Elephant Corridors

 

Vivek Kumar

Why walking alone will always work for the BSP

Canard, controversy, condemnation, criticism, caricature, the Bahujan Samaj Party chief, Mayawati, has seen it all in her long and tortuous journey to the top. But the fact is, as the 2014 Lok Sabha polls near, she poses the most formidable challenge to BJP icon Narendra Modi's prime ministerial ambitions. Shrewdly, she's also staying away from the media glare, bent more on quietly consolidating her core constituency of Dalits with additional bolstering layers—minorities, chosen OBC gro­ups (she banks heavily now on Most Backward Castes), with a cushion of the savarna jatis, Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. This silence is deliberate, for she feels that as soon as the BSP begins to look formidable to the eyes of the opposition, their casteist mindset sets in and they unite, cutting across ideologies, to try and defeat the party. To substantiate her point, she cites data from the 2012 UP assembly elections.

However, she's confident that if any state can put the brakes on Modi's caravan to Delhi, it's UP—and within UP, she sees the BSP as the prime actor in this project. It's no empty boast. On the turf of ideology, organisational strength and mass perception (as a tough administrator), Mayawati's party will be the one to beat in UP. Especially if her pitch of 'Jai Bhim' (against the bjp's 'Jai Shri Ram') wins the confidence of the Muslim minorities.

Indeed, her savdhan rally in Lucknow was a clarion call for this. On January 15—in the wake of the winter deaths in the Muzaffarnagar camps—she drove home the point that, during her regime (2007-2012), there had been alm­ost no riots. This despite the opposition trying to create such situations. She also highlighted instances of how the Muslims and Dalits helped each other during the recent riots in western UP. In a fervent appeal, she called for the Dalit-Muslim brotherhood to be maintained at any cost, especially in the current atmosphere where communal forces were creating havoc freely in a Samajwadi Party- ruled Uttar Pradesh. In a frontal attack on Modi, she reminded supporters how BJP regi­mes—whether in UP or Gujarat—are prone to orchestrating communal violence. Modi, as CM of a small state with just a six crore population, could not check the 2002 carnage, so how will he manage one billion Indians of different castes and religions at the national level, she wanted to know.

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Great Britain under the Spreading Fangs of Caste

 

A K Biswas

Part-I

Caste in New Home

In the voyage of caste to the Western hemi-sphere, the first port of call was Britain. The Hindus take pride that they did not conquer any nation with sword. But they exported caste to sabotage England internally. The cancer has gone deep and assumed so critical a dimension that Queen Elizabeth assented to an amend-ment in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill in April 2013 when the House of Commons bowed to reassure from the House of Lords to include caste as an aspect of race as part of the Equality Act 2010.1 This is the first country outside India where caste discrimination has been put on the statute book to contain, if not crush, the exploding malignancy.

The 2011 census returned 816,633 Hindus, including 450,000 untouchables referred as Dalits, in England and Wales while the figures for Scotland are yet to be released. Dalits account for 55 per cent of the Hindus. They face the same caste discrimination and atrocities their brethren have to contend with in India. A realisation is yet to dawn on the Hindus in their overseas homes that their conduct and behaviour, practices and peculiarities are anathema to civilised society or congenial human environment. "I shall be satisfied," said Ambedkar, "if I make the Hindus realise that they are the sick men of India and that their sickness is causing danger to the health and happiness of other Indians." The British Hindus have proved his apprehension infallible. The caste malignancy is not confined within the four walls of India; it spilled over as a "danger to the health and happiness" and infected others, forcing the hands of the rulers to act for its suppression. Ambedkar foresaw this: "As Hindus migrate to other regions of the earth, Indian caste would become a world problem." Caste has become a global nuisance, threatening the delicate fabric of social peace, happiness and unity wherever the plague visited.

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Chithralekha Attacked Again by CPM Goons


Eramangalathu Chitralekha

On January 31, 2014, Chitralekha (the dalit woman autorickshaw driver from Payannur, Kerala, who has been fighting CITU/CPM men and who has faced repeated attacks from them in the past) and her family were again attacked at her home by a group of CPM goons belonging to its youth wing. Her husband is now in police custody facing trumped up charges and she lives in constant fear. This is her account of what happened.

After I wrote about how a crowd attacked me on May 18th, 2013, and how my husband was attacked on October 21st, I was attacked again on January 31. This time it was a small fight between me and a small Gurkha boy grazing goats in the field in front of my house that led to the attack. The attack was carried out by a group of DFYI workers (youth wing of CPM) from Kandamkolangara, Aandankoyil and Kunjumangalam.

chitra

The boy used to allow his goat to graze in front of my house and we always used to ask him not to do so. That day also I did the same and he threw a stone at me and again let the goats come into my house, where they destroyed all the plants that I was trying to grow. When he did this, I tied the goat and scolded him. Suddenly he took out a knife and started threatening me. At this point my husband who heard the noise came out and shouted at him. He then ran away.

