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Article
“Let Poetry Be a Sword!”: How DR Nagaraj changed the way we read Gandhi and Ambedkar
The Caravan: A Journal of Politics and Culture (2011)
  • Ananya Vajpeyi, University of Massachusetts Boston
Abstract

However significant DR Nagaraj's role role in the Dalit Movement in Karnataka and outside, his most lasting legacy will prove to be his utterly original reading of Gandhi, Ambedkar and the complex relationship between these two founders of modern India in the early part of the 20th century, especially as regards their—apparently— conflicting views on the caste system and on the problem of untouchability. DR’s seminal essay, ‘Self-Purification versus Self-Respect,’ first published in The Flaming Feet in 1993, cannot but alter any reader’s understanding of Gandhian and Ambedkarite positions on the untouchable and on the meanings of caste in Indian modernity. If DR had written nothing else besides this piece, it would not have lessened his intellectual and ethical contribution—I suspect that at some level, he knew this.

Keywords
  • Gandhi,
  • Ambedkar,
  • Dalit and Shudra literary movement
Disciplines
Publication Date
January, 2011
Publisher Statement

First published in The Caravan, January 2011: http://www.caravanmagazine.in.

Citation Information
Ananya Vajpeyi. "“Let Poetry Be a Sword!”: How DR Nagaraj changed the way we read Gandhi and Ambedkar" The Caravan: A Journal of Politics and Culture (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ananya_vajpeyi/16/