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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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Create Dalit Economy the way Dalit Sahitya was created: Chandra Bhan Prasad

 

Chandra Bhan Prasad and Pushpendra Johar in a discussion: this is a part of the series of interviews, talks, articles that SAVARI and Round Table India are trying to put together to gather the Bahujan perspective on the Coronavirus pandemic.

This is the second part of the discussion; the first part is here

Pushpendra: We saw those videos on our smart phones, on our laptops and you talked about your own uncles and father. You said they had to flee Burma in 1941 when the war (world war 2) was going on and the Axis powers were pushed back by the Chamar regiment. What do these emerging videos of thousands and thousands of labourers, workers evoke in you personally? Also, have things changed for the underclass?

cbp

CBP: My father..they were four brothers and two of them reached Burma in 1930 and both joined railways as labourers. My father joined them in 1939, just before the beginning of the war. And when the Japanese army supported by Hitler entered Burma, the Government of India announced that those migrant workers should now go back to their homes because enemy forces might take over Burma. So my father, my two uncles, one aunty with her baby, they left Burma and reached my home in Azamgarh with so many stories..that they walked for so many miles, they took truck for some distance, they took train, they took bus, they took this and that.

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കൊറോണ പ്രതിരോധം : കേരള മോഡല്‍ മിത്തും യാഥാര്‍ത്ഥ്യവും


കെ സന്തോഷ്‌ കുമാര്‍

santhosh kumar 2020കൊറോണ (കൊവിഡ് 19) മഹാമാരിയേയും  വൈറസ് വ്യാപനത്തെയും കേരള സര്‍ക്കാരും  സമൂഹവും ലോകത്തിനു മാതൃകയാകും വിധം ഫലപ്രദമായി പ്രതിരോധിക്കുകയും അതിജീവിക്കുകയും ചെയ്യുന്നുണ്ട്. കേരളത്തിലെ സുശക്തമായ പൊതുജന ആരോഗ്യമേഖല, ആരോഗ്യകേന്ദ്രങ്ങളുടെ ലഭ്യത, ഗുണമേന്മ, അവബോധം, രാഷ്ട്രീയ ജാഗ്രത എന്നിവയാണ് ഇത് സാധ്യമാക്കുന്നത്. കേരള മോഡല്‍ വികസനത്തിന്റെ ഗുണാത്മകതയാണ് മഹാമാരിയെ പ്രതിരോധിക്കുന്നത് എന്നാണ് ചില പൊതുഭാഷ്യങ്ങള്‍.

കേരളത്തിലെ ആയിത്തജാതിക്കാര്‍ സാമൂഹിക നീതിക്കായി നടത്തിയ സാമൂഹിക രാഷ്ട്രീയ മുന്നേറ്റങ്ങളും, അവയിലൂടെ സൃഷ്ടിക്കപ്പെട്ട രാഷ്ട്രീയ ജാഗ്രതയും സമൂഹത്തിന്റെ കീഴ്ത്തട്ടില്‍ ഉണ്ടായ വിദ്യാഭ്യാസ പുരോഗതിയും തുടര്‍ന്നുണ്ടായ സാമൂഹിക മേഖലയുടെ വളര്‍ച്ചയും, മിഷനറി പ്രവര്‍ത്തനങ്ങളും ആധുനിക ചികിത്സാ സമ്പ്രദായത്തിന്‍റെ ചരിത്രപരമായ വികാസവും സ്ത്രീ വിദ്യാഭ്യാസവുമാണ് കേരളത്തിന്റെ ‘വികസന സവിശേഷത’യ്ക്ക് നിദാനമായി തീര്‍ന്നത്, അതല്ലാതെ ഇന്നു ചര്‍ച്ച ചെയ്യുന്നതു പോലെ "കേരള മോഡല്‍ വികസനം’ കൊണ്ടല്ല (കേരള മോഡലിനെ വിമര്‍ശനപരമായി സമീപിച്ച സാമൂഹിക ശാസ്ത്രജ്ഞരും സാമ്പത്തിക ശാസ്ത്രജ്ഞരും കുറഞ്ഞ വളര്‍ച്ചാ നിരക്കിലെ 'മാനുഷിക വിഭവശേഷി' വികാസത്തെ കേരളത്തിന്റെ വികസന സവിശേഷതയായി രേഖപ്പെടുത്തിയത്).  കൊറോണാനന്തര കാലത്ത് ഈ വസ്തുതകളെ കണക്കിലെടുക്കാതെയാണ് "കേരള മോഡല്‍" സംവാദം രൂപപ്പെടുകയും ചര്‍ച്ച ചെയ്യപ്പെടുകയും ചെയ്യുന്നത്. സാമൂഹികമായി നിലനിൽക്കുന്ന യാഥാര്‍ത്ഥ്യങ്ങളെ, അത് ചരിത്രപരമായി രൂപപ്പെട്ടുവന്ന വ്യവസ്ഥാക്രമത്തിനുള്ളിൽ നിന്ന് മനസ്സിലാക്കാത്തതു കൊണ്ടാണ് 'കേരള മോഡൽ വികസന'ത്തിന്റെ മേന്മയാണ് കൊറോണയെ പ്രതിരോധിക്കുന്നത് എന്ന വ്യാജമായ തോന്നല്‍ ഉണ്ടാകുന്നത്. ഇത് തെറ്റിധാരണയില്‍ നിന്നുമാകാം.  ഇതിന്റെ  പ്രചരണമാണ് കേരളത്തിലും ദേശീയതലത്തിലും അന്തര്‍ദേശീയ തലത്തിലും ഇപ്പോള്‍ നടക്കുന്നത്. മുപ്പത് വര്‍ഷത്തെ കമ്മ്യൂണിസ്റ്റ് ഭരണമാണ് ഇത് സാധ്യമാക്കിയത് എന്നുവരെയുള്ള ഭ്രമാത്മകമായ ഭാവനയിലേക്ക് ചിലര്‍ കടക്കുന്നുമുണ്ട്.

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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 dignity of the underclass is the first casualty: Chandra Bhan Prasad

 

Chandra Bhan Prasad and Pushpendra Johar in a discussion: this is a part of the series of interviews, talks, articles that SAVARI and Round Table India are trying to put together to gather the Bahujan perspective on the Coronavirus pandemic.

 Date: 17 April 2020

Pushpendra Johar: Welcome to the discussion. I would like to start by going back to the day when the Prime Minister announced lockdown in the country; when we were going to have Janata Curfew, scheduled for 22nd March and we saw how things developed thereafter. On the day of Janata Curfew people were banging utensils, thalis (metal/steel plates) and what not. You have been quite critical of the whole practice, you did not mince words in criticising it, saying that this was anti-science, the whole act of thali-banging and conch blowing etc. This then led to cracker burning and lamp lighting. If we look at the acts of clapping and burning lamps, these were copied from different cultural contexts in Europe where they were clapping in their balconies to appreciate the medical staff and also celebrating human spirit after loss of so many lives. What do you make of such practices as enacted in India?

cbp

Chandra Bhan Prasad: There is a Hindu festival in North India, and in the Hindi belt in particular, when on one day in a year women bang thalis, not thalis exactly but some other tool that is used to clean wheat flour. They bang that thing, take a round of the village and go and throw it in some pond. This is called daliddar bhagao, chase away all the evils in the family, in the village. So the Prime Minister must have had this feedback that let's make this a cultural or religious kind of a thing, give it that dimension where women will bang thalis to chase away this virus and hence they become part of this in a very religious manner. That's why I was very upset because I stood in the balcony and I saw people banging thalis with plenty of happiness writ large on their faces.

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