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Open Letter to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra

 

Date: 27th March 2020

The Honorable Chief Minister,
Government of Maharashtra

Subject: Regarding the safety of nomadic tribal communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In light of the scenario resulting from the current global pandemic, Honorable Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi have taken decisions which have been welcomed and followed by people. According to the orders given by the government, people are not to leave their homes. Most people are faithfully following these instructions, but while that is happening, people from nomadic communities, the ones who are without homes, the ones who travel from village to village for shelter and work every day to fill their stomach are still roaming about with no shelter in sight. All villages are under lockdown and people from outside are being refused entry. At such a time, which village will come to their rescue?

nt-dnt 1 This is the question that people belonging to nomadic tribes are currently facing. Many villages have refused them entry, roads have been blocked in several places, they aren't allowed to even wait near some villages, while others have closed their doors to them entirely. Because of this, the nomadic community is facing the danger of death due to starvation. These people don't have any documents or ration cards, so we request the government to please take measures to ensure that they are provided with ration without necessitating ration cards.

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The Meteoric Rise of L. Murugan, the new BJP Chief of Tamil Nadu


Keerthi Nathan

keerthi nathanThe past week, BJP unit of Tamil Nadu was suddenly brimming with a lot of activity after being dormant for a few months. Mr. L. Murugan had been appointed the President of the BJP State unit of TN much to everyone’s surprise. Mr. L. Murugan is also the Vice Chairman of the National SC/ST Commission. The post of State President of BJP TN unit had been lying vacant since September 2019 when Mrs. Tamilisai Soundararajan (former BJP TN President) was appointed the Governor of Telangana.

History of BJP in Tamil Nadu

Let us first analyze by tracing the current scenario of BJP in Tamil Nadu and how they have come a long way since the premiership of Mr. Narendra Modi. Before 2014, the BJP in Tamil Nadu was virtually an non-existent force barring a few instances such as winning four assembly seats in the 2001 TN Assembly Election thanks to its alliance with the DMK. But since then the party had been on a wane and used to consistently poll around 2% - 3% of the vote share. Cut short to 2014, the country was witnessing a phenomenal wave in the form of Mr. Narendra Modi and anti-Congress sentiment was running high primarily due to the anti-incumbency and corruption scandals.

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Chithralekha: An Icon of Resistance


Carmel Christy K J

The road gets narrower as you go to Chithralekha's grandmother's house where she used to live at the rear end of the village in Edat, Kannur in Kerala. The road ends at her house and there is no way to go further. Dalit houses at the end of the village is not an exception in India.1 Villages are designed in such a way that the upper-castes do not need to cross Dalit houses as they pass. It was not just about the possibility of them seeing or touching Dalits. It was also about a well-designed ecological and geographical exclusion. Houses are arranged in such a manner that wind blows from where upper-caste houses are situated to the Dalit houses. The idea was that upper-castes should not get polluted by the wind that has breezed over lower castes. The caste order decided not just access to the material and cultural resources, but also to the flows of nature.

ch book 1

It is in such a place where caste decides even the nature you can access that Chithralekha, a Dalit woman, decides to drive her autorickshaw on public roads in 2004. Her entry to the public roads which is in principle shared by all invites the wrath of the people from castes above hers and other guardians of the caste order. Ayyankali's fight against the casteist order more than a century ago did result in accessing public roads for Dalits in Kerala.2 If the public roads have become accessible to all and the right to work is ensured, how will one explain attacks against Chithralekha?

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Reading 'Guja-ratri: Reflections on Moditva'


Noel Mariam George

noel mariamThe book 'Guja-ratri: Reflections on Moditva' attempts to uncover the darkness that has engulfed the country since the rise of Motiva through a series of 17 articles. The attempt of this review is to look at the book through three conceptual frameworks.

