Spinning Wheel: From Gandhi to Modi

 

Naveen (Nijam) Gara

naveen pic 2012Prime Minister Narendra Modi's picture replacing that of M K Gandhi at the charkha in an official annual calendar has kicked up a storm. Modi baiters have pounced upon this egregious 'offence' that the eternal propagandist has committed. It was one thing to appear on Reliance jio advertisements but to supersede the 'father of the nation' itself was untenable to many self-proclaimed centrists. But in some ways the evolution of Modi perhaps has its roots in the rise of Gandhi himself. This may appear to be a provocative proposition but nevertheless deserves consideration.

M K Gandhi is given credit for a lot of things but his most important contribution was to ensure status quo in the social sphere as power transferred hands between the British and the Indian elite in 1947. His magnanimous presence and carefully crafted and advertised larger-than-life image of a renunciant played a key role in bringing about an aura of unity among the inherently diverse conglomerate of castes and regions fancifully named India. His docile image of a half-naked elderly male with a walking stick in hand helped immensely in the idiomatic beating into submission of the vast majority of downtrodden people that had no stakes in the transfer of power.

As the post-1947 years and decades unfolded, it became clear that a change of guard at the helm did not change much in the lives of the lower strata, rather the stranglehold of the privileged classes became constitutionalized. A man acclaimed as a reformer vehemently opposed structural changes in the world around him. His ardent espousal of the old social order came alive when Dr Ambedkar exposed the dubiousness of Hindu religion in his 'Annihilation of Caste'. As Ambedkar suggested that 'Hindu society is a myth', Gandhi struck back in a condescendingly paternalistic tone writing '(Ambedkar) proposes to leave ...the very religion that is his and their common heritage.' 

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“I Shan’t Die, I Shall Live And Win”: Story of An Adivasi Girl Student

 

Rakesh Sanal

athira"If I die, I will fail. I shall live and win. I very well know how tough it is. Hearing people speak of this nation as a democracy makes me laugh, for isn't it this nation which witnessed the suicide of Rohith Vemula who had noted,"My birth is my fatal accident"? But I shan't choose that path, for I if I do, I will fail."

These words of Athira, an engineering student hailing from the scheduled tribe of Oorali, illustrate the fate of certain groups of people suffering for the mere crime of being born into a particular caste or tribe. They echo the very issues addressed by Rohith Vemula who was compelled to commit suicide, and which continues to haunt a large number of students in India.

Athira is the eldest of two daughters in a family in Vanchivayalil in Vandiperiyar in the district of Idukki. Her parents who work on daily wages (coolie workers) were determined to give their children good education despite their deplorable living conditions. She was sent to a school in Valady as their neighborhood had none. After learning for two years there, she was sent to study in Amaravati Government School from Grades III to IV and consequently secured admission to Modern Residential School(MRS) from where she passed Grade X. She was later sent to Ambedkar School in Trivandrum for higher studies. Her school encouraged her to appear for the entrance examination in line with her aspirations to study in Engineering College, Trivandrum(CET). It was either a B.Tech from CET or a (non-professional) degree from University College, she decided.

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Dalit Pastor Attacked Brutally by Hindutva Goons

 

P Victor Vijay Kumar

Pastor Swamy is a low income Dalit Christian based out of Hyderabad. His wife works as a part time teacher in a private school and he is a full-time member of Gideon International, which is engaged in printing the Bible and sharing words of Jesus with the public by distributing the New Testament. The members of this association or its employees are not truly equipped, like other denominations, to spread the gospel with a clear programme. However, the general modus operandi of propagation is to distribute the bible like pamphlets to general public.

pastor swamy 1

On January 21, 2017, early in the morning at around 6 am, Pastor Swamy was distributing copies of the New Testament near Tank Bund where people gather for their morning walk. Not sure if he was being followed and stalked in a planned way, but the Viswa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal goons somehow reached him and started abusing him using foul language. The entire incident of threatening him was recorded by them and Mr. Venkatesh Gupta, who is reportedly the Mahankali (the renamed Secunderabad) District President, uploaded the video on his FB page, claiming some heroic achievement of suppressing a non-hindu propagandist voice, which was hailed by his followers on facebook. (The video can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOvyFMi_Fwc; or at https://www.facebook.com/venkatesh.gupta.5621?fref=ts).

