Kabirpanth Alive, Kabir Missing

 

Musafir Baitha

musafirKabir walked this earth almost 600 years ago, and his ideas have had a tremendous impact. Ours was a feudal society back then. The suffocating traditions of the Hindu religion such as caste differences, blind beliefs and superficial rituals had made the lives of the common people miserable. So overwhelming was their influence that the poison of caste discrimination also seeped into our Muslim community that was formed after the arrival of the invading Muslim ruling classes. Whether it was the equality of Islam offered by the Muslim rulers, the yearning to overcome the oppression caused by tradition, or even coercion at the hands of the rulers - there were all sorts of reasons that motivated the neglected and lower castes among the contemporary population to accept Islam. However, despite being founded on the premise of equality, even Islam was corrupted by the cancer of caste prevalent in the Indian subcontinent; much like the proverbial barrel which is spoiled by one rotten apple. The ‘original/higher’ Muslims (who came from outside) established themselves in the ruling centre with the help of the castes located at the highest echelons of the caste hierarchy, namely the Brahmins and the Rajputs. Emulating these Hindus lurking near power centres, the ruling Muslim community began discriminating against new converts along caste lines. The funny thing is, the odd savarnas who did convert to Islam, successfully placed themselves in the original rung along with the Muslim ruling class. That is, the divisive market of caste found its stalls even in the Indian Muslim society, the Hindu religion had repainted Islam in its own image.

It is evident that even in Kabir's time, the human rights of the suffering masses, be it Hindu or Muslim, were mortgaged to feudal rulers and their kind. Also, the communal tension and hatred between Hindus and Muslims had peaked. Feudalism embraced Brahminism. In such a harsh society, it is obvious that someone who shows a way to fulfil the aspirations of the people would inspire a significant following. The result was that the liberators from religious mumbo jumbo unfurled a new wing in the hues of Kabir. The followers of Kabir rallied under the banners of 'Kabirpanth' and used his ideas to begin all sorts of social interventions.

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Kabali: A Story of the History of Caste Globalisation and Caste Struggle

 

Vidyanand Thombare

V ThombareRajinikanth's recent film Kabali has received a great response. Certainly brand Rajani can't be factored out for this grand reception like most of his erstwhile releases. Does Kabali's success attribute only to Thalaiva or are there other things too which had connections with this success? Of course Rajinikanth himself carries a Hugovion market value, putting him beyond any hegemonic superstructure whether it is of producer's or of distributor's, where none can afford to reject him.

Like most Tamil cinema, Kabali too utilised visual imagery, style, stunts, background score, punch rhetoric of dialogue and many more aspects which appeal to the audience. Still the film does not lose its touch to depict issues of India society and Indian diaspora. The story, primarily a fictitious depiction, has many parallels in the history of evolution of Indian society in diasporic spaces and contemporary issues emerging out of this evolution.

During colonial times, to support their capital, colonial power utilised indentured labour and labourers, and implanted them for the cultivation of their needs at scale. This was the time of forced rather semi-forced migration for most Indians under British rule. The colonial ruler hired large number of labourers from different parts of India and exploited their labour-power. This migration is forced because no labourer had volunteered herself/himself to such exploitation. It's semi-forced because, for them there weren't any better choices that existed in India back then. The colonial rulers were phenomenal in understanding the structures of colonies and utilising that for their needs and greed. They were well aware of hierarchical power equations of Indian caste-society, and thus, they actively instrumented those choices which vulnerable agencies of lower-castes could aspired to.

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Bojja Tharakam (1939-2016): ‘I think of myself as both an Ambedkarite and a Marxist’

 

We thank Prof K. Satyanarayana for sharing this note with Round Table India

[Senior Advocate, Poet, Writer, Activist and Public intellectual Shri Bojja Tharakam (77) passed away last night (September 16th) around 10.45 pm in his flat in Ashok Nagar, Hyderabad. He has been under treatment for brain tumour for the last two years. He declared in an interview with us: 'I think of myself as both an Ambedkarite and a Marxist.'

