If a person not producing a caste certificate while introducing Dr. Ambedkar’s work (“An Ambedkar for our times, April 2) results in a controversy, should we expect only women to write on feminism, or the poor on poverty? It might be her controversial image which led the publisher to opt for Ms. Arundhati Roy to introduce the book, but one cannot take the credit away from her for the extensive research she has done. She underscores that Dr. Ambedkar’s role in shaping the history of Indian society has been underplayed. It is preposterous to imagine that his ideas and vision were limited to a particular caste. Casteism, like all injustices, has more to do with the psyche of the oppressor than that of the oppressed.
Therefore, it is more important and encouraging that someone from outside the fold should draw attention to the “real” Ambedkar in context. Lastly, Ms. Roy’s alleged image as a Maoist sympathiser (more aptly, Adivasi sympathiser) should not make her critics cringe at everything that she writes.
Mir Khubaib Ali,
It is sad that every adjective or label that is attached to Dr. Ambedkar is being interpreted as the act of vested interests. Dr. Ambedkar was never the prisoner of any ideology, and any attempt to fit him in any specific ideological fixation will be in vain. He acted on principles and refused to get dogmatic by any ideology. The welfare of the lowest of the low and the interests of the nation were always at the core of his heart.