Ram Van Gaman Path: Who are you to decide our vision for development?


Bodhi Ramteke

bodhi ramtekeWhat could be the priorities for any poorest state, where literacy rate is low, malnutrition level is high, having no proper educational & health infrastructure and other endless issues

The vision before such a state should be to overcome those issues through framing and implementing good and constructive policies in a very democratic manner.

The 'Secular' Congress Government has announced the development of Ram Van Gaman Path i.e., the way travelled by Ram, under the project 'Ram Van Gaman Tourism Circuit' in Chhattisgarh State. Temples are to be built in all the 75 places where Ram supposedly passed through.

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Mutual Aid and Self-Organization in Anti-CAA and Farmers' Protests


Pranav Jeevan P

توشاہیںہےپروازہےکامتیراترےسامنےآسماںاوربھیہیں- اقبالpranav

तूशाहीनहै,परवाज़हैकामतेरा ,तेरेसामनेआसमांऔरभीहै - इकबाल

You are a falcon, your purpose is to fly, there are still more skies for you to transcend - Ikbal

India witnessed two large scale protests in last 2 years which saw millions taking to streets against the oppressive laws passed by the Government. These were the Anti-CAA protests and the farmers protests. During the Anti-CAA protests, the loudest voices of dissent have been the women, from housewives to grandmothers, lawyers to students, women across India have been at the forefront of this struggle (Jeevan, 2021). This female-driven political awakening has been most jubilantly epitomized by the sit-in protest at Shaheen Bagh, drawing a cross-generational, largely female crowd never seen in India before (Petersen & Azizur Rahman, 2020). Then came the farmer protests, where millions of farmers took to streets to force the government to repeal the farm laws and to highlight the issues of agrarian crisis which has been growing in India for the last few decades. In these protests, there is an unprecedented solidarity being displayed in the daily rallies that draw out thousands of people all over Indian cities crossing caste and gender boundaries. There are no visible leaders calling out to people to protest in one mode or another, yet the country has found a way to speak truth to power (Badwar, 2020).

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Farmer Protests- The Discords in Hindu Society

 

Dr Anuradha Bele

dr anuradha bele 1My deepest gratitude to all the peasants, and especially to the farmers of Punjab.

Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar once said that those who don't know history can't make history. In the light of this quote, this article aims to understand the history of jats and their current socio religious politics and reiterate the profound fact to the readers that the freedom in the truest sense is possible only if the caste structure is dismantled and that can be made possible only if multitude castes of Shudras and Ati Shudras walk under a common umbrella towards common destiny, i.e Buddhism.

Introduction

 The term 'Hindu' is a myth, created by Muslims to address the people on the other side of the Indus river. So the so-called Hindu society is just a collection of castes.[1] The Brahmins, and Brahmin converts to Islam (Ashraf Muslims, upper caste Muslims), the sacerdotal castes, were most numerous wherever the soil was fertile and the people ignorant and superstitious.[2] Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had explained that the Shudras, the Tribes and the Untouchables are natural allies, and could use their numerical strength to bring down the Brahmanical economic order and subsequently the social order i.e. the caste system. However, he also bemoaned the fact that the Shudra still believes in the supremacy of the graded inequality created by the Brahmin and while the Shudra is anxious to pull down the Brahmin, the Untouchables rising to their level is not acceptable to them.

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A few days in Naxal-dominated Bhamragad or the story of 70 years of Independence!


A few days in Naxal-dominated Bhamragad

Bodhi Ramteke

bodhi ramtekeThe excruciating pain of Roshni and the loss of Jaya's life were both heartbreaking, and the concern for both of them and their family took me several miles away from my house to theirs.

It was the month of July. Roshni was nine months pregnant then and had gone into labour. The nearest hospital from her village was at a distance of 23 km. This journey was only possible through foot as the village was isolated from any modern means of connectivity or infrastructure. So there was no choice but that of walking on your own two feet. Then came the big question, for Roshni, “Should I do it?”

With her baby on the way, Roshni began to walk alone through the forest. She walked alone for a very long distance and could not even see the Asha Worker who was with her. The road was full of rocks. She continued on, crossing two hills along the way. If her foot had slipped off a rock, she would have fallen into a deep trap where any help would have been impossible. But, left with no choice and a long route ahead, she kept walking.

