जनसत्ता के 23 सितम्बर, 2012 के अंक में प्रकाशित कुलदीप कुमार के स्तंभ “निनाद” को हम थोड़े संशोधन के साथ छाप रहे हैं.
दक्षिण अफ्रीका के जोहान्स्बर्ग शहर में विश्व हिन्दी सम्मेलन हो रहा है। पहला सम्मेलन 1975 में नागपुर में हुआ था जिसमें जवाहरलाल नेहरू विश्वविद्यालय की ओर से एक प्रतिनिधिमंडल शामिल हुआ था। मैं उन दिनों विश्वविद्यालय की साहित्य सभा का सचिव था और पंकज सिंह उसके अध्यक्ष थे। कवि मनमोहन भी प्रतिनिधिमंडल में शामिल थे। तब तक इमरजेंसी नहीं लगी थी। अगर मेरी स्मृति धोखा नहीं दे रही तो वह जनवरी का महीना था। देश में जेपी आंदोलन ज़ोरों पर था और प्रधानमंत्री इन्दिरा गांधी ख़ासी अलोकप्रिय हो चुकी थीं। हम इस सम्मेलन को तमाशा समझते थे और उसका विरोध करने ही नागपुर पहुंचे थे। दिल्ली से ही एक बयान साइक्लोस्टाइल कराके ले गए थे। जैसे ही इन्दिरा गांधी ने अपना उदघाटन भाषण देना शुरू किया, हम सबने उठकर विरोध में नारे लगाने शुरू कर दिये और उपस्थित प्रतिनिधियों के बीच विरोध-वक्तव्य की प्रतियाँ बांटने लगे। सुबह-सुबह कुछ प्रतिनिधियों के कमरों में दरवाजे के नीचे से हम अपने बयान की प्रतियाँ खिसका आए थे। जैसा कि होना था, बाद में हमें पुलिस ने धर लिया। Continue reading हिंदी का संकट: कुलदीप कुमार
Got these from a friend. Enjoy.
Lost on 25 March, the Delhi police commissioner’s dog was soon found, giving star news an opportunity to ‘break news’ and do a special show replacing a news bulletin. Below: they continued flashing the news and calling it ‘breaking’ even when other news forced itself on to the screen.
Continue reading Broken news
Modes of Representation in Hindi Fiction
I must confess at the outset that I was a bit afraid when I begin to look for the literary representations of Ambedkar in Hindi creative writing. I thought that I am in for a business fraught with a kind of ‘political correctness’ not known for its introspective qualities. And, I had sound reasons to think so. In the world of Hindi speakers the impact of Ambedkar and his discourse is being felt lately both as a source of literary imagination as well as a potent force in politics. Therefore, a possibility of a linear narrative for and against the formation of dalit political community can easily have diminishing effect on the power of literary expression. While surfing for evidence, to my pleasant surprise, what I encountered was far more complex world of themes, situations, tropes, images and opinions. Another gratification I enjoyed from the fiction of last ten years, published or otherwise, belongs to the nuances of the inner voice echoed by the restless self of literary artist on the both sides of the fence, dalit and the non-dalit. Going by the traditions of cultural materialism I venture to say that in the dalit/non-dalit interface of Hindi literature, the power structure created by the dalit political practices is being subjected to a stern critique. Instead of providing the comfort zone it always looks for assuring its legitimacy, existing dalit political community finds a virtual battleground full of constant skirmishes on the pages of literature. A dialectic is already there to be seen as emerging. Contrary to the experience of Maharashtra, where a rich legacy of dalit literature never found a commensurate political success, it seems that North Indian shenanigans of dalit political power have of late created cultural conditions that leave the whole process open to the counter-narratives. In fact, I consider it as a classical situation producing the counter-narratives of emancipation suggesting different social possibilities within a discursive terrain of Ambedkar.
