A Bahujan ‘Third Space’ Beyond Left and Right: Really?

 

Khalid Anis Ansari

Dialogue with BAPSA, JNU: Part One

khalidAt the outset let me extend my congratulations to BAPSA for the splendid performance in JNUSU elections. In the last few weeks I had tried to follow BAPSA's JNUSU campaign from social media and other sources closely and had extended my unequivocal moral support. The quest for a bahujan 'third space' beyond the left and right in the campus was a radical move and the need of the hour. Also, it was heartening to note that despite all slander campaigns hurled at BAPSA they stood their ground and left a lasting impact on JNU's political sphere. However, despite having high hopes from BAPSA there are some areas of concern and disagreement. I think now it is the right time to air them and enter into a dialogue in a spirit of mutual reflection and introspection.

My preliminary concern is that BAPSA is not consistent enough in its critique of the Right. In other words, BAPSA's closeness to the 'Muslim Right'—as represented by the SIO, the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH)—is problematic. As we know Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), which was founded by an Indian born upper-caste Syed, is a global Islamist organization with a totalitarian-supremacist vision and mission. In terms of organizational structure and processes JIH is not a wee bit different from other Marxist or Hindutva organizations equally informed by a founding totalitarian narrative. JIH is a cadre-based organization which runs hospitals, newspapers, publishing houses, schools, colleges, madrasas, dawah (proselytizing) centers, student and women associations, etc. There is little space for dissent and all non-conformist voices are usually shown the door. Wild weeds are pruned periodically and purges don't surprise anybody. JIH has a Majlis-e-Shoora (equivalent to a Marxist 'politburo') which is absolutely dominated by savarna Muslims and without any female representation. The Majlis-e-Shoora does not also have members from other religious communities. In terms of 'maslaqi' (sectarian) orientation JIH is positively disposed towards the Deobandi school of thought and opposed to Barelvi/Shia sects. In short, the charge that JIH is a casteist, patriarchal, sectarian and communal organization may not be at all misplaced. The JIH, until very recently, did not believe in either democracy or secularism. However, the sedimentation of democratic imagination as a norm pushed them to review their position and JIH launched its own political party—Welfare Party of India (WPI)—in 2011. There is nothing novel about this. In the last few decades various leftist and rightist organizations have tweaked their strategies to remain relevant in a complex democratic ethos. This shift has been captured as post-Marxism (Laclau & Mouffe) and post-Islamism (Asef Bayat) by scholars. Overall, I welcome this democratic shift with a few caveats.

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JNU elections & Mulniwasi Bahujans: Self-reliance & Non-dependency as future principles

 

Dr Manisha Bangar

NVP BAMCEF

JNU elections 2016 and Mulniwasi Bahujan Students' Organizations: What's your Direction? What's your Action plan for 2017 and beyond???

manisha bangarJai Bhim! Jai Mulniwasi!

We are listening to inputs of members of Mulniwasi Bahujan samaj and students organizations like Mulniwasi Vidhyarthi Sangh and many more in the background of the JNU elections results of 2016. Though the facets are many, slowly but steadily the blur is disappearing, and we are able to see a lot many things with a lot more clarity.

The new entrants in refurbished palaces

So yes! in the campus of JNU whose territorial limits extend much beyond its geographical limits ....here we are faced with three main student wings of JNUSU, the BJP backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) the Left parties' two major organizations, the All India Students Association (AISA) and Students Federation of India (SFI) forming an alliance, and the Congress party backed National Students' Union of India (NSUI). The BAPSA Birsa-Ambedkar-Phule Students' Association )BAPSA) is a rather new entrant on the block. And it's all on its own. No backing, no mentor party or Organization (at least not overtly).

The Mulniwasi Vidhyarthi Sangh has just about forayed into the JNU campus but its presence was palpable for last two years as Mulniwasi Sangh is the frontal offshoot Organization of BAMCEF. If BAPSA kept the issue of Rohith Vemula vibrant by visiting and revisiting its dimensions from the Phuley Ambedkarite lens, the Mulniwasi Sangh was instrumental in taking the Rohith Vemula upsurge across the country through its network of committed cadres. It did not contest the election and did not field any independent candidates.

