June 18, 2018

India: Saffronising Ambedkar

Saffronising Ambedkar: Why the Sangh portrays Ambedkar as anti-communist and anti-Muslim
By Anand Teltumbde | 17 June 2018

In his book Republic of Caste, the civil-rights activist and writer Anand Teltumbde explores the foundational idea of the republic—equality—and how caste has subverted this idea and its implementation in every institution in the country. Teltumbde examines education, reservation, politics and policy, alongside ideological movements such as Marxism and Ambedkarism, violence and atrocities against Dalits, and protests such as Una in Gujarat. He shows that caste—especially the oppression of Dalits—has defined modern India.

In the following extract, taken from the chapter “Saffronising Ambedkar: The RSS Inversion of the Idea of India,” Teltumbde notes that BR Ambedkar’s bitter critique of Hinduism pervaded the latter’s writings, and that his actions exhibited an “ultimate abhorrence” for Hinduism. This history, Teltumbde writes, comes in the way of the Rashtriya Swayamasevak Sangh’s goal to make India a “Hindu rashtra.” To bring Dalits into the fold, Teltumbde adds, the Sangh is left with no option but to co-opt Ambedkar and project him as opposed to Muslims and communists—effectively, to “saffronise” him.

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Full text here: http://www.caravanmagazine.in/politics/saffronising-ambedkar-sangh-rss