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

B R AmbedkarSubscribe to B R Ambedkar

The Art of the Oppressed

Most mainstream films that centre caste have, even if unknowingly, not understood the historical roots and cultural background of Dalits.

Recognising Ambedkar

Identity upholds a symbol of privilege and purity on the one hand and, on the other, is also a label that represents the stigma of pollution and indignity. Both these forms of identity construct the idea of identity politics. Identity establishes an idea and idea constructs an identity, both become indistinguishable in a political discourse that works at different levels in society. This is the dichotomy of the theory of recognition that is explored in this article.

Striving for Begumpura: Traversing the Intellectual Activism of Gail Omvedt

​Writer, researcher, life-long fellow traveller of the progressive movements and long-time author with the Economic & Political Weekly, Gail Omvedt passed away on 25 August 2021. In this reading list, we present some of the highlights of her scholarship published in EPW.

Shudra Identity and Struggle

The Shudras: Vision for a New Path edited by Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd and Karthik Raja Karuppusamy, New Delhi: Vintage (Penguin Random House), 2021; pp 272, ₹ 699 .

Gail Omvedt (1941–2021)

I met Gail Omvedt in 1990, at the Centre for Social Studies (CSS), Surat, where I had joined as a faculty member, my first ever job. Omvedt had been a visiting fellow at the CSS for a few months, working on her book on the “new” social movements. I had known her for a long time before that only...

Is Ambedkar’s Prejudice against ‘Tribe’ a Settled Matter?

A challenge is mounted against the widespread assumption that Ambedkar was prejudiced against “tribe,” by revealing acts of academic carelessness that occur in the writings of some scholars through the cherry-picking of quotes and failure to historically contextualise the same. Some such popular (mis)quotes and Ambedkar’s writings on tribe over a period of time are investigated, taking into account both their immediate and larger historical context, to argue that there are better ways to make sense of Ambedkar’s stance on the subject.

The Many Uses of Constitutions

The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions and the Making of the Modern World by Linda Colley, London: Profile Books, 2021, pp 502, ₹ 2,280 (hardcover).

Reservations, Efficiency, and the Making of Indian Constitution

The notion that reservation is contrary to efficiency and merit has been invoked consistently. Even the Supreme Court of India seems to have agreed withthis proposition in some judgments, as it held that Article 16(4), which provides for reservation in services, would be limited by Article 335, which mentions the term “efficiency of administration” in the Constitution. This paper explores the Constituent Assembly Debates to show that the Constitution framers did not subject reservations to the test of efficiency or merit. In addition, “efficiency of administration” mentioned under Article 335 cannot be treated as an exclusionary construct, as it was done in pre-independence era.

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