Category Archives: Identities

Celebrating Dalit Achievements: C. K. Raju

Guest post by C.K. RAJU

It was B. R. Ambedkar who first publicised the 22 Mahar names inscribed on the pillar commemorating the battle of Bhima-Koregaon.  Ambedkar, a Mahar himself, had experienced great indignities, and everyone appreciates his quest for a symbol of dalit achievement. Much has been written since on Bhima-Koregaon, but one question has not been asked:  is there really such a paucity of symbols of dalit achievement?

Not actually. There is no dearth of dalit and ‘lower caste’ achievers. Sages from such backgrounds range from Valmiki, author of the Ramayana, to Tukaram, Kabir, and Sri Narayana Guru. Dalit warriors and kings range from the Nanda dynasty, mere reports of whose mighty army so frightened Alexander’s troops (according to Plutarch), to the Chalukyas (who were dalits according to Bilhan), the Bhils, the Gonds, and to Udham Singh who avenged Jallianwallah Bagh.

Continue reading Celebrating Dalit Achievements: C. K. Raju

Statement on the People’s Resistance against the Citizenship Amendment Bill : New Socialist Initiative

This is a guest post by New Socialist Initiative

New Socialist Initiative stands in solidarity with the people of Assam, Tripura and the other North Eastern states in their heroic struggle against the communally motivated Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB). It was only because of the resistance of the people that the government couldn’t table the Bill for voting in the Rajya Sabha after surreptitiously passing it in the Lok Sabha. This is in fact a victory for all the progressive and democratic forces of the country,who have been fighting to save and expand the secular character of the nation. While the danger still looms large and there is a strong possibility that the government may try to bring back the bill in the upcoming budget session, the mass resistance of the people has demonstrated very clearly that the evil designs of the fascists in power will not go unanswered and that the people will fight back with all their might. Continue reading Statement on the People’s Resistance against the Citizenship Amendment Bill : New Socialist Initiative

Thejus – The Death of a Daily Newspaper

[This is a GUEST POST by N P CHEKKUTTY]

 

It is rarely that a journalist writes about himself or herself, because they are supposed  to be detached observers of history-in-the-making. But this time I cannot help it because one of the things that happened in the Sabarimala-obsessed state of Kerala this week happens to be the demise of Thejas, a daily newspaper that I was associated with for almost 14 years. It was a death foretold over two and half months ago, but no one took notice and no one raised any serious concerns about the passing of a newspaper that existed in our civil society for over a decade. It is sad that the newspaper which was known for its fierce anti-Sangh Parivar positions leave the scene just a few months ahead of a general election that will decide the future course of this country. Continue reading Thejus – The Death of a Daily Newspaper

Hindutva Terror and Left Hegemony: After Women’s Entry into Sabarimala

Hours after the two women entered Sabarimala, the Hindu terrorists began their handiwork. Mad mobs, including women, began to roam the streets and attack by-passers, in their desperation to foment violence and provoke riots. In Karunagappally, Muslim establishments and shops were singled out for vandalism. The Sangh-backed Sabarimala Action Council called for a hartal today and they have spared no effort to make sure that people are terrorized. Continue reading Hindutva Terror and Left Hegemony: After Women’s Entry into Sabarimala

IIT-Madras, a Modern Day Agraharam ?

The institute’s recent order, now withdrawn, of separate entrance for non-vegetarians is just a part of the overall policing and push for vegetarianism after the Modi government’s ascent.
IIT Madras
Image Courtesy: Catch News

 

Nagesh (name changed), a bright student at the Indian Institute of Technology- Madras, who hails from a very poor economic background, had a shock of his life when he was entering the hostel mess. Someone literally stopped him at the gate and asked him to enter the mess from the other door if he is not a vegetarian.

A notice was duly pasted at the entrance of the mess, informing everyone of this ‘new order’. Even separate basins were demarcated for the students’ cuisine choices. Talking to a reporter with rage in his eyes, Nagesh questioned how the IIT-Madras management could issue such a discriminatory order without even consulting the students.

As of now, the notices have been removed after taking into consideration the uproar this ‘untouchability of a different kind’ caused at the national level. management is now trying to save itself by putting the blame on the caterer. Anybody can guess that a caterer, who is basically a contractor serving food for a fixed period, cannot suddenly disturb the existing arrangements, divide the mess into two separate sections, and have the courage ‘instructing’ his customers to use separate gates.

Commenting on this episode, the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle – a student group within the institute- which brought this issue to national attention, says:

“Caste masquerades as something else in ‘modern’ society. In IIT Madras campus, it manifests itself as separate entrance, utensils, dining area and wash area in the mess for vegetarian and non-vegetarian students…:

( Read the rest of the article here : https://www.newsclick.in/iit-madras-modern-day-agraharam)

Continue reading IIT-Madras, a Modern Day Agraharam ?

पवित्र गाय, त्याज्य लोग !

..बुलंदशहर की घटनाएं इस बात की ताईद करती हैं कि  हिंदुत्व वर्चस्ववाद का यह नज़रिया जिसमें मानवीय जीवन के प्रति गहरी असम्वेदनशीलता और असम्पृक्तता  टपकती है और जो एक चतुष्पाद को पूजनीय बनाती है, आज उरूज पर है।..

( Photo Courtesy : indianculturalforum.in)

कभी कभी एक अदद वक्तव्य किसी नेता की एकमात्र निशानी बन कर रह जाती है। विश्व हिन्दू परिषद के नेता गिरिराज किशोर इसका क्लासिकीय उदाहरण कहे जा सकते हैं जिनका नाम लेने पर अक्सर उनका विवादित वक्तव्य ही लोगों की जुबां पर आ जाता है। याद है कि उन्होंने कहा था कि ‘‘पुराणों में गाय को मनुष्य से अधिक पवित्रा समझा गया है।’’

वह अवसर बेहद शोकाकुल करनेवाला था, जब उनका वह वक्तव्य आया था। दिल्ली से बमुश्किल पचास किलोमीटर दूर दुलीना नामक स्थान पर पांच दलितों की भीड़ द्वारा पीट पीट कर हत्या कर दी गयी थी Continue reading पवित्र गाय, त्याज्य लोग !

Remote Islands, Savage Tribes: Sajan Venniyoor

Guest post by SAJAN VENNIYOOR

If you key in “remote island” on Google, most of the news stories it throws up are about an unfortunate and very dead young man named John Allen Chau. If you type in “remote Indian island”, Google will take you immediately to North Sentinel Island.

We are all, by now, familiar with sad tale of John Allen Chau and his ill-fated voyage to Sentinel Island. A young evangelical from the United States, Chau was – apparently from a very tender age – fired with zeal to convert to Christianity the natives of a very specific island in the Bay of Bengal: viz., North Sentinel Island in the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago.

John Allen Chau

Continue reading Remote Islands, Savage Tribes: Sajan Venniyoor