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Ambedkar and Dalit Movement: Special Reference to Rajasthan

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The emergence of the Ambedkarite movement – influenced by Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s championing for minority rights – has been one of the most significant developments in Rajasthan, India, since

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The emergence of the Ambedkarite movement – influenced by Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s championing for minority rights – has been one of the most significant developments in Rajasthan, India, since the 1930s. This book examines the emergence, ideology, mobilizational strategies, and spread of the Ambedkarite movement, against the backdrop of two important changes witnessed in the state since the early 1930s – a wave of Dalit assertion and grass-roots activism. (Dalits have been a marginalized group/untouchable castes in Indian society.) The book is based upon extensive field work and interviews with the initiators of the movement and a generation of post-independence educated, upwardly mobile, socially aware, and politically conscious Dalits. While tracing the socio-political history of the Ambedkarite movement and conversion to Buddhism, the study presents an account of Dalits’ endeavors, encounters, and experiences. It provides an understanding of the impact of Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s speeches and agitations on both Dalits and Indian politics, and it challenges the tenor of ritual power that defines Hinduism differently. While highlighting its considerable achievements evident in Rajasthan Dalit communities today, the study also explores the reasons for the limitation of the Ambedkarite movement. Perhaps the only scholarly work on Ambedkarite movement in Rajasthan, it will be of interest to sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, and all those engaged in Dalit studies.

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