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The beauty of the farmers' protest

 

Vinod Kumar

vinod kumarEarly afternoon hours, say about 12ish and I was being driven through the Singhu border, the site of the present farmers’ protest in India. Makeshift tenements on both sides of the road, tents, kitchens, trucks and tractors converted into shelters. Farmers and their families moving around. Young boys, athletic and fit-built, holding each other’s hands and roaming around with a smile on their faces, full of life and youth. The glow on their faces, their smiles, the carefree demeanour, they were different from those of city boys. I looked at them and could tell that they were cut from a different cloth, had grown up in a world different from the urban, they gave off courage, exuberated honesty and simplicity not to be mistaken for foolhardiness. A certain kind of naivete in their deportment that I was willing to call a raw character burnished in nature, one which had still not assumed the trick and way of the city life. 

 

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Why so Serious Men?

 

Ankit Ramteke

ankit ramtekeOh, it is a movie about caste issues, progress, and all that. How nice! Do you know the talented Siddiqui is playing an assertive but cunning Tamil Dalit? Wow, As a caste-less, conformist, populist liberal, I am already experiencing a filmgasm. After years of rottenly skewed representation of these Achut, Neech, Bangi, Chamar, dalit, Pichde, Pariah, Quota Dhari, Bechare, Chandal, Kasai, Junglee, Garib, Harijan, khanjar log, finally, some positive colors are thrown on them. They should at least be grateful!

Though normally as a global citizen floating in my transcendental-metaphysical space contemplating on Neitzschian, Heideggerian stuff, I do not normally engage in such petty things like Jati-Vati. Butt what a stellar piece of whit by Mishra Ji. I am so happy for Mishra Ji, he will finally get the most prestigious award of Hindu-Wood -- (Drumroll) - The Best Messiah Award. After so many revered twice-born directors and writers like Sinha Ji, Roy Ji, Tamhane Ji, Jha Ji, Rao Ji, Kapur Ji, Sharma Ji, Chaubey Ji, Narayan Ji, Tharoor Ji, Rai Srivastava Ji, Joseph Ji, Gandhi Ji, finally, our own Mishra Ji will be the next Messiah for these dumb millions. After all, he deserves it. How radical is the movie Serious Men? How caustic a satire it is on the stinking caste-system? Only some primitive minds will deny that 'Serious Men' is chutiastically progressive cinema.

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Textures of being - The Mappila verses by Ajmal Khan


Umar Nizar

umar"Where do coconut trees go

When their roots are declared illegal".

-Ajmal Khan, `Mappila Verses’

Poetry as a tool of resistance has been wielded by personas ranging from the Hebraic to the Hellenic, from Moses to Kabir. Poet, sociologist and educator, Ajmal Khan in his debut collection of verse, creates a poetic/proto history for the Mappila community. The poet imaginatively deals with the predicament of a group that has inhabited the south west coast of India for millenia, and yet finds itself anathematized in the wake of the CAA and its discontents. The poet writes: `But no lives matter/Some lives aren’t lives’ (Ajmal Khan, Mappila Verses). Here the `Mappila’ is a universal category (as Žižek would say) that becomes a catchall term for all subjugated, subaltern identities throughout the world-Palestinian, Afro-American, Syrian, Rohingya, Lankan Tamil, Kurdish, Yazidi and so on.

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Why did Dr Ambedkar choose Buddhism?


Kamna Sagar

kamna sagar 2021To answer this question, in this article I will expound on B. R. Ambedkar's (1891-1956) early life including his adolescence and schooling, social and political exercises, reasons behind his battle for equal rights, his involvement in legislative issues, his support for untouchable individuals, his perspective on Communism, and his disappointment with government. Subsequently, I will examine what he looked at as the ultimate answer for helping the untouchable individuals through his exploration of the meaning of religion, his musings on the issue of disparity in religion, and his perspective on contemporary religions in India, including: his perspective on Hinduism; his perspective on Christianity; his perspective on Islam; and his perspective on Sikhism.

