Topography of Urban Imagination in Modern Malayalam Novel

 

Anilkumar PV

 

It is not without profound sorrow that one admits to oneself that in their highest flights the artists of all ages have raised to heavenly transfigurations precisely those conceptions which we now recognize as false: they are the glorifiers of the religious and philosophical errors of mankind, and they could not have been so without believing in the absolute truth of these errors. ~ Nietzsche

 

Anilkumar pvOne key problematic, along with a whole battery of other problematics, that has gone untheorized in the intellectual exercise that goes by the name of criticism, especially in the value-judgments and unbearably pushy and subjective pronouncements of critics like Asha Menon and K. P. Appan, is the sudden unfolding of an intense and dark flower called existentialism in the privileged world of Malayalam novel writing of the 60s. The reason, it seems to me, for the omission in theorization is that the critics, who have mindfucked Malayalis by bringing out the kernel of truth concealed behind the enigmatic flux of modern Malayalam novels, could not gauge the preconditions for the emergence of existentialism in the tiny corner of a large third world country.

 

Historically, historicizing an instance is anathema to the elite critics of Kerala. To remedy their natural deficiency of insight into the objective conditions of production of an epoch, the esteemed critics gulp down data ranging from pop science and pop psychology to metaphysics and medicine and bring out intellectual excreta which, helping in their intellectual free-floatism, can float on any water.  But behind the flux and floatation device, there is history, which people sympathetic to marginal and microgroups and their micropolitical voicing cannot ignore. The gamble in the following pages is an attempt at recapturing that history, that is, to trace the terrains traversed by three so-called significant figures of modern Malayalam novel and to put its elitism and anti-subaltern content in its proper place.

 

Existentialism in its Kierkegaardian variety with the ominous reflections on the failed conditions of human existence has had a field-day in modern Malayalam fiction. From the political perspective of a third world country, the importation of costly stuff made in the philosophical laboratory of Europe was uncalled for at the time.  All over the world, especially in the charged world of the 60’s oppressed, new subjectivities, hitherto silenced under the old critical paradigms and whose existence we always doubted, began to break the shackles that confined them and to confront the reality eyeball to eyeball with a body and self fashioned in a radically altered way.  

 It was the period of profound anti-colonial struggles in Africa and Latin America influenced by the experience of India and Pakistan. It was not simply that Africa was searching for new heights of humanity in Africa alone, but we saw some great moments of civil rights activities in the USA by the African Americans, a tradition the roots of which can be traced in the spirituality of various religious systems and in the materiality of Marxism and whose praxis, symbolically representable in diverse figures like the non-violent Martin Luther King to the militant Malcolm X and Elijiah Muhammad, generated compassion as well as fear in the minds of the white Americans.  The black’s affirmation of the beauty of the black, a political stance that refused the totalitarian language of the grand narratives of the Enlightenment, was matched by the waking up of privileged class feminism of the white academics. (But one should not be blind to the teaching of the formidable African American feminist, bell hooks: in both instances, the experience of the black woman was sidelined with ruthless theoretical force and ignorance). In the far advanced capitalist countries like the USA and France, students began to perceive the sudden swerve of the state towards the extreme right, and the consequent silencing of all oppositional voices with the assistance of ideological and repressive apparatuses. This realization initiated a rejection of the old-fashioned party framework since the new conceptual categories developed at the time of the protest surpassed the Stalinist centralist framework of the party. The sixties were also the period of the emergence of the consciousness of various indigenous communities whose selves had been slenderized by the brutal project of colonial exploration and penetration. The most powerful image of the sixties, as far as a third world subject was concerned, could be the collective resistance of the Vietnamese people against the ruthless military aggression of the U S A.  