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Re-Imagining Justice: From Punitive to Transformative


Pranav Jeevan P

pranav Before we start talking about different forms of Criminal Justice systems that are existing and that can be created, we need to sneak a peek into the current carceral Criminal Justice system in India. Our current criminal justice system is that of Punitive justice (PUNITIVE JUSTICE), where we seek to impose a punishment (deprivation or restriction) on the offender which is mostly incarceration. At the end of 2019, we had 478600 prisoners with an occupancy rate of 118.5% (Executive Summary, 2019). Seven in 10 of them are under still under trial, two-thirds of whom are from marginalized castes. Also, more than one in five (21.5%) undertrials were Muslim. Data shows that 27.7% are illiterate and over 70% haven't received 10th standard education. Also, trials are taking longer and the number of people awaiting completion of trial in prisons for long periods is increasing. The high proportion of undertrial population defeats the purpose of prisons, which are supposedly meant to correct convicted offenders of law (Paliath, 2020).

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Politics beyond Pity: Looking at the condemnation of the events of Republic Day, 2021

 

Naichashakh (नैचाशाख)

The farmer's protests which managed to persuasively register themselves in early November as the farmer groups and unions moved past the barricades, heavy police deployment, water cannons, and several other obstacles to lodge themselves firmly at the seat of political power have opened up the many contradictions which make or rather un-make the Indian Republic. The response by the media, government, critics, and supporters makes in-fact a further fertile ground for uncovering the contradictions of making a political demand in "India". The widespread outcry at the events of the Republic Day by the media, ruling regime and a large section of the public intelligentsia is a prime example of the paradigm of the "political" in the unified India.

farmers protest

Let us pay attention to the charge made across almost all quarters of the "public sphere" that the tractor parade on the Republic Day was violent, unruly and unorderly. Some columnists also declared it an anarchic situation. Considering for a moment that the events were indeed "violent", what is important for us is the next argument which follows in the same breath that owing to the violence, the protesting groups have lost their moral ground of protest. Moral ground? Why is the ruling regime- and we can count the media and a large section of intelligentsia in the ruling regime insofar as they hold the power to affect the political battle the farmers are fighting- only able to understand the protest as a moral demand? What is the window through this which this "morality" is framed?

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Upper Caste Anxiety Over Reservations

 

Kranthi Kumar Mungamuri

kranthi kumar mungamuriVery recently, Telangana MLA Dharma Reddy (TRS), made a casteist statement over reservations by saying that "state is being ruined or destroyed due to lack of merit in government due to communities who had reservations" which led to a war of words between democratic, productive forces (SCs, STs and OBCs) and casteist forces. He also argued that upper castes are not securing jobs while others were getting positions without any merit. He made these comments while he was speaking at "Upper Caste State Maha Garjana", a meeting organised by the Upper Caste Aikya Vedika and attended by upper caste groups such as Velama, Reddy, Brahmin, Vaishya and Kshatriya who are historically anti-reservations and anti-empowerment of the marginalized.

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Tandav, A Plot to Suppress the Ideological Space of Phule Ambedkarites

 

Ajay Choudhary

ajay choudharyIndian society, which is plagued by caste discrimination, is often triggered by emotional and sentimental issues. The prevailing unscientific and irrational formal education system is unable to foresee and resolve such issues. While it is easy to mock, deep exploration of human experience reveals that informal education has instigated more students and youth to stand against the oppressive system. Cinema is also one type of informal educational tools in modernistic society where generations of people often get socialized and de-socialized to grasp the undercurrents that exist in society. It exposes the mindset of society because the issues dealt with dramatically in cinema are actually rooted in the reality prevailing in society. In other words, cinema is a reflection of society even if it is omitting or excluding the issues based on caste discrimination, which is a reflection in itself.

Such unified projection of Indian society through cinema was shattered to pieces because of the entry of new Dalit directors of films like 'Fandry' (2013) and 'Pariyerum Perumal' (2018) covering their own spaces, which was mostly absent since the 1950s and onwards. This earlier cinema endeavored to form the false consciousness of unity in diversity, which is nothing but a perpetuation of brahminical values through different media houses and also imposing them on the non-brahmanical consciousness. In the past decade or so, these brahminical values have become a matter of investigation in cinema due to the entry of humanistic values initiated by the anti-caste tradition in India.

