Riddles in Hinduism

The Annotated Critical Selection

B.R. Ambedkar


Navayana, New Delhi, 2016

271 pages

Price INR 395.00

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Hinduism claims one billion adherents worldwide. To all those who hold this religion dear, B.R. Ambedkar poses many riddles: Is it even a religion? Who is a Hindu?

Like most of his writings, Riddles in Hinduism remained unpublished during his lifetime. When the state of Maharashtra finally printed it in 1987, the Shiv Sena sought a ban. While the liberals looked away, the Dalit movement circulated copies.

At a time when the state and the Hindu right are painting Ambedkar as a ‘Hindu’ figure, this fierce critique—now with illuminating annotations—shows us how and why Ambedkar had no love for Hinduism.

In his introduction, Kancha Ilaiah tells us why Hinduism is facing its biggest ever challenge from Dalit-Bahujans. Ambedkar was one, today there are a million Ambedkars.


B.R. Ambedkar

Born into an ‘untouchable’ family, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956) was one of India’s most radical thinkers. A brilliant student, he earned doctorates in economics from both Columbia University, New York, and the London School of Economics. In 1936, the year he wrote Annihilation of Caste, Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour Party. The ILP contested the 1937 Bombay election to the Central Legislative Assembly for the 13 reserved and 4 general seats, and secured 11 and 3 seats respectively. He was India’s first Minister for Law and Justice, and oversaw the drafting of the Indian Constitution. Ambedkar eventually embraced Buddhism, a few months before his death in 1956.