20 October, 2020

The Page Mnemonist

Shinde has a huge Ambedkar-related library, and there is no better index than his mind

Shinde with his collection at his small tenement in Goregaon, Mumbai
Photo by Amit Haralkar
The Page Mnemonist
  • The Bookman Ambedkar was a voracious reader and his personal library comprised over 50,000 books
  • Carton Count It took 32 cartons to ship the books Ambedkar bought in Lon­don during the Round Table conference


Casual passers-by might mistake Ramesh Tukaram Shinde for a pensioner reading a newspaper in the small iron-grilled verandah of his Goregaon ten­e­ment. But the perception wil­l­ change completely if they listen to him speak on his mobile, giving callers precise information on Bab­asaheb Ambedkar, his works and the social revolution he wrought. Shinde is a one-man helpline for all things Ambedkar, and even serious scholars turn to his prodigious memory and his huge collection of journals, documents and books, many of them out of print, by and on the Dalit leader who steered the writing of the Indian constitution.

His acuity and unwavering eye for detail belie his 83 years: he can pick any book or document from his collection and open...



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