- Format: eBook
- ISBN: 978-1-5261-6429-2
- Published Date: May 2023
- Series: Global Icons
A household name throughout India, B. R. Ambedkar is one of the country's most important figures, second only to Mahatma Gandhi. He played a major role in drafting the constitution for a newly independent India and led the fight against caste-based discrimination.
Ambedkar was born into a Dalit caste (the so-called 'untouchables'), but his academic brilliance saw him study at Columbia University and London School of Economics. As a politician, he fought to overturn centuries of discrimination and promoted liberal constitutionalism in a traditionally illiberal society. He did more than anyone to articulate a cogent and enduring case for the principles of democracy in a country emerging from imperial rule.
This book is also a reminder of how far the practice of politics has strayed from the high standards Ambedkar set - of intellectual distinction, policy positions animated by serious scholarship, the infusion of moral values and the upholding of democracy for the many, not just the privileged few.
'During his lifetime, as well as after his death, Ambedkar remains a controversial figure, highly admired, almost deified by some, and attacked by others. A judiciously balanced view of him has been eluding Indians, partly because the cause for which he fought continues to do so. Shashi Tharoor's book marks a welcome departure. Well researched, beautifully written, and skilfully argued, it traces the development of Ambedkar's thought and explains why he remains a powerful presence in India's political and cultural life. I strongly recommend it and hope it will generate a much needed public debate on the man and his legacy.'
Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh
'Shashi Tharoor's B.R. Ambedkar is no ordinary biography. It is the first major book to evaluate not only Ambedkar's life, but also to delve deeply into his enduring legacy -- to follow Ambedkar not only through his own times, but to place him firmly into our own. That already is a remarkable achievement. The fact that this is done by one statesman looking at another makes it all the more remarkable.'
Aakash Singh Rathore, author of Becoming Babasaheb: The Life and Times of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Part I: Life
1 Laying the foundations
2 Mounting the podium
3 Scaling the peaks
4 View from the mountaintop
5 Triumph and disillusion
Part II: Legacy
6 A life well-lived
Shashi Tharoor is an author, critic and columnist. He has been Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India.