 

These were some of the movements that could easily be identifiable by the writers of the elitist origin from Kerala since their intellectual experience, as the jargon goes, was shaped by a total commitment to the cause of the downtrodden in a rhetoric fashioned along the fist-shaking slogans of international communism. But they failed to recognize the zest behind the emergence of the new.  Instead of celebrating the emergence of new subjectivities all over the world, they looked at the failure of the so-called collective experiment of the Soviet state and its expansion into Eastern Europe, militarily as well as politically. To cope with the grim situation caused by the haunting of a ghost known as state socialism and alienated bureaucracy all over Eastern Europe, the elites of Kerala imported wholesale the nihilist tendencies inherent in certain traditions of existentialism.  At this precise moment, if we ask the Kantian question pertaining to the epistemological condition of possibility (of the importation of nihilism), then we can see that this transshipment serves an alibi for a profound abhorrence of the hegemonic for the social alteration that took place by the limited exercise of democratization in the metropolises in the early decades of independence.

 

A cursory glance at the biographical contours of the three writers who were the licensees for importing nihilism wholesale to Kerala will inform us that their peregrination, metonymically and metaphorically, has some semblance. One, the triumvirates, O. V. Vijayan, Anand and M. Mukundan, belong to a stratum of society that was never at the receiving end of the hierarchical exercise of static power, which is the result of, to use Marx phrase, the ‘hereditary division of labor’. Two, while O. V. Vijayan and M. Mukundan come from Malabar, a place, still in the sixties, rocking under the excessive weight of the residual tendencies of a crepuscular mélange of feudalism and colonial oppression, Anand belongs to Irinjalakkuda, which is fifteen minutes drive from the south-west border of Malabar. The point I want to hammer home is: the feudal socio-political economy that was in existence until the formation of Kerala had given them enough space to dream about their own distinct subjectivity, a luxury people like women or adivasis could not afford at that moment. Third, they were all, after having obtained a powerful command over a colonial language, forced to migrate to the metropolis located outside Kerala in search of a job. Fourth, all of them produced their magnum opus, if the Latin word makes any sense in the contemporary world of fast-changing theoretical speculations before they turned thirty. Lastly, perhaps the most striking of all, even after having obtained a commendable excellence in a foreign language and a sensibility formulated by an avid reading in a foreign tongue, none of them tried, as Samuel Beckett did, to write in a foreign tongue.  The commonplace accusation against Anand’s Malayalam, that it is Malayalam written in English structure, and the mastery of a style displayed by Vijayan in his own English rendering of his works are enough proof that these writers from Kerala did not write in English not because they could not do so but because they realized what they really aspired to communicate was not really shared by the Indian middle class of the metropolis.  Instead, consciously or unconsciously, they turned to their constituency, the feudal world of Kerala and its informed aristocrats. Whence comes the nihilism.

 

As early as 1944, in a poem titled ‘Assam Panikkar (The Workers in Assam)’, Vailoppilly spotted the dilemma of the people of Kerala when he talked about the mass exodus of Malayalis to the Indian Army that was busy defending the eastern border from the onslaught of Japan in the Second World War. Even though they left the place by ‘big train’, they were in fact ‘crawling on their belly’ since ‘this land which is a paradise for the guests is for them a treacherous old woman’, offering nothing for her own kids. But when they returned from Assam after the end of the war, they learned the Hegelian dictum very well that ‘true evil lies not in the object perceived as evil but in the innocent gaze which perceives evil all around’. The experience of war, torture; violence; blood; death; starvation; malaria, offered them a fresh insight into the unproductive, stagnant and poverty-ridden economy of the then Kerala.  And here the poet would come up with two unforgettable lines that would go on to fashion the political unconscious of a society marked by a love-hate relationship with its region: “To love here; to desire here; to grieve here, to do that is jouissance”.  

 

