Vegetarians only

 

Sky Baaba

skybaaba 2aHe sat on a throne
and made my Dalits sit on the ground
told my Adivasis to stay at his feet
we folded our hands and stood,
bringing palms together was all he ever taught my people;
changing religion was a rebellion
my people stood shoulder to shoulder
and entered mosques and churches;

The above excerpt from Sky Baaba's Telugu poem 'Muslim Wadalu' delineates the three distinct strains of thought - which indicate a history of powerlessness, brotherhood born of slavery and labour and subordination and pride in resistance - which run through his poetry and other writings. Elements of quintessential Bahujanvad. Sky Baaba's literary journey marks not just two decades of protest against Hindutva – the first decade marked by the Babri Masjid and the second by the Gujarat riots – but also two decades of political conscientization of the bahujan masses against the ruling classes.

S. K. Yousuf Baaba, who writes under the pen name Sky Baaba, is a prolific poet, writer, essayist and activist and is one of the chief initiators of the literary movement in Telugu called "Muslimvaada Sahityam". He has been instrumental in anthologizing much of this writing. He has been the driving force behind many collective literary efforts, Zalzala - Muslimvaada Kavitvam, Azaan (poetry collection on the Gujarat genocide) etc. He has edited three anthologies of Telugu Muslim writings— Watan (a collection of Muslim short stories); Jagne Ki Raat (2005) a collection of poetry; Mulki (2005), short stories and essays along with Vemula Yellaiah and; Alaava -Muslim Cultural Poetry (2006), a collection of poetry which he edited with his partner, Shahjahana. He has so far put together three anthologies of his own poetry Chaand Taara ( 2009), Jago-jagao (2009), Quit Telangana (2010) and Dimmisa (2011) and one collection of short stories titled Adhure: Muslim Kadhalu (2011) besides Jakhmi Awaz (2012) a collection of his poetry & writings on Telangana.

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Caste and the Aporias of Muslim Theo-Politics

 

This is the second part of the three-part series 'Dialogue with BAPSA'. Please read the first part here

Khalid Anis Ansari

khalidIn the context of the dialogue with BAPSA on its problematic association with the Muslim Right, as exemplified by Jamaat's student wing SIO, I feel the argument on Muslim theo-politics and caste advanced by Muhammed Shah (Shan) in Round Table India is particularly interesting. Let me paraphrase the argument here. Shah's basic contention is that contemporary bahujan anti-caste politics, despite being extremely critical, can broadly be located within modernity—or to be more precise Indian modernity—itself. And since modernity, especially its privileging of the philosophy of secularism and the emphasis on the state form, has an ethical deficit it is almost impossible for anti-caste discourses to activate forms of radical sociality that can annihilate or abolish the caste self. In his view since caste has a metaphysical origin what is required to abolish it is a counter-metaphysics that transcends Indian modernity. In this pursuit he advances the idea of Muslim 'theo-politics', inspired by the transcendental-theological perspective developed by Maududi, which instantiates an ethical dimension in the understanding of caste and ensures emancipation by deconstructing caste selves. The Zanj Slave Revolt in Iraq (869-883 AD) and the Mappilla Riots that occurred in Kerala during 18th-19th century are further offered as historical evidence for the abolition of hierarchical selves inspired by an Islamic ethical ethos.

I see a number of issues with this argument. Firstly, conceptually speaking the argument is symptomatic of the 'ethical turn' in contemporary theory which is arguably attempting to displace the political. Since the social is deeply divided, the 'political' refers to the ineradicable dimension of antagonism and radical negativity whereas 'politics' refers to practices, discourses and institutions that seek to establish order or organize human co-existence in a social field criss-crossed by power. In this sense every identity and social order, the subject of politics, is contingent and a product of particular power configuration (or hegemony) that may be ruptured anytime by the political. Now one may posit that the political constitutes Islamism's blind spot because the latter has to exhibit fidelity to the idea of 'revelation' (event) and an objectively defined 'community (ummah)' in achieving any consensus on social matters. One may argue with some force that this revelation-community referential point, despite hermeneutical latitude, is eminently receptive to non-negotiable moral values and essentialist forms of identification.

