<SiteLock

Dalit intelligentsia must act responsibly

by Chandrabhan Prasad

During my last visit to Hyderabad, a young Dalit got rather upset with my view that the British rule had helped emancipate the community. So passionate was he that he wouldn't even listen to Karl Marx's views about the positive impact of British rule in India.  Ultimately, when I presented him with details of how the British fought a long drawn out battle with the Varnas to win Dalits their right to education over the second half of the 19th Century, he relented a little.

Read more...

And thus spoke Gama Ram

by Chandrabhan Prasad

The other day, I was pleasantly surprised to have Gama Ram at my home. He is thought of as a "living legend" among senior Dalits. He became a Sub-Inspector with the UP Police in February 1948.  "At the time, becoming a Sub-Inspector was a lot bigger than becoming an IPS officer today," Mr Ram informed us.

When the news of the appointment first filtered in, all of Sarai Mir town had descended at his house. His father had enough land to feed the family. He had enough land because he had inherited the traditional family occupation: tanning. His father had saved money to buy land because he knew that if the family was to ever gain some honour in society, he would have to "convert" his occupation. Before Ram, there were only four Dalit Sub-Inspectors with the UP Police.

Read more...

Politics of power and artificial ideologies

by Chandrabhan Prasad

Has any political scientist ever called the Communist Party of India's (CPI) 1957 victory in Kerala a political triumph of the Ezhavas, Nadars and Thiyyas - major upper Shudra castes - but one which was headed by a communist-Brahman, EMS Namboodiripad? Read More Can the Left Front or Congress-led fronts win elections in Kerala without the support of these Shudra castes? Left or Congress governments, it is the Ezhvas, Nadars and Thiyyas - the Dalits' main tormentors - who rule Kerala. What is the ideology then?

Read more...

Does India deserve international curbs?

by Chandrabhan Prasad

A novelist friend has just returned from Oxford. She was there to attend a Dalit-related talk where the UN-sponsored World Conference Against Racism, to be held in Durban this year, came up for discussion. She wondered why European scholars were not easily prepared to equate caste-based discrimination with that of race. Another friend, who works for a popular American daily and visits the US quite frequently, echoed similar views.

Read more...

Political radicals but social Tories

by Chandrabhan Prasad

The entire anti-Congress formation, including the intelligentsia, had hailed NT Rama Rao as the saviour who uprooted the Congress from the largest southern state. To be bracketed in the "progressive" club then, one had to demonstrate his or her anti-Congress credentials. Quite logically then, NTR was made chairperson of the National Front. Read More His son-in-law inherited that legacy and became chairperson of the United Front's high power Steering Committee.

Read more...

DU: Hindustan's other Nathdwara

by Chandrabhan Prasad

About a decade back, Rajasthan's Nathdwara town was in the news. The town houses a Hindu temple into which Dalits are not allowed. The maverick Arya Samaj sadhu Swamy Agnivesh had organised a march to accord Dalits their right to enter the temple. Read More Most newspapers wrote lengthy editorials condemning the priests of Nathdwara. Nathdwara-type situations persist in most parts of India but only when such incidents come into the limelight, does the Varna media launch a spirited condemnation.

Read more...

Other Related Articles

The God: Clashing Visions of the Jews and Brahmins
Tuesday, 09 November 2021
    Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd The Idea of The God The idea of God even in the twenty first century rules the global human mind more than the state, and the constitutional laws. There is... Read More...
Pariyerum Perumal: On the caste reality of South Tamil Nadu
Wednesday, 06 October 2021
  Deivendra Kumar A Indian cinema, born under the clutches of imperialism, had undoubtedly maintained the space or difference between the elites and the marginalised. In recent years, the... Read More...
Mirabai Chanu – Bahujan, Brahmin or just Meitei?
Wednesday, 08 September 2021
  Khakhlari  How digital activism narratives around the athlete exposed structural racism towards the ‘chinky northeasterner’ When Mirabai made news as the first woman to score a medal... Read More...
Bigg Boss – A peek into the vacuous lives of Savarnas
Tuesday, 07 September 2021
    Chanchal Kumar The concept behind Bigg Boss is simple, and the title is borrowed from the George Orwell novel 1984. A group of random (mostly) savarna celebrities inhabit a house for a... Read More...
Art of the Oppressed: Politics of Existence
Saturday, 28 August 2021
  B. Prabakaran Why does Sarpatta hold an important place in Tamil film history? It not only has convincing arguments for Dalits and women but also raises questions against dominant images and... Read More...