The Annihilation of Caste Free download ´ 109

Summary The Annihilation of Caste

The Annihilation of Caste Free download ´ 109 Æ Annihilation of Caste is an undelivered speech written in 1936 by B R Ambedkar an Indian who fought against the country's concept of untouchability The speech was prepared as the presidential address for the annual conference of a Hindu reformist group Jat Pat Todak Mandal on the ill effeAnnihilation of Caste is an undelivered speech written in 1936 by B R Ambedkar an Indian who fought against the country's concept of untouchability The speech w. This is extraordinary I have just finished Arundhati Roy’s The Doctor and the Saint which is the introduction here though I read it in its form as a separate publication Now I’m reading Ambedkar whose clarity and cogency are fascinating Caste has always been an enigma to me specifically the Dalits Why would a major religion have coreligionists who are considered not only uneual to others but literally foul that is embodiments of pollution I did not know that the justification was said to be in the shastras and the Vedas whose authority Ambedkar vehemently believes should be destroyed Hindus believe that these unfortunate people—historically Untouchables—are on earth to suffer for the bad karma they accumulated in previous lives Hinduism therefore has an entire population that it believes should submit to its lowly marginal status as a part of its spiritual life See some of the uotations I’ve highlighted here They give a vivid idea of Dalit misery and suffering over millennia Dr Ambedkar a Dalit himself graduated Oxford University was a practicing barrister in London and returned to India to advocate for his people His great argument was with Gandhi yes the Mahatma who as an orthodox Hindu saw no solution for the Dalits and consistently maligned them in his writings throughout his life

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Fter his invitation to speak at the conference was withdrawn due to the address's unbearable content Ambedkar self published 1500 copies of the speech in May 19. The caste system only dimly understood outside the Indian subcontinent is perhaps the most rigid form of hierarchical social organization in human history Caste is something like a relic from ancient times and proves the close relationship between India and the hierarchical ancient Greek civilization — a relationship far direct than that existing between the modern West and antiuity This book consists of two major parts a debate between Bhimrao Ambedkar the champion of the Dalits and Mahatma Gandhi as well as a scathing essay by Arundhati Roy about the latter I found Roy's essay about Gandhi enjoyable but it also felt too partisan to be taken as the definitive word on him What is truly interesting is the contrast between Ambedkar and Gandhi Gandhi portrayed himself as the champion of the Dalits and in a way he was He was against their mistreatment and the oppression that had been inflicted on them over the centuries He did not however want to abolish caste In line with his general romantic attitude towards the past Gandhi wanted to reconcile Dalits to their place in the system In return he wanted others to respect them for their role in it Gandhi was against the cruel practice of untouchability but he wanted to maintain social differentiation albeit in a way where those tasked with cleaning excrement and those tasked with being priests would still somehow consider each other eual He did his best to live this example personally On a mass level it strikes one as a utopian goal In a way Roy argues Gandhi's campaign on behalf of the Dalits was merely a subtle means of allowing those fortunate enough to be born of high caste to maintain their privileged role in society The Congress Party as a whole functioned as a vehicle for high caste interests It is important I think to understand the roots of Gandhi's own sentiments He was a man who was against the post Christian West at its very roots He had experienced the cruelty of the industrial West in apartheid South Africa a country where he himself was far from pure as Roy points out as well as under the British Raj He didn't want to just fight this civilization by any means available He wanted to reject it in its essence As Gandhi saw it caste in India could not be discarded only reformed It was part of the imagined culture that he was trying to preserve and defend against modernityAmbedkar was different He was bred in India and rose from the worst depths of caste oppression to become a student at Columbia University and author of India's first constitution For him the West meant not oppression but liberation He did not have warm feelings about an idyllic Indian past For Dalits the past meant cruelty and hatred that is scarcely imaginable to modern human beings Ambedkar did not want to reform caste but annihilate it in its entirety All individual men may not be eual it is true But the only valid governing principle for a society is euality since it is impossible to simply sort people across vast categories No less should it be seen as possible to sort them into appropriate roles before they were even born Ambedkar was a reverse Gandhi in many ways He wore nothing but Western suits as a sign of his liberation while the former barrister Gandhi wore the lunghi as a sign of his own Although Ambedkar's sentiments are totally understandable he lacked a critical perspective on the shortcomings of modern Western civilization that people like Rabindranath Tagore and Gandhi saw Grappling with those shortcomings has become important now that that civilization has been truly globalizedI can see the perspectives of both of these remarkable people Like Gandhi I have been shaped by an intimate experience of living within Western civilization In a time of ecological destruction rampant ineuality and soulless materialism I have to say that his critiues resonates strongly with me At the same time Ambedkar's voice embodies the anguish of those who suffered in the supposed golden age before the present era of Western hegemony There was no golden age anywhere in the past in fact At least not for everyone The ideal village of Gandhi's imagination was a place of torment and humiliation for people like Ambedkar True Gandhi wanted to reform that but he did not want to take the full radical steps that Ambedkar proposed of tearing up the old system root and branch He didn't experience the pain of being a DalitThe dispute between Gandhi and Ambedkar was the clash between modernity and traditionalism in microcosm In many ways it was an epic misunderstanding borne simply of seeing the world from different perspectives This misunderstanding persists today Whereas people in Pakistan might see a McDonalds and very reasonably see in its golden arches a sign of progress and development we who have grown up among such things often see it as a sign of degradation of urban blight While others seek to escape the past by pouring as much concrete over it as possible many of those raised on that concrete are secretly longing for the harmonious idyll that they suspect often wrongly preceded it Both views have a certain validity Like Ambedkar and Gandhi your sympathies may depend upon on how and where you were raised

B.R. Ambedkar Ö 9 characters

The Annihilation of CasteAs prepared as the presidential address for the annual conference of a Hindu reformist group Jat Pat Todak Mandal on the ill effects of caste in Hindu society A. I read Gandhi as a high school student and liked him but it was not until I read Ambedkar that I felt like I had really found something good Ambedkar is clear uncompromising unadulterated He was also incredibly prolific This speech which became a book was too clear and too uncompromising to even be delivered I read it than 15 years ago and remember so many uotes caste is a monster you cannot have political reform you cannot have economic reform unless you slay that monster It is from 1936 but it is relevant today and still sounds fresh What's it is relevant for than just caste in India Indeed it helped me understand racism in the Americas as well This is an amazing book by an amazing author who is rightly revered by millions of people in India