Annihilate Caste

Faculty Reservations In IIMs: Candidates Not Found Suitable?

Faculty Reservations In IIMs: Candidates Not Found Suitable?

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MoHRD) of the Government of India (GoI) is in a tussle with the boards of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) over several proposals in the Indian Institutes of Management Bill, 2015, but the fiercest debate has been over reserving faculty positions. The government insists on a quota system, but the IIMs say the[Read More…]

Periyar And His Ideas

Periyar And His Ideas

Conversation : S V  Rajadurai, V Geetha &  Vidya Bhushan Rawat on Periyar’s ideology, self respect movement and opportunism of political parties S V Rajadurai is one of the leading intellectuals from Tamil Nadu who has written, in English and Tamil, on a range of issues to do with Marxism and literature; with Tamil politics and modern history, including Periyar[Read More…]

Satya Sodhak Trinity Of Mahatma Jothirao Phule

Satya Sodhak Trinity Of Mahatma Jothirao Phule

We pay our tributes to Mahatma Jothirao Phule, the founder of Satya Sodhak Samaj, on this 143rd year of its foundation, namely September 24, 1873. Mahatma Jothirao Phule, and his wife Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule, declared war on brahmanic-casteist culture and religion. This Maharashtrian couple presented the first major anti-caste ideology and led a mass activism against the ascriptive norms and[Read More…]

Inquiring Into The Role Of CPI(M) In The Annihilation Of Caste

Inquiring Into The Role Of CPI(M) In The Annihilation Of Caste

Vijoo Krishnan recently led a team of CPI(M) and its mass organizations to the historic Dalit Asmita Yatra (culminating in Una on 15-Aug 2016). In the light of this, and participation of the party in various anti-caste uprisings in the country, Dalit Camera poses a few questions to Vijoo about the party’s role in Annihilation of Caste and their effort to bring about a Left-Ambedkarite unity.

Periyar: Rationalist Bahujan Socialist Revolutionary And The Crusader Against Casteism

Periyar: Rationalist Bahujan Socialist Revolutionary And The Crusader Against Casteism

Erode Venkata Ramasamy Naickar(17 September 1879 – 24 December 1973), commonly known as Periyar also referred as E. V. R. or Thanthai Periyar, was an Indian social activist, freedom fighter and politician who started the Self-Respect Movement and Dravidar Kazhagam. Biography Born in 1879 into a rich family of Balijas (traders) in Tamil Nadu’s Erode district, Periyar was a pious[Read More…]

An Honest And Simple Test For Racism And Casteism

An Honest And Simple Test For Racism And Casteism

I thought of giving the more provocative title of—Are you a racist or casteist, here is a simple test for you—but decided to go with the more sober title that you see. Most of us do not want to be painted with a racist or a casteist paint brush and would not express such brash opinions even if we harbor[Read More…]

Reversing Affirmative Action For Upper Caste Elitism: Usage Of Social Media By Anti Reservation Communities

Reversing Affirmative Action For Upper Caste Elitism: Usage Of Social Media By Anti Reservation Communities

In Social Media one regularly comes across shared postings with originations from communities such as Índia against Reservation’, Índia against Caste based reservations’, Índia against Caste and Reservation’. The logic of their argument goes like this. India does not have respect for merit. As a result, a lot of the meritorious positions are lost to non-meritorious. The meritorious are hard[Read More…]

This is the latest ABVP’s poster put up on the wall of SIS building (new) of JNU with the portrait of Dr. Ambedkar. The poster qoutes him without mentioning the reference as saying that if Dalits convert to Islam or Christianity, it will “denationalize them”. Photo: Samim Asgor Ali

Hindu Right, Ambedkar And JNU Politics

The ABVP activists are hopeful that their “achievement” of having the library renamed after Dr Ambedkar will help them woo lower-caste students, particularly Dalits. With the JNUSU elections approaching, the Hindutva organization is desperate to broaden its social base by such acts of appropriation and tokenism This is the latest ABVP’s poster put up on the wall of SIS building[Read More…]

Dr. Ambedkar’s Historical Speech At Agra

Dr. Ambedkar’s Historical Speech At Agra

 (Note: This is Dr. Ambedkar’s historical speech (18th March, 1956)  in which he had put forward his experiences and the future strategy. In this speech he had addressed different sections of society. In fact it was a guideline for future Dalit movement but it is quite agonising to say that Dalits have forgotten it. It is reflected in a sharp[Read More…]

