Tharoor to tell Ambedkar's story in new biography

Shashi Tharoor | Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor will come out with a biography of BR Ambedkar next month in which he will provide insights into his life and also highlight the disputes the latter had with other political and intellectual giants of his era, including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

In "Ambedkar: A Life", Tharoor will also seek to answer the question whether Ambedkar was the greatest Indian of modern times.

The Congress MP traces the arc of Ambedkar's life from his birth into a family of Mahars in the Bombay Presidency on April 14, 1891 to his death in Delhi on December 6, 1956.

He also describes the many "humiliations and hurdles" Ambedkar had to overcome in a society that stigmatised the community he was born into, and the single-minded determination with which he overcame every obstacle he encountered, a statement by publisher Aleph said.

"We are given insights into the various battles Ambedkar fought to make untouchability illegal, his disputes with the other political and intellectual giants of his era, including Gandhi and Nehru, and his determination to invest India with a visionary Constitution that enshrined within it the inalienable rights of the individual and modern conceptions of social justice," the statement said.

According to Tharoor, in doing so, Ambedkar "transformed the lives of millions yet unborn, heaving an ancient civilisation into the modern era through the force of his intellect and the power of his pen".

The book is releasing on October 1.

Ambedkar's statues across the country are second only in number to those of Mahatma Gandhi. He even overtook Gandhi in a recent poll to determine the "greatest Indian" of modern times, in which over 20 million votes were cast.

All the major political parties vie with one another to claim him as their own. To the Dalits, he is a revered figure who was chiefly responsible for outlawing untouchability and fighting to give dignity to the community.

And, most of all, he is hailed as the father of India's Constitution.


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