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Inspiring collection of anti-caste writings
on 9 June 2017
Indian subcontinent has been suffering under a centuries old hegemonic system of oppression controlled and perpetuated by brahmins. It is a system of graded inequality where society is divided into various castes which are assigned on birth and forces the people of that caste to follow the specific jobs assigned to that caste. It is a hierarchic system of oppression and one of the most cruel systems in the world where the people at lower levels of the hierarchy are oppressed and treated in the most inhuman way.
Dr Babasaheb Ambdekar was the most prolific leader of the lower caste resistance against the brahminical hegemony. The amount of intellectual work he produced to challenge the hegemony and disprove any validity of this hierarchic system is unparalleled in the history of human dignity movements across the globe. He worked as the chairman of the committee which drafted Indian constitution. The constitution worked as a blueprint to liberate the country from the vicious clutches of hindu orthodoxy which had kept the country in the deepest shadows through social control asserted by most absurd and crude ritualistic priesthood to the modern liberal world of the 20th century. He worked on spiritual front and inspired millions of Dalits and other lower caste people to convert to Buddhism which helped liberated them from the oppressive folds of hinduism.
Regimented and segregated nature of different occupations under caste system meant that the knowledge production is still heavily controlled by the brahmins who also happen to be at the top of this hierarchy and the biggest profiteers of such a hegemonic system. Babasaheb through his political, intellectual and spiritual interventions touched millions of lives in this country but the brahminical control on knowledge production made sure that many among those who regained their human dignity through his interventions were prevented from being made aware of his work. But Ambedkarite publications worked hard with meagre resources in publishing and making works of Ambedkar available to the Dalits and other lower castes to counter this and were very successful at it. This book is a continuation of such resistance efforts from Ambedkarite publications where a number of writers whose lives have been touched by Babasaheb’s interventions detail on what that touch has done to their lives.
Among the different articulations in this book my favourite are the ones where young people talk about identifying the moment they discovered Ambedkar and Ambedkarism. I believe almost all people in this country coming from lower castes have experienced that loving touch of Babasaheb who fought relentlessly towards humanizing our society and restoring human dignity to us. But this battle is not over till we complete his dream - Annihilation of Caste. Every one of these moments where we discover Ambedkar are so precious. It gives us the tools to identify the brahminical violence which is still rampant. It gives us the capacity to love each other and form a joint force against the forces that has divided us. It gives us energy to do our bit in restoring peace to a vast society which has been terrorized for the benefit of a small ruling minority.