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White Strings


Dr. R. Praveen

dr praveenWho are you? Where are you from?

Which is your native place? What’s your religion? What’s your caste?


While these questions loom around...

Evoking prejudices that are kindled, depending on the answers..


Biological blobs held in framework of bones...

Unicellular, aeons ago.


Stand aside and look at anyone,

They are no special...


 

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Dynasty in Indian Politics


S Kumar

The current political system in India has more dynastic rule than any time in the past. Even if we compare with the monarchies of earlier centuries, the rulers had less of a dynastic tendencies because of constant fighting among different regional powers and with invaders. In the past whoever was strong and able to win the war, he was able to rule. It can be said that rulers were self-made due to their strength and leadership skills even though they always wanted to propagate their own dynasty.

bjp dynastic politics

In 2019, it was estimated that 30% of Members of Parliament (MP) in India belonged to political families, which means they are close relatives of an already established politician. No political observer will deny the fact that dynastic rule has been there in Indian politics since independence, but the extent of it has certainly increased and become a menace. Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi are usually given as examples of dynastic rule in politics. Many people would argue that J. L. Nehru started the dynasty rule in politics, but he couldn’t achieve that in his lifetime. After Nehru’s death, Shastri became PM for a short period and Indira Gandhi had to win support from majority members of Parliament after the Congress party split. So, we can’t say that Nehru actually forced the dynasty on Indian politics, even if he might have wanted that to happen but was incapable of winning majority MPs' support in favor of Indira Gandhi.

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So you want to ally with the Dalit Rights Movement?

 

Shivani Waldekar

Shivani WaldekarOn 25th May 2020, George Floyd, an unarmed Black man was murdered in police custody in Minneapolis, USA. A video showing a white police officer kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes while he was pinned to the floor went viral. Following this, large anti-racism protests took place with many white people also standing against racism and police brutality. I think that is one of the toughest things: stand against your own community and your own people and demand justice.

In India, from Rohith Vemula, Delta Meghwal, Akhlaq, Pehlu Khan, Dr. Payal Tadvi to Hathras, Balrampur, Azamgarh, Bulandshahr, Dalits are struggling to fight the social boycotts imposed by dominant castes, Dalit women are still seeking justice for mass rape, the death of manual scavengers keeps hitting national newspapers headlines, and the list of caste-based atrocities is increasing everyday but the Savarnas, the so-called upper castes, or the dominant or privileged castes, haven't dared to expose their own existence. They're always silent on Brahmin Supremacy, Brahminical patriarchy and their silence is violence and violation of many civil rights movements. On the other hand, these people are always asking about how to be an ally of the Dalit Rights Movement?

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Serious Men - Not so Serious about Dalit Realities


Neeraj Bunkar

neeraj bunker 2020The recently released ‘Serious Men’ is an Indian Hindi language comedy drama film directed by Sudhir Mishra. The film is based on a book of the same name by Manu Joseph. This movie revolves around the issue of child genius scams. Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Ayyan Mani) plays a migrant Tamil Dalit man who lives in a Dalit chawl and wants to make his child a genius by spreading the news that his son is a genius by birth, and for this, he emphasizes on his son to memorize nonsensical things without understanding their meaning. He works in a reputed research institute as a personal assistant to a scientist (Brahmin).

It is based on a fictitious novel but the director has the liberty to contextualize it and he failed to do so. The film touches on a very sensitive issue of Indian society, and that is caste. Even though the protagonist works in a big institute, he can’t afford his own flat and still lives in a very congested room with an attached bathroom and kitchen that is situated in a Dalit slum. It is yet another attempt to depict the Dalit reality in a very stereotypical manner. His son cannot be a genius because he is Dalit and for making his child a genius he has to do certain things that show him to be dishonest, corrupt, immoral, etc. On the other hand Dr. Acharya, a brahmin, is shown to be very good and smart in his work as a scientist (although he also engaged in fraud).

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Michael Creighton's New Delhi Love Songs: An imminent classic?

 

Chanchal Kumar

chanchal kumarWhat makes great literature? Or, to be more precise, great poetry? Mark Yakich, the American poet believes, "Reading a good poem doesnt give you something to talk about. It silences you. Reading a great poem pushes further. It prepares you for the silence that perplexes us all: death." I share this idea. When I am in the midst of a good poem, or going through a collection of poems that stands out, I find myself taking breaks from my (re)readings to pause and stare ahead blankly, trying to understand and process a distant feeling. I think this is the moment I subconsciously try to come to terms with my own mortality. In a sense, it makes me aware of my own chaotic existence and the times that we live in. Reading Michael Creighton's book of poems, New Delhi Love Songs makes me grapple with questions every person once in a while asks themselves, when they go through an experience that is of profound value. A feeling that can only be vaguely pointed at, not satisfactorily articulated.

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Old is Gold

 

Shell Shield

shell shield(This poem has been penned based on urban life settings browsed over from newspapers, heard on corporate floors and in hostels)

His story
He loved her, and she used him
She demanded - this, that and what not
He gave her all, and debt piled
In the end, she left
He had no thread to tie her to him
Losing her, he turned glum
Her story
She loved him, but he did not know her
Gargi's sister she was
Her love like rubies fell on a monkey
He knew no rubies, he knew gold
Letters are mere alphabets
All his village folks know his worth in lands and gold
She looked into the horizon, where the rainbow spread
She walked ahead for letters more

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Human Liberation Day: Live talks organised by Ambedkar International Center

 

We are all aware of India's recent socio-political developments (NRC/CAA, COVID 19, Hathras, etc.) and their unfavorable impact on minorities and oppressed communities. However, it is difficult to grasp how these seemingly disparate incidents are all connected and explain, in a way, their origins.

aicmedia

It is interesting to note that Dr. Ambedkar had predicted such an outcome for India. To learn more about this while also understanding what advice Dr. Ambedkar has for us about these times, consider joining this upcoming event.

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