But then Vailopilly was responding to the wartime economy, an economy that was inflationary because of the strains and uncertainties existed and also caused by Britain’s decision to pay her share of defense expenditure by giving sterling credits.  In the sea of starvation, of low food supply and a high prize if those illiterate and semi-literate Malayalis, who went in search for a job in the lower rung of the Army, found jouissance in the act of sharing one’s starvation with one’s family, then it was justifiable.  But for the next generation of migrants there was no such justification because they were part and parcel of the grand scheme of nation building initiated by the universal citizen, Prime Minister Nehru. Unlike Assam workers, they were not thrown from the frying pan of Kerala to the Japanese fire. Though migration was forced upon them, their peregrination was to the concrete jungles of the modern metropolises like Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata rather than to the real jungles in the Northeast. This displacement from a feudal chronotope, where the cognitive mapping of the contours of the mental and bodily experiences was possible and space-time remained in a permanent state of static continuity, to the time-space of the metropolis, in which flux, excesses, changes, and alienation are the order of the day, had a drastic impact on the psyche of the newly migrated Malayali elite.  The shock, cultural as well as political, that the change in the geographic locale brought about was fought actively by creating a mythical world locally. Paul Virilio, in a succinct observation, remarks how the classical French example of the palindrome (Esope reste ici et se repose), where Aesop stays here and rests, is amputated of its idyllic content in the contemporary reading back in time: “…..today, no one stays at rest, all is in flight and is displaced in a strange inverse transmigration.  The habit of returning to our source, of rediscovering our origins, our ‘identity’, suddenly seems an absolute necessity.” That is exactly why both Vijayan and Mukundan travel business class from New Delhi to the mundane realities of ‘Khasak’ and the ‘Banks of River Mayyazhi’. This reverse and imaginary migration to the magical land of folkloric diversity, a dream world from which they are alienated in the beginning itself through their education in colonial language and reason, forces upon them an alienated world; the rules of the game in their mythical world are as complex and undecipherable as they are in the modern world. Even though the prohibitions, the libidos, the desires and the laws of mythical worlds are founded upon the split of the Real into nature and culture, just as they are in the modern world, when the writers mystify the mythical world and vomit the old, half-digested vine of nostalgia through modern mouths, what is gone astray is an Adornian knowledge that enlightenment and reason’s domination over earth and other people cannot be confined within the frame of any particular historical context. At the colossal moment of twentieth century Western philosophy, in their incomparable work The Dialectic of Enlightenment, Theodore W. Adorno and Marx Horkheimer maintain that when Ulysses plugged the ears of his men so as to prevent them from listening to the enchanting songs of the Sirens and forced his people to row with all their might, he was also using the same instrumental rationality that the modern-day bureaucrat uses in order to control the people of the modern state. The tragedy of the wholesale dealers of mythical complexities is that not only do they miss this point but also they fail to recognize the point that the creation of a mystical world is itself the product of instrumental rationality.

 

And their ‘eternal return to the zero degree of history’ finally brings out the kernel of truth concealing behind the materiality of their skin, the Lacanian Real, ‘the peeled off skin’: that there is nothing behind this skin and if you try to peel it off, you will scream like Kurtz: “the horror”.

 

In Anand the procedure is complex, like the Manglish that he uses for his novels.  Anand does not attempt to accomplish a backward journey; instead, he attempts in Aalkkoottam with a scientific bent of mind to cognitive map the entire contours of the city fabric of pre-contemporary Mumbai and the way a citizen is constructed and manipulated by the fallen city fabric. As one of his characters remarks, “There is no address or background for the people who assemble at Choupatti. Everybody is a stranger to everybody. There they meet not as individuals but as the pieces of a crowd.” What is amiss in the poetics of the disappearance of the distinct individuality is the presence of a reverse force-field that offers the silenced people a floating identity as opposed to the static and fixed caste identity in the feudal village. From this perspective, it becomes absolutely necessary for us to unearth the absent hero who structures the entire narrative framework of Anand’s novel that refuses to go back in time. The protagonist who emerges in such an against-the-grain reading is Anand himself: the dominant and domineering individuality the subjectivity of which was formed in the feudal village itself.  No wonder, a lower-middle class elite, who went to the metropolis in search of a job, would find the meandering through the crowded street in anxiety is unbearably difficult since working for a livelihood, something a democratic society demands of every citizen, has never been a scheme of things of the life-world that he had in Kerala. In the political economy of feudalism, all people like him needed to do was to blindly believe in the primordial scheme of Hindutva philosophy that assigned hereditary jobs to each person. And the rest was okay.  And the demands of a society that started its democratization, a process that has not reached the halfway mark even now, was too hot for people like him to handle. And Anand’s “Alkkoottam” will remain in the consciousness of many marginalities a stunning monument that has registered its protest against the ethics and politics of democracy.

