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Mahitosh Mandal

All About Ambedkar: A Journal on Theory and Praxis, Volume 1, Number 2, July-September 2020


Volume 1 Number 2 or the second issue of All About Ambedkar comprises one featured article, overviews of eight texts of Ambedkar, three book reviews, and one case study of caste-based discrimination.

Karthick Ram Manoharan, in the featured article, introduces us to the caste question in Tamil cinema through an analysis of the eponymous hero of the film Iraniyan. In this article, the readers would find a glimpse of the complexities of the anti-caste tradition in Tamil Nadu.

It is well-known that Ambedkar was of the opinion that it would be impossible to annihilate caste from within the Hindu fold. This is why he eventually converted to Buddhism. The overviews of Ambedkar's works, in this issue, focus on the question of religion, particularly on Ambedkar's contrasting approaches to Hinduism and Buddhism. The texts on Hinduism as discussed are: Philosophy of Hinduism, India and the Prerequisites of Communism, Literature of Brahmanism, and Riddles in Hinduism. The texts on Buddhism as analysed are: Buddha or Karl Marx, What the Buddha Taught, Buddha and His Dhamma, and Revolution and Counter-Revolution in India. It is evident that these texts offer us a comprehensive understanding of Ambedkar's critique of Hinduism and appreciation of Buddhism. The "Reading Ambedkar" section, therefore, highlights further, in continuation with the inaugural issue, the wider scope of Ambedkar's intellectual output.

The book reviews section offers a reading of three seminal works in the field of Dalit Studies. It begins with a review of Baby Kamble's autobiography The Prisons We Broke followed by an analysis of Kancha Ilaiah's Buffalo Nationalism and Sekhar Bandyopadhyay's neglected work Caste Culture and Hegemony.

Finally, the essay on Rohith Vemula functions as yet another reminder of how caste atrocities are not things of the past but rather a tangible part of our contemporary reality.



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