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Unnao after Hathras: Atrocities, again and again


Sonali Shirke

sonali shirke newIn Baburha village, Unnao district, of Uttar Pradesh, a horrific incident of atrocities against Dalit girls has once again come to light on February 17 (many such incidents happen every day which do not come to light). Three minor girls who live in a Dalit locality, went to fetch fodder in the field in the afternoon. The girls did not return home after a long time, so the family started searching for them in the evening. Then, as usual (like a kind of legacy in Uttar Pradesh), the girls were found tied in the field and unconscious. Two of the three girls were declared dead and one was rushed to a hospital in critical condition after villagers took her to a public health care centre for treatment.

According to the Hindustan Times, Superintendent of Police Sureshrao Kulkarni, who was present there, said that they died due to poisoning. But the same report shows that there is something serious about the different testimonies of individuals in the victim's family. As the victim's brother says in a video, when the girls were found, their limbs were tied with the help of their stoles. So the question arises that if the hands were tied, how could the girls poison themselves? In the second video, the victim's mother is seen saying, "The girls' hands were not tied, and we have no suspicions on anyone" (this statement needs to be verified to make sure that this statement was not made under any pressure).

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Constitutional provisions and legal rights for protection and well-being of women in India

 

Adv Soniya Gajbhiye

adv soniya gajbhiyeWomen in any society play a very important role. In Indian society's context her role kept changing and evolving with the enactment of the Constitution and especially since Babasaheb's fight for women's' rights through introduction of the Hindu Code bill. Woman is a very strong person in this world who plays  many vital roles in society: like mother, wife, sister,etc. But, since last several decades, women have become a more vulnerable section endangering their safety and security. Violence against women such as physical abuse, domestic violence, sexual harassment and female infanticide are on increase in recent times.

With a view to curb the violence and abuse on women, our country has enacted, adopted and implemented many laws by making provision for special protection to women. We all need to know the rights of women in India. When we mention the rights of women, then we have to take into consideration both, the Constitutional Rights and Legal Rights. The constitutional rights are those which are incorporated in the various provisions of the constitution. The legal rights refer to those which are incorporated in the various laws or Acts of the parliament and the state legislatures.

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My journey towards understanding men in society!

 

Harshali Nagrale

harshali nagraleEvery girl dreams about something or the other to be in life. But, in the journey from being a little girl to growing up into a woman, her dreams' wings are cut in different ways. This is where feminism emerges for me. The word Feminism is interpreted differently across the world. Some connect it with the oppression women are facing, unequal pay, womanhood; while some think that drinking, smoking, or hanging out the late-night is feminism. But, feminism is much more than that for me. It means an ideology or a way of life of dignity, respect, and equality which does keep men as the benchmark. 

The journey from being a little girl to a grown-up woman!

I come from a family where paying for a TV was equal to bringing a Mercedes home. We had a neighbour who used to welcome us to watch movies at their house. Unfortunately, the neighbour was a relative. My parents were also very comfortable to send me to their house because it is "SAFE" to send our kids to a relative's house. Once, I remember at the age of 12 I was watching TV at my neighbour's home. They had two elder sons who were both around 24-26 of age. There was no one in the house and the innocent little kid sat in their home until the cartoon ended. I was really not expecting I would have to pay so high a price for just an episode of the cartoon. An unwelcome hand started touching me under grown boobs, and before I could speak he put his dirty hands in my pants and seeing straight into my eyes he said- nothing, it will take just a few minutes for me to show you how much I love you. It was very shocking for me because this had never happened to me. Before I could shout loudly he grabbed me and put a tight hand on my mouth. And this way he destroyed my entire childhood. I started hating my body. I used to punish myself in different ways and for my entire childhood, I blamed myself for whatever happened to me. Only because I had a "Vagina" between my legs. Now when I look back to my childhood, being that little girl, the sky is not the same anymore.