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Balmikis in Education: A Study of Exclusion and Discrimination

 

Anju Devi

anju deviBalmiki community is highly discriminated by this society since long. Despite the various government programs which are aimed at the development of this community, discrimination and exclusion continues to be important factors in the low educational status of such marginalised communities. Within a broader discourse of educational attainment of the marginalised communities, a study was undertaken to explore evidence based understanding of the status and challenges of education of the children of the households engaged in 'unclean occupations' and the causes and consequences of exclusion and discrimination in education.

The study was undertaken in Rajasthan. In Rajasthan, two cities (Alwar and Jaipur) were selected to identify households associated or engaged in 'unclean occupations' in order to examine the educational status of their children. The survey covered around 500 households and as many as 3500 children.

I have done this survey in three parts, which comprises of parents, children and schools. We talked to them and found out that the main problem in Balmiki society stems from their occupation which is mostly related to cleaning jobs. Most of them belong to poor families. The main occupations among Balmiki community includes picking garbage, manual scavenging, working in houses as cleaners, pig rearing and daily wage labor. Due to caste stigma they are unable to change their occupation; few of them tried but failed. People of other castes do not purchase items from their shops. Almost 20% people drink alcohol during the day. Like most Indian families, the decisions were mostly taken by the men. Balmiki bastis face water problem and they draw water from hand pumps. There is no health facility in their area, and the only facility that is available is electricity. There are Primary and Middle schools but the children do not get any school funded scholarship. There are many castes including Balmiki, Brahman, Gupta, Saini, Jain, Meena, Gujjar, Chamar and kori. Every caste group has its own temple for worshipping.

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ಎಬಿವಿಪಿ ಭಯೋತ್ಪಾದನೆ: ಪ್ರಸ್ತಾವನೆ

 

ಹಾರೋಹಳ್ಳಿರವೀಂದ್ರ (Harohalli Ravindra)

