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Do not let anybody disrespect you!!


Ashok Bhangi

Imagine you are at the door of your office, ringing the door bell, people are inside, but they are not opening the door. You can hear the voices of people inside. After ringing 2-3 times you sit outside on the steps and connect your phone to the office Wi-Fi. You start your office work—checking your emails—on your phone and plan your day thinking that people are too busy inside and someone will open the door in a while. After checking a few mails you plug in your earphones and start listening to music.

ambedkar-respect

After listening to 3-4 songs you get a phone call from inside the office from your boss’s landline number. And one admin person asks you some urgent details of your work. You tell the admin to open the door as you are outside at the door, waiting since the past 30 minutes. And that you can also hear 2-3 colleagues talking inside the room. The admin disconnects the phone and you get up from the steps thinking that somebody will come and open the door now. But again 4-5 minutes have passed and the door is still closed.

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Mockery of Electoral System in Central University of Gujarat

 

Vinod Kumar & Hawaldar Bharti

vinod and hawaldarStudent movements in general, and students' union election system in particular, have systematically been made non-effective through various government rulings by several electoral reform committees, particularly Lyngdoh Committee recommendations. In most of the Universities either there is no system of student representatives who can raise their voice for the cause of students, or there are some toothless students' councils instead of unions. In this regard, the case of council election system in Central University of Gujarat (CUG) need to be discussed in which we can find how the nexus between administration and Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is undermining and making mockery of the council elections. 

In council election of 2019-20 in most schools of CUG, ABVP lost election of elected representatives, but got some uncontested seats. Most of the science schools are dominated by savarna faculty, particularly Jhas, Pandeys, Mishras, Dubes, Sharmas and others mostly from Brahmin castes. Under pressure of these savarna members hardly any student in science schools dares to come out with independent political opinions and to associate with any political organisations except ABVP. These savarnas have direct relations with RSS and BJP’s offshoot, that is ABVP. Science students, most of the times remain fearful of harassment and discrimination by this nexus of administration, savarna right-wing faculty members and ABVP. Therefore, most of the science schools remain without any political opposition against ABVP.

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Kadubai and the Void

 

Omey Anand

Human beings are always in search of meaningful existence and once someone realizes the essence of existence, fighting for it becomes clear and justified. The ongoing valiant protest against CAA and NRC signifies the accumulated anger and growing fear among minorities on the one hand and symbolises existential struggle on the other. This organic struggle is primarily focused on the pertinent question of existence and recognition. The heterodox tradition in India begins on this line when Buddha realized the principle of existence and gave an emancipatory framework to everyone. His Dhamma is not fixed and rigid; it provides autonomy and flexibility in the rapidly changing and transforming realities. Babasaheb later refined it and conceptualized it as Navayana which ultimately seek to establish a democratic societal order which is free from all sorts of servitude, oppression and subordination and recognizes equal worth and dignity of individuals.

kadubai 1

Babasaheb measures the progress of any society by the degree of freedom and progress women have achieved in that society. When we look around today, we come across thousands of Dalit women striving hard for meaningful existence and confront their multi-layered struggles in a quest for survival. They create and recreate their struggles in everyday life with minimum means at disposal and express firm faith in the project of meaning making. Kadubai is one among them, living a  strenuous yet confident life in the hope of making things better. Her struggle for a biological and meaningful existence tells us two independent stories that we need to take serious note of.

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Brexit and CAA: India as phantomlimb of the Commonwealth

 

Umar Nizar

Umar Nizar

The timing of Brexit in the United Kingdom and the CAA in India is uncanny. Both have been perfectly choreographed to a summit in a unified crescendo. The phantom limb has been acting up. India, the erstwhile jewel in the crown experiences palpitations that resonate with the heartbeats of the imperial locus, even before the hasty Brexit was a twinkle in Boris Johnson’s eye. In 1957, there even existed a plan G to include other European nations within the fold of the Commonwealth. With the EU in decline following the Greek debacle etc, the Commonwealth is supposed to be on the ascendant.

