Dr. Ambedkar on Scheduled Tribes

 

Adv. Mahendra Jadhav

adv mahendra jadhav1This is a reply to Prof. M.L. Garasiya's post (dated 27.11.2015) 'Sanvidhan me Kyu nahi diya gaya "Adivasi" shabd ko Sthan/Mahatva?' (Why the word "Adivasi" was not given importance/place in the Constitution of India?)

A few days ago, I received a Whatsapp message from one of my friends who stays in Mumbai. The subject of the message was 'Sanvidhan me Kyu nahi diya gaya "Adivasi" shabd ko Sthan/Mahatva?' (Why was the word "Adivasi" not given importance/place in the Constitution of India?). This article was written by one Prof. M.L. Garasiya. In this article, he alleges that Dr. Ambedkar did not place the word 'Adivasi' in the Constitution of India and did not even speak for the tribals' rights. Mr. Garasiya said that it was Mr. Jaipal Singh Munda who actually stressed the word 'Adivasi' in the Fifth Schedule and stood strongly for tribal rights.

Prof. M.L. Garasiya also alleges that Dr. Ambedkar did not speak about tribals since he was afraid that Dalits will have lesser rights as compared to tribals, which is why he did not include the word "Adivasi" in the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

As an Ambedkarite and a student of the Constitution of India, I felt it was necessary to answer these allegations. Before writing my views on this, I would like to convey my deep thanks to my friend who felt that I could do justice to this subject and shared the article written by Prof. M.L. Garasiya. I have tried my best to do justice to the subject and reply to all the allegations made by Mr. Garasiya. In doing so, I have taken the statements of some eminent personalities who acknowledged the work of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in speaking for tribal rights.

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Left Wants Victimized Dalits… not Victorious Dalits

 

Murali Ramathoti

murali ramathotiThe upcoming student union elections at the University of Hyderabad once again prove that Rohith Vemula was correct when he said “No left, no liberal left, and no radical left stand by the oppressed people of India”.

These elections are crucial for BJP government as it wants to create bastions in all higher educational spaces. Since it came to power at the Centre, it started implementing a policy of landing its members as the heads of these institutions. Among those initiatives, the selection of Apparao Podile as Vice-Chancellor of HCU is one.

Prior to his appointment, the BJP and RSS had given clear indications to its student outfit ABVP across the country to frame other organisations, particularly Dalit and minority student organisations, as anti-nationals so that they can ban these from campuses and implement the Manusmriti.

It was the result of those directions that agitations occurred in several higher educational institutions such as the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle in IIT Madras, FTII in Pune, Pondicherry Central University, HCU and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

But everywhere Dalit and oppressed students resisted against the hooliganism of the ABVP and BJP. In this process, five dalit research scholars of HCU, who were active in the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA), were suspended and socially boycotted by HCU administration and Apparao. Among them, Rohith Vemula committed suicide -- which created a nationwide struggle against the BJP Hindu fascist government.

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On the Hate Reservations Band Wagon

 

A.K.D. Jadhav

ajit jadhavChetan Bhagat's article "Creaming the People" (TOI October 3, 2015) is a piece with the general stream of thinking in educated upper middle class India. In terms of its response to the genesis and consequences of reservations this stream of thinking is based on certain fundamental but fallacious assumptions regarding the raison d' etre for reservations. These assumptions betray not only a less than nodding acquaintance with Indian constitutional history but more sadly an innocence of the principles of political theory and science on which the structure of affirmative action is erected in most mature democracies around the world. A structure which also found place in India's constitution through the medium of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. 

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Bojja Tharakam: The Dalit Leader

 

Prof. P. Kesava Kumar

bojja tharakam 1Bojja Tharakam (1939-2016), a Dalit leader of high eminence, passed away on 17th September 2016. He was a well-known Dalit leader with multiple facets to his personality. He left his mark on most of the democratic struggles of Telugu society in post independence India. He was a people's leader, civil rights activist, advocate, organizer, writer, poet and ideologue of democratic struggles. His activism did not remain confined to either of the dominant streams of his times - Marxism inspired revolutionary struggles or Dalit movement. He traversed both with unparalleled ease and sense of purpose. He has been critical of Marxism for its caste blindness but he did not undermine either of the struggles. Instead, he brought credence to both.

He was born in a village in Konaseema of coastal Andhra in an Ambedkarite family in 1939. His father, Bojja Appala Swamy, was a first generation dalit leader in independent India and was responsible for establishing Ambedkar-led Scheduled Castes Federation in 1942 and had been elected as a Member of Legislative Assembly in the 1950s.

Educate, Agitate and Organize

Tharakam was an active student leader and completed his graduation in Law. He started practicing law from late 1960s to late 1970s in Nizamabad and engaged in a wide range of struggles by organizing Rythu Coolie Sangham and Ambedkar Yuvajana Sangham. He was arrested during emergency and imprisoned for his public activism on various issues of the people. Later he shifted to Hyderabad and started practising in the High Court and was appointed as Public Prosecutor of the Administrative Tribunal. Later, in protest against the Karamchedu massacre, he resigned from this post and continued as senior advocate by taking up the cases of the people.