Ravindra bookಉಗ್ರ ಹಿಂದುತ್ವವಾದಿ ವಿ.ಡಿ. ಸಾವರ್ಕರ್ "ಯಾರಿಗೆ ಭಾರತ ದೇಶ ಪಿತೃಭೂಮಿಯಷ್ಟೇ ಅಲ್ಲ, ಪುಣ್ಯ ಭೂಮಿಯು ಆಗಿದಿಯೊ ಆತನೇ ಹಿಂದೂ" ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಪ್ರಮುಖವಾಗಿ ಮುಸ್ಲಿಮರನ್ನು, ಕ್ರೈಸ್ತರನ್ನು, ಪಾರಸಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಯಹೂದ್ಯರನ್ನು ಹೊರಗಿಡುವುದು ಮತ್ತು ಬೌದ್ಧ, ಜೈನ, ಸಿಖ್ಖರನ್ನು ಒಳತೆಗೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಉದ್ದೇಶಗಳು ಇದ್ದವು ಎಂದು ಸುರೇಶ್ ಭಟ್ ಬಾಕ್ರಬೈಲು ಅವರ 'ಕೇಸರಿ ಭಯೋತ್ಪಾದನೆ' ಕೃತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಕ್ಷೀಕರಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ಕರ್ಮ ಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತ, ಜಾತಿ ಪದ್ದತಿ ಮತ್ತು ವರ್ಣವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಯ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಸಂರಚನೆಯನ್ನೇ ಹೊಂದಿರುವ ಹಿಂದೂಧರ್ಮ ಸಾವರ್ಕರ್ ಅಂತವರ ಪ್ರತಿಪಾದನೆಗಳಿಂದ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ಪರಿಕಲ್ಪನೆಗೆ ತೆವಳಿಕೊಂಡಿತು. ಅದು ನ್ಯಾಶನಲಿಟಿ ಎಂದರೆ ಹಿಂದೂ, ಹಿಂದೂ ಎಂದರೆ ನ್ಯಾಶನಲಿಟಿ ಎನ್ನುವ ಹಂತಕ್ಕೆ ತಲುಪಿದೆ. ಭಾರತದ ಬಹುಪಾಲು ಜನರನ್ನು ದೇಶಪ್ರೇಮ ಎಂದರೆ ಹಿಂದೂಧರ್ಮವನ್ನು ರಕ್ಷಿಸುವುದು ಎಂಬಂತೆ ಹಲವರನ್ನು ಮ್ಯಾನುಪುಲೇಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಇಂದಿಗೂ ಕೋಟ್ಯಾಂತರ ಮಂದಿ ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮ ರಕ್ಷಿಸಿದರೆ ದೇಶ ರಕ್ಷಿಸಿದಂತೆ ಎಂದು, ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯತೆ ಪರಿಕಲ್ಪನೆಯ ಅರಿವಿಲ್ಲದೆ ಮಾತನಾಡುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ತಿಳಿದುಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಾಗಿರುವುದು ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯತೆ ಎಂದರೆ ಏನು? ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯತೆಯನ್ನು ಹೇಗೆ ಪ್ರತಿಪಾಧನೆ ಮಾಡಬೇಕು? ಭಾರತದಂತಹ ಬಹುಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ, ಬಹುಧರ್ಮಗಳ ಭೂ ಪ್ರದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಅದರ ಪರಿಕಲ್ಪನೆಯನ್ನು ವಿಸ್ತರಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳವುದಾದರು ಹೇಗೆ? ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ತಿಳಿಯಬೇಕಿದೆ. ಸಂಘ ಪರಿವಾರದ ಹಿಡಿತದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾರ್ಯನಿರ್ವಹಿಸುವ ಕೋಟ್ಯಾಂತರ ಅಮಾಯಕರಿಗೆ ಇಂತಹ ಪರಿಕಲ್ಪನೆಗಳ ಅರಿವಿಲ್ಲ. ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯತೆ ಎಂದರೆ ಒಬ್ಬ ಮನುಷ್ಯ ತಾನು ಹುಟ್ಟಿದ ನೆಲದ ಮೇಲಿನ ಆತ್ಮಗೌರವ. ಆದರೆ ಇಲ್ಲಿ ತಾನು ಜನಿಸಿದ ನೆಲದ ಮೇಲಿನ ಆತ್ಮಗೌರವದ ಪರಿಕಲ್ಪನೆಗಿಂತ, ಧಾರ್ಮಿಕ ಅಜೆಂಡಾವನ್ನೆ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯತೆ ಎಂದು ಕರೆಯಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ತಾನುಟ್ಟಿದ ಸಮಾಜದಲ್ಲಿ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಯ ಚಿಂತನೆಗಳ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ನೆಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ಸಮೂಹ ಚಲಿಸಿದಾಗ, ಆತ ಅವರ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ಸೆಣಸಾಡಬೇಕಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಇಂತಹ ಬಿಕ್ಕಟ್ಟು ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಕಾಲಘಟ್ಟದಲ್ಲೂ ಹಾದು ಹೋಗಿದೆ. ಹಿಂದೆ ಅವುಗಳನ್ನು ಸೈದ್ಧಾಂತಿಕ ವೈರುಧ್ಯಗಳು, ಹೊಸ ಮಾದರಿಯ ಆಲೋಚನಾ ಕ್ರಮ ಎಂದು ಕರೆಯುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು. ಆದರೆ ಇಂದು ಆ ನಿಲುವುಗಳನ್ನೆ ದೇಶದ್ರೋಹ ಎಂದು ಕರೆಯಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ.

