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“Axone” and the Question of Racism in India

 

Veewon Thokchom

veewon thokchom 1With the release of the Bollywood movie "Axone" directed by Nicholas Kharkonger, a debate on racism has been ignited. Though the movie could not have been worse than it is when it comes to racism, it at least has sparked off a discourse on racism faced by "Northeast" yellow people in Indian metropolitan cities. And this is the moment that we have to seize. A dialogue on not the movie in particular but racism at large in this country; a talk on race and colour – brown and yellow.

 As a starting point to this dialogue, it is essential to state that one need not have to believe in the objective existence of race to be able to enquire the social, political and cultural relevance of the "idea of race." The question of race needs our attention to have a firm grasp on how race is socially and discursively constructed to maintain a structurally hegemonic relationship between people. Talking about race is not enforcing racial difference but it rather seeks to critique the oppressive relations that come along with relationships amongst races. It is also important to note that the usage of the colour code, i.e. brown and yellow, is equally important to decipher the complex nature of race and racism, just as how the usage of the word "black" became popular in the United States during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s.

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Poverty of Philosophy within Liberals in Understanding Anti-Caste Politics

 

Omprakash Mahato

om mahtaoThere are social scientists who develop their views on caste through textual means, attending conferences and seminars, observing society from a distance etc. While reading textbooks is the conventional way, some scholars tend to develop their 'theories' from watching Bollywood movies, reading newspapers,viewing newsroom studios debates, discussing and debating with research scholars while sitting in their chambers, all within the physical comfort of their home that many of us can't afford.

There are others, the 'common' people, who understand caste and class through the 'general' debate about merit and perceptions manufactured in tea-stalls, pan-shops talking about the link between reservation and corruption. Separated from all these, exist the marginalized, the oppressed, the dalit-bahujans, the first generation learners in academic institutions, who articulate caste and class consciousness through their lived experience. The liberals exploit their caste privilege, publish academic articles and are in competition to establish themselves as anti-caste thinkers in the western academia. However, they fail to acknowledge the existence of caste discrimination that they do in Indian Universities like JNU, DU, Jadavpur University, Presidency College and other academic institutions. This is why it becomes necessary to lay out the 'poverty of philosophy' within liberals in understanding anti-caste politics.

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So that Rama kaka lives on!

 

Pradnya Jadhav 

(Round Table India commiserates with the family that lost father and son to coronavirus within a span of fifteen days. We wish other members of the family who are affected a speedy recovery.) 

As we stepped inside, the first thing we heard was a sound of something bursting like a firecracker, but there were several other things to notice within the next few moments and we forgot to search for what sound it was. We got busy seeing the inside of the premise.

Our curiosity to know about the sound's origin was because of the many thoughts about that place.

So neat and clean, trees standing tall, flowers and benches making you feel calm; it was not less than a park-like site. An arrangement of that kind in such places is feasible only when the local municipal ward member has the will to do it and donors share their contributions. But, someone has to take the responsibility to maintain it upto such standards, and is that possible without putting in constant labour?

pradnya ramakaka(During happier times with Rama Kaka's daughters and grandson)

 

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കോവിഡ്-19 : മാധ്യമങ്ങളും സർക്കാരും അവരുടെ മുൻഗണനകളും


സിന്ധു മരിയ നെപ്പോളിയൻ

(SAVARI and Round Table India are doing a series to put together the Bahujan perspective on the Coronavirus pandemic)