The short biographical note was prepared based on our interview with Shri Bojja Tharakam in 2012. Taken from Steel Nibs Are Sprouting, 2013. After the publication of the volume, Tharakam garu read the bio note and made corrections of factual details. I incorporated all his corrections in this note.]

bojja tharakam 7

Bojja Tharakam's family home is in Kandikuppa, a tiny village of scheduled castes, located at a point where the Godavari joins the sea. It lies in the Konaseema area of the East Godavari district in coastal Andhra Pradesh. Between the village and the sea, there was no habitation, except for the fisher-people's shacks along the shore. His father, Bojja Appalaswamy, was a teacher and a political figure, who, as early as 1942, had set up a unit of the Ambedkar-led Scheduled Caste Federation in the area. At a time when most schoolteachers had studied only up to the third or fourth class, this SSLC-passed and trained teacher was something of a legend. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Madras state in 1952 and to Andhra Pradesh Assembly in 1952. Tharakam's mother, Mavullamma, had never been to school, but had learnt to read and write with the help of her husband.

Tharakam was born in 1939 in the village Pachchalanadukuda. Appalaswamy established a primary school in the village for SC children so that these children would not have to walk the ten kilometres up and down to school that he himself had been forced to trudge as a child, and this is where Tharakam studied during his early years. Later, he moved to the Pithapuram Raja's School in Kakinada, which had a hostel. 'Most of the first children to get an education in the Godavari area went to Pithapuram only because of that hostel facility. In fact, there were two hostels, one for boys and the other for girls; the girls were mostly orphans,' Tharakam observed. He continued: 'Devulapalli Krishnasastri, a noted Telugu romantic poet, was one of the honorary wardens. The attraction between him and my father was mutual. Back in the day, my father was one of the youngest students there; what is more, he could sing well and had learnt a number of kirtans from my grandfather. Krishnasastri who belonged to the "rebel" religious formation, the Brahmo Samaj, was also musical. It was a relationship that lasted for many years. My elder brother is named after Krishnasastri.' Though the school was meant for everyone, dalit students were given particular encouragement. The girls' hostel was a palatial building—it now houses the Kakinada Medical College—and when he was questioned about it grandeur, the Pithapuram Raja is said to have replied: 'These are not orphans; they are my children. Where would the children of a raja live, if not in a palace?'

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ಕನ್ನಂಬಾಡಿ: ಟಿಪ್ಪು ಕಂಡ ಕನಸಿನ ಕೂಸು ಹೆತ್ತು ಕೊಟ್ಟ ನಾಲ್ವಡಿ

 

ಹಾರೋಹಳ್ಳಿ ರವೀಂದ್ರ (Harohalli Ravindra)

ಮೈಸೂರು ಸಂಸ್ಥಾನದಲ್ಲಿ ನಾಲ್ವಡಿ ಕೃಷ್ಣರಾಜ ಓಡೆಯರ್ ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ನೀರಾವರಿಗೆ ಅತಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಪ್ರಾಶಸ್ತ್ಯ ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಅನೇಕ ಕೆರೆ, ಕಟ್ಟೆ ಕಾಲುವೆಗಳನ್ನು ಹೊಸದಾಗಿ ಮಾಡಲಾಯಿತು, ಹಲವನ್ನು ದುರಸ್ಥಿಗೊಳಿಸಲಾಯಿತು. ಪ್ರತಿವರ್ಷ ಒಂದು ಸಾವಿರ ಕೆರೆಗಳನ್ನು ದುರಸ್ಥಿ ಮಾಡುವ ಗುರಿಯನ್ನು ಅಂದು ನಾಲ್ವಡಿ ಹಾಕಿಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದರು. ಖರ್ಚಿನಲ್ಲಿ 1/3 ಭಾಗವನ್ನು ರೈತರು ನೀಡಿದರೆ, 2/3 ಭಾಗವನ್ನು ಸರ್ಕಾರ ನೀಡಲು ಮುಂದಾಯಿತು.

