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Irony at its worst: Dalit boy thrashed for attending rally about ending caste discrimination

He was beaten by his own friends who belonged to the Rajput community

Sabrangindia 13 Nov 2019

Attack on dalits

Two Rajput men were arrested in Neemuch, Bhopal for allegedly thrashing a Dalit youth, Rahul Meghwal (23), for taking part in a rally calling for an end to caste discrimination on November 3, The Hindu reported.

District Superintendent of Police Rakesh Kumar Sagar said, “While one of the accused was arrested earlier, another is absconding. We have declared a reward of ₹5,000 for anyone informing the police about his whereabouts.”

Though the Dalit Swabhiman Rally took place on November 3, Rahul reported the matter to the cops only on November 7.

The details of the heinous injury and FIR are here.

Saying that his friends had turned into his foes, he said, “I was scared initially. They had threatened to kill me if I filed a complaint. I have never had to face even a slap. But that night, the four men, who were my friends, thrashed me on my back with lathis.”

Rahul, who belongs to the Ratadiya village in Neemuch, runs a news portal called Malwa 24 News and his rally and his coverage of the rally was well appreciated by members of his community.

One of the accused, Yogesh Singh called Rahul to a dhaba for a meeting, who on reaching helped stopped an ongoing scuffle between Yogesh and another youth Kapil Meghwal.

According to the FIR, Yogesh fled away with Rahul’s motorcycle and later called him to the Dussehra ground, where along with three others, he snatched Rahul’s two mobile phones and forcibly took him to an empty spot near the village.

Rahul said he was shouting for help all the way and another accused Arjun Singh, who also stands arrested, took out “something resembling a gun” and put it to his head, threatening to kill him in case he went to the police.

He said that while thrashing him, his friends hurled casteist slurs at him - “Weren’t you jumping a lot in the rally? You don’t have the status to be our equal. Don’t you know about our clout in this area?”

Rahul alleges that his father was also threatened against filing a police complaint. But as things came to a head on November 6 when they were threatened again, Mr. Rahul, district incharge of the Bhim Army, approached its State leadership.

“He was initially reluctant about complaining against upper caste men as they had threatened him. But we told him not to worry about consequences,” said Sunil Astay, State in-charge, Bhim Army. “His own friends turned enemies when it came to caste.”

Sunil Astay confirmed the incident on Twitter:

 

 

While Rahul refrained from filing an FIR for the fear of his life, the Bhim army alleges that the delay of the police in filing the Fir helped the accused abscond.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has for the first time published data for cases in which only the SC/ST Act was invoked without any sections of IPC. Unlike the 2016 data, there are separate figures for 2017 for intentional insult or humiliation of a Dalit, occupation of Dalit land, preventing the use of public space, and social boycott.

Of the 5,775 offences registered solely under the SC/ST Act in 2017 with Dalits as victims, 3,172 (55%) were related to “Intentionally Insult or Intimidate with Intent to Humiliate”. There were 47 cases of land grabbing related to Dalits; they faced social boycott in 63 cases; and they were prevented from using public spaces in 12 cases.

The highest rates of crimes against Dalits (number of incidents per 1,00,000 population) were in Madhya Pradesh (52), Bihar (41), and Rajasthan (35).

Though the high number of crimes reported show that more people are now coming forth to report them, it is definitely not a good indicator of the gruesome, murderous society we now live in.


Related:

Uttar Pradesh records highest crimes against Dalits: NCRB
A Look into the Kerala Double POCSO-Suicide Case
Two Dalit Kids Beaten to Death for Defecating in Open: MP
Not just open Defecation, Dalit Girl Child was molested too, says Father: MP Murder

 

Irony at its worst: Dalit boy thrashed for attending rally about ending caste discrimination

He was beaten by his own friends who belonged to the Rajput community

Attack on dalits

Two Rajput men were arrested in Neemuch, Bhopal for allegedly thrashing a Dalit youth, Rahul Meghwal (23), for taking part in a rally calling for an end to caste discrimination on November 3, The Hindu reported.

District Superintendent of Police Rakesh Kumar Sagar said, “While one of the accused was arrested earlier, another is absconding. We have declared a reward of ₹5,000 for anyone informing the police about his whereabouts.”

Though the Dalit Swabhiman Rally took place on November 3, Rahul reported the matter to the cops only on November 7.

The details of the heinous injury and FIR are here.

Saying that his friends had turned into his foes, he said, “I was scared initially. They had threatened to kill me if I filed a complaint. I have never had to face even a slap. But that night, the four men, who were my friends, thrashed me on my back with lathis.”

Rahul, who belongs to the Ratadiya village in Neemuch, runs a news portal called Malwa 24 News and his rally and his coverage of the rally was well appreciated by members of his community.

One of the accused, Yogesh Singh called Rahul to a dhaba for a meeting, who on reaching helped stopped an ongoing scuffle between Yogesh and another youth Kapil Meghwal.

According to the FIR, Yogesh fled away with Rahul’s motorcycle and later called him to the Dussehra ground, where along with three others, he snatched Rahul’s two mobile phones and forcibly took him to an empty spot near the village.

Rahul said he was shouting for help all the way and another accused Arjun Singh, who also stands arrested, took out “something resembling a gun” and put it to his head, threatening to kill him in case he went to the police.

He said that while thrashing him, his friends hurled casteist slurs at him - “Weren’t you jumping a lot in the rally? You don’t have the status to be our equal. Don’t you know about our clout in this area?”

Rahul alleges that his father was also threatened against filing a police complaint. But as things came to a head on November 6 when they were threatened again, Mr. Rahul, district incharge of the Bhim Army, approached its State leadership.

“He was initially reluctant about complaining against upper caste men as they had threatened him. But we told him not to worry about consequences,” said Sunil Astay, State in-charge, Bhim Army. “His own friends turned enemies when it came to caste.”

Sunil Astay confirmed the incident on Twitter:

 

 

While Rahul refrained from filing an FIR for the fear of his life, the Bhim army alleges that the delay of the police in filing the Fir helped the accused abscond.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has for the first time published data for cases in which only the SC/ST Act was invoked without any sections of IPC. Unlike the 2016 data, there are separate figures for 2017 for intentional insult or humiliation of a Dalit, occupation of Dalit land, preventing the use of public space, and social boycott.

Of the 5,775 offences registered solely under the SC/ST Act in 2017 with Dalits as victims, 3,172 (55%) were related to “Intentionally Insult or Intimidate with Intent to Humiliate”. There were 47 cases of land grabbing related to Dalits; they faced social boycott in 63 cases; and they were prevented from using public spaces in 12 cases.

The highest rates of crimes against Dalits (number of incidents per 1,00,000 population) were in Madhya Pradesh (52), Bihar (41), and Rajasthan (35).

Though the high number of crimes reported show that more people are now coming forth to report them, it is definitely not a good indicator of the gruesome, murderous society we now live in.


Related:

Uttar Pradesh records highest crimes against Dalits: NCRB
A Look into the Kerala Double POCSO-Suicide Case
Two Dalit Kids Beaten to Death for Defecating in Open: MP
Not just open Defecation, Dalit Girl Child was molested too, says Father: MP Murder

 

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'Political conspiracy' to isolate Dalits amidst failure of campaign to annihilate caste

Martin Macwan 12 Nov 2019

Dalits

Historically, for Dalits to be on crossroads is a new phenomenon. They have, with their own labour and sweat, gradually progressed through a most difficult journey, unique in the world, from being treated and sanctioned as ‘untouchable’ to being equal citizens. And yet, the fact is, their enemies have been more powerful than the ten-headed imaginary demons.


They fought discriminatory laws during the colonial rule, the society at large which segregated them in all fields of life, and the religion, including its scriptures. Amidst all their weapons, including education, reservation and rejection of the enslaving faith, the most powerful of them has been the legal tools emerging from the Constitutional guarantees, post-Independence. The legal protection has been the latest crossroad in the epic journey.


A year ago, more than a dozen Dalits lost their lives when they descended on the streets to protest the Supreme Court directions on implementation of the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) (Prevention of Atrocity) Act. The Apex Court's concluding observation was that the Act has been misused in the absence of any credible research or data.

Dalits had not expected this from the Apex Court, especially when, following Dr BR Ambedkar, they had adhered to non-violent and constitutional approach to fight the menace of the caste system. A year later though, the Supreme Court did not agree with its own order and removed the earlier directions. 
 
However, Dalits and Adivasis did not celebrate this important milestone as victory. Perhaps the scar on their minds caused by the earlier Apex Court action has been too deep to retain their faith in the judiciary as neutral-judicious organ. 
 