With the collapse of Soviet Marxism, the only remaining activation of Indian imperial roots lie entangled with the imperial centre in London. (The local lore was that Indian comrades unfurled their umbrellas when it rained in the USSR). India continues not just as the servile-in-chief protagonist in the Commonwealth on Nations, but also draws feudal pride and prestige in the global arena of once having been at the heart of global European expansionism, and contributor to the imperial war chest as well as the imperial war efforts, including WWI and WWII. The partition of the imperial core from the maternal body of Europe, in the form of Brexit, can have far-reaching repercussions and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is just such an instance of the stigmata bleeding.

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Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan: Stillness in the Midst of Chaos

 

Chanchal Kumar 

I deliberated for some time on what I should call this essay. Would such titles as "The importance of being Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan", or "Why we need someone like Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan" encapsulate all the things Chandrashekhar means to us? Do they reflect the magnetism of his persona? The expression "stillness in the middle of chaos" is not my coinage. Saul Bellow used these terms to describe art. He wrote, "I feel that art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness that characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction." If we define art as a spring of affirmation, of reassurance, then Chandrashekhar's presence around us is the cue.

chandrasekhar azad ravan

 I do not aim to approach this topic as a political commentator. Politics requires great acumen, and I'm not trained for it. My concerns are more abstract. I'm trying to situate the figure of Chandrashekhar in artistic imagination, if romantic. Would it be Hero-worship? Maybe. In my defense, we dalits can be excused for feeling a sense of attachment towards one of us. A person who speaks our language (in the wider sense of the term) and shares our vision. You see, dear reader, we are pretty emotional beings. And in this age and time where every day the national media thrusts a new savarna saviour on us, convinced that they will liberate us, I feel it's justified to expect a tangible change in society from someone who has walked the same path as we have. I cannot engage in hyperbole because essentially, our world and the dreams we harbour, are modest.

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Untouchability in Rural Karnataka


Srikanth Karan

Untouchability is a lived reality for many Dalits in the interior villages of Karnataka, mostly in Tumkur, rural Bangalore and many other villages. I am sure this is the case across the country though hardly reported in the news. Only one out of a lakh incidents are reported or brought to light and that too goes without any public attention. Dalits are not allowed to enter the Brahmin and caste Hindu households but are called for labor and household works; water is served in a glass reserved for Dalits, placed always outside the house; temple entry is still prohibited, Dalits worship outside the temples and walk away. The news report here from a village in Koppala district is only a leaf from the book. I have tried to translate the contents of the news report below.

prajavani 2019 news

News from Prajavani print edition

"On the occasion of a Dalit marriage, entire village was shut down because Dalits would visit in huge numbers.

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Ownership of Protests: Grammar of Indian Muslims vs. Muslim Indians

 

Bobby Kunhu

kunhuI have already received a lot of flak for the bits and pieces of opinion that I have expressed on social media, a collation of which is what I propose to write in this essay. At the outset, I would like to make it clear that my intention isn't to undermine the gravity and importance of the unprecedented protests against the Government of India in the aftermath of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019. However, I believe that hegemony needs to be called out whenever it is noticed regardless of the time and space. Not doing so will be equivalent to complicity in perpetrating a discourse that overlooks hegemony.

After CAA received Presidential assent on 12th December 2019, there were lots of advises pouring in "only" for Muslim communities on how to respond to it – especially from privileged savarnas who presumed that they did not have anything to do with the legislation and assumed the mantle of saving Muslim communities, which for them translated into saving their version of secularism. While one lot advised Muslims to come out in large numbers and protest as it was their issue alone and nobody else was going to talk for them failing which they have to leave the country, the other lot wanted them to remain silent and not risk themselves to further persecution. Both the lot did not bother listening to what Muslim communities wanted to say.

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