Embracing my Dalit-hood while rejoicing in accomplishments

 

Chandramohan S

chandramohan sDuring the award ceremony of M. Harish Govind Prize, many asked me why I need a "Dalit Poet" labeling. They were shocked that there were just a handful of Dalit poets who write in English and have registered their visibility. The English literary gathering seems to be so ignorant of the girth in the literatures available in the vernacular. Many Dalit poets writing in their respective vernaculars have – and are in a league of their own. Poets like Namdeo Dhasal are considered worthy of the Nobel Prize by reputed critics like Sachin Ketkar, S. Joseph who is widely celebrated as the best poet writing in Malayalam since the legendary Balachandran Chullikadu era.

Why I am an Indian English Dalit poet?

Because my poems and myself intend to provoke a discussion about caste – the contemporaneity of caste, not as a relic of a bygone era. It is an ongoing battle and this needs to be documented.

Do you think it constrains you?

No. Absolutely not. In fact being a Dalit poet drives one to a unique vantage point of being endowed with razor sharp subversive potential – in this choice of themes for his poems as well as in the spirit for experimentation, to push the envelope on exploring the limits of expression in his or her language.

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Call for Papers: “Doing Ambedkarism Today: Issues of Caste, Gender and Community”

 

Call for papers for workshop onDoing Ambedkarism Today: Issues of Caste, Gender, and Community

Dates – 19th to 22nd February 2018

Deadline for Proposals – 31st December 2017

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The Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC), is organizing a workshop on the above mentioned theme sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi, for research orientation programmes intended exclusively for researchers from Scheduled Caste (SC)/Scheduled Tribe (ST) backgrounds, from 19-22 February 2018.

Concept Note on the Workshop

In a poll conducted in 2012, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was voted as the greatest Indian. The inspiration for several Dalit and backward caste parties and movements across India, Ambedkar is seen as a political figure that is simultaneously divisive and unifying. Whether they subscribe to his ideals or not, all major parties are compelled to pay obeisance to this icon. Over the past few decades, excellent academic and theoretical contributions have been made regarding the study of Ambedkar’s thoughts. Yet, as it is with any great thinker, there is still a need to expand Ambedkar beyond conventional readings.

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Arguing for ‘Feminist Ambedkarism’

 

Mahipal Mahamatta

I am very glad to introduce to you an important work from Maharashtra, "स्त्रीवादी आंबेडकरवाद" (Feminist Ambedkarism), written by renowned activist Dr. Dhammasangini RamaGorakh. Though the book has been written in Marathi, it has immense importance in regards to Ambedkarite discourse.

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 You must be familiar with terms such as 'Liberal Feminism', 'Marxist Feminism', 'Socialist Feminism', 'Radical Feminism', 'Black Feminism', 'Dalit Feminism' etc. If we observe these words, one would find that feminism is the universe and the prefix is the subset of it. However, there is an inverse way of looking at it: like the title of this book where feminism becomes a subset and Ambedkarism is the universe. Yes, this is the crux of the book where the author is trying to bring a theoretical intervention into the discourse, proposing no binary, no conflicting relation between Ambedkarism and feminism, rather arguing that gender is the core of Ambedkarism.

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कास्टिस्ट मुंबईस्पिरीट

 

Somnath Waghmare

somnath waghmareमुंबई... नो नो, बॉम्बे! स्वप्ननगरी!!

माझं गिरणी कामगार कुटुंब ठीक २५ वर्षांपूर्वी मुंबई शहरातून खेड्यात स्थलांतरीत झालं होतं. गिरण्या बंद पडल्यामुळे. पण मी आज याच शहरामध्ये भारतात नावाजलेल्या टाटा समाजविज्ञान संस्थेत एमफिल–पिएचडी करत आहे. मुंबईबद्दल एक समज खुप प्रचलित आहे — 'मुंबईचं स्पिरीट'. ह्याचा अर्थ असा की शहरावर कोणतीही आपत्ती आली तरी सगळे लोक मदतीला धावून येतात आणि दुसऱ्या दिवशी सगळं सुरळीत चालू होतं. पण ह्या मुंबई स्पिरीटपासून दलित समाज अजूनही अस्पृश्यच आहे हे यावर्षी मुंबईकरांनी दाखवून दिलं.

ज्या माणसाने हजारो वर्षे जातीवर्णव्यवस्थेत बंदिस्त असलेल्या समाजाला त्या गुलामीतून मुक्त करून सांविधानिक मानवी हक्क मिळवून दिले, त्या बाबासाहेबांची ६ डिसेंबर पुण्यतिथी असते. भारतातल्या मुलतत्ववादी सवर्णांसाठी विजय दिवस कारण त्यांनी बाबरी मशीद याच दिवशी पाडली, तर मुस्लिमांसाठी ब्लॅक डे. मी कायम विचार करतो की बाबरी मशीद पाडण्यासाठी हाच दिवस का बरं निवडला असेल? मागच्या वर्षी जयललिता यांचं निधनसुद्धा याच दिवशी घोषित करण्यात आलं होतं. या पाठीमागे खुप मोठं धार्मिक-जातीय वर्चस्वाचं राजकारण आहे. मनुस्मृतीला मानणारा खूप मोठा आजारी सवर्ण समाज आज हि भारतात आहे ज्याची लोकसंख्या २५ % आहे पण इथल्या सगळ्या पॉवर स्टक्चर वर त्याच वर्चस्व आहे . आणि त्याबद्धल कसलीही लाज या समाजातला अजूनतरी नाही , हाच समाज आरक्षण विरोधी आहे आणि आंबेडकर द्वेष्टी पण , हा काही अल्पसंख्य लोक आहेत या समाजात जे हे सर्व नाकारतात .

