Read Hatred in the belly: Politics behind the appropriation of Dr Ambedkar's writings by Ambedkar Age Collective Online


On Dec 2, 2015, Hatred in the belly was published and made available on It became a bestseller under the category of political ideologies in less than 24 hours and continues to remain popular. An enthusiastic and spontaneous network of readers, activists and authors have since facilitated a unique and energetic distribution network, taking the book to their circOn Dec 2, 2015, Hatred in the belly was published and made available on It became a bestseller under the category of political ideologies in less than 24 hours and continues to remain popular. An enthusiastic and spontaneous network of readers, activists and authors have since facilitated a unique and energetic distribution network, taking the book to their circles of influence. It has been distributed to student associations, universities, booksellers, study groups, and a significant number of anti-caste and Ambedkarite organizations all over India. The book has been welcomed as a part of vibrant and diverse anti-caste discourses which concern themselves with transformative politics aimed at Annihilation of Caste. Several book launch and discussion events have taken place, all initiated by local Dalit Bahujan literati, activists, students and other progressive sections in major cities across India. Since its release, a multitude of readers and well-wishers filled the social media sites posing with their copies of the book, which helped the book reach far and wide. The book has become a part of conversations on larger issues of appropriation of knowledge, labor, symbols, land, concentration of resources, anti-caste publishing cultures, academic exclusion and hostility faced by Dalit Bahujan students and faculty etc. There has been a growing demand from readers in the diaspora for an eBook version of 'Hatred in the belly: Politics behind the appropriation Dr Ambedkar's writings'. The Shared Mirror is pleased to make the eBook available on About the book Hatred in the belly is a Telugu phrase (kaDupulO kasi) taken from a speech delivered by poet Joopaka Subhadra, in Hyderabad, on the appropriation of Babasaheb Ambedkar's Annihilation of Caste. The speech, included in this volume, aptly summarises the deep-seated hostility of Brahminic India towards the Dalit Bahujan. Similarly, the other essays and speeches collected in this volume, written and delivered by a number of writers, academics, students, and activists (referred to as the Ambedkar Age Collective in this book), unfurl before you a critical tapestry dissecting the hegemonic brahminic discourse which works towards delegitimizing the radical legacy of Amebdkarite thought. The most stark example of these efforts, from the 'left' and the 'right' of the Indian political spectrum, is the Navayana edition of Babasaheb's AoC with an 'introduction' by Arundhati Roy. The works collected here emerged as spontaneous reactions to the Roy-Navayana project from multiple locations and in multiple languages. The varied interventions, which began online, and the discursive terrains it opened up offer us a glimpse of the ways through which the marginalised resist continued attempts made at hegemonising their knowledge and lives by the brahminic oppressors irrespective of their political leanings. Authors include: Anu Ramdas, Kuffir, Gurinder Azad, Bojja Tharakam, Adv. Dr. Suresh Mane, Anoop Kumar, U. Sambashiva Rao, Shakyamuni, Dr Sangeeta Pawar, Sunny Kapicadu, O. K. Santhosh, Dr B. Ravichandran, Dalit Camera: Through Un-Touchable Eyes, Karthik Navayan, Joopaka Subhadra Dr. K Satyanarayana, Vaibhav Wasnik, Nilesh Kumar, Asha Kowtal, Nidhin Shobhana, Gee Imaan Semmalar, Syam Sundar, Murali Shanmugavelan, Praveena Thaali, Dr Karthick RM, Huma Dar, Joby Mathew, James Michael, Akshay Pathak, Vinay Bhat, Yogesh Maitreya, Thongam Bipin, K K Baburaj, Sruthi Herbert, Gaurav Somwanshi, Kadhiravan, Rahul Gaikwad, Joe D'Cruz. ...