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ಅರಸು ಎಂಬ ವಿದ್ಯಮಾನ

 

ಡಾ. ಸಬಿತಾ ಬನ್ನಾಡಿ (Sabitha Bannadi)

sabithaಅದೊಂದು ಬಡವರಿಗೆ ಕೈಗಾಡಿ ವಿತರಿಸುವ ಸಮಾರಂಭ. ರಾಜ್ಯದ ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿಯೇ ಖುದ್ದಾಗಿ ಈ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮವನ್ನು ಉದ್ಘಾಟಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಬಡವರಿಗೆ ಕೈಗಾಡಿಗಳನ್ನು ವಿತರಿಸಿದ ಅವರು ಆ ಕೈಗಾಡಿಗಳನ್ನು ಬಳಸಿಕೊಂಡು ತಮ್ಮ ಜೀವನ ಮಟ್ಟವನ್ನು ಸುಧಾರಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವಂತೆ ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಹಾಗೆ ಅವರು ಹೇಳುವ ಮಾತುಗಳು ಮಾಮೂಲೀ ರಾಜಕಾರಣಿಯ ಮಾತಿನಂತೆ ಇರುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ಬದಲಿಗೆ ಮನೆಯ ಹಿರಿಯನೊಬ್ಬ ಆಡುವ ಕಳಕಳಿಯ ಮಾತಿನಂತೆ ಅನ್ನಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಇಂತಹ ಮಾತುಗಳು ಆ ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿಗೆ ಜನರ ಕುರಿತಾಗಿ ಇರುವ ಕಳಕಳಿಯೂ ಆಗಿ ಧ್ವನಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. "ಈ ಬ್ಯಾಂಕುಗಳು ಇವರಿಗೆ ಸಾಲವನ್ನು ಕೊಟ್ಟರೆ ಯಾರೂ ಹಿಂದಕ್ಕೆ ಕೊಡದೇ ಹೋಗುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ನೂರಕ್ಕೆ ಒಬ್ಬನೋ, ಇಬ್ಬರೋ ಕೊಡದೇ ಇರಬಹುದು. ಈ ಜನ ದುಡ್ಡನ್ನು ಕದಿಯುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಇಷ್ಟಪಡುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ದುಡಿಮೆ ಮಾಡುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಅವಕಾಶ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಟ್ಟರೆ ಅವರೆಂದಿಗೂ ಕದಿಯುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ತಮ್ಮದೇ ಆದ ಬಂಡವಾಳ ಹೂಡುವುದಕ್ಕೆ, ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಇಚ್ಛೆ ಪಡುತ್ತಾರೆ. ನಿಮಗೀಗ ಈ 600 ರೂಪಾಯಿ ಬಂಡವಾಳವೇ ಆಸ್ತಿ. ನಿಮ್ಮ ಜೀವಮಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಇದು ಎಷ್ಟು ಮಹತ್ವದ್ದು. ಮಾಲೀಕರು ನೀವೆ. ದಿವಸಕ್ಕೆ 2 ರೂಪಾಯಿಯನ್ನು ಬ್ಯಾಂಕಿಗೆ ಕಟ್ಟುತ್ತಾ ಬಂದರೆ 20 ತಿಂಗಳ ಅವಧಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಸಾಲ ತೀರುತ್ತದೆ. . . . ನೀವು ಒಂದು ಸಾವಿರ ರೂಪಾಯಿ ಕಟ್ಟಿದ ಹಾಗೆ ಆಗುತ್ತದೆ. ನೀವು ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡ 600 ರೂಪಾಯಿ ಸಾಲ ವಜಾ ಆಗಿ ಗಾಡಿ ನಿಮ್ಮದಾಯಿತು; ಇನ್ನು 100 ರೂಪಾಯಿ ನೀವು ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡ ಸಾಲಕ್ಕೆ ಬಡ್ಡಿಯಾಯಿತು. ಇನ್ನೂ 300 ರೂಪಾಯಿ ನಿಮ್ಮದು ಅಂತ ಬ್ಯಾಂಕಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಉಳಿಯಿತು; ಉಳಿದ ಈ 300 ರೂಪಾಯಿಗಳನ್ನು ನಮ್ಮ ಟ್ರಸ್ಟ್ ಬೋರ್ಡ್ನಿಂದ ಬಡವರಿಗೆ ಕಡಿಮೆ ದರದಲ್ಲಿ ಸೈಟುಗಳನ್ನು, ಮನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕೊಡುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಏರ್ಪಾಡು ಮಾಡುತ್ತಾ ಇದ್ದೇವೆ. ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಈ ಹಣವನ್ನು ಉಪಯೋಗಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬಹುದು. (ಪ್ರಗತಿ ಪಥ; ಪು. 231; ಸಂ: ಹಾ.ಮಾ.ನಾ; 1976) ಹೀಗೆ ಮನೆ ಯಜಮಾನನಂತೆ ತಿಳಿಹೇಳಿದ ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿ ದೇವರಾಜ ಅರಸು. ಅರಸು ಅವರ ಭಾಷಣಗಳ ಸಂಗ್ರಹ ಓದಿದರೆ ಅವರ ಇಂತಹ ಹಲವು ಮಾತುಗಳು ಕಾಣಸಿಗುತ್ತವೆ. ಆ ಮೂಲಕ ಅರಸು ಅವರ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿತ್ವದ ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ಮಗ್ಗುಲು ತೆರೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳತ್ತದೆ.

