ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

B R AmbedkarSubscribe to B R Ambedkar

Reservations, Efficiency, and the Making of Indian Constitution

The notion that reservation is contrary to efficiency and merit has been invoked consistently. Even the Supreme Court of India seems to have agreed withthis proposition in some judgments, as it held that Article 16(4), which provides for reservation in services, would be limited by Article 335, which mentions the term “efficiency of administration” in the Constitution. This paper explores the Constituent Assembly Debates to show that the Constitution framers did not subject reservations to the test of efficiency or merit. In addition, “efficiency of administration” mentioned under Article 335 cannot be treated as an exclusionary construct, as it was done in pre-independence era.

Ambedkar in 2021, Episode 2: What Methods Did Ambedkar Use to Create Transformative Change?

In this episode, we speak to V Geetha about Ambedkar and Periyar's thought, as well as Ambedkar's views on Savarnas, fraternity, and the state.

Ambedkar in 2021, Episode 1: Locating Ambedkar, The Historian

In this episode, we speak to Chinnaiah Jangam about Ambedkar's multidisciplinary research approach.

On Philosophical Causality and the Problem of Evil

Caste: The Lies That Divide Us by Isabel Wilkerson, Allen Lane, New Delhi: Penguin Random House, 2020; pp 496, ` 599 (hardcover).

Ambedkar’s Dhamma or Buddha and Plato minus Dialectics

The dialectical process or dialectical method plays a crucial role in the philosophy of change or the philosophy of processes. It determines the subject and the activity of the subject which is crucial in transforming material conditions. The process of dialectics not only determines the subject; rather, in its due course, it eliminates the mediating agencies and creates new conditions. Ambedkar’s reinterpretation of classical Buddhism is influenced by Buddha as well as Plato, but this reinterpretation eliminates the Buddhist dialectics and Platonic dialectics from its framework. Due to the elimination of Buddhist and Platonic dialectics, Ambedkar adopts the theory of imitation from Plato and constructs a new source of institutional power, that is, sangha.

From Postcolonial Irony to Dalit Truth

The paper, in three parts, examines the question of lived experience and Dalit subjectivity in a caste society. The first part argues that the signature postcolonial concepts like “plurality” of lifeworlds as postcolonial historical “difference” fail to provide a method to read Dalit politics outside the framework of irony. The second part critically evaluates existing debates on experience/theory as a necessary precondition for Dalit subjectivity. The paper ends with a speculative reading of “Ambedkar thought” as a decision that creates an ontological separation from the Hindu social. It argues that such subjective decision is prior to experience/theory—it is only through separation that one recognises an experience.

Reading Ambedkar in the Time of Covid-19

What lies behind the policy blindness towards concerns of the oppressed in India? The “social distancing” induced by the COVID-19 health crisis does not address the problem of deeper levels of distancing caused by “social isolation” and “social nausea,” two concepts used by B R Ambedkar. This article is an attempt to understand the factors behind the collective sociopolitical response towards the poorest sections characterised by lack of empathy, and to develop an Ambedkarite framework to understand social policy generally and, more specifically, in India.

Engaging with ‘a Quintessential University Person’

Conversations with Ambedkar: 10 Ambedkar Memorial Lectures edited by Valerian Rodrigues, Tulika Books and Ambedkar University Delhi, July 2019; pp 282, ₹ 750.

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