Democratic Debate on Appropriation of Ambedkar Writings
Sundaraiah Vignana Kendram, Cellar
10th April 2014.
All of you are aware about the ongoing discussion on the issue of publication of Dr B.R.Ambedkar Annihilation of Caste by Navayana Publications with an introduction of Arundhati Roy and annotations by S. Anand of Navayana.
Ambedkar’s writings are not patented to anyone caste, community or individual. Every thinker and scholar has every right to write about Ambedkar and interpret his ideas and express their own views. When the Brahmanical society suppressed Babasaheb’s thoughts for several decades, it is the Dalit intellectual and activist community kept the memory of Ambedkar alive and made Ambedkar’s thoughts available to Indian society. It is ironic that Nayayana publishers tell the Dalit community that Ambedkar belongs to “all”
The “all” are the upper castes who are appropriating Ambedkar today without any engagement with Dalit struggles and Ambedkar ideology. We believe that no one has any right to appropriate Ambedkar; no one has any right to judge Ambedkar and interpret Ambedkar as a junior partner to Gandhi. We were shocked to see the new edition of Annihilation of Caste published by Navayana
This edition includes 160 pages of irrelevant text to the original text of Annihilation of Caste. Arundhati Roy compares Ambedkar with Gandhi and S. Anand annotated Annihilation of Caste All these additions made it a book of more than 500 pages and is now priced at 550/-. Annihilation of Caste is a small booklet of 60 pages in original and it is widely available in Indian languages as well as in English at a very cheap rate or free of cost. The original English version of Annihilation of Caste is freely available on the internet for download.
There are many issues. We want a democratic debate on the issue of publication of Annihilation of Caste in a manner that undermined its historical significance. We want to ask the publisher and Arundhati Roy “Are you a genuine supporters of the Dalit cause?”, “If so, will you consider detaching the introduction “ the Doctor and the Saint” from Annihilation of Caste and publish it as a separate book?” and “Will you stop distribution of book in the present form”
We invite you to be part of the programme, please come and join us
- Bojja Tharakam
- Kancha Ilaiah
- U Sambashivarao
Gogu Shyamala, Anoop Kumar, GV Rathnakar, Karthik Navayan, Jilukara Srinivas, Kasukurty Ramalingam, Pasunuri Ravindar, Joopaka Subhadra Battula Ramprasad and many other scholars, activists and thinkers will join in this programme
Committee Against Appropriation of Ambedkar Writings (CAAAW)