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Secularists' new trip to Dalit platform?

by Chandrabhan Prasad

India is passing through a crucial phase of its history. So is the Dalit movement. In the age of globalisation, the new Dalit has come to realise that world pressure can be applied to compel ruling Varnas to make him an equal partner.

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When the world danced to Suresh Lele

by Chandrabhan Prasad

No, I would not like to describe how Heather M. Acs looked. The New York born girl has just crossed her teens. She is a White American, usually accompanied by her friend Mama S. Diouf, a Black girl of about the same age and appeal. Then there is the tall Brazilian girl Eleniw Ornisa. I wonder for what reasons have Indian women been winning beauty titles.

 

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North Beach turns into ideas

by Chandrabhan Prasad

 

The decision was deliberate. I wore a starched kurta churidar pajama because it had given me a distinct identity. Plus, with the "end caste" discrimination badge in place at the second button, anxious mediapersons could easily approach me to learn about India's caste system. The party had just begun.

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Journalistic ethics at Durban

by Chandrabhan Prasad

A t the Durban conference, I was greatly perturbed by the intellectual taste of the Indian media and the excessive dependence on secondary sources for news.Not one of them seemed to have confirmed with the WCAR Secretariat facts relating to Para-73, before pronouncing judgments on the "exclusion" of "Work & Descent" in the UN Charter.

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Woman power in Dalit movements

 

Chandra Bhan Prasad

(First published in The Pioneer in October 2001)

I do not wish to refer to Ms Mayawati, the pride of the Dalit movement today, who has single-handedly redefined the grammar of cowbelt politics. Yes, Kanshi Ram did "introduce" her but don't male politicians require mentors, too? I am talking about other women, the "new strengths" in modern-day Dalit movements.

 In this exercise I am not going to refer to Nidhi, Anjali Deshpandey, Prabha Jagannathan, Meenakshi Nath, Rama Lakshmi, Bela Malik, Bulbul, Tista Setalvad and over half a dozen more - all women with minds, inner rebellion, successful and who have played decisive roles in my life, sustained me in Delhi, both intellectually and emotionally. Neither do I wish to refer to Rinku Ghosh, in-charge of Agenda, The Pioneer, who is more worried than me about the regularity of Dalit Diary. Nor do I intend to elaborate upon the role acclaimed novelist Sagarika Ghosh has played in my life, or for that matter Nivedita Menon, whose robust insight and intellectual clarity could frighten any anti-Dalitist. Neither shall I discuss the legendary Gail Omvedt, the first intellectual to discuss Dalit Diary's concerns in any other daily newspaper, nor Ms Shubha Parmar, a Delhi University lecturer, whose intellectual charm draws all, irrespective of age. Here, I am concerned with the others.

To begin with, let us talk of Sevanti Ninan, an acclaimed columnist with The Hindu. About a week ago, she called me asking me to write for www.thehoot.org on the position of Dalits in media. Privileged as I felt, I wrote the article challenging Varna editors to explain why they had followed a policy of exclusion and why they didn't respond to Uniyal's path-breaking story, In Search of a Dalit Journalist.

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Chinna breaks the fellowship fortress

by Chandrabhan Prasad

It was the morning of January 30, 2000, and the place was Rashtrapati Bhawan. We, a group of Dalit writers and a host of non-Dalit intellectuals, along with the editor of The Pioneer, were walking out of Rashtrapati Bhawan after having presented the first copy of the Dalit Millennium, a 12-page supplement guest edited by Rajashekhar Vundru, to President KR Narayanan.

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