All About Ambedkar: A Journal on Theory and Praxis, Volume 1, Issue 1, September-December, 2020, 43-50
To the downtrodden sections of the Indian society, the iconic statue of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar is much more than a mere idol. It symbolizes a ray of hope as it epitomizes the tireless strive of the oppressed for their long-denied dues. It is noteworthy that the statue holds a book. That book is not his revolutionary Annihilation of Caste, but a copy of the Indian constitution, in the conceptualization of which he had played a crucial role. But his contribution as the architect of a democratic nation is often overshadowed by his image as the emancipator of the Dalits. “On Building of Nation and Its Democracy,” a collection of texts sheds light upon this facet of the stalwart social reformer that otherwise receives relatively less attention. A compilation of various letters, press statements and other writings of the reformist, it is included in the second part of the seventeenth volume of official Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches. In this paper I explore the relevant collection of texts by way of arguing that Ambedkar’s advocacy for the Dalits was a part of the greater vision he had for making India an independent nation and a true democracy.
Tirtha Chatterjee studies English literature at Presidency University, Kolkata. He is interested in the colonial history of Kolkata with particular reference to the history of his own University. His other areas of interest include Dalit Studies, Partition, Modernism and Postmodernism.