[The conversation was recorded on April 17, 2020] 

sindhu mariyaരാകേഷ് റാം എസ്: സിന്ധു മാധ്യമ പ്രവർത്തകയായി ജോലി ചെയ്തിട്ടുണ്ട്. കമ്മ്യൂണിക്കേഷൻസ് ആണ് പഠിച്ചത്. ആ അനുഭവത്തിന്റെ പശ്ചാത്തലത്തിൽ, കോവിഡ്-19 പകർച്ചവ്യാധിയുടെ പ്രതിരോധത്തിൽ കേരളത്തിലെ മാധ്യമങ്ങളുടെ ഇടപെടലിനെ പറ്റിയാണ് ചോദ്യം. ലോക്ഡൗൺ കാരണം ഏറ്റവും കൂടുതൽ ബുദ്ധിമുട്ട് അനുഭവിക്കുന്ന വിഭാഗങ്ങളുടെ പ്രശ്നങ്ങൾ പുറത്തു കൊണ്ടുവരാൻ മാധ്യമങ്ങൾ ശ്രദ്ധ കാണിച്ചില്ല എന്നാണ് എനിക്ക് തോന്നിയിട്ടുള്ളത്. അതിനെപ്പറ്റി സിന്ധുവിന് എന്താണ് തോന്നുന്നത്?

സിന്ധു മരിയ നെപ്പോളിയൻ: ലോക്ഡൗൺ ആയതിനു ശേഷം എല്ലാവരും വീട്ടിൽ ആണ്. സോഷ്യൽ മീഡിയയുടെ ഒപ്പം തന്നെ എല്ലാ ദിവസവും ഏതെങ്കിലും വാർത്ത കാണുന്നവരും അല്ലെങ്കിൽ പത്രം വായിക്കുന്നവരും ആയിരിക്കും മിക്കവാറും പേർ. ഈയൊരു പ്രതിസന്ധി ഘട്ടത്തെ കൈകാര്യം ചെയ്യാൻ വേണ്ട പക്വത മാധ്യമങ്ങളുടെ ഭാഗത്തു നിന്ന് ഏറെക്കുറേ ഉണ്ടായിട്ടുള്ളതായാണ് എനിക്ക് തോന്നിയത്. ദേശീയ മാധ്യമങ്ങളും മറ്റും പലപ്പോഴും തെറ്റായ വാർത്തകൾ കൊടുത്തതൊക്കെ നമ്മൾ കണ്ടു. ഇവിടെ അത്രയും മോശപ്പെട്ട നിലവാരത്തിലേക്ക് മാധ്യമങ്ങൾ പോയില്ല. ചില വാർത്താ ചാനലുകളിൽ ഓരോ ബുള്ളറ്റിന് മുമ്പും അതിന് ശേഷവും ബ്രേക്ക് ദി ചെയിൻ കാമ്പയിനുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട വിവരങ്ങൾ നൽകുന്ന രീതി കണ്ടിരുന്നു. അത്തരത്തിലുള്ള ഒരു പങ്കാളിത്തം മാധ്യമങ്ങളുടെ ഭാഗത്തു നിന്നുണ്ടായെന്നു വേണം പറയാൻ.

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ಸ್ತ್ರೀವಾದವು ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣವಾದ - ಭಾಗ ೨

ಸ್ತ್ರೀವಾದವು ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣವಾದ - ಭಾಗ ೨


ಅನು ರಾಮದಾಸ್


ಇದು ‘ಸ್ತ್ರೀ ವಾದವು ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣವಾದ’ ಎಂಬ ಪ್ರಾಥಮಿಕ ಭಾಷಣದ ಲೇಖನವಾಗಿದೆ.

