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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कास्टिस्ट मुंबईस्पिरीट

 

Somnath Waghmare

somnath waghmareमुंबई... नो नो, बॉम्बे! स्वप्ननगरी!!

माझं गिरणी कामगार कुटुंब ठीक २५ वर्षांपूर्वी मुंबई शहरातून खेड्यात स्थलांतरीत झालं होतं. गिरण्या बंद पडल्यामुळे. पण मी आज याच शहरामध्ये भारतात नावाजलेल्या टाटा समाजविज्ञान संस्थेत एमफिल–पिएचडी करत आहे. मुंबईबद्दल एक समज खुप प्रचलित आहे — 'मुंबईचं स्पिरीट'. ह्याचा अर्थ असा की शहरावर कोणतीही आपत्ती आली तरी सगळे लोक मदतीला धावून येतात आणि दुसऱ्या दिवशी सगळं सुरळीत चालू होतं. पण ह्या मुंबई स्पिरीटपासून दलित समाज अजूनही अस्पृश्यच आहे हे यावर्षी मुंबईकरांनी दाखवून दिलं.

ज्या माणसाने हजारो वर्षे जातीवर्णव्यवस्थेत बंदिस्त असलेल्या समाजाला त्या गुलामीतून मुक्त करून सांविधानिक मानवी हक्क मिळवून दिले, त्या बाबासाहेबांची ६ डिसेंबर पुण्यतिथी असते. भारतातल्या मुलतत्ववादी सवर्णांसाठी विजय दिवस कारण त्यांनी बाबरी मशीद याच दिवशी पाडली, तर मुस्लिमांसाठी ब्लॅक डे. मी कायम विचार करतो की बाबरी मशीद पाडण्यासाठी हाच दिवस का बरं निवडला असेल? मागच्या वर्षी जयललिता यांचं निधनसुद्धा याच दिवशी घोषित करण्यात आलं होतं. या पाठीमागे खुप मोठं धार्मिक-जातीय वर्चस्वाचं राजकारण आहे. मनुस्मृतीला मानणारा खूप मोठा आजारी सवर्ण समाज आज हि भारतात आहे ज्याची लोकसंख्या २५ % आहे पण इथल्या सगळ्या पॉवर स्टक्चर वर त्याच वर्चस्व आहे . आणि त्याबद्धल कसलीही लाज या समाजातला अजूनतरी नाही , हाच समाज आरक्षण विरोधी आहे आणि आंबेडकर द्वेष्टी पण , हा काही अल्पसंख्य लोक आहेत या समाजात जे हे सर्व नाकारतात .

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