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Against Brahminical Tradition: A Dalit Critique of Indian Modernity

 

Dr. P. Kesava Kumar

kesava kumar'I don't know when I was born/but I was killed on this very soil thousand years ago/ 'dying again and again to be born again'/ I don't know the karma theory/I am being born again and again where I was dead.'1 ~ Kalekuri Prasad

History!/ all these years how could you hide/ the fire in our mouth..../how could you tolerate/inequality and inhumanity2 (Juluri Gowrishankar)

With a smile on his face/ Shambhuka is slaying Rama/ with his axe/Ekalavya is cutting Drona's thumb away/ with his small feet/ Bali is sending Vamana down to pathala/ With needles in his eyes/ and lead in is ears/ Manu, having cut his tongue is seen rolling on the graveyard/ standing on the merciless sword of time/ and roaring with rage/ The Chandala is seen hissing four houndson Sankaracharya/ Oh..!/ The History that is occurring today/ Is the most Chandala history3 (Siva Sagar)

'The burden of reason, dreams of freedom, the desire for power, resistance to power: all of these are elements of modernity. There is no promised land of modernity outside the network of power. Hence one can not be for or against modernity; one can devise strategies for coping with it. These strategies are sometimes beneficial, often destructive; sometimes they are tolerant, perhaps all too often they are fierce and violent.'4

Introduction

Dalits are an oppressed people for many generations due to the caste system of India. Dalits are the worst victims of the caste system. In the name of caste, they are often degraded, discriminated, humiliated, insulted and exploited. Caste is an elaborate social system that influences all other institutions of the society. It is an important marker of traditional Indian society. Caste is carried through religion. In India, the caste system and the Hindu religion are interlinked and inseparable. There were various attempts to reform or transform the Indian society to make it humane, democratic and modern. The intellectuals of social reform and Indian nationalist movement were forced to negotiate with colonial modernity on many accounts. The nationalist social aspirations were articulated by the elite and liberal intellectuals, who happened to be the people of brahminical class, on behalf of the nation. They seemed to be modern in their appeal and traditional in practice. Through their literary, cultural and philosophical discourses they shaped the Indian modernity. This modernity definitely differs from the western modernity. To a certain extent, they managed to overcome the western imposed tradition-modern dichotomy.

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Caste and Maududian antagonism: Thinking Muslim theo-politics

 

Muhammed Shah (Shan)

shan muhammedIf one reads Usthad Abul A'ala Maududi as an early new historicist of Islam, we can't find enough reasons to dismiss his arguments. Perhaps the new historicist elements which to some extent are inherent to the Maududian understanding of Islamic historical moments, have created an aura of mysterious controversy around the figure of Maududi within the Muslim community. For example, in criticizing the emergence of monarchy, formation of 'sects', and 'divisions' in the history of Islamic governmentality, he practices an approach which is largely concerned with the historical material context, to determine a religious event. As Islamic religious events are traditionally understood from quite a meta-historical perspective, his approach has remained widely unaccepted in the Muslim community.

A Marxist should not have a problem with the new historicist way of understanding religious events, as religion and culture are byproducts of the material evolution of humankind in the Marxist perspective. Also, Usthad Maududi is known for framing the idea of being Muslim as being a rational believer, than being a mere heir of religion. Especially his critical analysis of Khulafaurashida (first four rulers of Islam) somewhat resembles the method of Patricia Crone who studied the history of governmentality in Islam from a modern perspective of statehood, although their critical locations are different. This has triggered a lot of debates among the Muslim community on many aspects. But my concern here is as to why Maududi is still a spectral presence across Indian campuses, suspending this particular irony whenever the caste question is raised from a Muslim political location.

Contemporary Muslim student politics, which is largely engaged by Islamists, traditionalists and Salafis has been keen in keeping an ethical dimension in its understanding of caste. In other words, ethics is a spiritual question for a Muslim subject. Muslim ethical discontent with caste is not that of mere solidarity or illegality but can only be that of pure theological conviction which transcends the limits of the political. Precisely because it provides a possibility to deconstruct the very self, it even has the radical potential for the annihilation of the remnants of caste practices among Muslim converts. I would like to call it 'Muslim theo-politics'. Having a metaphysical origin, caste is something that immensely precludes the process of 'becoming' an Indian subject. In order to overcome this stagnation of a subject, one has to imagine a counter metaphysics which is very much present in Muslim theo-politics. This is at odds with much of the contemporary anti-caste discourses, since its emancipatory aspects are very much outside Indian modernity.

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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.

bojja tharakam 1

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