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Published on 16 Oct 2014 | over 2 years ago

The Doctor and The Saint: The Ambedkar—Gandhi debate: Race, Caste and Colonialism
with Arundhati Roy

Sponsored by Verso Books, Ambedkar International Mission, Haymarket Books

An event to celebrate The Annihilation of Caste, by by B.R. Ambedkar, with an extensive introduction by Arundhati Roy, published by Verso Books.

“Reading Ambedkar bridged the gap between what most Indians are schooled to believe and the reality we experience every day of our lives.” —Arundhati Roy

The Annihilation of Caste is one of the most important – and still most controversial – works of Indian political writing. Completed in 1936, the book is an audacious denunciation of Hinduism and the caste system that infuriated Gandhi yet has remained a rallying cry for 60 years. In her lengthy introduction Roy looks at how caste has continued through modern Indian history, and why the words of Ambedkar are necessary today more than ever. In startling and urgent writing she shows that caste is the most urgent question if India is to become a world-leading nation.

“Has to be read ... Dr Ambedkar is a challenge to Hinduism.”
– M.K. Gandhi

“What the Communist Manifesto is to the capitalist world, Annihilation of Caste is to India.”
– Anand Teltumbde, author of The Persistence of Caste

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Arundhati Roy was born in 1959 in Shillong, India. She studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives. She has worked as a film designer and screenplay writer in India. Roy is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, for which she received the 1997 Booker Prize. The novel has been translated into dozens of languages worldwide.

She has written several non-fiction books, including The Cost of Living, Power Politics, War Talk, An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, and Public Power in the Age of Empire, and Walking with the Comrades. Roy was featured in the BBC television documentary Dam/age, which is about the struggle against big dams in India. A collection of interviews with Arundhati Roy by David Barsamian was published as The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile. She is a contributor to the Verso anthology Kashmir: The Case for Freedom.

Her newest books are Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers and Capitalism: A Ghost Story, published by Haymarket Books. Roy is the recipient of the 2002 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Prize.

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