Riddles in Moditva: Publishing Ambedkar without AoC & Riddles in Hinduism

 

Dilip Mandal

dilip mandal india today 1So, for you, what are the most seminal texts of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the constitution maker of India? What names come to your mind or your imagination?

Is it Annihilation of Caste (AoC), or is it Riddles in Hinduism (RiH) or is it something to do with the Roundtable Conference or his works related to Poona Pact, or his debates with Gandhi or all of these?

Now imagine a set of books, with the branding of Collected Works of Bhimrao Ambedkar (CWBA) having none of these texts, but someone is still calling them as the CWBA. And that 'someone', in this instance, is nobody other than the Modi Government.

This is exactly the farce that is being played out now. Ambedkar Foundation, a Government of India body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the sole publisher of Babasaheb's writings and speeches in Hindi, is selling CWBA without 11 books from the set.The missing books include AoC and RiH.

Apparently, Ambedkar Foundation is in the process of publishing a new set and in the intervening period, this is what they have to offer to the readers. But at the foundation, nobody knows when the new books will be published. This is for the Hindi edition of the CWBA. For the English originals, the situation is more complicated. As the foundation has not received the No Objection Certificate or the NOC from the Maharashtra Government, the copyright holder of these works, the foundation can not publish the English versions of the CWBA. It's intriguing that the Maharashtra government holds the publishing rights for the writings and speeches of Babasaheb and it's holding them so tight that a body of the central government finds itself handicapped to publish that work.

Meanwhile the citizens of the country have no other option but to buy the truncated set of CWBA.

This blatant act of truncating the works of Babasaheb is happening, when the Nation is celebrating the 125th year of his birth. Prime Minister Narendrabhai Modi himself has taken the lead in these celebrations. The Indian Parliament has held a two day special session to mark this occasion, and a special commemorative coin has been issued and so on and so forth.

But that's the front stage for the Modi Government. At the front stage, a Goffmanian act of impression management is being enacted. Here the BJP and RSS is saying nice words about Babasaheb. Dr. Ambedkar, who while delivering his concluding speech in the constituent assembly, had warned us about the problematics of hero worship. But Modi Government is doing exactly the same and at the same time it is trying to suppress the writings of Babasaheb. In a way, the government is trying to rob the revolutionary essence of the writings of Babasaheb. That is the backstage of Modi Sarkar.

BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) want to appropriate Babasaheb, but his writings are too hot for them to handle. They want to use Dr. Ambedkar as a symbol to garner votes, but their so-called affiliation to Ambedkar ends at that point.

Ambedkar and the Ambedkarite movement have always been an enigma for RSS and it always fumbles while dealing with the issue of caste. The centrality of caste in the democratic discourse of the Ambedkarite stream is a stumbling block for the RSS in establishing upper caste brahminic hegemony in the country. As Ambedkar suggests the demolition and destruction of the Hindu religious texts to make the Hindus a free people (AoC); his writings are very problematic for the upper caste Sangh.

RSS and the BJP have a real problem in dealing with the legacy of Dr. Ambedkar. They need his name, as they think that by using this trick, they can get votes. But at the same time, by taking his name, they are generating interest for Ambedkar's writings amongst the people. This is a catch 22 situation.