The second crossroad has been the political situation. The Dalits, who adored Dr Ambedkar almost as God, chose however to be part of the mainstream political parties rather than putting their stake in political party such as the Republican Party of India. They preferred not to be isolated and confine themselves into a party perceived as ‘Dalit-specific party’. Their strategy of political integration has been the reason for grave concern now.

The fact remains that even when the NDA won maximum Dalit and Adivasi reserved seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which gave them the edge majority, government data confirms that the incidents of atrocities on Dalits and Adivasis have increased between 2014-2018 (Ref: Bhedbharat, 2019, ed: Martin Macwan). 
 
Karnataka BJP Dalit MP Narayanaswamy

 

Death of manual scavengers in sewer lines, ironically, is not considered an ‘atrocity’. What is equally troubling is complete absence of state action and political will to control caste violence with a firm hand. The situation signifies that Dalits are losing the value of their ‘vote’, which has never been ‘untouchable’ to any political party, and their negotiating ability to better their situation.


For India, the largest democracy thriving to be a major economy in the world, the presence of untouchability has been deeply embarrassing. The present government, following the footsteps of their predecessors, has been far from willing to accept the fact that, amidst tall claims of development, we as a society have failed to abolish untouchability, a root cause of atrocities. 

This situation raises a serious question on the definition of development itself. Post-Independence, India did not see a spirited social movement against untouchability, which was undertaken pre-Independence. 
 
Today, the voluntary organizations which address the issues of untouchability, manual scavenging abolition and violence against Dalits and Adivasis as a ‘Constitutional call’ are intimidated by the government. Little doubt, these factors contribute in weakening the fight against the menace of the caste system and strengthening the caste system.

It was disturbing to see how the tricolour-wrapped body of a martyr of militant attack in Pampore (Jammu and Kashmir) was not allowed to be cremated in the common cremation ground in Uttar Pradesh because, although a martyr, he was an untouchable (June 2016). Caste violence on the families of Dalit security forces in their own villages, though not highlighted, is not new.

It was expected that there would be a national uproar over the incident in Karnataka last month where a BJP SC member of Parliament (MP), A Narayanaswamy, was not allowed to enter a village of his own constituency.
 
The villagers did not want their action seen as insulting, hence they sent a chair for the MP to sit upon outside the village. At the same time, the villagers took pride in the fact that even their own representative was not being allowed to enter their village. 
 
This happened in the presence of the police. Not to be surprised, the government maintained complete silence over the incident. However, it was even more surprising that 88 Dalit MPs maintained studied silence over such a grave incident, in which the entire Constitution of India was insulted, which was worse than mere abrogation of Article 370. 
 
Martin Macwan at a Dalit gathering

The lawmaker in his reaction for being treated as powerless untouchable MP advocated for change of conscience of people as a remedy to the problem of untouchability. The underbelly of the reaction was perhaps a painful admission of the fact that the tools for social justice, the law, the political reservations for Dalits and the vote value of Dalits at 16.5%, have lost its cutting edge. 

Gandhi too had advocated the ‘change of hearts’ as the ultimate remedy to defeat untouchability. Dr Ambedkar had negated the Gandhian appeal and firmly advocated ‘rule of law’ to annihilate caste.

Worrisome has been the fact that this act of humiliating the Dalit MP has been committed by a community belonging to the other backward classes (OBCs). 
OBCs have been poorer in many pockets and less educated than Dalits.
 
Political parties have been completely silent on the rising incidents of violence on Dalits committed by OBCs. One wonders whether this phenomenon of consciously promoting enmity between Dalits and OBCs as against the earlier long-term efforts to unite them as a force against economic marginalization of both has been the political conspiracy. 
 
Gujarat has seen similar phenomenon where Dalits and Muslims were pitted against one another in many pockets during communal riots. Communal and social harmony amongst the marginalized population seems to be the biggest enemy of the rich in the war over unequal distribution of the nation’s wealth between the rich and the poor in India. So, the writing on the wall perhaps is getting clearer for Dalits: They need to ‘re-strategize’ their struggle for equality.
The situation is also due to the fact that Dalits have miserably failed to abolish caste distinctions among themselves. A Navsarjan study, first of its kind, ‘Understanding Untouchability’, confirms the fact that the same forms of caste-based discrimination, present in the relationship between Dalits and non-Dalits, are present within Dalits sub-castes. 
 
Dalits have missed Dr Ambedkar’s call on the annihilation of caste by not being the ambassadors and crusaders of the movement for the annihilation of caste. While petty politicians have bred antagonism in the younger Dalits minds against Gandhi owing to bitter confrontation between Gandhi and Ambedkar during the Poona Pact, the fact remains that Gandhi and Ambedkar, both great minds, had a common conviction: The moral power is far more powerful than the legal or the positional power.

It’s a shame of the nation today that, while we have enormous money to spend for war planes, which will help nobody to win, we have no money and effective programmes to tackle malnutrition among mothers and children, especially among the Adivasis.

We tend to emphasize the illusion that solution to the problems of discrimination and justice lies with our political institutions. It’s time to re-think and understand the value of a stronger civil society, especially when the rich have followed the Ambedkar call to ‘organize’ themselves, but Dalits, Adivasis and other poor have ignored the call.
---
*Well-known Dalit rights activist, founder of  Dalit rights organization, Navsarjan Trust; winner of  Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award, 2000, declared one of the five outstanding human rights defenders for 2000 by Human Rights Watch. An edited version of this article has appeared in India Today
 
Courtesy: counterview.net

'Political conspiracy' to isolate Dalits amidst failure of campaign to annihilate caste

Dalits

Historically, for Dalits to be on crossroads is a new phenomenon. They have, with their own labour and sweat, gradually progressed through a most difficult journey, unique in the world, from being treated and sanctioned as ‘untouchable’ to being equal citizens. And yet, the fact is, their enemies have been more powerful than the ten-headed imaginary demons.


They fought discriminatory laws during the colonial rule, the society at large which segregated them in all fields of life, and the religion, including its scriptures. Amidst all their weapons, including education, reservation and rejection of the enslaving faith, the most powerful of them has been the legal tools emerging from the Constitutional guarantees, post-Independence. The legal protection has been the latest crossroad in the epic journey.


A year ago, more than a dozen Dalits lost their lives when they descended on the streets to protest the Supreme Court directions on implementation of the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) (Prevention of Atrocity) Act. The Apex Court's concluding observation was that the Act has been misused in the absence of any credible research or data.

Dalits had not expected this from the Apex Court, especially when, following Dr BR Ambedkar, they had adhered to non-violent and constitutional approach to fight the menace of the caste system. A year later though, the Supreme Court did not agree with its own order and removed the earlier directions. 
 
However, Dalits and Adivasis did not celebrate this important milestone as victory. Perhaps the scar on their minds caused by the earlier Apex Court action has been too deep to retain their faith in the judiciary as neutral-judicious organ. 
 
The second crossroad has been the political situation. The Dalits, who adored Dr Ambedkar almost as God, chose however to be part of the mainstream political parties rather than putting their stake in political party such as the Republican Party of India. They preferred not to be isolated and confine themselves into a party perceived as ‘Dalit-specific party’. Their strategy of political integration has been the reason for grave concern now.

The fact remains that even when the NDA won maximum Dalit and Adivasi reserved seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which gave them the edge majority, government data confirms that the incidents of atrocities on Dalits and Adivasis have increased between 2014-2018 (Ref: Bhedbharat, 2019, ed: Martin Macwan). 
 
Karnataka BJP Dalit MP Narayanaswamy

 

Death of manual scavengers in sewer lines, ironically, is not considered an ‘atrocity’. What is equally troubling is complete absence of state action and political will to control caste violence with a firm hand. The situation signifies that Dalits are losing the value of their ‘vote’, which has never been ‘untouchable’ to any political party, and their negotiating ability to better their situation.


For India, the largest democracy thriving to be a major economy in the world, the presence of untouchability has been deeply embarrassing. The present government, following the footsteps of their predecessors, has been far from willing to accept the fact that, amidst tall claims of development, we as a society have failed to abolish untouchability, a root cause of atrocities. 

This situation raises a serious question on the definition of development itself. Post-Independence, India did not see a spirited social movement against untouchability, which was undertaken pre-Independence. 
 
Today, the voluntary organizations which address the issues of untouchability, manual scavenging abolition and violence against Dalits and Adivasis as a ‘Constitutional call’ are intimidated by the government. Little doubt, these factors contribute in weakening the fight against the menace of the caste system and strengthening the caste system.