Dalit Uprising And After: Why Hindutva Would Not Be The Same Again

Dalit Uprising And After: Why Hindutva Would Not Be The Same Again

  When I was born I was not a child I was a dream, a dream of revolt that my mother, oppressed for thousands of years , dreamt. Still it is untouched in my eyes Covered with wrinkles of thousand years, her face her eyes, two lakes overflowing with tears have watered my body….. – SahilParmar* Well known Gujarati poet[Read More…]

Racial Profiling Of African Americans In US And Caste Discrimination In India

Racial Profiling Of African Americans In US And Caste Discrimination In India

The African-American community has long suspected that they have been profiled, unjustly pulled over and killed by the police for the most ridiculous reasons. The typical response of the police and the authorities has been that the cops acted in self-defense and the broader community of whites and other privileged sections of the society supported the cops. Things began to[Read More…]

VP Singh – The Crusader Of OBCs

VP Singh – The Crusader Of OBCs

Amongst Greats like Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule, BabaSaheb Ambedakar , Periyar , OBCs should not forget the contribution of another Crusader of Backward classes V.P Singh who gave reservations to Backward classes by implementing the Mandal commission report. 1990 was a crucial time when even after 43 years of Indian independence OBCs did not get their due which[Read More…]

Remembering B.P Mandal & V.P Singh

Remembering B.P Mandal & V.P Singh

Today is 25th August, the day a champion of the rights of the oppressed , Bindeshwari Prasad Mandal was born 98 years back. Today, he will be remembered for his many contributions to the cause of upliftment of the downtrodden, but particularly for his role as Chairman of the Second Backward Classes Commission, which released in 1980 what later became[Read More…]

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Tributes To B.P Mandal: The Crusader Of OBCs On His 98th Birth Anniversary

Tributes To B.P Mandal: The Crusader Of OBCs On His 98th Birth Anniversary

Bindheshwari Prasad Mandal (1918–1982) was an Indian parliamentarian, social reformer of the country who served as the chairman of the Second Backward Classes Commission, popularly known as the Mandal Commission. The commission’s report mobilised a segment of the Indian population known as Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and affirmed the affirmative action practice under Indian law whereby members of underprivileged castes were[Read More…]

Jignesh Mevani: A Leader Is Born

Jignesh Mevani: A Leader Is Born

Very successful press conference at the Press Club of India, New Delhi by Jignesh Mevani, lawyer and Dalit activist from Gujarat. Very good attendance. Lot of questioning by journos’ almost amounting to interrogation, which Jignesh tackled very well. Jignesh Mevani was at the same time fire and brimstone lashing away at Mr. Modi and the BJP, and also Captain Cool[Read More…]

History In The Making, Dalit Leaders Must Step Up To It

History In The Making, Dalit Leaders Must Step Up To It

It is not surprising that the recent protests by dalits, especially the vigorous one in Ahmedabad following the Una incident in which four dalits were mercilessly beaten for skinning dead cows have evoked global attention: this is the first time in living memory that dalits have spontaeneously come together in large numbers to protest an atrocity committed over performing a[Read More…]

The Dalits Rally

The Dalits Rally

  There comes a time when one needs to speak; I speak of the Una Independence Day Rally of Dalits, at the end of a 10-day 400-km Dalit Asmita Yatra following a massive Dalit congregation at Ahmedabad, Gujarat, on July 31. Whatever one’s political, social or religious preferences, inclinations or beliefs, anybody who has respect for the Constitution of India[Read More…]

Una March: Challenging The Caste Barriers

Una March: Challenging The Caste Barriers

The Dalit march from Ahmedabad to Una has emerged as an important social revolt of the Dalits in Gujarat.This mass up-surgence is challenging the very base of the caste system. It is questioning the logic of division of work based on clean and unclean tasks among upper castes and Dalits respectively. On the basis of this division of labor, traditionally[Read More…]

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In Historic Una Rally Dalits Pledge Never To Dispose Off Dead Cattle Or Do Sanitation Work 

In Historic Una Rally Dalits Pledge Never To Dispose Off Dead Cattle Or Do Sanitation Work 

Thousands of Dalits gathered in Una, Gujarat on Independence Day pledged never to do sanitation work and never to dispose off dead cattle ever again. Radhika Vemula, mother of late Rohith Vemula who committed suicide at Hyderabad university hostel in January this year due to harassment by university authorities, unfurled the national flag in the massive rally. It was the[Read More…]

Caste – the Actual Cost of Empowerment? Dalit Women & NREGA- A Study of the Poverty, Social Exclusion & Shame Nexus

