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We and our Nationhood Ill-defined: Let's Redefine & Reclaim it

 

Amit Kumar

amit kumar public orgOn the morning of 8th July 2020, the nation woke up to the news of vandalism[1] on Rajgruha, the residence of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in Mumbai. Like most of the news related to him, this story may also have been shoved under the carpet as a city crime, merely. However, there is a need to analyse the attack and its implications for our own good and see the real rot making the whole nation stink. There seems to be no reason why it should be seen in separation from the other changes taking place in context of the nation. There is an alternative view which sees this act of vandalism as an attack, rather a terrorist attack on Indian nationalism. Let us analyse.

What is a nation? In the modern sense, a nation is a collection of people who have a FEELING OF UNITY based on various factors like shared history, socio-cultural heritage, language and value commitments; which develops their shared vision and desire to live together as a community with mutual respect and dignity; generally in shared geography; giving rise to a nation-state or the desire thereof. This can be reduced to the definition that a nation is a conscious identity held by the people based on the feeling of unity. The much celebrated motto of Indian nationhood is "Unity in Diversity": all the more explicit evidence of a nation's most essential ingredient (unity of course).

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Rajgruha Stands Tall

 

Rahul Bhise, Somnath Waghmare & Pranjali Kureel

Rajgruha, a custom made bulding in Mumbai which Babasaheb built to house his impeccable collection of books and where he lived many years is a very special monument for Ambedkarites. Now a museum it attracts large number of vistors from all age groups. This iconic site was vandalized by an unidentified man on the evening of 7th July, 2020 which lead to condemnation from followers of Babasaheb everywhere. This film created by Rahul Bhise, Somnath Waghmare and Pranjali Kureel takes you to Rajgruha and also talks about the recent vandalism incident that happened there.

 

Rajgruha Footage : Somnath Waghmare

Twitter Research : Pranjali Kureel

Edit/Script/Voiceover : Rahul Bhise

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Inequality and mental well-being


Shubhangi Nanwatkar

Shubhangi NanwatkarMental Health has never been a national issue in India, it is an issue for those who have got privileged by their caste, gender and class. They do not suffer from discrimination, exploitation, deprivation etc. They give the name of depression for any suffering caused by the loss of their privileges. Mental Depression is an issue that can affect any individual and there should not be bias in the way it is addressed, but it is not, because of inequality.

The low level of mental health care is continuously ignored in India due to many reasons. The people who discriminate, who exploit are the people who have some kind of authority, in the hierarchy who have high status, who have lots of opportunities and resources. Their actions on marginalized people are intended to enslave their minds. 

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Hindu Fraudulence

 

Vir Pratap Singh Gautam

vir pratap singh gautamHumans haven't learnt anything from the pandemic in the world, or it might be better to say, Indians have not. Everything that we see on this earth is practically impermanent and no one has the boon of eternity, yet we fail to acknowledge that the world belongs equally to others as much as humans. A recent incident made it to the headlines, about "a pregnant elephant was fed a pineapple with crackers stuffed inside." The pineapple burst in the elephant's mouth itself (and couldn't go deeper inside the body) which eventually led to its death. The incident was followed by huge outrage on social media in the name of animal cruelty. I write about this here neither to condemn the incident, nor to express my grief by stating it to be sorrowful and inhumane behavior.

It's not my insensitivity towards animals but sensitivity towards the social corruption that makes me put down these words here. I believe that if women like Safoora Zargar (who is also pregnant) could be denied bail on account of her participation in a protest, with the state showing its apathy, the society questioning her and the court speaking the language of the oppressor, then outraging with your shallow animal love holds no ground. Though my focus here is not to talk about Safoora or the sad incident of animal cruelty, I take the pain to present to you the sleazy nature of Indian society constituted predominantly by Hindus and also the reason for such behavior.

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The incompatibility of RSS-BJP’s agenda with the idea of India: A Zero Hour prognosis


Salman Farissi

salman farissi

In 2019, when BJP won with a bigger majority than ever before, the minorities of the country, especially religious minorities, were not only disappointed but deeply distressed. While they pondered their prospects, followers of the hardcore right-wing, sycophants of Hindutva ideology, were celebrating and contemplating making their idea of Hindu-Rashtra a reality. Before the Balakot air strikes, their electoral prospects had simmered with a rising rage towards BJP for their handling of the economy (CSDS data – the Hindu newspaper), environment and the whole of the internal affairs of the country, but were rescued by this particular event or I might say its theatrics (while the Indian mainstream media lauded the attack as against terrorists and boasted of destroying the Jaish-e-Muhammed camps along with terrorists, the Reuters, the Hindu daily and other international publications showed that the bombing took place at a secluded place in Pakistan).

Indeed the move was an offensive but calling it an all-out offensive doesn't sit with the truth. The attack altogether seemed like a theatrical drama enacted to bring back the lost audience and it did fetch good results (2019 electoral mandate). The timing of the attack was highly suspicious and the opposition camp sensed dampening support although they decided to stick to ground realities rather than the cinematic fantasies that the BJP was trying to market. In the end, the BJP's gamble won and once again proved that a majority of the Indian populace can easily be persuaded by theatrical fantasies if the spice of communalism is added to it.

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Shanti Swaroop Bauddh: An Outstanding Bahujan Warrior

 

Manoj Abhigyan

On June 06, 2020, a sad news popped up on my mobile that Bauddhacharya Shanti Swaroop Bauddh was no more. He was 71. For the past several days, he was fighting with the corona virus disease at Delhi's Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital. The warrior dealing with all the hassles and challenges in life eventually lost to death. Death is the ultimate truth of life. The most prosperous or supremely powerful person in the world also dies. This is man's final destination. No one has been able to overcome this. Even when knowing that death is the ultimate truth, it hurts to lose our loved ones.

shanti swaroop bauddh

Born on October 02, 1949 as Lala Harichand Maurya's son in Delhi, Shanti Swaroop Bauddh's ife was consciously devoted to fulfilling his social obligations. His grandfather first named him Gulab Singh, but later on the advice of Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar, his grandfather changed his name to Shanti Swaroop.

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Statement in support of twelve Bhima Koregaon activists

 

We the undersigned twenty two organizations strongly condemn the shameful imprisonment of public intellectuals and social justice defenders, Dr. Anand Teltumbde and Mr. Gautam Navalakha, who've been in custody since April 14, 2020. Dr. Teltumbde & Mr. Nalvlakha join nine others – journalists, lawyers, writers, academics & organizers- Surendra Gadling, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Mahesh Raut, Sudha Bharadwaj, Dr. Shoma Sen, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson and Varavara Rao- who have been imprisoned in the same fabricated Bhima-Koregaon case.

Press release BK-12

The case is an attempt by the ruling regime to silence some of its strongest critics that revealed the continued exploitation, humiliation, and oppression of a majority of India's population, especially Dalits, Adivasis, workers and women. Indeed, we see the Bhima Koregaon case as a reaction to the anti-casteist united front of Dalits and other caste groups that was emerging through the Elgar-Parishad.

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