Scholar, Ambedkarite movement activist, and UC Berkeley alum, Dr. Gail Omvedt dies at 81

Gail Omvedt

American-born Indian scholar and UC Berkeley alum, Dr. Gail Omvedt passed away on August 25, 2021 after a prolonged illness at her residence in Kasegaon village of Sangli district in Maharashtra. The Dalit-Bahujan, Adivasis, women and human rights champion was 81.

An Indian citizen since 1983, Dr. Omvedt earned her PhD in sociology from UC Berkeley in 1973 for her dissertation titled, "Cultural Revolt in a Colonial Society: The Non-Brahman Movement in Western India, 1873-1930." 

Dr. Omvedt authored over 25 books, including In Colonial Society – Non-Brahmin Movement in Western India, Seeking Begampura, Buddhism in India, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Mahatma Phule, Dalit and the Democratic Revolution, Understanding Caste, We Will Smash the Prison and New Social Movement in India.

Dr. Omvedt is survived by her husband Dr Bharat Patankar, daughter Prachi, son-in-law Tejaswi and granddaughter Nia.

Of the many tributes bestowed to Dr. Omvedt, here are two from The Hindu and The Indian Express.