The Annihilation of Caste

The Annihilation of Caste What the Communist Manifesto is to the capitalist world Annihilation of Caste is to India Anand Teltumbde author of The Persistence of CasteB R Ambedkar s Annihilation of Caste is one of the most im

  • Title: The Annihilation of Caste
  • Author: B.R. Ambedkar
  • ISBN: 9788187190448
  • Page: 481
  • Format: Paperback
  • What the Communist Manifesto is to the capitalist world, Annihilation of Caste is to India Anand Teltumbde, author of The Persistence of CasteB.R Ambedkar s Annihilation of Caste is one of the most important, yet neglected, works of political writing from India Written in 1936, it is an audacious denunciation of Hinduism and its caste system Ambedkar a figure like What the Communist Manifesto is to the capitalist world, Annihilation of Caste is to India Anand Teltumbde, author of The Persistence of CasteB.R Ambedkar s Annihilation of Caste is one of the most important, yet neglected, works of political writing from India Written in 1936, it is an audacious denunciation of Hinduism and its caste system Ambedkar a figure like W.E.B Du Bois offers a scholarly critique of Hindu scriptures, scriptures that sanction a rigidly hierarchical and iniquitous social system The world s best known Hindu, Mahatma Gandhi, responded publicly to the provocation The hatchet was never buried.

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    About “B.R. Ambedkar”

    1. B.R. Ambedkar

      An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering Bhimrao Ambedkar 1891 1956 Founding Father, Modern IndiaMA 1915, PhD 1927LLD 1952 hon Ambedkar was a leader in the struggle for Indian independence, the architect of the new nation s constitution, and the champion of civil rights for the 60 million members of the untouchable caste, to which he belonged He spoke and wrote ceaselessly on behalf of untouchables, but his passion for justice was broad in 1950 he resigned from his position as the country s first minister of law when Nehru s cabinet refused to pass the Women s Rights Bill Ambedkar was committed to maintaining his independence, and many of the positions he staked out in a long and complex relationship with Gandhi on the future of Hinduism, for example remain central to debate within Indian society.Source c250lumbia c250_celebraFrom Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar popularly also known as Babasaheb, was an Indian jurist, political leader, philosopher, anthropologist, historian, orator, economist, and editor He was also the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of Indian Constitution Born into a poor Mahar considered an Untouchable caste family, Ambedkar spent his whole life fighting against social discrimination, the system of Chaturvarna the categorization of Hindu society into four varnas and the Hindu caste system He converted to Buddhism and is also credited with providing a spark for the conversion of hundreds of thousands of untouchables to Theravada Buddhism Ambedkar was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India s highest civilian award, in 1990.Overcoming numerous social and financial obstacles, Ambedkar became one of the first outcastes to obtain a college education in India Eventually earning law degrees and multiple doctorates for his study and research in law, economics and political science from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, Ambedkar gained a reputation as a scholar and practiced law for a few years, later campaigning by publishing journals advocating political rights and social freedom for India s so called untouchables He is regarded as a Bodhisattva by some Indian Buddhists, though he never claimed himself to be a Bodhisattva.About His Studies at Columbia University Ambedkar received a scholarship to Columbia from the Maharajah of Baroda He earned his MA in 1915 and then obtained a DSc at the London School of Economics before being awarded his Columbia PhD in 1927 In 1952, Columbia presented him with an honorary doctorate for his service as a great social reformer and a valiant upholder of human rights In 1995, a bronze bust of Ambedkar was donated to Lehman Library by the Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organizations of the United Kingdom.At Columbia, Ambedkar studied under John Dewey, who inspired many of his ideas about equality and social justice Ambedkar later recounted that at Columbia he experienced social equality for the first time The best friends I have had in my life, he told the New York Times in 1930, were some of my classmates at Columbia and my great professors, John Dewey, James Shotwell, Edwin Seligman, and James Harvey Robinson.

    744 thoughts on “The Annihilation of Caste”

    1. Annihilation of Caste is a prolific work by Dr. Ambedkar. It encapsulates the ideas of a rebel of how caste and religion oppresses people - socially, morally and economically. Originally conceived as a speech for Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal, an organization of Caste Hindu Social Reformers, it was later published by Ambedkar himself, for the organization refused to allow him to give his speech in the original form. Lucid, powerful and scholarly the treatise provides a thorough insight of how and why cas [...]


    2. This edition of Annihilation of Caste published by Verso is really two books. The first part is a 120-page essay by Arundhati Roy, 'The Doctor and the Saint', comparing the lives of Gandhi and Ambedkar. The second part of the book is the text of the speech 'Annihilation of Caste' itself, following by an exchange of letters between Gandhi and Ambedkar, and then a short essay on the Poona Pact. Roy's essay on Gandhi is excoriating. Gandhi, despite his sterling reputation in decolonization, held de [...]


