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

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Ambedkar in 2021, Episode 2: What Methods Did Ambedkar Use to Create Transformative Change?

In this episode, we speak to V Geetha about Ambedkar and Periyar's thought, as well as Ambedkar's views on Savarnas, fraternity, and the state.

Ambedkar in 2021, Episode 1: Locating Ambedkar, The Historian

In this episode, we speak to Chinnaiah Jangam about Ambedkar's multidisciplinary research approach.

On Philosophical Causality and the Problem of Evil

Caste: The Lies That Divide Us by Isabel Wilkerson, Allen Lane, New Delhi: Penguin Random House, 2020; pp 496, ` 599 (hardcover).

Ambedkar’s Dhamma or Buddha and Plato minus Dialectics

The dialectical process or dialectical method plays a crucial role in the philosophy of change or the philosophy of processes. It determines the subject and the activity of the subject which is crucial in transforming material conditions. The process of dialectics not only determines the subject; rather, in its due course, it eliminates the mediating agencies and creates new conditions. Ambedkar’s reinterpretation of classical Buddhism is influenced by Buddha as well as Plato, but this reinterpretation eliminates the Buddhist dialectics and Platonic dialectics from its framework. Due to the elimination of Buddhist and Platonic dialectics, Ambedkar adopts the theory of imitation from Plato and constructs a new source of institutional power, that is, sangha.

From Postcolonial Irony to Dalit Truth

The paper, in three parts, examines the question of lived experience and Dalit subjectivity in a caste society. The first part argues that the signature postcolonial concepts like “plurality” of lifeworlds as postcolonial historical “difference” fail to provide a method to read Dalit politics outside the framework of irony. The second part critically evaluates existing debates on experience/theory as a necessary precondition for Dalit subjectivity. The paper ends with a speculative reading of “Ambedkar thought” as a decision that creates an ontological separation from the Hindu social. It argues that such subjective decision is prior to experience/theory—it is only through separation that one recognises an experience.

Reading Ambedkar in the Time of Covid-19

What lies behind the policy blindness towards concerns of the oppressed in India? The “social distancing” induced by the COVID-19 health crisis does not address the problem of deeper levels of distancing caused by “social isolation” and “social nausea,” two concepts used by B R Ambedkar. This article is an attempt to understand the factors behind the collective sociopolitical response towards the poorest sections characterised by lack of empathy, and to develop an Ambedkarite framework to understand social policy generally and, more specifically, in India.

Engaging with ‘a Quintessential University Person’

Conversations with Ambedkar: 10 Ambedkar Memorial Lectures edited by Valerian Rodrigues, Tulika Books and Ambedkar University Delhi, July 2019; pp 282, ₹ 750.

Ambedkar Will Teach the Nation from His Statues

The pointed finger of Ambedkar statues symbolically conveys the meaning of lecturing, or teaching the nation about democracy and fraternity. The politics of proliferating Dalit iconography is one of seeking visibility and asserting one’s right to access public spaces. However, clashes routinely erupt over such iconography given the upper castes’ fear of their threatened hegemony.

How Egalitarian Is Indian Sociology?

Even after completing a hundred years Indian sociology is practised in the milieu of domination. British, European and American domination has been well documented while the domination of the so-called twice-born castes has not been analysed. This article highlights the domination of the twice-born castes at four levels--as members practising sociology in universities, institutions and colleges, in the sphere of production of knowledge while writing chapters of books, producing knowledge with the help of scriptural sources, or producing data from the field and while teaching sociology in the classrooms.

Modi’s Faux Pas on Ambedkar

Narendra Modi recently described himself as an Ambedkar bhakt and also assured Dalits that he would never dilute reservations even if B R Ambedkar himself were to come back to life and demand their revocation. The faux pas reveals the desperation of the Hindutva forces to woo Dalits by misrepresenting Ambedkar and the critical role reservation plays in the political schema of the ruling classes. Reservations, which are assumed to be a boon for Dalits, have actually been the tool of their enslavement.

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