Gandhism is a paradox. It stands for freedom from foreign domination, which means the destruction of the existing political structure of the country. At the same time it seeks to maintain intact a social structure which permits the domination of one class by another on a hereditary basis which means a perpetual domination of one class by another. What is the explanation of this paradox?
Yogi Adityanath may have thought that by introducing Dr. Babasaheb B R Ambedkar’s middle name ‘Ramji’, he would turn Babasaheb into just another Hindu leader. But Yogi forgot that Dr. Ambedkar even with Ramji as his middle name was the author of The Riddle of Rama – an iconoclastic essay about Hinduism’s favourite God.
Most of the local, national and international media houses claimed the series of Maratha Kranti Muk (Silent) Morchas (MKM) that started over the rape of a minor girl from Maratha caste in the Kopardi village of Ahmednagar district on July 23, 2016, by three Dalit men, to be ‘unique’ for its mass support base, speeches given by young Maratha girls and for its non-alignments with political parties. However, what is also unique about these marches which remains either highlighted or hidden from the mainstream is the hateful aggressive speeches, the sidelining of the issue of rape, the public display of caste power and rooted patriarchal rhetorical elocutionary speeches given by the young Maratha girls.
I feared and angered
In my younger years,
When men ask me at the bus stop,
Until the numbers
And my own violence
Violated my sisters on the streets.
So now i respond –
“Sau lakh” (or more).
Ambedkar’s “contribution to the making of modern India is possibly more substantial than that of any other leader of his generation.” Uniquely among leading national figures, Ambedkar not only overcame enormous personal odds (caste humiliation, poverty, the deaths of four of his five children), he also pioneered a critique of Indian society based on Enlightenment values of liberty, equality, and fraternity—values that he situated in India’s own ancient traditions, most notably in Buddhism. He was more of a secular rationalist than even Nehru, with a far more sophisticated sense of history, economics, and philosophy. This aspect of Ambedkar—rooted in a worldly, inclusive, scrupulously reasoned, secular and radical egalitarianism, coupled with a bracing focus on equal dignity and social justice as foundations for civil rights—still hasn’t received its due in mainstream scholarship and opinion. Which other leader of the 20th century is as relevant to every dream of a just, modern, liberal, secular, humane, and democratic society in India today?
We feature here an excerpt from Riddles in Hinduism: The Annotated Critical Selection published by Navayana to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar.
Dr. Ambedkar took on and eventually won in two very important debates against two of the greatest economists the world has seen, a feat that cannot be equalled by any economist of India past or present. The more one reads Ambedkar the more one is left amazed at the giant nature of his intellectual prowess. Especially since he was not just an armchair intellectual but a social crusader who fought for justice for the oppressed.
Radhika Vemula, the mother of deceased dalit scholar and Ambedkarite activist Rohith Vemula was on one side enslaved in anguish and on the other side has radically transformed herself by associating with the ambedkarite movement
No one is demanding the banning of Manusmriti’s publication or trying to block its publication. Burning it in public is actually, at least in effect, an invitation to read it and reject its message.
Hindu Communists are not against Hinduism but only against Hindutva version of it. We reject both.
Who is a dalit?
Members of scheduled castes and tribes, Neo-Buddhists, the working people, the landless and poor peasants, women and all those who are being exploited politically, economically and in the name of religion.