It's caste policing, not plain 'moral' policing

 

Kuffir

policing_mindset

An article in The Times of India a couple of days ago, titled 'Missing the point on policing the moral police', expresses anger over the fact that instead of commiserating with the victims of the recent attack by Hindutva goons on a private party in a resort in Mangalore 'a section of society is delivering homilies on women and culture'. The writer adds:

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Don't Give Me Red!

Ajith Kumar A S

ajith_kumar_copyGoing straight into the matter, let me confirm that this note is my response to Anand Teltumbde's article "It's Not Red Vs Blue" published in Outlook ( Aug 20, 2012). I am sure that it is not a comprehensive critique of the article. But rather I will be sharing some questions that came up in my mind while I read that article. The article seems to be an invitation to both dalits and the left for a creative engagement. The title says "It's Not Red Vs Blue". And the explanation of the title is "Ambedkar was more about class than caste, but the Left won't see it that way". I think the problem starts there or I would rather say, it is the first thing that started troubling me. Is he trying to say that the only way Marxists and dalits can come together is by reducing Dr Ambedkar's politics into class? And that the merging of caste into class, the "master category", that an alliance is possible? If he means that, I feel, this article is a call to the dalits to give up the caste question and merge into class. I felt from the beginning to the end of the article that it tries to convince that Ambedkar was talking more about class than caste so that dalits can move on to Marxism and that Marxists can appropriate Ambedkar.

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Will Sikh Leaders install Hindu Gods in the Golden Temple?


Pardeep Attri

The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history, Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster. The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. - Milan Kundera.

punjab_hindutva

In the month June 2012, the Government of Punjab announced that it will set up a 'cow memorial' at a factory site in Joga town, Mansa District, where recovery of cow carcasses had sparked off riots. And a day after announcing a 'cow memorial', the Badal Government further announced it will constitute a 'cow commission'  to 'prevent cruelties against the holy animal'. Mr. Badal even made a visit to the factory where cow slaughter was supposedly taking place and instructed the DGP to look into the cases of cow slaughter with interest and thoroughly. Mr. Badal and his party members didn't even have the time to pay a visit to the blanket factory at Jalandhar which collapsed in April 2012 and which left more than 10 people dead and 100s badly injured. Not even a single statement came in favor of dead or injured in the one of worst factory accidents of Punjab's history. Was it because people working at that factory were poor and their lives were not as important as the lives of cows? And recently, when a madman at a Wisconsin Sikh Gurdwara killed 6 people, Mr. Badal, CM of Punjab, decided to visit Wisconsin! Isn't it strange that when in his home state, thousands Dalits are being tortured and when the crime rate against Dalits is going up day by day, he decided to visit Wisconsin to comfort Sikhs of Wisconsin? Is it because these people living abroad finance him and support his party during the election time and the poor Dalits don't have as much money to donate? So Dalit voices are left unheard.

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Wherever Dalits assert themselves, there is a massacre!

 

Ravi Chandran

All the atrocities committed on Dalits are a result of Dalit assertion. This was also exposed on the intellectual level recently, when some Dalits theorized on the Ambedkar cartoon and the non-Dalit intellectuals joined hands for an all out war against them; in this too they found a few amenable Dalit intellectuals to pamper. The 'pampered' Dalits are a serious problem for the Dalit movement at the grassroots level. Take the case of Khairlanji, where the Inspector, Doctor were all Dalits but still the doctor's report and the FIR, which was not registered according to the law, were manipulated. The present case of violence in Lakshmipeta throws a serious challenge to the Dalit movement in contemporary politics. Mr. Sudarshan, the Sub-Inspector of the area, is a Dalit (Mala); the Circle Inspector Mr. Shashibhushan is a Dalit; Additional DSP Sagar is Mala; DSP Mr. Bala Mani belongs to a Scheduled Tribe;  on top of all, Mr. Kondru Murali, Dalit (Mala) MLA of the constituency, is also the Health Minister in the present Congress government. Though all these people were there, still Dalits in that region were murdered brutally. This article focuses on the background of the attack and the politics of a few Dalit organizations whose stand seems to be aligned with the state government.

lakshimpeta_vijayawada

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Well done Mary Kom!