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Dalit single women in lockdown: Lived experiences

 

Madhavi Kamble

madhavi kambleWhether it is a natural or man-made disaster, the vulnerable sections of the society are the first to get hit. The Corona outbreak put the spotlight on the issue of daily subsistence, mental health, general health of families and millions of people across the country.

On June 4, the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced that 1,07637 people tested positive for the pandemic virus in the country and 6,075 lost their lives to it. In a seemingly desperate effort to preemptively slow the virus's spread in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a nationwide lockdown from March 24, for 21 days. Later it was extended up to 3rd May 2020, then it was extended up to 31st May 2020. Now our nation is in 5th lockdown which will be going on until 30th June 2020. But the ill-planned effort rendered lakhs of socially and physically vulnerable sections of the society around the country jobless, unsafe, helpless, and hungry.

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Knowing (Reading) Ambedkar And Being An Ambedkarite: Through The Anti-Caste And Feminist Lens

 

Shivani Waldekar

Shivani WaldekarIn the contemporary period we see that there are very few informed Ambedkarites who are coming to the forefront and challenging the social, economic, cultural, political, educational systems, who are asking for fundamental rights, fighting against inequality and injustice and looking towards Liberation.

"The battle to me is a matter of joy.
The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual.
There is nothing material or social in it.
For ours is a battle not for wealth or power.
It is a battle for freedom. It is the battle of reclamation of human personality"
~ Dr. B.R.Ambedkar.

14th April 2020 was the 129th birth anniversary of a great social scientist and renowned thinker, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, and the best way to remember him is to discuss his ideas and also examine his followers through those ideas.

Once upon a time my beloved asked me, "What is meant by Ambedkar?" "Ambedkar means Revolution" I replied within a second. And the exact same question I asked him and he replied "Ambedkar is a Thought." But Ambedkar isn't limited to 'Revolution' or 'Thought' only. He is beyond that. We couldn't think in unison that Ambedkar is a 'Revolutionary Thought' because we both are different persons with different perceptions, positions and perspectives. We couldn't even understand or realise that day if we both compiled our different perspectives and come together with healthy minds and keep aside our biases, then maybe we can pursue the truth that Ambedkar is a 'Revolutionary Thought' which changes with time, but stands for reclamation of human personality and freedom for all human beings irrespective of their caste, class, gender, religion, and other forms of identities and that is the totality of humanity.

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The Origin of Dalit Feminist Literature: Mukta Salve, the First Voice of Dalit Feminism

 

Shivani Waldekar

165 years ago, one young Dalit girl strongly criticised brahminical hegemony and the hierarchal oppressive social structure. She questioned and critically examined caste, class, gender and religion and that empirical data continues to remain very relevant today, as they were in 1855. She strongly believed that education is the only path which liberates the people who are enslaved by the structure. It is an important tool which gives confidence to ask the questions against injustice and exploitation in our society and gives a voice to the unheard and unobserved since two thousand years. They constitute a part of society but never came out and spoke. Education is the only asset through which they will change their status and break systematic oppression and social stratification. Education is the tool through which they gather knowledge and cultivate their minds and enlighten their souls and go towards an egalitarian path and liberate themselves.

mukta salve

On 1 March 1855, the periodical named "Dnyanodaya" published one essay named "About the Grief of Mahars and Mangs"(Mang Maharanchya Dukhavisayi) written by the very first Dalit writer Mukta Salve. It is the first evidence in history which pointed out the historical exploitation and the problem of Indian caste and patriarchy where Dalits had always faced intolerance because of the oppressive Brahmin structure. Dalit history was always invisibilized by upper caste and class to portray that Dalit have no history of their own and especially when it comes to Dalit women then it's always in the dark and unpublished because women's liberation is closely linked with castes. That's why Muktabai's essay is to be treated as the first voice of Dalit feminism and history of modern Indian Dalit feminist literature which initiated Dalit women's liberation.

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