BAPSA's impressive show -A blow to Right Wing and Left Wing politics in JNU and beyond

BAPSA's impressive performance in JNU elections 2016 is being read in myriad ways by Mulniwasi Bahujans and various Mulniwasi Bahujan Students' Organizations like the Mulniwasi Vidhyarthi Sangh, ASA etc .

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ನಾರಾಯಣ ಗುರು ಆಂದೋಲನ: ಇತಿಹಾಸ ಮತ್ತು ಇಂದಿನ ಪ್ರಸ್ತುತತೆ

 

ದಿನೇಶ್ ಅಮೀನ್ ಮಟ್ಟು (Dinesh Aminmattu)

dinesh aminmattu19ನೇ ಶತಮಾನದುದ್ದಕ್ಕೂ, ದೇಶದ ವಿವಿಧೆಡೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಎರಡು ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕ ವಿಚಾರಧಾರೆಗಳ ಸುಧಾರಣಾವಾಧಿ ಚಳವಳಿಗಳು ನಡೆದವು. ಮೊದಲನೆಯದ್ದು ರಾಜಾರಾಮ್ ಮೋಹನ್ ರಾಯ್, ದಯಾನಂದ ಸರಸ್ವತಿ, ಕೇಶವ ಸೇನ್, ರಾನಡೆ, ದೇವಿಂದ್ರನಾಥ ಠಾಕೂರ್, ಅನಿಬೆಸೆಂಟ್ ಮೊದಲಾದ ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷ್ ಕಲಿತ ಮೇಲ್ಜಾತಿಯಿಂದಲೇ ಬಂದವರ ನೇತೃತ್ವದ ಚಳವಳಿಗಳು. ಇವು ಮಹಿಳೆಯರು ಮತ್ತು ಶೋಷಿತರಿಗಾಗುತ್ತಿರುವ ಅನ್ಯಾಯದ ವಿರುದ್ದ ದನಿ ಎತ್ತಿದವು.

ಸತಿಪದ್ದತಿ, ವಿಧವಾ ವಿವಾಹ, ವರದಕ್ಷಿಣಿ, ಮೊದಲಾದ ಬಹುಮಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಮೇಲ್ಜಾತಿ ಸಮಾಜದಲ್ಲಿನ ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಮಹಿಳೆಯರಿಗೆ ಸಂಬಂಧಿಸಿದ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಅನಿಷ್ಟಗಳ ನಿವಾರಣೆ, ಈ ಚಳವಳಿಗಳ ಮುಖ್ಯ ಉದ್ದೇಶವಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಆರ್ಯ ಸಮಾಜ ಪ್ರಾರಂಭಿಸಿದ್ದ 'ಶುದ್ಧಿ ಚಳವಳಿ' ಯನ್ನು ಗಮಿಸಿದರೆ, ಕೆಳವರ್ಗದ ಜನ ಕ್ರಿಶ್ಚಿಯನ್ ಧರ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಮತಾಂತರವಾಗುವದನ್ನು ತಪ್ಪಿಸುವುದು ಕೂಡ ಈ ಚಳವಳಿಗಳ ಮುಖ್ಯ ಉದ್ದೇಶವಾಗಿತ್ತೋ ಏನೋ ಎಂಬ ಅನುಮಾನ ಕೂಡಾ ಮೂಡುತ್ತದೆ. ಈ ಚಳವಳಿಗಳು ಕೈಗೆತ್ತಿಕೊಂಡ ಬಹಳಷ್ಟು ಸಮಸ್ಯೆಗಳು ತಳಸಮುದಾಯದ ಜ್ವಲಂತ ಸಮಸ್ಯೆಯಾಗಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಅದೇ ಕಾಲಕ್ಕೆ ಕೆಳವರ್ಗದಿಂದಲೇ ಮೂಡಿ ಬಂದ ನಾಯಕರು, ವರ್ಣಾಶ್ರಮ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಯನ್ನು ಪ್ರಶ್ನಿಸುವ ಚಳವಳಿಗಳ ನೇತೃತ್ವ ವಹಿಸಿದ್ದರು. ಒರಿಸ್ಸಾದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಹಿಮಾ ಸ್ವಾಮಿ ಎಂಬುವವರ ನೇತೃತ್ವದಲ್ಲಿ ಆದಿವಾಸಿಗಳು ತಮಗೆ ಪ್ರವೇಶವಿಲ್ಲವೆಂಬ ಕಾರಣಕ್ಕೆ ಪುರಿಯ ಜಗನ್ನಾಥ ದೇವಾಲಯವನ್ನು ಸುಡಲು ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಿಸಿದ್ದರು.

