Nilesh Khandale's short film Ambuj - Drop the pride in your caste

Gaurav Somwanshi

nilesh khandaleNilesh Khandale’s debut short movie, ‘Ambuj’ seeks to shed light on some of the most pervasive but less talked about elements of the Indian caste society. Working as an Event Manager, and belonging to the Matang community in Maharashtra, Nilesh has always led the struggle of Phule-Shahu-Ambedkarite thought on social media where his presence has been influential. Now, he has chosen the medium of film to reach out to the public and spread the revolutionary thoughts. Gaurav Somwanshi talks to Nilesh Khandale about his movie and about himself.

Gaurav: Hello Nilesh, it has been more than a couple of years since I have known you on social media. Though I’ve not had the chance to meet you yet, I’ve followed your posts and interacted with you on facebook. Could you tell us about your ideals, your activism and your motivations?

Nilesh: I come from a town near Baramati, where my father runs a small business. The thoughts of our anti-caste leaders have always influenced me. As you very well know, I have used facebook extensively in order to spread the Phule-Shahu-Ambedkarite thought. In fact, I have tried to use every medium available to me to do this, even on my bike I use stickers that has a quote by Babasaheb saying, “Castes are anti-national” and I change these stickers every 3-4 months. Along with the trio of thought leaders who stand as pillars of the modern democratic setup, I’m also inspired heavily by Loksahityik Annabhau Sathe and Ustaad Lahuji Salve.

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Teri Zameen Tera Aasman - World Premiere of Documentary Film on Women

 

Round Table India 

World Premiere Film Screening of

TERI ZAMEEN TERA AASMAAN: Bhartiya Nari! Tu Aazaad Kahaan?
(Your Earth Your Sky: O Indian Woman! Where thou art free?)

tzta poster

~

 

This screening will be a part of the

The International Conference on
Re-imagining Religion, Caste and Social Justice in South Asia
The 3rd annual conference

Production and Script - Dr Manisha Bangar

Directed by Jeevan Gawande

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Solidarity Statement by Dalit Penkoottam

 

Dalit Penkoottam

Pembilai Orumai

We strongly protest the verbal attacks directed at Pembilai Orumai* by the Minister of Electricity of the Pinarayi Vijayan government of Kerala and member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) State Secretariat, M. M. Mani. We are of the opinion that this attack is part of patriarchal tendencies protected by organisations like the CPI (M). There have been attempts to justify his attacks from certain quarters by using his caste, educational and regional disadvantages as cover, and by making it seem that he made those statements while speaking against journalists. We condemn such attempts to divert attention from the issue. We demand that the criminal minister be promptly thrown out of the government and that strict legal proceedings be initiated against him.

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The landless will now receive no land

 

Santosh Kumar

Santosh kumarThomas Isaac, the Finance minister of Kerala had declared in the budget that flats/apartments shall be constructed within a year and given to one lakh people in Kerala who do not have a proper home. This was also one of the budget declarations that were celebrated quite a lot in the media and among the general public. However, if one delves deep into the realities of this flat/apartment programme, it can be seen how this is merely a continuation of the colony-zation that happened in the aftermath of Land Reform Act. The government is hell bent on creating new colonies in a context where this very colony-isation exists as one of the reasons for the social, political and cultural marginalisation of Dalits, Adivasis and other backward classes. There are already 26193 Dalit colonies, 14000 Adivasi colonies, around 500 colonies resided by people from the fisherman community and many more occupied by the other backward classes in Kerala. Sugar-coating such 'new colony programmes' by calling it 'flat/apartment programmes' cannot efface the social marginalisation that it can create.

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The Bridge of Migration: Introducing a tongue that wasn't 'chiselled by school'

 

Round Table India

We publish here an excerpt from the newly released collection of poetry by Yogesh Maitreya titled The Bridge of Migration. Following is the introduction by Kuffir, Editor of Round Table India, featured in this book of powerful series of poems.

the bridge of migration cover

we must fill blood in our pens
instead of ink, and write

That's what Yogesh does, fill his pen with blood and write immortal photos of his ancestors, imagine the persona of the mother who gave birth to the Sun, sketch the shackles on the feet of the brother who couldn't visit his immolated sister, rediscover the language of his father's songs which lent clarity to his rage.

He is not afraid of crying, because only cowards believe men don't cry. But his tears do not roll out; they illumine the paper as profound Zen stories.

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How People Revered Babasaheb Ambedkar


Sandeep Chavan 

sandeep chavanJai Bhim All,

My sincere salutes, respects and tributes to Parampujya Dr. Babasaheb Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar on the occasion of 126th birth anniversary of Babasaheb! As you are aware, there are several things that Babasaheb has done for us and our country in spite of great challenges he faced in his life.

Today, I want to cover the part on how much people revered Babasaheb in his lifetime and later. I will quote few instances to make my point!

 Babasaheb & his wife Mai Ramai lived most of their life in poverty. For his studies in the USA and UK, Babasaheb was awarded scholarship by Maharaja Sayajirao of Baroda. Mai Ramai understood Babasaheb's commitment towards society and used to support him in all ways possible. When Babasaheb was studying in USA, Babasaheb told his wife to not take money from anyone or do not make personal use of money that people collect for social work!

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A Discussion on Poetry Book 'Akash Nila Hai'

 

Kalyani

bagiThe program was a book discussion of Bal Gangadhar ‘Bagi’s book “Akash Nila Hai”. The book is a collection of poetry which JNU Ph.D scholar Bal Gangadhar ‘Bagi’ has written over a period of his research duration at JNU. As the pen name of the poet ‘Bagi’ suggests, the poems have a spirit to bring about the revolutionary changes within society.

 In contemporary context, Dalit literature essence derives from the fact that one genre of literature cannot capture complete reality. Dalit literature in particular reflects on those dimensions where some identities have been taken into oblivion. Thus, literature or poetry becomes a way to understand the complex problem particularly when it is dissected on the lines of divergent thought processes. The event saw confluence of many literary personality who have established their acumen particularly in Dalit literature like Shauraj Singh ‘Baichain’, Jai Prakash Kardam, Anwar Alam to name a few. The event was marked by engagement of other research scholars and the audience present at the book discussion event.

 The readers appreciated the youthful voice emerging in Dalit literature. ‘Bagi’ was appreciated for the sheer energy of thoughts reflected in his poems. The thoughts have dominated the flow of emotion which is the positive side of the book. Within the history of Dalit writing, Ravidas, Kabir, Mangu Ram thoughts have come through the channels of poetry. The persistent use of Urdu in the poems has shown detachment from the dominant Sanskrit or Hindi within Dalit literature. The very title of the book "Nila akash” has a metaphorical meaning that the sky or political will is clear for the movement to flourish and ideology of Ambedkarism has to set in.

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