It was disturbing to see how the tricolour-wrapped body of a martyr of militant attack in Pampore (Jammu and Kashmir) was not allowed to be cremated in the common cremation ground in Uttar Pradesh because, although a martyr, he was an untouchable (June 2016). Caste violence on the families of Dalit security forces in their own villages, though not highlighted, is not new.

It was expected that there would be a national uproar over the incident in Karnataka last month where a BJP SC member of Parliament (MP), A Narayanaswamy, was not allowed to enter a village of his own constituency.
 
The villagers did not want their action seen as insulting, hence they sent a chair for the MP to sit upon outside the village. At the same time, the villagers took pride in the fact that even their own representative was not being allowed to enter their village. 
 
This happened in the presence of the police. Not to be surprised, the government maintained complete silence over the incident. However, it was even more surprising that 88 Dalit MPs maintained studied silence over such a grave incident, in which the entire Constitution of India was insulted, which was worse than mere abrogation of Article 370. 
 
Martin Macwan at a Dalit gathering

The lawmaker in his reaction for being treated as powerless untouchable MP advocated for change of conscience of people as a remedy to the problem of untouchability. The underbelly of the reaction was perhaps a painful admission of the fact that the tools for social justice, the law, the political reservations for Dalits and the vote value of Dalits at 16.5%, have lost its cutting edge. 

Gandhi too had advocated the ‘change of hearts’ as the ultimate remedy to defeat untouchability. Dr Ambedkar had negated the Gandhian appeal and firmly advocated ‘rule of law’ to annihilate caste.

Worrisome has been the fact that this act of humiliating the Dalit MP has been committed by a community belonging to the other backward classes (OBCs). 
OBCs have been poorer in many pockets and less educated than Dalits.
 
Political parties have been completely silent on the rising incidents of violence on Dalits committed by OBCs. One wonders whether this phenomenon of consciously promoting enmity between Dalits and OBCs as against the earlier long-term efforts to unite them as a force against economic marginalization of both has been the political conspiracy. 
 
Gujarat has seen similar phenomenon where Dalits and Muslims were pitted against one another in many pockets during communal riots. Communal and social harmony amongst the marginalized population seems to be the biggest enemy of the rich in the war over unequal distribution of the nation’s wealth between the rich and the poor in India. So, the writing on the wall perhaps is getting clearer for Dalits: They need to ‘re-strategize’ their struggle for equality.
The situation is also due to the fact that Dalits have miserably failed to abolish caste distinctions among themselves. A Navsarjan study, first of its kind, ‘Understanding Untouchability’, confirms the fact that the same forms of caste-based discrimination, present in the relationship between Dalits and non-Dalits, are present within Dalits sub-castes. 
 
Dalits have missed Dr Ambedkar’s call on the annihilation of caste by not being the ambassadors and crusaders of the movement for the annihilation of caste. While petty politicians have bred antagonism in the younger Dalits minds against Gandhi owing to bitter confrontation between Gandhi and Ambedkar during the Poona Pact, the fact remains that Gandhi and Ambedkar, both great minds, had a common conviction: The moral power is far more powerful than the legal or the positional power.

It’s a shame of the nation today that, while we have enormous money to spend for war planes, which will help nobody to win, we have no money and effective programmes to tackle malnutrition among mothers and children, especially among the Adivasis.

We tend to emphasize the illusion that solution to the problems of discrimination and justice lies with our political institutions. It’s time to re-think and understand the value of a stronger civil society, especially when the rich have followed the Ambedkar call to ‘organize’ themselves, but Dalits, Adivasis and other poor have ignored the call.
---
*Well-known Dalit rights activist, founder of  Dalit rights organization, Navsarjan Trust; winner of  Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award, 2000, declared one of the five outstanding human rights defenders for 2000 by Human Rights Watch. An edited version of this article has appeared in India Today
 
Courtesy: counterview.net

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Babu and Bhasha: The Game may end with this

Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd 11 Nov 2019
English Medium
Image Courtesy: educationworld.in

The Y.S.Jaganmohan Reddy Government recently issued orders for the implementation of English medium in Government schools from the academic year 2020-21. It said that from the next academic year, from classes I to VI, all Government schools will teach in the English medium with one subject compulsory in Telugu. The orders have been issued almost seven months in advance before the academic year starts. This is not a hurried step, but it is not known to the people of the state. This was one of the key Navaratnas (nine diamonds) of his election manifesto. Had he not implemented it, everyone would find fault with Y.S.Jagan’s Government. The people have voted him to power to make English as the main language of instruction in Government schools. 

Why is Chandrababu Naidu, the Opposition leader, opposing the educational reform and why is he deploying his pro-private English medium educational squads on to the roads in the name of Matrubhasha Pariraskshana (Protection of mother tongue)? What is the mother tongue of his grandson, whose mother and father studied in private English medium schools that do not even teach one subject in Telugu compulsorily? Devanshu’s mother and father studied in America adopting an American accent as well. Why did Chandrababu not send them to the world class Telugu teaching centre in Telugu Desham?

Is one's mother’s language a fixed entity or is it likely to change as the mother of child learns new languages and speaks to children in different languages? Is language an instrument of sentiment or it is an instrument of development of a person, family, region and nation? If English is anti-national or anti-Indian or anti-Telugu, why did the founding fathers retain that language and why did it survive only among the elite who rule the nation and the states? Why are the young generation rulers of India people who are educated in the English medium? Should not the village poor and lower castes join that English educated brand new Indian club of rulers?   

If one goes by the editorial of Eanadu on November, 9, 2019 there is a move to instigate an anti-English medium agitations in A.P. If the rural lower caste children of the poor study in English medium in their villages the Telugu language dies, why it did not die in all the houses and colonies of the rich whose children studied and are studying only in English medium private schools? How could they become the rulers of the states and the nation by studying only in English medium? From Jagan Mohan Reddy to Akhilesh Yadav to Rahul Gandhi to Nirmala Sitaraman to Nara  Lokesh to K.T. Rama Rao to Sachin Pilot to Jyotiraditya Scindia to Aaditya Thackeray, all are English medium educated leaders. Should not the rural poor and lower caste youth aspire to emerge like them? If not in Government schools, where could they study English medium? Y.S.Jagan wants the poor children learn English like him. What is wrong with his policy?

The argument that by introducing English medium in Government schools of Andhra Pradesh by the Y.S.Jagan Government is destroying the first linguistic state, namely Andhra Pradesh, is quite ironical. According to Eanadu that even the beneficiaries of English medium education in Government schools, who live in remote villages and Tribal areas should oppose, this decision. This is a very emotive and sentimentalist and provocative argument. 

Ramojirao’s younger son, Suman, who unfortunately passed away very early in his life, was my student in Nizam college and studied his B.A. He was from an English medium school education background. His Telugu was not so good but he was good speaker in English. I used to appreciate his sincere and serious learning approach. He used to come to discuss international relations subject with me personally as I used to teach that subject to his class. A moot question is: why Ramojirao, who was running such a big Telugu media industry has put his son in English medium school? Why did he not put him in a school that taught him in his mother tongue? What is wrong if the rural poor mothers’ children study in English medium in Government schools in their own villages? How does Telugu disappear from poor’s houses when it did not disappear in Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills and Film cities?

Ramojirao is also running an English medium public school in his wife’s name called Rama Devi public school at Abdullapurmet, Hyderabad for several years. How did or does this school serve the first Telugu linguistic united Andhra Pradesh? Can Ramojirao allow a survey to be conducted into the school education background of the main anchors who run his entertainment channels? It is easily perceivable when they slip into English speaking that most of them come from English medium school education background. Let there be a survey in the film industry that Ramojirao is fully associated with. All the young heroes and heroines are English medium educated yet they make Telugu films.

All this shows that there is a conspiracy against the poor Dalit/OBC/Adivasi children learning equal range of English with all these forces that Ramojirao and Chandrababu’s family networks associated with. The language deception as against the lower caste/poor is not just contemporary.  This skillful deception is historical.

In ancient and medieval times before the Persian language became a ruling language Sanskrit was the ruling language of India. The teaching of Sanskrit was in the hands of private Gurukulas. The Shudras and Dalits had no right to study Sanskrit in those Gurukulas or outside. After the Persian became the ruling language in urban areas the Muslim elite and rich upper castes could learn Persian but not the village poor. From mid-nineteenth century English became the ruling language. English as a teaching language started in Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1817 with the initiative of William Carey a British cobbler, who came as a missionary to India.

The first English educated Shudra was Mahatma Jyotirao Phule apart from Gopala Krishna Gokhale and Balagangadhara Tilak, in Bombay Province. That is where the lower caste liberation started with English education.

After 1947 in spite of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar’s insistence to recognize English as national language and must be taught in Government schools the Nehru Government relegated English teaching to private school education and the regional languages were adopted as teaching languages in the Government schools. This policy denied equal rights in the education system and language played a key role in that denial of ruling class language to the poor and lower castes.

