Dalit Women Speak Out- A Conference

 

Asha Kowtal

The swift changes in the political landscape and the challenges faced by women human rights defenders often pushes us Dalit women into a vortex of greater insecurity, fear and anxiety. The severe pushback by both state and non-state actors has increased the complexity within Dalit women's movement building and caste-gender research domains.

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Interrogating caste/gender privileges and attempting to construct independent spaces is predominantly a lonely and difficult battle for Dalit women. Often times, the complexity of the issues at hand become so overwhelming that, we wished we could seek counsel, unpack the layers of intersections, develop greater clarity and respond with strength. A gathering of Dalit women seems to be the need of the hour!

The #dalitwomenspeakout event in Pune, is a two-day conference aimed at bringing in approximately 250 Dalit women activists, professionals, practitioners, students and leaders together. The conference will make an attempt to weave the diversity of our voices towards constructing new approaches to transformative politics.

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Are Indian authorities planning to hack the next election?

 

S. Kumar

The next state assembly elections for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh (HP) are due in the coming months. The election in HP is scheduled on 9 Nov'17 and result will be declared on 18 Dec'17. The state has about 5 million registered voters.

vvapt

Further, the election in Gujarat will be held across 28,639 polling locations for 182 assembly constituencies. The state has 43.3 million registered voters as in Sep'17. The election will be scheduled on 9th and 14th Dec with results on 18 Dec'2017 to ensure that HP election results do not impact Gujrat election.

The Election Commission (EC) has announced that VVPAT machine (EVM machines with printers) will be used for both the elections for all assembly seats. Gujarat and HP will be the only states after Goa where VVPATs will be used in all the polling stations.

Many people have raised objections on EC's decision to declare HP election dates without announcing Gujarat poll dates. However, this controversy could have been easily avoided as Gujarat polls will be held prior to 18 Dec'17.

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A Dalit Panther is not a single person but a complete movement by himself

 

Praful Kamble

prafulI come from a small village named Bhilwadi, in Sangli district of Maharashtra. I had pursued my Bachelor of Arts from my village. When I was in SSC and HSC I started my own Dance Academy called Blue Star. Gradually, I came into contact with the camera and I learned to handle basic cameras and from that time onwards I have been interested in filmmaking.

My keen interest to learn filmmaking kept growing. Cities like Pune and Mumbai are well-known for such courses, I started gathering information relating to it and found that the fees for such courses were more than one lakh INR which was next to impossible for me.

After that, I found out about an institute named BARTI which also offered such courses, including filmmaking, absolutely free. After cracking the entrance exam, I got an opportunity to pursue my dream from IDEMI, Mumbai.  

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Dalit Human Rights Lawyer Faces Fabricated Charges, Threats

 

Amnesty International India

18 October 2017

Authorities in Haryana must drop fabricated charges against Rajat Kalsan, a Dalit lawyer and human rights defender, and ensure that he receives adequate protection against violence by dominant caste members, Amnesty International India said today.

"Attacks on human rights defenders in India are becoming an everyday phenomenon," said Karthik Navayan, Programme Manager at Amnesty International India. "It is alarming that authorities appear to be misusing the justice system to harass activists, instead of protecting their rights."

Rajat Kalsan has frequently represented Dalits in Haryana who have faced discrimination and violence by members of dominant castes, including in cases of gang-rapes, killings and house-burnings. He has been harassed and intimidated in the past for his work defending the rights of Dalit people. In 2011, he was provided police protection. The protection was withdrawn in 2016 without any apparent reassessment of the risks he faces.

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Maharashtra government loots SC/ST Sub-Plan funds again

 

Dalit Adivasi Adhikar Andolan

Atrocity Helpline +91-20-69101111

Diwali is celebrated by giving gifts to others, but Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra is setting a new trend of diverting an amount of Rs. 1000 Crore from Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Scheduled Tribes Sub-Plan.

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Dalit Adivasi Adhikar Andolan logo

On 16th October 2017, Maharashtra Government published a resolution of Tribal Development Department and Co-operation, Marketing & Textiles Department stating Rs. 500 Crore from Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) is released for farmer’s loan waiver underChatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana – 2017 (Maharashtra Farm Loan Waiver Scheme). GR of Tribal Development Department further says that an amount of Rs 1000 Crore is approved for loan waiver, out of which Rs 500 crore of Textile Department is released and rest of the amount will be spent in this year only. This is nothing but theft of Dalit Adivasi Budget.

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Zambian farmers win against Vedanta in UK

 

Foil Vedanta

Victory for Polluted Zambian Farmers Suing Vedanta in UK

Judges today threw out Vedanta's appeal to the May 2016 High Court judgment allowing Zambian farmers to have their case against the company heard in the UK.

The judgment adds further weight to precedents holding UK companies legally responsible for the actions of their subsidiaries.

foil vedanta

Judges today released their verdict on Vedanta's appeal in the case of the Chingola communities suing UK company Vedanta Resources, and their Zambian subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), for pollution causing illness and loss of livelihood.
The three appeal judges Lord Justice Simon, Lord Justice Jackson and Lady Justice Asplin threw out Vedanta's appeal in the case of Dominic Liswaniso Lungowe vs Vedanta Resources and Konkola Copper Mines, agreeing with the High Court verdict that Vedanta owes a duty of care to the claimants polluted by its Zambian subsidiary, and that the case against it has merit. They also agreed with the high court judge that England is the proper place to try both KCM and Vedanta, especially considering issues with lack of access to justice in Zambia. Vedanta is unlikely to appeal such a strong judgment to the Supreme Court, and the trial can now be heard in the UK.

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Chalo Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar!

 

Ambedkarite Students of Mumbai

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 the 19th century. His exposure of the Brahmanical conspiracy is the reason for these attacks.

chalo ramabai poster

At this hour, when attacks on our budding knowledge systems have been increasing vehemently, we all stand strong in his support and condemn the regressive caste elements of Hindu social order. We, hereby wish to express our solidarity to Ilaiah through a gathering where we all will read, discuss and indulge in dialogue about his writings.

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