Caste – the Actual Cost of Empowerment? Dalit Women & NREGA- A Study of the Poverty, Social Exclusion & Shame Nexus

This book “The Actual Cost of Caste: MGNREGA On The Ground” seeks to examine the lives of rural Dalit women in private as well as public spheres. A theoretical framework of poverty, shame and social exclusion has been used to explore the objectives. The study goes further and analyses one of India’s biggest social security programs, the Mahatma Gandhi National[Read More…]

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Demand For Dismissal Of Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi And Apologies For Insulting The Tribal Community

Demand For Dismissal Of Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi And Apologies For Insulting The Tribal Community

Kiran Bedi, Ex IAS officer, an active member of a political party and Puducherry Lt Governor, has insulted and condemned de-notified tribes by tweeting on 2ndAugust: ”Ex-criminal tribes are known to be very cruel. They are hardcore professionals in committing crimes. Rarely caught and/or convicted”.

Ban Implementation of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill 2016 in its Present Form

Ban Implementation of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill 2016 in its Present Form

Adivasis Janajati Adhikar Manch (AJAM) in collaboration with Adivasi Adhikar Manch (AAM) and other local sangathans have observed “International Day of World Indigenous Peoples” today on 9th August 2016 in various states across India. In Odisha, the day is being observed with gatherings of more than 700 adivasis with traditional music and dance at Umerkote Block head quarters, Nabarangpur District[Read More…]

‘Swachch Bharat Without ‘Untouchability And Caste Discrimination’

‘Swachch Bharat Without ‘Untouchability And Caste Discrimination’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ‘honoring’ a safai karmchari from Hyderabad Municipal Corporation for his ‘commitment’ to the duty. NDTV’s Uma Sudhir reported that the said ‘civic worker’ always come before time and has not taken leave for a single day even during emergencies. He is the leader of his team of safai karmcharis and work day and night to[Read More…]

 Stop Criminalising Communities

 Stop Criminalising Communities

The term ‘criminal tribe’ was introduced by the British in the legal system. It was definitely a racial profiling or clubbing of communities. It is not strange therefore most of the ‘criminal tribes’ were either Dalits, OBCs or aadivasis. Based on crime committed by one or two individuals, an entire community was placed as criminal tribe by the law which[Read More…]

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The Revolution We Are Waiting For

The Revolution We Are Waiting For

But don’t talk about revolution That’s going a bit too far —Phil Ochs Everyone is buoyed by the recent Dalit uprising in Gujarat, as we should be. Much as the struggle of the Hyderabad university students taught us to fight against all odds despite the grief that we carry in our hearts, the recent incident of Dalits in Gujarat refusing[Read More…]

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Dalit Anger Boils Over In Gujarat

Dalit Anger Boils Over In Gujarat

The simmering anger of Dalits of Gujarat over the flogging of Dalit youths by Gau Rakshaks (cow protection squad) in Utna boiled over into a massive rally in Ahmedabad and they vowed not dispose of animal carcasses, clean sewer lines, two dirty jobs which the dalits do as a centuries old practice since the upper caste people refuse to do[Read More…]

Holy Cow, Unholy Carcass And Dalits

Holy Cow, Unholy Carcass And Dalits

PUDR condemns the incident of flogging, stripping and parading of seven men belonging to the chamar caste by vigilante gaurakshaks on 11 July 2016 in Mota Samadhiyala village, Una taluka, Gir Somnath District Gujarat, which has brought the Brahmanical character of Hindutva cow politics and the caste character of the state to centre stage. It has been widely reported that[Read More…]

Fable For Our Times: The Lion Of Gujarat Is Silent

Fable For Our Times: The Lion Of Gujarat Is Silent

According to the Gujarat CID, a lion killed Najabhai Ahir’s cow in Bediya village. Najabhai informed Balu Sarvaiya of Mota village on the morning of July 11, 2016 to come and dispose the dead cow. Whereupon, the sons of Balu Sarvaiya, a SC by caste who traditionally skin and dispose off dead cows, brought the dead cow to their village[Read More…]

Political Battles Need Bigger Social Coalition

Political Battles Need Bigger Social Coalition

It was a solidarity protest against atrocities on Dalits in Gujarat and other parts of the country. Numerous organisations came. Jantar Mantar, during the session of Parliament, was crowded as usual with diverse group. On the left hand side of our protest was the MRPS, the biggest organisation representing Madiga community in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Madigas are one of[Read More…]

