New vistas for deprived students

 

Urvashi Sarkar

The need to highlight positive stories of Dalits and adivasis and the desire to spread awareness about higher education abroad prompted the Insight Foundation to organise an interactive discussion on opportunities for Dalit and adivasi students here on Sunday.Discussions centred mainly on universities in the United States and the United Kingdom.

 Rama Devi, a first-generation educated person in her family who completed a Master's degree in human rights from the University of London, said that her decision to study further was influenced by the subtle and direct discrimination she experienced as well as the inability of many Dalit women to articulate themselves in English causing Dalit men to represent them in most forums.

 Ms. Devi, an International Ford Fellow, said a major hurdle faced by students from marginalised communities was the language proficiency test. “A minimum of six months preparation is needed to crack the language tests,” she added.

Plenty of scholarships were available for Indian students and “surprisingly there is little competition for them”, Ms. Devi said, explaining this was because of lack of awareness of scholarships. Choosing the right university for study, contacting previous scholarship holders and creating a peer support group in the university was also important.

Read more...

Adi Dharam World Mission Objects to Amrit Bani

OUTLOOK

Adi Dharam World Mission, a Dalit body today extended support to radical Sikh organisation, Damdami Taksal Bhindrawale, and declared that newly-floated Ravidasia dharm was a conspiracy to drive a wedge between Adidharm samaj and the Sikh community.Kishan Pal Sood, President Adi Dharam World Mission, today told newsmen here that Amrit Bani, new granth of Ravidasia dharma, was not a complete granth but an extract of Guru Ravidas hymns from the holy Guru Granth Sahib.

Read more...

A History of the Untouchables: The Buraku and the Dalit

 by Katelyn Coyle

The Buraku of Japan and the Dalit of India remain the lowest caste of their respective countries. Experiencing more than just poverty and low status, the Buraku and the Dalit have been described as being lower than human, filthy, and contaminated. Members of these castes are considered to be the untouchables. Highly discriminated against, the untouchables remain outcastes, even in modern society. Both the history of the caste systems in Japan and India, andmodern reformation movements must be discussed to fully grasp the current situation of the Dalits and the Buraku.

Read more...

A Noun, Not A Verb

 

Oliver Mendelsohn

Could Kanshi Ram in '84 have imagined the BSP of '09?

noun verb 1

Formative years: A young Mayawati at the mike; Kanshi Ram is second from left

In 1984, Kanshi Ram founded the Bahujan Samaj Party, just in time for his young colleague Mayawati to stand for a parliamentary seat in a byelection the next year. Twenty-five years on, the electoral achievements of the BSP and of Mayawati herself have been extraordinary. It is doubtful that in 1984 Kanshi Ram could have done so much as even daydream of dominating the politics of India's largest state. With the limited exception of the still young Ram Vilas Paswan from Bihar, at the time there was no strong, independent Indian leader of Dalit origins.

Kanshi Ram was already middle-aged in 1984 and a veteran organiser in Maharashtra, the heartland of Dalit politics of the 20th century. As a young science graduate, he had moved to Pune from Punjab—his family was Raedasi Sikh, from a Chamar community converted to Sikhism—to take up a position reserved for the scheduled castes in the defence production industry. In Pune, he soon gravitated towards associations of the Dalit followers of Ambedkar. D.K. Khaparde, who became Kanshi Ram's closest colleague and friend in Pune, recalled to me the electrifying effect that a reading of Ambedkar's Annihilation of Caste had on him. Kanshi Ram was instantly radicalised by Ambedkar's attack on caste and on Brahminism in particular.

Read more...

Other Related Articles

Speech and the Speaker's Identity
Monday, 13 November 2017
  Tejas Harad In 2016, famous Indian author Chetan Bhagat published a novel called One Indian Girl. This book was criticised by some women because the book's narrator, who is also its... Read More...
Chamcha Leadership or Conscious Leadership?
Wednesday, 01 November 2017
  Rajanikanta Gochhayat Representation simply means acting and representing opinion/interest on behalf of the people. In the Indian context, Representation is divided into two categories: one,... Read More...
Hindu festivals and Buddhist converts
Monday, 23 October 2017
  Deekshit इसको भरनेवाले जन कोसर्वस्व-समर्पण करना है।अपना तन-मन-धन-जन-जीवनमाता... Read More...
Chalo Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar!
Thursday, 12 October 2017
  Ambedkarite Students of Mumbai We, Ambedkarite students from Mumbai, strongly condemn the attacks and threat on the life of Prof. Kancha Ilaiah, a highly respected intellectual and scholar of... Read More...
Deekshabhumi: School for Commoners
Tuesday, 10 October 2017
  Mahipal Mahamatta and Adhvaidha K “Though, I was born a Hindu, I solemnly assure you that I will not die as a Hindu”, Babasaheb proclaimed in the speech delivered at Yeola in 1936. His... Read More...