ನಾನು ನನ್ನ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್  ನಲ್ಲಿ, ನಂತರ ಸವರಿ ಮತ್ತು ಆರ್ ಟಿ ಐ(ರೌಂಡ್ ಟೇಬಲ್ ಇಂಡಿಯಾ) ನಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದದ್ದು, ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಸಾಮೂಹಿಕ ಕಲಿಕೆಯ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆಯಾಗಿದೆ, ಸವರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಣಿಸಿಕೊಂಡ ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಂದು ಲೇಖನವು ಹಲವಾರು ಸದಸ್ಯರ ನಡುವಿನ ಸಂಭಾಷಣೆಯ ಫಲಿತಾಂಶವಾಗಿದೆ: ಪ್ರದ್ನ್ಯಾ ಜಾಧವ್, ಪ್ರದ್ನ್ಯಾ ಮಂಗಳ, ಶ್ರುತಿ, ನೋಯೆಲ್, ಲೇಖಕರು, ಮತ್ತು ಇನ್ನೂ ಅನೇಕ ದಲಿತ ಬಹುಜನ ಮತ್ತು ಆದಿವಾಸಿ ಮಹಿಳೆಯರು. ಆ ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಂದು ಲೇಖನಗಳು ನಾವು ಸಮಸ್ಯೆಗಳನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಹೇಗೆ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇವೆ ಎಂಬುದರ ಸಾಮೂಹಿಕ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನವಾಗಿದೆ. ಮತ್ತೆ, ನಮ್ಮಲ್ಲಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನವರು ಸ್ತ್ರೀವಾದ ಎಂಬ ಪದ ಅಪ್ರಸ್ತುತ ಎಂದು ಕಂಡುಕೊಂಡೆವು. ಜಾತಿಯನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ನನ್ನ ಅನ್ವೇಷಣೆಗೆ ಇದು ಅಡಚಣೆ ಯೆಂದು ನಾನು ಕಂಡುಕೊಂಡೆ. ನಾನು ನಿಯಮಿತವಾಗಿ ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಗಳನ್ನು ಹಾಕುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾಗ ಜನ ಆಗಾಗ್ಗೆ ನೀವು ಪುಸ್ತಕವನ್ನು ಏಕೆ ಬರೆಯಬಾರದು ಎಂದು ಕೇಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು. - ಅದು ನನ್ನ ಸಮಯವನ್ನು ವ್ಯರ್ಥ ಮಾಡುತ್ತದೆ ಎಂದು ನಾನವರಿಗೆ ಹೇಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದೆ. ನನಗೆ ಅದನ್ನು ಮಾಡಲು ಇಷ್ಟವಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ನಾನು ಜಾತಿಯನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಹೊರಟಿದ್ದೆ.

ಒಂದು ದಿನ, ನಾನು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಹಾಕಿ ಅದರ ಕೊನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದು: ಸ್ತ್ರೀವಾದವು ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣವಾದ. ನಾನು ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಸ್ತ್ರೀವಾದಿ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಓದಿರುವ ಮತ್ತು ಪರಿಚಯವಿರುವ ಸವರ್ಣ ಸ್ತ್ರೀವಾದಿಗಳಿಂದ ಉಗ್ರವಾದ ಪ್ರತಿಕ್ರಿಯೆಯನ್ನು ಪಡೆಯುತ್ತೇನೆ ಎಂದುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದೆ. ಮತ್ತು - ಈ ಹೆಂಗಸಿಗೆ ಬುದ್ದಿ ಭ್ರಮೆಯಾಗಿದೆ. ಇವಳು ಒಂದು ವಾಕ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಎರಡು ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣವಾಗಿ ವಿರೋಧಾತ್ಮಕ ಪರಿಕಲ್ಪನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಹಾಕಿದ್ದಾಳೆ. ಇದು ಹಾಸ್ಯಾಸ್ಪದ ಎಂದು ಕೂಡ ಹೇಳುವ ಮೂಲಕ. ಆದರೆ ಇಂದಿನವರೆಗೂ ನಾನು ಗಮನಿಸಿದ್ದೇನೆ , ಇದನ್ನು ಬಲವಾಗಿ ವಿರೋಧಿಸುವ ಯಾವುದೇ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯಗಳಿಲ್ಲ. ಅದು ಬೇರೆ ವಿಷಯ.

