The question of casteism still remains

 

K. Satyanarayana

The controversy around Ashis Nandy's casual remarks at the Jaipur Literature Festival did not address a number of important questions of public concern. The frenzied 'Save Nandy' campaign that followed has actually foreclosed any productive discussion. His supporters have been trying to explain and contextualise Professor Nandy's flippant remarks through references to his scholarship and eminent status.

Sankaran Krishna seeks to locate Mr. Nandy's words in the wake of his earlier scholarship and criticisms (The Hindu, January 31). Such an approach is irrelevant to what Mr. Nandy said at the JLF. Harsh Sethi (The Hindu, January 28), Yogendra Yadav (Indian Express, January 28), Lawrence Liang (Economic Times, January 30) and several others have argued that Mr. Nandy's statements should not be read as casteist. What is pertinent is that both Mr. Nandy and his defenders invoke 'SC, ST and OBCs' in a manner that reinforces a stereotypical image of these communities as "intolerant" and "undemocratic." Shiv Visvanathan writes, "Dalits and OBCs are treated as sacred cows" (Firspost, Jan. 28).

One-sided

The other standard mode of response has been to combine the banning of Kamal Haasan's film Vishwaroopam, the Rushdie affair and other state censorship issues with Mr. Nandy's "freedom of speech" to conclude that Indian society is becoming intolerant and undemocratic. Manu Joseph writes in the New York Times ( Jan. 30) that India is "a paradise for those who take offence." That Mr. Nandy named the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, a large population of the marginalised protected by special laws, as the most corrupt, is totally ignored.

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Caste Violence against Women

via Rupali Bansode

National Workshop on Caste Violence Against Women: Voices of Victimhood and Voices of Resistance: Jan 25th – 26th 

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The cold glint of saffron madness is upon us

 

Dr. Sylvia Karpagam

(Please read an earlier article in Round Table India by Gee Ameena Suleiman for background information on the brutal eviction of poor residents from EWS quarters in Ejipura, Bengaluru, by the government)

The day before yesterday, women and activists screamed as the bulldozers advanced. The intent was single-minded – to raze to the ground the homes of the economically weaker sections of society at one of the large slums in Bangalore. They stalled it for a few hours. I was there.

Between then and now, the homes don't exist. The activists and women are in prison and all that lies there at the EWS quarters is rubble.

But that doesn't bother me so much. What bothers me, that I must share, is that I looked into the eyes of the policemen there. What I saw fills me with dread. I saw the cold murderous saffron madness. I came face to face – not with a policeman doing a difficult duty, but an enemy – armed with his eyes and head and rifle – to kill.

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Appeal for support for EWS group facing eviction in Ejipura, Bangalore

 

Gee Ameena Suleiman 

Urban Deprived Communities in Bangalore: Rally to EWS quarters to claim their share in the city and challenge the Corporate Land Grab!

Please stand by our brothers and sisters in Ejipura's EWS quarters in their critical hour of need. In a single day, today, hundreds of their homes have been razed to the ground in a most brutal manner imaginable. Join us in a protest by Bangalore's Civil Society tomorrow morning 11am at EWS Quarters - bring family, friends, neighbors. Pass this message on. Spread the word also to the media, if you are able.

Dear All,

The struggle of the EWS residents in Ejipura, Bangalore to defend their right to land and housing is historical as it is representing not just one struggle against one slum eviction but a unique process of asserting the sovereignty of urban deprived communities in south India for their right to city and for a life with dignity.  In the context of resisting an impending attack of eviction upon the struggling people of EWS quarters, we are planning a massive march between all slums of Bangalore culminating in a rally upon the EWS quarters grounds, in resistance of corporate loot from urban deprived communities. We ask for your financial support in planning this event.

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Ambedkar Memorial Lecture - 2013

Ambedkar Memorial Lecture - 2013

On

'Exhumation of Society and Culture in Ancient India'

Speaker: Prof. Nandu Ram

(Former Dean, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University)

13th January, Sunday, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Convention Centre, Naoroji Campus, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

 

Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar had a deep sense of historicity of social phenomena which he had analyzed most critically at various points in time owing to his keen interests in the issue, although he was not a historian by training or profession. As historical sociology views a social phenomenon by locating it in a specific historical setting, Ambedkar, had analyzed the contemporary social issues, with his own logical interpretations by delving into the ample evidences, drawn from the history (written with the help of literary sources) even of the cross-cultural societies. This was essential, in his reckoning, for the proper and better understanding of a social phenomenon.

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Students burn Manusmriti on Manusmriti Dahan Diwas in University of Hyderabad


[Via Anji Vikarabad]

On December 25th, 2012, students in University of Hyderabad, led by the Ambedkar Students' Association (ASA), burnt a copy of the Manusmriti in the campus, which they called the 'most notorious', 'barbaric' religious text ever produced.

mdd 2

25th December is an auspicious day in the history of Dalitbahujan struggles because it was on this day that in the year 1927, under the leadership of Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, thousands of Dalits and other like-minded people and a large number of women supporters had gathered at Mahad to burn down the Manusmriti.

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Condemn this Ram’s Rajya: Dalit-Bahujan Scholars, University of Hyderabad

 

Dalit-Bahujan Scholars

The Vice Chancellor, University of Hyderabad, Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy has signed and forwarded the "expert" recommendations - that tacitly fiddles with the existing norms governing the recruitment and promotion policies of faculty in the Department of Communication, S.N. School - to the UGC. These suggestions, when passed by the UGC and if implemented, would allow any person - with the "right" links and in "good" terms with the powers that be – enable entry into the academia even without a post-graduate degree. This violates the fundamental agenda of higher education itself! Why MA, MPhil and PhD, then?

This dubious act illicitly flouts UGC norms and regulations; but apparently legitimates an unequivocal promotion of casteist nepotism. It criminally inflicts a Brahminical scourge against social justice with regard to affirmative policy and law of the land. This, we believe, is a conspiracy by an "upper" caste lobby that refutes autonomous entry and progress of the subordinated communities (SC/ST/OBC/Minority groups) in the publicly-funded institutional spaces.

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