Dr. Ambedkar and Untouchability: Fighting the Indian Caste System

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Columbia University Press, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 205 pages
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"For years Ambedkar battled alone against the Indian political establishment, including Gandhi, who resisted his attempt to formalize and codify a separate identity for the Dalits. Nonetheless, he became law minister in the first government of independent India and, more important, was elected chairman of the committee which drafted the Indian Constitution. Here he modified Gandhian attempts to influence the Indian polity. He then distanced himself from politics and sought solace in Buddhism, to which he converted in 1956, a few months before his death." "Jaffrelot focuses on Ambedkar's three key roles: as social theorist, as statesman and politician, and as an advocate of conversion to Buddhism as an escape route for India's Dalits. In each case he pioneered new strategies that proved effective in his lifetime and still resonate today."--BOOK JACKET.
  

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Contents

The First Dalit Leader of India
1
Opposition or Collaboration? Ambedkars Pragmatism
6
Maharashtra between Social Reform
8
Son of a Mahar Soldier
19
Analysing and Ethnicising Caste to Eradicate it More
31
In the Political Arena against Gandhi
52
Searching for an Electoral Strategy
74
Shaping the Indian Constitution
106
TheSolutionof Conversion
119
The Impact and Relevance of Ambedkar Today
143
Conclusion
161
Notes
167
Select Bibliography
198
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About the author (2005)

Christophe Jaffrelot is director of the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI). He is the author of India's Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Caste in North India and The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics, which the New York Review of Books hailed as "a scholarly tour de force."

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