Tag Archives: Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle

Statement on Atrocities on Dalits : New Socialist Initiative

Guest Post by New Socialist Initiative

New Socialist Initiative Condemns Hindutva Engineered and Inspired Atrocities on Dalits

Hardly a day passes without headline news of some or another atrocity on Dalits. On 24 May, a Dalit man in the Ahmedabad district was beaten and his house attacked by a gang of socalled ‘upper’ caste men after he had attached Sinh to his name on his facebook post.  On 21 May a dalit ragpicker was beaten to death in a Rajkot factory. Atrocities on Dalits are occurring in the midst of a public ideological environment against them. On 26 May news came of a private school in Delhi asking 8th class students to write a note on how reservations help undeserving and unqualified people for their summer vacation homework.  According to National Crime Record Bureau reports for recent years, between 10 to 15 thousand cases of crimes are reported under the Prevention of Atrocities act every year; an average of 35 crimes per day. Many times more crimes actually go unreported. In 2016 Indian courts had over 45 thousand cases under this act. Out of the 4048 cases decided, conviction occurred in 659 cases only. That is, five out of six cases of atrocity against Dalits did not result in any punishment. The number of attacks against one of the weakest and the poorest sections of the society, and the abysmal rate of conviction would put any civilized society to shame, but India chugs along. Continue reading Statement on Atrocities on Dalits : New Socialist Initiative

Statement by SC/ST Faculty Forum and Concerned Teachers of the University of Hyderabad on the Attack on Velivada

In the early hours 28th May 2016, at around 2 P.M., the authorities at the University of Hyderabad removed the tents erected in North Shopcom around the Velivada and the venue of protest following the death of Rohith Vemula. This happened in the darkness of night, shrouded in secrecy and utterly insensitive towards the turmoil it was bound generate within the student community. Such an act reaffirms the dictatorial stance of the present administration as well as its intolerance to dissent.

The removal of the tent is a clear act of provocation against students since it is well known that they are emotionally attached to the Velivada and consider it as a place of mourning and memorial for Rohith. Especially for the Dalit students, it remains the site of challenge against caste discrimination. Further, bringing down the posters of Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar’s quotes that surrounded the tent is a grave insult to the Father of the Constitution of this country and an atrocity in itself. It is indeed ironic that the university administration that overtly pronounces its intent to celebrate Dr. Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary for a year has no qualms about removing his posters, or barring his grandson, Prakash Ambedkar, from entering the university. Such actions unmask the true character of the administration; revealing its deeply discriminatory, apathetic and disrespectful attitude towards Dalits and their leaders. Continue reading Statement by SC/ST Faculty Forum and Concerned Teachers of the University of Hyderabad on the Attack on Velivada

Modi Govt. Stifles Dissent and Democratic Values – The real aim of the politics of ‘Desh-droh’ and ‘Gaddaar’ : NSI

Guest Post by New Socialist Initiative (NSI)

There is poison in the air. Loud abuses of ‘deshdrohi’, ‘gaddar’, ‘maaro maaro’ are rending the air. Angry men shouting these words have beaten up teachers and students of one of the best known universities in the country in the Patiala House Court of Delhi, barely three kilometers away from the seat of the national government. An elected MLA of the ruling party was part of the team of attackers. Women teachers of the university have publicly said that they were physically harassed by the mob, while the police looked the other way. This happened on 15th February. We can turn a day back.
The Home Minister of the country announced to the world that a protest by a handful of students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University was the handiwork of India’s ‘enemy number one’, Hafez Saeed of Lashkar-E-Taiba. The basis of his claim proved to be a fake tweet within hours. Three days before that, the elected president of JNU students union Mr Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested by Delhi police on charges of sedition, under the same clause of IPC which was used by the colonial rulers against Indian freedom fighters.

Continue reading Modi Govt. Stifles Dissent and Democratic Values – The real aim of the politics of ‘Desh-droh’ and ‘Gaddaar’ : NSI

Missing the Forest for Trees – Caste System’s Shadow on Rohith’s Suicide : Sanjay Kumar

Guest Post by Sanjay Kumar

(Photo Courtesy : Prokerala.com)

Mainstream politics over Rohith Vemula’s suicide is becoming hot and ugly. Although whisper campaigns against Rothith’s dalit identity were on since his suicide, the BJP’s central leadership had been relatively quiet after HRD minister’s rather shrieky ‘appeal’ to not play caste politics over his suicide. However, now it seems daggers are out. The party in power, whose two ministers are accused of creating conditions leading to Rohith’s suicide, has decided that Rohith’s non-dalit status is the dog it is going to beat to counter its anti-dalit image. Rohith’s mother is a Mala, a Scheduled Caste, who lives seperately from his father, a backward caste Vaddera. He got an SC certificate on the basis of showing that he grew up in his mother’s Mala household. BJP’s strategy may look petty, but it is based on the age-old great Hindu tradition which can not contenance any violation of the privileges of the patrilineal system. After all, marital rape does enjoy legal sanction in India to this day. Continue reading Missing the Forest for Trees – Caste System’s Shadow on Rohith’s Suicide : Sanjay Kumar

Sanskrit and Language Politics Then and Now: Muruganandham

Guest post by MURUGANANDHAM*

When all the arrangements were made by the corporate media and Hinduist forces for ensuring that Modi became the next Prime Minister, the democratic forces and progressive political organizations were still trying hard to make people understand his real agenda of imposing corporate capitalism and Brahminical Hinduism, in a rapidly fascist manner, in the guise of “development”. Middle class voters were lured by the media and believed him to be the harbinger of “development”. After taking over the rule at the center, Modi’s government has taken up the burden of disproving the undue trust placed on it by the unfortunate Indian middle class – through an array of anti-people activities like cutting of the gas subsidy, privatization of the public sector and substantial hike in train-fare, not to mention the red-carpet rolled out to FDI investments in defense and railway sectors. The Modi government has also been quite manipulative, and has tried to distract people’s attention from these vicious schemes, by working out cultural and social programs with attractive sounding slogans.  The imposition of Sanskrit week, Hindi usage for official purposes, Guru Utsav and more recently the Svach Bharat Abhiyan are only some of those programs which rely purely upon empty rhetoric, hardly having any logic or working mechanism. Invoking people’s imagination towards the “national” symbols is a constant resort of the rulers for political mobilization. More often than not in the Indian context, Sanskrit has been used for this political end in order to sustain the eternal hegemony of Brahminical forces. The present politics behind imposing Sanskrit as the symbol of national heritage and culture by the BJP government certainly demands a much broader understanding of the historical role played by Sanskrit and other languages in shaping the societal structure and cultures. The language which was once denied to the people is now promoted to be the language of all Indians. Let’s attempt to unearth this irony of imposing Sanskrit as the language of “ALL” so as to reveal the ridiculousness of these announcements and the urgent need to oppose them. Continue reading Sanskrit and Language Politics Then and Now: Muruganandham