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Online classes and accessibility: ASA TISS report

 

Ambedkarite Students' Association, TISS (Mumbai)

Ambedkarite Students' Association TISS released a report about online classes
(A detailed report on how accessible the online class system is to the students.)

24-07-2020

On 18th July 2020, Ambedkarite Students' Association, TISS Mumbai, has released a report on the newly proposed online-class method by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in the face of the given pandemic situation. This report has been sent to the TISS Administration seeking measures to get the education more accessible.

A mail received from the TISS Administration on the 22nd of June 2020 notified the current students of TISS that the upcoming semester would be conducted through online mode. Across India, the internet penetration is merely 36% and only 13% of households own laptops or desktops. Considering the deep and wide digital divide in the country, Ambedkarite Students' Association, TISS Mumbai conducted an independent study on the accessibility and availability of the internet. The report is based on the responses of current TISS students belonging to various MA and M.Phil programmes. The responses have been presented graphically in the report here.

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A reply to Mr Katju

 

Archana Sigh & Arvind

archana singhMr Markandey Katju in an article for FirstPost worried about the cause of Scheduled Castes, saying reservations are psychological crutches for them and the caste system is perpetuated by reservations. He wrote this article in reply to the article of Kailash Jeengar, Asst Professor of Law, Campus Law Centre, Delhi University, titled The Supreme Court must note that reservation is a fundamental right which was published in The Wire.

Katju's article reminds us of a quote by Dr Babasabeb Ambedkar where he said: “How can the Brahmins afford to be Voltaires? A Voltaire among the Brahmins would be a positive danger to the maintenance of a civilization which is contrived to maintain Brahmin supremacy.”

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Can Guns Save the Oppressed in India?


Himanshu Patil

himanshu patilChotelal Diwakar and his son Sunil went out for a walk around noon. Little did they know that the walk would be their last. The Samajwadi Party leader and his son were shot later that day over a dispute related to the construction of a road which allegedly crossed through the fields owned by the upper castes. Earlier this year a Dalit youth in Nagaur, Rajasthan, was beaten and humiliated for alleged theft of INR 500. A screwdriver was inserted in his anus and the video of this act was circulated on the internet. According to the National Crime Records Bureau of India over 4 Dalit women are raped every day.

For centuries now the Dalits have been at the receiving end of atrocities and the situation has only worsened under the Bhartiya Janata Party. Although crimes against Dalits is not a novel phenomenon. It is deeply rooted in Brahminism and the caste system of the Indian society.

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We and our Nationhood Ill-defined: Let's Redefine & Reclaim it

 

Amit Kumar

amit kumar public orgOn the morning of 8th July 2020, the nation woke up to the news of vandalism[1] on Rajgruha, the residence of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in Mumbai. Like most of the news related to him, this story may also have been shoved under the carpet as a city crime, merely. However, there is a need to analyse the attack and its implications for our own good and see the real rot making the whole nation stink. There seems to be no reason why it should be seen in separation from the other changes taking place in context of the nation. There is an alternative view which sees this act of vandalism as an attack, rather a terrorist attack on Indian nationalism. Let us analyse.

What is a nation? In the modern sense, a nation is a collection of people who have a FEELING OF UNITY based on various factors like shared history, socio-cultural heritage, language and value commitments; which develops their shared vision and desire to live together as a community with mutual respect and dignity; generally in shared geography; giving rise to a nation-state or the desire thereof. This can be reduced to the definition that a nation is a conscious identity held by the people based on the feeling of unity. The much celebrated motto of Indian nationhood is "Unity in Diversity": all the more explicit evidence of a nation's most essential ingredient (unity of course).

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Rajgruha Stands Tall

 

Rahul Bhise, Somnath Waghmare & Pranjali Kureel

Rajgruha, a custom made bulding in Mumbai which Babasaheb built to house his impeccable collection of books and where he lived many years is a very special monument for Ambedkarites. Now a museum it attracts large number of vistors from all age groups. This iconic site was vandalized by an unidentified man on the evening of 7th July, 2020 which lead to condemnation from followers of Babasaheb everywhere. This film created by Rahul Bhise, Somnath Waghmare and Pranjali Kureel takes you to Rajgruha and also talks about the recent vandalism incident that happened there.

 

Rajgruha Footage : Somnath Waghmare

Twitter Research : Pranjali Kureel

Edit/Script/Voiceover : Rahul Bhise

~~~

 

 

 

Inequality and mental well-being


Shubhangi Nanwatkar

Shubhangi NanwatkarMental Health has never been a national issue in India, it is an issue for those who have got privileged by their caste, gender and class. They do not suffer from discrimination, exploitation, deprivation etc. They give the name of depression for any suffering caused by the loss of their privileges. Mental Depression is an issue that can affect any individual and there should not be bias in the way it is addressed, but it is not, because of inequality.

The low level of mental health care is continuously ignored in India due to many reasons. The people who discriminate, who exploit are the people who have some kind of authority, in the hierarchy who have high status, who have lots of opportunities and resources. Their actions on marginalized people are intended to enslave their minds. 

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Hindu Fraudulence

 

Vir Pratap Singh Gautam

vir pratap singh gautamHumans haven't learnt anything from the pandemic in the world, or it might be better to say, Indians have not. Everything that we see on this earth is practically impermanent and no one has the boon of eternity, yet we fail to acknowledge that the world belongs equally to others as much as humans. A recent incident made it to the headlines, about "a pregnant elephant was fed a pineapple with crackers stuffed inside." The pineapple burst in the elephant's mouth itself (and couldn't go deeper inside the body) which eventually led to its death. The incident was followed by huge outrage on social media in the name of animal cruelty. I write about this here neither to condemn the incident, nor to express my grief by stating it to be sorrowful and inhumane behavior.

It's not my insensitivity towards animals but sensitivity towards the social corruption that makes me put down these words here. I believe that if women like Safoora Zargar (who is also pregnant) could be denied bail on account of her participation in a protest, with the state showing its apathy, the society questioning her and the court speaking the language of the oppressor, then outraging with your shallow animal love holds no ground. Though my focus here is not to talk about Safoora or the sad incident of animal cruelty, I take the pain to present to you the sleazy nature of Indian society constituted predominantly by Hindus and also the reason for such behavior.

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