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End Casteism in IITs

 

The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC), IIT Bombay

It is amidst desolate cries and the numbing daily reports of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic raging across the nation, that we all have witnessed a video recording of an online class for the Prep English Course (IITs Preparatory Course for SC/ST and PD Candidates) of IIT Kharagpur that have been doing the rounds in social media since yesterday. Shocking would surely be an understatement, as we watch Associate Professor Seema Singh of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department of IIT Kharagpur, abusing the students and their families on record. She openly threatens the students that she would fail them in the course and arrogantly challenges them to complain to the Ministry of Women and Child Care and Ministry of SC/ST/Minorities after repeatedly calling them “bloody bastards”. Some of the students had not stood up to the National Anthem that was played and this was, apparently, the reason that the Professor had started throwing casteist slurs at the class.

IIT b

 There was also another video recording where she humiliated a student who had requested for leave from the class for a few days as the student had lost his/her grandfather who had been infected with covid. The professor is seen explaining to the entire class how excuses such as birth, death and marriage cannot be used for taking leave from class. She is seen asserting that she is a ‘Hindu’ and respects the rituals associated with death, but as the covid protocols do not allow for any rituals to be performed, there is simply no cause for the student to have taken leave from her class.

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In a time of public crisis, how important are elections to a democracy?

 

Niharika Singh

niharika singh upWith the eighth and final phase in Bengal only now concluded, India conducted another local election amidst a collapsing healthcare infrastructure, administrative miscalculations and immense scheming. It appears that the world's largest democracy and its rulers aim for an electoral win over any collateral damage, a term that arose in the 1960s. Largely used as military vocabulary collateral damage in essence can always be placed squarely in the conditions in India at the moment.

Before we proceed, let's understand the numbers. In an article published in The Print on 20 April 2021, the assertion has been that in a way large gatherings during the election campaigning have been a spreader of COVID-19 virus – "Since March 20, the number of active Covid cases in the state is over 53,000 — a 1500 per cent rise. While several factors have contributed to the spread of Covid infection, large gatherings have been the major reason for the spike in cases."

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A Token Execution, Islamic Feminism and Toxic Masculinity

 

Umar Nizar

umar

Grief manifested in ways that felt like anything but grief; grief obliterated all feelings but grief, grief made a twin wear the same shirt for days on end to preserve the morning on which the dead were still living; grief made a twin peel stars off the ceiling and lie in bed with the glowing points adhered to fingertips; grief was bad-tempered, grief was kind; grief saw nothing but itself; grief saw every speck of pain in the world...

-Kamila Shamsie, Home Fire

A token execution is a spectral rumour in the air. It traumatizes subjects and hampers the emergence of subalterns, since they would be 'taught' a lesson. Universities and institutions that set the agenda of pedagogy all become part of this 'teaching' enterprise.

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Rahul Roushan’s memoir: How a liberal Hindu became a proud Hindu

 

Chanchal Kumar

chanchal kumarThe entire intellectual development of Rahul Roushan, the author of the memoir Sanghi who never went to a Shakha, who is a Bihari bhumihar and presently, CEO of the BJP/RSS news portal 'OpIndia.com", can be summed up in the following sentences:

His father, an English literature teacher and a liberal Hindu, tried his best to shield the former (who is even named after Gautam Buddha's son as hinted by the writer himself) from the reality of the caste system and inculcate tolerance in him but fails. (Roushan 66) Rahul Roushan initially grows up with a love of the written word and has innate creativity, which brings him to the attention of less gifted but politically slier group of people from Delhi. He is steadily brainwashed into believing that Hinduism is the best religion to exist in the world and he should rid himself of the guilt and shame in being an oppressor. Why? Because there are bigger oppressors than him. Convinced by this infallible logic, Rahul works for his Brahmin masters and after being constantly egged on by them, pens this gem of a book. By the time he writes the final pages, voila! Rahul Roushan has become so radicalized he has literally turned homicidal.

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Millennials and Jotiba Phule

 

Pavankumar Shinde

pavan kumar shinde300, the movie

The Hollywood movie, which depicts how 300 Spartan soldiers fought hard with thousands of Persian troops, arrived in 2006. It was such a popular movie among the youth of India.

137 years ago, in 1883, Jotiba (Krantiba) Phule had in the book 'Shetkaryancha Asud' ('Cultivators Whipcord') written that the aristocrats and peasants should be inspired by the 300 patriotic soldiers of Sparta who fought against the army of Xerxes to save the republic.

Yes, 137 years ago! Krantiba Phule is the first person in Marathi literature to draw inspiration in the history of various countries of the world including Sparta, Rome and so on.

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Unfinished legacy of Dr Ambedkar and the Plight of the Oppressed in South Asia


Hemangi Kadlak

hemangi kadlak[A Speech on the Occasion of 130th Birth Anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.]

Jai Bhim,

First of all, I would like to thank the Ambedkar Society for South Asia for inviting me as a speaker for this webinar to celebrate the 130th birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar. Today’s webinar topic is the ‘Unfinished Legacy of Dr Ambedkar and the Plight of Oppressed in South Asia’. I personally wanted to work collaboratively with all South Asian countries; for this I tried and am trying my best to connect with them. I feel this is the best opportunity to mingle with them all. I want to work with them on the topics of caste, gender, occupation (mostly sanitation occupation). I have been doing research and been actively involved in the issues of sanitation workers, their children and families for more than sixteen years. This is a most neglected topic even in the anti-caste movement. Dr Ambedkar understood the complexity in relation with caste and sanitation occupation and the plight of the sanitation workers. He said, “In India, a man is not a scavenger because of his work. He is a scavenger because of his birth irrespective of the question of whether he does scavenging or not”.

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Birth based work: Slavery imposed by faith

 

Madhab Ruidas

madhab ruidasFaith plays a vital role in Indian society, It is so deep rooted and dominant that the sense of a class society has been violated, in almost every regional or non-regional sphere of the unorganised working sector.

The unorganised worker's world is divided into various parts, due to their birth based, caste led occupation. They are bound to their faith and they act accordingly throughout their lives. In the 21st century people still practise their birth based occupations -- some willingly, others have been forced to take up those jobs due to their needs.

* A day labourer works to build a Temple, and when it's built, he can't enter it for prayers. Why?

The reason isn't that he's a worker and poor, but because of his caste.

 * A community which plays drums during Durga Puja, makes the Pandal premises impure by their presence. Why such cruelty?

Again, the reason is not they are poor workers but because of their caste.

* The servant who is very faithful to his master but faces restrictions on his natural behaviour. The forces restricting him may not be monetary all the time, they have faith related roots, obviously.

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