28 July, 2021

Caste And Faith In The Dalit Mirror

Four activists and scholars with different religious identities take stock of what has changed for India’s ‘untouchables’ and what remains the same

Open House
(From Left ) Lawyer Franklin Caesar Thomas, BJP national executive member Sanjay Paswan, JNU PhD scholar Rama Naga and IAS officer Raja Sekhar Vundru
Photograph by Tribhuvan Tiwari
Caste And Faith In The Dalit Mirror

In October 1956, sixty years ago, Ambedkar embraced Buddhism. Does the Dalit experience surpass religion? Or can it be articulated through it? Does it only divide or also offer grounds for introsp­ection? We inv­ited four prominent Dalits—a Hindu, an Ambedk­arite Buddhist, a Christian, a leftist—to address this complex set of questions. They were Sanjay Paswan, head of the BJP’s Scheduled Caste Morcha, IAS officer Raja Sekhar Vundru, Supreme Court lawyer Franklin Caesar Thomas, and the youngest, Rama Naga, a PhD scholar at JNU, New Delhi. Uttam Sengupta and Sunil Menon were the moderators.

OUTLOOK: Exactly 100 years ago, in 1916, Dr B.R. Ambedkar presented his paper on castes in India at a seminar in Columbia University, New York. The last century saw Gandhi and Ambedkar, and both had distinct views on the Dalit identity. Our aim at this dialogue is to look ahead and anticipate, if possible, the churning Dalit...

More from Uttam Sengupta

Latest Magazine

August 02, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section