Later we were told that he and a group of DYFI people reported to the police that my husband and I had attacked this boy and had tried to kill him. The group then came back to my house and started throwing stones at my house and breaking my auto rickshaw. Ayyappan sir, the Dalit activist who had always stood by my side from the very beginning, had come to my house then for a visit. He saw the crowd leaving my house when he came in. Then he called the police and the police came and they also took my written complaint about being attacked. The next day they even came to take evidence at my house. They then asked me to bring my auto to the station so that the motor vehicle inspector could look at it.

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किसकी चाय बेचता है तू (Whose Tea Do You Sell)

 

Braj Ranjan Mani

किसकी चाय बेचता है तू

~ ब्रजरंजन मणि

अपने को चाय वाला क्यूँ कहता है तू

बात-बात पे नाटक क्यूँ करता है तू

चाय वालों को क्यों बदनाम करता है तू

साफ़ साफ़ बता दे किसकी चाय बेचता है तू !

 

खून लगाकर अंगूठे पे शहीद कहलाता है

और कॉर्पोरेट माफिया में मसीहा देखता है

अंबानी-अदानी की दलाली से 'विकास' करता है

अरे बदमाश, बता दे, किसकी चाय बेचता है तू !

 

खंड-खंड हिन्दू पाखंड करता है

वर्णाश्रम और जाति पर घमंड करता है

फुले-अंबेडकर-पेरियार से दूर भागता है

अरे ओबीसी शिखंडी, किसकी चाय बेचता है तू !

 

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The Crisis and Challenge of Dalit-bahujans

 

Braj Ranjan Mani

There is no competing cultural vision from below for the mind and heart of India. Dalit-bahujans are still absent in the contest of ideas, policies and visions—the fundamentals on which democratic competition takes place.This paralysis of the mind is linked totheir systemic cultural, intellectual and spiritual destruction. Without reference to history one cannot find even poor answers to the complex problems that keep them divided and demoralized, but the corruption and capitulation of the current dalit-OBC leadership has also aggravated the crisis. There is a burning need to renew and reconstruct an ideology—attempted in the past by Phule, Ambedkar and Periyar—that can pave the way to a broad-based unity for social reconstruction.

Constancy of change is the basic principle of life. Heraclitus made the illusion of permanence clear in the sixth century BCE, and a little later Buddha articulated the same in his theory of dependent origin. As 'everything changes but change itself', it is not surprising that social change is the central tendency in human societies. But the direction of change is largely determined by aspirations and visions of change agents. This implies that things can change a great deal, and yet the social order can remain more or less the same, since the people in the vanguard of change have a vested interest to retain the established hierarchy. Thus, there is a crucial difference between change and social change, development and social development.

Development and Social Development Are Not the Same Thing

While development is a necessary condition of social development, the latter involves the specific direction of development that can ensure larger social justice. Symbolically speaking, development can take a handful of people to the moon—it can produce billionaires like the Ambanis and Mittals with their private planes and palaces while the many remain hungry and homeless—but social development takes place through active participation and conscious choice of majority of citizens. Based on people's voice and choice,social development isco-terminus with uplifting the society as a whole, especially the disadvantaged who have been left behind or kept suppressed, historically and culturally. 

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'Power is not only our legitimate right but also an asset': Thol. Thirumavalavan

Speech delivered by Thol. Thirumavalavan,

M.P., and President, Liberation Panthers Party (VCK)

at 'South Asia Parliamentarians' Conference on Dalit Concerns'

~Enabling Equity & Inclusion~

on 8th -9th December 2013, in Kathmandu, Nepal

~

thiruma in kathmandu 

Respected Chairperson Mr. Paul Divakar, Co-chairperson Mr. Yam Bahadur Kisan, Respected Panel Members of this session - Mr. Ranendra Barali, Mr. Ishrafil Alam, Prof. Chung and all other distinguished guests;

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I wish you all the success.

First of all I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the organizers for giving me this opportunity to share my experiences. Before I start I would like to salute our great warriors who fought for equality for all, in particular Lord Buddha and our great revolutionary leader Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. I also wish to extend my salute to the warrior Mr. Nelson Mandela who dedicated his life for equality.

We believe that Lord Buddha is our spiritual head, saint and equal to God. In my view he was the great warrior who fought against discrimination, which caused pain and sufferings to the human life. The great revolutionary Dr. Ambedkar and Mr. Nelson Mandela also fought against discrimination based on caste and race.

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