Annihilation of Caste: The Annotated Critical Edition, edited by S. Anand (Verso, 2016) and with an Introduction ‘The Doctor and the Saint’ by Arundhati Roy, is based on a speech by Dr. B.R. Ambedakar who took up the anti-caste struggles for the Untouchables in India. S. Anand’s work with thoroughly researched annotations alongside the speech and introduction by Arundhati Roy makes this a must-read book for anyone who wants to understand India, its society, politics and the caste system. This landmark speech by Dr. B.R. Ambedakar is the pinnacle of his scholarly work and cements his legacy alongside Mahatma Gandhi in Indian politics. In this speech, Dr. B.R. Ambedakar makes arguments against Hinduism, how reforming the Hinduism will not solve the issues of centuries of oppression of Untouchables - the depressed and oppressed castes in India. He argues that Indian society and culture that preaches the spirituality to the world cannot provide liberty, equality, and fraternity until she completely annihilates the caste by eradicating the Vedas, Shastras and their teachings.
In this engaging conversation between an Untouchable - Mahendra Kutare and a Brahmin - S. Anand on April 11th, 2018, eighty-two years after this audacious speech was written, they walk through the historical context of the speech, the politics of the pre-independence India, how the caste system works as a social network, and how the caste system is now completely compatible with parliamentary democracy in India. They discuss the fierce arguments and debates between Dr. B.R. Ambedakar and the best-known face of Indian freedom struggle Mahatma Gandhi and the current state of caste consciousness in India.
Anand is the publisher of Navayana. He is the co-author of Bhimayana and has annotated the critical editions of B.R. Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste and Riddles in Hinduism. He collaborated with Venkat Raman Singh Shyam on Finding My Way. Anand lives in New Delhi.
Mahendra Kutare is the founder of Kaavya Connections - World Poetry, Literature and Music organization in San Francisco and Bay Area. Mahendra came to the United States for his graduate studies (Ph.D. in Computer Science) in Aug 2007. He graduated with a Masters in Computer Science (Left Ph.D. program) in May 2011. He works at a tech startup and lives in San Francisco. Mahendra is passionate about building communities and making healing accessible with poetry, literary, music, sound, and technology. More details about his work can be found at https://www.kaavyaconnections.com/. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and tweets @imaxxs
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