Poverty and Malnutrition in Odisha: Who is responsible?

 

Bansidhar Deep

bansidharIndira Gandhi used the "Garibi Hatao" rhetoric to defend her contempt for constitutional morality, while the present BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government uses the rhetoric of "Sabka Vikas" and "Shreshth Bharat" to adopt the same cynical approach (Suhas Palshikar, Indian Express July 15, 2016). There was a time when India, after independence, was talking about production of food grains and crops, so that the country's people will not face food grain shortage. That is why the so-called "green revolution" was ushered in the sixties-seventies although it was confined to northern India only. Today there is enough production, but people are not getting food and lack of food is causing deaths. Most recently, in Odisha (Jaipur district, Nagada village) 26 children died due to malnutrition/poverty. And this can be seen in most of the places in Odisha in particular and India in general.

Read more...

Wherever Caste exists in the World, Ambedkar and Marx will remain Irreconcilable

 

Dr Manisha Bangar

NVP BAMCEF

manisha bangarIn India, and wherever in the world Caste exists, Ambedkar and Marx will remain Irreconcilable.

Starting from the happenings in Hyderabad Central University in August 2015 when the students of ASA were ostracized, more so from the time of the Institutional murder of Rohith Vemula in January 2016, from the Una atrocity in July 2016 to the ongoing victimization and brutal institutional and non-institutional atrocities on Muslims and Scheduled Castes, the Communists of India through their network of political parties (CPI, CPM etc) and Students' Organizations (SFI, AISA, DSF etc) have been seen in the forefront staging protests inside and outside University campuses or rather they are more often shown, more than required, to be in the foreground in the struggles of the oppressed.

They have also had the exclusive privilege of being highlighted by a thin stream of mainstream media as being the only resisting force against the Fascist (a word communist use for BJP-RSS combine, while at the same time consciously avoiding the usage of the words Brahmins, Brahmanvaad and Brahminism) Government.

However this deliberate, sudden projections in favour of the Communists has in many ways worked to the detriment of the Mulniwasi Bahujan movement and may continue to harm the process of social polarization of the SC, ST, OBC, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians if the Bahujans remain ignorant of the ways in which the predominantly Brahmin leadership in Communist Organizations is executing its agenda to stall the unity of Bahujans and prevent it from becoming a force to reckon with, which can break down the shackles of Brahmanism and Casteism.

Read more...

Rise of BSP and Dalit Politics in U.P.

 

Saquib Salim

saquib"In 1962-63, when I got the opportunity to read Ambedkar's book, Annihilation of Caste, then I also felt that it is perhaps possible to eradicate casteism from the society. But, later on when I studied caste system and its behaviour in depth gradually there was a modification in my thoughts. I have not only gained knowledge about caste from the books but from my personal life too....................... So if the people have so much affection for their caste then how can we think of annihilating it? That is why I have stopped thinking about the annihilation of caste."
~ Kanshi Ram

This excerpt from one of the speeches of Kanshi Ram, the founder of BSP, clearly shows a new type of understanding in Dalit politics which emerged after Ambedkar, who along with Periyar, Phule and others believed in the annihilation of this social system based upon caste. BSP, which was floated as a political outfit by Kanshi Ram in 1984, has had a huge impact on the way Dalits were perceived in the socio- political circles of Uttar Pradesh (U.P) in particular and north India in general. Political scientists during the last two decades have argued that political mobilisation led by Kanshi Ram in the form of BAMCEF (Backward And Minority Communities Employees Federation), DS-4 and BSP can not be considered as a Dalit movement. However, here I would like to differ.

Read more...

Bhima’s force shall keep growing…!

 