ಕೊನೆಗೆ ಮಹಿಮಾ ಸ್ವಾಮಿ 1850ರಲ್ಲಿ ಮಹಿಮಾ ಧರ್ಮ ಎಂಬ ಹೊಸಧರ್ಮವನ್ನೇ ಬೋಧಿಸಿದ. ಅದೇ ಕಾಲಕ್ಕೆ ಮಧ್ಯಪ್ರದೇಶದ ಛತ್ತೀಸಘಡದ ಅಸ್ಪೃಶ್ಯರ ಒಂದು ಪಂಗಡವಾಗಿದ್ದ ಚಮ್ಮಾರರಲ್ಲಿ ಸತ್ನಮ್ ಪಂಥ ಹುಟ್ಟಿಕೊಂಡಿತ್ತು. ಅವರು ಪ್ರತಿಭಟನೆಯ ಅಂಗವಾಗಿ ತಾವೇ ಜನಿವಾರ ಹಾಕಿಕೊಳ್ಳತೊಡಗಿದ್ದರು.

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I Will Not Die a Victim, I Want to Live as a Leader~ Manisha Mashaal

 

Manisha Mashaal

manisha mashaalToday, when I see myself as a national leader fighting a battle against caste tyranny, when I speak about changing the oppressive system, when I'm completely engaged with the reality of the ground level, there is only one thing that my heart screams for, that is justice!

Whatever happens now, we must bring change. We have no other choice. I want to end caste-based sexual violence and ensure that no other Dalit sister's life is pushed into darkness. For it is not just the crimes that make us victims but also the structure of society that creates our image in such a way, and thus we, the Dalit women, must fight every aspect to stand on our own as leaders of our destiny.

This casteism limits our vision of change. It mutes us even when we have a voice, espeically when we have our own voice. For it makes us suspicious of what will truly allow us to make change as opposed to keeping the status quo. For society will not recognize a Dalit woman who fights for justice. We are too dangerous.

That is why I ask what is a Dalit women's place in this society? Why has the society cut our wings? As a founder and a leader of #Dalitwomenfight and Dalit Swabhiman Yatra I ask these questions as part of our liberation.

When I look at my life I know that as a Valmiki woman there are hardly any places where I can find another of my sisters. Even after my education, my travels, and leadership, I still find myself discriminated against, underestimated, and shoved aside. Discriminated by both upper caste and also other Dalits who do not address their English and caste privileges which act against the members of castes below them, and those whose English fluency is not on par with them. If I struggle like this, then I can only imagine what other rural Dalit women must struggle with?

Our system and our current movements do not provide real safety to survivors. I dream of a centre which is devoid of this violence, which provides safety, and financial support to our women. My dream is to provide our sisters with a new world filled with safety.

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If it’s the Oppressed, it’s Identity Politics, but if it’s you, it’s a Talent Show!

 

Rajesh Chandra Kumar

rajesh chandra kumarIt is not whether we win or lose. The main thing is that we had to show our presence in the so- called progressive institution of JNU with the slogan of our forefathers -Jai Birsa, Jai Phule and Jai Bhim. This time, the opposition feared BAPSA, and salute to BAPSA for evoking this fear in the opposition. Earlier, there were the slogans of Laal Salam and Jai Shree Ram; but this time, BAPSA came in with Jai Birsa, Jai Phule, Jai Bhim and the slogans of the oppressed communities.

