Whipping up 'critical pedagogy': Uncritical defense of NCERT's violence

Savari

(Round Table India thanks Savari for sharing this article)

Universally, the imagery of a whip evokes the reality of violence throughout human history. The whip is inseparable from violence against slaves, dalits, women, animals and children. Almost all histories of protest against injustice, be it feminism, anti-slavery, anti-caste or anti-apartheid movements have protested and continue to protest the symbolic violence in imagery that uses instruments of violence such as the whip, noose or chains.

 In recent weeks, an almost seamless coming together of Indian scholars, feminists and educators to defend and uphold a textbook cartoon with whipping as the central theme is perhaps one of the finest commentary on caste violence.

Caste violence is a broad handle for inter-operating kinds of violences that dalits and lower castes experience from those who are situated in the higher order. This violence that we are witnessing now comes from the most educationally qualified members of our society, largely upper caste, and hindu. The cartoon defense by upper caste scholars and feminists has presented us an unique opportunity to tease apart a few distinct forms of violence including secular violence, punitive, verbal and visual violence, all of which coalesce together to construct the pedagogic violence that frames the textbooks and classrooms of this country.

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Dalit Sthree Sakthi plans anti-liquor campaign

Consumption of liquor in the State (Andhra Pradesh) has now reached alarming and monstrous proportions. Today most of the toiling masses, particularly the dalits, have become slaves of the habit, consequently destroying their own health and family economy. This habit has increased domestic violence and is a contributory factor in killing of wives on various pretexts. In addition to violence at home the drunkards are resorting to various other crimes on women. Most of the dalits are becoming pawns in hands of corrupt political parties and leaders due to this habit. Though, drinking habit was there since long back it was confined to a small section of people who used to consume natural products like toddy. But over the last two decades, alcohol consumption replaced toddy consumption and has now become rampant. Due to slavery to this habit people are unable to fight for their rights and are being purchased by the political leaders and parties.

dalit_sthree_song

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Like a falcon in the skies

Karukku enabled me to build my confidence and hope, Bama Faustina tells Tulsi Badrinath. Excerpts from a conversation.

bama_JPGIn Karukku you described yourself thus 'I am like a bird whose wings were broken'. Twenty years later, in the second edition of the English translation, you describe yourself as 'a falcon that treads the air, high in the skies'. Could you tell us about the healing process that transformed you?

In 1992, I felt that I was victimised by this caste-ridden society. That is why I described myself as a bird with broken wings. During these 20 years, Karukku has vibrated with the lives of the Dalits, witnessing the consciousness of the people. The popularity, recognition, appreciation and solidarity evoked and created by Karukku enabled me to build up my confidence and hope, to strengthen broken wings and to protest against everything that dehumanises me and others. This resistance and resilience healed me, renewing me with fresh energy and power which enabled me to soar in the sky. This is possible due to the tireless and committed labour of Ms. Mini Krishnan, editor, and Ms. Lakshmi Holmstrom, the translator of Karukku.

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A relentless crusader

by Sudha Umashanker

Ruth Manorama started her work with the urban poor in her youth; there has been no turning back ever since. She is the powerful voice of Dalit women today.

Is it easy being a Dalit in India? And a woman at that? Have things changed for the better for the Dalits who constitute roughly 16.23 per cent of our population, since the Constitution of India “cast a special responsibility on the State to promote with special care the education, economic interest of the Scheduled Castes and promised to protect them from all forms of exploitation and social injustice (Article 46)”?

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Our women must either be a wife, widow or a Devadasi

by Olutosin Oladosu -Adebowale

In our community, there are only three roles for women; a wife, widow or Devadasi......

Please go to my village and rescue other girls who are about to be initiated too…

I was told that I was dedicated to our god when I was three months old and was taken to the temple and initiated, a chain was tied to my neck and my grandmother took to me to her house to serve the god, ever since I have been living with her, until the age of ten when I was introduced to my parents. I have lots of struggles, my brother died five years ago, followed by my father which was two years ago and my mother will die any moment from now, nobody believed that it was the incurable disease. Everyone in my community believed that I have brought evil on my parents because of the chain that was removed from my neck and taken to Bandhavi….I have lots of issues….

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Dalit women cases: Crime conviction rate poor

JAIPUR: Preliminary findings of a study by the state's Centre for Dalit Rights reveal that the conviction rate in cases related to rape and sexual assault of Dalit women is less than 2%. The centre is compiling a detailed study of over 50 such, the final report of which is expected to be released later this year.

The centre initiated the study a year ago and selected 50 most controversial and disputed cases across the state. The study was ordered after complaints of increasing "false cases" being filed by Dalit women. It aims to study the role of all stakeholders in such cases, including the victims' family, civil society, local administration and even the judiciary.

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