Radical Equality

Ambedkar, Gandhi, and the Risk of Democracy

Aishwary Kumar

Foreword by Kalyan Kumar Das


Navayana, New Delhi, 2019

Language: English

416 pages

6 x 9.25 inches

Price INR 599.00
Book Club Price INR 509.00

B.R. Ambedkar and M.K. Gandhi are two figures who have had the most enduring impact on India. Their well-documented divergence and combativeness are met with either facile attempts at synthesis or the forbidding of any attempt to study them in proximity. Resisting both these positions, Aishwary Kumar’s Radical Equality: Ambedkar, Gandhi, and the Risk of Democracy offers an archaeology of the interminable tension between two visions of democracy, two ways of grasping at sovereignty, in the colonial world. With close readings of texts, statements and political stances, Kumar identifies the sites where the two thinkers come closest to each other, while also revealing their irreconcilable distance in thought. Their shared grammar of struggle becomes the ground of their absolute incommensurability. Radical Equality challenges us to think afresh the ideas of equality, justice, freedom and dissent.

Aishwary Kumar

Aishwary Kumar is a professor of political philosophy and intellectual history in the Department of History of Consciousness at University of California-Santa Cruz, and Senior Fellow in Human Rights and Constitutional Politics at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg: The Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study. He received his MA from Jawaharlal Nehru University and earned his doctorate at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. He has previously taught history and political theory at Stanford University.