Johanna Deeksha, journalist at Indian Express reviews What Babasaheb Ambedkar Means to Me. Read excerpt here below and the full review on Edex
Book for all ages
‘What Babasaheb Ambedkar means to me’ is the second book that The Shared Mirror is publishing, the last one being Amazon’s best seller ‘Hatred in the Belly”. The Shared Mirror promotes Dalit-Bahujan literature and writers and aims to further the anti-caste discourse. The latest book, released on the 126th birth anniversary of the revolutionary leader, is a compilation of almost 30 articles on the authors’ first or most memorable tryst with Ambedkar, on how he leaves a mark on their everyday lives and how he pushes them to break barriers and emerge victors.
One might assume that all the writers are Dalit but that is untrue with this book, as it also includes narrations of how Babasaheb had managed to ”unblind” the upper caste writers of this book and get them involved in the movement against oppression
The average age of the writers in this book is between 24-32 with a few exceptions, while many of the authors are writers, poets and academics who have pursued or are pursuing research on caste for their PhDs, there are a few writers who are engineers and IT professionals as well. One might assume that all the writers are Dalit but that is untrue with this book, as it also includes narrations of how Babasaheb had managed to ”unblind” the upper caste writers of this book and get them involved in the movement against oppression.
The fight isn’t in here. It’s out there
In all these stories, the writers reveal a part of themselves that not many want to see, they voice their thoughts about issues no one wants to hear and they talk about their love for Ambedkar, a man shunned by millions for having the courage to be one of the first few voices to speak up for the rights of the Dalits. But the book doesn’t attempt to fight against these millions, it doesn’t want to struggle its way into the lives of those who intend on remaining blind to caste. What it does is, remain in your subconsciousness for a long, long time and whether or not you know or have read Ambedkar, you end up feeling like you know him better. Even though these are accounts of what other people think about him, you still feel like these are probably the few accounts that will remain etched in one’s understanding of Ambedkar. After all he continues to be the people’s leader and like one of the writers in their stories said, “Babasaheb’s people have held him in their hearts with high regards without expecting him to die and appear in any textbooks.” And so, he lives on.