Thought

Body language of the Varna media

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by Chandrabhan Prasad Politicians, usually, lack a sense of shame or remorse. When they were made to wait outside, while the general negotiated with Hurriyat leaders, Indian politicians didn’t seem to mind and instead, argued that a head of state has “schedule constraints” to keep in mind. But what about the Varna-media?  When our editors …

Thought

DU: Hindustan’s other Nathdwara

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by Chandrabhan Prasad About a decade back, Rajasthan’s Nathdwara town was in the news. The town houses a Hindu temple into which Dalits are not allowed. The maverick Arya Samaj sadhu Swamy Agnivesh had organised a march to accord Dalits their right to enter the temple. Read More Most newspapers wrote lengthy editorials condemning the …

Thought

Political radicals but social Tories

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by Chandrabhan Prasad The entire anti-Congress formation, including the intelligentsia, had hailed NT Rama Rao as the saviour who uprooted the Congress from the largest southern state. To be bracketed in the “progressive” club then, one had to demonstrate his or her anti-Congress credentials. Quite logically then, NTR was made chairperson of the National Front. …

Thought

Does India deserve international curbs?

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by Chandrabhan Prasad A novelist friend has just returned from Oxford. She was there to attend a Dalit-related talk where the UN-sponsored World Conference Against Racism, to be held in Durban this year, came up for discussion. She wondered why European scholars were not easily prepared to equate caste-based discrimination with that of race. Another …

Thought

Politics of power and artificial ideologies

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by Chandrabhan Prasad Has any political scientist ever called the Communist Party of India’s (CPI) 1957 victory in Kerala a political triumph of the Ezhavas, Nadars and Thiyyas – major upper Shudra castes – but one which was headed by a communist-Brahman, EMS Namboodiripad? Read More Can the Left Front or Congress-led fronts win elections …

Thought

The Dalits lose their mirror & Ramdhan

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by Chandrabhan Prasad Despite having been close to becoming the first Dalit Chief Minister of UP, Ramdhanji has died an unsung death. On May 23, 2001, Dalits lost the mirror which most truthfully reflected the social contradictions of the “cow belt”. Read More Ramdhanji supported Indira Gandhi to the hilt during the Congress’ first split …

Dr. Ambedkar

CASTES IN INDIA: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development

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by B. R. Ambedkar Paper presented at an Anthropology Seminar taught by Dr. A. A. Goldenweizer Columbia University 9th May 1916. Text first printed in: Indian Antiquary Vol. XLI (May 1917) [1] Many of us, I dare say, have witnessed local, national or international expositions of material objects that make up the sum total of …