Nussbaum on Roy and Ambedkar

Martha Nussbaum has written a superb review of the re-release of Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste with an added introduction by Arundhati Roy in the New Rambler. A note-worthy passage that reveals Ambedkar’s prescience:

In his later legal/political writings, Ambedkar adds a fifth, political objection to caste: it is anti-national, leading to an identity politics that breaks up people along traditional lines and asks them to have their primary affective ties to their caste group. It thus impedes the creation of a united nation and a politics based upon ideas rather than irrational traditions.  He was so right about this, and the politics of India today shows how well-founded his objection was: dozens of caste-based parties, most of them regional, since castes are regional, have balkanized the party politics of the nation, preventing to a considerable extent any rational sorting of parties along lines of policy. 

The entire review is well worth reading.


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