NISHTHA BHALLA: (VOLUME- 13, 14, 19, 20)
I am 44 years old, high-school chemistry teacher, of Indian origin, living in Toronto.
Why I got interested in reading Ambedkar? I have always thought of Dr. Ambedkar very highly, in fact one of my reasons for being so happy to join Columbia University in New York was that doctor Ambedkar had studied there. It made me feel very proud to have that association. I had read of Dr. Ambedkar but had never actually read him, so I was certainly excited about the opportunity.
My experience reading the books:. It was eye-opening to say the least. I was surprised, shocked, at times deeply pained by the level of hatred and divisiveness that I suppose had existed in Indian politics even back then – only that I had not known about it. Unfortunately the questions being raised all circled around how many Hindus, how many Dalits, how many Muslims, were being given certain posts or certain perks. It seems like nobody was bothered about the corruption, what is the efficiency of the scheme, what is actually good for india. It is my tendency to paint our elders in a rosy light, I tend to only look at the good points, and deify them possibly. So this has been a rude learning experience. It has also given me some hope, that if we could survive this level of communal division at that time, then maybe there is still hope for India.