 

This is the context, a society that was slowly getting democratized, to which they imported ‘the absurdity of human condition’. But the political unconscious of the Nehruvian socialist framework was careful enough to do the necessary customs checks to see to it that the political radicalism of a Sartre who wrote the preface of Franz Fanon’s revolutionary work or who tried to give representation to young black poets (I am conscious of Fanon’s disillusioned remark on that effort) never gets through.  Worse still, it took three more decades for Fanon to escape the customs formalities and enter the aristocratic world of Malayali radicalism. But Kafka, the photographer of alienated and labyrinthine bureaucracy had a strategic role to play in their scheme because they had a first-hand experience of the might of the Nehruvian centralist bureaucracy. Anand has, to put it mildly, spent an entire life playing on the state-citizen binary, which for Vijayan was a short-term strategy during the emergency after which he, with penitence, gestured his covert solidarity with the Hindutva that was to emerge aggressively nationwide. At times, in his own characteristic dried-out way, Anand evokes the structuralist Marxist, Louise Althusser. There are ideological institutions, like schools, media, and colleges that on a daily basis impart the know-how to become good citizens by taming the bodily and mental excesses of an individual in tune with the demands of the nation-state. And if the individual resists the taming process of the state, then the state always has the prospect of resorting to the assistance of repressive apparatuses like the police and army to control the deadly dance of the individual with surplus energy.

 

Here ends the similarity between Anand and Althusser. In Althusser, there is always a third term, namely interpellation. In other words, in Althusser’s formulation, everybody is not a citizen of the nation-state but those who are interpellated by the nation-state as citizen. A closer reading of Althusser would suggest the idea that each and every political formation of the bourgeoisie is incapable of interpellating all the creatures within and that there always remain in the margin of the bourgeoisie nation state certain people who have never heard the call ‘hey you there’.  But Anand’s conception of the citizen is very simple: his idea of a citizen is extended to all the people living within the geographic confinements of the nation-state. This short-circuit between state and citizen enables him to project his own liberal humanist anxieties to the body and psyche of every person without bothering to inquire whether everybody is lucky enough to be identified by this nation-state as its citizen. So the liberal humanist anxiety of the elite becomes the anxiety of everybody. In this very process of ivory tower humanism, this liberal humanist, like the early liberal humanist of the West who failed to extend ‘the rights of man’ to the slaves in the plantation, or the Jews in the ghettos,  or the woman in their own households, fails to extend the rights that he enjoys to the less privileged group. And I guess I am justified in evoking Alain Badiou here: if freedom is that of politically and ideologically resembling Anand, then it is assuredly better not to be free.

 

