Introduction

Mahitosh Mandal


All About Ambedkar: A Journal on Theory and Praxis, Volume 1, Number 2, January-April 2021

The second issue of All About Ambedkar comprises six featured articles, one book review and one memoir.


In a perspicuous re-examination of the discourse of Indian nationalism in relation to Ambedkar, Kunal Chattopadhyay deconstructs many myths hitherto carefully nurtured in the casteist academia and mainstream intellectual tradition in India. His insights expose the limits of ideologies upheld by Indian communists, the RSS, and the Congress. He also deconstructs the textbook and canonical versions of Indian history in the light of the caste question.


In a sense the rest of the featured articles continues to strongly deconstruct the Brahminical universe. Mridula Sharma theorizes Dalit art in conjunction with postmodern ethic. Of special importance is her focus on the social media and caste question, with spcecial reference to the digital artwork of Priyanka Paul. The articles by Prabal Bhowmik and Rebanta Gupta very pertinently foreground the Adivasi question by way of demonstrating how Brahminical culture is keen on adhering to the stereotype of the Adivasi Other but how the Adivasi intellectuals vehemently resist such an attempt. Paramita Purkayastha revisits the Marichjjhapi massacre and Damni Kain's article on the Hindu Code Bill becomes an important reminder of Ambedkar's contribution to women's rights and feminism.


Madhumita Mandal, in her review of Caste Matters, precisely describes Suraj Yengde as "an unavoidable Dalit voice" since Suraj has quite remarkably contributed to the discussion of the caste question at an international level. The memoir by V. Ramaswamy, on the other hand, provides with a perspective on the manual scavengers which could be described as "looking awry." His vision of DBA students in the campus space being introduced to the text of Annihilation of Caste attests to an important strategy for anti-caste struggle.


This issue, one can rightly expect, would be instrumental in generating an informed critique of Brahminical supremacy and the Dalit and Adivasi Other.

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