B. R. Ambedkar is arguably one of Columbia University’s most illustrious alumni, and a democratic thinker and constitutional lawyer who had enormous impact in shaping India, the world’s largest democracy. Ambedkar came to Columbia University in July 1913 to enter a master's and doctoral program in Political Science. He earned a Master’s degree in 1915, and a PhD in 1927 at Columbia, after having studied with some of the great figures of interwar American thought including John Dewey. In 1952, Columbia University awarded Ambedkar an honorary LL.D.
The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society is pleased to announce the Ambedkar Initiative, led by Professor Anupama Rao. The Ambedkar Initiative links Columbia University with the anti-caste legacy of B. R. Ambedkar and recognizes his continued relevance to discussions about social justice, affirmative action, and democratic thinking in a global frame.