The A.P. Government has initiated a process to bring school education in Government and private sectors to a level playing field. If the opposition leaders and the media network around him oppose this, the rural lower caste and poor masses will see through this game. Naidu and his anti-English education supporters to the poor must be aware that if their game ends with this issue of the poor’s most decisive empowerment project, they will never be in the play ground again.            

Babu and Bhasha: The Game may end with this

English Medium
Image Courtesy: educationworld.in

The Y.S.Jaganmohan Reddy Government recently issued orders for the implementation of English medium in Government schools from the academic year 2020-21. It said that from the next academic year, from classes I to VI, all Government schools will teach in the English medium with one subject compulsory in Telugu. The orders have been issued almost seven months in advance before the academic year starts. This is not a hurried step, but it is not known to the people of the state. This was one of the key Navaratnas (nine diamonds) of his election manifesto. Had he not implemented it, everyone would find fault with Y.S.Jagan’s Government. The people have voted him to power to make English as the main language of instruction in Government schools. 

Why is Chandrababu Naidu, the Opposition leader, opposing the educational reform and why is he deploying his pro-private English medium educational squads on to the roads in the name of Matrubhasha Pariraskshana (Protection of mother tongue)? What is the mother tongue of his grandson, whose mother and father studied in private English medium schools that do not even teach one subject in Telugu compulsorily? Devanshu’s mother and father studied in America adopting an American accent as well. Why did Chandrababu not send them to the world class Telugu teaching centre in Telugu Desham?

Is one's mother’s language a fixed entity or is it likely to change as the mother of child learns new languages and speaks to children in different languages? Is language an instrument of sentiment or it is an instrument of development of a person, family, region and nation? If English is anti-national or anti-Indian or anti-Telugu, why did the founding fathers retain that language and why did it survive only among the elite who rule the nation and the states? Why are the young generation rulers of India people who are educated in the English medium? Should not the village poor and lower castes join that English educated brand new Indian club of rulers?   

If one goes by the editorial of Eanadu on November, 9, 2019 there is a move to instigate an anti-English medium agitations in A.P. If the rural lower caste children of the poor study in English medium in their villages the Telugu language dies, why it did not die in all the houses and colonies of the rich whose children studied and are studying only in English medium private schools? How could they become the rulers of the states and the nation by studying only in English medium? From Jagan Mohan Reddy to Akhilesh Yadav to Rahul Gandhi to Nirmala Sitaraman to Nara  Lokesh to K.T. Rama Rao to Sachin Pilot to Jyotiraditya Scindia to Aaditya Thackeray, all are English medium educated leaders. Should not the rural poor and lower caste youth aspire to emerge like them? If not in Government schools, where could they study English medium? Y.S.Jagan wants the poor children learn English like him. What is wrong with his policy?

The argument that by introducing English medium in Government schools of Andhra Pradesh by the Y.S.Jagan Government is destroying the first linguistic state, namely Andhra Pradesh, is quite ironical. According to Eanadu that even the beneficiaries of English medium education in Government schools, who live in remote villages and Tribal areas should oppose, this decision. This is a very emotive and sentimentalist and provocative argument. 

Ramojirao’s younger son, Suman, who unfortunately passed away very early in his life, was my student in Nizam college and studied his B.A. He was from an English medium school education background. His Telugu was not so good but he was good speaker in English. I used to appreciate his sincere and serious learning approach. He used to come to discuss international relations subject with me personally as I used to teach that subject to his class. A moot question is: why Ramojirao, who was running such a big Telugu media industry has put his son in English medium school? Why did he not put him in a school that taught him in his mother tongue? What is wrong if the rural poor mothers’ children study in English medium in Government schools in their own villages? How does Telugu disappear from poor’s houses when it did not disappear in Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills and Film cities?

Ramojirao is also running an English medium public school in his wife’s name called Rama Devi public school at Abdullapurmet, Hyderabad for several years. How did or does this school serve the first Telugu linguistic united Andhra Pradesh? Can Ramojirao allow a survey to be conducted into the school education background of the main anchors who run his entertainment channels? It is easily perceivable when they slip into English speaking that most of them come from English medium school education background. Let there be a survey in the film industry that Ramojirao is fully associated with. All the young heroes and heroines are English medium educated yet they make Telugu films.

All this shows that there is a conspiracy against the poor Dalit/OBC/Adivasi children learning equal range of English with all these forces that Ramojirao and Chandrababu’s family networks associated with. The language deception as against the lower caste/poor is not just contemporary.  This skillful deception is historical.

In ancient and medieval times before the Persian language became a ruling language Sanskrit was the ruling language of India. The teaching of Sanskrit was in the hands of private Gurukulas. The Shudras and Dalits had no right to study Sanskrit in those Gurukulas or outside. After the Persian became the ruling language in urban areas the Muslim elite and rich upper castes could learn Persian but not the village poor. From mid-nineteenth century English became the ruling language. English as a teaching language started in Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1817 with the initiative of William Carey a British cobbler, who came as a missionary to India.

The first English educated Shudra was Mahatma Jyotirao Phule apart from Gopala Krishna Gokhale and Balagangadhara Tilak, in Bombay Province. That is where the lower caste liberation started with English education.

After 1947 in spite of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar’s insistence to recognize English as national language and must be taught in Government schools the Nehru Government relegated English teaching to private school education and the regional languages were adopted as teaching languages in the Government schools. This policy denied equal rights in the education system and language played a key role in that denial of ruling class language to the poor and lower castes.

The A.P. Government has initiated a process to bring school education in Government and private sectors to a level playing field. If the opposition leaders and the media network around him oppose this, the rural lower caste and poor masses will see through this game. Naidu and his anti-English education supporters to the poor must be aware that if their game ends with this issue of the poor’s most decisive empowerment project, they will never be in the play ground again.            

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PS Krishnan, a man devoted to social justice: Obituary

Vidya Bhushan Rawat 11 Nov 2019
P S Krishnan
 
The death of Shri P S Krishnan is a big blow to the forces of social justice in India. He was a man of great conviction  who always stood with Dalits, Adivasis and OBC communities all through his life. A man who was responsible for developing the SC-ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, Krishnan was also part of the Ministry of Social Justice, during V P Singh's short tenure when the Mandal Commission Report was accepted and implemented.
 
P S Krishnan held many a high office. He was also but nurtured by those politicians who were considered to be honest and pro social justice. Under V P Singh, he was responsible for organising centenary Celebrations of Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. The late Arjun Singh as union minister for human resource development, sought his services for the implementation of reservationsat the higher level which was barred.
 
After his retirement, P S Krishnan continued with his support and advise to various organisations. He guided many a budding new officer and educating them on social justice issues, reservation issues and related issues. 
 
Down to earth and humble, he was that  rare breed among bureaucrats. P S Krishnan was of the generation and breed of another gentleman who I admire, S Shankaran and K Balagopal ( who was not a civil servant but people's hero) who dedicated their lives for people and had no caste prejudices. They remain true to their convictions and constitution of India. We need more and more bureaucrats and lawyers who are dedicated to the spirit of constitution of India and do not suffer from the caste mind prejudiced towards the marginalised sections of society. The issue of the Dalit Adivasis and OBCs  can not be seen from the prism of being a 'patron saint' but issue of their fair representation at every layer of our administration as well as our socio-political and cultural life.
 
P S Krishnan lived a full life but there was not a single day he was not busy or concerned with the issues of the marginalised. He was a guiding force for all those who believed in social justice and human rights of the marginalised. His presence will be missed at various forums and spaces where his guidance meant a lot for the benefit of the people historically denied justice.

PS Krishnan, a man devoted to social justice: Obituary

P S Krishnan
 
The death of Shri P S Krishnan is a big blow to the forces of social justice in India. He was a man of great conviction  who always stood with Dalits, Adivasis and OBC communities all through his life. A man who was responsible for developing the SC-ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, Krishnan was also part of the Ministry of Social Justice, during V P Singh's short tenure when the Mandal Commission Report was accepted and implemented.
 
P S Krishnan held many a high office. He was also but nurtured by those politicians who were considered to be honest and pro social justice. Under V P Singh, he was responsible for organising centenary Celebrations of Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. The late Arjun Singh as union minister for human resource development, sought his services for the implementation of reservationsat the higher level which was barred.
 
After his retirement, P S Krishnan continued with his support and advise to various organisations. He guided many a budding new officer and educating them on social justice issues, reservation issues and related issues. 
 