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Literature and Visual Storytelling Festival with Malo and Barman Fishing Community

 

Manju Rajak


This is a short write-up on a Community-based Art Project, designed by Manju Rajak, a visual artist. 

Participants' names – Deepa Burman, Lalita Burman, Surabhi Burman, Kajal Sarbwani, Dipika Burman, Nirupa Barman, Nandini Burman, Debojit Burman, Ashis Burman, Hishi Burman, Radhika Burman, Nandini Burman, Akadashi Burman, Maya Burman, Gita Burman, Bidya Burman, Binita Burman, Dlimp Burman, Monika Burman, Minakhi Das, Nayan Burman, Rakesh Burman, Bishnu Burman, Anamika Burman, Puja Burman, Santa Burman, Manoj Burman, Manis Burman, Pallab Burman, Debojit Burman, Dipika Burman, Riha Burman, Shivham Burman, Ritik Wala, Kaushik Burman, Dilip Burman, Dharitri Burman, Bhagirath Burman, Prakash Malo Das, Niranjan Burman, Shibong Burman. 

anandnagar1

Ananda Nagar is a small remote village situated on the North Banks of Brahmaputra River in North Guwahati. The inhabitants of this village are the Malo and Burman Community who are traditionally fishermen by occupation. Nearly 300 families reside in this village. This community has migrated from East Bengali speaking regions of larger Kamrupa Bengal expanse and has a very unique social and cultural history and customs. Presently, it is very difficult to acquire any comprehensive form of their own history and heritage since the community has been long detached from their own region-specific, linguistically alike fishing communities and isolated within a completely new region and culture altogether. Earlier, Ananda Nagar was known as Bongal Basti within the surrounding neighborhoods. After repeated appeals from the villagers, the village has been renamed as Ananda Nagar honoring the name of an eminent Assamese personality, Anandaram Barooah.

anandnagar2

This project seeks to record an inclusive set of documents on cultural, intellectual, history, heritage and enigmatic layers of life of the villagers of Ananda Nagar. Most importantly this process and methods of recording will be initiated by the collective efforts of the community themselves. In the modern, neo-liberal economic context their social-cultural schemes too are changing quite rapidly. This project aims to archive the historicity of the moment of contemporary cultural flux. This economically and socially backward community carries the pearl of cultural heritage, which mostly derives from their occupation as fishermen and the community’s intimate relationship with the river.

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Making of the Indian Constitution

 

Dr Jas Simran Singh Kehal

jas kehalIndia observes its Constitution Day this Sunday, 26th of November, as it was on this day in 1949 the constituent assembly adopted the constitution.

The idea of a constituent assembly for India was proposed in 1934 by M N Rao, a communist and an international revolutionary and adopted by Indian National Congress in 1935. In 1940, the British made a proposal termed as August offer which among other offers, recognized Indians' right to frame their own constitution, In return, they expected Indians to co operate them in World War II.

 Citing complexities in India, British wanted to write the constitution of India before they left but Indians resisted up till independence. On 29th August 1947, a committee was appointed to draft the constitution of India. It had nearly 300 representatives, partly elected and partly selected from all sections of society and chaired by Dr B R Ambedkar, the first Law Minister of India, a jurist, an economist and a social reformer. He is also known as father of Indian constitution. Covering 166 days, it took assembly 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to debate and enact the constitution. Constitution of Japan was written by 24 Americans with the help a female interpreter in just 7 days. It took our neighboring country of Pakistan about 25 years to draft and enact their constitution.

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In the Stream of Consciousness with Priyadarshini Ohol: Solo Exhibition in Kolkata

 

Round Table India

You are cordially invited to the first Calcutta gallery solo of Priyadarshini Ohol - a Bombay artist who paints at her studio in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.

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The artist at the opening. The painting "El Dorado" (48" x 36" Acrylic on Canvas) appears in the background.

The exhibition is on view from 21-26 November 2017 at the 4th Floor gallery of the Birla Academy of Art and Culture from 3-8pm.

Commenting on her works at the inauguration, Eminent Artist Samir Aich said,

 "The work is good and honest."
"Character of place like Dharamshala reflects in the coolness of the works."
"She has her own unique style."

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Reminisce about Halcyon Times, 36"x48", Acrylic on Canvas.

Details

In the Stream of Consciousness with Priyadarshini Ohol

Solo Exhibition

Eminent Artist Mr. Samir Aich opened the exhibition on 21 Nov 2017 at 6pm.

On View
21 Nov to 26 Nov 2017, 3-8pm
Birla Academy of Art & Culture, 4th Floor, 108, Southern Avenue, Kolkata 700029

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