New book on Ambedkar explores his ideas on the gamut of Indian life

trithesh

Trithesh Nandan | February 27, 2014



Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X were two great Afro-American leaders whose contributions to the advancement of the civil rights in America were immense. King even received Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for role in combating racial inequality in what is really the world’s oldest democracy. After their assassination in the 1960s, copious books have been churned out on different aspects of their lives.

Back in India, not many biographies have been written on Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, a dalit icon and chief architect of the Indian constitution. A new intellectual biography, Ambedkar: Awakening India’s Social Conscience, by Narendra Jadhav was launched in Delhi today. Jadhav, a member of the planning commission and a well-known economist, calls his book as the first ever intellectual biography on Ambedkar. “Dhananjay Keer’s biography, written in English, was published in 1954. After that two biographies came in Marathi,” said Jadhav, whose book was released by vice president Hamid Ansari.

Jadhav calls his book different from conventional biography. He said his book is focused on Ambedkar’s evolution of his thought processes and the strategic stance he took in his public life. He said the purpose of writing on the ‘father of Indian constitution’ was to explore his ideas on the gamut of Indian life: “There is a misguided impression that Dr. Ambedkar was a leader of untouchables. He was basically a leader who stamped his authority on different field of economics, socio-political and religious thoughts, law and constitution.”

Jadhav wrote about Ambedkar’s economic thoughts, back in 1992. “It was Jairam Ramesh, rural development minister who always used to ask me to write on intellectual biography on Dr. Ambedkar,” he added. The 647-page book has incorporated Ambedkar’s writings and some of the important speeches. The best chapter in the book, said vice president Ansari, is on the dialogue between Mahatma Gandhi and Ambedkar.

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