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Media – The oppressor’s tool to divide and rule

 

Vikas Bagde

vikas bagdeThe media not only has a mass reach in the country, but is also able to influence this large population according to its wishes. Most of the time (or rather, all the time), the ruling class use the power of the media to safeguard their interests. You can see this from the coverage of Anna Hazare's 'anti-corruption' movement where there were only a few thousand people, while they gave everyone the impression that the whole country was burning. Everyone knows what happened after that.

Media doesn't exist only to disseminate news. Its main purpose is to create opinion and generate debate in the country, on issues of 'public interest'. The media imposes its opinions on the common people who go to work, labour or farm every day and want to know what is happening in the country when they return in the evening. After working the whole day, they are perhaps not in a position to think of anything beyond what the media tells them. Another reason the common people believe the channels is that when they switch on the TV, they see the same issue on every channel – making them believe that it is an issue of national importance. These innocent people do not know that all those media houses have mutual consensus and common agendas. Such victimized people don't even realize that whatever opinion they have is not actually theirs, but is that of those media houses. The entire time, they live under an illusion that they are reacting on their own, while in reality, their reactions to any situation are enforced by the media manipulators, who do all of this very shamelessly.

Media houses not only safeguard their interests by propagating their agenda but also put millions of lives at stake without shame. If we take Rohith Vemula's example, the media never gave space when he and his friends were protesting. They gave space in the news after his institutional murder but never put pressure on the state machinery to take action against the culprits, who are still roaming free. To lose a person like Rohith is a great blow that no country can afford, but intellectual persons like him are always a danger to the associates of media houses, because of which his institutional murder was an event of celebration for them - and they acted accordingly. None of the media houses raised a question on the management and autonomy of Central Universities.

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Who’s your Perfect Dalit Woman?

 

Christina Thomas Dhanaraj

christina thomas dhanaraj 1"The oppressor is solidary with the oppressed only when he stops regarding the oppressed as an abstract category and sees them as persons who have been unjustly dealt with, deprived of their voice, cheated in the sale of their labor -- when he stops making pious, sentimental, and individualistic gestures and risks an act of love. True solidarity is found only in the plenitude of this act of love, in its existentiality, in its praxis. To affirm that men and women are persons and as persons should be free, and yet to do nothing tangible to make this affirmation a reality, is a farce."
~ Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

I have come to believe that intersection is a beautiful thing. Not necessarily from the lens of the onlooker, but from within myself, for myself. The fact that I'm Dalit, Tamizh, Christian, Woman, and everything else could only mean there are layers to the person that I am, with every layer attributing me with experiences that make me complex and unique. So as a contemporary Dalit woman living in urban India, I recognize the path my ancestors and I have travelled to reach this place in history. Like many of my peers, I grew up listening to the stories of how our grandfathers and grandmothers moved from place to place; how they found jobs before they found a career; how they found a religion that promised the dignity Hinduism denied; how they navigated social, academic, and political spaces rife with discrimination; how they married and loved and had children amidst hate;and how they survived, and sometimes thrived, in a country that refused to recognize their humanity. I grew up seeing my parents carryon this legacy of assertion, at their workplace, at the church, in the community, and in our so-called social circles. Needless to say, this was no easy feat.

Who am I? Why am I a Dalit woman?

I grew up in a lower middle class family in a town on the outskirts of Chennai. And unlike many of my Christian friends, I came to know which caste I belonged to much earlier in life. I was probably 5 years of age when my mother sat me down, and almost in whispers, explained what our ancestors were made to do for a living. "They disposed of the dead", she said. That those we saw dancing and playing the parai during a funeral, could in fact be our brothers. That they, and therefore we, were supposedly untouchable. I remember being very upset, refusing to believe what she told me. I may have even cried a little.

