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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

Todd Peterson 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!

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