ನಾಲ್ವಡಿ ಕೃಷ್ಣರಾಜ ಓಡೆಯರ್ ಅವರು ಅತಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ರೈತಾಪಿ ಜನರಿಗಾಗಿ ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಮುಖವಾಗಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಕಣ್ಣಿಗೆ ಇಂದಿಗೂ ಕಾಣುತ್ತಲೇ ಇರುವ ಕನ್ನಂಬಾಡಿಕಟ್ಟೆ(ಕೃಷ್ಣರಾಜ ಜಲಾಶಯ). ಇದರ ಜತೆಗೆ ನಾಲ್ವಡಿ ಅವರು ಅಂಜನಾಪುರ ಜಲಾಶಯ, ಗೋಪಾಲದ ಜಲಾಶಯ, ಭೀಮನಹಳ್ಳಿ ಜಲಾಶಯ, ನೆಲ್ಲಿಗೆರೆ ಜಲಾಶಯ, ಮಾರ್ಕೋನ ಹಳ್ಳಿ ಜಲಾಶಯ ಹೀಗೆ ಹಲವಾರು ಜಲಾಶಯಗಳು ಅವರ ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ನಿರ್ಮಾಣಗೊಂಡವು. ನಾಲ್ವಡಿ ಕೃಷ್ಣರಾಜ ಓಡೆಯರ್ ಅವರು ನಿರ್ಮಿಸಿದ್ದ ಕನ್ನಂಬಾಡಿ ಕಟ್ಟೆಯಿಂದ ಮೈಸೂರು, ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಜನತೆಗೆ ಕುಡಿಯುವ ನೀರು ಒದಗಿಸಲಾಯಿತು. ಮಂಡ್ಯದ ಜನತೆ ಬೆಳೆ ಬೆಳೆಯಲು ಒದಗಿಸಲಾಯಿತು. ಈ ನೀರಿನಿಂದ ಲಕ್ಷಾಂತರ ಮಂದಿ ಬದುಕುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇಂತಹ ಬಹುದೊಡ್ಡ ಕಾರ್ಯವನ್ನು ಮಾಡಿಕೊಟ್ಟ ನಾವು ನಾಲ್ವಡಿಯವರನ್ನು ನಿಜಕ್ಕೂ ಸ್ಮರಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇವೆಯೆ?

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Rest in power, Bojja Tharakam Sir!

 

Karthik Navayan

Bojja Tharakam (1939-2016). From Radical Students Union (RSU), Scheduled Castes Federation (SCF), Scheduled Castes Students' Federation (SCSF), Ambedkar Yuvajana Sangham (AYS), Rythu Coolie Sangham (RCS - Farm Workers' Union of which he was an advisor), Republican Party of India to Andhra Pradesh Dalita Mahasabha. From a student leader organising a month long protest against the inhuman conditions at a SC students' hostel in Kakinada to a militant lawyer fighting for justice for a murdered Dalit farm worker in Nizamabad, probably the first time a Dalit lawyer appeared in such a case. From fighting for hundreds and thousands of Dalit labourers to organising political, legal battles against Karamchedu, Tsunduru, Padirikuppam, Neerukonda, Bandlapalli to Laxmipeta massacres, from Magisterial courts to the High Court to the Supreme Court. From fighting for countless victims of encounters, disappearances, atrocities to being jailed for one year for standing up for such cases (from July 1975 to July 1976). Taking the struggle for dignity and rights from the village to the Prime Minister's house in Delhi. From his earliest days in the forties and fifties, growing up in a home where his father organised the first Ambedkarite land struggles in coastal Andhra, to today's dark days when he vociferously opposed Hindutva terror and the Modi raj vociferously, and consistently. Bojja Tharakam Sir embodied the spirit of Ambedkarism for more than two generations. Who defined the meaning of human rights better than him? Round Table India mourns the sad demise of one of the greatest sons of India in recent times.         

