Dalit woman leader not allowed to lead

Translation by Lavanya Raj Bharathi 


An atrocity such as this continues unstopped, only in Tamilnadu. This atrocity is yet another example for how caste inequalities run strong and deep in the state's soil, like the roots of the Banyan.

On Wednesday, the Kayaththar panchayat (near Kovilpatti) committee meeting took place in the panchayat committee office. The announcements for the meeting were carried out according to the rules and regulations of the local administration. Based on these rules, the Collector, the Planning Officer, the MP, MLA, District Panchayat President, Assistant Director of Rural development, Panchayat Officer, District Development Officer, members of the committee, Press and Television media personnel, were all informed of the meeting.

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The Touch of Ambedkar (part II)

by Thamburaj Dharmaraj 

(Continued from The Touch of Ambedkar (Part I))

The shadow puppeteers’ mother tongue is not Tamil.  Among themselves they speak a remote dialect of Marathi, which is their only communicative medium.  To interact with others they use Tamil language.  They claim their caste identity as ‘Mandikar’.  The names of men of this community have the suffix ‘Rao’ while names of women have ‘Bai’.

They retell a popular migration tale regarding their arrival in Tamilnadu from the present day Maharashtra way back during the reign of King Saraboji of Tanjore.  Their oral records recounts a tale about their migration with the regiments of the king.  Such stories of affiliation with the state and power for their community give them immense pleasure.  Moreover they strongly believed that their community’s existence was solely to sing and spread the story of Rama. 

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The Touch of Ambedkar (part I)

by Thamburaj Dharmaraj 

The assignment is of performing the story of Ambedkar in a folk art form, shadow puppetry.  Shadow puppet theatre is widely held in the southern districts of Tamilnadu.  Though it is prevalent in most of the South Asian countries it is habitually getting ostracized in the villages and performance opportunity is on the decline for the past fifteen years.  As most of the puppeteers have deserted the tradition of performance and turned into migrant laborers wandering in the cities, the history of puppeteers who survive in Tamilnadu is absorbing.

The puppeteers of Tamilnadu

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Campaign for Pasmanda Revolution

[This document elucidates the political programme of the Shoshit Samaj Dal, which is working chiefly to promote the cause of social justice, with specific emphasis on representation for the pasmanda sections, dalits and backward castes, among Muslims- Round Table India]

Translation by Khalid Anis Ansari

 

Shoshit Samaj Dal

Campaign for Pasmanda Revolution

 

Everyone utters what is written in the gospels, I utter what I see with my eyes!!!

~Baba Kabir

If we have to put an end to communalism, the idea of two-nation theory should be buried. RSS and Jana Sangh are the largest banner bearers of Jinnah's two-nation theory in this country. So I have been emphasising on the matter that all parties, functioning on communal ground, should be legally banned whether these are RSS, Jana Sangh, Jamaat-e-Islami or Muslim League. But I do not think that mere legal ban on communal parties will solve the problem....a country-wide movement is needed along with ban on communal parties.

~Fakhr-e-Qaum Abdul Qaiyum Ansari

Ninety out of hundred are the oppressed, Ninety is our share,

The rule of ten over ninety will have to go, will have to go!!!

~Amar Shaheed Jagdeo Prasad Kushwaha

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'Palimpsest of Ethnic Fundamentalism'

by Madhuri Xalxo

[In his letter declining the Gandhi Foundation award, Dr Binayak Sen refers to the protest against the award nomination, and Madhuri Xalxo responds to it- Round Table India]

"The original citation of the Gandhi International Peace Award when it came, was a surprise, as I on my own had never claimed to be a representative of the tribal people of India. However, I had always proudly claimed the heritage of a vernacular and indigenous life-world that was egalitarian and sustainable, and since the awarding body was free to make its own ascription, I humbly accepted the responsibility being put on me. I was fully aware that there could be many views about my fitness to undertake such a task, but it never occurred to me that my ethnic identity, in that I was not ethnically a member of the tribal people of India, would stand in my way.

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Durga ka Mithak aur Bahujan Sangharsh ki Gatha: a documentary

'The myth of Durga and the saga of Bahujan resistance'

Bahujan Films

This short documentary (posted at the end of this note) named 'Durga ka Mithak aur Bahujan Sangharsh ki Yatra' has its genesis in the OBC students of the country's premier university, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, asserting their right to redefine the brahminical religious texts that portrays the brahminical hegemony of 'upper' castes in the Indian society.

