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Adam Karim - Untouchable

Fri, 23 Jun 2017

ADAM KARIM is currently in rehearsals for UNTOUCHABLE which is being directed by Kathryn Hunter and will be performed as part of the RADA Festival 2017. Adam will be playing the role of Dr Ambedkar.

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At school, he wasn’t allowed to sit on a chair. He had to sit on the ground on a sack. He couldn’t drink water out of the jug provided for the others, but had to wait till it was poured for him into his special cup. The teachers would beat the other pupils but him they threw clods of earth at. Why? He was an ‘Untouchable.’ It was a miracle he was at school at all. And he grew up to be Doctor Bhimrao Ambedkar, independent India’s first Law Minister, chair of the committee that wrote the constitution. Six weeks before his death he converted to Buddhism, and took hundreds of thousands of ‘untouchables’ with him. So, did Ambedkar work hand in hand with Gandhi and the other non-violent freedom fighters? No, his vision was starkly opposed to Gandhi’s, and this play shows their separate colliding paths and Gandhi’s ‘fast to the death’ against Ambedkar’s policy.

Moving between the worlds of the gods and the Indian street, from myth to propaganda, from an ‘untouchable’ boy to the Round Table Conference in London, this play shows the intensity of India’s struggle to win for itself not just independence but justice for all its citizens. Today Ambedkar’s constitution makes ‘untouchability’ illegal, but it remains imprinted on Hindu minds, and the struggle goes on. And in this struggle the figure of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar – Bhim - is becoming increasingly important, as the oppressed turn more and more to this beacon of humanity.