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Some Innocent Questions for Maratha Brothers and Sisters

 

Pruthviraj Rama Gorakh

pruthviraj rama gorakh 2On the 13th of July, an incident of brutal rape and murder took place in Kopardi village of Ahmadnagar district in Maharashtra, and shook up the state socio-politically. A 15-year-old girl had been raped and murdered by three men from the same locality. The act was a height of perversion in terms of brutality. According to the police investigation report, there were deep bite marks all over the body, her hairs pulled out, lips mutilated, teeth smashed, limbs broken and shoulder dislocated. Anyone with a sound mind will be disturbed by this heinous crime. Repercussions of this incident are still being seen in society and will likely last well into the future.

After the death of the victim, all political party leaders including the Chief Minister arrived to console the victim's family. Dalit leaders were also willing to visit the victim's family, but people in the village did not allow them. The reason behind this was that the culprits were Dalits and the victim was a Maratha girl. The Police and state machinery barred Dalit leaders from visiting, citing the reason as: 'maintaining law and order situation'.

After their visits, the remaining political leaders issued various statements. For example, Raj Thackeray, the leader of MNS said that there was a need to bring a law like "Sharia" to stop crimes like rape. In another statement, he said that there was a need to scrap the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Veteran Maratha leader Sharad Pawar said the same thing. Shiv Sena chief Udhav Thackeray called for an emergency session in the State Assembly. Jiva Pandu Gavit, the only MLA from CPI-M, declared that such criminals should be lashed and hung in public. Chief Minister D. Fadanvis declared that people shall be issued with weapon licenses for self-protection, and veteran political figure Anna Hazare demanded death penalty for the rapists to set an example in society.

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Pandit Patwardhan's Jai Bhim Comrade: A Case Study in Brahminism

 

Dhurwa R.

Anand Patwardhan’s Jai Bhim Comrade is one of the best examples of how brahminical powerplay makes a farce out of the most hard fought battles put up by Dalits, and does that rather patronizingly. Before I even watched the film, the title itself (and the media hype with one of its first screenings planned in Ramabai Nagar) had raised doubts in my mind. That perhaps it would be another attempt by a left Brahmin to rally Dalits towards the communists since Jai Bhim is a revolutionary assertion of Dalit identity and it almost always causes unease among non-Dalits, especially Brahmins/savarnas. Patwardhan has very cleverly used it as an attempt to deceive or mislead Dalits by adding the suffix - Comrade, a word used typically by the indian left lost in their imagined revolution. One can also see that this is perhaps the earlier seed for the strange mantra and highly misleading slogan of ‘Jai Bhim - Lal Salam’, fashionable among indian leftists of late.

JAI HANUMAN COMRADE 1

Artwork by Pinak Banik

The racist generalisations of brahmin media/academia

This documentary may give one a feeling that events are unfolding themselves and that it is a telling commentary on the turn of the events (explained later in this article). However, there’s enough commentary and judgments by Patwardhan that appear in English along with the subtitles which makes it amply clear that this is a premeditated attempt at belittling Dalits and to create suspicion among them towards each other. For example, on the backdrop of a rally by Republican Party of India his judgement appears/reads on the screen as: “The co-option of Dalits into the project of Hindutva has yielded rich dividends nationally for the BJP but as yet in Maharashtra the legacy of Dr Ambedkar acts as a shield against bigotry”. So essentially Dalits, except for those belonging to Maharashtra are getting “hinduised” according to Patwardhan. This judgement comes from Patwardhan around the year 2010-11 when his film would most likely have been in the final editing/post-production phase (the film released towards the end of 2011). This, he is commenting around the time when a Dalit woman, Mayawati, the chief minister of the India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, is completing her five year term with an unprecedented control over law and order of a state that was most infamous for terror and caste violence prior to her reign. So would ‘hinduised’ Dalits bring a Dalit woman to power with an overwhelming majority, who in her previous brief stints as a chief minister had named several Universities and districts after events/people related to Ambedkar and Buddhsim? She was also recognised by the international media around the time of her government as one of the most influential women of the world.

