Save Constitution! Save Nation!!

Prakash Ambedkar

Friends, you know that people are protesting continuously against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC), and National Population Register (NPR) since more than 50 days in Shaheen Bagh and in many other parts of Delhi and whole of India. These protesters are trying to save their constitution and their rights enshrined in it, and the secular fabric of this country. These protesters are the real patriots – people who love their constitution.

vba 4th march On the other hand, there are a few mainstream media and political parties which are ignoring the fact that this is a people's movement against the anti-constitutional and anti-people law. Such media and political parties have almost succeeded in portraying these protesters as just a Muslim crowd, separating them from rest of India. These media and political parties are trying to show that CAA, NRC, NPR are not anti-national, while this protest is just an unnecessary provocation by a few muslims.


Fighting the writing culture of the privileged


Tanoj Kumar Meshram

Tanoj Meshram

By every passing day of the writing journey, I am realizing that there exists something like a culture of writing and since it is a culture, it is embedded in a particular social context. Those who come from the privileged background with generations of history of writing (including a culture of reading the written material) often become the gatekeepers in the academia, publications, and media. They decide what is the correct way of writing which inter alia includes the subjective questions of style, format, presentation of arguments, clarity, organization, composing or even the way you frame your sentences.

I am not talking here about the problems of poor command over the language manifested by the mistakes in spelling, vocabulary, grammar, etc. which in the world dominated by computer-assisted writing and editing has largely taken care of. So, what is "normal", "standard", or "acceptable" in writing is decided by the privileged who have multiple generations of writing culture. Speaking in terms of social structure, these privileged gatekeepers could include whites, educationally privileged ethnic majority or minority, beneficiaries of caste system in a society like India or even a very few Bahujan middle-class writers or academics accepted or even co-opted by the privileged writing world because they were privileged to have the culture of writing in their homes and access to significant networks.


ಬಂಕಿಮಚಂದ್ರ ಚಟ್ಟೋಪಾಧ್ಯಾಯರ ಕಪಾಲಕುಂಡಲ - ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣ್ಯದ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠತೆಯನ್ನು ಎತ್ತಿಹಿಡಿಯಲೆಂದೇ ರಚಿತವಾದ ಕೃತಿ


ಬಂಕಿಮಚಂದ್ರ ಚಟ್ಟೋಪಾಧ್ಯಾಯರ ಕಪಾಲಕುಂಡಲ - ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣ್ಯದ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠತೆಯನ್ನು ಎತ್ತಿಹಿಡಿಯಲೆಂದೇ ರಚಿತವಾದ ಕೃತಿ

- ಮಹಾಲಿಂಗಪ್ಪ ಆಲಬಾಳ.

Review Kapala Kundala Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyayಬಂಕಿಮಚಂದ್ರ ಚಟ್ಟೋಪಾಧ್ಯಾಯ 1866ರಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದ "ಕಪಾಲ ಕುಂಡಲ" ಕಾದಂಬರಿಯನ್ನು ಸೊಂದಲಗೆರೆ ಲಕ್ಮೀಪತಿಯವರು 2015ರಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಅನುವಾದಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಕಾವ್ಯಕಲಾ ಪ್ರಕಾಶನ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಇವರು ಪ್ರಕಟಿಸಿರುವ ಈ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಈಗ ಓದಲು ಸಿಕ್ಕಿತು. ಒಂದೇ ದಿನಕ್ಕೆ ಓದು ಮುಗಿಸಿಕೊಂಡಿತು.






ಈ ಕಪಾಲಕುಂಡಲ ಕಾದಂಬರಿ ಹಲವಾರು ಅನಿರೀಕ್ಷಿತ ತಿರುವುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಗುತ್ತ ಓದುಗರನ್ನು ತುದಿಗಾಲ ಮೇಲೆ ನಿಲ್ಲುವಂತೆ ಮಾಡಿ ಓದಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ರೋಚಕ ಕಾದಂಬರಿ.


