Center for Global Development and Sustainability

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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The Center for Global Development and Sustainability
Program on Social Exclusion
presents a Symposium

Annihilation of Caste: The Unfinished Legacy of Dr B.R. Ambedkar

Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3, 2015

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Brandeis University
415 South Street
Waltham, MA


William A. Darity, Jr., Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies and Economics, Duke University

Tanoj Meshram, PhD student, Global Development, the Heller School, Brandeis University; Executive National Organizing Secretary, Mulnivasi Sangha; and Central Executive Committee Member of the All India Backward (SC, ST, OBC) And Minority Communities Employees' Federation (BAMCEF)

Nilambar Nayak, Master’s student, Sustainable International Development, the Heller School, Brandeis University

Rajesh Sampath, Assistant Professor of the Philosophy of Justice, Rights and Social Change, the Heller School, Brandeis University

Laurence Simon, Professor of International Development and Director, Center for Global Development and Sustainability, the Heller School, Brandeis University

Gary Tartakov, Professor Emeritus, Iowa State University

Andreas Teuber, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Brandeis University

Amit Thorat, Associate Fellow, National Council of Applied Economics Research (NCAER)

Sukhadeo Thorat, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Chair, Indian Council for Social Science Research; Co-founder, Indian Institute for Dalit Studies

Registration is limited to 40
Free and open to the university community and the general public
Pre-registration is required


Saturday, May 2, 2015

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Check-in and Tea

Welcome from Laurence R. Simon, GDS Director

3:10 pm

Welcome from graduate student representative Nilambar Nayak

3:15 - 5:00 pm

Opening Lecture and Discussion

Sukhadeo Thorat: The India of Dr B.R. Ambedkar, 1891-1956

Sunday, May 3, 2015

10:00 am

Welcome: Rajesh Sampath

10:10 am

Welcome from PhD student representative Tanoj Meshram

10:15 am - 12:00 pm

The Political and Philosophical Roots of Ambedkar’s “Annihilation of Caste” (1936) and its significance for addressing social exclusion in contemporary democratic India

  • Rajesh Sampath: On the Philosophical Critique of Caste
  • Sukhadeo Thorat: Reading The Annihilation of Caste to understand social and economic inequality in India past and present; Ambedkar’s critique of Gandhi
  • Andreas Teuber: B.R. Ambedkar and John Dewey
12:00 - 12:45 pm

Lunch on the terrace

12:45 - 1:30 pm

Film on caste

1:30 - 3:00 pm

Ambedkar in comparative perspective

  • William A. Darity, Jr.: African-American Civil Rights and the Anti-Caste movement in India
  • Laurence Simon: Paulo Freire and B.R. Ambedkar: In Comparative Perspective
  • Rajesh Sampath: Gustavo Gutierrez and the Theology of Liberation

Open discussion

3:00 pm


3:15 - 4:00 pm

The challenge ahead: Open discussion led by Amit Thorat, Tanoj Meshram and Gary Tartakov

4:00 - 4:15 pm

Laurence Simon and Sukhadeo Thorat: Concluding remarks

Free parking at the Heller School
For directions:


Space is limited. Preference will be given to those attending both Saturday and Sunday.

To pre-register or for more information, please email:

To pre-register, include your:

  1. full name and that of each guest
  2. affiliation
  3. email address
  4. A boxed lunch on Sunday, May 3rd will be provided at the cost of $10. Please indicate if you wish to reserve a lunch and if you have any dietary restrictions. Menu options will be sent to you.

Registration will be confirmed by return email.

We look forward to seeing you.

Knowledge Advancing Social Justice

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