In this treatise, he gives some background and explanation of Manusmriti, the book that codified caste law. He explains many of the rules that affected Dalits and other lower caste people.
According to Manu, the person/demigod that codified rules of Untouchability, the world is composed of those inside the caste system and those outside the caste system. Of those inside the caste system, there are priests (Brahmin), soldiers (Kshatriyas), vendors/traders(Vaishyas), and servants (Shudras). These castes were listed in descending order.
The book goes into detail on various ways in which Dalits were marked and insulted.
- Had to leave town from 3 pm to 9 pm to not cast a shadow on higher caste
- Had to hang a pot around his neck to catch spittle
- Had to wear black necklace, black wristband, carry broom to sweep away footsteps, or wear horn
- Had to wear old or torn clothes
- Can’t build more than a one story house
- Not allowed to cremate their dead
One interesting point in the book was his thoughts on Shudra forming their political party and electing the best candidate that was Shudra. Ambedkar says that the action of selecting someone just because they are Shudra is no better than choosing someone just because they are Brahmin. The Shudra are attempting to dominate in the same way as the Brahmin
Ambedkar never published or completed this work.
Found in the book The Selected Works of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar found online for free.