Saturday, April 15, 2023

JMI celebrates Ambedkar Jayanti


The Department of Sociology, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) celebrated Ambedkar Jayanti to commemorate the 132nd Birth Anniversary of Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on 13th April 2023 in the seminar room of the Department. A panel discussion was held on the topic ‘Ambedkar’s Vision of Democracy’ and the panelists were Prof. Padmanabh Samarendra, Honorary Director of Dr. K.R. Narayanan Centre for Dalit and Minority Studies, JMI,  Dr. Pradyumna Bag, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Aiman Mustafa, Assistant Professor from the Department of Sociology,JMI. The event was chaired by Prof. Manisha T. Pandey, Head of the Department.

The panel discussion began with Prof. Manisha T. Pandey welcoming everyone. She gave her opening remarks by briefly speaking about the contribution and relevance of Babasaheb Ambedkar’s thought and philosophy to society. Then, Prof. Padmanabh Samarendra’s thought-provoking talk, highlighted the change in Ambedkar’s perspective over a period of time especially between his two publications, “Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development” and “Annihilation of Caste and Other Essays”. He concluded with the question why caste continues despite conversion to non-Hindu religions and why annihilation of caste has not been addressed, which Ambedkar strongly advocated.

Dr. Aiman Mustafa drew a distinction between Ambedkar the academic historian, and Ambedkar the Constitutionalist. Focusing on the former – Ambedkar the academic historian – he talked about how Ambedkar would have rethought the notion of citizenship and rights.

Dr. Pradyumna Bag emphasized on Ambedkar’s belief that independence of state cannot be equated with independence of people. Highlighting on social and political forms of democracy, Dr. Bag stated that without a demographic form of society, there cannot be a demographic form of government.

The speakers charged the audience and thus the question and answer session which followed led to an insightful discussion. The event was well-attended by the faculty members, students and research scholars. The event concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by Mr. Rajesh Chandra Kumar, a research scholar of the Department.

Public Relations Office

Jamia Millia Islamia 

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