Choudhury, here, reignites the debate over the appropriation of Ambedkar. Amidst rising echoes for Ambedkar-Marx, Ambedkar-Marx-Bhagat Singh, Ambedkar-Marx-Gandhi-Bhagat Singh, he provocatively asks us to think of Ambedkar’s singular exceptionality—from an excerpt in Indian Cultural Forum
What is most interesting about this difficult but beautiful book is that it is committed to the task of exposing the naked antagonisms that snake across the cracked surfaces of these oppressive structures. —Scroll.in
Nowadays when Ambedkar scholarship has become an industry, Choudhury’s thesis approaches him from an entirely new perspective.—The Telegraph
This book is an attempt at intimacy with B.R. Ambedkar in his hours away from history and headlines. The aim here is to recover the ephemera that attended Ambedkar’s life and died with him—his pleasure in his library and book-collecting, his vein of gruff humour, the sensation of seeing him in the flesh for the first time, or of stepping out of a summer storm into his house and hearing him at practice on his violin. Here, we have his attendants, admirers and companions speak of Ambedkar’s love of the sherwani, kurta, lungi, dhoti, and even his sudden paean to elasticated underpants. We meet Ambedkar the lover of dogs and outsize fountain pens, proponent of sex education and contraception, anti-prohibitionist teetotaler and occasional cook.
The fragments that make up this volume enable the recovery of his many facets—a rewarding biographical quest.
The Making of Babasaheb and the Dalit Movement
with an Introduction,‘The Doctor and the Saint’ by Arundhati Roy
Annihilation of Caste ‘posseses a generic openness to the wounds and decisions of existence which can breach the prisons of the world as no amount of scholarship can’—Biblio
Read a comprehensive interview with Arundhati Roy in Outlook, where she says, ‘Caste is at the heart of the rot in our society. Quite apart from what it has done to the subordinated castes, it has corroded the moral core of the privileged castes. We need to take Ambedkar seriously.’
The Ambedkar Cartoons, 1932–1956
Unnamati Syama Sundar with a Foreword by Suraj Yengde
This history like no other asks you to consider what you are laughing at.
In 2012, the inclusion of a 1949 cartoon by Shankar showing Jawaharlal Nehru whipping a snail-borne B.R. Ambedkar in a school textbook, evoked dalit protest, and a savarna counter on the grounds of artistic freedom. Scholar and cartoonist Unnamati Syama Sundar then undertook an archival survey of cartoons on Ambedkar in the English language press. The result, a collection of over a hundred cartoons from India’s leading publications, drawn by Shankar, Enver Ahmed and R.K. Laxman, among others, lays bare the perverse and thoughtless hostility Ambedkar often contended with. The incisional commentary woven around each cartoon offers a veritable biography of a man historically wronged.
Unnamati Syama Sundar grew up in Vijayawada on a diet of Calvin and Hobbes, Dennis the Menace, Chacha Chaudhary and Amar Chitra Katha. He is doing his doctoral research at Jawaharlal Nehru University on the art featured in Chandamama, the popular Telugu children’s magazine founded in 1947. Syama Sundar is well-known for his Ambedkarite cartoons in the non-savarna social media world. His work is featured regularly on the website roundtableindia.co.in.
‘Editors K. Satyanarayana and Susie Tharu have drawn from their previous experience editing anthologies of Dalit writing from south India to collate poetry, essays, memoir and fiction into an immersive experience of Dalit literature as both aesthetic and socio-political identity.’— LiveMint
Read an excerpt published in the Hindustan Times.