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Dr. Ambedkar and untouchability : fighting the Indian caste system

Author: Christophe Jaffrelot
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, ©2005.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"B. R. Ambedkar (1891-1956) rose from a community of untouchables to become a major figure in modern Indian history. He was the first Dalit, or low-caste Hindu, ever to be formally educated, studying in the United States and Britain, where he gained his Ph. D. Despite his achievements he remained true to his background and fought for the Dalits throughout his life. He is universally regarded as India's first and
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Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: B R Ambedkar; Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar; B R Ambedkar; Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Christophe Jaffrelot
ISBN: 0231136021 9780231136020
OCLC Number: 56214702
Description: xiii, 205 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Contents: Introduction: The First Dalit Leader of India --
Maharashtra between Social Reform and anti-Brahmin Mobilisation --
Maharashtra and its socio-political system --
The questioning of the social order during the nineteenth century --
Ambedkar: Son of a Mahar Soldier --
Mahars, first of the last --
The family environment: the army and Western education under princely patronage --
Analysing and Ethnicising Caste to Eradicate it More Effectively --
Inventing a golden age for the lower castes: the prestige of autochthony --
How to resist Sanskritisation? --
In the Political Arena, against Gandhi --
Reserved seats or separate electorates? --
Arm wrestling with Gandhi and the Poona Pact --
Ambedkar and the Arya Samaj --
Searching for an Electoral Strategy --
The ILP, or how to defend workers without being a Marxist --
The Scheduled Castes' Federation and caste politics --
From the SCF to the RPI-a return to the ILP? --
Opposition or Collaboration? Ambedkar's Pragmatism and Resilience --
The British-objective allies? --
Ambedkar, a Dalit leader in the establishment of post-1947 India --
Shaping the Indian Constitution --
The 'False Manu'? --
The revenge on Gandhi of a westernised democrat --
The Hindu Code Bill and the break with Nehru --
The 'Solution' of Conversion --
Conversion, a strategy of social emancipation? --
The choice of Buddhism as an egalitarian creed --
The Impact and Relevance of Ambedkar Today --
The target of Gandhians and Hindu nationalists --
Collaborator with the British and gravedigger of social reform?
Responsibility: Christophe Jaffrelot.

Abstract:

"B. R. Ambedkar (1891-1956) rose from a community of untouchables to become a major figure in modern Indian history. He was the first Dalit, or low-caste Hindu, ever to be formally educated, studying in the United States and Britain, where he gained his Ph. D. Despite his achievements he remained true to his background and fought for the Dalits throughout his life. He is universally regarded as India's first and foremost Dalit leader."

"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."--Jacket.

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