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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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Myth of Brahmin Merit: Refutation of Superiority

 

Pranav Jeevan P

pranav We have been hearing arguments that try to justify the superiority and monopoly of Brahmins and savarnas in the fields of education and governance based on genetics. Their argument is that generations of endogamy and access to education has created a group of people who are better at learning (Brahmins). They are simultaneously arguing for the Brahminical superiority in education along with justifying the backwardness of Bahujans. This is one of the biggest arguments against affirmative action programs in jobs and education since they are genetically gifted with "merit". They think they are using the principle of natural selection to prove their point, but this analysis refutes their claim and shows it is pseudo-science. Genetic determinism has always been used to nullify cultural and sociological effects to exaggerate the influence of the genotype, and build support for exclusionary policies that create and reinforce socio-political hegemony (Mukunth, 2020).

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Is Government against Tribal development?

 

Bodhi Ramteke

bodhi ramtekeIn the caste based social system of the country, tribals are also a big exploited class. In 70 years of independence, their constitutional needs do not seems to have been met. I am of the opinion that the tribals have a different lifestyle and culture and it should be cherished and preserved. But depriving them of the development ensured by the Constitution in the name of preserving culture is utterly reprehensible.

Statements like: tribals who live in the forests and mountains are very happy in their own life despite lack of facilities, are made. But the question is, has the government taken any efforts to make them aware about their right to such facilities? Until and unless they know that electricity, roads, education, internet, health services are their right, then the only option before them is to live a happy life without any expectations.

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Why inflation is not diminishing BJP’s electoral performance?


Arvind Kumar

arvind kumarThe soaring prices of petrol, diesel and LPG have been regularly creating public outrage among a section of Indian society, but this issue seems to be unaffecting electoral performance of the BJP. The results of previously held assembly elections and the stunning performance of the party in local body elections of Gujarat and Rajasthan adds further evidence. This whole issue raises a pertinent question: why are electorates rewarding the BJP with electoral victory despite the inability of the party to control inflation in general and the price of petrol, diesel and LPG in particular? This question is interesting because it goes against cardinal principles of economic theory of voting.

Principles of Economic Theory Voting

The central premise of economic theory of voting is that individual is a rational agent who self-correct oneself when exposed to the proper information. While voting, the rational individual is argued to take care off her/his economic interest in the best possible way. In the language of classical utilitarian philosophy, it can be said, voters take care off their economic interest in the best possibly way by maximising profit and minimising loss. Using these premises, multiple models such as retrospective, valency, directional, etc., have been developed to explain voting behaviour of people.

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Say No to Dowry


Bushra Afreen

bushra afreenWe celebrate Women's Day every year with different themes. This year, the theme is #chooseTochallenge so I #chooseTochallenge. If marriage is a vehicle, where male and female are two equals, why is dowry given by the bride's family? While both males and females make equal efforts to nurse their families; in married life, the first sacrifice comes from the bride's side, she changes everything: from her identity viz. name, place, and priorities to everything to make the marriage a success. Logically, this is enough from the bride's side.

Now it’s the groom's responsibility to fulfill his side of the commitment. Instead, you force or traumatize the bride and her parents for money and goods. It is getting ugly day by day, ransoming expensive gifts and vehicles from the girl's family. Due to this, many innocent lives are being ended. In the recent sensational case of Ayesha, a young lady committed suicide diving in the Sabarmati River due to dowry demands. Her last helpless words have awoken us. Many such cases were unseen. In 2019, dowry death cases in India amounted to more than 7.1 thousand (Published by Statista Research Department).

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Okupa Cuba Casa Refugio: The Shaheen Bagh of Mexico


Pranav Jeevan P

pranav This article is about an occupation protest that happened in Mexico last year which didn’t get the attention it deserves in media. 2020 witnessed a lot of occupation protests from Shaheen Bagh to Farmers occupation of Delhi borders. Just like those in Shaheen Bagh, this occupation protest in Mexico was by led by women. It started with the spontaneous takeover of the Office of Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) in response to rising femicides in Mexico.

11 women are killed in the Mexico every day. Femicide rates have increased in Mexico each year for over a decade, their characteristics consistent and gruesome with many cases where perpetrators have mutilated and abused their victims’ bodies, then disposed of them on roadsides or in fields. Over 66 percent of Mexican women report having experienced some type of sexual violence. Victims find themselves caught in endless bureaucracy where they are denied justice for years and 98% of all reported crimes go unresolved.

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