Brandeis awarded bust of Indian legal champion

simon lynch bustPhoto/Mike Lovett

Brandeis professor Laurence Simon (left) and Provost Lisa M. Lynch in front of the bust of Dr. Ambedkar

The Dalit Indian Community of the United States donated a bronze bust of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the father of the Indian constitution, to Brandeis on April 29.

Over 125 people, including many Dalit families from across New England, attended the bust unveiling inside Brandeis’ main library as part of a three-day conference about the Indian constitution and caste discrimination.

The bust, which was sculpted by Pradhnya Bhartiya Shilpkala Darshan of Nagpur, India, is a tribute to the work of Brandeis’ Center for Global Development (GDS) and for advancing academic scholarship on the issues of caste.

Columbia University is the only other academic institution to possess a bust of Dr. Ambedkar. As his alma mater, Columbia was presented with a bust 18 years ago in honor of the impact the school had on his life.

“Brandeis is the only university in the United States after Columbia, to be honored with a bust of this great jurist and human rights leader,” said GDS director Laurence Simon. “The award was made ‘to honor Brandeis University and the Center for Global Development and Sustainability’ for what was described as an historic contribution in advancing the cause of social justice for Dalits.

“The GDS Center has a long term commitment to research on caste and to efforts to bring together academics and activists as an international learning community."

Categories: General, International Affairs, Research

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