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JNUSU Elections- Three ideas of Nation

 

Vivek Singh

vivek singhJNU has been in the limelight since 9th February, when supposedly “anti-national and seditious” slogans were raised in the campus (the matter is sub judice). In this scenario, many eyes were turned towards the JNU Students Union elections which happened this September. What was also evident is that the idea of nation and nationalism would be important grounds of consideration during this election.

In the election, we saw a competition between three strong ideological forces– the right (ABVP), the left (AISA-SFI ‘Left Unity’ alliance supported by other left organizations) and the Ambedkarite (BAPSA). In this context, I would like to argue that three different ideas of nation emerged from these three positions.[i]

The Right’s Idea of Nation: “Only Right is Right”

The ABVP, associated with the RSS, believes in the idea of the ‘Hindu Nation’. According to it, the right's way is the only right way to think of the nation. Their idea of nation is based on unity (ekta) and not on equality (samta)[ii] and any dissent is seen as a threat to the nation. This right wing force defines nation mostly by pointing to the anti-national. Like the leaders of BJP who have several times asked people to ‘go to Pakistan’, the ABVP has taken it upon itself to give certificates of nationalism. Thus, a vast majority of people are excluded from their idea of nation – people who wear the ‘wrong’ kind of clothes, people who eat the ‘wrong’ kind of food, who fight against Brahmanism and patriarchy, who raise questions about capital punishment, who raise questions on the rights of Adivasis or even those who work in NGOs. The resignation of many Dalit members from the JNU unit of ABVP clearly indicates the growing disillusionment with their idea of nation based on the Manusmriti.

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ಭಾರತದ ಮೊದಲ ಮಹಿಳಾ ಶಿಕ್ಷಕಿ ಮಾತೆ ಸಾವಿತ್ರಿಬಾಯಿ ಫುಲೆ

 

ಸವಿತಾ ಹೊಸಮನಿ (Savita Hosamani)

 

savita hosamaniಭಾರತದ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಅಸ್ಪೃಶ್ಯರಷ್ಟೇ ಶೋಷಣೆಗೆ ಒಳಗಾದ ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ವರ್ಗವೆಂದರೆ ಮಹಿಳೆಯರು. ಮನುಸಂವಿಧಾನದ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಮಹಿಳೆ ವಿದ್ಯೆ ಕಲಿಯಲು ಅರ್ಹಳಲ್ಲ. ಮಹಿಳೆಯರ ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ್ಯ ಹರಣದ ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಭಾಗ ವಿದ್ಯೆಯೇ ಆಗಿತ್ತೆನ್ನಬಹುದು. ಯಾಕೆಂದರೆ ಮಹಿಳೆ ಯಾವತ್ತಿಗೂ ಅಡಿಯಾಳಾಗಿಯೇ ಇರಬೇಕೆಂಬುದು ಮನುವಿನ ಮಸಲತ್ತಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಬಾಲ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ತಂದೆಯ, ಯೌವ್ವನದಲ್ಲಿ ಗಂಡನ ಮತ್ತು ಮುಪ್ಪಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಮಗ ಅವಳನ್ನು ರಕ್ಷಿಸಬೇಕೆಂಬುದು ಮನುಶಾಸನವಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಹೆಣ್ಣನ್ನು ಅಬಲೆ ಎಂಬ ನೆಪದಲ್ಲಿ ಅವಳನ್ನು ಗುಲಾಮಗಿರಿಗೆ ನೂಕಲಾಗಿತ್ತು.

