Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Arguments with Gandhi II: Gandhi, Ambedkar, and the Dalit Question | Ram Guha

November 5, 2013

On Wednesday, Ramachandra Guha will give his second of three Fall 2013 O.P. Jindal Distinguished Lectures, in a series entitled "Arguments with Gandhi."

From his earliest days as a social activist, Gandhi campaigned for the abolition of untouchability. Upper caste Hindus were appalled at his attacks on orthodoxy. They thought he was going too fast, yet the great lawyer-scholar B. R. Ambedkar, born into an Untouchable home himself, thought he was going too slow. This lecture will explore the paradoxes of Gandhi's position, and analyse the ways in which his approach diverged from that of Ambedkar. Finally, it will pose the question: while Gandhi and Ambedkar were undoubtedly political rivals in their lifetime, now, sixty years after both have passed on, should we not draw on both their legacies in the still unfinished fight against prejudice and orthodoxy?

Ramachandra Guha is a prominent author and columnist based in Bangalore, whose research interested include environmental, social, political, and cricket history. He has been referred to by the New York Times as “perhaps the best among India’s nonfiction writers”, and was named among today’s top 100 public intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy Magazine; he has written award-winning books and articles on a wide range of themes.

Wednesday Nov. 6th | 5:00pm
Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute 

Watch the live feed.