Down to earth and humble, he was that  rare breed among bureaucrats. P S Krishnan was of the generation and breed of another gentleman who I admire, S Shankaran and K Balagopal ( who was not a civil servant but people's hero) who dedicated their lives for people and had no caste prejudices. They remain true to their convictions and constitution of India. We need more and more bureaucrats and lawyers who are dedicated to the spirit of constitution of India and do not suffer from the caste mind prejudiced towards the marginalised sections of society. The issue of the Dalit Adivasis and OBCs  can not be seen from the prism of being a 'patron saint' but issue of their fair representation at every layer of our administration as well as our socio-political and cultural life.
 
P S Krishnan lived a full life but there was not a single day he was not busy or concerned with the issues of the marginalised. He was a guiding force for all those who believed in social justice and human rights of the marginalised. His presence will be missed at various forums and spaces where his guidance meant a lot for the benefit of the people historically denied justice.

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Food For Thought: The Caste of Your Railway Catering Manager Shouldn’t Matter

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) faced online flak from Twitterati when a recruitment ad posted by one of their major food contractors specified that they were looking for candidates belonging to Agrawal and Vaish communities.

Sabrangindia 11 Nov 2019

 

Railway ad

Brandavan Food Products, or RK Associates, which is a private contractor from Delhi's Okhla area andthe caterer for at least 100 trains, gave an advertisement in a prominent English newspaper on November 6 stating that it requires 100 men for various managerial positions on an urgent basis in departments such as the railway food plaza, train catering, base kitchen and store manager.

The Railways have since written a strong “displeasure letter” to the company. In a statement, the railway authority said, “Serious view is taken by the IRCTC and the contractor has been asked to refrain from giving notice on caste lines and recruit eligible candidates.”The Indian Express reported thatIRCTC has been been informed of the firing ofthe human resource manager who posted the advertisement.

In response, the Group General Manager of the enterprise wrote an apology lettter to IRCTC, stating that this advertisement was placed publicly due to a “clerical mistake” and that they did not realize what had happened until they received telephone calls over the issue.

ad

Hindustan Times reports that the railways currently operate 378 mobile and 9208 static catering units and that IRCTC was made responsible for food-related business for the railways, including its preparation and distribution.IRCTC is currently handing out central contracts to private parties to run the mobile catering units. A total of 48 catering contractors are serving the railways as of now.


Other scandals

Brandavan Food Products was also party to a CBI case which was labeled as the “Rail Neer scam”, in which private caterers were investigated for money launderingby allegedly supplying other brands of drinking waters instead of the IRCTC brand water in Rajdhani and Shatabditrains and thereby causing losses to the government exchequer.

In 2017, the Railways Ministry hadterminated its contract with Brindavan Food Products apantry car staffer employed by this contractor was arrested for allegedly raping a passenger on the Aravali Expressafter pretending to help her get a berth in the train.At the time, the Ministry had tweeted, “Notice for termination of contract for 19707/8 has been issued to Brindavan Food Products,3 days notice has been given.”

brandavan

 

***Image Credit: Avishek Dastidar, Indian Express

 

Related:

Haryana Dalits Face Boycott Over Using Village Hand-Pump; Approach SC

Dalit youths stripped, flogged after altercation with restaurant owner: 

Notice to UGC, Govt on Caste prejudice: SC

 

Food For Thought: The Caste of Your Railway Catering Manager Shouldn’t Matter

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) faced online flak from Twitterati when a recruitment ad posted by one of their major food contractors specified that they were looking for candidates belonging to Agrawal and Vaish communities.

 

Railway ad

Brandavan Food Products, or RK Associates, which is a private contractor from Delhi's Okhla area andthe caterer for at least 100 trains, gave an advertisement in a prominent English newspaper on November 6 stating that it requires 100 men for various managerial positions on an urgent basis in departments such as the railway food plaza, train catering, base kitchen and store manager.

The Railways have since written a strong “displeasure letter” to the company. In a statement, the railway authority said, “Serious view is taken by the IRCTC and the contractor has been asked to refrain from giving notice on caste lines and recruit eligible candidates.”The Indian Express reported thatIRCTC has been been informed of the firing ofthe human resource manager who posted the advertisement.

In response, the Group General Manager of the enterprise wrote an apology lettter to IRCTC, stating that this advertisement was placed publicly due to a “clerical mistake” and that they did not realize what had happened until they received telephone calls over the issue.

ad

Hindustan Times reports that the railways currently operate 378 mobile and 9208 static catering units and that IRCTC was made responsible for food-related business for the railways, including its preparation and distribution.IRCTC is currently handing out central contracts to private parties to run the mobile catering units. A total of 48 catering contractors are serving the railways as of now.


Other scandals

Brandavan Food Products was also party to a CBI case which was labeled as the “Rail Neer scam”, in which private caterers were investigated for money launderingby allegedly supplying other brands of drinking waters instead of the IRCTC brand water in Rajdhani and Shatabditrains and thereby causing losses to the government exchequer.

In 2017, the Railways Ministry hadterminated its contract with Brindavan Food Products apantry car staffer employed by this contractor was arrested for allegedly raping a passenger on the Aravali Expressafter pretending to help her get a berth in the train.At the time, the Ministry had tweeted, “Notice for termination of contract for 19707/8 has been issued to Brindavan Food Products,3 days notice has been given.”

brandavan

 

***Image Credit: Avishek Dastidar, Indian Express

 

Related:

Haryana Dalits Face Boycott Over Using Village Hand-Pump; Approach SC

Dalit youths stripped, flogged after altercation with restaurant owner: 

Notice to UGC, Govt on Caste prejudice: SC

 

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Interview

EXCLUSIVE: “Main copy-right mein nahi, copy-left mein maanta hoon”: Dilip Mandal

Professor Mandal who questioned ‘casteist’ Twitter, has now become the poster-boy for equal rights of the Bahujan community on social media

08 Nov 2019

Dilip Mandal

In the past week, Twitter has combusted with the sheer volume of tweets coming in from the Bahujan community asking the micro blogging site why it is not letting them exercise their democratic right of freedom of expression on social media.

What started as a trickle of questions, has now become a wave of dissent with leaders, intellectuals, scholars and the general public of the Bahujan community coming together to expose Twitter and its deliberate fostering of casteist hierarchy.

In an exclusive interview to Sabrang India, explaining what prompted him to start the good fight and why he will never give it up, he said, “Today, social media platforms, willingly or unwillingly have become a part of the country’s democratic process. Because conversations take place and opinions are formed on these platforms, we expect them to act according to constitutional morality and democratic norms.”

 

“Twitter functions as a hierarchical, undemocratic and arbitrary institution which impacts discourse and democracy”

Talking about his protest against the blue-tick or ‘neeli janeu’ awarded out to some accounts he mentioned, “It creates hierarchy in the conversation by allotting blue ticks and verifications to some of the handles and does not verify millions of other accounts. This is wrong because they are not stating any processes followed to verify or not verify some accounts. The end result is that a large part of the minorities – SC / ST / OBCs who form more than 11 crore of the Indian population, are getting left out of this process and not getting any blue ticks.”

Discussing about his immediate provocation to begin this digital andolan he said, “Twitter is suspending many accounts of the SC/ST community without citing any reason, especially if it is not verified – making it more vulnerable for suspension.”

“It all started with #RestoreDilipMandal”

“My account was suspended on charges of violation of privacy. I had posted a tweet citing the release of a book and had submitted the author’s details in case anyone needed to contact him. For this, Twitter arbitrarily decided to suspend my account even though the author himself wrote to Twitter explicitly stating that his privacy wasn’t violated and that privacy was a fundamental right. Nobody, other than oneself can determine the limits of the violation to one’s privacy. That’s when I started the hashtag #RestoreDilipMandal”, he said.

“End the hierarchy”

After the first hashtag that began with his name, he started a campaign against Twitter asking it to “end the hierarchy” as it was “distorting the conversation”. Citing its arbitrariness he said, “During this time, in the last seven days, they without any sort of application or details from my end, they verified my account. This is extremely discriminatory, especially when according to their guidelines, after 2017 the verification processes have been kept on hold.”

“The campaign has dented their credibility”

Answering to Sabrang India about whether his campaign would yield any result he said, “Though it is difficult to say what will happen next, this has definitely dented their credibility. For the first time in the history of Twitter, they posted eight verifications trying to clarify their position. This shows that they are rattled.”

Professor Mandal has now asked Twitter to verify all #बहुजनमीडिया and their staff or remove the blue-ticks of all media channels and their staffers. Will Twitter heed his call?