    3. I began reading this book with scepticism thinking that this is a work of an idologue but I was so mistaken to hold such a view. I have concluded that this is the most scholarly work I have ever read.It was very much intellectually stimulating for me.This book is for those who want to want to know how to put forth an opinion, how an ideal speech should be written, how to be objective but still stand firm against oppression & injustice. The most important reason is that it is an eye-opener fo [...]


    4. The Doctor and The SaintArundhati Roy is a deadly butcher. Not a ruthless clumsy one. But like a seasoned assassin. She chooses her target carefully. Equips herself with unfailing arms and ammunition by hours and hours of stern research. And then she strikes. Relentlessly. Mercilessly. She strikes to kill. Kill the target in the eyes of the reader. Even if the target survives, the scars from the bruises remain forever.This time the victim was - the most famous Indian in the world - Mohandas Kara [...]


    5. 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 more than 15 years ago and remember so many quotes - caste is a monster, you cannot have political reform, you cannot have economic reform, unless you slay that monster. [...]


    6. "My quarel with Hindus and Hinduism is not over the imperfections of their social conduct. It is much more fundamental. It is over their ideals."Reading this Critical Edition of The Annihilation of Caste is like watching back-to-back one-sided boxing matches. The other bloke is helplessly holding his hands up to his face as vicious body-blows rain upon him. As the audience, you periodically wince, but you also enjoy the systematic dismantling of the Other - in this case, Gandhi and Hinduism.In h [...]


    7. Without doubt, this book is perhaps one of the most well researched and scholarly works on the caste system of India and Hinduism. Dr. Ambedkar with his irrefutable observations and sound arguments puts forward a strong case against casteism in the Indian society, especially in the context of its implications for the Depressed Classes. His prolific writings backed by evidence from the Hindu scriptures will make you challenge your own beliefs on a number of occasions throughout the book. Moreover [...]


    8. This is an amazing book.How much I wish this book were taught in the school.Then the kids would have understood the real situation at a much younger age rather than studying half baked and flattering stories about Indian leaders and Indian History


    9. This is actually two books in one: Ambedkar's famous non-delivered speech to the Jat-Pat-Todak-Mandal (an offshoot of the more militantly anti-caste wing of the Arya Samaj, founded in Lahore in 1922: members pledged themselves to a program of anti-caste propaganda, coupled with interdining and intermarriage) and Arundhati Roy’s book length introduction to it. So let me take each in turn.Ambedkar's book first.The Jat-Pat-Todak-Mandal was a society for communal reformation. They wanted to remove [...]


    10. Revolutionary! For an average reader it may take hardly an hour or two to read this speech-turned-article. But the one who reads it is ought to be transformed. The myth goes that Saheb Kanshiram when first read this book, the first thing he did was to beat himself with his own shoes out of the frustration of being unaware and inactive about the situation of the Dalits in India. The BSP and BAMCEF activism in political and social arena that has given representation and power to millions of Dalits [...]


    11. Annihilation of Caste is a breach of peace. Arundhati Roy could not have a more fitting summary to this radical literature by Dr. Ambedkar. This book is a journey of rational arguments to counter every upholding cause for the the chaturvarna and the caste system. The world is not simply divided into those that strongly oppose caste, and those that are strongly for it. The case was not different in the early 1900's when the Hindu revolutionaries began to question the basis for their smritis and s [...]



    12. I should have read this book a long time ago. Although I disagree with a lot of what Arundhati Roy has to say, her introduction sets the stage for Ambedkar well.Few of the (many) things I found interesting:On Caste- Loved Ambedkar’s definition of caste in Hinduism: “Caste is like a multistoried building with no exit and no staircase. You live and die in the same floor you were born into" - I’d read articles about how Gandhi was a lot more complex than his traditional image, but Arundhati R [...]


    13. Edit: As I mention in the review, my review could be ill-informed and ignorant. And I suspect it is, when I read it now 3 years later. This is a seminal text, probably the most radical anti-caste book ever, by the greatest intellectual/social scientist/constitution maker/activist/economist all rolled into one of the 20th century in the subcontinent. And the following review lacks the true understanding of caste system, which is a pre requisite before reading this book____________________________ [...]


    14. A book which is as relevant today as when it was written, as the issue it addresses is as poisonous today as it was when the book was penned(or typed or whatever). Probably more, given the consolidation of the wave of Hindutva happening across the country and the preeminence of the RSS and the BJP, particularly in light of the forces of Hindutva trying to claim Ambedkar as their own. The book is everything that you expect it to be, even accounting for the high standards to be expected from the m [...]