Deconstructing the Binary of Dalit-Muslim

The book begins with Ambedkar’s quote that marks the impossibility of the constitution of an inorganic category like the Hindu; until there is a Hindu-Muslim riot. The Hindu, in that sense is a politically constituted category without the social. Raju Solanki attempts to look at this contradiction to prove why the idea of a Muslim- Dalit antagonism is in fact two types if exclusions in the guise of conflict. The Muslim- as the political contradiction is the ‘excretion’ of the nation; while the Dalit as the social contradiction, is the ‘excretion’ of the Hindu Social order. The riot then cannot be understood as an entropic, anarchic process; but rather as a systematic production of ‘conflict’ that only furthers the regime of selective criminalisation by the brahminical state.

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Urgent Appeal: Help a meritorious Dalit girl student secure her admission in UK University

 

Round Table India

T Siri Chandana, a BSc (Maths, Physics, Computer Science) student from Adikavi Nannaya University in Rajahmundry,  Andhra Pradesh, has received offers of Admission and Excellence/Merit Scholarship from three Universities in the UK: University of Salford in Manchester, Wrexham Glyndwr University in Wrexham and Solent University, Southampton to study Master's program in Computer Science/Information Technology (pl see attached images of the offers)

ss1

Siri Chandana has been a brilliant student throughout her scholastic career, having scored 97% marks (Grade A) in her tenth board exam, 92% in junior college (Grade A) and 88% (Grade A) in her BSc (MPCs) in 2019. She has also received several prizes, honours for her participation in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Despite coming from very hard circumstances- having lost her father at a young age, around ten years ago- and facing financial difficulties, she has remained focused on her education, supported and encouraged by her mother and family.

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The Elitist Turn in Cultural Studies

 

What do they know of Kathakali, Who they only Kathakali knows? Mistaken Modernities in Kerala

Umar Nizar

umarThe cultural ecosystem in southern India, has been at the forefront of heralding an Indic future, from APJ Abdul Kalam on the Veena to TM Krishna performing live at the beaches of Kerala and TN, the southern matrices of intermeshed artistic borrowings have helped create a superstructural buklwark. This is supposed to keep alive the notion of an unending, continuous tradition whose flame has to be preserved at any cost for sustenance of tolerant notions of the Upanisadic 'Vasudaiva Kudumakom' as well as some sort of Harappan humanism.

The concept of 'invention of tradition' as propounded by Eric Hobsbawm and articulated in the modern revivalist efforts to claim an 'in order to have been' future anterior temporal status for South Indian cultural (Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Kutiyattom, Carnatic music) , political (Tamil Cinema, Dravidian rhetoric), aesthetic (Akam-Puram classifications of Sangham literature) and linguistic forms (Malayalam as classical language) forms the locus of this study. How much of the de facto classical in modern south India, such as the classical status of Malayalam and its cultural ecosystem comprising Kathakali, Kutiyattom, Mohiniyattom etc, is classical at least in a Foucauldian sense, stamps of credibility from global arbiters such as UNESCO notwithstanding?

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Save Nation! Save Constitution!!

 

On March 4, 2020, hundreds of Dalit, Adivasi, Muslim and Christian minority groups and leaders from different parts of India assembled in the country's capital to condemn and peacefully protest the imposition of unconstitutional Citizenship Amendment Act through the implementation of the NRC and NPR, countrywide. The BJP's election manifesto in the general elections of 2019 promised to implement the NRC across India. This was reaffirmed on 19 November 2019, by the Home minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha.

4th march

The unleashing of violence by anti-social elements under the political backing on the citizens of the nation, and particularly the women from marginalised religious and caste communities around the country and particularly in South East and North East Delhi and central public universities, viz. Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia Islamia and JNU, have led to a state of unprecedented insecurity among the people. The Government's move to carry out the NRC has already claimed several human lives and property, causing colossal damage and lives and country's exchequer, which stand to be assessed with objectivity. The citizens, especially the marginalised minorities fail to comprehend the necessity for this irresponsible and anti-people, anti-marginalised, anti-minority move of the Government of India, after having been voted to power twice by the very people now being targeted. In response to an RTI query, the Prime Minister's Office attributed the validity of CAA to Section 3 of the Citizenship Act 1955.

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