Essay Series on What Babasaheb Ambedkar Means to me

Pradnya Jadhav

aniket babasahebs sketch

Babasaheb's people have held him high in their hearts without waiting for him to die and appear in any textbooks. The supreme form of Ambedkarism is reflected in the songs about Babasaheb, which are popularly known as Bhimgeete, way before he became a matter of intellectual inquiry. The masses who were deprived of education were the first people to understand Ambedkar. They honoured him with a respectful name as "Babasaheb" and often conversed with him by addressing him as "Bhima". These songs by our foremothers documented the history of Babasaheb's life in a wholesome manner. The songs would start with the mention of Babasaheb's birth in 1891, the happiness it brought to his parents Ramaji and Bhimai, the difficulties Babasaheb faced being an untouchable student, his journey abroad for higher studies, the contentment of his community when he received the degree of Barrister-at–law, and becoming the Minister of Labour. The songs mark the events when he laid the foundation of Scheduled Caste federation and Samata Sainik Dal, and when he erected the stone of social revolution, the Mahad Satyagraha-Kalaram Mandir Pravesh. The verses take the listeners through the preparation of Hindu code bill followed by the agony he faced with the signing of the Pune pact, while celebrating Babasaheb becoming law minister and drafting constitution for India. These songs further claimed that our Babasaheb created an equal law for all, despite facing betrayal by this Nation and that he attacked the rigidity of fundamentalist religion and offered us Buddhism which is humane. The Bheemgeete with such rich meaning and historical rendering of his life events as a founding father of a large democracy are sung in our families and communities to keep reminding how hard Babasaheb's life was and how we should not let him down.

Read more...

The Making of the Region: Perspectives from a Non-Savarna Newspaper (Part II)

 

P. Thirumal

Continued from Part I

Disciplinary axis

hospet junctionFrom a certain disciplinary and a temporal axis, region has been studied as an objective entity in the form of center-state relations.[43] Presently, the behaviorist-functionalist paradigm referred to as institutional approach seems to be giving way to a more nuanced cultural studies paradigm.[44] A certain dominant strand of Cultural Studies sees the effects of colonialism as pervasive and encompassing the contemporary moment.[45] The effort of this intervention is to locate contemporary as providing a rupture to the colonial times. The contemporary itself consists of several presents. It is the heterogeneity of the contemporary that requires elaboration. While the institutional approach perceives region and more particularly region-state as a monologic and homogenous entity, cultural studies approaches have a potential to render region especially the practices of its community as  dialogic and heterogeneous entity.  This paper suggests that there is a need to work with both institutional and cultural studies approaches in order to enrich the variegated content and form of the category ‘region’. In an oversimplified sense, the institutional approach appears to emphasize the content and the cultural studies seem to emphasize the form.[46] It is true that different pictures of the region emerge with these two different analytical/explanatory tools and both are apparently an incomplete portrait of region.[47] 

More specifically, the study broadly addresses two major areas of communication studies namely Development Communication and Cultural Studies. The study seeks to retain the emancipatory character of development of the 1960s and incorporate the programme of differences initiated by the contemporary Cultural Studies practitioners. The field of Development Communication has either dealt with larger units of analysis like the nation or very micro-units of analysis like village societies. Region as a political form has not been attended to in the field of Development Communication. Communication constitutes nations, regions and village societies as well. 

Read more...

Caste Atrocities and Government Accountability

 

Santosh Kumar 

Rohith Chakravarti Vemula (30 January 1989 – 18 January 2016) was a PhD student at the Central University of Hyderabad and his suicide on 18 Jan 2016 sparked an outrage throughout India, highlighting the cases of systemic discrimination in educational campuses across India. Many cases of caste atrocities have been reported recently. One of them was that of a Dalit man killed in Ahmednagar in 2015 for keeping a mobile ringtone that had Ambedkar's praise. In another case, Dalit children were burnt alive in Faridabad, which a cabinet minister VK Singh compared with the death of dogs.

university dalits

Similar to the protest in the case of Rohith Vemula, protests across Maharashtra took place in 2006 against the brutal killing and raping of a Dalit family in Khairlanji, Dist. Bhandara in Maharastra. The cases of Dalit atrocities are not very unusual in independent India. However, a nation-wide outrage and protest are reported in few cases only, particularly due to media apathy and systemic suppression of Dalits' Voice by the upper castes.

Read more...