Title : Hatred in the belly: Politics behind the appropriation of Dr Ambedkar's writings
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ISBN : 29743571
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 386 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Hatred in the belly: Politics behind the appropriation of Dr Ambedkar's writings Reviews

  • Varad Deshmukh
    2019-03-11 07:44

    "Hatred in the Belly" is a compilation of essays written by Ambedkarites as a response to the introduction written by Arundhati Roy, "The Doctor and the Saint" for Dr. Babahsaheb Ambedkar's well known speech -- "Annihilation of Caste." Dr. Ambedkar's essay has been revolutionary, and in a sense, so has "Hatred in the Belly." Before talking about how Hatred in the Belly has changed my thought process, I'd like to give a bit of context regarding my experience with Roy's essay.It was the April of 2014, when I picked up this Roy-Ambedkar combination. The 2014 elections had charged up the political atmosphere, and like any other young'un interested in the future of India, I began working on understanding its socio-political climate. It was the perfect time to read Arundhati Roy and Dr. Ambedkar, and I was excited at the fact that such a well-renowned author has decided to bring Ambedkar to the people again. I have to admit, I loved Roy's essay. Her narration of Dalit crimes, statistics demonstrating their under-representation (and over-representation of Brahmins), Gandhi's blatant casteism and racism, Dr. Babasaheb's losing battles made my blood boil. Questions did arise -- "Why has this been on-going and why haven't people been discussing it before Roy?" or "Why do so few of my friends know or discuss Ambedkar as a radical anti-caste leader?" or "Why hasn't anyone before Arundhati Roy talked about Ambedkar? Why do I know Ambedkar only from the likes of Ramdas Athavale?" It just became easy to answer, "It's because Arundhati Roy is that good, that radical, that concerned to talk about Ambedkar and Dalits." One important element was missing in the whole equation -- my own caste, and as a result, my privileges, my social circles and my understanding of caste.Don't get me wrong, I had gotten to the point to realize that as an upper-caste Brahmin man, I had been reaping the benefits of social and economic privilege garnered across centuries. What I failed to see was the intellectual hegemony that my caste has enjoyed, somehow more dominant than the economic or social. How could I see that this essay was simply an academic treatment of a very very limited part of Dalit struggle -- one which focuses only on their misery? To me, Dalits had only been shown to be an "oppressed class" and that there were a few good Brahmin activists/scholars/writers who had "deigned to uplift them." For me, Roy's act of writing on Ambedkar was a revolutionary act. Arundhati Roy, Anand Patwardhan had become my favorite Brahmin anti-caste crusaders. Cracks started developing in my understanding of the anti-caste struggle, when one of my facebook friends, Gaurav Somwanshi, along with other Ambedkarites, began talking against the essay. Articles countering the introduction started appearing on the website Round Table India ( and the facebook page The Colonization of Ambedkar. It was apparent that the Ambedkarite community was angry.It was not apparent why they would take on someone who seemed to be on their own side. I finally decided to find time to read through the praised collection of essays by the Ambedkar Age Collective. For me, as a member of the elite class, "Hatred in the Belly" has been as revolutionary as Annihilation of Caste has. Understanding Babasaheb's literature is not a piece of cake, and it seems that I have only read his works in the context of opposing the obviously blatant casteist sect of the society that openly revels in caste superiority. Annihilation of Caste, as explained by Hatred in the Belly attacks a far deeper subtler problem of Brahminization. And that is its conscious drive to maintain a superior position even while attacking caste inequality, its need to be the enlightened messiah of the "backward castes", while enjoying the acceptance of upper castes. I don't wish to talk in this review about the arguments put forth to Arundhati Roy by the Dalit community, or her (arrogant) response to the questions. Here, I wish to stress on what I have learned through the process. Firstly, these essays themselves are a sufficient exhibit that the Dalit community is far from the oppressed community that the upper class audience has been led to believe. It is a strong intellectual and political force, motivated by Dr. Ambedkar's writings and philosophy, developed out of rejection of the laws that have created the hierarchical Hindu society. It is a community that has led to the birth of the Bahujan Samaj Party under the leadership of Kanshi Ram, again a result of an inspiration from Annihilation of Caste. Contrary to my understanding, Babasaheb has never ceased to remain in the hearts of the people, and that there's never been an need for an urgent revival of his literature by hiring an upper-caste celebrity (something that Roy has stressed). The second point which has been harder to digest has been the problem with pitting Gandhi versus Ambedkar. By doing so, the essay clearly acknowledges an inherent higher weightage to Gandhi, and then try to "raise Ambedkar above Gandhi's level." A dispute with Gandhi has been just one facet of Dr. Ambedkar's movement, and Gandhi in no terms serves as the touchstone for determining Dr. Ambedkar's worth. As one of the authors has nicely put it (not ad verbatim), "We don't bring in Dr. Ambedkar when we write a thesis on Gandhi. Why the other way round?"Lastly, one would wonder, even if there is a concious appropriation taking place (which it is), why should the Dalit Bahujan Samaj worry about it? Roy has written an introduction to Ambedkar, and well, they are free to do it too. Roy posed the exact same argument to the authors in her reply. The author's explanation which really convinced me has a historical perspective. This has not been the first anti-caste appropriation seen through the centuries. They have occurred more frequently than you might think, yet, they have done a good job of eliminating any evidence of their crimes. The radical anti-caste ideologies of Tukaram, Kabir have been cleverly wiped out, and they are popularized as benign saints, who pushed for benign changes that didn't really threaten the power of the upper castes. This has been possible only because of the intellectual propagation being solely in the hands of the Brahmin class, something we really pride ourselves in. Something similar is happening to Dr. Ambedkar right now. It is easy to call out the RSS for saying Dr. Ambedkar was one of their own, but it's not so easy to do so when liberals like Roy try to do that even more subtly. "Hatred in the Belly" through its powerful essays uncovers the agenda wonderfully.To summarize, Dr. Ambedkar's works are more than just a subject of academic interest. As stated by Gaurav Somwanshi, "The battle against caste isn't just some ideology, it's our existence." Ambedkar's works are not something to be toyed with without a heavy engagement with the people for whom the book has served as a meaning of their existence. Simply reading his works does not make you an expert on Ambedkar. Also, claiming to be the very few people who has "cared to read" Ambedkar (yes, Roy said that) is even worse. And more importantly, if you wish to lay bare the world the struggles of a peoples, they have a much greater say in how it should be done. If you wish to dictate or oppose their terms, you cannot claim to be fighting on their behalf, you are fighting against them. Hatred in the Belly has given me a fresh perspective of looking at Dalit struggles, Dalit literature and the challenges they face from the upper caste force. My casteist views reflected in Arundhati Roy's writing exist no more.