 

EXCLUSIVE: “Main copy-right mein nahi, copy-left mein maanta hoon”: Dilip Mandal

Professor Mandal who questioned ‘casteist’ Twitter, has now become the poster-boy for equal rights of the Bahujan community on social media

Dilip Mandal

In the past week, Twitter has combusted with the sheer volume of tweets coming in from the Bahujan community asking the micro blogging site why it is not letting them exercise their democratic right of freedom of expression on social media.

What started as a trickle of questions, has now become a wave of dissent with leaders, intellectuals, scholars and the general public of the Bahujan community coming together to expose Twitter and its deliberate fostering of casteist hierarchy.

In an exclusive interview to Sabrang India, explaining what prompted him to start the good fight and why he will never give it up, he said, “Today, social media platforms, willingly or unwillingly have become a part of the country’s democratic process. Because conversations take place and opinions are formed on these platforms, we expect them to act according to constitutional morality and democratic norms.”

 

“Twitter functions as a hierarchical, undemocratic and arbitrary institution which impacts discourse and democracy”

Talking about his protest against the blue-tick or ‘neeli janeu’ awarded out to some accounts he mentioned, “It creates hierarchy in the conversation by allotting blue ticks and verifications to some of the handles and does not verify millions of other accounts. This is wrong because they are not stating any processes followed to verify or not verify some accounts. The end result is that a large part of the minorities – SC / ST / OBCs who form more than 11 crore of the Indian population, are getting left out of this process and not getting any blue ticks.”

Discussing about his immediate provocation to begin this digital andolan he said, “Twitter is suspending many accounts of the SC/ST community without citing any reason, especially if it is not verified – making it more vulnerable for suspension.”

“It all started with #RestoreDilipMandal”

“My account was suspended on charges of violation of privacy. I had posted a tweet citing the release of a book and had submitted the author’s details in case anyone needed to contact him. For this, Twitter arbitrarily decided to suspend my account even though the author himself wrote to Twitter explicitly stating that his privacy wasn’t violated and that privacy was a fundamental right. Nobody, other than oneself can determine the limits of the violation to one’s privacy. That’s when I started the hashtag #RestoreDilipMandal”, he said.

“End the hierarchy”

After the first hashtag that began with his name, he started a campaign against Twitter asking it to “end the hierarchy” as it was “distorting the conversation”. Citing its arbitrariness he said, “During this time, in the last seven days, they without any sort of application or details from my end, they verified my account. This is extremely discriminatory, especially when according to their guidelines, after 2017 the verification processes have been kept on hold.”

“The campaign has dented their credibility”

Answering to Sabrang India about whether his campaign would yield any result he said, “Though it is difficult to say what will happen next, this has definitely dented their credibility. For the first time in the history of Twitter, they posted eight verifications trying to clarify their position. This shows that they are rattled.”

Professor Mandal has now asked Twitter to verify all #बहुजनमीडिया and their staff or remove the blue-ticks of all media channels and their staffers. Will Twitter heed his call?

 

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TN will reject Hindutva project to eliminate Dravidian identity

Vidya Bhushan Rawat 08 Nov 2019

Iconic statue of EVR Periyar at the Periyar Thidal. His powerful presence in the Dravidian land ensured that the hate-mongering caste supremacists remained out of the power game in Tamil Nadu. But now, the Tamil land is being targeted by the Hindutva forces, and their agenda is to finish the Dravidian movement in the state. I asked this question to Dr K Veeramani, founder DK, whether the Dravidian politicians, who swore in the name of Thanthi Periyar, were not compromised by the Hindutva. I also felt that after the demise of two towering leaders of the movement, J. Jailalitha and Kaliangar Karnunandhi, there is a great risk of the powerful lobby of Hindutva sneaking its way in, through their money and muscle power.

 

Periyar

 

Why is Periyar's life not taught in the schools and colleges of Tamil Nadu and rest of the country?Are his achievements and sayings not important?That the symbolism of ‘Black’ is not merely beautiful but powerful too, is reflected in Periyar's actions more than anywhere else. Where do you find black shirt and white pant/ Sarong/Lungi combination? In cinema, as in popular culture, it is always white shirt and black pant, but Periyar's idea provided Black superiority over white and that is why his symbolism is much more powerful than anyone else’s. I donot know whether the African-Americans know about Periyar's work. I asked this question to Dr K Veeramani and he said that people are now reading Dr Ambedkar as his writings were in English. Periyar's work is in Tamil and need to be translated into English. However, DK is very careful about it, as a lot of ideas may be misinterpreted by the translators, but they are now in the process of doing the translations.

 

Periyar was a thinker, an intellectual and, perhaps, the most powerful public intellectual. Many people feel the term 'public intellectual' should be used only for serious 'academics', but I think it should not be their monopoly. Periyar was the most influential man in our public life, as far as Tamil Nadu is concerned. He had the courage to call a spade a spade. His writings on women are unmatched even today. He can also be termed as one of the greatest feminists of our time, whose work most of our elite feminists may not even know about.

 

Periyar spoke against all forms of social evils and attacked the root of it. At a time when people say that in India, nothing can move without religion and we should 'respect' people's 'sentiments', we must remember Periyar and his success story. Periyar thrashed brahmanism in Tamil Nadu, made the Dravidian people aware of the exploitative nature of brahmanism and provided his own cultural alternative, like self-respect marriages. Tamil Nadu still remain a fascinating state,although Dravidian parties compromised with Hindutva. This is why Periyar always maintained that we must not be part of the power politics. Social movements must remain devoted to the cause of the people and must not become political parties, as then, they will compromise the interest of the people. Dr Veeramani says that DK remains committed to Periyar's vision of a strong social movement and our cadres do not aspire to become MPs and MLAs, even when they work to spread the message of Periyar all over the state, which only benefits the Dravidian political parties.

 

Periyar must go international and his thoughts should spread worldwide to promote humanism, rational thinking and the powerful message of the ‘black’ identity. Periyar is more important because it is also essential to know that you can bend the power without being in power. Periyar's power came from his commitment to the cause of people. That is why they were ready to listen to him and follow him, despite his strong words against religious belief. He spoke powerfully against superstition. Periyar was not merely a rationalist and an atheist, but openly propagated his beliefs. Despite not being in politics, he defined the Dravidian political principles and ideology that Tamil Nadu saw. It is because of these Dravidian principles that, despite all the faults of the political leaders and their compromises, Tamil Nadu remains one of the best governed states, better in human development indices, where children get far better mid-day meals than in any other state. They were also the first ones to start it, without being compelled by a Supreme Court order to do so.own. Tamil Nadu still has 69% reservation and is far superior to any other state in governance.

 

The success of Periyar's model in Tamil Nadu suggests that if we are true to the public cause, we can speak against false religious beliefs and succeed. Today's politicians cannot do it as they use religious superstition to promote their devotees and bhakts. Periyar wanted enlightened cadres and not brainless bhakts and that is why he succeeded. There are attempt to finish Dravidian principles and Periyar's work but, as Dr Veeramani says, Hindutva forces will try everything but Tamil Nadu will reject them as it rejected them in the past.

 

The comprehensive and enlightening conversation with Thiru. Dr K Veeramani will be available in the coming days.

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

  1. Statue wars: Who was Periyar and why does he trigger sentiment in Tamil Nadu?
  2. Tall claims of India’s ‘great civilisation’ are humbug
  3. 60 Years Of Constitutional Rights Denied To 20 Millions Indian Dalit Christians
  4. Enforcing Discrimination one Colour at a time: TN
  5. The Cunning of Caste

 

TN will reject Hindutva project to eliminate Dravidian identity

Iconic statue of EVR Periyar at the Periyar Thidal. His powerful presence in the Dravidian land ensured that the hate-mongering caste supremacists remained out of the power game in Tamil Nadu. But now, the Tamil land is being targeted by the Hindutva forces, and their agenda is to finish the Dravidian movement in the state. I asked this question to Dr K Veeramani, founder DK, whether the Dravidian politicians, who swore in the name of Thanthi Periyar, were not compromised by the Hindutva. I also felt that after the demise of two towering leaders of the movement, J. Jailalitha and Kaliangar Karnunandhi, there is a great risk of the powerful lobby of Hindutva sneaking its way in, through their money and muscle power.

 

Periyar

 

Why is Periyar's life not taught in the schools and colleges of Tamil Nadu and rest of the country?Are his achievements and sayings not important?That the symbolism of ‘Black’ is not merely beautiful but powerful too, is reflected in Periyar's actions more than anywhere else. Where do you find black shirt and white pant/ Sarong/Lungi combination? In cinema, as in popular culture, it is always white shirt and black pant, but Periyar's idea provided Black superiority over white and that is why his symbolism is much more powerful than anyone else’s. I donot know whether the African-Americans know about Periyar's work. I asked this question to Dr K Veeramani and he said that people are now reading Dr Ambedkar as his writings were in English. Periyar's work is in Tamil and need to be translated into English. However, DK is very careful about it, as a lot of ideas may be misinterpreted by the translators, but they are now in the process of doing the translations.

