Ambedkar, Marx and the Buddhist Question

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This essay tries to frame one question, which at its most abbreviated can be posed thus: why does Ambedkar convert to Buddhism? Given Ambedkar's militant secularism, to ask this question is also to ask: what assumption of responsibility does that conversion enable which exceeds secular responsibility? This essay tracks how Ambedkar's religion questions both the liberal concept of minority, and the dissolution of the minor that is staged in Marx's critique simultaneously of religion and secularism. Buddhism becomes in the process a religion of the minor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-465
Number of pages16
JournalSouth Asia: Journal of South Asia Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 South Asian Studies Association of Australia.


  • Ambedkar
  • Arendt
  • Marx
  • Navayana Buddhism
  • civil religion
  • civil society
  • conversion
  • political society
  • principle
  • secularism


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