Bhimrao R. Ambedkar: a New Dalit Consciousness

Agustín Pániker

Abstract

This article is a survey of the life and legacy of Bhimrao Ambedkar, the most influential politician of the 20th century in the struggle for the emancipation of the Untouchables of India. Himself of Dalit origin, Ambedkar was the architect of the Indian Constitution, the leader of various political associationsand was the man who laid the foundations of the country’s modern policies of affirmative action. Special emphasis is given to the way Ambedkar provided a new consciousness and a Buddhist identity to many Dalits of Maharashtra.

Keywords

Ambedkar; Castes; Untouchability; Dalits; Neo-Buddhism; Gandhi

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