Roy delivers the Ayyankali lecture

downloadArundhati Roy, delivering the Mahatma Ayyankali lecture at the Department of History, University of Kerala, reiterated that M.K. Gandhi was a casteist politician whose views on the uplift of Dalits and other subordinated communities are very problematic. She compared Gandhi’s views with those of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, for example, is also of the opinion that manual scavengers can purify themselves by cleaning other people’s shit. Roy, in an obvious reference to Mahatma Gandhi University, questioned the policy of naming India’s institutions after people who are so blatantly against institutional justice and equality. Mahatma Ayyankali, the great agitator against the scourge of caste, is more deserving of both the title and of having institutions named after him.

Roy makes a more detailed argument on these issues in her introduction “The Doctor and the Saint” to B.R. Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste which Navayana published earlier this year.

Read a short report on the event here.                          Buy Annihilation of Caste here.

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