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Where is Sushil Mandi?

 

Saradindu Uddipan

Where is Sushil?

Sushil went missing from Jadavpur University (JU) boy's hostel on 2/02/2017. The very next day Sushil's elder brother Haradhan Mandi filed a complaint in Jadavpur police station citing that a group of few elite students (both male and female) from JU had ridiculed Sushil's dignity by carrying a series of posts on Facebook aiming at his brother's character assassination. He also informs that caste prejudice, hatred and contempt is at play behind Sushil's disappearance.

sushil mandi

The civil society of our city takes to the street in solidarity with an upper caste drunkard, advocating his right to life. Their majestic processions occupy our grand avenues!

But Alas!

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The curious case of Indian psychoanalysis


 
Umar Nizar
 

umarMarxism has been critiqued variously for its occasional elitism and casteism. But the Freudian establishment in India, a flourishing one at that, has escaped criticism. Ashis Nandy, has so far been Indian psychoanalysis' fall guy. He has managed to create controversies in virtually every public platform that was given to him. His antics at the annual Jaipur Literary Festival were the stuff of primetime television. Sanjay Subrahmanyam has taken him to task for mistakenly using the term 'convivencia.'

 ''When pressed, he [Nandy] refers to the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, as if these were the sum total of India's past. His own knowledge of colonial history is essentially limited to the British, and to Bengali authors under the colonial rule. What sort of intellectual resources are these, if not those of the 'dominant, colonial culture of India's knowledge industry'?''
- Subrahmanyam, Sanjay. 'The Myth of Indian Civilization.'

 The other star in the celestial firmament of Indian psychoanalysis is Sudhir Kakar, who currently resides in Goa with his wife. He apparently is the father figure of Indian psychoanalysis. His suzerainty has never been questioned. Every psychotherapist worth his/her certificate from Rehabilitation Commission of India, keeps a few of his tomes in the consulting room. Another luminary, Salman Akhtar confines himself to libertarian quips such as 'poetry is one person therapy and therapy is two person poetry.'

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Let’s read SFI as 'Students' Fascism of India': Dalit & Muslim Students of Kerala

 

C Ahamed Fayiz

Activists of Inquilab Students Movement were attacked by SFI hooligans at Government College, Madappally, Calicut today. Adhil Ali. A, a first year student who is pursuing BA political science, was brutally attacked by SFI goons. "We were locked up in the principal's room and prevented from going outside the campus for hours. SFI hooligans threatened to kill us if we came outside", said Adhil. "The female activists were even threatened with rape. How can a students' organization which claims to stand for gender justice utter such words against a female student?" added Adhil who is the unit president of Inquilab of Government College, Madappally.

adhil mediaone

BA student Adhil who was beeaten by SFI

Inquilab activists had conducted a march last wednesday in solidarity with Trivandrum Kerala Law Academy students who have been in protest against the Principal and KLA Management. "The march was attacked by SFI cadres without any reason", said Salwa, one of the female activists of Inquilab, who was also attacked along with others. SFI leaders explained that Inquilab activists raised derogatory slogans against the organization which provoked them. SFI GCM unit has declared an indefinite strike from tomorrow to dismiss Salwa Abdul Khader, distorting the fact that they attacked Inquilab activists including her.

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Why do you beg for land? This is where you were born, this land belongs to you

 

Gomathi Augustine

Background: Gomathi, founding leader of Pombillai Orumai and ward member of Devikulam Block, speaks at Chalo Thiruvananthapuram inauguration at Chengara Agitation on 29th January 2017. Pombillai Orumai is a Union of Dalit Women laborers of Kannan Devan Hills Plantation formed in the later months of 2015 during the historic agitation for the right to bonuses, fair wages and against exploitative working conditions. This collective marked its uniqueness in the history of labour agitations as it challenged the patriarchy and hegemony of the established trade unions (which they felt were not representing their position at the negotiating table). After a long silence of subjugation (and also internal splits within pombillai orumai collective) Gomathi opens up on how the established Political Parties, their Unions, Media and Government had all worked together in suppressing and dividing the Pombillai Orumai. She asserts that all should stand firm and united for Chalo Thiruvanathapuram struggle expressing her full support and participation for the struggle representing plantation sector workers.

gomathy augustine 1

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