Continue reading The Visible and The Invisible – Abhay Dube
Ever since Chandrabhan Prasad (CBP) embarked on his distinctive style of politics, he has really managed to annoy many self-proclaimed radicals. Ravikant’s earlier post on CBP’s recent salvo on deserting the vernacular and inhabiting the world of English language is in that sense really welcome, as it sets things in perspective.
A few years ago, when CBP called for a Dalit bourgeoisie, there was a similar sign of dismay, scandal and utter incomprehension among many friends – even those who have now started recognizing that ‘Dalits’ constitute a key component of any future radical democratic (or socialist?) transformation. What many of these friends do not recognize is that it is not enough to say that “the Dalit question is also important”: As Khairlanji or the hundreds of other earlier episodes show, there is no way in which the ‘Dalits’ can ‘also’ become part of some imagined larger unity (say the peasant unity dreamt of by communists, or the so-called ‘secular unity’ propounded by bleeding heart secular liberals). For, to take the standpoint of the Dalit is to take the standpoint of a minority in the village and to incur the anger of the majority. The effort to unite might be desirable from a longer term point of view, though I am not quite sure about that too. CBP thus also annoyed many secularists as his attack on backward caste ‘secular’ parties was seen by many as a way of justifying BSP’s alliance with the BJP.
The real point about CBPs politics that earnest radicals do not get is that irrespective of the substantive aspect/s of his argument, he is opening out a new way of enunciating a politics of the oppressed: anger and emotion are sublimated here into a performative excess, thus initiating a politics of irony and hyperbole. Ressentiment (resentment?) is not the main mode of this politics of ‘betrayal’ (which I would call the politics of fleeing) which began in a true sense with Dr Ambedkar’s flight from Hinduism. There is one critical difference from Ambedkar though. I have often told CBP that he is a deviant Ambedkarite (kujaat Ambedkarvaadi, to twist Lohia’s term): after all, “chicken, mutton, daaru aur daliton ki kuchh samasyayein” is certainly not the mode of Ambedkar’s renunciatory Buddhist politics that still remained imprisoned within the logic of ressentiment.
Karan Thapar of CNBC -TV18 recently presented a half-hour debate on whether Dalits have a better future adopting English rather than one of the so many Indian languages. Some of us followed it keenly because we knew where it was comig from and also the dramatis personae – Chandrabhan Prasad(CP), Yogendra Yadav(YY) and Alok Rai(AR) – all very dear friends, and people who have been deeply engaged with the politics and practice of languages in North India. It was a one-sided debate from the moment it started: clear victory to Chandrabhan Prasad from the word go, first of all, because he had managed to pitchfork his provocative stance into a full scale discussion in the national press and the big media. Think about it: it has taken him just three consecutive annual Macaulay’s birthday parties to friends, to bring it to the attention of a much wider number of intellectuals and a larger public. It was a victory for his own brand of Gandhigiri – that you could very much debate and advance your cause while having fun: ‘chicken, mutton, daaru and daliton ki kuchh samasyayein’ is his style, in his own inimitable words. This is not to say that he does not believe in agitational politics. He does that as well.The debate was also one-sided because CP’s interlocutors did not have convincing answers to his extremist views on language and religion and the coupling of the two, which had to inevitably sneak into the discussion, considering en mass dalit conversions were fresh in media memory. For example, when Karan Thapar probed CP on why he suggested Dalits take flight from Hindi and Hinduism; was it because he hated Hinduism? CP had perhaps an obvious but pithy answer: I did not choose to hate Hinduism, Hinduism never loved me!YY and AR looked aghast and betrayed at the idea of rejecting Indian languages, for Dalits, after all, were communicatively, politically and experientially rooted in these languages, beginning with Marathi, most of the(autobiographical) dalit literature was written in indian languages. They went on, the NRI example of turning away from one’s language is not a healthy one: look how they have all become Hindutva supporters, etc. etc. CP of course rubbished this secular middle class sentimentalism by citing Ambedkar’s example, that he always wrote in English and he did so knowing very well that it is not the Dalits who would read him!
Continue reading The Dalit ‘Betrayal’ of Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan