Annotated Critical Deliberation on the ‘Annihilation of Caste’

‘Annihilation of Caste’, is one of the most popular treatise in India dealing with the ways and forms of persistence of Caste and modes of ‘Annihilating’ it, penned by Dr B R Ambedkar. Though Ambedkar authored and published many a works related to caste, etc; among all his writings, the ‘Annihilation of Caste’ has a unique position among his admirers and followers , primarily. As a result, his admirers and followers published and republished this ‘Annihilation of Caste’ document in various forms and modes over the years, across India in various vernaculars modes too.

The present review deals with the Navayana Publishing House, New Delhi published work in 2014. Navayana Publishing House in 2014 brought out an ‘Annotated Critical Edition on the Annihilation of Caste’. In this edition, the Editor S Anand provided critical Annotations to the original text of Ambedkar’s ‘Annihilation of Caste’. And, a lengthy Introduction was also provided by Arundhati Roy, one of the well known Indian English writers. This Introduction was entitled as ‘The Doctor and the Saint’.

I had composed a Review of this Book in the The Criterion: An International Journal in English‘, as part of this Journals April, 2017 issue. ‘The Criterion’ is an University Grants Commission (UGC) recognized journal. This Review can be found on the following source.

Annotated Critical Deliberation on the ‘Annihilation of Caste’

Previously, a discussion on this Book was held at the University of Hyderabad in 2014.  And, I had provided a report on that discussion in 2014 itself. Please refer the following URL source for that same discussion, if interested.

Arundhati Roy tilts towards Gandhi: Prof. K. Y. Ratnam

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Review of Natwar Singh’s Autobiography

India’s formal External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh composed his Autobiography and entitled it as ‘One Life is Not Enough: An Autobiography’. He was also one among a few prominent people hailing from former princely kingdoms background, got into high-profile Indian Civil Service, i.e., Indian Foreign Service (IFS), actively associated with the Indian National Congress (INC), maintained close ties and relationship with the Jawarlala Nehru-Gandhi family members for long, etc.

In the year 2014, his autobiography was released by the Rupa Publications India Private Limited.

I composed a Book Review of this autobiography and this was published in the Journal of Political Studies, (ISSN: 2278-4039), Department of Political Science, University of North Bengal, in its March-October, 2015 (back issue), Volume 11.

Please refer this URL for pdf version of the Review: One Life is Not Enough – An Autobiography by K Natwar Singh

A Critique of ‘Hind Swaraj’ and ‘Hindutva’

The Journal of Politics & Governance (ISSN: 2278-473X) published a Book Review, which was based on U R Anantamurthy’s ‘Hindutva or Hind Swaraj’, as part of its Volume 6, No 1, March 2017 edition. This Review was composed by me and was titled as ‘A Critique of ‘Hind Swaraj’ and ‘Hindutva’. This full-fledged Review can be found in the below source.

A Critique of Hind Swaraj and Hindutva

The Journal of Politics & Governance is an Open Access source.

Use of word ‘Harijan’ by Government of Andhra Pradesh Officials 

The Untouchables of India have been facing henious caste discriminative crimes, in direct and indirect modes against them over centuries together. The caste as a system of survival has adopted to dynamic tendencies for its continued persistence. The adoption of Constitution in 1950 is a turning point in the Indian history; as it adhered and envisaged eagalitarian principles. The Constitution of India recognised and envisaged protective discriminative policies for the upliftment of various historically under-privilaged communities. One such recognised community section under protective-discrimination is ex-untouchable / Scheduled Caste (SC) category. The Indian democratic polity based on the Constitution of India of 1950 undertook various measures towards SC’s; in pursuit of following and adhering to the policy of protective discriminative measures. One such notable and noteworthy measure was banning of the word ‘Harijan’ in public usage. 

M K Gandhi, one of the towering personalities in the Indian freedom struggle for independence has voiced his concern for the upliftment of untouchables and coined the word ‘Harijan’, as a better referral word for Untouchables. But, the march of the Indian democratic polity failed to adhere to many of the Gandhian principles; though attempted to project him as a preacher of ‘non-vilence & Satyagraha’ on a louder tone, internally in India and globally on International forums. 

Recently, I visited a village called ‘Mudunuru’, near Vuyyur in the Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh. To my utter surprise I found usage of the word ‘Harijan’ in two prominent instances at this Mudunuru village. One of the usage of this word was by the Government of Andhra Pradesh Officials on the occasion of a SC Community Building opening; 

Please observe this above photo carefully and see the usage of the word ‘Harijan’ in Telugu in the initial stage itself. 

Another incident in which I found the usage of the word ‘Harijan’ was by SC’s themselves. At the village center a big flex banner was erected by a sub-section of the SC’s, on the occasion of Dr B R Ambedkar’s Birth anniversary celebrations of April, 2017. On the erected banner it was prominently mentioned that the banner was erected by the ‘East-Harijan’ colony section. Unfortunately, I was unable to capture a photo of this banner, though had a wish!! And, I also found that the East-Harijan’ referes to SC-Mala Community in the village. 

 This incident at Mudunuru village in relation to the use of the word ‘Harijan’ testifies that the Indian democratic polity aspirations are not fully met with; both by the Government of Andhra Pradesh Officials and by SC’s themselves!! Even the SC’s at this village are unable to recognise the glories egalitarian sense in banning of the word ‘Harijan’. At another level this case observation at this village testifies that both the both the Government of Andhra Pradesh Officials & SC’s themselves are yet to imbibe the spirit behind banning of the word’Harijan’.