International Council for Education, Research and Training

Impact Of ambedkar’s Teachings On Community Development As Shown In The God Of Small Things

Singla, Priyanka

Associate Professor Department of English, Government College for Women, Hisar.


This paper discusses the influence of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s teachings on community development in India, as depicted in Arundhati Roy’s novel The God of Small Things The novel highlights the struggle of the lower-caste population against the rigid social hierarchy prevalent in India, and how Ambedkar’s ideology of social equality and empowerment has impacted the community’s development. Arundhati Roy’s novel The God of Small Things presents a powerful depiction of the impact of Ambedkar’s teachings on community development in India. The novel portrays the lives of twin siblings, Rahel and Estha, who grow up in Ayemenem, a fictional town in Kerala. Their family, the Ipes, is part of the Syrian Christian community, which occupies a higher position in the social hierarchy than the local Dalits. However, the novel also portrays the Dalits’ plight, highlighting the systemic oppression they face, which is deeply entrenched in the social and cultural fabric of the region. This paper analyses the novel’s portrayal of Ambedkar’s ideas and their real-world implications, identifying different ways in which Ambedkar’s teachings have inspired collective action and mobilization, paving the way for more just and equitable social systems.

Keywords: B. R. Ambedkar, Community Development, Casteism, Untouchability, Equality.

Impact statement

Ambedkar’s teachings have impacted community development, as depicted in Arundhati Roy’s novel “The God of Small Things.” The novel vividly portrays the consequences of a deeply entrenched caste system and the transformative influence of Ambedkar’s ideas. Firstly, Ambedkar’s teachings emphasize the importance of social justice and equality. Characters like Velutha challenge the oppressive caste system, embodying Ambedkar’s teachings of empowerment and resilience. Velutha’s defiance serves as a rallying point for his community, inspiring others to challenge the status quo and fight against discrimination. Secondly, Ambedkar championed education as a means of empowerment. This is seen through the character of Ammu, who defies societal expectations and seeks education for herself and her children. Her pursuit of knowledge symbolizes the transformative power of education, aligning with Ambedkar’s belief in its ability to challenge the caste system and bring about social change. Lastly, Ambedkar’s teachings advocate for collective action to address social issues. In the novel, characters like Baby Kochamma and Comrade Pillai represent the Dalit movement, working towards the upliftment of their community. Their activism demonstrates the significance of collective efforts in challenging social hierarchies and promoting community development.

About author

Priyanka Singla is presently working as an Associate Professor of English at Government College for Women, Hisar, Haryana. She has a teaching experience of more than eighteen years. She has completed her doctoral degree on the topic “Post Colonial Concerns in Bapsi Sidhwa’s Ice-Candy- Man and An American Brat and Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance and Family Matters”. Apart from post colonialism, her areas of research interest include Gender, Sexuality, Cultural Studies, Feminism and Queer Theory. She has published several articles on these research areas in both National and International Journals- peer reviewed as well as UGC- Care Listed. She has four book chapter publications to her credit. She has authored and edited five and four books respectively on her research areas. She has also presented several research papers in various National and International Conferences and Seminars.


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