Caste violence in Tiruvannamalai District, akin to Dharmapuri 2012!

 

Geeta Charusivam

Puliyarampakkam Village in Cheyyar Taluk of Tiruvannamalai district is a village with a population of around 2500 persons. It is primarily a Dalit village, with majority of the population (about 2000) belonging to a scheduled caste called Paraiyars. The caste hindus are just a quarter in number as compared to the Dalits. As per the rigid norms of our caste dominated society, the village is divided into the Cheri / Colony (where the scheduled castes live) and the Oor (where caste hindus live). The village has not witnessed any intra-village caste conflict between the Dalits and caste hindus so far.

puliyarampakkam 12

Yesterday, viz., 23.07.2017, around mid-morning, some dalit boys were playing cricket along the local lakeside. Some boys from the dominant Vanniyar caste belonging to Chellaperumpulimedu village which is about 12 kms away came there and quarrelled with the dalit boys. Two boys Tamilarasan and Manikandan were specifically targeted and beaten up by them. The motive for this attack seems to be the fact that Tamilarasan and a Vanniyar boy, both love a Vanniyar girl from Chellaperumpulimedu village. However, the girl does not seem to have reciprocated the feelings of either boy. But the attack on the Dalits boys was led by that Vanniyar lover-boy who demanded, "How dare you love our girls, you dogs? We'll kill you for this audacity!" But the quarrel ended and the dalit boys returned home.

Read more...

Personal is Intellectual

Zeeshan Husain

zeeshanAs a young student of social sciences, I heard the phrase "personal is political" from a teacher who dealt with gender issues. I could sense that it meant our personal lives are somewhat a microcosm of the political (and social) reality in which we live. We, as members of the society, practice those macro realities in our everyday interactions. In the context of the phrase that the larger reality was called 'patriarchy'. One can broadly define patriarchy as the supremacy of male over female. The supremacy is manifested in religion, caste, class, education, etc. There is one more thing that the phrase 'personal is political' has taught us. It has in some ways tried to push us to look within our own lives. It prompted us to ask ourselves- how much are we replicating those macro patriarchal structures in our micro lives. This short piece delves into this correlation between microscopic everyday practices and macroscopic social structures.

I see in various academic circles, a number of scholarly articles being written in online media, national dailies, etc. Academic 'rigour' is almost the monopoly of 'great' souls who are casteless and religion–less. We, as students of social sciences, share those articles over WhatsApp and Facebook and discuss them with our friends. In such instances, one sees a broader pattern, one that speaks of the academia of India at large. I see that many, if not most people writing such pieces are from privileged castes, class and even religion. Their words are flowery and quite radical. They seem to be quite revolutionary. But a little more careful observation leads to an almost opposite picture. I find that hidden behind these radical words are their status quoist faces. One gets astonished seeing how these thinkers can speak so eloquently and impress people of all social backgrounds. Yet, in their actions, they remain so conservative, communal and casteist, in one word Brahmanical. Their actions simply betray their words.

Read more...

Foil Vedanta: Convict the Mining Firm for Gross Pollution in Zambia

 

Statement by Foil Vedanta 28th June 2017

British Mining Firm to Deny Culpability for Gross Pollution in Zambia

  •  UK miner Vedanta Resources' will try to prevent major pollution case being tried in UK in its appeal hearing on 4th/5th July in London.
  • The hearing will be met with solidarity protests at the Royal Courts of Justice demanding justice in the eleven year case on behalf of the victims.
  • The May 2016 London judgment which allowed the case to be heard in the UK indicted Vedanta subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines for financial secrecy, historic dishonesty and attempts to pervert the course of justice.

foil vedanta

The latest hearing in the case of the Chingola communities consistently polluted by Vedanta subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) will be heard at the Court of Appeals in London on 4th or 5th July [1]. A rally organised by Foil Vedanta[2] with Pan African solidarity groups will take place outside the court in solidarity with the victims of ongoing pollution who have been fighting legal battles for justice in Zambia, and now the UK, for eleven years.

Read more...

Is GST as important as Human Rights?