This is an excerpt from the author's forthcoming book. Please don't reproduce without permission. 

~~~

 

Anilkumar Payyappilly Vijayan is Assistant Professor of English at Government Victoria College, Palakkad, Kerala. He has a PhD in English from Kannur University. His doctoral dissertation titled "Untouchability of the Unconscious: Containment and Disfigurement of Dalit Identity in Malayalam Cinema" makes, with the help of Lacanian psychoanalysis, a methodological inquiry into the logical aspects of the construction of Dalit identity in Malayalam cinema.

 

 

'Indian education doesn't have any emancipatory agenda': Prof Vivek Kumar

 

 Round Table India

This is the transcription of Round Table India's interaction with Prof Vivek Kumar, Professor, Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, for the Ambedkar Age series of films.

Prof Vivek Kumar III

In the interview, Prof Vivek Kumar touches upon a vast range of subjects, including the contours of Indian politics in the last four decades, the Bahujan movement, Dalit assertion and literature etc. He talks about the conceptualisation of the Bahujan Movement by Saheb Kanshi Ram, and its evolution and growth over the years. He also shares experiences from his own participation in the movement as a journalist, researcher, teacher, writer and public intellectual.

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How Privileged Are You? (Authentic version)

 

Rajesh Rajamani

 

rajesh rajamani

 

Has a know-it-all ISJW (Internet Social Justice Warrior) asked you to check your privilege? Did you misunderstand the statement and check the online dictionary to verify if the word is spelled as ‘privilege’ or ‘privelige’? Have you wondered why someone tagged you in a social media post that said: “When You're Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression”? Or in spite of your busy schedule, have you self-reflected in a moment of weakness and pondered over how privileged you might be?

 

Worry not! We bring to you the most (more or less) accurate scientific questionnaire that could easily help you identify your level of privilege.

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Brahminism's beef with beef

 

Anuraag Khaund

anuragOften while engaging in a debate with my friends from other parts of India especially the North in my campus in Guwahati over the present contemporary contentious issue of dietary preferences, I am mostly met with the following rhetoric- Don’t you have compassion in your heart? Don’t you feel a pain in your heart every time you bite a tandoori? And it continues. On the broader picture meat, especially beef has today emerged as a marker of nationalism and citizenship with “violators” either lynched as in the case of Dadri or stabbed to death like Hafiz Junaid. However, the common feature of these two aforementioned incidents and my debates in college is the increasing emphasis on the notion of certain dietary practices as being “impure” which ought to be abolished, even with violence if necessary and the imposition of a “purer” form of food habit. Vegetarianism, widely celebrated and ascribed a status of respect within 'Hinduism' was also seen as a marker of difference between the stratifications of the caste system with sections having a strong preference for meat being relegated to the lowest rungs of the caste structure as non-veg dietary practices were perceived as impure. However, if examined closely, Vedic Hinduism has an association with meat and especially beef, stretching back in time.

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Election Manifesto 2017-18 of BAPSA

 

BAPSA, JNU

The JNU student community is about to elect a student body to represent them. The election is not just about choosing a representative. It is about the right response to a farce state of affairs. We are witnessing an unprecedented assault on the education in general, universities in particular. The attack on us is not a fact which needs explanation. It is evident and blatant. Therefore, the issue here is not whether we are under attack or not. It is not even by whom, because, now we are ruled by one of the most regressive right wing force, BJP in the country. It is well known that our VC is a stooge appointed by the existing government. Moreover, it is always the marginalised who are at the receiving end of such institutional manipulations. Thus, the real and pertinent question is how to fight and what should be the course of such struggle. The fight to live is the biggest fight for the oppressed. Unfortunately, for the marginalised sections of this great nation, even that struggle is not always a successful one. It is shameful that this is true even in supposed to be the most secured places of this country such as our own university. Our beloved friend Krish committed suicide. J R Philemon Chiru was found dead in his own room. Najeeb is yet to return.

bapsa 2017 panel

