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The Reddy-BC combination and the prospects of Hindutva forces in Telangana: The Eatala Phenomenon

 

Prof K. Laxminarayana

The official channel of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on 30th April aired the news of alleged encroachment upon assigned lands by Eatala Rajender's family for their poultry business. The news came just after the voting for the municipal elections for Warangal district was completed. The timing indicates the vindictive political conspiracy of Telangana Chief Minister Mr. K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) to get rid of Eatala without this action adversely impacting the electoral gains of TRS.

eatela and kcr

Eatela Rajender and KCR

Eatela Rajender, who hails from a backward class background, has subsequently relinquished his TRS membership and also resigned from his MLA seat and is now set to formally join BJP on 14th June, 2021. The BJP, which had accused all TRS leaders as corrupt until the other day, is now inviting one of the top leaders of TRS to join the party! Eatala says that the TRS party supreme leader Mr. K.Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) is dictatorial and there is no self respect and internal democracy within the party. The expulsion of of Eatala Rajender from TRS and his joining BJP are events which are sure to have important consequences for Dalit and other democratic movement in the state of Telangana.

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Chaityabhoomi Film Project


Somnath Waghmare

Dear all, I am plannning to edit our Chaityabhoomi film project this month. We plan to complete the edit by mid-July.

After that, I want to organize film screenings online and with organisations who are interested in it. We will release the film to all on 6th December, 2021.

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Are IITs safe for Dalit Students?


The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC), IIT Bombay

Aniket Ambhore, a student of electrical engineering, had fallen to his death from the sixth floor of hostel 13 on September 4, 2014. An SC student, he was alleged to have committed suicide. After his parents wrote to the IIT director, a three-member committee was set up by the administration. The Report of the Committee to investigate the allegations of the parents of Late Aniket Ambhore and suggest measures for the betterment of SC/ST students (henceforth “the Report”) was submitted on 10th of November 2015. The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle, IIT Bombay (henceforth APPSC) has closely studied this Report and would like to place on record a detailed response.

Aniket AmbhoreAniket Ambhore

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Judicial Subversion of Affirmative Action Jurisprudence

 

Bobby Kunhu

kunhu"Constitutional morality is not a natural sentiment. It has to be cultivated. We must realise that our people have yet to learn it. Democracy in India is only a top-dressing on an Indian soil which is essentially undemocratic."

~ Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Annihilation of Caste

The jurisprudence around reservations and affirmative action that has evolved in India, proves beyond doubt the above thesis propounded by Dr. Ambedkar. From Indra Sawhney to Youth for Equality to Chinnaiah vs. State of AP--there are a plethora of judgements that hasn't started understanding the jurisprudential rationale of reservations/affirmative action and looks at the same as a welfare/charity measure bestowed by the state and not a right rooted in the Constitutional and political history of India. The latest in this series of judgements is the order delivered by a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court comprising Chief Justice Manikumar and Shaji Paul Chaly in Justine Pallivathukkal vs. State of Kerala, on 28th May, 2021.

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Karnan : A powerful cinematic projection of Dalit Assertion and Anger


Vidyasagar

VidyasagarHe did not hit us because we vandalized the bus. No, he hit us because we stood tall. He hit me because I, Maadasamy’s son, was named Duryodanan.
 ~ (Dialogue from Karnan)

Karnan is a Tamil language film which was recently released on Amazon Prime. Karnan is the second movie directed by the Periyerum Perumal fame Mari Selvaraj that speaks about caste atrocities and injustices in society. It is a beautifully crafted Indian film that brings out the suffering and pain of oppressed communities. Karnan, played by Dhanush, is one of the main characters in the film and a symbol of the new generation of the oppressed who speak against historical injustices and the Brahmanical state structure.

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In Memory of Sant Ramanand Ji


Ram Dayal Ahirwar

ram ahirwar 2019Political and social theorists are in support of subaltern theoretical development in India as an emancipatory project for the socially, religiously, gender-wise, and regionally marginal. But within the strand of Dalit politics, there are lots of contestations, there are independents, groups of activists and public intellectuals who have problematic dispositions towards words like Dalit, Bahujan, Shudra, DBA, Navayana, Kabir Panthi, Aadi, Satnami, Ravidassia, etc. Two strands are less contentious: first, the Dravida movement in the south which has vibrancy derived from the image of Periyar E. V. Ramasamy and second, the Ambedkarite movement, with the legacy of legendary Dr. Ambedkar.

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Metonymical Representation of Dalit in Ray's Sadgati


Chandrakant Kamble

chandrakanth kambleFamous Hindi writer Munshi Premchand's (1881-1936) story Sadgati  ('deliverance' in the religious sense of the term) was picturized by legendary Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray (1921-1992) in a 1981 movie with the same name. India is celebrating Ray's 100th birth anniversary in 2021. In academia and curriculum, Ray's many films are considered masterpieces and taught to film and media students in several Indian institutes, including the Film and Television Institute of India. Mainstream Indian cinema has an inadequate representation of the Dalit and marginalized communities.

The few exceptions, from Achhut Kanya (1936) to Madam Chief Minister (2021) have misrepresentations or portrayals through the established Savarna gaze, displaying immense prejudice and metonymy. Ray is not an exception in this trend of biased cinematic presentation of Dalits. Upper caste filmmakers have always talked about the 'Other' through the Savarna perspective. Feminist theorist and scholar Gayatri Spivak's asked a question, 'Can the Subaltern speak?' her theoretical answer is No…Never.

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