Whenever a candidate from the oppressed stands in the elections, the so-called progressive groups claim that we are playing identity politics, while they are doing a talent show (showcasing those who are supposed to raise their voice 'for' the oppressed). It is clear that while they may be raising their voice for the oppressed, they are not okay with giving the leadership to a person from an oppressed community, which shows their casteist mindset (Brahmanvadi and Manuvadi). If Rahul Sonpimple was playing identity politics, then what about the talent that was within him? He is someone who delivered a good speech in the Presidential Debate, has concern for different issues, and stood up for all the oppressed while managing his studies at the same time. I couldn't understand the logic of the so-called progressives (the Left) and the Saffron Brigade, that says when people from the oppressed stand for elections with the ideology of Mahatma Phule, Birsa, Dr. Ambedkar and other revolutionary leaders, they are playing caste politics. I know that like me, many others from the oppressed have been the victims of caste politics by the opposition, at the time of elections.

Even in the case of a national party like BSP that represents SCs, STs, OBCs and other oppressed communities, the people -especially from the dominant castes- claim that the party belongs only to the Scheduled Castes and brand BSP as a party playing caste politics. This also reminds me of the 2016 elections in TISS, where my so-called friend accused me of playing caste politics to gain votes, since I was from a certain caste. I would like to ask everyone: are you not aware of the caste politics of the Left and Right groups?

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ಹಿಂದುತ್ವ ಮತ್ತು ಅದರ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯತೆಯ ಮಿಥ್ಯಗಳು

 

ಮಂಜುನಾಥ ನರಗುಂದ (Manjunath Naragund)

manjunath narಪ್ರಸ್ತುತ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರವ್ಯಾಪಿಯಾಗಿ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯತೆಯ ಕುರಿತಾಗಿ ಗಂಭೀರ ಚರ್ಚೆ ನಡೆಯುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಇಂಥ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಹಿನ್ನಲೆಯಾಗಿರುವ ಹಲವು ಘಟನಾ ಗುಚ್ಚಗಳ ಸರಣಿಯನ್ನು ನಾವು ಮತ್ತೊಮ್ಮೆ ನೆನಪಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಿದೆ. ಈ ಮೂಲಕ ಹಿಂದುತ್ವ ಒಂದು ಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತವಾಗಿ ಬೆಳೆದು ಬಂದ ಬಗೆ, ಪ್ರಸಕ್ತ ಸಮಾಜದಲ್ಲಿ ಅದು ವ್ಯಾಪಿಸಿರುವ ರೀತಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಅದರ ಎಲ್ಲೆಗಳನ್ನು ಸತ್ಯದ ನೆಲೆಗಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ ನಾವು ಈಗ ಚರ್ಚಿಸಬೇಕಾಗಿದೆ.

ಇಂದಿನ ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರೋತ್ತರ ಭಾರತದ ರಾಜಕೀಯ ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣವಾಗಿ ಬಲಪಂಥೀಯ ಶಕ್ತಿಗಳು ಪ್ರಜಾಪ್ರಭುತ್ವವೆಂಬ ರಾಜಕೀಯ ಮೇರುಪರ್ವತವನ್ನೇರಿರುವುದು ಸಾಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಕತೆಯ ಬಹುತ್ವ ಸಾರುವಂತಹ ಈ ದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಒಂದು ರೀತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಆತಂಕವನ್ನು ಸೃಷ್ಟಿಸಿದೆ .ಕಾರಣವಿಷ್ಟೆ ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಪುಷ್ಟಿಕೊಡುವಂತೆ ಸುಮಾರು ಕಳೆದೆರಡು ವರ್ಷಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದ ಕೆಲವು ಘಟನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಉದಾಹರಣೆಯನ್ನಾಗಿ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡಾಗ ಈ ಅಂಶ ನಮಗೆ ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಅದು ಉತ್ತರಪ್ರದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿನ ದಾದ್ರಿ ಪ್ರಕರಣವಾಗಿರಬಹುದು, ಅಥವಾ ಕಲ್ಬುರ್ಗಿ, ದಾಬೊಲ್ಕರ್, ಪನ್ಸಾರೆಯಂತಹ ವಿಚಾರವಾದಿಗಳ ಹತ್ಯೆಯಿರಬಹುದು, ಜೆಎನ್ ಯು, ರೋಹಿತ್ ವೇಮುಲ,ಅಮ್ನೆಸ್ಟೀ ಇಂಟರ್‌ನ್ಯಾಶನಲ್, ಉನಾದಂತಹ ದಲಿತರ ಮೇಲಿನ ಹಲ್ಲೆ, ಘರ್ ವಾಪಸಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಇತ್ತೀಚಿನ ರಮ್ಯಾ ನಂತಹ ಪ್ರಕರಣಗಳನ್ನು ಸಮಷ್ಟಿ ಗುಚ್ಛವಾಗಿ ನೋಡಿದಾಗ ಬಹುಶಃ ಸಂಘ ಪರಿವಾರ ಪ್ರತಿಪಾದಿಸುವ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯತೆ ಎಂತಹ ಆಯಾಮಗಳನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿದೆ ಎನ್ನುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಒಂದು ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟ ಚಿತ್ರಣ ದೊರೆಯುತ್ತದೆ.

