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Assertion

Art of the Oppressed: Politics of Existence

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  B. Prabakaran Why does Sarpatta hold an important place in Tamil film history? It not only has convincing arguments for Dalits and women but also raises questions against dominant images and ideas. A Tamil film, Unnal Mudiyum Thambi (‘you can do it brother’), released 33 years ago was directed by a prominent dialogue writer-cum-director …

Features

Defining Ambedkar: Icon or Ideal?

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  B. Prabakaran Every year Ambedkar is celebrated and remembered across the globe, at least twice a year, on his birth and death anniversary by the political parties, social movements, NGOs and committed individuals at different venues. Of late, the dates are being observed in various international forums too. For the very first time, in …

Features

Indian Academia and Institutional Injustice

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  B. Prabakaran JNU has been celebrated for critical thinking, political activism and regarded as one of the premier institutions for higher education and excellence in research. Students also strongly believe that campuses like JNU would be a ‘cultural mechanism’ for interactions within the student community coming from diverse social groups, and a resourceful platform …

Features

Kabali: From caste to consciousness

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B. Prabakaran Last month, before Kabali was released, some Dalits in Tamil Nadu posted a merged picture on Facebook, which had Dr. Ambedkar, in his usual pride and impressive posture, on the one side and actor Rajnikanth on the other side. I responded to them, “Do not compare Rajinikanth with Ambedkar”. They replied “Rajini seems …

Features

Happy or Hapless: Dalit students with Dalit professors

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  B. Prabakaran Rohith Vemula’s ‘social death’ has had a disastrous impact on students, scholars, professors and the Dalits in general across Tamil Nadu. It has opened doors for having debates to understand the plight of Dalit students who study Masters and Ph.D, at the higher educational institutions of India. My friend and research scholar, …

Features

Ambedkar’s Children and Conversion In the time of Ghar Wapsi

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  B. Prabakaran “A religion which does not recognize man as man is not religion but a disease” ~ Dr. Ambedkar. Gujarat government has retracted four lakh books on Ambedkar titled, Rashtriya Mahapursh Bharat Ratna Ambedkar, the standard title used by Hindu groups for Ambedkar, which was expected to be given out to school students across the …