Dalit writing doesn’t belong to trash bin– An open letter to Dr. J. Devika

 

Santhosh Kumar

SanthoshDalit writer and thinker Sunny Kapicadu's book 'Janathayum Janadhipathyavum' belongs to the garbage bin - says Dr. J. Devika, a famous public intellectual working at the Centre for Development Studies, Kerala. Sunny Kapicadu proposed a perspective different from that of Dr. J Devika regarding the recent controversial confinement of Hadiya. Enraged by a dissenting voice from Kapicadu, Dr. J Devika asked the person who sold her Kapicadu's book to take the copy away ASAP, and that she would throw the book into the trash bin otherwise.

Everyone including Dr. J Devika has the right to choose what they read and to follow intellectual traditions of their choice. I agree that the freedom to choose is fundamental to a democratic society. However, I don't understand what is so democratic in proposing to throw a book into the trash when a thinker/writer expresses an opinion different from yours on any specific issue. Janathayum Janadhipathyavum (People and their Democracy) evolved out of forty years of Kapicadu's political life as a Dalit thinker-writer-activist. The book is hailed as a milestone in the history of the Dalit movement in Kerala. In fact, the book had nothing to do with the issue regarding which he had differed. Therefore, throwing such an important and much-awaited book into the garbage for reasons other than the merit of the book is quite undemocratic and totalitarian. It reveals the hidden and suppressed intellectual arrogance and sociocultural supremacy of an upper-caste intellectual who claims to support and stand for the Dalit cause.

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Statement condemning attacks on Prof Kancha Ilaiah by Brahmanical forces

 

Ambedkarite Students of Mumbai

"The Social Smuggling process started from the post-Gupta period of fifth century AD and continues to operate even today. Till British colonialism came to India the completely caste controlled business was only in the hands of the Banias. Even the British did not touched the caste centered business from the villages upwards, including the ritual economy around Hindu temples." ~ Prof Kancha Ilaiah

kancha ilaiah

We Ambedkarite students from Mumbai strongly condemn the attacks and threat on the life of Prof. Kancha Ilaiah, a highly respected intellectual and scholar of non-Aryan, pre-vedic knowledge. It is because of his scholarship as one of the greatest scholars on the pre-Vedic, non-Hindu ideology that resisted the Aryan assault that he is being targeted by the Hindu supremacists. His claim of being a part of the Dalit-Bahujan community is established in his work "Why I am not a Hindu" which resisted Hindu caste tradition, the communities which the Brahmanical forces are trying to forcefully assimilate into Hindu fold since 19th century. His exposure of the Brahmanical conspiracy is the reason for these attacks.

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For a fistful of self-respect: Organised secular and religious ideologies and emancipatory struggles

Round Table India

We are happy to announce the first of a series of conversations between participants and stakeholders in emancipatory struggles of Annihilation of Caste and Racial Inequality. 

Dates: 9/29/17 and 9/30/17. Location: Jackson, Mississippi.

kuffir photo 1

As members of marginalized communities involved in historic struggles of Racial equality and Annihilation of Caste, this is an opportunity to converse as equals on topics of our histories and struggles, visions and goals for an equal world. 

A) To place on the table key issues for us to emerge as effective political communities, particularly issues that have always been mediated or silenced. 

B) To take a realistic look at what is translatable and what is not across struggles of oppressed communities, and what aspects may remain inspirational and hope-filled though unreproducible in our journeys.

This conversation is broadly themed around faith and religion (organized and indigenous forms); women in electoral, digital and grassroots organizing, and ideas of nation in emancipatory movements.

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An urgent appeal for support to terminated Dalit judge Prabhakar Gwal

 

Dear friends

This comes as an urgent appeal to you seeking support and solidarity for Mr. Prabhakar Gwal. Gwal has been a well known people's judge from Chhattisgarh. Gwal a Chief Judicial Magistrate who was known for his integrity was dismissed in April 2016. He was last posted as Chief Judicial Magistrate in Sukma where from he was dismissed from his services by state government.

Who is Prabhakar Gwal?

