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Deifying the Migrant Mother and Kolkata’s erasure of Caste


Aatika Singh

aatika singhPallab Bhowmick, an artist, has come up with the concept of portraying Goddess Durga as a migrant mother for this year's Durga Pujo in Kolkata's Barisha club. The finely carved and aesthetically beautiful sculpture is being widely applauded for its progressive form and thought. However, this particular theme showcasing a migrant woman laborer isn't really about cultural resistance as many are saying but about deifying the marginalized into a binary of pure and polluted again. Any intervention that comes into Bengal's almost absent discourse on Caste is through an upper caste gaze that truly lacks the necessary empiricism to understand Dalit lives and their counter culture to the hegemonic Hindu upper caste Bengali culture. This happens more so in urban parts that have a history of erasure through a process of mobility which gives a very narrow focus to historical excavation of omnipresent structures like Caste.

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Casteism of the liberal defense of Arnab Goswami

 

Bobby Kunhu

On the morning when Arnab Goswami was arrested from his residence, and the right wing establishment including the Union Cabinet Ministers of the BJP led Government of India went on an overdrive protesting the arrest and claiming that this was political vendetta, attack on freedom of press and reminiscent of "emergency", it reminded me of a local proverb bandied around in Ponnani – which once upon a time had an epidemic of elephantiasis. The proverb goes that a person with two legs afflicted with elephantiasis hiding his legs in water teases a person afflicted with elephantiasis on one leg. It is particularly humorous since BJP governments in the centre and states they rule regularly resort to prosecuting journalists and media houses that are critical of the government. The union government goes a step forward and has set up a 200 member special cell within the I & B Ministry building headed by an Additional Director General to monitor media and tick off/warn erring media. And of course in the Reporters Sans Frontiers Freedom of Press index, India has a proud 142nd place out of 180 countries.

goswami arrest

 It is in the DNA of every State to dislike its critics – regardless of the kind of government or ideology of its rulers. And every government has harassed its critics at different levels universally. What differs is the levels of impunity and adherence to legal processes. And the anti-dissent DNA streak of the BJP government is not only strong, but also extremely violent. Why just journalists and media, the BJP has mastered the art of using state agencies to silence dissent or even inconvenience through various investigative and prosecutorial agencies that it has control over and no other government can match its technique. So, when in the morning, the BJP ministers rushed to protest the arrest of Goswami without sniffing their own backsides – like someone pointed out on Facebook, it didn't seem like a journalist was arrested, but rather a member of the BJP national executive was. But that was expected. Arnab Goswami fandom is either a bunch of English speaking brain dead savarna zombies or the political bosses he serves.

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All Ambedkarites of Vidarbha unite and support Atul Khobragade's Election

 

Dipankar Devesh Kamble

History of Ambedkarite Politics. The Ambedkarite politics of India had been a deciding factor in the electoral system. When Dr. Ambedkar established Independent Labour Party it proved as a potential counter to the then Indian National Congress in the Bombay Legislative Assembly. The Scheduled Caste Federation and Republican Party of India also made their presence felt in the Legislative Assemblies and the Parliament. The emergence of the Bahujan Samaj Party brought a fresh new air into Ambedkarite politics across India.

atul khobragade 2

In 2014 the political scenario in India changed. Not a single Ambedkarite Party candidate was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2014. BSP which always had some presence in Lok Sabha failed to secure even a single seat in the Lok Sabha. This had lowered the morale of the Ambedkarite masses and specially the youth.

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Call for Litigation Associate

 

Criminal Justice & Police Accountability Project

The Criminal Justice & Police Accountability Project is a Bhopal-based research and litigation intervention working to build accountability against the unjust criminalisation of marginalised communities, and towards decarceration.

Poster - Call for Litigation Associate page-0001

CPAProject is hiring one full-time litigation associate. The position is based in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (MP). The associate will contribute to the Project's litigation wing, handling pre-trial and trial work, and strategic litigation in the High Court and Supreme Court. This will involve providing legal representation on the ground and in police stations and appearances before Bhopal's Trial Court and the High Court of Madhya Pradesh. The associate will also contribute to the Project's research work. The associate will be expected to be strong-willed, resilient and eager to push the boundaries of an unrelenting system that is biased towards status quo.

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Call for Law Interns

 

Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project

Call for Law Interns

The Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project (CPAProject) is a research and litigation intervention working to build accountability against the unjust criminalisation of marginalised communities, and towards decarceration.

Call for Interns

We are looking for legal interns for remote internships from November 2020 to January 2021. The work will involve research on the disproportionate impact of criminal laws on marginalised communities and assisting with litigation before the High Court. We might consider applications for in person internships for those residing in Bhopal.

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White Strings


Dr. R. Praveen

dr praveenWho are you? Where are you from?

Which is your native place? What’s your religion? What’s your caste?


While these questions loom around...

Evoking prejudices that are kindled, depending on the answers..


Biological blobs held in framework of bones...

Unicellular, aeons ago.


Stand aside and look at anyone,

They are no special...


 

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Dynasty in Indian Politics


S Kumar

The current political system in India has more dynastic rule than any time in the past. Even if we compare with the monarchies of earlier centuries, the rulers had less of a dynastic tendencies because of constant fighting among different regional powers and with invaders. In the past whoever was strong and able to win the war, he was able to rule. It can be said that rulers were self-made due to their strength and leadership skills even though they always wanted to propagate their own dynasty.

bjp dynastic politics

In 2019, it was estimated that 30% of Members of Parliament (MP) in India belonged to political families, which means they are close relatives of an already established politician. No political observer will deny the fact that dynastic rule has been there in Indian politics since independence, but the extent of it has certainly increased and become a menace. Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi are usually given as examples of dynastic rule in politics. Many people would argue that J. L. Nehru started the dynasty rule in politics, but he couldn’t achieve that in his lifetime. After Nehru’s death, Shastri became PM for a short period and Indira Gandhi had to win support from majority members of Parliament after the Congress party split. So, we can’t say that Nehru actually forced the dynasty on Indian politics, even if he might have wanted that to happen but was incapable of winning majority MPs' support in favor of Indira Gandhi.

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