Request for public funding for a 5 day conference on 'Education of Youth and Social Transformation'


Kalinga Mitra Trust (KMT)

In 2006, graduates of Nagarjuna Training Institute and other Ambedkarite students began organizing around the issue of education in the western part of Odisha. In 2012, they formed the 'Kalinga Mitra Trust (KMT)', an organization that works with Ambedkarite Buddhist ideology to build a movement for bringing about social and educational transformation in the society.

kalingamitra 2

KMT works with the mission of mobilizing youth coming from Bahujan (SC, ST, OBC) communities and supporting them to pursue higher education. An important objective of KMT is to create critical, emancipatory, and Ambedkarite consciousness among these youth and building a collective understanding of the process of social transformation. Towards these objectives KMT organizes a variety of activities throughout the year: workshops on the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989, Buddhist retreats and cultural activities, and workshops on Dr. Ambedkar's writings and speeches. KMT also publishes a periodical called 'Nirveda'. It has also played an active part in mobilising masses to fight against caste atrocities on a number of occasions, including the brutal episode of violence and arson in the village of Lathor in Balangir district in 2012. KMT was also instrumental in mobilizing thousands to protest against the rape and murder of Snehalata in 2015. KMT actively promotes all the Bahujan movements taking shape in Western Odisha.

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Write me down, I'm an Indian

 

Ajmal Khan

IMG 20190509 183256 578

 (After Mahmood Darvish in Palestine, Aga Shahid Ali in Kashmir and the Mia poets in Assam)

Write me down
I am an Indian
Write it down
My name is Ajmal
I am a Muslim
and Indian citizen
We are seven at home
all are Indian by birth
Do you want documents?

Write me down
that I am an Indian
I am a Moplah
My ancestors were untouchables
Hindus in your language
Slapped on the face of Manu
they changed their names
when they were given dignity
centuries ago
before forefathers of your ideologues were born
Are you suspicious?

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John Hawley and the travesty of Bhakti

 

Umar Nizar

Umar Nizar

John Stratton Hawley has emerged as one of the foremost scholars of Bhakti literature living today. His spatial location in the metropolitan USA and his avowedly apolitical stance make him a crucial pawn in the ongoing struggle for the legacy of Indian History. In his recent 'Storm of Songs: India and the Idea of the Bhakti Movement', winner of the Kentish Ananda Coomaraswamy Prize, Hawley makes the point that Bhakti was a network in early modern India and not a 'movement'. When Hawley nitpicks about the intricacies of Bhakti literature ever being a movement at all in the way it often is touted to be, what he misses is the fact that it is an invented emancipatory tradition.

Hawley and his students such as Taylor Walker Williams (Williams was a researcher at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) where he worked with the Hindi Bhakti scholar Purushottam Agarwal. While in JNU, he was elected as an office-bearer of the JNU students union under the banner of the leftist All India Students Association-AISA, before abruptly leaving his post citing family issues, which Indians apparently can relate to with easily) form the core of Indian theological pedagogy at elite American Academia. In contrast to the Sanskritists Sheldon Pollock, and Wendy Doniger who while being in the thrall of ancient India are also critically aware of the contradictions present in the way in which that problematic past is being channelized for controlling the present.

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Flowers on the Grave of Caste by Yogesh Maitreya

 

Nikhil Sanjay-Rekha Adsule

The hands 

Confined 

To pull Dead carcasses, 

Started to write 

And, and 

They wrote poems 

Beautiful stories 

Of their lives. 

                   - Yogesh Maitreya, 'The Bridge of Migration'

flowers.yogesh

The above lines by the poet-writer Yogesh Maitreya, themselves mark an assertion of a new voice in the era of populist and post-truth literature. In this republic of caste where the neo-liberal publishers are promoting Tharoor's "Why I am a Hindu" and K.R Meera's elitist, parochial feminism denouncing Dalits and Dalit aesthetics, here comes Yogesh's 'Flowers on the grave of caste' , standing apart from the populist and gau-herd mentality of savarna writers whose orthodox piety is structured, graded and lacks empathy, akin to Atticus Finch of  'To Kill a Mockingbird' (1960).

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Global Buddhist Congregation-2019

 

Pradnya Jadhav

Global Buddhist Congregation, 2019 is a Mega-Conference with the noble motive of spreading the teachings of the Lord Buddha on mindfulness, compassion and peace. It is being organised under the guidance of All India Bhikkhu Sangha, in the historical city of Aurangabad, Maharashtra. And it is being blessed by the auspicious presence of His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Most Ven. Dr Warakagoda Dhammasiddhi Sri Pagnananda Gnanarathanabidhana Mahanayaka Thero of Sri Lanka and very senior monks from India and other countries.

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Aurangabad is a historical city well known for the ancient Buddhist caves around it, including world famous Ajanta and Ellora Caves. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar established many educational institutions through the People’s Education Society in Aurangabad to uplift the masses from the marginalisation historically imposed on them. His benchmarking efforts as an institution builder gave an opportunity for millions of the oppressed to avail rightful education and a life of dignity. Many people from across the country came to study in the educational institutions started by Dr Ambedkar, in the Nagsenwana campus.

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Dr. B R Ambedkar's Caravan Marching Globally

 

Mahesh Wasnik

Vishwa Ratna, Bharat Ratna, Bodhisattva Dr B.R. Ambedkar's last message:

"Whatever I have done, I have been able to do after passing through crushing miseries and endless struggle all my life and fighting with my opponents. With great difficulty, I have brought this caravan where it is seen today. Let the caravan march on despite the hurdles that may come in its way. If my lieutenants are not able to take the caravan ahead, they should leave it there, but in no circumstances should they allow the caravan to go back. This is the message to my people."

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 Source: Last few years of Dr Ambedkar-Nanak Chand Rattu

Friends, I am confident by looking at the current scenario with global Ambedkarite movement, we are going to move Dr Ambedkar's caravan to the next level.

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Draft National Education Policy 2019 deserves to be rejected outright

Shikshan Sangharsh Samanwaya Samiti
(A Co-ordination Committee on Draft NEP 2019)
Contact Info.: Address- c/o Harishchandra Sukhdeve, C-4, Mulik Complex,
Somalwada, Wardha Road, Nagpur – 440 025
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(Letter to HRD Minister and all MPs)

Nagpur,
5 September, 2019


Hon’ble Member of Parliament,
New Delhi

Respected Madam / Sir,


Subject: Draft National Education Policy 2019  deserves to be rejected outright


The National Education Policy 2019 (NEP 2019) is likely to be introduced soon in the parliament. Government of India had sought suggestions from the public on the draft policy which was placed in public domain in the first week of June 2019. The full draft of NEP 2019 was made available only in English and Hindi to the public. On serious study of the same, we have come to a conclusion that any corrections in the draft policy is not going to make it worth adopting for the nation. The draft policy cannot help achieve the objective as stated in the Vision of the draft i.e. “an India centred education system that contributes directly to transforming our nation sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high quality education to all.” (page 45) The draft NEP 2019 envisages to achieve this goal through “the revision and revamping of all aspects of the education structure, its regulation and governance.” (page 24)

The Revision and Revamping of the present education structure as suggested in the draft NEP 2019 is without any empirical evidence on any aspect and without any application of mind though its honourable Chairman Padma Vibhushan Dr Kasturirangan claims it is ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking by the Committee. In fact, there is enough ground to believe that all that revamp and revision has some hidden meanings. The draft policy is not honest in its objectives and therefore in its recommendations. Here are few examples:

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