Prabhakar Gwal has been born in a Dalit (Ganda) community in a small village namely Nanakpali, near Saraipali of Mahasamund district. A community and region which has a history of bonded labour He has come up through all the pains his parents faced and bore the burden of the social system of caste in every day life from his childhood. After completing his early studies, he joined for law and become a lawyer. He practiced for 10 years after which he joined the judicial service in 2006. Life as an untouchable has given him the orientation on socio-cultural and political patterns of Indian society, which reflected in his tenure as a judge.

Gwal had reputation of an upright judge who had become an eyesore for the powerful politicians and bureaucrats, as he took cognisance of corruption related complaints and took strong action. He has questioned the manner in which the police have been indiscriminately arresting tribals in the conflict zones of Chhattisgarh.

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An Open Letter to AUD: "The many ways a student can be violated by an institution"

 

Aroh Akunth 

15202561 1276117309113187 3344554481599643730 nI am no more a student of Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). My right to education has been obstructed. This letter lists out the reasons which have kept me from pursuing my education at AUD. It's been two months since I first informed the authorities about the issues I have been facing with regards to my education. Neither have efforts been made to resolve my case nor have I received any kind of redressal.

A Bachelor's second year student needs to pass at least 14 courses to be promoted to the third year; I passed 12, failed 1 and challenged the results of 3 courses. This makes it impossible for me to be promoted unless I pass in at least two of the 'challenged' courses. In the absence of a redressal mechanism, I approached the then dean Prof. Rachna Johri, who allowed me to attend third-year courses till my matter is resolved.

1) One of my course coordinators had refused to accept my assessments on the day of the submission because they were handwritten, which resulted in me failing the course. In the process of rejecting the submission in various formats, she also went as far as to remark and question my Dalit Queer identity multiple times on email, despite having full knowledge that I was seeking therapy to deal with homophobic and casteist elements on campus. The teacher deliberately failed me despite knowing that not grading my report, on the basis of which she took a viva and graded it, can result in me failing my year. To look into this case the present Dean of School of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Tanuja Kothiyal instituted a 4 person internal committee comprising of two teachers at least from the department of the teacher involved (School of Human Studies) with no student representation on the committee, let alone a Dalit.

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“Zero Harm”: Minutes of Vedanta Resources' 2017 AGM

 

Foil Vedanta

This year was Vedanta's 14th AGM, since registering on the London Stock Exchange in December 2003, and the 14th year that dissident shareholders have attended the meeting to hold the company to account for their environmental and human rights abuses. The minutes published by activist shareholders every year, documenting the company's response to these, and other questions, represent important disclosures on Vedanta's operations, finances and legal issues. Please spread them far and wide!

vedanta1

In the beginning

1. After lengthy introductory remarks, the Chair, Anil Agarwal, opened the meeting. He called 2017 a year of great potential for Vedanta, noting they were now the sixth largest diversified resources company.  He claimed that since 2003 the group has returned over £2 billion to shareholders, and heralded Vedanta’s  positioning, because India and Africa give a unique opportunity for growth. While other companies look to China, he said, Vedanta has India, which is the fastest growing country in the world. Vedanta claims to be one of the biggest tax payers in India. By way of demonstrating his political connections in India, Mr. Agarwal noted he was able to join the Indian State visit to South Africa.

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What's caste? What's reservation?

 

Vinay Shende

Every few days, there are news and reports that come out telling us that SC/ST/OBC students committed suicide or dropped-out from College/ University due to Caste discrimination. Many of the students may not have a complete knowledge or awareness of issues like Caste/Reservation. Many students hear of taunts of Reservation right from Day one, when they enter college. Jokes float around. Heated debates go on. The SC/ST/OBC students find it difficult to react to these. Either, they go silent and completely hide their identity, or they get aggressive while responding to it. Both these reactions have many emotions and this leads to energy being spent on this rather than on academics.

Keeping this in mind, Bahujan Career Professionals (BCP), a small organization aimed at guiding young Bahujans in their careers, tried to discuss with young people of the Institute of Chemical Engineering (ICT), Mumbai, India on the 19th of August,2017. Overall about 13 students all from SC/ST/OBC backgrounds attended it.

Vonay BCP1

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