What the National Law Schools don't teach

 

Swagat Baruah

swagat baruah 1Law as a profession has been often ridiculed for its lack of integrity, greed, and immorality. Justice as a profession has been criticized for the joyous self-exiles of its people behind their ivory towers. Some would be even offended by me calling it a ‘profession’. It is a ‘service’ they would claim. I don’t entirely subscribe to the disparaging tone against lawyers, not because I am to become one myself, but because I could claim to vouch for their constant moral and ethical dismembering attitude. Lawyers and judges are taught to understand everything down to its bare bones, to be Socratic, to contest, interrogate, examine, historicize and contextualize everything. But what about emotions and integrity and honour and empathy, I ask? Why must they be buried beneath all the facts? Courts are “courts of law and not courts of justice” as remarked the great  Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. But what about our lives? Must our lives be led in no fashion of justice and fairness?

Facts matter, even so, more in this era, the era of ‘post-truth’ where the Nietzschean subjectivity of truth has been betrayed and misappropriated. Previously ‘lying’ was a widely accepted survival tactic in law, politics, and diplomacy. Today, it is accepted everywhere, from college debates to parliament debates, from lying in a Model United Nations to lying in the United Nations. The facts simply don’t matter. Everyone is entitled to their interpretation and opinion and the freedom of speech that prescribes it, and everyone is right. “There are no facts, only interpretations.”

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BJP's gameplan to hinduize Ambedkar

 

Shaik Subhani

shaik subhaniDr. B.R Ambedkar was an eminent scholar, economist, politician, philosopher, leader, activist, architect of India's constitution, and a social reformer who fought for women's rights and also inspired the modern Buddhist movement. He was born on April 14, 1891, in India. He did not belong to the Hindu religion[2] as he was born in a group outside the four-fold Hindu Varna system called the Panchama Varna, which was associated with 'untouchability'[3]. Ambedkar in 1935 at the Yeola conference declared that he was 'born a Hindu but would not die a Hindu.'[4]

In accordance with his statement, he finally converted to Buddhism on October 14, 1956, at Nagpur. Within two months of his conversion, he passed away on December 6, 1956. Ambedkar sacrificed his whole life to reform the Hindu religion, such that it reflected the three principles of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.[5] But when he felt it was impossible to reform the Hindu religion[6], he decided to convert to a non-Hindu religion which echoed these principles. Finally, he chose Buddhism which was established by Siddhartha Gouthama and he undertook a mass conversion along with 6 lakh people.[7]

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Support Mahabodhi Residential School in Mizoram

 

Sudip Chakma

Dear Friends,

I am very glad and excited to be connected with you through this media, from a remote Village, Tuichawng in Lunglei District Mizoram, India.

Our school, Mahabodhi Residential School, has been working for strengthening the orphaned children in the society. We have been working with these children for the past 13 years. We provide food, clothes, and quality education to these ­­children.

mahabodhiSchool 1

Our hope is to bring confidence and a sense of security to abandoned children. Our programs and clothing/necessities bring comfort. Their potential to be productive in the society and succeed is nurtured here.

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Embracing my Dalit-hood while rejoicing in accomplishments

 

Chandramohan S

chandramohan sDuring the award ceremony of M. Harish Govind Prize, many asked me why I need a "Dalit Poet" labeling. They were shocked that there were just a handful of Dalit poets who write in English and have registered their visibility. The English literary gathering seems to be so ignorant of the girth in the literatures available in the vernacular. Many Dalit poets writing in their respective vernaculars have – and are in a league of their own. Poets like Namdeo Dhasal are considered worthy of the Nobel Prize by reputed critics like Sachin Ketkar, S. Joseph who is widely celebrated as the best poet writing in Malayalam since the legendary Balachandran Chullikadu era.

Why I am an Indian English Dalit poet?

Because my poems and myself intend to provoke a discussion about caste – the contemporaneity of caste, not as a relic of a bygone era. It is an ongoing battle and this needs to be documented.

Do you think it constrains you?

No. Absolutely not. In fact being a Dalit poet drives one to a unique vantage point of being endowed with razor sharp subversive potential – in this choice of themes for his poems as well as in the spirit for experimentation, to push the envelope on exploring the limits of expression in his or her language.

