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

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The Necessary Conditions for Democracy

B R Ambedkar on Nationalism, Minorities and Pakistan

B R Ambedkar's significance and continuing legacy has been examined largely within the context of dalit emancipation. Yet, his central philosophical concern was how to bring about democracy in a society so riven by caste hierarchy and communal division. His detailed consideration of the case for Pakistan was seen by many at the time as contradicting the goals of Indian nationalism. However, his support for Pakistan fits within his philosophy of democracy. This paper presents a close reading of Ambedkar's positions on nationalism, Pakistan, and the protection of minorities. While he saw Pakistan as a logical extension of a demand for protection against the "tyranny of the majority", it considers why he believed Muslims were not simply one among many of India's minorities.

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