 Who's Bojja Tharakam? The new generation may search on Google, but he does not have a Wikipedia page. But if you want to know about him, ask Karamchedu Dalit massacre victims, Tsunduru Dalit massacre victims, so many others. The rape victims, victims of state violence, victims of atrocities. Each victim will tell the story of Bojja Tharakam, equivalent to thousands pages on Wikipedia.

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A Bahujan ‘Third Space’ Beyond Left and Right: Really?

 

Khalid Anis Ansari

Dialogue with BAPSA, JNU: Part One

khalidAt the outset let me extend my congratulations to BAPSA for the splendid performance in JNUSU elections. In the last few weeks I had tried to follow BAPSA's JNUSU campaign from social media and other sources closely and had extended my unequivocal moral support. The quest for a bahujan 'third space' beyond the left and right in the campus was a radical move and the need of the hour. Also, it was heartening to note that despite all slander campaigns hurled at BAPSA they stood their ground and left a lasting impact on JNU's political sphere. However, despite having high hopes from BAPSA there are some areas of concern and disagreement. I think now it is the right time to air them and enter into a dialogue in a spirit of mutual reflection and introspection.

My preliminary concern is that BAPSA is not consistent enough in its critique of the Right. In other words, BAPSA's closeness to the 'Muslim Right'—as represented by the SIO, the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH)—is problematic. As we know Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), which was founded by an Indian born upper-caste Syed, is a global Islamist organization with a totalitarian-supremacist vision and mission. In terms of organizational structure and processes JIH is not a wee bit different from other Marxist or Hindutva organizations equally informed by a founding totalitarian narrative. JIH is a cadre-based organization which runs hospitals, newspapers, publishing houses, schools, colleges, madrasas, dawah (proselytizing) centers, student and women associations, etc. There is little space for dissent and all non-conformist voices are usually shown the door. Wild weeds are pruned periodically and purges don't surprise anybody. JIH has a Majlis-e-Shoora (equivalent to a Marxist 'politburo') which is absolutely dominated by savarna Muslims and without any female representation. The Majlis-e-Shoora does not also have members from other religious communities. In terms of 'maslaqi' (sectarian) orientation JIH is positively disposed towards the Deobandi school of thought and opposed to Barelvi/Shia sects. In short, the charge that JIH is a casteist, patriarchal, sectarian and communal organization may not be at all misplaced. The JIH, until very recently, did not believe in either democracy or secularism. However, the sedimentation of democratic imagination as a norm pushed them to review their position and JIH launched its own political party—Welfare Party of India (WPI)—in 2011. There is nothing novel about this. In the last few decades various leftist and rightist organizations have tweaked their strategies to remain relevant in a complex democratic ethos. This shift has been captured as post-Marxism (Laclau & Mouffe) and post-Islamism (Asef Bayat) by scholars. Overall, I welcome this democratic shift with a few caveats.

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JNU elections & Mulniwasi Bahujans: Self-reliance & Non-dependency as future principles

 

Dr Manisha Bangar

NVP BAMCEF

JNU elections 2016 and Mulniwasi Bahujan Students' Organizations: What's your Direction? What's your Action plan for 2017 and beyond???

manisha bangarJai Bhim! Jai Mulniwasi!

We are listening to inputs of members of Mulniwasi Bahujan samaj and students organizations like Mulniwasi Vidhyarthi Sangh and many more in the background of the JNU elections results of 2016. Though the facets are many, slowly but steadily the blur is disappearing, and we are able to see a lot many things with a lot more clarity.

The new entrants in refurbished palaces

So yes! in the campus of JNU whose territorial limits extend much beyond its geographical limits ....here we are faced with three main student wings of JNUSU, the BJP backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) the Left parties' two major organizations, the All India Students Association (AISA) and Students Federation of India (SFI) forming an alliance, and the Congress party backed National Students' Union of India (NSUI). The BAPSA Birsa-Ambedkar-Phule Students' Association )BAPSA) is a rather new entrant on the block. And it's all on its own. No backing, no mentor party or Organization (at least not overtly).

