Babasaheb and Labour

 

Gaurav Somwanshi

Today, let us understand Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's contribution to labour welfare in 10 examples. These are taken from a variety of sources, but primarily from BAWS volumes. The quoted portions are taken directly from the mentioned sources, while the additional commentary is made by me without the quotes.

Ambedkar rally

Babasaheb & Labour- 1

What Babasaheb Ambedkar did to abolish the Khoti system, which was primarily prevalent in the Konkan region:

Read more...

Understanding Cultural and Social Capital of Savarnas


Pranav Jeevan P

pranav Why is the assertion of Bahujans branded as identity politics based on caste, but the savarna assertions are termed as “culture”, “tradition” and “merit”? The dominance of rituals and performance of savarna hegemony is the sign of cultural penetration of caste hierarchies in all sections of society. It is the institutions which are controlled by them which grant them a distinctive identity which is dissociated from any caste connotations. This frees them to utilize and showcase their cultural and social capital with greater legitimacy as they claim it is devoid of caste and the thousand years of oppression of Bahujans it carries with it.

Read more...

The need for studies on Dalit musical traditions

 

Dr. Chandraiah Gopani

cgopaniDalits are creators of music. They not only produced many musical instruments and performed them but also generated rich knowledge on music. The studies of art and cultural production are important to understand human expression, taste, beauty and emotions etc. Within cultural production, music plays a unique role to express human emotions and ideas. Dalits are involved in creating a variety of musical forms -- from traditional to modern musical genres. But most of the musical traditions among Dalits have survived/are surviving in oral and informal ways. This lack of textualizing and institutionalizing these traditions deeply underlines the urgent need for documentation and critical studies.   

 

Read more...

The OBC case of ‘House Negro’ and ‘Field Negro’

 

Anand Kshirsagar

anand kshirsagarThere was a time in the American antebellum South like Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, and South Carolina where economic, social, political, cultural, and religious relations of the American society were established on the bloody foundations of slavery of blacks. These black slaves were brought bounded in chains from the West Coast of Africa and today's West Indies. Such black slaves were bought and sold to work on the cotton, tobacco, and sugar cane plantations of white slave owners.

Now, most of us Indians who have some basic idea of the 'system of slavery' know physical exploitation, involuntary bonded labour without any wage is the common sight in slavery. However, in the case of the American plantations in the  south, black slaves used to be whipped, beaten up, starved, hanged, burned alive, lynched, sexually exploited by white slave masters.

Read more...

Moral Right to Labour


Pralay Nagrale

pralay nagraleThe recent mobilization of the Valmiki community all over India was important in fighting for justice for the 19 year old girl of Bulgaddhi village of district Hathras, because till now, the protests of the Valmiki community used to be on local levels, mostly. But this resistance did not happen suddenly. It was a rage which was within the communities for a long time. There has been a protest against the TV serial in Punjab in September 2019 where the Valmiki Action Committee against the Ram Siya ke Luv Kush which was airing on Colors TV.

In September 2019 in Bhavkhedi, Shivpuri district, Madhya Pradesh, two children, Roshni (12 Years), Avinash Valmiki (10 Years) were killed for open defecation. Those two children were killed for defecating near the house of a Yadav family. After this incident Roshni, a 12 year old girl who wanted to become a doctor, had stopped going to school due to the casteist harassment by teachers of the school. In the school she was made to sit separately and asked to bring utensils from home. In this village there are only two homes of the Valmiki community and they were engaged in cleaning toilets in the village. The villagers did not attend the funerals of Avinash and Roshni.

Read more...

Ram Van Gaman Path: Who are you to decide our vision for development?


Bodhi Ramteke

bodhi ramtekeWhat could be the priorities for any poorest state, where literacy rate is low, malnutrition level is high, having no proper educational & health infrastructure and other endless issues

The vision before such a state should be to overcome those issues through framing and implementing good and constructive policies in a very democratic manner.

The 'Secular' Congress Government has announced the development of Ram Van Gaman Path i.e., the way travelled by Ram, under the project 'Ram Van Gaman Tourism Circuit' in Chhattisgarh State. Temples are to be built in all the 75 places where Ram supposedly passed through.

Read more...

Mutual Aid and Self-Organization in Anti-CAA and Farmers' Protests


Pranav Jeevan P

توشاہیںہےپروازہےکامتیراترےسامنےآسماںاوربھیہیں- اقبالpranav

तूशाहीनहै,परवाज़हैकामतेरा ,तेरेसामनेआसमांऔरभीहै - इकबाल

You are a falcon, your purpose is to fly, there are still more skies for you to transcend - Ikbal

India witnessed two large scale protests in last 2 years which saw millions taking to streets against the oppressive laws passed by the Government. These were the Anti-CAA protests and the farmers protests. During the Anti-CAA protests, the loudest voices of dissent have been the women, from housewives to grandmothers, lawyers to students, women across India have been at the forefront of this struggle (Jeevan, 2021). This female-driven political awakening has been most jubilantly epitomized by the sit-in protest at Shaheen Bagh, drawing a cross-generational, largely female crowd never seen in India before (Petersen & Azizur Rahman, 2020). Then came the farmer protests, where millions of farmers took to streets to force the government to repeal the farm laws and to highlight the issues of agrarian crisis which has been growing in India for the last few decades. In these protests, there is an unprecedented solidarity being displayed in the daily rallies that draw out thousands of people all over Indian cities crossing caste and gender boundaries. There are no visible leaders calling out to people to protest in one mode or another, yet the country has found a way to speak truth to power (Badwar, 2020).

