ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Was Ambedkar Just a Leader of the Mahars

Was Ambedkar Just a Leader of the Mahars? Neera Burra WAS Ambedkar a leader of only the Mahar community, the caste to which he himself belonged? This is a question that has evoked a mixed response amongst the untouchable communities in Maharashtra. The Mahars, commonly known as inferior village servants, provided a variety of services for the village, some of which were highly polluting, like the flaying of carcasses. They were forced by their poverty to eat carrion, which lowered their status considerably. The Mahars, numerically the largest Scheduled Caste community in Maharashtra before their conversion to Buddhism in 1956, claim that Ambedkar was the leader of all the Depressed Classes and accepted as such by everyone. The Mangs (rope-makers) and the Chambhars (leather-workers) do not accept such a claim. They bitterly resent the upward mobility of the Mahars and believe that this was, at least in part, a result of Ambedkar having concentrated his attention upon his own caste-fellows. There is a widely-held belief that the Mahars because of Ambedkar

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