15th Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Lecture (AML) 2019: 'Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's Thoughts on Moral Foundation of Democracy'


Date: Feb. 16, 2019

Venue: Convention Centre, New Campus, TISS

This lecture would focus primarily on the following points: In Ambedkar's political thought there is a strong argument which bases democracy on solid moral foundation. Ambedkar finds the source of this moral conception of democracy in Buddhism. The moral conception is built up around the radical symbolism of Ashok Chakra, the wheel of equality.'



Prof Gopal Guru is currently the Editor of Economic and Political Weekly. He retired as a professor of social and political theory from the Centre for political Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University. As a Professor in JNU, Prof Guru taught courses such as Political Thought in Modern India, Moral philosophy, and social theory of Humiliation. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on philosophy, politics, caste and untouchability. His books include: 1) Atrophy of Dalit Politics, Vikas Adhyayan Publication, 2006, 2) Humiliation: Claims and Context, (Ed.), Oxford University Press, 2009; The Cracked Mirror (With Sundar Sarukkai), ), Oxford University Press, 2012. He has contributed several chapters on Social Justice, Ambedkar's Metaphysics of Emancipation, Political Phenomenology of Touch in edited books. He has written numerous articles in EPW. He has also received several awards. Some of these include: Malcom Adisheshaih Award in Social Science, 2014. He was a visiting Professor at Columbia University, Oxford University and Penn University, Philadelphia.

Date: February 16, 2019

Venue: Convention Centre, New Campus, TISS.

Time: 6 PM

All are cordially invited

Concept Note

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (April 14, 1891 – December 6, 1956), fondly remembered as Babasaheb Ambedkar, was a philosopher 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 polity, society and economy with his countless scholarly works, pragmatic policies and strategies and lasing statesmanship.

When higher education was impossible even for the most affluent class in India, Ambedkar managed 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 also a law degree from The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn. Although Ambedkar was an indispensable choice for drafting the Indian Constitution, his voluminous scholarship on diverse fields is hardly known, even among the academicians. Therefore, bringing his scholarship to the center stage of academic debate would certainly help finding 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 Ambedkar's scholarly essays 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) in 2003. Subsequently, a three-pillared 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. The first AML was delivered by Prof. Gail Omvedt on July 25, 2003 and the theme was “Liberty, Equality, Community: Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's Vision of a New Social Order”.


If you want to attend the AML programmes, please note the followings:

  1. Entry to the AML venue on February 16th will be only through TISS New Campus;
  2. Entry for AML Cultural programme scheduled on February 15th evening will be only through the main gate of main campus (opp. Deonar bus depot);

You will be permitted to the AML venue only if you have any of the following documents:

  1. Proof of having registered for attending the event;
  2. Email invitation by the AML organising committee;
  3. If you are an alumni, your old TISS ID.
  4. If you are known to any student currently studying in TISS who is ready come to the gate to take you in.

Registration for both of the programs is made COMPULSORY as it will provide hassle-free entry to the event. Also, please carry your identity cards for security check. REGISTRATION LINK: https://goo.gl/forms/ghFT6ud4kK0UqoDn1