There never exists a tomorrow for struggle. Struggle is real and perpetual. However, struggle always need not be a physical act on the street. It also can be a farsighted preparedness for such a day in a library. The triumph of the oppressed over the oppressor is not just a victory of one class over the other, instead it is a victory of emancipation over oppression. But we can't be that naive altogether, there are some classes and castes which stand in our way between oppression and emancipation. For this to happen, the oppressed need to embrace physical, political and moral weapons. Unfortunately, the oppression of caste is not just oppression, it also is the very denial of all the three weapons for the emancipation of the oppressed and the annihilation of the oppression. Any meaningful struggle of the oppressed needs to keep this fact in mind for breaking the trammels of caste. To gain these weapons, the oppressed need to educate for moral weapons, agitate for self respect and organise for political weapons. There exists no god to save us, no hero to fight for us and no savior to liberate us. But, there is some one, real than god, exemplary than a hero and farsighted than a saviour, Ambedkar to guide us in our battle. The battle is real, enduring and tedious. We have more enemies to fight than friends to accompany. We know, the battle is neither easy, nor short, but, didn't Ambedkar say and we uphold, "With justice on our side, I do not see how we can lose our battle".

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“Their Seats of Power Are Shaking in the Face of Oppressed Unity”

Shabana Ali

 (This is a rough transcript in English of Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association’s Presidential Candidate for JNUSU elections 2017 Shabana Ali’s almost 33-minute long speech at BAPSA’s pre-election General Body Meeting (GBM) at the Mahi-Mandvi Mess, held on the 2nd of September, 2017.)

bapsa poster

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Brahminical Genesis of Hindutva and Left Politics in India

 

Shubhi

 “The Brahmins form the vanguard of the movement for political reform, and in some cases also of economic reform. But they are not to be found even as camp-followers in the army raised to break down the barricades of Caste. Is there any hope of the Brahmins ever talking up a lead in the future in this matter? I say no. It is useless to make distinction between the secular Brahmins and priestly Brahmins. Both are kith and kin. They are two arms of the same body, one is bound to fight for the existence of the other”. ~Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar in Annihilation of Caste,1936.

Bapsa poster rajesh

 Brahminism and the Brahmin in India have survived through different labels (state, government, seculars, liberals, left, ruling class, capitalist, class, ‘Indian nationalists’, Hindutva, feminism, colonialism, ‘elite nationalism’, Congress, BJP, Indian academics, social scientists etc), and as a result has been able to hide its Hindu religious core. Left politics in India has masked its Brahminical face in the name of critiquing Hindutva thus concealing its complicity in upholding Brahminism. Hindutva due to its extremely violent tendencies in the name of the nation, nationalism has almost created an illusion of Hindu religion as benign. Hindutva has basically done service to Brahminism making people believe that Hindu religion is their personal faith and has nothing to do with the violence that Hindutva endorses. But this is a myth; it is this personal Hindu faith or religion which endorses caste dictated purity-pollution norms which is horrifically oppressive to lower castes. Hindu religious texts are filled with horrific violence and bloodshed of Bahujans. This division of Hindu religion being different from Hindutva has masked the exploitative nature of Hindu religion apart from other factors. Hindutva masked Hinduism. Hindutva originators are none other than Brahmins like V.D. Savarkar, Hedgewar and M.S Golwalkar.

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Graded Solidarity: An Interview with Ambedkarite Rapper Sumeet Samos

 

Tejaswini Tabhane

"Revising our past time and again.
It drives me insane,
Like a stream of current flowing through my vein,
Squeezing out all the gray matters of my brain.
I see too many patches of caste slavery stains.
In this very lane,
We will blow up Manu's kingdom no one us can restrain.
We busting all your myths, learn from us how to be humane.
Yo this is us Children of Counter Culture,
Counter Culture, this is us."

sumeetThese are the powerful rhymes of resistance of a charming young man who raps about caste-based oppression and exclusion. Music, poetry and dance are certainly not new to Dalit struggle, but rapping is. It is very courageous of Sumeet to introduce this completely new form of dissent to the movement when he had and continues have no supporting structures.

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Brahminism in India: Decoding the Politics of Universalism and Marxism in Jawaharlal Nehru University

.
Jitendra Suna

 
jitendra sunaMarxism and Universalism are always associated with progressivism in politics everywhere across the world. However, this so called Universalism can be detrimental in a specific spatial, geographic location. In the case of India, Marxism becomes the tool in the hand of Brahmins and upper castes, which has been used by them to preserve their caste capital and power. In order to maintain their long historical hegemony and social capital, upper castes use Marxism and Universalism as a tool to hide their Brahminical oppressive face under the banner of ideology.

The ideology of Brahminism and its logic is constantly changing. Ambedkarites are consistently challenging this hereditary disease i.e. Brahminism of Hindus which traditionally inherited thousands of years of history. This hereditary transmitted disease can be found in each and every walk of Indian life. Universities campuses are not free from it.

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Dilip Kumar: A Baghbaan of Pasmanda Movement

 

Abhijit Anand

abhijitBollywood and Society