The Mulniwasi Vidhyarthi Sangh has just about forayed into the JNU campus but its presence was palpable for last two years as Mulniwasi Sangh is the frontal offshoot Organization of BAMCEF. If BAPSA kept the issue of Rohith Vemula vibrant by visiting and revisiting its dimensions from the Phuley Ambedkarite lens, the Mulniwasi Sangh was instrumental in taking the Rohith Vemula upsurge across the country through its network of committed cadres. It did not contest the election and did not field any independent candidates.

BAPSA's impressive show -A blow to Right Wing and Left Wing politics in JNU and beyond

BAPSA's impressive performance in JNU elections 2016 is being read in myriad ways by Mulniwasi Bahujans and various Mulniwasi Bahujan Students' Organizations like the Mulniwasi Vidhyarthi Sangh, ASA etc .

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ನಾರಾಯಣ ಗುರು ಆಂದೋಲನ: ಇತಿಹಾಸ ಮತ್ತು ಇಂದಿನ ಪ್ರಸ್ತುತತೆ

 

ದಿನೇಶ್ ಅಮೀನ್ ಮಟ್ಟು (Dinesh Aminmattu)

dinesh aminmattu19ನೇ ಶತಮಾನದುದ್ದಕ್ಕೂ, ದೇಶದ ವಿವಿಧೆಡೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಎರಡು ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕ ವಿಚಾರಧಾರೆಗಳ ಸುಧಾರಣಾವಾಧಿ ಚಳವಳಿಗಳು ನಡೆದವು. ಮೊದಲನೆಯದ್ದು ರಾಜಾರಾಮ್ ಮೋಹನ್ ರಾಯ್, ದಯಾನಂದ ಸರಸ್ವತಿ, ಕೇಶವ ಸೇನ್, ರಾನಡೆ, ದೇವಿಂದ್ರನಾಥ ಠಾಕೂರ್, ಅನಿಬೆಸೆಂಟ್ ಮೊದಲಾದ ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷ್ ಕಲಿತ ಮೇಲ್ಜಾತಿಯಿಂದಲೇ ಬಂದವರ ನೇತೃತ್ವದ ಚಳವಳಿಗಳು. ಇವು ಮಹಿಳೆಯರು ಮತ್ತು ಶೋಷಿತರಿಗಾಗುತ್ತಿರುವ ಅನ್ಯಾಯದ ವಿರುದ್ದ ದನಿ ಎತ್ತಿದವು.

ಸತಿಪದ್ದತಿ, ವಿಧವಾ ವಿವಾಹ, ವರದಕ್ಷಿಣಿ, ಮೊದಲಾದ ಬಹುಮಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಮೇಲ್ಜಾತಿ ಸಮಾಜದಲ್ಲಿನ ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಮಹಿಳೆಯರಿಗೆ ಸಂಬಂಧಿಸಿದ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಅನಿಷ್ಟಗಳ ನಿವಾರಣೆ, ಈ ಚಳವಳಿಗಳ ಮುಖ್ಯ ಉದ್ದೇಶವಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಆರ್ಯ ಸಮಾಜ ಪ್ರಾರಂಭಿಸಿದ್ದ 'ಶುದ್ಧಿ ಚಳವಳಿ' ಯನ್ನು ಗಮಿಸಿದರೆ, ಕೆಳವರ್ಗದ ಜನ ಕ್ರಿಶ್ಚಿಯನ್ ಧರ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಮತಾಂತರವಾಗುವದನ್ನು ತಪ್ಪಿಸುವುದು ಕೂಡ ಈ ಚಳವಳಿಗಳ ಮುಖ್ಯ ಉದ್ದೇಶವಾಗಿತ್ತೋ ಏನೋ ಎಂಬ ಅನುಮಾನ ಕೂಡಾ ಮೂಡುತ್ತದೆ. ಈ ಚಳವಳಿಗಳು ಕೈಗೆತ್ತಿಕೊಂಡ ಬಹಳಷ್ಟು ಸಮಸ್ಯೆಗಳು ತಳಸಮುದಾಯದ ಜ್ವಲಂತ ಸಮಸ್ಯೆಯಾಗಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಅದೇ ಕಾಲಕ್ಕೆ ಕೆಳವರ್ಗದಿಂದಲೇ ಮೂಡಿ ಬಂದ ನಾಯಕರು, ವರ್ಣಾಶ್ರಮ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಯನ್ನು ಪ್ರಶ್ನಿಸುವ ಚಳವಳಿಗಳ ನೇತೃತ್ವ ವಹಿಸಿದ್ದರು. ಒರಿಸ್ಸಾದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಹಿಮಾ ಸ್ವಾಮಿ ಎಂಬುವವರ ನೇತೃತ್ವದಲ್ಲಿ ಆದಿವಾಸಿಗಳು ತಮಗೆ ಪ್ರವೇಶವಿಲ್ಲವೆಂಬ ಕಾರಣಕ್ಕೆ ಪುರಿಯ ಜಗನ್ನಾಥ ದೇವಾಲಯವನ್ನು ಸುಡಲು ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಿಸಿದ್ದರು.

