Skip to main content

Govt of India "excludes" Ambedkar's top ideological treatise "Annihilation of Caste" from Collected Works

By Rajiv Shah
In a shocking revelation that is likely to create a major ripple among India’s top Dalit rights activists, the Government of India has published Collected Works of Bhimrao Ambedkar (CWBA) in Hindi without 11 of Ambedkar’s books, including two which are considered his ideologically significant works, “Annihilation of Caste” and “Riddles of Hinduism.”
Published by the Ambedkar Foundation, which is a Government of India body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, a senior journalist-researcher, Dilip Mandal, has revealed that this is particularly surprising as the Foundation is “the sole publisher of Babasaheb's writings and speeches in Hindi.”
Top litterateur and writer Arundhati Roy recently called “Annihilation of Caste” Ambedkar’s “most radical text”. She said, “It is not an argument directed at Hindu fundamentalists or extremists, but at those who considered themselves moderate, those whom Ambedkar called the best of Hindus”.
Roy says, “Ambedkar’s point is that to believe in the Hindushastras and to simultaneously think of oneself as liberal or moderate is a contradiction in terms.” Interestingly, soon after the text of “Annihilation of Caste (AoC)” was published Mahatma Gandhi responded to Ambedkar’s “provocation”, but also pointed towards why it should be discussed by Hindus.
In his article titled “Riddles in Moditva: Publishing Ambedkar without AoC & Riddles in Hinduism” in Roundtable India, Mandal wonders, “So, for you, what are the most seminal texts of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the constitution maker of India? What names come to your mind or your imagination?”
Mandal
Mandal – former Managing Editor, India Today group and currently researcher at Jawaharlal Nehru University -- asks, “Is it ‘Annihilation of Caste’, or is it ‘Riddles in Hinduism’, or is it something to do with the Roundtable Conference or his works related to Poona Pact, or his debates with Gandhi or all of these?”
“Now imagine a set of books, with the branding of Collected Works of Bhimrao Ambedkar having none of these texts, but someone is still calling them as the CWBA. And that 'someone', in this instance, is nobody other than the Modi Government”, Mandal comments, adding, “This is exactly the farce that is being played out now.”
Mandal informs, “Apparently, Ambedkar Foundation is in the process of publishing a new set and in the intervening period, this is what they have to offer to the readers. But at the foundation, nobody knows when the new books will be published. This is for the Hindi edition of the CWBA.”
He adds, “For the English originals, the situation is more complicated. As the foundation has not received the No Objection Certificate or the NOC from the Maharashtra government, the copyright holder of these works, the foundation cannot publish the English versions of the CWBA.”
Points out Mandal, “It's intriguing that the Maharashtra government holds the publishing rights for the writings and speeches of Babasaheb and it's holding them so tight that a body of the central government finds itself handicapped to publish that work”, adding, “Meanwhile the citizens of the country have no other option but to buy the truncated set of CWBA.”
“This blatant act of truncating the works of Babasaheb is happening, when the Nation is celebrating the 125th year of his birth. Prime Minister Narendrabhai Modi himself has taken the lead in these celebrations. The Indian Parliament has held a two day special session to mark this occasion, and a special commemorative coin has been issued and so on and so forth”, says Mandal.

Comments

Unknown said…
We need people to speak Loudly for the Truth, the whole Truth, the unabridged Truth! Don't let the politicians set the debate. That is for us, the devotees of Love and Reuth!

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Fr Stan's arrest figures in UK Parliament: Govt says, Indian authorities were 'alerted'

London protest for release of Stan Swamy  By Rajiv Shah Will Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, especially the fact that he is a Christian and a priest, turn out to be major international embarrassment for the Government of India? It may well happen, if a recent debate on a resolution titled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament is any indication. While Jesuits have protested Fr Stan's arrest in UK and US, the resolution, adopted in the Parliament, said, “This House has considered the matter of persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India”.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.