 

Periyar was a thinker, an intellectual and, perhaps, the most powerful public intellectual. Many people feel the term 'public intellectual' should be used only for serious 'academics', but I think it should not be their monopoly. Periyar was the most influential man in our public life, as far as Tamil Nadu is concerned. He had the courage to call a spade a spade. His writings on women are unmatched even today. He can also be termed as one of the greatest feminists of our time, whose work most of our elite feminists may not even know about.

 

Periyar spoke against all forms of social evils and attacked the root of it. At a time when people say that in India, nothing can move without religion and we should 'respect' people's 'sentiments', we must remember Periyar and his success story. Periyar thrashed brahmanism in Tamil Nadu, made the Dravidian people aware of the exploitative nature of brahmanism and provided his own cultural alternative, like self-respect marriages. Tamil Nadu still remain a fascinating state,although Dravidian parties compromised with Hindutva. This is why Periyar always maintained that we must not be part of the power politics. Social movements must remain devoted to the cause of the people and must not become political parties, as then, they will compromise the interest of the people. Dr Veeramani says that DK remains committed to Periyar's vision of a strong social movement and our cadres do not aspire to become MPs and MLAs, even when they work to spread the message of Periyar all over the state, which only benefits the Dravidian political parties.

 

Periyar must go international and his thoughts should spread worldwide to promote humanism, rational thinking and the powerful message of the ‘black’ identity. Periyar is more important because it is also essential to know that you can bend the power without being in power. Periyar's power came from his commitment to the cause of people. That is why they were ready to listen to him and follow him, despite his strong words against religious belief. He spoke powerfully against superstition. Periyar was not merely a rationalist and an atheist, but openly propagated his beliefs. Despite not being in politics, he defined the Dravidian political principles and ideology that Tamil Nadu saw. It is because of these Dravidian principles that, despite all the faults of the political leaders and their compromises, Tamil Nadu remains one of the best governed states, better in human development indices, where children get far better mid-day meals than in any other state. They were also the first ones to start it, without being compelled by a Supreme Court order to do so.own. Tamil Nadu still has 69% reservation and is far superior to any other state in governance.

 

The success of Periyar's model in Tamil Nadu suggests that if we are true to the public cause, we can speak against false religious beliefs and succeed. Today's politicians cannot do it as they use religious superstition to promote their devotees and bhakts. Periyar wanted enlightened cadres and not brainless bhakts and that is why he succeeded. There are attempt to finish Dravidian principles and Periyar's work but, as Dr Veeramani says, Hindutva forces will try everything but Tamil Nadu will reject them as it rejected them in the past.

 

The comprehensive and enlightening conversation with Thiru. Dr K Veeramani will be available in the coming days.

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

  1. Statue wars: Who was Periyar and why does he trigger sentiment in Tamil Nadu?
  2. Tall claims of India’s ‘great civilisation’ are humbug
  3. 60 Years Of Constitutional Rights Denied To 20 Millions Indian Dalit Christians
  4. Enforcing Discrimination one Colour at a time: TN
  5. The Cunning of Caste

 

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Haryana Dalits Face Boycott Over Using Village Hand-Pump; Approach SC

Members of a Dalit community from Bhatla village in Hisar, Haryana have approached the Supreme Court to seek relief from a series of atrocities that they have been facing at the hands of a caste-dominant community, including the blocking of access to drinking water from a village hand-pump.

Sabrangindia 07 Nov 2019
Discrimination

 

A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy, and BR Gavai referred the matter as very serious in nature, and directed the police to take action on the issues raised in the petition in connection with the social boycott.

The court told the Haryana government’s counsel that it sought his presence so that he can receive proper instruction from the departments involved in the matter. The court also asked the counsel to rope in a senior police officer, have them file a status report on the matter and appear before the Bench on November 8.

The matter was brought on record on July 2, 2017.Reporting on the case made by the petitioner, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) stated that the dispute arose when a group of dalit boys were beaten up by the members of dominant community for drawing water from a hand-pump. Six persons were hospitalised in the assault, and later FIR was registered.

The petitioners claim the social boycott was imposed on the Dalit community after they refused to withdraw the case.The petitioner stated that 500 houses in the village have faced the consequences of the boycott. Though, the issue was raised before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, but it did not improve the situation.

The plea contended, “As a result of the social boycott imposed by respondent number three (organisation), the Dalit community have been blocked from free entry into residential areas and fields which they have exercised for decades. They have been blocked from accessing ration shops, dairy shops, hair cutting saloons and the water supply has been sporadically stopped forcing the Dalits to approach the administration.”

IANS further reported that the petition seeks direction from the court to hand over the probe to CBI, and let the investigating agency take action the accused persons allegedly involved in the incident, as the police have failed to make any arrest so far. The petition also seeks direction to the state government to immediate steps to terminate the social boycott imposed on the community member since July 2017. The petitioners have also sought compensation for the victims. The petition states, “The local police have aligned with the dominant community… Not a single person has been arrested.”

The order can be read here:



Related:
Dalit youths stripped, flogged after altercation with restaurant owner: Ahmedabad
In Gujarat, even Dalit Cops are not spared, driven out of temple, refused food
To Be or Not to Be: The Identity Crisis of the Non-Savarna Indian

Haryana Dalits Face Boycott Over Using Village Hand-Pump; Approach SC

Members of a Dalit community from Bhatla village in Hisar, Haryana have approached the Supreme Court to seek relief from a series of atrocities that they have been facing at the hands of a caste-dominant community, including the blocking of access to drinking water from a village hand-pump.

Discrimination

 

A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy, and BR Gavai referred the matter as very serious in nature, and directed the police to take action on the issues raised in the petition in connection with the social boycott.

The court told the Haryana government’s counsel that it sought his presence so that he can receive proper instruction from the departments involved in the matter. The court also asked the counsel to rope in a senior police officer, have them file a status report on the matter and appear before the Bench on November 8.

The matter was brought on record on July 2, 2017.Reporting on the case made by the petitioner, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) stated that the dispute arose when a group of dalit boys were beaten up by the members of dominant community for drawing water from a hand-pump. Six persons were hospitalised in the assault, and later FIR was registered.

The petitioners claim the social boycott was imposed on the Dalit community after they refused to withdraw the case.The petitioner stated that 500 houses in the village have faced the consequences of the boycott. Though, the issue was raised before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, but it did not improve the situation.

The plea contended, “As a result of the social boycott imposed by respondent number three (organisation), the Dalit community have been blocked from free entry into residential areas and fields which they have exercised for decades. They have been blocked from accessing ration shops, dairy shops, hair cutting saloons and the water supply has been sporadically stopped forcing the Dalits to approach the administration.”

IANS further reported that the petition seeks direction from the court to hand over the probe to CBI, and let the investigating agency take action the accused persons allegedly involved in the incident, as the police have failed to make any arrest so far. The petition also seeks direction to the state government to immediate steps to terminate the social boycott imposed on the community member since July 2017. The petitioners have also sought compensation for the victims. The petition states, “The local police have aligned with the dominant community… Not a single person has been arrested.”

The order can be read here:



Related:
Dalit youths stripped, flogged after altercation with restaurant owner: Ahmedabad
In Gujarat, even Dalit Cops are not spared, driven out of temple, refused food
To Be or Not to Be: The Identity Crisis of the Non-Savarna Indian

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SC, ST, OBC community continues to question Twitter over verification criteria

Even as the Dalit community has pulled up Twitter for being ‘casteist’, the website has shown no remorse

Sabrangindia 05 Nov 2019

twitter row
Image Courtesy: The Print

After CEO Jack Dorsey’s ‘Smash Brahminical Patriarchy’ controversy last year, Twitter has found itself in the midst of another ‘caste’ row in India.

Yesterday, Professor DilipMandal questioned the officials of the micro-blogging website ON its criteria for verification of accounts. Accusing Twitter of being ‘casteist’ he’d said that there weren’t even a 100 users from the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes or Other Backward Classes – intellectuals, scholars and even the general public whose accounts had been verified.

Trending the hashtag#CasteistTwitter and #JaiBhimJaiMandalJaiBirsa he said that it wasn’t a blue tick he was looking for, but wanted to bring awareness to the fact that Twitter had upper and lower caste decisions.

In support of his campaign, the #BhimArmy reached the Twitter office and locked it demanding a meeting with the officials in the said matter.