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The Quantum Journalism of Manu Joseph

 

Umar Nizar

umar'Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible'. -Janet Malcolm

In the surveillance police state of the globalized contemporary world, Manu Joseph has somewhat achieved the acme of the savarna journalist and has assumed the sarvajnapeetha, casting himself as a latter day Sankara. Though in his works of fiction, Joseph has displayed an acute awareness for nuances and the contemporary realities of India, far beyond the grasp of any mainstream Indian journalist operating today, his opinion pieces routinely target the subaltern and the powerless while purporting to expose the system with cynical humour.

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Kashi-Mathura Baki Hai: A Glimpse of Hindu Nationalism in Ayodhya

 

Ratnesh Katulkar

ratneshThe decade of 90s had witnessed two landmark political movements, Mandal and Kamandal. The Mandal movement was based on social justice while the Ram Mandir roused majoritarian emotions of religious injustice. The supporters of Ram Temple agitation, despite their rightwing religious coating, have seemed to put forth one logical argument. They used to say that their movement is to correct an historical wrong. Their argument is that the Muslim invaders and rulers destroyed many Hindu temples including that of Ram's birthplace. What is wrong in reclaiming those in a modern secular state?

Unfortunately very few liberals, secularists and progressives responded to this argument. Their point was simply to preserve and nurture secularism in India without falling into debate of historical myths and truth. Thus to avoid any contradiction they tried to maintain the status quo. Some of the leftist historians in an attempt to counter this claim have taken great pains in showing Aurangzeb as a secular emperor who used to give grants to Hindu temples, a temple in Ujjain is said to be one such. Much before that Mughal Emperor Akbar's Din-e-Ilahi and other secular attempts have gained credentials in mainstream history.

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Covid-19 : Conversation on ruling class violence, relief and charity

 

Abhishek Juneja & Veeravenghai Vinith Kumar

(SAVARI and Round Table India are doing a series to put together the Bahujan perspective on the Coronavirus pandemic)

 Anu Ramdas: Thank you for taking the time. The first question that I want to ask is about the lockdown, the way it came about, and your reaction to that.

Vinith Kumar: I don't think the lockdown came as much of a surprise to me. In fact, I was only shocked that it came this late in the sense that I thought when the numbers in Delhi sort of started growing, the state would immediately take some sort of cognizance of this and some measure would be implemented.

vinith abhshek

It sank in or hit me when news of the number of migrant workers who are stuck and wanted to go back and scenes from Delhi started coming out. That's when it really kicked in, what the lockdown can do on bahujan lives. That's when I was shocked by the fact that we didn't think about what it actually would do for Bahujan. Yeah. Mostly. I mean mostly how we did not think in that direction.

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Why desi celebs or even savarna intellectuals will never say “Dalit lives matter”

 

Or why Dalits need to seize pop culture!

Anurag Minus Verma

anurag minus vermaAmerican cities are exploding. For long they have tried to subdue it, but now the frustration and anger has reached the tipping point, and is oozing out on the street. The death of a black man, George Floyd, last week in Minneapolis set off days of waves of historic protest and exposed the dirty reality of The American Dream to the whole world.

The ramifications were so huge that even our desi celebs had to halt their cooking and workout instagram videos for a while and make a post or two about this news. (Of course as advised by their PR agents).

In fact it was so huge that one of my classmates from Jaipur, whose hobby was to pass random casteist statements at lunch time, had posted on her facebook - "Justice needs to be served. Like right now! #BlackLivesMatter."

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ಸ್ತ್ರೀವಾದವು ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣವಾದ - ಭಾಗ ೧

ಸ್ತ್ರೀವಾದವು ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣವಾದ - ಭಾಗ ೧


ಅನು ರಾಮದಾಸ್


ಇದು 'ಸ್ತ್ರೀವಾದವು ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣವಾದ' ಎಂಬ ಪ್ರಾಥಮಿಕ ಭಾಷಣದ ಲೇಖನವಾಗಿದೆ