ಇನ್ನೂರೈವತ್ತು ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ಇದ್ದಿರಬಹುದಾದ(?) ಕಾಳಿ ಆರಾಧನೆ, ವಶೀಕರಣ, ನರಬಲಿ ಕೊಡುವ ಮೂಲಕ ಮಹಾಕಾಳಿಯನ್ನು ಒಲಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ 'ಕಪಾಲ' ಪಂಥ ಹಾಗೂ ಆಗಿನ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ,ರಾಜಕೀಯ ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿಯನ್ನು ಬಿಂಬಿಸುವಲ್ಲಿ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಮಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಯಶಸ್ವಿಯಾಗಿದೆ ಎಂದು ಹೇಳಬಹುದು. 

ಆದರೆ ಒಟ್ಟಾರೆಯಾಗಿ ಈ ಕಾದಂಬರಿ ರಚನೆಯ ಹಿಂದಿನ ಉದ್ದೇಶವೇನು? ಲೇಖಕರು ಈ ಕೃತಿಯ ಮೂಲಕ ಏನನ್ನು ಹೇಳಲು ಹೊರಟಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ಗ್ರಹಿಸಿದರೆ ಇಡೀ ಲೇಖಕರ ಮನಸ್ಥಿತಿ ಅರ್ಥವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ.


ಕೃತಿಯ ಆರಂಭದಿಂದ ಅಂತ್ಯದವರೆಗೂ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣ್ಯದ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠತೆಯನ್ನು ಯಾವ ಮುಚ್ಚುಮರೆ ಇಲ್ಲದೇ ಎತ್ತಿ ಹಿಡಿಯುವ ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಮತ್ತು ಅದೇ‌ ಉದ್ದೇಶಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಈ ಕೃತಿ ರಚನೆಯಾಗಿರುವುದು ಎಂದು ಗೊತ್ತಾಗುತ್ತದೆ.
ಆರಂಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಗಂಗಾ ಸಾಗರದಲ್ಲಿ ತೀರ್ಥಯಾತ್ರೆ ಮುಗಿಸಿ ಹರಿಗೋಲಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಮರಳುವಾಗ ಗಾಳಿ,ಅಲೆಗಳ ಹೊಡೆತಕ್ಕೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕು ಅಪಾಯ ಎದುರಿಸುವ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಿಂದಲೇ ನಭಕುಮಾರ ಎಂಬ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣ ಯುವಕನ ಮೂಲಕ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠತೆಯ ದರ್ಶನ ಆರಂಭವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಸಹ ಪ್ರಯಾಣಿಕ ಮುದುಕನೊಬ್ಬನ್ನೊಂದಿಗೆ ಮಾತನಾಡುತ್ತ "ಧರ್ಮಗ್ರಂಥಗಳನ್ನು ನಾವು ಸರಿಯಾಗಿ ಅರ್ಥ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡರೆ ಪುಣ್ಯದ ಫಲವನ್ನು ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿಯೇ ಸಂಪಾದಿಸಬಹುದು, ಪುಣ್ಯ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರಗಳಿಗೆ ಯಾತ್ರೆ ಮಾಡದೇ ಕೂಡ" ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಾನೆ. ಆ ಮುದುಕ" ಮತ್ತೇ ನಿನ್ಯಾಕೆ ಬಂದೆ" ಎಂದು ಕೇಳಿದಾಗ 'ನಾನು ಸಾಗರ ದರ್ಶನದ ಆಸೆಯಿಂದ ಬಂದೆ. ನಾನು ನೋಡಿರುದೆಲ್ಲ ನನ್ನ ಜನ್ಮಜನ್ಮಾಂತರಗಳಲ್ಲೂ ಅಚ್ಚಳಿಯದೇ ಉಳಿಯಲಿದೆ' ಎಂದು ಉತ್ತರಿಸುತ್ತಾನೆ.







CFC (Common Family Code) as the Antidote to CAA, NRC, NPR


Dr. Ayaz Ahmad

ayaz1The specter of CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), NRC (National Register of Citizens) and NPR (National Population Register) threaten to put our political democracy in peril. It seeks to drown the public sphere under hindu-muslim binary with the primary object of arresting democratic aspirations of Pasmanda Bahujan (SC, ST, and OBCs cutting across religions). For this purpose, religious cleavages festering for more than 150 years are sought to be exploited to the hilt.