The Making of the Region: Perspectives from a Non-Savarna Newspaper (Part I)

 

P. Thirumal 

         Abstract

karnatakaThis intervention concerns itself with elaborating the administrative category ‘region’. The federal units qualify as administrative regions of the Indian Union. This paper argues that in the initial decades after independence, region(s) tend to be reproduced and affirmed largely through region-state(s) or Indian State practices. Though the prime mover of the region/s in the initial decades is the region-state, the counterparts of the region namely the community and the economy appear to participate in the reproduction of the region in the later decades. This intervention has two sections. The first section deals with some aspects of a generic understanding of the reproduction of region/s in India after the massive reorganization of states in 1956. The supposedly primal autonomous character of the region is pitted against the bureaucratic logic of the administrative region. It appears that the supposedly primal character of the region is generally neither antagonistic nor completely subsumed by the bureaucratic logic. The primal is as much transformed as the bureaucratic logic. The administrative region seemingly surfaces as more inclusive than the former. Space is deployed as an analytical tool to understand the administrative category referred to in this piece as ‘region-state’. The second section elucidates a study related to the reproduction of Karnataka in the editorials of a widely circulated newspaper ‘Deccan Herald’ between the years 1958-83. In this latter section, the state is used interchangeably as region. This study primarily engages with the Karnataka’s demand for adequate communication infrastructure for itself. In the process, the capacity for simultaneously building the regional community and the economy is expressed. The differential material and symbolic articulations of sub-regions apparently display a field of heterogeneous power networks. Notwithstanding the heterogeneity of the region, the region-state does manage to create a regime of power.    

Read more...

Babasaheb for Me Is Like an Inner Voice

 

Essay series on 'What Babasaheb Ambedkar Means to me'

Madhura Raut

madhuraIt was neither my family nor my school that introduced Ambedkar to me. It was because of my friends, either classmates or facebook friends that I got introduced to Babasaheb Ambedkar. It is a fact that I never felt a strong connection with Babasaheb, Jyotiba Phule and Savitri Bai in school and never heard about these three leaders in my family. I felt that connection only after I came to Pune for my graduation.

 I heard stories in my school about 'Bapu', 'Bal Gangadhar Tilak' but not about 'Babasaheb'. There would be competitions in my school like reciting 'Manache Shlok' (Sanskrit prayers) or elocution competition on Tilak but Babasaheb was completely absent there. Babasaheb would be there only for one day -14th April and this day too would be a holiday in school. We never had any competition or celebration even before or after 14th April to know about Babasaheb Ambedkar. There would be discussions among some of my friends on how they danced with Lezhim on the roads for long hours on that day. But I never heard about this celebration either in my family or my school. The efforts that were taken in school to make us feel connected with Gandhi, Tilak or Nehru were not to be found in the case of Ambedkar. Today, I feel that we studied Ambedkar only in books. If there were extra efforts, at least in the school, we could have known more about Babasaheb Ambedkar and not just Ambedkar.

Read more...

Loan Write-Offs vs Black Money - Explained

 

P V Vijay Kumar

pvv vijay kumarAfter SBI announced write-off of loans worth about Rs. 7000 cr including what it had lent to the nefarious Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines. There has been an uproar from the general public and also from many intellectual and political quarters as well, that this write-off is denotation of waiver of loan. During this season of economic crisis, post-announcement of Modi's historical decision to curtail on cash circulation 500 and 1000 Rupee notes, to contain black money at the cost of common man's perils, the write off has been attributed with a kind of 'cheating' of public by Govt. owned Banks and the Govt. itself.

When a loan is disbursed, it is meant to create an asset. The loan disbursal is directly proportional to the value of the asset to be created out of it. That is the moment the money goes into circulation out of the bank's cash balance, raised in the form of deposits, capital etc. The value of the asset is actually notional or, in fact, based on certain market valued bench marks and there can be a plus or minus to it. That is the moment many entrepreneurs take advantage of valuation of asset/project and get the loan disbursal out of the actual asset and utilize the 'surplus' for other business or personal purposes. This becomes unaccounted money, in other words, it is called black money. For now, we will confine to this piece of creation of asset out of debt funds giving rise to black money creation, which is one of the most common methods.

Read more...

Dr B. R. Ambedkar: More than the Architect of the Indian Constitution

 

Naveed Ahmad Lone

naveed ahmad loneIntroduction

Some are born great; some have greatness thrust upon them, and some achieve greatness. Dr Ambedkar best fits in the third category. Dr Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar is among the most outstanding intellectuals of India in the twentieth century. The work in economics by his good self is noteworthy. Dr Ambedkar has often been portrayed as a leader of the 'Dalit' community and nothing else. An obscure reference is made to him in school textbooks as the architect of the Indian constitution. Very few would know that Ambedkar was among the first set of Indians who were trained in Economics and practised it professionally.