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Call for Papers: “Doing Ambedkarism Today: Issues of Caste, Gender and Community”

 

Call for papers for workshop onDoing Ambedkarism Today: Issues of Caste, Gender, and Community

Dates – 19th to 22nd February 2018

Deadline for Proposals – 31st December 2017

babsaheb rtc

The Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC), is organizing a workshop on the above mentioned theme sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi, for research orientation programmes intended exclusively for researchers from Scheduled Caste (SC)/Scheduled Tribe (ST) backgrounds, from 19-22 February 2018.

Concept Note on the Workshop

In a poll conducted in 2012, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was voted as the greatest Indian. The inspiration for several Dalit and backward caste parties and movements across India, Ambedkar is seen as a political figure that is simultaneously divisive and unifying. Whether they subscribe to his ideals or not, all major parties are compelled to pay obeisance to this icon. Over the past few decades, excellent academic and theoretical contributions have been made regarding the study of Ambedkar’s thoughts. Yet, as it is with any great thinker, there is still a need to expand Ambedkar beyond conventional readings.

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Arguing for ‘Feminist Ambedkarism’

 

Mahipal Mahamatta

I am very glad to introduce to you an important work from Maharashtra, "स्त्रीवादी आंबेडकरवाद" (Feminist Ambedkarism), written by renowned activist Dr. Dhammasangini RamaGorakh. Though the book has been written in Marathi, it has immense importance in regards to Ambedkarite discourse.

streevadiambedkarism

 You must be familiar with terms such as 'Liberal Feminism', 'Marxist Feminism', 'Socialist Feminism', 'Radical Feminism', 'Black Feminism', 'Dalit Feminism' etc. If we observe these words, one would find that feminism is the universe and the prefix is the subset of it. However, there is an inverse way of looking at it: like the title of this book where feminism becomes a subset and Ambedkarism is the universe. Yes, this is the crux of the book where the author is trying to bring a theoretical intervention into the discourse, proposing no binary, no conflicting relation between Ambedkarism and feminism, rather arguing that gender is the core of Ambedkarism.

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Literature and Visual Storytelling Festival with Malo and Barman Fishing Community

 

Manju Rajak


This is a short write-up on a Community-based Art Project, designed by Manju Rajak, a visual artist. 

Participants' names – Deepa Burman, Lalita Burman, Surabhi Burman, Kajal Sarbwani, Dipika Burman, Nirupa Barman, Nandini Burman, Debojit Burman, Ashis Burman, Hishi Burman, Radhika Burman, Nandini Burman, Akadashi Burman, Maya Burman, Gita Burman, Bidya Burman, Binita Burman, Dlimp Burman, Monika Burman, Minakhi Das, Nayan Burman, Rakesh Burman, Bishnu Burman, Anamika Burman, Puja Burman, Santa Burman, Manoj Burman, Manis Burman, Pallab Burman, Debojit Burman, Dipika Burman, Riha Burman, Shivham Burman, Ritik Wala, Kaushik Burman, Dilip Burman, Dharitri Burman, Bhagirath Burman, Prakash Malo Das, Niranjan Burman, Shibong Burman. 

anandnagar1

Ananda Nagar is a small remote village situated on the North Banks of Brahmaputra River in North Guwahati. The inhabitants of this village are the Malo and Burman Community who are traditionally fishermen by occupation. Nearly 300 families reside in this village. This community has migrated from East Bengali speaking regions of larger Kamrupa Bengal expanse and has a very unique social and cultural history and customs. Presently, it is very difficult to acquire any comprehensive form of their own history and heritage since the community has been long detached from their own region-specific, linguistically alike fishing communities and isolated within a completely new region and culture altogether. Earlier, Ananda Nagar was known as Bongal Basti within the surrounding neighborhoods. After repeated appeals from the villagers, the village has been renamed as Ananda Nagar honoring the name of an eminent Assamese personality, Anandaram Barooah.

anandnagar2

This project seeks to record an inclusive set of documents on cultural, intellectual, history, heritage and enigmatic layers of life of the villagers of Ananda Nagar. Most importantly this process and methods of recording will be initiated by the collective efforts of the community themselves. In the modern, neo-liberal economic context their social-cultural schemes too are changing quite rapidly. This project aims to archive the historicity of the moment of contemporary cultural flux. This economically and socially backward community carries the pearl of cultural heritage, which mostly derives from their occupation as fishermen and the community’s intimate relationship with the river.

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