CAA-NRC-NPR is the tool to tap into the communal divide theorized and operationalized by Ashraf-Savarna nexus since inception with the tacit support of the British empire. This divide was legally sanctified by separate electorates in political life, separate educational institutions in cultural life and communal personal laws in the family life of the early 20th-century Indian subcontinent. While the former culminated into partition, the later stares at us in the form of CAA-NRC-NPR after playing its role in the partition and numerous other communal pogroms. This piece focuses on the challenges posed by the continuance of communal personal laws and various forms in which these challenges emerge.


Schrödinger's cat in Supreme Court of India

Amit Kumar

amit kumar public org(This article was written on 13th January, 2018 in the wake of the press conference by four Supreme Court judges. Author feels that it has relevance now in the context of recent actions and inactions of the Supreme Court.)

The four Senior Judges of Supreme Court of India, the so-called guardian of the Indian Constitution, coming out openly in a press conference has kicked up a storm of opinions from all quadrants of the political cartesian-plane with the X-axis of Left-Right and the Y-axis of propriety, righteousness and morality. Even a literate man well versed in legal lexicon finds it difficult to make out the implications of the bold act.

Though it is true that the judiciary cannot claim itself completely free from the malaise that afflicts other organs of the state or administrative bodies, SC has been envisioned in our constitutional framework not just as an ordinary court rather as an  extremely important functionary of being the watch-dog of Indian constitution and hence, has been provided with enough independence and powers to ensure separation of power and to create checks and balances with the executive and legislature. This framework is an essential minimum for the working of any constitutional government and to stop it from sinking into authoritarianism of the executive.


A question from Kashmir: What is freedom and how does one attain it?


Ifrah Mushtaque Khan

As I narrate this article to my brother over a phone who lives outside Kashmir where internet is luxuriously available, the very implications of the problem are apparent. I can't email the article directly to Round Table India, because the internet is down. A couple of months ago, even this phone call would not have been a possibility.

Amidst all these, I have been pondering on many questions.

brahmin swallowing kashmir

Primarily, what is freedom and how does one attain it? This remains the most debatable question especially in a disputed territory like Kashmir where the government is playing an à la carte approach - one is given the rights that suit the government, and all the other rights, essential or not, are denied. Since 5th of August 2019, Kashmir has been reeling under darkness in terms of technology, as all connectivity was barred – including landline, mobile phones, and the internet services. This was done in coordination with the centre's decision to abrogate J&K's special status (Article 370).


The Students' Struggles of Hyderabad Central University: Emergence of Dalit students' Politics

Prof. P. Kesava Kumar

kesava kumarIn recent times, the privileged public sphere named University has occupied the centre stage of Indian politics. University is often viewed as an active place of learning by holding together the diverse social and political communities. It is not only a centre for catering knowledge, it also produces knowledge. Needless to say that it has located itself in a privileged public space in society. Knowledge produced from the society is channelized through curriculum of the university education. By specializing in the skill of knowledge, the intellectual community emerging out of university education may provide direction to the society to build a better society. In other words, future of the nation imagined and influenced through the intelligentsia. Apart from the questions of what constitutes knowledge and whose knowledge prevails and is institutionalized as public knowledge system, we have to understand the social context of this processing of knowledge systems and political value of the existing domain of knowledge. There is no doubt that the idea of the University is still continuing on the premises of colonial ideas.


Kanshi Ram: Man, Legacy and Modern Dalit-Bahujan Political Dynamics


Vaibhav Walunj

vaibhav walunj"Social movements are at once the symptoms and the instruments of progress. Ignore them and statesmanship is irrelevant; fail to use them and it is weak."
- Walter Lippmann

Indian political discourse after the life of Babasaheb Ambedkar would remain incomplete without acknowledging the Bahujan movement led by Kanshi Ram. This movement shook the political ground of India at large and of north India in particular. It created space for Dalit-Bahujans to stake claim to political power, rather than merely being vote banks of savarna candidates. The movement was molded and strengthened with the statesmanship of Kanshi Ram—a scientist who transformed into a powerful militant Ambedkarite. He remains a powerful and relevant force in the present, as can be gauged from instances where marginalized students have been expelled from institutions for observing his death anniversary. It is important for us to explore his ideas as well as to deliberate on the implications of his work for our political future, especially as contemporary strategies and leadership seem to be failing and proving to be weak.