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Building the Idea of India: Conserving Brahmanism and the Brahmanical State? Part III

 

Continued from here.

Pinak Banik

Pinak BanikGandhi's attempt to abolish untouchability in the 1930s without ever questioning the varanshrama dharma is like todays fight against Hindutva without recognizing Brahmanism. Gandhi only created a token group of SC representatives, who were never given any chance to voice their issues, which later Saheb Kanshiram defined as the beginning of a "Chamcha Age".

And here's how Prof. Habib explains one of Gandhi's most successfully run Satyagrahas –

"In Civil-Disobedience Movement unprecedented number of peasants went to prison and lost their properties. Remember, going to prison in British rule was not the same as going to prison now; you lost your property, you lost everything, you couldn't get employment, yet over hundred thousand people went to jail in the Civil-Disobedience movement of 1930. Many lost their lands, properties, everything. They were mostly poor. Unlike the Non-Cooperation Movement of 1921, Civil-Disobedience movement was the movement largely of the poor and that was the new thing. Once the movement took this form it became increasingly difficult for British rule to continue."

The Congress Working Committee gave Gandhi the responsibility for orchestrating the first act of civil disobedience, and Gandhi decided to lead the Satyagraha on Salt tax acts, addressing its deeply symbolic role in the slavery of Indians.

British Salt Tax Acts (1835) prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt, a staple in the Indian diet, forcing them to buy the vital mineral from the British. The British Govt. in addition to exercising a monopoly over the manufacture and sale of salt also exerted a heavy salt tax. Gandhi said, "Next to air and water, salt is perhaps the greatest necessity of life". For Gandhi, resisting salt tax became one of the most relevant issues to "resonate all classes of citizens" in a country where majority of people had to meet their fortune to get a meal. The Statesman mocked Gandhi's choice saying, "It is difficult not to laugh, and we imagine that will be the mood of most thinking Indians." Seems both of them had fun.

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ದಲಿತ ಕೆಳಜಾತಿಗಳ ಹೊಸ ತಲೆಮಾರಿನ ನಡೆಗಳು

 

Dr ಅರುಣ್ಜೋಳದಕೂಡ್ಲಿಗಿ (Arun Joladkudligi)

