Ambedkar’s Dhamma: A counter theology of law for Indian political thought

Tundawala, Moiz (2021) Ambedkar’s Dhamma: A counter theology of law for Indian political thought. Political Theology, 23 (1-2). pp. 59-74. ISSN 1462317X

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This paper will argue that B.R. Ambedkar attacked the social law of Hindu dharma for legalizing and legitimizing Brahminical
sovereignty in the form of a birth-based caste order centred
around the ambivalent sacrality of untouchability. Although
Ambedkar inaugurated postcolonial India’s transformative
constitutional project, its juridical language of secular legality was not powerful enough an antidote against the social customs of caste and untouchability. Since these practices were ultimately grounded in a Hindu theology imputing responsibility for action to a fixed immutable being, Ambedkar sought to unsettle and destabilize it by proffering a counter-theology of Buddhism that delinked action from any substantial being, and thereby opened up sovereignty as an empty place of political power. His Buddhism though, was less a religion of selfless renunciation, and more a religion of rupture mediated by the political law of fraternal freedom, actualized in the excessive subjectivity of the Dalit community of converted Buddhists

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Ambedkar | Buddhism | Constitution | Sovereignty | | Untouchability Fraternity | Caste | Law
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2022 10:54
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2022 05:52
Official URL:


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