The Doctor and the Saint

ebook Caste, Race, and Annihilation of Caste: The Debate Between B. R. Ambedkar and M. K. Gandhi

By Arundhati Roy

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The little-known story of Gandhi’s reluctance to challenge the caste system, and the man who fought fiercely for India’s downtrodden.
Democracy hasn’t eradicated caste, argues bestselling author and Booker Prize–winner Arundhati Roy—it has entrenched and modernized it. To understand caste today in India, Roy insists we must examine the influence of Gandhi in shaping what India ultimately became: independent of British rule, globally powerful, and marked to this day by the caste system.
Roy states that for more than a half century, Gandhi’s pronouncements on the inherent qualities of black Africans, Dalit “untouchables,” and the laboring classes remained consistently insulting, and he also refused to allow lower castes to create their own political organizations and elect their own representatives. But there was someone else who had a larger vision of justice—a founding father of the republic and the chief architect of its constitution.
In The Doctor and the Saint, Roy introduces us to this contemporary of Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, who challenged the thinking of the time and fought to promote not merely formal democracy, but liberation from the oppression, shame, and poverty imposed on millions of Indians by an archaic caste system. This is a fascinating and surprising look at two men—one of whom has become a worldwide symbol and the other of whom remains unfamiliar to most outside his native country.
Praise for Arundhati Roy
“Arundhati Roy is incandescent in her brilliance and her fearlessness.” —Junot Díaz
“The fierceness with which Arundhati Roy loves humanity moves my heart.” —Alice Walker

The Doctor and the Saint