This article argues that we should take the philosophical thought of Bhimrao Ambedkar, the Indian politician and advocate for “untouchable” rights, seriously as part of the pragmatist tradition. Doing so will reveal the international impact of pragmatist thought and will contribute to current concerns over how citizens should communicate and pursue advocacy in pluralistic societies. As a student of Dewey's, Ambedkar took pragmatist ideas of democracy and integrated them into his reading of Buddhism. His reconstruction of nonviolence (ahimsa) as love of one's friends and enemies leaves him open to criticisms from those favoring revolutionary means to achieve social justice. The final section considers criticisms stemming from insurrectionist ethics and argues that Ambedkar operates as an important emancipatory counter to this position. Ambedkar's pragmatism holds back from violent means, as they tend to destroy too many people and valued ends that one needs for an ideal democratic community.

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