 

Mangesh Dahiwale

mangesh dahiwaleGST has been in operation in France since 1950s. USA does not have the GST regime. Canada have the GST, but accommodated with the regional political system. Malaysia launched GST in 2015 and led to protests and it is settling now. The unified tax regime is a good idea and the discussions have been on for a long time. It is going to be yet another disruption in the Indian economy, which Jaitley, the Finance Minister of India claims that its structural reform in Indian economy. The current RSS/BJP Government is trying to create the atmosphere of reforms, particularly, economic reforms in India.

 In an interview, Jaitley claimed that it is difficult to see how this disruption will play out in economy, but that after a while, the GDP will grow by 2 percent. However, the analysis of the Economist team claims that it will lead to lowered GDP of India by 2 percentage. We do not know who to believe and time will be the test of this policy.

India is a vast country unlike other countries, particularly Europe, which has a different history and much smaller a population that India. Indian federalism is a different type and in India, the states are sometimes bigger than some of the countries in the world. Whatever policies we have to implement, they have to be tailor made for Indian context or else they will backfire. India already saw much bigger a disruption which yielded no gains for the economy and the citizens. Indian economy slowed down because of the draconian demonetisation.

Read more...

Ram Nath Kovind is not a Dalit, Dalit is a Spring of Political Consciousness

 

Saidalavi P.C.

saidalaviThe propaganda minister in Nazi Germany, Joseph Goebbels was so sharp in his thinking that we have come to quote his famous aphorism regarding the plausibility of a lie being conceived as a truth if proclaimed often. What is more, we see innumerable imposters of him in our country, wearing clothes stitched from to saffron to red to all possible colours. It has become difficult for us to be recognize the truth on our own. I was struck by this fact the other day when I saw everybody, including some Dalits, acknowledging the 'dalitness' of Ram Nath Kovind, the presidential nominee of NDA. We are truly into a fascist era, big time!

Look at some of the responses from across the political spectrum on Facebook:

 By making Ramnath Govind, a dalit as The President of India - BJP sends a clear message....

 So, all those who are asking whether Kovind, the NDA presidential candidate, has any stand on the all round attacks on Dalits, are presumably 'uncomfortable' that a Dalit is being made President....

 The market value of a stooge Dalit is determined by the collective labor of All Ambedkarite Dalits against Hindutva....

Many such responses could be spotted if you just scrolled down your social media pages. The general trend is that the left, liberals are asking the oft-repeated question, 'what about Ram Nath Kovind? And many 'Dalits' are responding that Kovind is being used to forestall the dalit uprisings gathering steam in every part of the country. It is true! But are we forgetting the question 'who is a Dalit?'

Read more...

Chhattisgarh must investigate allegations of dispossession of Adivasi land through coercion, cheating

 

Amnesty International India

Press Release

The Chhattisgarh police must conduct a prompt, independent and impartial investigation into allegations by over 80 Adivasi villagers in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh that they had been unlawfully dispossessed of their lands by people acting as agents for two private companies.

Amnesty india logo 201311

On 14 June, 81 Adivasi women and men tried to file First Information Reports at the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Welfare Special Police Station in Raigarh, alleging that they had been forced into selling their land – as a result of threats, intimidation, coercion, and misinformation - to agents of TRN Energy and Mahavir Energy Coal Beneficiation Limited (MECBL), operating in collusion with local land registration officials. The police accepted the complaints but refused to register First Information Reports and stated that they would first conduct a ‘preliminary enquiry’ to determine if a cognizable offence had been committed. Under India’s Code of Criminal Procedure, a preliminary inquiry is required to be concluded within 15 days, or six weeks in exceptional situations.

Read more...

Oppose the scrapping of financial aid to SC, ST students in TISS

 

 

ASA TISS

Statement Against the arbitrary note by Registrar (TISS) deciding to discontinue DH and Hostel to eligible GoI-PMS SC/ST students

"Lack of education leads to lack of wisdom, which leads to lack of morals,

which leads to lack of progress, which leads to lack of money,

which leads to the oppression of the lower classes.

See what state of the society one lack of education can cause!"