We love, eat and pray Bollywood. Celebrities are celebrated beyond boundaries. Bollywood actors and actresses capture huge space of mind and they influence us the audience beyond the space confined by the cinema-hall walls. We carry stars in our lives and at times live stars' reel lives in our own real lives. So, it becomes pertinent that we discuss their influence that ruptures the society's discourses and the society at large. Unfortunately, Bollywood celebrities have faced a lot of criticism for their silences and mute performances when they were required to go beyond the call of their duty. This is not quite true in other countries in the spaces of art and culture, especially in Hollywood. A celebrity's advocacy for social causes is a norm and it reflects the maturity of the society at large.

George Clooney launched Enough Project; Akon, the Lighting Africa; and Meryl Streep, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), for instance. Meryl Streep's passionate speech at a fundraising gala for HRC, a national LGBT group at Golden Globes award ceremony, needs a special mention. She had not only won the Golden Globe award but also million hearts for heartfelt criticism of Donald Trump.

A celebrity's lack of interest in social causes and larger politics could be a matter of debate, yet we can safely posit that Indian celebrities have selfishly received from society and have failed to give back in return.

dilip kumar6

(Various shades of the superstar) Source: @TheDilipKumar (official Twitter handle of Dilip Saheb)

Dilip Kumar: An exception

Was this always the case? I am not sure, but there comes to my mind an exception to this general rule. And this exception is the exceptionally talented superstar and most loved tragedy king of all times, the first Khan among the Khans, Dilip Kumar aka Yusuf Khan. Very few people know that Dilip Saheb has participated extensively in the struggles of marginalized among the Muslim community, despite coming from an upper caste and having achieved an elite status among the elites of the country. This is quite rare and an exceptional feat. The thespian has spent a substantial time of his late working life off the stage, participating with activists of All India Muslim OBC Organization (AIMOBCO) for the rights of Pasmandas in Maharashtra.

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An open letter to Hon’ble Minister Mr. Ramdas Athawale

 

Raju Chalwadi

raju chalwadi 1This letter has been written in keeping with the philosophy that critical self-evaluation and accountability of the movement and leaders itself is necessary and a pre-condition for it to succeed.

 Dalit politics has reached a critical stage; the decline of BSP and co-optation of prominent Dalit leaders by the current establishment has put the entire project of Social Justice in limbo.

I hope the readers while reading this letter would consider me as someone who is concerned with the current stage of Ambedkarite politics and not as someone who is anti-reservationist or anti-Dalit leaders.

An open letter to Hon'ble Minister Mr. Ramdas Athawale

Respected Sir,

I am writing this letter to express my concern with regards to the situation of Dalits in "New India." This letter is specifically written to you because as you have been the only person in the current right wing establishment who has come from an 'Ambedkarite' tradition. A tradition which strongly resists discrimination in any forms. You not only represent a section of radical and educated Ambedkarite masses but also the Republican Party of India (a faction) which was envisaged by Dr. BR Ambedkar. How important the dream was for him to establish the RPI can be ascertained from the fact that despite being ill in his final stages of life he was busy in arranging meetings with leaders to finalize the structure of RPI. He wrote a letter to Ram Manohar Lohia on 24th Nov 1956 for the meet but Lohia responded to him by asking Ambedkar to focus on his health instead. But, he was not concerned about his health; he wrote two more letters on the night of 5th December 1956 just a few hours before his death; one to SM Joshi and another to Acharya Atre regarding the RPI. Such was his eagerness to establish the party which he thought would fight for the masses.

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Ganesh, Gandhi, Goumutra: The many scams of Brahminism

 

Obed Manwatkar

obed manwatkar"Hinduism  is not a religion, it's a disease." ~ Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

On 9th November 2014, Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, a senior Journalist of the so-called 'mainstream electronic media' tweeted to the world that Mr. Manohar Parrikar and Mr. Suresh Prabhu were elected as full cabinet ministers. He proclaimed his 'Saraswat Pride' in that tweet.

Now what is this Saraswat all about? It is a caste-group of Brahmins.

Citing from Wikipedia,"The Saraswat Brahmins believe themselves to be named after the mythical Saraswati river, which was thought to arise in the Himalayas and flow through the present Punjab and Rajasthan region to the western sea near Dwaraka, in Gujarat. Saraswat Brahmins are mentioned in the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhavishya Purana. The Saraswati river of Rigvedic and Vedic texts has been historically identified with parts of watercourses near Lake Pushkar in Rajasthan, Sidhpur in Northern Gujarat and Somnath in Saurashtra, Gujarat".[1]

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Making of the Indian Constitution
Sunday, 26 November 2017
  Dr Jas Simran Singh Kehal India observes its Constitution Day this Sunday, 26th of November, as it was on this day in 1949 the constituent assembly adopted the constitution. The idea of a... Read More...
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...