BJP and RSS have to synchronise the acts at the front stage and at the back stage. At this point they look very clumsy.

~~~

 

Dilip Mandal is former Managing Editor, India Today group. He is currently doing research in JNU, on the correlation between caste and news media.

Other Related Articles

MODI-fest or MODI-jest: Making of Deaf India
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
  Mangesh Dahiwale As predicted, the RSS/BJP Government is going for a massive public campaign to display the achievements of the Government after three years. The campaign will be run from a... Read More...
भारतीय सिनेमा का सुपरस्टार - जातिवाद और सामंतवाद का सहज उत्पाद
Monday, 22 May 2017
  संजय जोठे (Sanjay Jothe) विश्व सिनेमा में धाक जमाने वाले फ्रेंच निर्देशक गोडार्ड... Read More...
Dalit Bahujan Missionary Efforts in North Karnataka
Friday, 19 May 2017
  Rohan Arthur And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. - Matthew 19:24 Religion is for man and... Read More...
Release of 'What Babasaheb Ambedkar Means to Me' eBook: Get your free copy!
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
  The Shared Mirror Publishing House We are happy to share news of the release of our second book. 'What Babasaheb Means to Me' is an edited volume that compiles articles by authors on Round... Read More...
Guru's 'Ethics in Ambedkar's Critique of Gandhi': An exercise in rhetoric
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
  Mangesh Dahiwale Gopal Guru is an erudite scholar and a political scientist of high reputation. His command over political theories is a sign of his scholarship. However the above-mentioned... Read More...

Recent Popular Articles

Index of Articles in Features
Sunday, 07 May 2017
  2016 ~ Uniform Civil Code & Ashrafiya obsession with Triple Talaq by Ayaz Ahmad ~ Maratha Kranti (Muk) Morcha: When will Maratha women cross the threshold? by Sandhya Gawali ~... Read More...
Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's speech in the Constituent Assembly on 25th November 1949
Saturday, 26 November 2016
  Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's speech in the Constituent Assembly on 25th November 1949 Sir, looking back on the work of the Constituent Assembly it will now be two years, eleven months and... Read More...
Fight against the Misogyny & Casteism of 'Best Indian Memes for Creamy Teens', FB page
Friday, 06 January 2017
  Vinay Shende "My final words of advice to you are Educate, Agitate and Organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a... Read More...
Presenting Angela Davis, the Savarna Style
Wednesday, 21 December 2016
  Sukanya Shantha On Friday, a friend and I walked into a movie hall to watch an American romantic musical, La La Land. Enticed by the cinematic beauty and the dreamy two hours spent in the... Read More...
Gangrape and Murder of a 16 year old Dalit girl in Sendurai, Tamil Nadu
Saturday, 21 January 2017
  (A condensed translation, by Trevor Jeyaraj, of Mr. Venpura Saravanan's Facebook post in Tamil ) N (16), daughter of Rajendran R of Sendurai taluk in Ariyalur district, Tamil Nadu, who... Read More...

Recent Articles in Hindi

पेरियार से हम क्या सीखें?

पेरियार से हम क्या सीखें?

  संजय जोठे  इस देश में भेदभाव और शोषण से भरी परम्पराओं का विरोध करने वाले अनेक विचारक और क्रांतिकारी हुए हैं जिनके बारे में हमें बार-बार पढ़ना और समझना चाहिए. दुर्भाग्य से इस देश के शोषक वर्गों के षड्यंत्र के कारण इन क्रांतिकारियों का जीवन परिचय और समग्र कर्तृत्व छुपाकर रखा जाता है. हमारी अनेकों पीढियां इसी षड्यंत्र में जीती आयीं हैं. किसी देश के उद्भट विचारकों और क्रान्तिकारियों को इस...

Read more

कृष्ण: भारतीय मर्द का एक आम चेहरा...!

कृष्ण: भारतीय मर्द का एक आम चेहरा...!

(कृष्ण की लोक लुभावन छवि का पुनर्पाठ!)मानुषी आखिर ये मिथकीय कहानियां किस तरह की परवरिश और शिक्षा देती हैं, जहां पुरुषों को सारे अधिकार हैं, चाहे वह स्त्री को अपमानित करे या दंडित, उसे स्त्री पलट कर कुछ नहीं कहती। फिर आज हम रोना रोते हैं कि हमारे बच्चे इतने हिंसक और कुंठित क्यों हो रहे हैं। सारा दोष हम इंटरनेट और टेलीविजन को देकर मुक्त होना चाहते हैं। जबकि स्त्री...

Read more

राष्ट्रवाद और देशभक्ति

राष्ट्रवाद और देशभक्ति

संजय जोठे धर्म जो काम शास्त्र लिखकर करता है वही काम राष्ट्र अब फ़िल्में और विडिओ गेम्स बनाकर बनाकर करते हैं. इसी के साथ सुविधाभोगी पीढ़ी को मौत से बचाने के लिए टेक्नालाजी पर भयानक खर्च भी करना पड़ता है ताकि दूर बैठकर ही देशों का सफाया किया जा सके, और यही असल में उस तथाकथित “स्पेस रिसर्च” और “अक्षय ऊर्जा की खोज” की मूल प्रेरणा है, यूं तो सबको...

Read more