By Arundhati Roy, B. R. Ambedkar
"What the Communist Manifesto is to the capitalist global, Annihilation of Caste is to India." —Anand Teltumbde, writer of The patience of Caste.
B.R. Ambedkar's Annihilation of Caste is without doubt one of the most crucial, but missed, works of political writing from India. Written in 1936, it truly is an audacious denunciation of Hinduism and its caste procedure. Ambedkar—a determine like W.E.B. Du Bois—offers a scholarly critique of Hindu scriptures, scriptures that sanction a rigidly hierarchical and iniquitous social method. The world's best-known Hindu, Mahatma Gandhi, answered publicly to the provocation. The hatchet was once by no means buried.
Arundhati Roy introduces this broadly annotated version of Annihilation of Caste in "The surgeon and the Saint," interpreting the patience of caste in sleek India, and the way the clash among Ambedkar and Gandhi keeps to resonate. Roy takes us to the start of Gandhi's political profession in South Africa, the place his perspectives on race, caste and imperialism have been formed. She tracks Ambedkar's emergence as an immense political determine within the nationwide move, and indicates how his scholarship and intelligence illuminated a political fight beset through sectarianism and obscurantism. Roy breathes new existence into Ambedkar's anti-caste utopia, and says that with no Dalit revolution, India will stay hobbled by means of systemic inequality.
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Additional resources for Annihilation of Caste: The Annotated Critical Edition
On occasion, as we will see, Indian precedents were acknowledged only to be contested or, more commonly, to be taken as a jumping-oV point for a transformed administrative structure in the new colonial context. A second mode of transmission was the movement of Indian oYcials, bringing Indian strategies of governance with them, to places as diVerent as Egypt, Iraq, and the Straits. Finally, newly appointed colonial oYcials who had no experience of India frequently looked to the India of the Raj as a reservoir of useful practices and precedents as they struggled to set up their own governments.
Rather, especially with Macaulay’s penal code, they were founded upon universal principles of jurisprudence, which took legislative form in India only because of the opportunities provided by British colonialism. That colonialism provided an unparalleled opportunity to introduce such a reform was not lost on Benthamite legal scholars. ”5 Given the character of the new codes, how can they be said in any way to be the product of an Indian legal culture? 6 Yet whether in Kenya or the Straits, Iraq or Nigeria, the attempt to enact these codes into law outside India, as we will see, triggered immense controversy.
39 In assessing the growth of indirect rule outside India, it is essential to keep in view the distinction between those occasions when Indian precedents were explicitly cited, either approvingly or otherwise, and those when the introduction of indirect rule, though similar in its operation to that of India, owed nothing to direct Indian inXuence, but rather was a product of similar circumstances. Of the latter, perhaps the most important, setting precedents of its own, was the system of Zulu reserves established by Theophilus Shepstone (1817–1893) in Natal between 1845 and 1875.
Annihilation of Caste: The Annotated Critical Edition by Arundhati Roy, B. R. Ambedkar