THE JOURNAL: INTRODUCTION, AIMS, & SCOPE
All About Ambedkar: A Journal on Theory and Praxis is an open access peer-reviewed online English-language journal. It publishes three issues per year and comprises both general and theme-based special issues. The journal started its journey in September 2020 and published its first issue in December 2020.
This philosophy behind the journal is based on a simple premise: B. R. Ambedkar deserves to be read. In his masterpiece Who Were the Shudras? Ambedkar observes, “I do not despair of success. For I take consolation in the words of the poet Bhavabhuti who said, ‘Time is infinite, and earth is vast, someday there will be born a man who will appreciate what I have said.’” Forget about appreciating his works, for decades we have experienced the most fundamental problem, i.e., accessing his texts. From being suppressed and not published for decades to being ignored in the academic space, Ambedkar’s books have not reached us. But times are changing. Ambedkar is no longer considered to be just a “reservation leader” but, as many argue, as “the father of modern India.” For us, Ambedkar is primarily a thinker – perhaps, the most original, rigorous, and provocative thinker India has produced. One wonders how many intellectuals, or even “organic intellectuals,” in the history of humanity, have balanced theory and praxis, intellectual pursuit and political activism the way Ambedkar had managed to do it.
This journal is dedicated to the dissemination of Ambedkar’s ideas by way of a close reading of his texts. The project is risky at least for two reasons. First, most of Ambedkar’s texts are yet to be “established.” The editorial policies involved in the making of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches are questionable. As one reads these volumes one feels the need for footnotes and annotations, a proper generic arrangement of texts, and substantial background material to put the texts in their contexts. No doubt new editions of Ambedkar’s works are being published as single volumes in recent times to address this lacuna. But more scholarly editions are needed. Second, given the vastness and range of subjects Ambedkar covers in his writings and speeches – economics, law, history, literature, anthropology, sociology, mathematics, linguistics, statistics, theology, politics, philosophy, and so on – it is difficult for many of us to grasp the full import of his ideas in any given textual situation. But, as they say, no risk no gain.
The primary focus of the journal is a critical reading of Ambedkar’s texts in particular and anti-caste literature, politics and culture in general. Given its multidisciplinary nature, the journal is privileged to have scholars from various disciplines on its editorial board. We sincerely hope that the journal inspires the readers to turn and return to Ambedkar’s texts and helps them develop a nuanced understanding of the problem of caste.
INFORMATION ON EDITORS & PUBLISHER
INFORMATION FOR USERS
Open Access: The journal makes all its contents freely available to anybody who can afford the internet. It abides by the policy of open access as defined by Peter Suber. “Open-Access (OA) literature,” Suber writes, “is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder.”
Licensing: All entries in the journal are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This implies that the users are “free to share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) and adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material)” as long as the terms “Attribution” and “NonCommercial” are properly understood. As per the Creative Commons policies, Attribution means “You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.” The term “NonCommercial” means “You may not use the material for commercial purposes.” Furthermore, the user must not put additional restrictions to the already licensed materials. “You may not,” therefore, “apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.”
INFORMATION FOR AUTHORS
Submission Process: Follow the four stages of paper submission.
Publication Frequency: The journal publishes three issues per year, comprising both special issues and general issues.
Call for Papers (CFP): The journal publishes CFP for both its general and special issues. Prospective contributors are advised to go through the scope of the journal as well as the current CFP before submitting their manuscripts. Submissions for the general issues are welcomed throughout the year. Details of the CFP are available here.
Citation: The journal follows the style of citation recommended by the Modern Language Association (MLA). Manuscripts for the journal have to be prepared in accordance with the eighth edition of the MLA handbook. Basic MLA guidelines are available at Purdue Online Writing Lab.
Peer Review Process: Every submission to the journal is first read by the chief editor and run through plagiarism-checking software. If the submission is found original, previously unpublished and suitable for the journal, it is then sent for blind peer review. This means that the reviewers receive anonymous drafts and do not, in any way, get to know the identity of the authors. This rule applies to every contributor even if s/he is a member of the editorial board. The opinions of the reviewers, once received, are conveyed to the authors and in most of the cases revisions are sought. If the revisions are satisfactory, the article is then processed for publication. Decisions about the articles are finalized and conveyed to the contributors in less than a month from the date of submission.
Publication Charges: The journal does not charge any publication fees from its contributors. We are categorically opposed to the policy of charging fees from authors and strongly condemn any such malpractice.
Payment to the Contributors: All About Ambedkar: A Journal on Theory and Praxis is a voluntary, non-profit, non-commercial journal. As such, it does not pay any fees to its contributors.