    15. Most important book I had read. He tears into the malaise of caste in the Hindu society. Bhimrao's erudite synthesis of this reply to Gandhi has inspired veneration for him. The essay has simply opened my mind. He supports his title from all different aspects history and fall of Hinduism, economics, culture, unity and identity for Hindus, the scientific evidence against 'eugenics criterion for caste' etc. This a truly scholarly essay for every Indian to read.


    16. Arundhati Roy writes a very fitting and rebellious introduction to what is an outright rejection of caste and Hindu sacred texts.Hope this new edition of Ambedkar's magnum opus reaches more young minds.S.Anand's meticulously researched notes add to the depth of the argument.



    17. Disclaimer: The 4- star rating is for this particular edition- The Annotated Critical Edition. For the text of the Annihilation of Caste itself- well it's too important a document to be going about giving ratings.See, in this 350~ page book the text of AoC itself is around 170 pages. Now, does a 170 page book need a 140 page introduction? Really? I mean I know it is Arundhati Roy. I enjoyed 'The Doctor and the Saint' but reeeeaaaally? 140 pages? Gandhi does pop up a couple of times in AoC. And t [...]


    18. This is the text of a talk that was never given. It was not given because when the proposed text was presented to the Jat-Pat Todak Mandal, a Hindu reformist organization the governing members of whom had invited the already-prominent Lawyer-politician Ambedkar to address them, it was rejected, no doubt because it advocated the complete dismantling and annihilation of the caste system. Inasmuch as the caste system is inextricably part and parcel of Hinduism, Ambedkar was in effect proposing the [...]


    19. Dr.Ambedkar logically and exhaustively argues why Hindus must do away with caste-system. It is a must-read since this problem has not been completely eradicated and this piece may push u in the right direction. Let me just state why i have deducted one rating point.A) That Hindus (or Indians) do not constitute a nation has been proven wrong. Infact, it has proved many thinkers wrong that we have a strong sense of Indianness and continue as one nation.B) Terrible discrimination has always existed [...]


    20. Quite a nuclear bomb of a book.History is rarely black and white yet biased reporting always makes it so.This book shattered a lot of the notions I had about Gandhi, India's freedom struggle and the caste system in India; this should be necessary accompaniment to our history textbooks.Additionally, Arundhati Roy's seething yet coherent introductory essay and S Anands copious notes (which introduce you to Roman History and many more prior works in civics and politics) makes this a great read.


    21. Essential India Reading. However, it is a pity that a huge number of Indians for whom this work is most accessible and who can appreciate the incisive logic here and see in the way Dr. Ambedkar deconstructs the Indian society would still not read it, thanks to all the propaganda against Dr. Ambedkar.




    22. The Annihilation of Caste is a speech prepared by Dr. B R Ambedkar to deliver at a conference organized by The Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal, an organization of Caste Hindu Social Reformers. Dr. Ambedkar was invited to preside this conference, which was scheduled in the middle of May 1936. They sent an invitation letter to Dr. Ambedkar, but he declined the invitation. However, they sent a member to Bombay to press him to attend the invitation to which he agreed. After the controversy on Dr. Ambedkar’s [...]


    23. First piece of writing I have read from Dr. Ambedkar. Every kid in India is introduced to him as the maker of our constitution. As you come to know more about him and read his writings, it almost seems like a cover to relegate his more potent, radical message to the background. An effort to appropriate him in the system where he wouldn't want to belong to.Annihilation of caste is a very interesting read. Not because it will give you any new perspective on caste issue, but because it will give yo [...]


    24. Caste system - An archaic hierarchical social organization which enabled absolute and sustainable oppression of depressed classes through millennia a.k.a the most ruthless and organized form of slavery. “Don’t other religions have caste? Why bash only hinduism?” Decades have passed since Dr. Ambedkar and despite his profound answer, it is surprising how many people still bring this up.Hanging his portrait on the walls of public offices and schools do not truly justify his body of work unle [...]


    25. This is one of the most well-researched and thought out speech I have read. He presents his argument in the most erudite fashion and paints a thought-provoking picture of the times. A must read, not only for the way he dissects the caste system and renders it meaningless, but also for the brilliant oration. I picked this up right after reading Ta-Nehisi Coates' "Between the World and Me". After being deeply moved by the plight of the black man, I wanted to examine something closer to home. This [...]


    26. This is by far the greatest academic pursuit I have witnessed on casteism in India. In this book (read Speech, which was rejected by Jat-Pat-Todak Conference as the views expressed were unbearable), Ambedkar starts with the atrocities of casteism, moves to make a case of the inevitability of its abolition in the pursuit of political and social reform, dives deep into the origins of it, refutes the proposed solutions doing rounds at the time as worthless and then goes forward to propose a base id [...]


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