For years, Ambedkar waged a singular and lonely battle against Indias brahminical and higher-caste political establishment, which included Mahatma Gandhi, who resisted Ambedkars effort to formalize and codify a separate identity for lower-caste Hindus. Nonetheless, Ambedkar became Law Minister in the first government of independent India, and chairman of the committee which drafted the Indian constitution, and was able to modify Gandhian attempts to influence Indias polity.

In the final stage of his life Ambedkar distanced himself from politics and sought solace in Buddhism, to which he converted a short while before his death. Jaffrelots major new book focuses on the three key areas that are central to a full understanding of Indias pioneering Dalit: Ambedkar as social theorist- Ambedkar as statesman and politician- and Ambedkar as an opponent of caste Hinduism and advocate of Buddhism as a method of release from Hindu social oppression.

In each case, Jaffrelot argues, Ambedkar was the first to forge new political, symbolic, and emotively powerful strategies for Dalits. These not only proved effective in Ambedkars own lifetime, they resonate powerfully even today.



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