03 August, 2021

The Riddle Of Riddles In Hinduism

Salvaged from loss, neglect and deliberate oblivion, the survival of ­Ambedkar’s manuscript (albeit not unscathed) is miracle for readers and scholars alike

Filmindia cartoon (1952) mocking Rajendra Prasad’s actions.
Courtesy: Unnamati Syama Sundar
The Riddle Of Riddles In Hinduism
  • Unquenched In 1927, Ambedkar led the Mahar march at the Chowdar Tank to wrest the right to draw water for Dalits
  • Setting Orthodoxy To Fire As the protest took place next to the Tank, he burned copies of the Manusmriti in public


Riddles in Hinduism is one of his many works B.R. Ambedkar did not get to publish in his lifetime. As I began the process of selecting and annotating Riddles, the book itself posed a major riddle. While the first and second editions of an iconic work like Annihilation of Caste (1936, 1944) that Ambedkar oversaw to the last detail could be traced, we had no choice but to base our edition of Riddles on the version that appears in Vol. 4 of the ongoing multi-volume series called  ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches’, known by the acronym BAWS, produced by the Maharashtra government’s education department. The BAWS editors say at the outset: “We, however, regret that...

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