  • Aamil Shaheen
    2019-03-17 00:49

    Exhilarating read!

  • Sainath Sunil
    2019-03-11 03:36

    I rarely give 5 star ratings to any book, but this a tour de force of sorts. The book is a coming together of dalit bahujan intellectuals against the usurpation of Ambedkar's legacy and a complete attempted takeover of the seminal text, annihilation of caste. It owes its genesis to the roy-navayana narrative which is being constructed and how Ambedkar is being astutely brahminised in the process. Read this book to understand why Arundhati Roy's 190 page introduction to Ambedkar's work needs to be taken very very seriously as an attempt to relegate Ambedkar and usurp a commanding voice in order to dumb it down and subsequently crush it. The writers are brilliant and the text is astounding, if this is the first output from this new publishing house, I am waiting for more!!

  • Anudeep Lk
    2019-03-15 05:33

    A book for a book.!this book replies to an Arundhati Roys AOC book andadditionally it has many speeches,interviews,articles,cartoons and will discuss other things like how brahmins are making money using baba sahebs name.It is one of the best book, written by Dalits and not by so called upper caste Messiahs of Dalits, who are after money and name only! Must read for evryone

  • Sanjana
    2019-03-02 03:43

    "Hatred in the Belly" discusses the appropriation of Ambedkar's works (and legacy) by Arundhati Roy and other savarna intellectuals from the perspective of various contributors, including poets, activists, academics, anti-caste groups, etc. It is imperative to read about caste from the perspective of Dalit and Bahujan voices so I highly recommend this work!

  • Kunjila Mascillamani
    2019-03-22 23:40

    What a read! A truly brilliant collection of criticism. Too much to quote so posting separately on blog about how amazing this experience has been.