In the recent controversy over the arrest of the travel vloggers Ebin and Libin who rode high on popularity with lakhs of subscribers through their Youtube channel E Bull Jet, it is very hard not to side with the two young men. The flamboyant pair whose hugely popular travel — or ‘van life’ — videos have a massive following especially among male adolescents and youth — are school drop-outs and have a history of rising from severe social disadvantage — literally, of pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps. The two young men, despite their excesses, pull at your heartstrings. Their smile, their slang, their sense of excitement on the road, the innocent gawking — all of it looks disarmingly innocent. It is also true that the crime they committed was not major; nor is justice handed out evenly. That is, such crimes around vehicles and driving are not new and it is not at all clear if the powerful who commit such crimes are tackled in the same way. Therefore the video which showed the brothers being hauled into the police van was painful for many of us (including me) — Ebin wept aloud, “adikkalle saare! Njaan onnum cheithilla … kolapaathakiyeppole enne kondupokunnu….” (don’t beat me please, sir. I didn’t do anything wrong . … I am being taken away like a murderer). That despondent wail somehow refuses to get out of my head; that is why I need to write this.Continue reading resisting the papa state? E Bull jet brothers or hadiya?
The police investigation about the bomb blast at the Kollam Collectorate on 15 June 2016 has now turned against us. Neither the organization nor its activists have any involvement in this incident. The accusation against us is just a ploy to use draconian laws such as the UAPA to destroy dalit-adivasi resistance.
The demeaning and enslaving social norms in Kerala have, since centuries, denied dalit people the most basic human rights such as the right to education, the right to decently clothe one’s body, the right to travel on public roads, and express one’s views. But India became a democracy that aimed for social democratisation, and Dr B R Ambedkar raised the possibility of social equality and reservations for the underprivileged groups through the Indian Constitution. Yet, sixty-five years later, the classes fundamental to this society have made no social, economic, or cultural progress and they continue to endure caste slavery and and exploitation in all areas of public life. The mainstream political parties who surfaced as the protectors of these classes have never offered them complete protection at any time. Though they have been faithful followers and workers of these parties, members of the disadvantaged groups have had little economic security; they have lacked social education; they have had to cry out for tiny parcels of land. Continue reading Stop Trying to Portray Us as Extremists: Dalit Human Rights Movement
I mean evil is not radical, going to the roots …that it has no roots, and that for this very reason it is so terribly difficult to think about it, because thinking, by definition, wants to reach the roots. Evil is a surface phenomenon, and instead of being radical, it is merely extreme. We resist evil by not being swept away by the surface of things, by stopping ourselves and beginning to think, that is by reaching another dimension than the horizon of everyday life. In other words, the more superficial someone is, the more likely will he be to yield to evil …