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1921, Mappila and the idea of a nation


Bobby Kunhu

kunhuDespite the extensive work by historians like K. N. Panikkar, the general consensus that the 1921 Malabar rebellion was a peasant rebellion and the fact that the Government of Kerala awards pension to those who participated in the rebellion and their spouses – there are strong attempts to portray the events of 1921 as communal violence. This also has to do with how the contemporary non Malayalee North Indian leaders of the Independence movement reacted to the events without even a primary investigation. While there were Hindu – even savarnas – who sided with the rebels, the feudal savarnas – who never were part of the independence movement – nor claimed any loyalty to the idea of India were the ones that were desperate to portray 1921 as a communal frenzy. The letters written by people like the Samoothiri and the Rani of Nilambur whose feudal caste antecedents are well established is proof enough. The rare non-Malayalee who diagnosed 1921 correctly was Saumyendranath Tagore.

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Open Letter to casteist Telangana MLA Dharma Reddy from a Swaero

 
Vara Lakshmi Swaero

Varalakshmi PhotoTo
Mr. Challa Dharma Reddy, Honorable MLA, Parkal, Telangana,

Re: Rebutting your recent public statement on 'upper castes' not securing jobs while "others" without merit were getting positions through reservations

Dear Sir,

As a citizen of India and a resident of Telangana, I am writing to express my extreme opposition to your recent remarks aimed at humiliating the marginalized communities.

Firstly, I would like to tell you that, the word "others" that you refer to in your speech is the word coined by the so-called upper castes, who are not willing to treat humans as humans. Further, to justify the false inhuman hierarchy "you" people have written the book called Manusmruti and I am sure you are aware of the status of it.

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The beauty of the farmers' protest

 

Vinod Kumar

vinod kumarEarly afternoon hours, say about 12ish and I was being driven through the Singhu border, the site of the present farmers’ protest in India. Makeshift tenements on both sides of the road, tents, kitchens, trucks and tractors converted into shelters. Farmers and their families moving around. Young boys, athletic and fit-built, holding each other’s hands and roaming around with a smile on their faces, full of life and youth. The glow on their faces, their smiles, the carefree demeanour, they were different from those of city boys. I looked at them and could tell that they were cut from a different cloth, had grown up in a world different from the urban, they gave off courage, exuberated honesty and simplicity not to be mistaken for foolhardiness. A certain kind of naivete in their deportment that I was willing to call a raw character burnished in nature, one which had still not assumed the trick and way of the city life. 

 

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Why so Serious Men?

 

Ankit Ramteke

ankit ramtekeOh, it is a movie about caste issues, progress, and all that. How nice! Do you know the talented Siddiqui is playing an assertive but cunning Tamil Dalit? Wow, As a caste-less, conformist, populist liberal, I am already experiencing a filmgasm. After years of rottenly skewed representation of these Achut, Neech, Bangi, Chamar, dalit, Pichde, Pariah, Quota Dhari, Bechare, Chandal, Kasai, Junglee, Garib, Harijan, khanjar log, finally, some positive colors are thrown on them. They should at least be grateful!

Though normally as a global citizen floating in my transcendental-metaphysical space contemplating on Neitzschian, Heideggerian stuff, I do not normally engage in such petty things like Jati-Vati. Butt what a stellar piece of whit by Mishra Ji. I am so happy for Mishra Ji, he will finally get the most prestigious award of Hindu-Wood -- (Drumroll) - The Best Messiah Award. After so many revered twice-born directors and writers like Sinha Ji, Roy Ji, Tamhane Ji, Jha Ji, Rao Ji, Kapur Ji, Sharma Ji, Chaubey Ji, Narayan Ji, Tharoor Ji, Rai Srivastava Ji, Joseph Ji, Gandhi Ji, finally, our own Mishra Ji will be the next Messiah for these dumb millions. After all, he deserves it. How radical is the movie Serious Men? How caustic a satire it is on the stinking caste-system? Only some primitive minds will deny that 'Serious Men' is chutiastically progressive cinema.

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Textures of being - The Mappila verses by Ajmal Khan


Umar Nizar

umar"Where do coconut trees go

When their roots are declared illegal".

-Ajmal Khan, `Mappila Verses’

Poetry as a tool of resistance has been wielded by personas ranging from the Hebraic to the Hellenic, from Moses to Kabir. Poet, sociologist and educator, Ajmal Khan in his debut collection of verse, creates a poetic/proto history for the Mappila community. The poet imaginatively deals with the predicament of a group that has inhabited the south west coast of India for millenia, and yet finds itself anathematized in the wake of the CAA and its discontents. The poet writes: `But no lives matter/Some lives aren’t lives’ (Ajmal Khan, Mappila Verses). Here the `Mappila’ is a universal category (as Žižek would say) that becomes a catchall term for all subjugated, subaltern identities throughout the world-Palestinian, Afro-American, Syrian, Rohingya, Lankan Tamil, Kurdish, Yazidi and so on.

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Why did Dr Ambedkar choose Buddhism?


Kamna Sagar

kamna sagar 2021To answer this question, in this article I will expound on B. R. Ambedkar's (1891-1956) early life including his adolescence and schooling, social and political exercises, reasons behind his battle for equal rights, his involvement in legislative issues, his support for untouchable individuals, his perspective on Communism, and his disappointment with government. Subsequently, I will examine what he looked at as the ultimate answer for helping the untouchable individuals through his exploration of the meaning of religion, his musings on the issue of disparity in religion, and his perspective on contemporary religions in India, including: his perspective on Hinduism; his perspective on Christianity; his perspective on Islam; and his perspective on Sikhism.

Next, I will talk about his path to Buddhism, including his proposition of a genuine religion, his experience with Buddhism, and his perspective on customs. After sifting through the entirety of the political and religious choices, he came to think about two alternatives, Buddhism and Marxism. In the end, following quite a long period of careful thought, he picked Buddhism because of its ideals of equity, its backing of women's rights, it being an indigenous religion of India, its dismissal of both God and soul, and his own enthusiasm for the Buddha's views. Positively, I will talk about which type of Buddhism he followed, his skeptical point of view through the recreation of Buddhist methods of reasoning of Karma, Four Noble Truths, ethical quality, etc. I will also examine others finding faults in his neo-Buddhist methodology. Next, I will discuss the impact of his choice of Buddhism on the marginalised individuals. Ultimately, after an intensive investigation, I will reason that he changed over to Buddhism in view of his disappointment and dissatisfaction with government in figuring out how to improve the life of the Dalit community.

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Will change in names of caste-based localities change their realities?


Mayur Kudupale

mayur kudupale 2021The Maharashtra government has initiated steps to change names of localities, awards and to remove the word ‘Dalit’. For changing the name of localities the government is attempting to remove the stigma attached to the names of the localities; it has also changed the name of award Dr Balasaheb Ambedkar Dalit Mitra Puraskar to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Samaj Bhushan Puraskar, while it has planned to use the word Scheduled Castes and Neo-Buddhists in place of ‘Dalit’ in official communications. Earlier, the National President of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Sharad Pawar has expressed his displeasure over caste-based names of areas in public meetings. His party member Mr Dhananjay Munde, who is social welfare minister of Maharashtra, proposed all three changes in a cabinet meeting. Now, the cabinet has approved the proposal by Mr Munde. The chief minister has supported it by saying “the decision is in favour of social harmony and national unity”.

After a long period, the Government has shown a positive attitude but the society is not looking at it in a reformist manner. In this article, I have tried to engage with the reality of caste-based names of localities vis-a-vis the current decision of the government.

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