~ Jyotirao Phule

Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, which is a fully centrally funded public educational deemed university located in Mumbai and has three more campuses in Tuljapur, Hyderabad and Guwahati. According to the institute data presented during Convocation 2017, there are around 5000 students studying in the four campuses under the Masters, MPhil and PhD Programs. The institute came up with a circular dated 25th May 2017 stating that the institute will not support SC, ST and OBC students apart from tuition fees. The reason for this arbitrary decision was given as the 20 crores of deficit that has not been paid (whose accountability is not totally in public domain) by various ministries of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and other ministries of state governments. This is not the first time when TISS has introduced such a move. In 2013, a similar notification was brought by the institute, but was rolled back after protests by students. In 2015, the institute decided to stop financial support given to OBC students. In 2016, it stopped non-NET fellowship for the research scholars. Also, in the same year, they did not reimburse the field expenses of the many students belonging to SC and ST categories.

The current TISS administration's interim circular in the beginning of the semester without prior notification or any mention in the prospectus is not only arbitrary but also a deliberate attempt to exert sudden financial pressure on the GoI beneficiaries of all campuses leading them to a state of financial helplessness. The larger section of the student community is against this decision. This arbitrary decision leads to the questioning of the ill motive of administration and leads to the following questions: Why was this not informed in the prospectus itself? and suddenly payment of DH and Hostel fees is demanded from the students to secure admission. If the second year students were admitted as per GoI norms (which was mentioned in the prospectus) then why the policy change overnight and the student should has to pay the concern fees?

Read more...

Other Related Articles

The Spectre of Justice Karnan haunts the Indian Judiciary
Sunday, 19 November 2017
  Dharmaraj Kumar Indian judiciary system is said to be confronted with a crisis of judicial accountability following the alleged contemptuous act of Prashant Bhushan in the Supreme Court, that... Read More...
Mahatma Phule's Thoughts on Caste-Patriarchy: A Critical Evaluation
Thursday, 16 November 2017
  Sachin Garud It is a well-known fact that at the time of India's national movement, there was another movement known as the movement of social engineering or social revolution, led by Mahatma... Read More...
Becoming Minority- An Unsettling Inquiry into a ‘Settled’ Concept
Wednesday, 15 November 2017
  Bhakti Deodhar (Book review of Becoming minority: How Discourses and Policies Produce minorities in Europe and India, edited by Jyotirmay Tripathi and Sudarshan Padmanabhan, New Delhi, Sage... Read More...
Speech and the Speaker's Identity
Monday, 13 November 2017
  Tejas Harad In 2016, famous Indian author Chetan Bhagat published a novel called One Indian Girl. This book was criticised by some women because the book's narrator, who is also its... Read More...
Surveillance and Punishment in the Village: Reflections on Imayam’s Pethavan
Thursday, 09 November 2017
  Karthick RM "Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power."-Michel Foucault... Read More...

Recent Popular Articles

No Mr. Tharoor, I Don’t Want to Enter Your Kitchen
Saturday, 16 September 2017
Tejaswini Tabhane Shashi Tharoor is an author, politician and former international civil servant who is also a Member of Parliament representing the constituency of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. This... Read More...
Gandhi's Caste and Guha's Upper Caste Identity Politics
Tuesday, 13 June 2017
  Nidhin Shobhana In today's editorial page of Indian Express, Ramachandra Guha has written an essay by the title 'Does Gandhi have a Caste?'[1] In the essay, Guha tries really hard to establish... Read More...
Archiving the Complex Genealogies of Caste and Sexuality: An Interview with Dr. Anjali Arondekar
Saturday, 10 June 2017
  Anjali Arondekar This interview emerged as a series of email exchanges between Rohan Arthur and Dr. Anjali Arondekar who works on the Gomantak Maratha Samaj archives, following Rohan's... Read More...
Bahujans and Brahmins: Why their realities shall always collide, not converge
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
  Kuffir My grandfather,The starvation deathWhich occurred during the drought when men were sold;My father,The migrant lifeWhich left home in search of work to pay off debt;I, in ragged shirt... Read More...
'Perspectives’: Social Experiment or Caste Conservation?
Saturday, 03 June 2017
  Kanika Sori  In February this year, a young Savarna woman from Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, Bangalore, created a photo-project that went viral. It was hosted by fifty... Read More...