‘If the Untouchables make no noise, the Hindu feels no shame for their condition and is quite indifferent as to their numbers. Whether they are thousands or millions of them, he does not care to bother. But if the Untouchables rise and ask for recognition, he is prepared to deny their existence, repudiate his responsibility and refuse to share his power without feeling any compunction or remorse.’
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.
Roundtable believes this is the Ambedkar Age, the age of rising and working towards reshaping society in the light of the Ambedkarite ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. As a news and information portal, Roundtable aims to focus on the twin objectives of generating information and interaction necessary to aid, in howsoever small way, the progress of the Dalits, and the Bahujan community at large, in their efforts to realize those ideals, to work for an informed Ambedkar Age.
Roundtable recognizes that Indian media has played a significant role in helping the dominant social forces ‘deny the existence’ of untouchability and caste and ‘repudiate their responsibility’ in building and maintaining an unjust social order. It has consistently promoted the project of twisting the ‘Hindu problem’, as Dr.Ambedkar had once observed, into the ‘Dalit problem’. Both the mainstream and so-called alternative media in India are controlled by the same social forces. When others interpret the world for you, can you change it?
Roundtable shall aggregate news from the mainstream media, piecing together current information on society, politics and policy of interest to the Dalit-Bahujan world. Concurrently, Roundtable shall also seek to find and highlight the Dalit-Bahujan perspective on those and other issues: their own attempts to make sense of the world, to interpret it. In short, Roundtable shall function as an uniquely Dalit-Bahujan media actor that perceives through their eyes and ears, and speaks through their voice.
To its readers and users, Roundtable shall be a platform, a resource and a tool. As a platform, it offers an integrated online space for the widest expression of Dalit-Bahujan voices. Through regular columns on news and current issues, blogs, multimedia articulation and even creative writing in the form of poetry, short fiction and non-fiction on subjects of literary interest.
Roundtable shall be resource, a library of sorts, for young Dalit-Bahujans who seek to gain from the knowledge and experience of intellectuals, writers and activists of a similar background. It shall also make available for them the writings of such pioneering thinkers as Dr.Ambedkar and Phule, and help them delve into Dalit history, events, movements and personalities to understand the current age better.
Lastly, Roundtable shall serve as a tool for young Dalits to interact with each other: through helping them connect with each other, facilitating debates and discussions of interest to them.