ಕೊನೆಗೆ ಮಹಿಮಾ ಸ್ವಾಮಿ 1850ರಲ್ಲಿ ಮಹಿಮಾ ಧರ್ಮ ಎಂಬ ಹೊಸಧರ್ಮವನ್ನೇ ಬೋಧಿಸಿದ. ಅದೇ ಕಾಲಕ್ಕೆ ಮಧ್ಯಪ್ರದೇಶದ ಛತ್ತೀಸಘಡದ ಅಸ್ಪೃಶ್ಯರ ಒಂದು ಪಂಗಡವಾಗಿದ್ದ ಚಮ್ಮಾರರಲ್ಲಿ ಸತ್ನಮ್ ಪಂಥ ಹುಟ್ಟಿಕೊಂಡಿತ್ತು. ಅವರು ಪ್ರತಿಭಟನೆಯ ಅಂಗವಾಗಿ ತಾವೇ ಜನಿವಾರ ಹಾಕಿಕೊಳ್ಳತೊಡಗಿದ್ದರು.

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I Will Not Die a Victim, I Want to Live as a Leader~ Manisha Mashaal

 

Manisha Mashaal

manisha mashaalToday, when I see myself as a national leader fighting a battle against caste tyranny, when I speak about changing the oppressive system, when I'm completely engaged with the reality of the ground level, there is only one thing that my heart screams for, that is justice!

Whatever happens now, we must bring change. We have no other choice. I want to end caste-based sexual violence and ensure that no other Dalit sister's life is pushed into darkness. For it is not just the crimes that make us victims but also the structure of society that creates our image in such a way, and thus we, the Dalit women, must fight every aspect to stand on our own as leaders of our destiny.

This casteism limits our vision of change. It mutes us even when we have a voice, espeically when we have our own voice. For it makes us suspicious of what will truly allow us to make change as opposed to keeping the status quo. For society will not recognize a Dalit woman who fights for justice. We are too dangerous.

That is why I ask what is a Dalit women's place in this society? Why has the society cut our wings? As a founder and a leader of #Dalitwomenfight and Dalit Swabhiman Yatra I ask these questions as part of our liberation.

When I look at my life I know that as a Valmiki woman there are hardly any places where I can find another of my sisters. Even after my education, my travels, and leadership, I still find myself discriminated against, underestimated, and shoved aside. Discriminated by both upper caste and also other Dalits who do not address their English and caste privileges which act against the members of castes below them, and those whose English fluency is not on par with them. If I struggle like this, then I can only imagine what other rural Dalit women must struggle with?

Our system and our current movements do not provide real safety to survivors. I dream of a centre which is devoid of this violence, which provides safety, and financial support to our women. My dream is to provide our sisters with a new world filled with safety.