arun jಕನ್ನಡ ವರ್ಡನೆಟ್ ಯೋಜನೆಯ ಭಾಗವಾಗಿ 2010 ರಲ್ಲಿ ಸೆಮಿನಾರೊಂದಕ್ಕೆ ಮುಂಬೈ ಐಐಟಿ ಕ್ಯಾಂಪಸ್ಸಿಗೆ ಹೋಗಿದ್ದೆ. ಕ್ಯಾಂಪಸ್ಸಿನ ಹೈಟೆಕ್ ವಾತಾವರಣ, ಐಐಟಿಯ ವಿದ್ಯಾರ್ಥಿಗಳ ಸಿರಿವಂತಿಕೆ, ಹಗಲನ್ನು ನಾಚಿಸುವಂತಹ ರಾತ್ರಿಯ ಜಗಮಗಿಸುವ ಬೆಳಕು ನನ್ನಂಥವರನ್ನು ಬೆರಗುಗೊಳಿಸಿದ್ದವು. ಉತ್ತರ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಕೆಳಸಮುದಾಯದ ಮಕ್ಕಳು ಇಂಥಹ ಕಡೆ ಕಲಿಯುವುದು ಯಾವಾಗ ಎನ್ನುವ ನಿರಾಸೆಯೊಂದು ನನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಮೂಡಿತು. ರಾತ್ರಿ ವಿದ್ಯಾರ್ಥಿಗಳ ಹಾಸ್ಟೆಲಿಗೆ ಹೋದಾಗ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಆರು ಹುಡುಗರು ಬೇಟಿಯಾದರು. ವಿಚಾರಿಸಲಾಗಿ ಬಿಟೆಕ್, ಎಂಟೆಕ್, ಎಂಜಿನಿಯರಿಂಗ್ ಮಾಡುವ ಇವರು ಬೆಳಗಾವಿ, ದಾವಣಗೆರೆ, ಮೈಸೂರು, ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ಮೇಲ್ಜಾತಿಗೆ ಸೇರಿದ ಮೇಲ್ವರ್ಗದವರು. ಮರುದಿನ ಸೆಮಿನಾರು ಹಾಲಿಗೆ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ದೂರದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಟ್ಟಡ ಕಾಮಗಾರಿ ನಡೆಯುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ಆ ಕಡೆಯಿಂದ ಕನ್ನಡ ಮಾತು ಕೇಳಿ ಪುಳಕಗೊಂಡು ವಿಚಾರಿಸಿದರೆ, ಕಾಮಗಾರಿ ಕೆಲಸದಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ಐವತ್ತಕ್ಕೂ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನವರು ಉತ್ತರ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದವರು. ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ 20 ಕ್ಕೂ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಯುವಕರು ದೇವದುರ್ಗ ಮತ್ತು ಗದಗ ಭಾಗದ ಬೇರೆ ಬೇರೆ ಹಳ್ಳಿಗಳವರು. ಅವರಲ್ಲಿ ಬಹುಪಾಲು ದಲಿತರು ಮತ್ತು ಕೆಳಜಾತಿಗೆ ಸೇರಿದವರು. ಅವರುಗಳೆಲ್ಲಾ ಹತ್ತನೇ ತರಗತಿಯ ಒಳಗೆ ತಮ್ಮ ಶಿಕ್ಷಣವನ್ನು ಮೊಟುಕುಗೊಳಿಸಿಕೊಂಡವರು.

ಇದು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಯುವಜನತೆಯ ಎರಡು ಪ್ರಮುಖ ವೈರುಧ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಕಾಣಿಸುವಂತಿತ್ತು. ಮೇಲ್ಜಾತಿಗೆ ಸೇರಿದ ನಗರಕೇಂದ್ರಿತ ಯುವಕರು ಅತ್ಯಾಧುನಿಕ ತಾಂತ್ರಿಕ ಶಿಕ್ಷಣ ಕಲಿಯಲು ಮುಂಬೈ ಐಐಟಿಗೆ ಬಂದಿದ್ದರೆ, ದಲಿತ ಕೆಳಜಾತಿ ಯುವಕರು ಬಹುದೂರದಿಂದ ಹೊಟ್ಟೆಪಾಡಿನ ಕೂಲಿಗಾಗಿ ವಲಸೆ ಬಂದಿದ್ದರು. ಈ ಚಿತ್ರ ನನ್ನನ್ನು ಈಗಲೂ ಕಾಡುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಈ ವೈರುಧ್ಯವನ್ನು ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಬದಲಾವಣೆಯೊಂದಿಗೆ ಭಾರತಕ್ಕೂ ಅನ್ವಯಿಸಬಹುದಾಗಿದೆ. ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ದಲಿತ ಕೆಳಜಾತಿಗಳ ಯುವ ಸಮುದಾಯದವನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಈ ವೈರುಧ್ಯ ತೋರು ಬೆರಳಿನಂತೆ ಕಾಣುತ್ತಿದೆ.
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Today is the day of unity of the oppressed: Rahul Sonpimple