These students believe that the so called Hindu gods and goddess and the festivals surrounding their myths are nothing but the history of 'upper' castes domination over the indigenous population of the country – SC, ST and OBCs and therefore the time has come to re-interpret these texts with Bahujan perspective.

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Breaking caste: Love stories in Black Letters

by Rupesh Kumar

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Inter-caste marriage and its ramifications in a caste society are at once personal and political for me. As a Dalit man married to a Nair woman, that too in a Hindu style wedding, I am faced with a number of complex issues, including questions about my political stands, from dalits as well as non-dalits. I was/am prepared to tackle each one of them. And as a film maker, exploring the topic of inter-caste marriages was a fascinating and compelling choice for me. 

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State Atrocities VS Oppressed Representation

 

Dinesh Maurya 

dinesh mauryaEarlier Forbesganj (Arariya, Bihar) and recently Nalanda (in Bihar) and Paramakudi (Tamil Nadu) are some examples of atrocities on the oppressed people directly involving the state machinery in the name of law and order. But before going into details, it is first necessary to know what does atrocity mean?

The term atrocity, is used some times as a synonym for tension, conflict, antagonism, violence etc., Atrocity is conceptually closer to conflict and more so to violence. Violence or social violence is connected with physical or social harm wherein the person looks to achieve his or her goals by injuring or completely eliminating others or their interests. Finally, atrocity is the net result of violence of the strong over the weak. In India, “Atrocity” has not been defined in any law and therefore the Government has been using the expression “crimes against the SC and ST”.

Since 1974, on the basis of the data collected by Ministry of Home Affairs, the ‘atrocities’ on SCs and STs might be classified into four categories, viz, murder, grievous hurt, arson and rape.

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Indigenous technology of climate prediction among a Tamil Dalit community

by Thamburaj Dharmaraj


Valluvar community is referred extensively in ancient Tamil literature as ‘masters of astronomical calculations as well as predictions based on that’.  The author of the renowned classical Tamil text ‘Thirukkural’, Thiruvalluvar, is believed to be the offspring of this community.  Though it has valid literary and historical evidences of being a literate and scholarly community, it is culturally branded as ‘untouchable’ within the Tamil social system. 

According to 1891 Madras Census Report and Manual of the North Arcot District Valluvars are referred as ‘the priests of the Parayars and Pallars’.  The Divakaram and Chudamani Nikandu pointed out that ‘they were priests of the Pallava kings before the introduction of the Brahmans, and even for some time after it’. 

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A Journey to Kundeshwar

Ravindra Kumar Goliya 

One must be wondering at the title: what is this place, why the journey? What is special about this place?raviggg_copy

Kundeshwar is a small village in Tikamgarh district in a backward area of Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh. It is special because of a boy named Bal Mukund Bharti who was the first student, perhaps in the whole district, to study at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the most prestigious medical college in the country. What is more remarkable is that he achieved this despite his humble background and without any coaching in some big city.

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My name Is memory

Thenmozhi Soundararajan

"A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself." -- Malcolm X

Story.

Story.

Story is the shortest distance between two people. This piece of wisdom has stayed with me for many years. It has shaped my work and was the fulcrum on which I balanced my ideas, both as a filmmaker and as a Media Justice organizer. I saw first hand that this critical distance could define a community's future or trap it in a cycle of poverty and loss. Because truly the future of a community was tied to how well it commanded its past. It is a fundamental truth that drives all cultural workers, even to the point that Malcolm X said, " Culture is a weapon."

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The Badanavalu Caste Clashes of 1993 in Karnataka

by Prakash Holayar, Chamarajanagar 

[Pronouncement of Court verdicts in cases pertaining to Dalit's murders, massacres and atrocities often takes several years. In this article Prakash recounts the Badanavalu Caste Clashes and the final verdict; we invite writers to share their experience and memory of such caste clashes and participate in the documentation of delays and negation in the process of justice for Dalit victims - Round Table India.

In March 1993, three Dalits were brutally murdered by a mob of Lingayats after the dispute over entry of Dalits into a temple in the Badanavalu village of Nanjangud Taluk, Mysore District. After a long wait of 17 years, justice was delivered to the Dalits of Badanavalu village in November 2010.

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