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If it’s the Oppressed, it’s Identity Politics, but if it’s you, it’s a Talent Show!

 

Rajesh Chandra Kumar

rajesh chandra kumarIt is not whether we win or lose. The main thing is that we had to show our presence in the so- called progressive institution of JNU with the slogan of our forefathers -Jai Birsa, Jai Phule and Jai Bhim. This time, the opposition feared BAPSA, and salute to BAPSA for evoking this fear in the opposition. Earlier, there were the slogans of Laal Salam and Jai Shree Ram; but this time, BAPSA came in with Jai Birsa, Jai Phule, Jai Bhim and the slogans of the oppressed communities.

Whenever a candidate from the oppressed stands in the elections, the so-called progressive groups claim that we are playing identity politics, while they are doing a talent show (showcasing those who are supposed to raise their voice 'for' the oppressed). It is clear that while they may be raising their voice for the oppressed, they are not okay with giving the leadership to a person from an oppressed community, which shows their casteist mindset (Brahmanvadi and Manuvadi). If Rahul Sonpimple was playing identity politics, then what about the talent that was within him? He is someone who delivered a good speech in the Presidential Debate, has concern for different issues, and stood up for all the oppressed while managing his studies at the same time. I couldn't understand the logic of the so-called progressives (the Left) and the Saffron Brigade, that says when people from the oppressed stand for elections with the ideology of Mahatma Phule, Birsa, Dr. Ambedkar and other revolutionary leaders, they are playing caste politics. I know that like me, many others from the oppressed have been the victims of caste politics by the opposition, at the time of elections.

Even in the case of a national party like BSP that represents SCs, STs, OBCs and other oppressed communities, the people -especially from the dominant castes- claim that the party belongs only to the Scheduled Castes and brand BSP as a party playing caste politics. This also reminds me of the 2016 elections in TISS, where my so-called friend accused me of playing caste politics to gain votes, since I was from a certain caste. I would like to ask everyone: are you not aware of the caste politics of the Left and Right groups?

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ಹಿಂದುತ್ವ ಮತ್ತು ಅದರ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯತೆಯ ಮಿಥ್ಯಗಳು

 

ಮಂಜುನಾಥ ನರಗುಂದ (Manjunath Naragund)

manjunath narಪ್ರಸ್ತುತ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರವ್ಯಾಪಿಯಾಗಿ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯತೆಯ ಕುರಿತಾಗಿ ಗಂಭೀರ ಚರ್ಚೆ ನಡೆಯುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಇಂಥ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಹಿನ್ನಲೆಯಾಗಿರುವ ಹಲವು ಘಟನಾ ಗುಚ್ಚಗಳ ಸರಣಿಯನ್ನು ನಾವು ಮತ್ತೊಮ್ಮೆ ನೆನಪಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಿದೆ. ಈ ಮೂಲಕ ಹಿಂದುತ್ವ ಒಂದು ಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತವಾಗಿ ಬೆಳೆದು ಬಂದ ಬಗೆ, ಪ್ರಸಕ್ತ ಸಮಾಜದಲ್ಲಿ ಅದು ವ್ಯಾಪಿಸಿರುವ ರೀತಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಅದರ ಎಲ್ಲೆಗಳನ್ನು ಸತ್ಯದ ನೆಲೆಗಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ ನಾವು ಈಗ ಚರ್ಚಿಸಬೇಕಾಗಿದೆ.

