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Ambedkar Memorial Lecture – 2013

Ambedkar Memorial Lecture – 2013

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Ambedkar Memorial Lecture – 2013


‘Exhumation of Society and Culture in Ancient India’

Speaker: Prof. Nandu Ram

(Former Dean, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University)

13th January, Sunday, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Convention Centre, Naoroji Campus, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.


Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar had a deep sense of historicity of social phenomena which he had analyzed most critically at various points in time owing to his keen interests in the issue, although he was not a historian by training or profession. As historical sociology views a social phenomenon by locating it in a specific historical setting, Ambedkar, had analyzed the contemporary social issues, with his own logical interpretations by delving into the ample evidences, drawn from the history (written with the help of literary sources) even of the cross-cultural societies. This was essential, in his reckoning, for the proper and better understanding of a social phenomenon.

But at the same time, he did not undermine the contemporaneity of such phenomenon profoundly lived with by the people and the attempts of the social scientists to theorize it. The focus of this paper is to know how Ambedkar has viewed the traditional society and culture, particularly that of the Hindus in India, and in what way his interpretations are different from those given by a few indologists and social scientists, especially the historians, who are considered to be authority on the subject. It is obvious that our frame of reference here is to the interpretations of Ambedkar vis-à-vis that of others of the Hindu religious texts about the various aspects of the traditional Hindu society and culture in India which, of course, have undergone varieties of changes in the modern time.


[Thanks, Sumit Chavan]