Thus Spoke Ambedkar, Vol. 1
The first ever annotated edition of Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s speeches.
The twenty speeches in the first of volume of Thus Spoke Ambedkar showcase the wide range of issues that Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar engaged with as one of the founders of modern India. Delivered between 1930 and 1956, they unravel a story otherwise jettisoned by mainstream ‘nationalist’ narratives that valorise a rather Hinduised ‘idea of India’. The uncanny prescience of the ideas contained here will help us seek answers to many of our persistent problems.
Speaking at times like a swordsman who strikes to defend but not to wound, and at others like a surgeon focused on eliminating the one rotten organ—caste—that endangers the entire body, Ambedkar grapples with questions of inequality, democracy, labour, minority rights, communalism, brahminism, constitution-making and foreign policy in speeches that address various publics: dalit workers in Nashik, British lawmakers in London, parliamentarians in Delhi and college students in Jalandhar. The prose spans different registers of reason and affect-lyrical and polemic, combative and poignant.