Specters of Babasaheb: Unleashing the Pluralities of Ambedkarite Discourse

Subhayu Bhattacharjee, Mirik College Darjeeling

All About Ambedkar: A Journal on Theory and Praxis, Volume 1, Issue 1, September-December, 2020, 24-28


The title of the article has an obvious reference to Derrida’s commentary on Marx. In Derrida’s text, spectrality seems to signify the abundance of possibilities of presence. However, the plural form of the noun that Derrida insists upon is significant as this acknowledges the conscious and unconscious appropriation of Marxist thought after Marx. Such possibility confirms the fluid association of the spirit of Marx’s text (as opposed to the Letter) and its spectral presence. A close and comparative reading of some of Ambedkar’s texts also results in a characteristic ambivalence regarding Ambedkar’s position vis-à-vis modernity, Western liberal tradition, nationhood, etc. We will explore these knots of ambivalence by exploring Ambedkar’s discussion of these issues. We shall also see how such ambivalence could pave a clearer path for the resurgence of Ambedkar as a philosopher than as a jurist.

Subhayu Bhattacharjee is Assistant Professor in English at Mirik College Darjeeling. He has published research papers in national and international academic journals like Daath Voyage, Indian Review of World Literatures in English and Sanglap. He has also participated in international conferences like MELOW 2020 (Feb 21-23, Panjab University Chandigarh).