 This was further proved by a recently conducted survey by 'History TV 18 and CNN-IBN' in June 2012. 'Who is the greatest Indian after Gandhiji?" was the question asked from the people of India. The contestants included the First Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, Singer Lata Mangeshkar, Industrialist J.R.D. Tata, A.P.J.Abul Kalam Azad, Indira Gandhi and Vallabhai Patel. The final cumulative ranking was conducted following the three ways poll; ranking by jury (online and on the ground), ranking by popular votes and ranking by market research. Finally, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was declared as the winner. Historian Ramachandra Guha stated on the declaration of results: "Dr Ambedkar's legacy has been distorted to suit particular interests. He was a great scholar, institution builder, and economic theorist". Professor A.K. Sen also said,"Ambedkar is my father in Economics. He is a truly celebrated champion of the underprivileged. He deserves more than what he has achieved today. His contribution in the field of economics is marvellous and will be remembered forever." (Ambirajan, 1999)

Read more...

Caste is not a Rumour - book review

 

 Pranav Kuttaiah

caste is not a rumour

Caste is not a Rumour: The Online Diary of Rohith Vemula (Ed. Nikhila Henry, Juggernaut Books, 2016) 

In a speech delivered at Nalgonda in Telangana not so long ago, noted intellectual K.Y. Ratnam said that what Rohith Vemula wrote was not a suicide note, but an introduction to Dr. Ambedkar's classic 'Annihilation of Caste'. Vemula's note was indeed a remarkable piece of literature – displaying eloquence, vision and clarity of thought far beyond his years. But what was truly striking about it was the brevity for such a power-packed document – in a world where most academics and writers feel like they're taking pages and pages to make a point, his every line; every sentence was packed with the punch of precise thinking and lived experience. It was this format that Rohith had perfected – the art of a paragraph-length rumination that was worth more than many unreadable academic works. "Caste is Not a Rumour: The Online Diary of Rohith Vemula" (ed. Nikhila Henry, Juggernaut Books, 2016), a compilation of Rohith Vemula's writings on Facebook, is a unique addition to the ongoing discussion surrounding caste in Indian campuses. The book provides snippets into the thinking of a radical young mind in the form of succinct and hard-hitting status updates, bringing a whole spectrum of Indian and global political issues into the context of student politics at the Hyderabad Central University (HCU).

Read more...

Youth for Self and Social Change (YSSC): A Journey

 

Payal Rama

payalNagpur is the winter capital and the third largest city in the state of Maharashtra. It is also one of the prominent cities in Central India. Before the formation of the state of Maharashtra, Nagpur was part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. Under the British rule, it was one of the important precincts of 'Central and Berar' province. In 1956 and there on, Nagpur has gained prominence because of the mass 'Buddhist Conversion' of about half a million ex-untouchables, led by their brilliant and extraordinary leader and emancipator, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. In addition, the city is also infamously known for it being the headquarters of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu Nationalist organisation. However, historically its existence as the city was mainly marked by the 'Buddhist Conversion' and a vibrant Dalit-Buddhist Movement. The city of Nagpur not only stands for the struggle of Dalits and Buddhists as oppressed striving hard for education but also for their quest to gain a dignified life. There are innumerable stories in this city of Buddhists, their expedition for education after conversion to Buddhism, which lies folded in the pages of untold stories.

Here are the stories of some of the students, who tried to challenge the existing situation of education in the city. It is the story of a study circle group Youth for Self and Social Change (YSSC), which aims at promoting higher education among Dalits as Ambedkar envisioned throughout his life. Today, the members of YSSC are in different positions in higher education spaces. It began with a small idea to start a program that gives a platform to develop their personality by doing regular activities in the library, viharas, and homes. The activities there comprised of English comprehension, practiced by reading Ambedkar and other Dalit social reformers; group discussions on current as well as other social topics to further add to the awareness and public speaking sessions meant to enhance communication skills in front of large masses.

Read more...