The Importance of a Caste-Based Census

Tanoj Meshram

Tanoj(The Maharashtra assembly, on the initiative of its speaker Mr. Nana Patole - who is also an important OBC leader of the Congress in Maharashtra - has passed a resolution on January 08 demanding caste census in 2021. This development has once again raised expectations of anti-caste activists and started the discussion in social media about the need for a caste census. It is in this context that the following article - which is an edited and translated transcript of an old speech given at BAMCEF National Convention, held at Nagpur from December from 25 to 28, 2015 - which raises some important issues about the caste census and counting of OBCs and the faulty implementation process of Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) is being published.)

Dear Friends,

We now are living under a BJP government and many people believe that the UPA government was better than the current government. It was the UPA government which had given an assurance of conducting the caste census. Congress has ruled this country since 1947, with the exception of two or three governments. However, even though the need for having a caste-based census was repeatedly brought up, they never took this seriously. In fact, the honourable home minister whose ministry was in-charge of implementing this caste census was himself against the idea of conducting a caste census. Both current and previous home ministers, P. Chidambaram and Rajnath Singh have been against this and they expressed this not just in internal party forums but also publicly. However, some allies of the Congress government demanded that caste census be conducted before the 2011 census of India and organizations like BAMCEF had been demanding this for a long time. Babasaheb Ambedkar in his article "From Millions to Fractions" had also emphasized the importance of the caste census. Literature at the international level about the relationship of identity and census says there that a census plays an  important role in construction of social reality and collective identities (like that of OBCs in India) in the way that a map is essential to understand the geography of a nation.


A film that celebrates the memory of Bhima Koregoan


Amarnath Sandipamu

In January of 2017, at the screening of my film Bommalollu - The Puppeteers in Bangalore, Karthik Navayan, who then worked at Amnesty, introduced me to a young man as an apprentice at his organisation. He said he was interested in filmmaking and was enthusiastically happy about meeting me and another friend Rohan Arthur who organised the screening in his apartment community hall. He was full of questions about me, my body of work and my politics. When asked about him, he said he was working on a film on Bhima Koregoan. And today Somnath Waghmare is known as the filmmaker who etched out the memory of the great battle of the Mahars of Pune in his committed debut The Battle of Bhima Koregoan: An Unending Journey.

mt 1

A Narrative Celebrating Pride

On the first day of every year, lakhs of people throng a lesser-known memorial site near Pune, making it seem like a carnival. Locating the film in this carnival-like atmosphere, Somnath opens the film on the Samata Sainik Dal street performance raising Jai Bhim slogans, setting a celebratory tone to the film's narrative capturing the energy around the Bhima Koregoan Victory pillar. While we see glimpses of women, men, children rushing to the gathering, the flowers-adorned victory pillar is shown standing tall in the background of Buddhist chants.


Reading India in the time of protest!


Thongam Bipin

thongamTime and again we have seen how India unfolds itself to its margin during protests. It is violent and oppressive. It has made itself clear through its actions that the state machinery is not for the protection of the public but to protect the government from the public. The public is increasingly seen as an enemy of the state. Violence and oppression get exponentially over the par when the enemy of the state belongs to a minority community. It is the design of the state to be ruthless against the protestors in the Northeast (NE), in Jamia, in Aligarh and in other parts of Uttar Pradesh. The ruthless design of the state is extracted from and sanctioned by the dominant community.

There are many who suffer not because of their own designs but somebody else’s. Yet, they cannot speak of their sufferings. Their suffering is an unspeakable suffering for the nation is greater. Because their suffering is lesser in the scale of national importance, it does not reach the masses which constitute the core of a nation. It becomes untranslatable in the language known to the nation. Thus, it does not outrage the national conscience. Simply put, the sufferings of some are mere and routine. They cannot be understood without their sufferings. It is who they are. They will cease to exist without their marginalization. Their marginalisation is the design of the nation. However, a privileged person's suffering exhorts outrage, shakes the national conscience because it is not normal for a privileged person to be suffering. She cannot and should not suffer.  It is not usual for a brahmin or a person from a privileged class/caste to be suffering. It becomes our collective task to solace her because she is the nation. 