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শাসক বর্ণের পরিবর্তনশীল প্রাধান্য ও কৃষক অসন্তোষ


অনসুল কুমার

ভাষান্তর- বিধান চন্দ্র দাস

anshul“এটা ঐতিহাসিক ভাবে সত্য যে ব্রাহ্মণ সবসময়ই অন্যান্য শ্রেণীদের সহযোগী হয়েছে এবং তারা তাদের তখনই শাসক শ্রেণীর মর্যাদা দিয়েছে, যখন সেই শ্রেণীগুলো তাদের অধীনে থেকে সহযোগিতা করতে রাজি হয়েছে। প্রাচীন এবং মধ্যযুগে এই রকম জোট তারা করত ক্ষত্রিয় অথবা যোদ্ধা শ্রেণীদের সঙ্গে এবং দুজনে মিলে রাজত্ব করত বাকি জনগণের উপর যেখানে ব্রাহ্মন তার কলমের দ্বারা এবং ক্ষত্রিয় তার তরবারির দ্বারা এই জনগণকে নিষ্পেষিত করত। বর্তমানে ব্রাহ্মণরা জোট তৈরি করেছে বৈশ্যদের সঙ্গে, যাদের বেনিয়া বলা হয়। এই ক্ষত্রিয়দের ছেড়ে বেনিয়াদের প্রতি জোটের স্থানান্তরটা স্বাভাবিক। বর্তমানে তরবারির চাইতেও বেশি গুরুত্বপূর্ণ হল বাণিজ্য করে পাওয়া অর্থ।পক্ষ বদলের এটা একটা কারণ । দ্বিতীয় কারণটা হল সমগ্র রাজনৈতিক যন্ত্রটিকে চালানোর জন্য অর্থের প্রয়োজনীয়তা। অর্থ শুধুমাত্র বেনিয়াদের থেকে পাওয়া যায়। এই হল সেই বেনিয়া , যারা কংগ্রেসকে প্রচুর পরিমানে টাকার যোগান দেয় কারণ মিঃ গান্ধী হলেন একজন বেনিয়া এবং তারা নিজেরা এটাও খুব ভালোভাবে বুঝেছে যে রাজনীতিতে অর্থ বিনিয়োগ তাদের বৃহৎ মুনাফা এনে দেবে।“--- বি আর আম্বেদকর, কংগ্রেস এবং গান্ধী অস্পৃশ্যদের জন্য কি করেছে।

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Phule, Paine and the Idea of Religion


Dr. SPVA Sairam

spva sairamReligion has played a significant role throughout the human history and its legacy is mixed. As a means of social control, it not only divided people and subjected them to the ignominies of the worst sort, but also, at times, it acted as a unifying force, unleashing the tremendous potential within humans to seek his or her spiritual ends1.

 In this context, it is interesting to know what our anti-caste thinkers have to say about it. It will be illuminating to understand how Mahatma Jotiba Phule (1827-1890) viewed it.

Jotiba and Savitribai Phule had dedicated their lives to the cause of Bahujans. They raised the banner of revolt against the exploitation and subhuman treatment meted out to Shudras, Ati Shudras and Women by the Brahmins and allied castes2.

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Election of Kamala Harris: Is America half a century behind South Asia?

 

Prof Vivek Kumar

vivek-kumarOn January 20, 2021, Kamala Harris created a history of sorts by taking oath as America's first female Vice President. She is the first woman of South Asian and Afro-American descent who has received such an honor. This may be a historic moment for Americans. However, if we analyze this history a little more deeply we will find that it is not so historic a moment in American democracy as it is being made out to be.

The obvious reason is that the United States of America is the oldest democracy in the world. If we consider the beginning of democracy here since 1788, when the US Constitution was approved by the states, then we will find that in the 233 year old history of democracy, America has not yet elected a single woman to the highest office of the nation.

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'The Khalistan Conspiracy': An Eyewitness Account of Targeting of Sikhs in the 1980s


Jaspal Singh Sidhu

Jaspal Singh SidhuTragic happenings of the 1980s continue to perturb the Sikhs. Most of them want to know what actually took place behind the smokescreen erected by the power of the day. In this context, the new arrival ‘The Khalistan Conspiracy’-A Former R&AW Officer Unravels the Path to 1984” (2020) authored by GBS Sidhu, who retired as Special Secretary of India’s Intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) fits the bill. The book reveals concretely, hitherto vaguely talked about theories that ‘Indira Gandhi had created a “Third Agency” to devise dubious plans to target Sikhs and to twist the Punjab politics to suit her political requirements'. It exposes the ‘dirty vote bank politics’, the Congress and other political parties openly practice in modern the Indian nation-state in their bid to reach the corridors of power. In their pursuit for power politicians rarely bother whether their acts are causing communal disturbances, upstaging peaceful societies, and triggering loss of innocent lives.

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