Next, I will talk about his path to Buddhism, including his proposition of a genuine religion, his experience with Buddhism, and his perspective on customs. After sifting through the entirety of the political and religious choices, he came to think about two alternatives, Buddhism and Marxism. In the end, following quite a long period of careful thought, he picked Buddhism because of its ideals of equity, its backing of women's rights, it being an indigenous religion of India, its dismissal of both God and soul, and his own enthusiasm for the Buddha's views. Positively, I will talk about which type of Buddhism he followed, his skeptical point of view through the recreation of Buddhist methods of reasoning of Karma, Four Noble Truths, ethical quality, etc. I will also examine others finding faults in his neo-Buddhist methodology. Next, I will discuss the impact of his choice of Buddhism on the marginalised individuals. Ultimately, after an intensive investigation, I will reason that he changed over to Buddhism in view of his disappointment and dissatisfaction with government in figuring out how to improve the life of the Dalit community.

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Will change in names of caste-based localities change their realities?


Mayur Kudupale

mayur kudupale 2021The Maharashtra government has initiated steps to change names of localities, awards and to remove the word ‘Dalit’. For changing the name of localities the government is attempting to remove the stigma attached to the names of the localities; it has also changed the name of award Dr Balasaheb Ambedkar Dalit Mitra Puraskar to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Samaj Bhushan Puraskar, while it has planned to use the word Scheduled Castes and Neo-Buddhists in place of ‘Dalit’ in official communications. Earlier, the National President of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Sharad Pawar has expressed his displeasure over caste-based names of areas in public meetings. His party member Mr Dhananjay Munde, who is social welfare minister of Maharashtra, proposed all three changes in a cabinet meeting. Now, the cabinet has approved the proposal by Mr Munde. The chief minister has supported it by saying “the decision is in favour of social harmony and national unity”.

After a long period, the Government has shown a positive attitude but the society is not looking at it in a reformist manner. In this article, I have tried to engage with the reality of caste-based names of localities vis-a-vis the current decision of the government.

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Bhima Koregaon: The battle between writer and director

 

Rahul Pagare

rahul pagare 1Bhima Koregaon is an epitome of glory, bravery, and courage that our ancestors gifted us by sacrificing their lives. The freedom which we got in 1818 is more significant than any other kind of independence. This freedom gave birth to the revolutionary Mahatma Phule, the super courageous Shahu Maharaj, and the nation builder Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. All of them have taken inspiration from the 500 avengers who fought the battle in bone chilling winter by traveling miles and defeating a massive force of 28,000 peshwa soldiers.

A period movie is something that should resonate with that specific period for the audiences. Therefore, creating a film around Bima Koregaon is a daunting task, and whoever takes up the responsibility to hold the baton should be welcomed whole-heartedly by the community. We would also take pride in promoting this good deed.

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The Karnataka anti-cow slaughter bill is against the poor


Dr. Sylvia Karpagam

Sylvia pix"If India's politicians had any connect with land and farming, they would understand the organic relationship farmers have with livestock, milk, manure and killing of cows. It is not a Hindu-Muslim issue as the government is trying to project. This is a farmer's issue"

A farmer in Karnataka about the anti-cow slaughter Bill

The post Covid-19 lockdown has brought out the worst of vested interests. While corporates are scrambling to acquire land and assets by blatantly pushing the government to tweak or do away with protective legal mechanisms, the government is making decisions that will have adverse and long-term social, nutritional, health and economic consequences. One of them is the anti-cow slaughter bill, which the Karnataka government has passed with great urgency, without even a pretence of due process of democratic consultation, particularly with those who will be the most disaffected by this law. Any reasonable, fairly intelligent voter of the state should challenge this Bill, which is neither evidence-based nor rational, and viewed in the backdrop of the following issues.

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