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On Allyship: Does it work for the Oppressed?

 

Anshul Kumar

anshul

Allyship is a proactive, ongoing, and incredibly difficult practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person of privilege works in solidarity and partnership with a marginalized group of people to help take down the systems that challenge that group's basic rights, equal access, and the ability to thrive in our society.1The idea of allyship is a very modern phenomenon and draws its ideation from the Black struggle against the racial oppression by the whites. Lately, this concept in a hyper globalised world has been imported into the Indian discourse against caste oppression.

This has recently been witnessed in the debates and discussions around the movie, Jai Bhim, which was released on Amazon Prime. The movie is based on a real incident of police brutality in Tamil Nadu in which tribal persons were murdered in police custody. Then, a Marxist human rights lawyer takes up the case of the murdered persons on behalf of the wife of one of the victims. The movie ends with the lawyer being able to win the case fought for the lady and the accused policemen and the others who are complicit in the crime served a legal sentence by the High Court.

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Caste Hindu hypocrisy over the movie 'Jai Bhim'

 

  Kranthi Kumar Mungamuri

kranthi kumar mungamuriEver since the movie Jai Bhim was released, it has brought back the fundamental questions in intellectual circles and University student politics about the title 'Jai Bhim'. Some people have come forward to support the title of the movie 'Jai Bhim' and the story as well. Others raised very valid points with regards to the manifestation of Marxism and latent Ambedkarisim in the movie.

It is very important to bring to light the hypocrisy of leisure Caste Hindu Communist and Marxist students' organisations that engaged in the celebration of the movie in University campuses like JNU without contributing to the emancipation of oppressed communities in the campus as well as outside the campus. On the one side, we see the Left organisations' greater injustice done to the marginalised communities within and outside the JNU campus, and on the other side we witness their celebrations of the movie Jai Bhim movie pretending to be saviours of the oppressed communities who have raised pertinent questions against the Indian Marxist hypocrisy within and outside the campus.

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Mixed handling of Caste in Shekhar Kammula's "Love Story"

 

Moses Tulasi

Moses Folio 2

 *Spoiler Alert: The piece contains an analysis of the film and inadvertently has to divulge certain plot details.*

When was the last time one had seen a Dalit character playing a protagonist in Telugu films before the OTT revolution? Shekhar Kammula's recent Telugu film 'Love Story' deserves to be applauded in that an 'A-list' writer/director from the industry starring 'A-list' cast produced a film with a Dalit protagonist and that too a Dalit Christian. This comes as a breath of fresh air continuing with the recent trend of visibility and positivity towards Christian characters, specifically Dalit Christians in Telugu films like 'C/O Kancharapalem', 'Palasa 1978' etc. After all, both Telugu states have a history of anti-caste revolutions, mass conversions to Christianity that gave Dalits access to the most formidable resources of the time - education and healthcare - along with reclaiming their self-respect and human dignity. As a result, there is a sizeable demography of Dalit Christians in both Telugu states and this visibility was only long overdue.

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Some reflections on the movie 'Jai Bhim'

 

Dr. SPVA Sairam

spva sairam

Speaking about the oppressed communities and the state of Hindu Civilization, Dr. Ambedkar in his book The Untouchables (1948) remarked:

"Besides the Shudras, the Hindu Civilization has produced three social classes whose existence has not received the attention it deserves. The three classes are :- (i) The Criminal Tribes who number about 20 million or so;(ii) The Aboriginal Tribes who number about 15 millions; and (iii) The Untouchables who number about 50 million.

The existence of these classes is an abomination. The Hindu Civilization, gauged in the light of these social products, could hardly be called a civilization. It is a diabolical contrivance to suppress and enslave humanity. Its proper name would be infamy. What else can be said of a civilization which has produced a mass of people who are taught to accept crime as an approved means of earning their livelihood, another mass of people who are left to live in full bloom of their primitive barbarism in the midst of civilization and a third mass of people who are treated as an entity beyond human intercourse and whose mere touch is enough to cause pollution?"(1)

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On 'Jai Bhim': How can individuals be seen as beacons of hope?

 

Anshul Kumar

anshul

"The assertion by the individual of his own opinions and beliefs, his own independence and interest as over against group standards, group authority and group interests is the beginning of all reform. But whether the reform will continue depends upon what scope the group affords for such individual assertion. If the group is tolerant and fair-minded in dealing with such individuals they will continue to assert and in the end succeed in converting their fellows. On the other hand if the group is intolerant and does not bother about the means it adopts to stifle such individuals they will perish and the reform will die out."

~ Dr BR Ambedkar in Annihilation of Caste

Cinema is an interesting art form. It juxtaposes the fictional with the real and offers an insight into the society in which we live. If the society is largely regressive, it will be reflected in the cinema it produces, most of it will be regressive. Similarly, as always there might be some progressive elements in any society and that might also be reflected in some films.

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A Tribute to a liberated AdiDravida Christian


 D. Albert, S.J.

[JC Anthony was born in colonial India into an impoverished AdiDravida family. His father was a cook in the British cantonment. He worked in the Indian Air Force of independent India and then in a civilian defence establishment, followed by decades aiding the social welfare activities of the christian church. He reflects on his multiple identities as AdiDravida, a believing and practicing Christian, Indian, Tamil, and a retired serviceman in his book 'My Adi Roots: Emancipation From Caste Stigma'.

He passed away on 20th May 2021. This article is dedicated to him by his long term friend Fr. Albert Devasahayam.]

jc anthony 1

Ordinary lives matter. Such as that of Joseph Cruz Anthony (1928-2021), fondly called JC, an AdiDravida Christian, who comes across to me as a most liberated personality.

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Humanity of Sanitation Work

 

Bobby Kunhu - Pragya Akhilesh

kunhuIMG-20211004-WA0035

"I'd like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free and also wanted other people to be free"– Rosa Parks 

It is estimated, based on government data, that at least one person dies cleaning a septic tank or sewers every five days in India. This is apart from the indirect deaths due to diseases like TB and alcoholism contracted from the state of sanitation work in India. And this data is conservative at best.

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