All About Ambedkar: A Journal on Theory and Praxis, Volume 1, Number 1, April-June 2020
This inaugural issue comprises one featured article, a close overview of thirteen texts of B. R. Ambedkar, two book reviews, and one case study of caste-based discrimination.
Sanjib Mondal is a Dalit artist based in West Bengal and his paintings and artworks represent the casteist and classist oppression as experienced by the backward and lower caste Bengali population. Pinak Banik's critical and theorizing approach to Mondal's art, particularly in light of how art becomes a means of liberation, is a crucial contribution to this opening issue.
Annihilation of Caste is usually known as the text by Ambedkar on the caste question. It is easily forgotten or is less known that he wrote scores of other equally important and politically valuable works as well. This issue demonstrates this by way of introducing us to six texts of Ambedkar on the subject of nation and democracy and seven texts on caste and untouchability. The exclusion of Annihilation of Caste from this list is deliberate and is done to establish the wide scope of Ambedkar's output.
In view of the fact that every year scores of books are being written on Ambedkar, the section on book reviews would be useful for scholars. Whereas one of the review articles re-introduces the readers to a seminal work of Kancha Ilaiah, the other article discusses the latest titles on Ambedkar published in early 2020 itself.
Any discussion on Ambedkar and the caste question would remain incomplete without referring to how caste atrocities persist even today. The article on Chuni Kotal, with which this inaugural issue ends, functions as a reminder of what Anand Teltumbde has so precisely described as the "persistence of caste."
We hope that this issue inspires the readers to read and rethink the problem of caste in Indian society.