ಇಂದಿನ ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರೋತ್ತರ ಭಾರತದ ರಾಜಕೀಯ ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣವಾಗಿ ಬಲಪಂಥೀಯ ಶಕ್ತಿಗಳು ಪ್ರಜಾಪ್ರಭುತ್ವವೆಂಬ ರಾಜಕೀಯ ಮೇರುಪರ್ವತವನ್ನೇರಿರುವುದು ಸಾಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಕತೆಯ ಬಹುತ್ವ ಸಾರುವಂತಹ ಈ ದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಒಂದು ರೀತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಆತಂಕವನ್ನು ಸೃಷ್ಟಿಸಿದೆ .ಕಾರಣವಿಷ್ಟೆ ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಪುಷ್ಟಿಕೊಡುವಂತೆ ಸುಮಾರು ಕಳೆದೆರಡು ವರ್ಷಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದ ಕೆಲವು ಘಟನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಉದಾಹರಣೆಯನ್ನಾಗಿ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡಾಗ ಈ ಅಂಶ ನಮಗೆ ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಅದು ಉತ್ತರಪ್ರದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿನ ದಾದ್ರಿ ಪ್ರಕರಣವಾಗಿರಬಹುದು, ಅಥವಾ ಕಲ್ಬುರ್ಗಿ, ದಾಬೊಲ್ಕರ್, ಪನ್ಸಾರೆಯಂತಹ ವಿಚಾರವಾದಿಗಳ ಹತ್ಯೆಯಿರಬಹುದು, ಜೆಎನ್ ಯು, ರೋಹಿತ್ ವೇಮುಲ,ಅಮ್ನೆಸ್ಟೀ ಇಂಟರ್‌ನ್ಯಾಶನಲ್, ಉನಾದಂತಹ ದಲಿತರ ಮೇಲಿನ ಹಲ್ಲೆ, ಘರ್ ವಾಪಸಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಇತ್ತೀಚಿನ ರಮ್ಯಾ ನಂತಹ ಪ್ರಕರಣಗಳನ್ನು ಸಮಷ್ಟಿ ಗುಚ್ಛವಾಗಿ ನೋಡಿದಾಗ ಬಹುಶಃ ಸಂಘ ಪರಿವಾರ ಪ್ರತಿಪಾದಿಸುವ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯತೆ ಎಂತಹ ಆಯಾಮಗಳನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿದೆ ಎನ್ನುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಒಂದು ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟ ಚಿತ್ರಣ ದೊರೆಯುತ್ತದೆ.

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Building the Idea of India: Conserving Brahmanism and the Brahmanical State? Part III

 

Continued from here.

Pinak Banik

Pinak BanikGandhi's attempt to abolish untouchability in the 1930s without ever questioning the varanshrama dharma is like todays fight against Hindutva without recognizing Brahmanism. Gandhi only created a token group of SC representatives, who were never given any chance to voice their issues, which later Saheb Kanshiram defined as the beginning of a "Chamcha Age".

And here's how Prof. Habib explains one of Gandhi's most successfully run Satyagrahas –

"In Civil-Disobedience Movement unprecedented number of peasants went to prison and lost their properties. Remember, going to prison in British rule was not the same as going to prison now; you lost your property, you lost everything, you couldn't get employment, yet over hundred thousand people went to jail in the Civil-Disobedience movement of 1930. Many lost their lands, properties, everything. They were mostly poor. Unlike the Non-Cooperation Movement of 1921, Civil-Disobedience movement was the movement largely of the poor and that was the new thing. Once the movement took this form it became increasingly difficult for British rule to continue."

The Congress Working Committee gave Gandhi the responsibility for orchestrating the first act of civil disobedience, and Gandhi decided to lead the Satyagraha on Salt tax acts, addressing its deeply symbolic role in the slavery of Indians.

British Salt Tax Acts (1835) prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt, a staple in the Indian diet, forcing them to buy the vital mineral from the British. The British Govt. in addition to exercising a monopoly over the manufacture and sale of salt also exerted a heavy salt tax. Gandhi said, "Next to air and water, salt is perhaps the greatest necessity of life". For Gandhi, resisting salt tax became one of the most relevant issues to "resonate all classes of citizens" in a country where majority of people had to meet their fortune to get a meal. The Statesman mocked Gandhi's choice saying, "It is difficult not to laugh, and we imagine that will be the mood of most thinking Indians." Seems both of them had fun.

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