Hartosh Singh Bal, political editor of Open Magazine, has a good essay in 3QD. Here is an excerpt:
One of the arguments I have heard over and over again explaining the success of Indian democracy is the invocation of a civilizational ethos, our tolerance, the claim goes, is rooted in the traditions of Hinduism. While it is not entirely untrue, this idea is given too much credit. The dailts are a huge counterargument, tolerance for oppression is as much a part of Hinduism as a tolerance of other faiths.
If today revolutionary groups such as the Maoists seek recruits and fail to find them in large numbers among the untouchables it is largely because of Ambedkar. At the same time Ambedkar as much as Nehru is responsible for the calm rationalism of the Indian Constitution. Gandhi lends himself to every new age anti-science fad, Ambedkar is one of our key antidotes. Far more than the Ganga or Gandhi, if writers and academics needs to make sense of India they need to spend time on Ambedkar.