Book Review: ‘Ambedkar in London’ by William Gould, Santosh Dass, and Christophe Jaffrelot

Ambedkar in London: Unraveling the Legacy of an Iconic Figure

Book Title: Ambedkar in London
Editor(s): William Gould, Santosh Dass, and Christophe Jaffrelot
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-9361560798
Date Published: May 3, 2024
Price: INR 715

Ambedkar in London by William Gould, Santosh Dass, and Christophe Jaffrelot Book Cover

Book Review

The book “Ambedkar in London,” edited by William Gould, Santosh Dass, and Christophe Jaffrelot, provides a groundbreaking assessment of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s early life and long-term effect on the metropolis. This outstanding compilation sheds light on Ambedkar’s education and political evolution in Britain, as well as insights into his global connections and the effect of his anti-caste campaigns. Scott Stroud praises the book’s intellectual depth and broad coverage, emphasizing its significance in furthering our understanding of Ambedkar’s experiences and legacy in London.

The book delves into two important aspects of Ambedkar’s stay in London: his academic and political experiences, both of which gives a nuanced perspective on how he developed. The first half delves deeply into Ambedkar’s academic career, with chapters detailing his time at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Gray’s Inn. Scholars such as Daniel Payne, Sue Donnelly, and William Gould provide thorough assessments of Ambedkar’s scholarly pursuits and the variables that influenced his thought process.

Steven Gasztowicz’s chapter on Ambedkar’s legal education at Gray’s Inn sheds light on previously unknown aspects of his education and offers unique insights into the context and subject matter of legal studies at the time. The chapters by Jesús F. Cháirez-Garza and Christophe Jaffrelot enrich the assessment of Ambedkar’s schooling. They emphasize on his engagement in Round Table Conferences and his shifting activist framework, stressing his worldwide advocacy and depth of views.

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The book’s second half concentrates on contemporary Ambedkar echoes in London, emphasizing the impact of his works on legal action and grassroots activities. Writers such as Santosh Dass and Jamie Sullivan discuss the challenges and triumphs of preserving Ambedkar’s London house as a museum, including intimate details about the efforts taken to do so. Kevin Brown’s chapter emphasizes Ambedkar’s lasting relevance by diving into his interactions with W.E.B. Du Bois and the link between the Dalit battle and worldwide anti-racism groups.

Ambedkar in London” is a seminal work that advances our understanding of Ambedkar’s formative years and ongoing relevance. Through the process of filling up historical gaps and examining modern resonances, the book offers a comprehensive picture of Ambedkar’s multifaceted influence in London and beyond. Giving insights into one of the most well-known figures of the twentieth century and his long-standing efforts for social justice and human rights, it is an incredible resource for both students and enthusiasts.

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