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Ambedkar and Caste Politics in India

Shyam Shanker Prasad Gupta, Centrum Press, 2011, viii, 296 p, ISBN : 9789380836461, $50.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Ambedkar and Caste Politics in India

Contents: Preface. 1. Ambedkar views on roots of the problem in casteism. 2. Ambedkar and grievances of the Scheduled castes. 3. Ambedkar notes on caste systems. Bibliography. Index.

Ambedkar fought for the rights of workers and peasants. In the late 1920s and especially in the 1930s when he had formed his independent labour party, he took up the cause of tenants (from both the Dalit Mahars and the caste Hindu Kunbis) in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. With the support of radicals then in the Congress Socialist Party, the Independent Labour Party organizes a huge march of 20,000 peasants to Mumbai in 1938, the largest pre-independence peasant mobilization in the region. In the same year, Ambedkar joined with the Communists to organize a strike of Mumbai textile workers in protest against a bill about to be introduced by the British Government to curve labour strikes. Ambedkar took the lead in condemning the bill in the assembly and argued that the right to strike was simply another name for the right to freedom of Assembly. The book, which provides a rare opportunity to debate and discuss the contribution of Dr. Ambedkar in nation building, will be great interest to all sections of people.

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