 

Rahul Punaram Sompimple 

(Following is a rough transcription and translation of Rahul Sonpimple's speech for the Presidentital election at JNUSU delivered on 8th September, 2016. Parts of the speech had to be omitted owing to lack of a fully audible video and disturbances) 

To all the people that have come here for the debate, especially after the attack on 9th of Feb, by the RSS, from within and outside the campus, that showed RSS its true place- I salute them and Jai Bhim to all. I wanted to share something. When I had filed my nomination, I was slightly upset. I felt that against the people against whom I had filed the nomination- these people whose Godfathers who are sitting at various places, are stronger. But when I was coming out after filing the nomination, a friend came towards me. He told me “Brother Rahul… take these fifty rupees. Your organization may be small in size. It may not have a Godfather. Therefore you keep these fifty rupees (as contribution) and take this fight ahead.” I want to salute that person who boosted my confidence by saying that.

Friends, as we know, there are Mothers in Kashmir, who are asking the government- ‘when are our sons coming back? - my salute and Jai Bhim to these Mothers. I want to salute my Mother, who would keep bricks on her head while working in the extreme heat of Nagpur, but had dreams that I would do something for the oppressed society. I want to salute people from the LGBT community, that have explained what heterosexuality is and how the sexual privileges operate in our society. I want to salute the women from Manipur who have fought against the rape of Manorama and protested against the army. I want to salute my partner and all the women friends who showed me how I am a patriarch and how patriarchy can be overcome.

Friends, people say that elections are happening in this era and that era. I say wherever the Women, Dalit, Muslim, OBC, oppressed section are there and are standing against RSS- the election is happening in all these places in this era. The Women, Dalit, Muslim, OBC, LGBT people have told these people that their treachery will not last much longer. I have been saying that the first blow to these communal- fascist forces will be given by the women from the oppressed communities of this country.

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Dalit, Bahujan, Adivasi Struggles and Emerging Political Alternatives: BAPSA in JNU

 

Dalit, Adivasi and Bahujan Struggle in campuses and emerging BAPSA as a political alternative in JNU: Special reference to Rahul Punaram Sonpimple

Joy Prafful Lakra

Mr. Mahadev Toppo, a noted Adivasi writer has said that Adivasis have to take up 'कलम, कूची और कैमरा' (Pen, Paint Brush and Camera) to express themselves and extend their struggle. This notion of empowering the self and reclaiming their own voices does not fit into the savarna/ brahmanical discourse which has historically looked upon these groups as weak and incapable. The narrative of a poor and weak Dalit/Adivasi has always benefited the upper castes/ ruling elites and legitimised their role as their leader/spokepersons. It is a known fact that Dalits and Adivasis have historically been foot soldiers of the RSS/BJP and the Left Front political parties where their roles were limited to campaigning and voting.

panel bapsa

The Left movement in the tea-gardens of North Bengal was built by the sweat and blood of the Adivasis but any prominent Adivasi leader is unheard from this region in West Bengal. The leaders were always Bengali Bhadrolok whereas the Adivasis remained tea-garden workers (chamojdoor) occupying lower ranks in the Party hierarchy. Colonial and missionary writings have contributed heavily in creating a happy, cheerful, smiling, carefree, and hard working Adivasi, which have been reproduced by the upper-castes and the ruling elites masking the historical injustice done to them. According to one of the myths, it is believed that the people who are depicted as vaanar-sena, who helped Rama in conquering Lanka, were Oraons (an indigenous community in Chotanagpur). The religious texts have not only depicted Oraons in this manner but the same has been repeated for other Adivasi communities who are depicted as subservient and docile followers of the Hindu gods and goddesses.

