Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Lecture, 2020 On “Dr. Ambedkar and Journalism: From Mooknayak to Prabuddha Bharat”


Date: Feb. 23, 2020 - Feb. 24, 2020

Venue: Convention Center, New Campus, TISS, Mumbai

 Download RAM_AML_2020_Concept_Note_Feb_16_2020-1_1.pdf

Lecture On
“Dr. Ambedkar and Journalism:
From Mooknayak to Prabuddha Bharat”

Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences,
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad.

Director, TISS

February 23rd 2020; 6 PM

Convention Center, New Campus, TISS, Mumbai


Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (April 14, 1891 – December 6, 1956), fondly remembered as Babasaheb Ambedkar, was a philosopher, economist, legal luminary, and a social revolutionary with an uncompromising commitment to protecting the human rights of
millions of Indians. He has left an indelible mark on Indian society, polity and economy with his countless scholarly writings, pragmatic policies and strategies and ever lasting statesmanship. Of all, he was the architect of the Constitution of India.

When higher education was impossible even for the most affluent class in India, Ambedkarmanaged to reach New York, USA in 1913 and secured M.A. in Political Science with economics as major subject and subsequently also a Ph.D. in the discipline of economics. He secured yet another Masters and a doctorate degrees from the London School of Economics in the discipline of economics, and simultaneously a law degree too from The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, London. Although Ambedkar was an indispensable choice for drafting the Indian Constitution owing to his scholarship on constitution making and his multiple doctorates from world renowned Universities, his voluminous writings and speeches on diverse fields is hardly known, even among the academicians. When the entire nation is governed on the basis of the ideals enshrined in the Indian Constitution, it goes without saying that the scholarship of the architect of Indian Constitution must be brought to the center stage of academic debate with a view to finding lasting solutions to numerous problems the country is currently confronted with.

AML in TISS, Mumbai:

As an institution of excellence in higher education, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has been responding to the ever changing Indian social realities and the consequential challenges through its teaching, research, and field action activities. Recognizing the immense contribution that Babasaheb has made to the nation building process, TISS allowed, over the years, space for debating ideas of Ambedkar. It has made some of the scholarly essays of Ambedkar such as “Annihilation of caste” a compulsory readings for all students admitted to its Master level programmes. It also allowed space for organizing Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Lecture (AML) on campus. The aim of AML is to honour Dr. Ambedkar's intellectual contribution to the academic world and to create an opportunity for the academicians, students, activists and leaders of diverse background to familiarize themselves with the scholarship of Ambedkar in various fields and their relevance today. The AML is also to bring to light the wide spectrum of issues that Dr. Ambedkar deliberated upon in his life time.

The TISS SC/ST Employees Welfare Association organized the first ever “Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Lecture” (AML) on July 25, 2003. This lecture was delivered by Prof. Gail Omvedt and the theme was “Liberty, Equality, Community: Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's Vision of a New Social Order”. Subsequently, a three­pillared Organizing Committee consisting of: a) the TISS SC/ST Employees Association, b) the TISS SC/ST Cell, and c) the TISS Students committee consisting primarily SC/ST Students. Over the years the AML Organizing Committee has become more inclusive with the students from diverse social background taking active part in organizing the event. Few faculty members engaged in the process play a limited but a supportive role liaisoning between the invited speaker and TISS administration.

AML TISS­Mumbai 2020:

One hundred years have passed ever since Dr. Ambedkar released his first fortnightly newspaper Mooknayak (the Leader of the Mute) on January 31, 1920. This was one of the means he adopted to infuse a sense of critical consciousness among the ignorant and illiterate masses of India. He launched Mooknayak in a small office in the working class neighbourhood of Parel in Mumbai. He was just 29 year old when he launched the Mooknayak. His Mooknayak was aimed to be the voice of the voiceless, when the mainstream media was biased towards the struggle of the Depressed Classes and their issues and concerns. In the first edition of Mooknayak, he wrote: “There is no better source than the newspaper to suggest the remedy against the injustice that is being done to our people in the present and will be done in the future, and also to discuss the ways and means for our progress in the future”. Towards this end, Babasaheb launched subsequently three more publications in Marathi, viz., Bahishkrit Bharat, Janata and Prabuddha Bharat. Although he wrote in these publications on number of issues pertaining to the Depressed Classes and the nation as a whole, his writings have not become a part of academic debate so far.

It is in this context, this year's Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Lecture focuses on: “Dr. Ambedkar and Journalism: From Mooknayak to Prabuddha Bharat”. And the speaker for the lecture is Prof E. Sudha Rani, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad. This lecture will be delivered at 6 PM at the TISS Convention Centre located in the new campus of TISS.

Invitation by Registration:

You are cordially invited to occupy your seat in the TISS Convention Centre (New Campus) before 6 PM on February 23, 2020. Those of you who are currently not students or faculty or staff of TISS are requested to do registration (compulsory), using the link below, and also bring your valid ID card along to enter TISS new campus hassle­free.

The Registration link: https://forms.gle/vfovTmj5yN8Vqigi6

Contacts: 8421739668; 8329914674