Eklavya and Karna: An Understanding of Discrimination against Marginalised in Indian Education System


Ritu

rituMahabharata and Ramayana are considered as the biggest epics (Mahakavya) of India. These are back in popular discussion with the reruns of their TV serials on Doordarshan amid the Covid-19 crisis. Those who have access to television are watching the serials with great interest as shown by the rising TRPs of Doordarshan.

Coming to Mahabharata, the authorship of this great epic is accredited to Ved Vyasa. Mahabharata is present in written and oral forms and has many versions, from the perspectives of different regions, castes and genders. It is popularly said that the Mahabharata touches every aspect of human life; that it has thrown light on every kind of possible human relationship, including the teacher-pupil relationship. Although the main characters of Mahabharata are Pandavas, Kauravas, Bhishma, Shakuni, Kunti, and Drona, but the minor characters like Eklavya and Karna have also created a huge impact. There are multiple anecdotes circulated on Arjuna's bravery, Bhishma's sacrifice and Drona's knowledge but Karna's archery skills and Eklavya's devotion towards his teacher are side-lined.

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Government healthcare workers and migrants: Their cries for basic necessities are no different

 

Dr Manisha Bangar

manisha bangarIt wasn't so long ago that the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, called for a focused effort to make India a $5 trillion economy. However, it doesn't surprise anyone anymore that the Indian government's definition of the economy doesn't include the welfare of sectors like healthcare and education, or elevating the rural economy or spending on the poor, marginalized population.

The failure of the Indian healthcare system in combating the current global pandemic is the result of continually ignoring the needs of this sector. The Indian Prime Minister himself asked the citizens to applaud the healthcare workers for their contribution, but completely ignored their very basic demand of personal protective kits.

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‘Episteme’ based on Experience: Review of "The Cracked Mirror" by Gopal Guru and Sundar Sarukkai


Bhawesh Pant

‘Lived experience’ is growing in popular appeal (Hoerger, 2016). The reasons for this upsurge are ‘emergence of the politics of identity’ (pg.1) and the theoretical failing of different disciplines, in grasping the essence of varied marginalities. The observation pertaining to lived experience is certainly not new, the celebrated traditions like Phenomenology and Feminist Stand Point theory deal with the element of ‘lived experiences’. But in these traditions, we try to validate and categorize the diverse experiences into a few ‘universal’ categories. And these categories are cognitive products, either curated or influenced by preeminent cultures and communities. Thus a thoughtful questioning has to be carried down on the whole ‘theory doing.’ Mere suspicion will not work, one should also strive to develop an ‘egalitarian theory doing.’

Pic cracked mirror

"The Cracked Mirror: An Indian Debate on Experience and Theory" by Gopal Guru and Sundar Sarukkai, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 2012

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To speak of Migrant workers is to speak of Politics today


Vishal Verma

vishal VThe politics in India which has continuously been called ‘democractic’ has sustained for more than 70 years. With riots and uprisings[i] having  been an  intrinsic part of it. Where the former,  has always been advantageous for Indian democracy to consolidate its power through the mediation of an institutionally    centralised state form. The latter, usually, radically shakes the established structures of power called State  through an assertion of the strength of people, who were kept at absence.  Thereby demonstrating a strength of their absence[ii].

Today, during the Corona pandemic, an inexistent[iii]of the world, called the ‘Migrant worker’ has started to exist in this same world with maximum inten­sity. Let’s see a picture of it. So much has already been written about the Coronavirus epidemic, as a non-specialist observer with very limited access and interest in data, I have nothing to add about the epidemic's origin, characteristics and ideology. But perhaps, I would be interested in questioning the logic of the State to deal with the crisis. Here, we must not forget that a virus called COVID-19 has shaken the world, not solely because of its highly contagious parasitic nature but due to the failure of the logic of the State itself, which can be exposed in three stages[iv].

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India’s Coronavirus and Lockdown Alienation


Mohd Owais Saleem

mohammed owais saleemHas lockdown led the marginalized or many other groups of India to severe alienation during COVID-19? Is it affecting the lives of groups and individuals? Being a student of sociology, this question always strikes me hard. Having been born and brought up in Delhi, it has been observed that the lives of people living in the city are an obvious and classic case of “social alienation.” They work hard to meet their basic needs and their never-ending desires have made them a stranger to the person living in their neighbourhood. Hence, “social alienation” — a condition in social relationships is reflected by a low degree of integration or common values, and a high degree of distance or isolation between individuals or between an individual and a group of people in a community or work environment as defined by many classic sociologists.

Marx’s theory of Alienation is articulated most clearly in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 and The German Ideology of 1846, where he defined “Human Alienation” as the third element of Alienation. So in a society like Delhi, no one knows what others go through in their day-to-day life; as a result, all families depend on themselves for survival. Already having this type of alienation, Delhi is now also facing “lockdown alienation.” There are so many people who work in the informal sector and earn less to survive. Likewise, there are so many migrant laborers who work on a daily wage basis, and their source of income is only their labor which they can sell and earn to survive.

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Palasa 1978 – A story of Revolt-Reform-Revenge, and beyond that


Sudhanshu Singh

Palasa 1978 is an excellent and rare example of Bahujan culture and agony depicted in mainstream cinema. There have been movies before that have depicted lives of the working class but none depicts their lives as well as culture with explicit truthfulness and a message that is like a ‘fusillade of pistol shots’. The bluntness of the movie is nothing less than a cultural shock to Indian cinema, which has internalized the loathsome activity of censoring realities, in subtleties. In a time like this, Palasa 1978 is a great work of political art. It shows the upper castes in their characteristic light. How they associate with fellow men of different castes for a purpose and make them their pawns. But Ranga Rao and Mohan Rao are no nonsense brothers. Courageous, ready to snatch their legitimate birthright, and draw some blood in the course. The movie is thrilling and intense, with its dialogues being the backbone of a powerful ride.

palasa poster 1

Plot

The movie begins with a character playing Hanuman (in a folk performance) on his knees, being punched and bleeding from his mouth, who later gives up, and the scene is followed by folk songs about Palasa, a town in Andhra Pradesh known for its cashew production. It is the story of a family and two brothers who work in a cashew factory and are folk dancers by tradition. They have seen and observed segregation based on caste but things begin to change when they don’t find things normal anymore. Revolt boils inside them on occasions. The earliest incident begins with the narrator saying ‘That day was the most unforgettable day in Mohan Rao’s life. This was the same day singer Mohan Rao turned to be goon Mohan Rao’. Mohan Rao auditions for a singing competition, his performance is enjoyed and appreciated by everyone but the judges do not give him the first prize because of his caste. The narrator says ‘That was the day we realized, not just our community but our song is also untouchable’.

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Brahmin media cannot resist communal bigotry even amidst COVID-19 pandemic

 

Dr. Manisha Bangar and Anwarul Hoda

"I was very worried about some stories I heard that some people are blaming the epidemic on minorities... on Muslim minorities... even saying that it's a deliberate act of terrorism... this is complete nonsense, is extremely dangerous... we don't need more hatred, we need solidarity, we need love between people." - Yuval Noah Harari

republic tv tablighi jamat

After the Citizenship Amendment Act and the Delhi pogrom Muslims are left with another tragedy to carry with them. In the wake of COVID-19 people showing solidarity and standing for each other's safety while in India in contrast Muslims are blamed for spreading the coronavirus in the country.

Without any shame, TV channels keep on blaming Tablighi Jamat for the Corona outbreak. Going a step further, some of the satellite channels didn't shy away from calling it 'Corona Jihad'. What could be worse for India Muslims to carry the blame of which they know nothing about?

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