Anand Teltumbde and The Politics of Caste in Contemporary India

To listen to an audio recording from Dr. Anand Teltumbde’s talk on 18 November: CLICK HERE

Dr. Anand Teltumbde, a well-known human rights activist, writer and analyst of the contemporary Dalit and Left movements in India, will speak at York University on Friday, November 18.

Dr. Teltumbde has engaged with Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s writings and has authored 18 books and many papers and pamphlets on contemporary issues. The recent titles include Anti-Imperialism and Annihilation of Caste. As a public intellectual, he has widely lectured within India and abroad. He is a 18nov-caste-smlmember of the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, Mumbai. He writes a monthly column, “Margin Speak” for the Economic and Political Weekly.

Dr. Teltumbde’s influential 2010 book The Persistence of Caste: The Khairlanji Murders and India’s Hidden Apartheid, Teltumbde focuses on the murder for four members of a Dalit (former untouchable) family and argues that despite the popular claim that caste will no longer matter in the context of neoliberal economic reform, caste has persisted stubbornly. Documenting the amazing resilience of caste, Teltumbde shows how caste politics has become entangled with new material and symbolic relations that are taking shape in the contemporary political economic milieu. Vijay Prashad has described the book as: “Teltumbde has created a solid corpus of work that bears witness to the degradation of Indian democracy, and to the capacity of Indian socialism. India’s revolution…is sharpened on the anvil of Teltumbde’s thoughts.”

In his recent book, Mahad: The Making of the First Dalit Revolt, Dr. Teltumbde tracks the history of first Dalit struggle as it was taking shape in 1927 under the leadership of Babasaheb Ambedkar. About this book, Arundhati Roy notes, “This important book, a detailed study of the Mahad Satyagraha gives us a perspective that has been ignored in the narrative of what is commonly accepted as out ‘official’ history. It ought to become compulsory reading in every history classroom.”

He will speak at 12:30pm in Room 280N on the second floor of York Lanes on Keel campus. All are welcome.

This event is co-presented at York by the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, Department of Anthropology, the Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies programme and the York Centre for Asian Research. His Canadian visit is also supported by the Indo-Canadian Workers’ Association and the People’s Voice newspaper. Asia