Book Review of ‘Ambedkar: Towards An Enlightened India’

09Sep13

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Ambedkar: Towards An Enlightened India is a biography of the man who drafted the Indian constitution.

Several books have been written about Ambedkar before. Ambedkar: Towards An Enlightened India, written by an American scholar on India, concentrates on the social activist side of Ambedkar.

His efforts to bring social justice to the Dalits are the main focus of the book.

Ambedkar was himself born in a Dalit family, belonging to the Mahar community. Orthodox Hindus considered them untouchables, and Ambedkar had to undergo many humiliations because of this. He decided that the Dalits had to be brought out of the Hindu society to free them.

He often clashed with Gandhiji on this issue. While Gandhiji also worked against untouchability, he worked to integrate the untouchables, whom he called Harijans, into the mainstream Hindu community and just get rid of the evil practice of untouchability.

While Gandhiji and other nationalists sought to free the country from British rule, Ambedkar concentrated on efforts to free the marginalized communities from orthodox oppression.

He wanted to create a society that would deliver justice to these communities and provide them with equal opportunities to live life with dignity and respect. He wanted to erase all the effects of the centuries of indignities they had suffered.

In Ambedkar: Towards An Enlightened India, the author traces Ambedkar’s life, from his childhood, to his struggles to overcome the hurdles placed in his path by the caste system, to his rise as one of the most highly respected leaders of the country.

About Writer Gail Omvedt

Gail Omvedt is an American born scholar on Indian studies.

Other books by this author Gender and Technology: Emerging Asian Visions, Dalits and the Democratic Revolution, and Growing Up Untouchable: A Dalit Autobiography Among Others.

Her books reflect her ideas on caste and gender based discrimination.

Gail Omvedt was born in Minneapolis. She earned a Ph.D in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley. She moved to India and has been an Indian citizen since 1983. She is a social activist, involved in anti-caste, women’s rights and environmental movements.




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