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Modern Historiography fits Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Indian Nationalistic Perspective

 

Jaspal Singh Sidhu

Jaspal Singh Sidhu"That history always has a purpose.

That history is always about power.

That history is never innocent but always ideological."

~ Keith Jenkins, 'Rethinking of History', Routledge Classics.

Of late, a majority of historians including those subscribing to the Left ideology have attempted to portray Maharaja Ranjit Singh, a 19th century sovereign king in South Asia with Lahore as his seat of power as a SECULAR ruler respecting and supporting all the religions. At the instance of central government they sought to highlight empathically secularism of the Sikh ruler in the modern context, particularly in 1980s when the Sikhs were politically restive in Punjab and were up in arms against the centralized New Delhi regime. A statue of the Maharaja was installed in Delhi and a flyover named after him. Commemorating the Maharaja's 'secular credentials', a seminar was officially organized where historians applauded the ruler for his bountiful offerings to the Hindu temples, restoration of the demolished mosques besides building of historical Sikh shrines.

The Maharaja was much admired for giving eminent places of power to Muslims, Hindus and some Europeans along with the Sikhs in his Lahore Durbar and raising of an Army composed of people from all faiths, castes and creed. And the portrayal of the Maharaja in Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru—that highlights more his liberal outlook rather than his distinction as a Sikh ruler-- came in for a special mention: "Ranjit Singh was remarkably humane at a time when India and the world seethed with callousness and inhumanity. He built up a kingdom and a powerful army, and yet he disliked bloodshed. He abolished the death sentence for every crime, however heinous it might be, when in England even petty pilferers had to face death."

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The word “Dalit”, Appropriate or Not

 

 Adv. Dr. Suresh Mane

(Bahujan Republican Socialist Party)

 

 

220px-Dr Suresh mane

 (This piece was first published in Dainik Lokmat's editorial section, Nagpur edition on 11th September 2018. http://www.lokmat.com/editorial/words-dalit-are-incorrect-or-inappropriate/)

 After the decisions delivered by the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur Bench and Madhya Pradesh High court prohibiting the usage of ‘Dalit’ word in government proceedings; subsequently the central government on March 15, 2018 issued an order to its various departments and the state governments to avoid using ‘Dalit’ word or reference, and also recently in the last month the government has banned the electronic media, there have been various opinions developing around the usage of ‘Dalit” word and has given rise to a new dispute. On one side the union minister for social justice Thawarchand Gehlot considers the High courts’ decision as rightful; the state minister of his department, Ramdas Athavle has however disapproved this decision of banning the usage and has expressed to move to the Apex court for against this resolution of the government. 

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Dalit women organise ‘differently’

 

Asha

Organizing by Dalit women has always been examined, by many, using a wide array of lenses originating in hues of various political perspectives. To some, we are autonomous, leading our movement towards a collective vision. To others, we are stooges, perhaps of the Dalit men, maybe the savarna women or the donors, or for that matter … any other dog! The intersections of our vulnerabilities are often heightened by constant criticism and the pain of brokenness further exacerbated by the feeling of being undervalued.

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Needless to say, like most of you, we also encounter a crisis almost every day. The intensity and impact of it vary; for us, it can often be debilitating. We wish to believe that the brickbats thrown at us from within and from outside, has steeled us to only strengthen and sharpen our strategies for organizing. For it is only by learning and unlearning each day, the women from our community have been able to come thus far.

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Is Fascism knocking at the door?

 

Dr. Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy

Mudnakudu ChinnaswamyValedictory Speech delivered at Vidrohi Sahitya Sammelana held on 24-12-2017 in Shahada, Nandurbar district, Maharashtra

Hon. President of the Sammelana, the dignitaries on the Dais and the august literary audience before me.

I am extremely happy to be present here today for two reasons. One is my poems are getting published in Marathi and the other is, it is a veritable privilege for any writer to be honoured by the Maharashtra Vidrohi Sanskritik Sanghatan. I belong to the early generation of poets who started protest poetry in late 1970s consequent to the Dalit- Bandaya movement in Karnataka, which is interestingly the replication of the struggle that occurred in Maharashtra at the same time. My poetry has been translated into Spanish and English and anthologies have been published. Collections have so far been published in Hindi, Urdu, and Telugu and the Marathi version is in the offing. I thank wholeheartedly Sri Baburao Kamble, a poet well known to Marathi audience, who undertook the task of translation.

Today, I must remember Late Sri Shankar M. Patil who was a resident of Kolhapur and a Kannadiga. He was instrumental in bringing Vacana literature into Marathi. It was he who coordinated with Vidrohi Sanskritik Sanghatan for publishing this collection a few years back. I was more than happy to understand that a prestigious, progressive literary organisation is introducing me to Marathi poetry. But after his sad demise, I searched for the manuscript, ringing up to his relatives and friends, since my translator didn't keep a copy of it. Finally, I found Prof. Raja Sirguppe was in possession of it and both of us rejoiced. He was graceful enough to agree to fulfill the ambition of our friend Sri Shankar M. Patil. I owe my sincere gratitude to all these noble personalities. Maharashtra and Karnataka were historically bound together and have shared a common cultural heritage. The first Marathi inscription was found in Shravanabelagola and the Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas crossed Godavari and ruled. Books have been written tracing the origin of the great warrior king Shivaji to the northern part of Karnataka.

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Transformative Politics for Dalit Women

 

Asha Kowtal

Transformative Politics for Dalit Women grounded in fierce resilience and compassionate sisterhood.

AIDMAM poster-pro20171202-20171203a

More than a week after the conference, I begin to write, still feeling overwhelmed and dazed coupled with a strange sense of loneliness experienced after loved ones have left home.

The #dalitwomenspeakout conference 2017 brought my sisters and friends from all over the country to my hometown Pune. They brought so much of love, gifts and excitement, which they shared with me in plenty. They came with their mothers and also their children. It was important for the mothers to see their daughters and for the children to watch their mothers. Nobody had taught us about inter-generational structural discrimination and violence, but we along with our children knew that this had to stop. That's why they all came.

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Sayyids in Muslim Societies


Morimoto Kazuo

The world today is home to a great number of putative lineal descendants—and collateral relatives—of Muḥammad, the Prophet of Islam. Let us begin by sharing three recent episodes involving some of these kinsfolk of the Prophet.

sayyids and sharifs

Episode I: The film Close-Up (1990) by the renowned Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami is an intricate cross between documentary and fiction, featuring a man apprehended for falsely presenting himself as Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a leading figure of Iranian cinema. The film re-enacts the interaction between the cinema-loving "conman" and his "victims," the Āhankhāh family, as well as the trial of the case before a judge. Just as the trial is approaching its conclusion, an interesting incident takes place in the film. The defendant's mother, clad in a black chador, suddenly steps forward and begins to plead with the judge that he should consider the prophetic descent of her son when handing out his sentence. It is true that this incident may not have taken place in reality. However, Kiarostami must certainly have thought that the scene would not appear unrealistic to his audience.

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