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Dr B.R. Ambedkar Lecture : Accepting or Appropriating Ambedkar? Caste, Power and Politics in India today

Title
Dr B.R. Ambedkar Lecture : Accepting or Appropriating Ambedkar? Caste, Power and Politics in India today
Speaker(s)
Speaker: Hugo Gorringe # UoE
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
4th May 2017 16:00 - 4th May 2017 17:30
Location
6th Floor, Chrystal Macmillan Building
URL
http://www.csas.ed.ac.uk/events/seminar_series/2016_2017/dr_b.r._ambedkar_lecture_accepting_or_appropriating_ambedkar_caste,_power_and_politics_in_india_today

Abstract:

As Ambedkar has become increasingly central to political discourse in India, there has been an outpouring of analysis questioning the motives behind the current ubiquity of B. R. Ambedkar. Gopal Guru sees the rise of Ambedkar as an icon as ‘motivated by various kinds of political compulsions’ (2008: 205). In this paper I will engage with these debates and chart some of the socio-political considerations underpinning the current valorisation of Ambedkar, before highlighting the limits within which this occurs. Ambedkar’s writings and speeches pose a challenge to many of those who now claim to honour him. The consequence is that Ambedkar is turned into an icon or image that is shorn of its radicalism. If the innumerable statues are to honour Ambedkar instead of just depicting him, then it is time that as much attention was paid to his ideas as to his image.

Damaged fishing boat, Telwatte, July 2005