The chapter explains how unlike those who followed colonial and national historiography, Ambedkar presented Indian history as that of a cultural conflict between two forces, Brahmanical and Buddhist. According to Ambedkar, Brahmanism represented the coercive and hegemonic force of varna, caste and gender subordination, whereas Buddhism represented the egalitarian spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity, incessantly enacting as an ideological powerhouse of anti-caste rebellions. The chapter points out how Ambedkar highlights the moral dimension of the conflict between Brahmanism and Buddhism. The chapter contrasts Ambedkar’s understanding of caste and religion with that of Marxists. Although Ambedkar recognized the economic dimension of caste, he identified the key role of religious sanctions in sustaining the caste system. Similarly, Indian Marxists regarded Buddhism as a mark of false consciousness, whereas Ambedkar recognized it as an emancipatory force.

The chapter also discusses Ambedkar’s historicism which regards social evolution as the governing principle of history. Ambedkar’s historicist venture, the author remarks, offers a profound critique of caste patriarchy and untouchability by arguing that caste and untouchability are against reason, humanity and human progress. His history sets up the revolutionary transformation agenda of caste annihilation that Gail Omvedt has characterized as democratic revolution.