1: Maharashtra, between social reform and anti-brahmin mobilization 2: Ambedkar, son of a Mahar soldier 3: Analysing and ethnicizing caste (to eradicate it more effectively) 4: In the political arena, against Gandhi 5: In quest of an electoral strategy 6: To oppose or to collaborate?: Ambedkar's pragmatism and resilience 7: Shaping the Indian constitution 8: The "solution" of conversion 9: Impact and relevance of Ambedkar today Conclusion Chronology
Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956) rose from a community of "untouchables," to become a major figure in modern Indian history. Christophe Jaffrelot's biography reconsiders Dr. Ambedkar's life and thought and his unique combination of pragmatism and idealism. Establishing himself as a scholar, activist, journalist, and educator, Ambedkar ultimately found himself immersed in Indian politics and helped to draft the nation's constitution as law minister in Nehru's first cabinet. Ambedkar's ideas remain an inspiration to India's Dalit community.
Christophe Jaffrelot is director of the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI). He is the author of India's Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Caste in North India and The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics.