In this comprehensive piece, Namit Arora deconstructs the mutually exclusive utopias of Ambedkar, Gandhi and Roy; raising the ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ objection against what he feels is Arundhati Roy’s feebly attempted caste-transcendent, and therefore self-contradictory, critique of the irreconcilability of Gandhi and Ambedkar. Much of the distance covered by the critique has already been trod by Roy in her introductory essay, but Namit’s is an important addition to the critical discourse emerging on the limited visibility of Annihilation of Caste, as a text and as a revolutionary project, and becomes even more important because it is self-conscious about the primacy of that discourse, which, in an ideal world—let’s call it a utopia—would not need a Roy as scaffolding.
The question is; and it will endure: Is savarna Arora’s separating the image from the pipe a pipe, or a representation of a pipe. How deep shall we dig? With what implements?
Read the full piece here.