Read more...

Farmer Protests- The Discords in Hindu Society

 

Dr Anuradha Bele

dr anuradha bele 1My deepest gratitude to all the peasants, and especially to the farmers of Punjab.

Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar once said that those who don't know history can't make history. In the light of this quote, this article aims to understand the history of jats and their current socio religious politics and reiterate the profound fact to the readers that the freedom in the truest sense is possible only if the caste structure is dismantled and that can be made possible only if multitude castes of Shudras and Ati Shudras walk under a common umbrella towards common destiny, i.e Buddhism.

Introduction

 The term 'Hindu' is a myth, created by Muslims to address the people on the other side of the Indus river. So the so-called Hindu society is just a collection of castes.[1] The Brahmins, and Brahmin converts to Islam (Ashraf Muslims, upper caste Muslims), the sacerdotal castes, were most numerous wherever the soil was fertile and the people ignorant and superstitious.[2] Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had explained that the Shudras, the Tribes and the Untouchables are natural allies, and could use their numerical strength to bring down the Brahmanical economic order and subsequently the social order i.e. the caste system. However, he also bemoaned the fact that the Shudra still believes in the supremacy of the graded inequality created by the Brahmin and while the Shudra is anxious to pull down the Brahmin, the Untouchables rising to their level is not acceptable to them.

Read more...

A few days in Naxal-dominated Bhamragad or the story of 70 years of Independence!


A few days in Naxal-dominated Bhamragad

Bodhi Ramteke

bodhi ramtekeThe excruciating pain of Roshni and the loss of Jaya's life were both heartbreaking, and the concern for both of them and their family took me several miles away from my house to theirs.

It was the month of July. Roshni was nine months pregnant then and had gone into labour. The nearest hospital from her village was at a distance of 23 km. This journey was only possible through foot as the village was isolated from any modern means of connectivity or infrastructure. So there was no choice but that of walking on your own two feet. Then came the big question, for Roshni, “Should I do it?”

With her baby on the way, Roshni began to walk alone through the forest. She walked alone for a very long distance and could not even see the Asha Worker who was with her. The road was full of rocks. She continued on, crossing two hills along the way. If her foot had slipped off a rock, she would have fallen into a deep trap where any help would have been impossible. But, left with no choice and a long route ahead, she kept walking.

Read more...

Re-Imagining Justice: From Punitive to Transformative


Pranav Jeevan P

pranav Before we start talking about different forms of Criminal Justice systems that are existing and that can be created, we need to sneak a peek into the current carceral Criminal Justice system in India. Our current criminal justice system is that of Punitive justice (PUNITIVE JUSTICE), where we seek to impose a punishment (deprivation or restriction) on the offender which is mostly incarceration. At the end of 2019, we had 478600 prisoners with an occupancy rate of 118.5% (Executive Summary, 2019). Seven in 10 of them are under still under trial, two-thirds of whom are from marginalized castes. Also, more than one in five (21.5%) undertrials were Muslim. Data shows that 27.7% are illiterate and over 70% haven't received 10th standard education. Also, trials are taking longer and the number of people awaiting completion of trial in prisons for long periods is increasing. The high proportion of undertrial population defeats the purpose of prisons, which are supposedly meant to correct convicted offenders of law (Paliath, 2020).

Read more...

Politics beyond Pity: Looking at the condemnation of the events of Republic Day, 2021

 

Naichashakh (नैचाशाख)

The farmer's protests which managed to persuasively register themselves in early November as the farmer groups and unions moved past the barricades, heavy police deployment, water cannons, and several other obstacles to lodge themselves firmly at the seat of political power have opened up the many contradictions which make or rather un-make the Indian Republic. The response by the media, government, critics, and supporters makes in-fact a further fertile ground for uncovering the contradictions of making a political demand in "India". The widespread outcry at the events of the Republic Day by the media, ruling regime and a large section of the public intelligentsia is a prime example of the paradigm of the "political" in the unified India.

farmers protest

Let us pay attention to the charge made across almost all quarters of the "public sphere" that the tractor parade on the Republic Day was violent, unruly and unorderly. Some columnists also declared it an anarchic situation. Considering for a moment that the events were indeed "violent", what is important for us is the next argument which follows in the same breath that owing to the violence, the protesting groups have lost their moral ground of protest. Moral ground? Why is the ruling regime- and we can count the media and a large section of intelligentsia in the ruling regime insofar as they hold the power to affect the political battle the farmers are fighting- only able to understand the protest as a moral demand? What is the window through this which this "morality" is framed?

Read more...

Upper Caste Anxiety Over Reservations

 

Kranthi Kumar Mungamuri

kranthi kumar mungamuriVery recently, Telangana MLA Dharma Reddy (TRS), made a casteist statement over reservations by saying that "state is being ruined or destroyed due to lack of merit in government due to communities who had reservations" which led to a war of words between democratic, productive forces (SCs, STs and OBCs) and casteist forces. He also argued that upper castes are not securing jobs while others were getting positions without any merit. He made these comments while he was speaking at "Upper Caste State Maha Garjana", a meeting organised by the Upper Caste Aikya Vedika and attended by upper caste groups such as Velama, Reddy, Brahmin, Vaishya and Kshatriya who are historically anti-reservations and anti-empowerment of the marginalized.

Read more...