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Conversations with Ambedkar

10 Ambedkar Memorial Lectures

Edited by Valerian Rodrigues

Published in association with Ambedkar University Delhi

February 2021

6.25 x 9.5 inches

(xiv+254) 268 pages

ISBN : 978-81-941260-8-9

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The lectures at Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) brought together in this volume dwell on some of the most telling concerns that our age confronts: concerns of justice, social closures, bare life and sovereign power, political agency, discrimination and affirmative action, displacement and migration, new modes and languages of command and control, social movements under the shadow of global capital, and politics of epistemic and normative frames on offer today. While several of the lectures take off from some of B.R. Ambedkar’s writings and interventions, others meet Ambedkar in shared concerns by remaining within the frame of their distinct academic specialisation or professional pursuits. The result is a deep conversation where scholarship and social concerns converge, begetting a complex tapestry of their own. The introduction to the volume, which highlights the distinctiveness of Ambedkar as a scholar and the scholarship that goes in his name, acts as a connecting thread to the themes and concerns mounted in these lectures.

This volume is envisaged as the first in a series of dialogues with Ambedkar and his thought as embodied in the annual Dr B.R. Ambedkar Memorial Lecture series. The first ten lectures presented here mark the first decade (2009–18) in the life of Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). The lectures were delivered by:

Bhikhu Parekh
Veena Das
Deepak Nayyar
Ashis Nandy
Upendra Baxi
Gopalkrishna Gandhi
Aruna Roy
Romila Thapar
Gopal Guru
Homi K. Bhabha

Valerian Rodrigues

Valerian Rodrigues the editor of the volume, was Ambedkar Chair, Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). He is the author of The Essential Writings of B. R. Ambedkar (2002), The Indian Parliament: A Democracy at Work (2011, co-authored with B. L. Shankar), and Speaking for Karnataka (2018, co-authored with Rajendra Chenni, Nataraj Huliyar and S. Japhet). He served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the international conference, ‘Quest for Equity: Reclaiming Social Justice, Revisiting Ambedkar’, held in Bangalore during 21–23 July 2017.

'. . . the volume earnestly deals with the intellectual and moral world of Ambedkar – a world that was always overshadowed by his standalone image of being merely the maker of the Constitution. That there is more to Ambedkar which is beyond the Constituent Assembly has been addressed duly and judiciously . . .'

Moggallan Bharti,  Economic and Political Weekly , vol. 54, no. 35, 31 August 2019