Today, after Twitter suspended around 250 user accounts from the SC, ST and OBC community, the protestors have waged another digital war saying that #TwitterHatesSCSTOBCMuslims. Users have accused the social media giant for even verifying the account of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for they work in the welfare of minorities.

Professor Mandal has now stated that he is ready to give up the blue tick or ‘neelijaneu’ which was given to him by Twitter after his campaign last evening.

Suggesting that Twitter stop discriminating among people and suspending accounts on a whim, he has demanded one criteria – verifying that the person posting is genuine – as the benchmark for verification.



While the right-wing caste supremacists have begun their fascist ideological trolling by trending the hashtag#ट्विटर_पर_राज_हिन्दू_का, Professor Mandal only seeks to make one point with his protest –

Every citizen has a part to play in the progress of the nation, why then does one have to rule over the other?




Related:
Accusing site of ‘casteism’, Bhim Army locks Twitter India office
https://hindi.sabrangindia.in/article/bhim-army-locked-twitter-s-mumbai-office
Kerala HC judge says Brahmins should be at the Helm of Affairs, asks them to agitate against Reservations
Is Twitter’s tokenism when it comes to human rights surprising?
Opinion: Will the caste mind rise and smash Brahmanical Patriarchy?
 

SC, ST, OBC community continues to question Twitter over verification criteria

Even as the Dalit community has pulled up Twitter for being ‘casteist’, the website has shown no remorse

twitter row
Image Courtesy: The Print

After CEO Jack Dorsey’s ‘Smash Brahminical Patriarchy’ controversy last year, Twitter has found itself in the midst of another ‘caste’ row in India.

Yesterday, Professor DilipMandal questioned the officials of the micro-blogging website ON its criteria for verification of accounts. Accusing Twitter of being ‘casteist’ he’d said that there weren’t even a 100 users from the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes or Other Backward Classes – intellectuals, scholars and even the general public whose accounts had been verified.

Trending the hashtag#CasteistTwitter and #JaiBhimJaiMandalJaiBirsa he said that it wasn’t a blue tick he was looking for, but wanted to bring awareness to the fact that Twitter had upper and lower caste decisions.

In support of his campaign, the #BhimArmy reached the Twitter office and locked it demanding a meeting with the officials in the said matter.

Today, after Twitter suspended around 250 user accounts from the SC, ST and OBC community, the protestors have waged another digital war saying that #TwitterHatesSCSTOBCMuslims. Users have accused the social media giant for even verifying the account of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for they work in the welfare of minorities.

Professor Mandal has now stated that he is ready to give up the blue tick or ‘neelijaneu’ which was given to him by Twitter after his campaign last evening.

Suggesting that Twitter stop discriminating among people and suspending accounts on a whim, he has demanded one criteria – verifying that the person posting is genuine – as the benchmark for verification.



While the right-wing caste supremacists have begun their fascist ideological trolling by trending the hashtag#ट्विटर_पर_राज_हिन्दू_का, Professor Mandal only seeks to make one point with his protest –

Every citizen has a part to play in the progress of the nation, why then does one have to rule over the other?




Related:
Accusing site of ‘casteism’, Bhim Army locks Twitter India office
https://hindi.sabrangindia.in/article/bhim-army-locked-twitter-s-mumbai-office
Kerala HC judge says Brahmins should be at the Helm of Affairs, asks them to agitate against Reservations
Is Twitter’s tokenism when it comes to human rights surprising?
Opinion: Will the caste mind rise and smash Brahmanical Patriarchy?
 

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Dalit youths stripped, flogged after altercation with restaurant owner: Ahmedabad

Video of the incident that circulated was reminiscent of the Una flogging incident of 2016

Sabrangindia 05 Nov 2019

dalits

A Dalit youth was allegedly stripped and beaten at a roadside eatery at Sabarmati Toll Naka in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on Sunday by a group of men while another was assaulted, The Indian Express reported.

The incident took place at around 7.30 PM when two Dalit youths PragneshParmar and Jayesh arrived at the restaurant. An argument ensued and the owner, along with other people, started beating the two youths with sticks. An FIR has been filed against Mahesh Thakore (owner) and Shankar Thakore under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under sections of the Prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act. While Mahesh has been arrested, the police are still looking for the other accused.

The video of the incident that was circulated, showed the youth being stripped and assaulted with sticks. One of the youths has been admitted to the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital on account of sustaining grave injuries.

Reacting sharply to the incident, Vadgam MLA JigneshMevani said that if the perpetrators were not arrested within 24 hours, Dalit activists would call for a bandh in the city.




“We cannot let the culture of mob lynching take over Gujarat. In the past six months, there have been 12-13 murders of Dalits in the state and neither the state home minister nor the director general of police is seen condemning these incidents. We will observe bandh in Ahmedabad if the culprits are not caught within 24 hours,” said Mevani.

Citing an earlier incident where a Dalit youth was murdered by men from the same Darbar caste, Mevani had written the following on his Facebook page:

Jignesh


It is to be noted that in 2018, as many as 1,545 cases were registered against the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, as compared to 897 cases registered across the state in 2003. However, the conviction rate in cases registered under the SC/ST Act is less than 5 percent in the three years from 2014-2016.

The incident is reminiscent of the chilling Una Dalit flogging that took place in 2016. At the time, more than 40 men from the upper caste Darbar community had assaulted seven members of the Sarvaiya family for skinning a dead cow in GirSomnath district’s Una town. Leather tanning and skinning was a part of their traditional occupation, but the assailants accused them of cow slaughter in the wake of rising cow-vigilantism. During the attack, four of the Sarvaiya brothers were stripped, tied to the back of a car and beaten with sticks and iron rods, while some of the attackers filmed the assault.

Today, 35 of the 43 accused in the Una case are out on bail. The Sarvaiya family was assaulted once again last year as they were gathering all essentials for their conversion to Buddhism.

Related:
1,500 Dalits embrace Buddhism for ‘equality’: Gujarat
Public prosecutor in the Una Dalit atrocity case quits
“There have been even more atrocities against dalits and adivasis since 2014…”
Dalit men beaten up for attending birthday party, Rajasthan

Dalit youths stripped, flogged after altercation with restaurant owner: Ahmedabad

Video of the incident that circulated was reminiscent of the Una flogging incident of 2016

dalits

A Dalit youth was allegedly stripped and beaten at a roadside eatery at Sabarmati Toll Naka in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on Sunday by a group of men while another was assaulted, The Indian Express reported.

The incident took place at around 7.30 PM when two Dalit youths PragneshParmar and Jayesh arrived at the restaurant. An argument ensued and the owner, along with other people, started beating the two youths with sticks. An FIR has been filed against Mahesh Thakore (owner) and Shankar Thakore under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under sections of the Prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act. While Mahesh has been arrested, the police are still looking for the other accused.

The video of the incident that was circulated, showed the youth being stripped and assaulted with sticks. One of the youths has been admitted to the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital on account of sustaining grave injuries.

Reacting sharply to the incident, Vadgam MLA JigneshMevani said that if the perpetrators were not arrested within 24 hours, Dalit activists would call for a bandh in the city.




“We cannot let the culture of mob lynching take over Gujarat. In the past six months, there have been 12-13 murders of Dalits in the state and neither the state home minister nor the director general of police is seen condemning these incidents. We will observe bandh in Ahmedabad if the culprits are not caught within 24 hours,” said Mevani.

Citing an earlier incident where a Dalit youth was murdered by men from the same Darbar caste, Mevani had written the following on his Facebook page:

Jignesh


It is to be noted that in 2018, as many as 1,545 cases were registered against the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, as compared to 897 cases registered across the state in 2003. However, the conviction rate in cases registered under the SC/ST Act is less than 5 percent in the three years from 2014-2016.

The incident is reminiscent of the chilling Una Dalit flogging that took place in 2016. At the time, more than 40 men from the upper caste Darbar community had assaulted seven members of the Sarvaiya family for skinning a dead cow in GirSomnath district’s Una town. Leather tanning and skinning was a part of their traditional occupation, but the assailants accused them of cow slaughter in the wake of rising cow-vigilantism. During the attack, four of the Sarvaiya brothers were stripped, tied to the back of a car and beaten with sticks and iron rods, while some of the attackers filmed the assault.

Today, 35 of the 43 accused in the Una case are out on bail. The Sarvaiya family was assaulted once again last year as they were gathering all essentials for their conversion to Buddhism.

Related:
1,500 Dalits embrace Buddhism for ‘equality’: Gujarat
Public prosecutor in the Una Dalit atrocity case quits
“There have been even more atrocities against dalits and adivasis since 2014…”
Dalit men beaten up for attending birthday party, Rajasthan

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