ಮೊದಲಿಗೆ , ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು. ನಿಮ್ಮೆಲ್ಲರನ್ನೂ ನೋಡಿ ತುಂಬಾ ಖುಷಿಯಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ . ಈ ಅವಕಾಶಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು. ಇಂತಹ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ವಿಷಯದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಮಾತನಾಡುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ನನಗೆ ಕಷ್ಟವೆನಿಸುತ್ತಿದೆ. ನಾನು ಜಾತಿಯನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಬಯಸಿದಾಗಿನಿಂದ, ಪ್ರತಿ ಬಾರಿ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಯನ್ನು ರೂಪಿಸಲು ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾಗ, ಅದು ಸ್ತ್ರೀವಾದದೊಂದಿಗೆ ಘರ್ಷಣೆಯಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ ಎಂದು ಯಾರಾದರೂ ಹೇಳುವ ಮೂಲಕ ತಳ್ಳಿ ಹಾಕುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು .ಅದು ಕೇಳುವ ರೀತಿಯಲ್ಲ, ಏಕೆಂದರೆ ಇದು ಸರಿಯಾದ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಯಲ್ಲ. ನೀವು ಮಹಿಳೆಯನ್ನು ಕೇಂದ್ರೀಕರಿಸಿ ಕೇಳುವ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಸರಿ. ಹಾಗಾಗಿ ನನಗೆ ಸ್ತ್ರೀವಾದ ಹುಟ್ಟಿ ಹಾಕಿದ ಅಡೆತಡೆಗಳನ್ನು ದಾಟದೆ ಜಾತಿಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಸಂವಾದವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಾರಂಭಿಸಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾಗಲೇ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಮತ್ತು ಅದು ಸ್ವತಃ ತೋರಿಸಿಕೊಂಡ ರೀತಿ, ಪ್ರತಿ ಹಂತದಲ್ಲೂ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಸಂಕೀರ್ಣವಾಗತೊಡಗಿತು ಮೊದಲು ನಾನು ಪದಗಳನ್ನು ತಿಳಿದು, ನಂತರ ಆ ಪದಗಳು ಎಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಬಂದವು, ಮೂಲಗಳು ಯಾವುವು ಮತ್ತು ಜಾತಿಯನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಈ ಭಾಷೆಯ ಅಗತ್ಯತೆ ಇಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಏಕೆ ಎಂದು ನಾನು ತಿಳಿದುಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಾಗಿತ್ತು ಹಾಗು ಇದಕ್ಕೂ ಮೊದಲು ನನಗೆ ಸ್ತ್ರೀವಾದ ಏಕೆ ತಿಳಿದಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ? 

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Bharat vs India: Understanding Debates of Naming Through Ernest Gellner and Anthony D Smith


Vidyasagar

VidyasagarRecently, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea which sought a direction to the Central government to amend the constitution to change the official name of the country from India to Bharat. This plea claimed that "the removal of the English name, though appears symbolic, will instill a sense of pride in our nationality, especially for the future generations. In fact, replacing India with Bharat would justify the hard-fought freedom achieved by our ancestors.” The petitioner demands that we have to recognize our country from our cultural legacy and this would be a great tribute to national fighters who fought for the freedom of this country. The politics of naming is not a new phenomenon because the ruling BJP led NDA government has only one agenda of imposing hegemony of Hindutva culture through the politics of renaming of cities, railway stations and welfare schemes. This article attempts to explain the politics of naming through two theoretical concepts which were propounded by Ernest Gellner and Anthony D Smith.

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Dalit Women in Higher Education in Odisha

 

Saraswati Suna

saraswati suna"I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved."Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

Education is a path for equal opportunity and ensures possibilities for individual growth, social mobilities and economic empowerment to the oppressed, Dalit and marginalized communities. However, education throughout Indian history has only partially fulfilled these expectations. Thus, the issue addressed in this paper is how Dalit women carve out their democratic space as well as find their place in the institutions of higher education; and what do they aspire to be in the academic world. This study attempts to scrutinize why even after seven decades of independence, Dalit women constitute a tiny part in the institutions of higher education.

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