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Why JNU can Ill-afford to ignore Rahul Punaram Sonpimple

 

 Jyotirmoy Talukdar

Come Wednesday night, Jawaharlal Nehru University in the country’s capital will witness another session of the much awaited presidential debates. If the analyses and estimations from last year’s elections – which said that Kanhaiya Kumar’s speech swept all the floating votes toward his favour – are anything to go by, the night of the debate indeed is not a mere spectacle of wit, oratory and rhetoric, but also serious electioneering. But, this year’s elections look riveting and engrossing for another reason—the clear emergence of the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) as a force that has been systematically sussing out and exposing the casteism practiced by the Indian Left, particularly the parliamentary Left parties. With its call for the unity of the bahujan on a platform of ‘shared reality of different oppressions’, BAPSA is hoping to scrape together all such votes that have not been represented and respected by the erstwhile Unions.

rahul bapsa

And the cynosure at this juncture is a seasoned student leader named Rahul Punaram Sonpimple, who hails from a slum in Nagpur and studied in the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai before joining the Centre for the Study of Social Systems in JNU for his MPhil. Despite the awfully busy campaign schedule, he meets me briefly to talk about why the Left in JNU should stop talking about BAPSA patronizingly and sympathetically if it actually cared about the common struggle of the historically oppressed in the country. Rahul explained why the demand for decreasing the maximum marks stipulated for the interview is a result of collection of years of data through RTI applications where it has been seen that students from discriminated communities have historically been awarded low marks even when a lot of them score as much as seventy percent in the written examination, making the whole system look dubious and dodgy. “There have been so many instances where a student from an oppressed background and one from the comparatively privileged have scored similar marks in the written, but the latter goes on to get anything between fifteen and twenty in the viva and the former sometimes even a zero,” says Rahul.  The administrative, systemic discrimination also shows in the high level of dropouts from among the Dalits and other persecuted communities, corroborating the allegation that discrimination does not stop after you enter the institution. This is the biggest hole BAPSA sets forth to plug.

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Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: The teacher who stole from his student's thesis

 

The famous case of literary piracy (plagiarism) against Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan for stealing from a student's thesis

Utpal Aich

In January 1929, one Jadunath Sinha, then a little known young Lecturer of Philosophy in the Meerut College, having a brilliant academic track record, created a sensation in the literary world by accusing Dr. Radhakrishnan of plagiarizing extensively from the first two parts of his thesis titled 'Indian Psychology of Perception, Vol I & Vol II, which were submitted by him to the Calcutta University (CU) for the coveted Premchand Roychand Studentship (PRS) of 1922. While Jadunath Sinha had submitted the Vol. I of his thesis in 1922, he submitted Vol. II of the thesis in 1923. The piracy has been made from these two parts of his thesis.

1 Prof. Jadunath Sinha

 Prof Jadunath Sinha

Jadunath Sinha had passed B.A. (Honours in Philosophy) in 1915 from the Calcutta University, simultaneously bagging the Philip Samuel Smith Prize and the Clint Memorial Prize. Subsequently he passed the M.A. (Philosophy) from the Calcutta University in 1917 and then had applied for the prestigious Premchand Roychand Studentship for 1922. [The remaining installments of the thesis were submitted by Jadunath Sinha until its completion in 1925 when he was awarded the Griffith Prize (CU) in 1923 and the Mouat Medal of the CU in 1925.] The Calcutta University had appointed Sir Brajendranath Seal and Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan [who had replaced Sir Brajendranath Seal, the first George V Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy of the CU in March 1921 after Prof. Seal had joined the Mysore University as the Vice Chancellor] as examiners of that part of the thesis. Vol. II and other subsequent installments of the thesis were read by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan and Prof. Krishna Chandra Bhattacharjee of CU who were appointed Readers for the assignments. According to Prof. Jadunath Sinha, though Radhakrishnan's book 'Indian Philosophy Vol. II', which incorporated the extensively stolen paragraphs of Jadunath Sinha's thesis (Vol.I and II), was published in 1927, he had noticed the copyright infringement (plagiarism) only in November 1928. Prof. Jadunath Sinha lodged a serious complaint in the Modern Review (M.R.) magazine through a letter dated December 20, 1928, which was published in the M.R. issue of January 1929.

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