Other Related Articles

Fight against the Misogyny & Casteism of 'Best Indian Memes for Creamy Teens', FB page
Friday, 06 January 2017
  Vinay Shende "My final words of advice to you are Educate, Agitate and Organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a... Read More...
Soni Sori: 'The State is Lawless'
Sunday, 30 October 2016
  Soni Sori, a human rights defender and an Adivasi school teacher from Chhattisgarh, was in Mumbai recently to talk at an event organized to commemorate Justice (retired) Suresh Hosbet's... Read More...
Where are the Women Professors from the SC/ST/OBC categories?
Wednesday, 26 October 2016
  Prachi Patil Speech made at the protest organised by United OBC Forum and BAPSA on 9th June, 2016 against the discriminatory Anti-OBC Reservation circular of UGC/MHRD which denies OBC... Read More...
Najeeb Ahmad missing: JNU bosses & police silent despite protests
Tuesday, 18 October 2016
  Hisham Ul Wahab P The ongoing protests in Jawaharlal Nehru University campus demanding a fast probe into the disappearance and return of Najeeb Ahmad, a muslim student of School of... Read More...
Caste Attacks on Buddhists in Nashik
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
  Amar Khade  On Sunday, 9th October 2016, rumour spread across social media like Whatsapp that a 14 year old Dalit boy molested a minor girl in Talegaon (Nashik district, Maharashtra). It... Read More...

Recent Popular Articles

Caste Attacks on Buddhists in Nashik
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
  Amar Khade  On Sunday, 9th October 2016, rumour spread across social media like Whatsapp that a 14 year old Dalit boy molested a minor girl in Talegaon (Nashik district, Maharashtra). It... Read More...
Maya Bansode: A story of assertion
Thursday, 04 August 2016
  Yogesh Maitreya Latur is one of the districts in the state of Maharashtra. Not many of us know about it. Some of us may know it and that too for the destructive earthquake that took place... Read More...
Fight against the Misogyny & Casteism of 'Best Indian Memes for Creamy Teens', FB page
Friday, 06 January 2017
  Vinay Shende "My final words of advice to you are Educate, Agitate and Organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a... Read More...
Najeeb Ahmad missing: JNU bosses & police silent despite protests
Tuesday, 18 October 2016
  Hisham Ul Wahab P The ongoing protests in Jawaharlal Nehru University campus demanding a fast probe into the disappearance and return of Najeeb Ahmad, a muslim student of School of... Read More...

Recent Articles in Hindi

पेरियार से हम क्या सीखें?

पेरियार से हम क्या सीखें?

  संजय जोठे  इस देश में भेदभाव और शोषण से भरी परम्पराओं का विरोध करने वाले अनेक विचारक और क्रांतिकारी हुए हैं जिनके बारे में हमें बार-बार पढ़ना और समझना चाहिए. दुर्भाग्य से इस देश के शोषक वर्गों के षड्यंत्र के कारण इन क्रांतिकारियों का जीवन परिचय और समग्र कर्तृत्व छुपाकर रखा जाता है. हमारी अनेकों पीढियां इसी षड्यंत्र में जीती आयीं हैं. किसी देश के उद्भट विचारकों और क्रान्तिकारियों को इस...

Read more

कृष्ण: भारतीय मर्द का एक आम चेहरा...!

कृष्ण: भारतीय मर्द का एक आम चेहरा...!

(कृष्ण की लोक लुभावन छवि का पुनर्पाठ!)मानुषी आखिर ये मिथकीय कहानियां किस तरह की परवरिश और शिक्षा देती हैं, जहां पुरुषों को सारे अधिकार हैं, चाहे वह स्त्री को अपमानित करे या दंडित, उसे स्त्री पलट कर कुछ नहीं कहती। फिर आज हम रोना रोते हैं कि हमारे बच्चे इतने हिंसक और कुंठित क्यों हो रहे हैं। सारा दोष हम इंटरनेट और टेलीविजन को देकर मुक्त होना चाहते हैं। जबकि स्त्री...

Read more

राष्ट्रवाद और देशभक्ति

राष्ट्रवाद और देशभक्ति

संजय जोठे धर्म जो काम शास्त्र लिखकर करता है वही काम राष्ट्र अब फ़िल्में और विडिओ गेम्स बनाकर बनाकर करते हैं. इसी के साथ सुविधाभोगी पीढ़ी को मौत से बचाने के लिए टेक्नालाजी पर भयानक खर्च भी करना पड़ता है ताकि दूर बैठकर ही देशों का सफाया किया जा सके, और यही असल में उस तथाकथित “स्पेस रिसर्च” और “अक्षय ऊर्जा की खोज” की मूल प्रेरणा है, यूं तो सबको...

Read more