The unsure stage of Indian democracy...


Shiva Thorat

Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 6.01.39 PM

It was around the time that the Constitution of India was delivered to Rajendra Prasad: after Gandhi's assassination by Godse and in response, the former home minister Sardar Patel banned the then fledgeling right-wing organization - Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The Prime Minister's modern-day Sanghi agendas are more brutal than those of the leaders of the past. Nathuram Godse assassinated Gandhi—who was a Congress leader and led many movements like the salt satyagraha at Dandi and the Quit India Movement. PM Modi introduced the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in the name of Gandhi and worshipped Godse on his birth anniversary.

Construction of Patel's statue during this regime made popular material for news, memes and stand-up comedians. Madan Mohan Malaviya—a staunch leader of the Hindu Mahasabha and an Uttar Pradesh Brahmin, other than being the President of the Indian National Congress four times—had to be on the list of names to be commemorated by PM Modi. Malaviya was also the founder of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and produced many Sanskrit texts during his lifetime. Interestingly, Malaviya is not discussed in this light today; he is known as just another freedom fighter or one of the political leaders who were part of the formation process of this country. But it is an indirect statement by the Sangh Parivar--naming schemes, erecting statues in the name of Gandhi, Patel and Malaviya--that he was a significant part of nation-making. Hence, the national mission for teachers and teaching materials is in Malaviya's name.


Other Related Articles

Rosa Parks: How It all Started
Monday, 18 October 2021
  Rosa Parks & Jim Haskins (Excerpt from the book 'Rosa Parks: My Story')  One evening in early December 1955 I was sitting in the front seat of the colored section of a bus in... Read More...
Buddha and caste system
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
  Bhikku U. Dhammaratana There are some writers who try to depict the Buddha, the Enlightened One, as the teacher of Nibbana who had nothing to do with the affairs of the contemporary society.... Read More...
How mainstream feminism has failed Dalit women
Tuesday, 12 October 2021
  Anamika Kumari As long as there is casteism in this country, no other '-ism' would ever stand a chance to flourish. This country follows the rule of 'brahminism' and thus follows every other... Read More...
The many shades of Saheb Kanshiram
Saturday, 09 October 2021
  Gurinder Azad Once Kanshi Ram Saheb was going somewhere with his colleagues in a car. His health was a bit bad. A colleague, probably wanting to please Saheb, asked 'Saheb, tell me, what do... Read More...
'Great boast, little roast': DSE and Bahujan students
Friday, 08 October 2021
Preeti Koli and Ritika Koli Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said: "Turn in any direction you like, caste is the monster that crosses your path. You cannot have political reform; you cannot have economic reform... Read More...

Recent Popular Articles

Casteism in City Colleges and Classrooms
Saturday, 29 May 2021
Aarushi Punia It is a common myth perpetrated by upper caste faculty, students, politicians, and media that caste superiority and casteism is exercised amongst uneducated people in the villages, and... Read More...
Govt. of India should send One Lakh SC ST youths abroad for Higher Education
Monday, 21 June 2021
  Anshul Kumar Men sitting on the pinnacle of the palace "So, I went one day to Linlithgow and said, concerning the expense of education, "If you will not get angry, I want to ask a question. I... Read More...
Understanding Cultural and Social Capital of Savarnas
Thursday, 29 April 2021
Pranav Jeevan P 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... Read More...
Conceiving a New Public: Ambedkar on Universities
Saturday, 26 June 2021
Asha Singh & Nidhin Donald Dr. B.R. Ambedkar conceptualizes education as a ‘vital need’ which helps us fight notions of ‘inescapable fate’ or ‘ascriptions of caste or religion’. He... Read More...
Outlook magazine's duplicity
Saturday, 22 May 2021
JS Vinay Recently, there was a controversy when the Outlook magazine released an issue with a cover story on “50 Dalits remaking India”. [1] Many anti-caste activists raised questions about the... Read More...