(The impact of Mary Kom's bronze, and what it means for the North East)

Kima

A few hours ago, Mary Kom lost her semi finals bout against home team's Nicola Adams. I was here at home in Khar West, Mumbai, watching the match with my friends Akshay, Syed, Param, Pooja and Ajay. We actually set the alarm on our phones for 6pm so that we that we wouldn't miss the fight. In fact we didn't miss a single fight of hers this Olympics 2012.

She lost, but all of us were bloody proud of her.

mary-flag

I was especially proud of her because she's from the North East.

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Mockery of Reservation at the University of Delhi

Academic Forum for Social Justice

The University of Delhi is a fully funded Central University established under an Act of Parliament. As per the provisions of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admissions) Act of 2006 (CEI Act), the University should reserve its seats as follows: 15% for Scheduled Castes, 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes, and 27% for Other Backward Classes. However, what is practiced in the University is a systematic denial of seats to the students belonging to the reserved categories. The University has been given huge amounts as grants to provide reservation, but the seats of the reserved categories are systematically diverted to the General Category.

The following data obtained through the Right to Information Act (Original Application No. 1208 of 2012) by the Academic Forum for Social Justice, an organization of the teachers of the University, is, to say the least, shocking. Just in the year 2011, the University left vacant more than 6000 seats earmarked for the reserved categories. At the same time, there is gross over admission in the General Category. The following table is based on the information given by the University (Reply No. Info/OA/1208/ 2012/6198, dated 31 July 2012):

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D.C. Ahir: A Legend in Buddhist and Ambedkar Studies

 

Shiv Shankar Das

dc_1Diwan Chand Ahir (28 Feb, 1928 – 12 July, 2012), a great researcher on Buddhism and Dr. Ambedkar who published 72 books, would be always remembered among the academicians and researchers all over the world. His association with Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar left a great impact on him and his works. He has many awards to his credit. The Government of Sri Lanka conferred on him the honour of 'Buddha Sasanajyoti' on 19th January, 2003. On 26th January, 2010, he was awarded 'Samyak Prakashan Sahitya Samman 2010' for his remarkable contribution to literature by Samyak Prakashan, Delhi. On 30th November, 2001, the Mahabodhi Society of India (Sarnath) conferred on him the honorary title of 'Bauddha Sahitya Shiromani'. As he has passed away on 12th July, 2012, it would be a rich tribute to him to remember his life, events, writings and other valuable contributions. To commorate him, this article is divided into the following six parts:

  • Interview with him, conducted by myself and Prof. Timothy Fitzgerald,
  • Hiis life sketch,
  • His sssociation with Babsaheb Dr. Ambedkar,
  • Towards Buddhism,
  • His writings
  • His participation in Seminars & conferences.

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Stop Attacking Dalit Statues and Dalit Pride

 

Pardeep Attri

If you want to destroy a society, destroy its history and the society will get destroyed automaticallyDr. Ambedkar.

On 26th July, a statue of Behan Mayawati was broken in Lucknow; a day later, three statues of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar were broken in Azamgarh and on 30th July, another statue of Dr. Ambedkar was vandalised in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. All this is not new and has been happening to Dalit leaders' statues, Dalit idols or icons, Dalit places and Dalit history since ages. Numerous Dalit saints/gurus were killed - such as Sant Chakardhar, Sant Namdev, Sant Tukaram, Guru Ravidas, Sant Chokhamela; people even tried to kill Mahatma Jyotiba Phule & Shahuji Maharaj. Dalit history has been maligned and distorted since ages. Historians are supposed to be free from fear, to be sincere, open minded, open hearted truth seekers & also courageous enough to show the truth at any cost. But it is the misfortune of Dalits of India that historians have shown a distorted picture & never showed truth to the people. Being Dalit, we have been taught to hate ourselves, we have been taught that Dalits' don't have any history; we have been taught Dalits can't do any good. Who taught you all this? Upper caste people did.

dr_ambedkar_statue_parliament

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Is Judiciary Biased Against Adivasis?

