Social scientist from New Delhi to speak Monday about social exclusion in India

Economics Professor Sukhadeo Thorat of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi will talk about the issue of social exclusion in India when he visits York next Monday.

Thorat will deliver his talk, “Social Exclusion in India: A Perspective on B.R. Ambedkar and his Movement” April 18, from noon to 2pm, in Verney Room, 6th Floor, Ross Building, Keele campus. Light refreshments will be served.

Sukhadeo Thorat Right: Sukhadeo Thorat

Chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, Thorat is considered an authority on Ambedkar and on issues of social exclusion and inequality. His talk will assess Ambedkar’s legacy and relevance, in light of the continued struggles for inclusion and equality that are occurring in India today.

April 14 will mark the 120th anniversary of the birth of Ambedkar, a man thought of as one of the greatest voices against social oppression, particularly the question of caste. He was the chief architect of India’s constitution and the first minister of law in independent India. Born into a Dalit (untouchable) family, he experienced exclusion and oppression first-hand.

Ambedkar was at once an activist, a philosopher, a legal luminary and a critical social scientist who formulated the first comprehensive understanding of caste, its socio-historical and economic dimensions. His work initiated a fundamental rethinking of the moral and social foundations of Indian society and inspired Dalit movements in India like few had before.

Former chairman of the University Grants Commission of India (2006-2011), Thorat has been in the forefront of policy-making on social inclusion in India and is the recipient of many awards, including the Padma Shri, one of the most prestigious civilian awards in India.

His many publications, include Blocked by Caste: Economic Discrimination and Social Exclusion in Modern India (Oxford University Press, 2010), B.R. Ambedkar: Perspectives on Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies (Oxford University Press, 2008), In Search of Inclusive Society: Addressing Graded Inequality (Rawat, 2008) and Dalits in India: Search for a Common Destiny (Sage Publications, 2009).

The event is sponsored by the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and the Department of Political Science.