24 October, 2020

Tone Down His Piercing Stare

Ambedkar’s inherently radical sharpness was blunted by the state to co-opt Dalits. This book promises to be a whetstone but reneges on it.

Tone Down His Piercing Stare

This new collection on Ambedkar brings together international scholars to explore hitherto unexamined aspects of Ambedkar’s praxis and writings. The book is unique in several res­pects. First is the very thorough comparisons between Ambedkar’s emancipatory struggle for the Dalits and the Black liberation movement(s) in the US. Five chapters address the issue, ref­lecting on caste and colour, discussing Ambedkar within the contexts of W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King, as well as the anti-apartheid movement.

Second, continuing this effort to see Ambedkar within a global relevance is the pioneering contribution of co-editor Suraj Yengde, who reconstructs and ana­lyses Ambedkar’s foreign policy, tra­cing the Dalit movement vis-a-vis int­­er­­national and trans-national activism.

Third is just the high standard of scholarship. The contributions by Partha Chatterjee (on Ambedkar’s evolving theory of minority rights) and Rohit De (on Ambedkar’s legal career) are unexpectedly rewarding. There are also excellent...



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