Gladson Dungdung

On 15 July, 2012, in the afternoon, the weather was cool, the sky was cloudy and it was drizzling. Hundreds of Adivasis of Nagri village entered into the central hall of the Birsa Agriculture University, Ranchi, with the single point agenda to get back their agricultural lands, which had been captured by the State with the power of the Gun. In fact the Birsa Agriculture University was also built on their land after snatching it from their ancestors. They have been resisting the forceful and illegal land acquisition because the present government has been attempting to grab rest of their land in the name of growth and development. They are well aware that if they surrender their land in front of the Gun, they'll become landless, homeless and helpless. Their survival, identity and existence will vanish. Therefore, they were there to attend a meeting called by the "High Power Committee" constituted by the Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Arjun Munda, on the basis of an order of the Jharkhand High Court, which states that the Government should resolve the land row of Nagri within a week otherwise the court will directly deal with the land owners.

nag_27

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Dalit Camera: Past Achievements, Principles and an Appeal

 

Dalit Camera: Past Achievements, Principles and an Appeal to Contribute

~~~

Ravi Chandran, Dalit Camera Team

One year ago, a Dalit (Arunthathiyar) woman Panchayat President was brutally attacked. She did a remarkable job in her Panchayat as a Panchayat President. This was the fourth Dalit Panchayat President who was attacked. She is the only one to survive. The entire Arunthathiyar movement was protesting. I also wanted to contribute to the protest, so I made a documentary [Check the link: Ms.Krishnaveni, Panchayat President, Victim of Caste system]. That was the beginning of what is today known as Dalit Camera.

One of the great Dalit leaders, Mr. Pasupathi Pandian, was brutally murdered in Tamil Nadu. Many Dalits leaders, irrespective of their sub-caste, remarked that Pasupathi Pandian was one among the very few who talked about equality for all. Despite such a widely shared opinion, there are no videos of that great leader to tell us his views (despite which however, I have to say, his contribution to Dalits in Tamil Nadu can never be erased from history). His brief life history can be read in the following link 'I am not a slave and don't make me a slave'- Annan Pasupathi Pandian, a tribute.

 

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Historian of the Lions

Karthik Navayan

'Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter' an African saying tells you. This is the age when indigenous tribes and castes are rewriting their histories. This is the age when new historians, digging deep into the raging conflagrations of untouchability and humiliations of their pasts, are posing new challenges to contemporary historians by formulating their own history.

subjugated-nomads-the-lambadas-under-the-rule-of-the-nizams

What is the history of the indigenous communities who are now recognized as poor, untouchable and mere voters eagerly looking forward to the announcement of various schemes by the government? If we go back 400-500 years, shall we find them in the same state as they are in now? Were their lives the same? The so called eminent contemporary historians have no satisfactory answers to the many questions raised by the indigenous communities. This reveals the hollowness of our current educational establishment, of the research efforts in the knowledge producing institutions. It lays bare the undemocratic nature of the educational system in the country.

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What can a ‘sincere’ upper caste person do?

Pardeep Attri

It's just like when you've got some coffee that's too black, which means it's too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won't even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep – Malcolm X.

After I wrote the last article on Untouchability & Satyamev Jayate, I got an email asking me - so do I think no upper caste person does any good for Dalits? It is a perfect time for this question. I had wanted to write on the same topic for some time now as there was a discussion going on in a forum on almost the same topic – do organisations owned/run by upper caste people really do any work for Dalits?

par_4

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