Samata Parva Pratishtan conferred the tenth annual Mahatma Jotiba Phule-Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Samata Ratna award on Arundhati Roy, renowned author and Booker Prize winner, on Saturday, 10 May 2014, in Yavatmal, Maharashtra.
Prof Madhav Sarkunde, spokesperson for the trust, said, “Arundhati Roy’s introduction to the recently published annotated edition of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste has touched us. Babasaheb was disallowed by caste Hindus from delivering this address in 1936. Arundhati Roy’s comprehensive and incisive introduction corrects the historic injustice done to Dr Ambedkar by non-Dalits. This introduction, we hope, will help Babasaheb’s revolutionary text to reach a wide national and international readership. This is a landmark effort and the Samata Parva feels honoured that Ms Roy has accepted this honour.”
In her keynote address to an audience of over five thousand people, Ms Roy said, “This award to me is as important, if not more important, than the Booker prize. I am moved and truly honoured.”
Prior recipients include the late Narayan Surve (Dalit poet); Baburao Bagul (well-known Dalit writer), political thinker Kancha Ilaiah, social historian Gail Omvedt, economist Bhalchandra Mungekar (currently Rajya Sabha MP), Dalit thinker Dr Yahswant Manohar, social historian Braj Rajan Mani (author of Debrahmising History), and social activist from Gujarat Martin Macwan.