ವೇದಕಾಲದಿಂದಲೂ ವಿದ್ಯೆ ಎನ್ನುವುದು ಕೆಲವೇ ಜನರ ಸೊತ್ತಾಗಿತ್ತು. ವಿದ್ಯೆಯಿಂದ ವಂಚಿತರಾದ ಶೂದ್ರರು ಮತ್ತು ಮಹಿಳೆಯರು ಗುಲಾಮರಂತೆ ಬದುಕಬೇಕಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಆದರೆ ಭಾರತದಲ್ಲಿ ಮೊಟ್ಟ ಮೊದಲ ಬಾರಿಗೆ ಅಸ್ಪೃಶ್ಯರು ಮತ್ತು ಮಹಿಳೆಯರಿಗೆ ವಿದ್ಯೆಯ ಬಾಗಿಲನ್ನು ತೆರೆದವರು ಮಹಾತ್ಮಾ ಜ್ಯೋತಿಬಾ ಫುಲೆ. ಮೊದಲ ಮಹಿಳಾ ಶಿಕ್ಷಕಿ ಅವರ ಧರ್ಮಪತ್ನಿ ಮಾತೆ ಸಾವಿತ್ರಿಬಾಯಿ ಫುಲೆ (1831-1897).

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Scaling silvery mountains: Merit in the ghettos

 

Gurram Seetaramulu

gurram seetaramuluOf late, PV Sindhu's name has been at the forefront of discussions in social media and other platforms. When people all over the world were taken aback by her sporting capabilities, many Telugu people were busy 'googling' her caste, thus giving a glimpse of their culture, traditions and their 'broad-mindedness'. Two years prior to this, a tribal girl Malavath Poorna became the youngest girl in the world to successfully climb the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest. The mainstream media which took cognizance of this news attentively, let it disappear into oblivion with the same speed. Two years later, the Telugu society once again bestowed laurels and praise on Venkata Sindhu for winning the prestigious Olympic Silver. In fact, she deserves every bit of it. As someone on whom there were not much expectations, Sindhu's game, apart from being a treat to watch for many also generated considerable interest about her caste.

Some people who were seen next to her in the road-show in Hyderabad went to the extent of claiming that this medal was only possible because of them! While these people waved their hands endlessly till they pained, they made sure that even Sindhu doesn't get a break from waving her hands. In the meantime, both the Chief Ministers – satirically known to the outside world as 'iddaru chandrulu' ('Two moons', literally; refers to K Chandrashekar Rao and Chandrababu Naidu, chief ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh respectively)  – competed with each other to felicitate Sindhu while driving her across the city in an open-top van showering flowers all through the way.

A tale of two champions from different communities

Both Poorna and Sindhu came out with flying colours in their respective sports in their respective times. But of late, caste and capital are most necessary to make a mark in mainstream sports without which you are a nobody in the contemporary sporting scene. At a disastrous time when you will be considered a threat to the internal security of this country and your patriotism questioned if you choose to support a country of your choice, you will be forced to take a stand either/or with respect to India/Pakistan in the sporting arena. In this way, celebrating Sindhu's win is a testament to such mentality of human nature.

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An Open letter to Gulab Kothari, Owner of Rajasthan Patrika

 

Moti Ram Mensa

Dishonourable Kothari ji,

Jai Bharat.

Early in the morning nobody wishes to spoil his entire day but today, by expressing your narrow minded hatred-filled ideas, you tried to spoil the entire day of Bahujans of the country. But when you read my reply, your evening would certainly be spoiled. While writing your editorial you probably failed to remember that the current era is not the era of the underworld of the print media. The social media is currently dominant, and you could not have even imagined that in this era, a huge number of people will puke on your kind of ideas.

open letter to gulab kothari

You must know that the first line of the constitution that you want to change also has Article 19 which envisages freedom of expression as a fundamental right, on which the foundation of your newspaper stands. The foundation on which, you and your father Karpur Chand Kulish have created this media entity - now you want to change that foundation via your newspaper.

The importance of the sacred profession you belong to for a democracy can be evaluated by Franklin D. Roosevelt's observation: "If a country's media is honest, their government can not become anti-people." Being a person of that great profession, by using your newspaper for promoting a religion you show your lunatic mindset. The people of your mentality live a life of such a philosophy and contemplation that they have nothing to do with real life.

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