Disowning Actions But Owning Ideology: RSS And Gujarat Events

Disowning Actions But Owning Ideology: RSS And Gujarat Events

It has now become a pattern for RSS to disown its own actions which emanate from its divisive Hindutva mindset. The RSS plays the game of association and disassociation. It associates with masses and its own saffron network and spreads hatred through multiple ways till an event occurs. It continues to promote a divisive mindset till then. However, as protests[Read More…]

Ambedkar’s Path Alone Will Liberate Dalits

Ambedkar’s Path Alone Will Liberate Dalits

It was good to see Ms Mayawati in her strong way taking on the Sangh Parivar. She need to return to her old self. There is no need to read from written text in Parliament. It is time for her to now go back to cader and ask them to go for full blow. BJP’s attempted over enthusiasm to defame[Read More…]

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Turning Cows Into Man-Eaters  

Turning Cows Into Man-Eaters  

Gujarat is simmering again. Dalits are agitating over criminals indulging in criminality. These criminals, who are fondly referred to as “cow vigilantes” by the mainstream media, have recently stripped and flogged four Dalit youth in Una. The resultant protests have claimed two lives: a policeman has reportedly been killed in stone pelting in Amreli and a youth consumed poison in[Read More…]

Cow Skinning Takes A Deadly Turn: Gujarat Dalit Protest Spreads

Cow Skinning Takes A Deadly Turn: Gujarat Dalit Protest Spreads

Gujarat is witnessing widespread protests following the incident at Una where seven Dalit youths were beaten up for skinning a dead cow on July 11. 16 members of the Dalit community, including local Congress leader Anil Madhad, attempted suicide in Saurashtra on Monday and Tuesday as a form of protest. Several suicide attempts were reported on Tuesday from Junagadh, Gondal,[Read More…]

An Open Letter To Ravish Kumar

An Open Letter To Ravish Kumar

Dear Ravish Kumar ji, Namaskar. This is a season of open letters. Recently you wrote one to Journalist-turned-minister M. J Akbar and then your colleague  in NDTV Barka Dutt wrote one to Smrit Irani. Now, before you think this is coming in defense of them, let me tell you I’m neither writing about it nor do I belong to the[Read More…]

“In Bastar, A Man Dies Once, But A Woman Dies Twice”

“In Bastar, A Man Dies Once, But A Woman Dies Twice”

  “In Bastar, a man dies once, but a woman dies twice, once when she’s stripped of every ounce of her dignity, paraded, brutalized by a gang of uniformed mercenaries; and later, by a bullet. And yet these Adivasi women and girls, prefer to go out and face the consequences rather than sending their menfolk out to die like an[Read More…]

Burning Of Dalit Houses At Odisha And Deliberate Inaction By The Government Machinery

Burning Of Dalit Houses At Odisha And Deliberate Inaction By The Government Machinery

The PUCL is deeply concerned at the growing caste atrocities on dalits by the upper caste communities in the state, particularly in the rural areas. Of more concern is the deliberate inaction by the government machinery in providing protection to the dalit communities and making a mockery of the Prevention of Atrocities Act (1989). The recent incident in Kamagarh is an example of this. On 3rd June, 2016, eleven dalit houses were burnt down allegedly by the upper caste (Sabarna) of the village Kamagarh of the eponymous Panchayat in the Aska Block of Ganjam District.

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Using Ambedkar Against Dalits

Using Ambedkar Against Dalits

In 2014 Narendra Modi rode a massive campaign promising Acche Din for the people of our country. After suffering for 2 years from the witch-hunting of the minorities, murders of Dalits and fund cuts for marginalized students, the country has realized that the rule by the Sangh led government is not going to have any favorable impact on their lives.[Read More…]

Commemorating Ambedkar: The Role Of Dalit Intellectuals

Commemorating Ambedkar: The Role Of Dalit Intellectuals

(A Speech delivered in the seminar on “Dr Ambedkar’s Relevance today and in the future” on 16 June 2016 to mark the centenary of Dr Bhimroa Ramji Ambedkar’s arrival at the London School of Economics) Mahatma Gandhi once observed that Dr Ambedkar would never let history ignore him. For nearly a decade after his death, history did try ignoring him.[Read More…]

Prof. Mahesh Chandra Guru Arrested

Prof. Mahesh Chandra Guru Arrested

The Karnataka police have arrested BP Mahesh Chandra Guru, a professor in the journalism department of Mysore University and a well-known Phule-Ambedkarite writer. Professor Guru had made some sharp comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union HRD minister Smriti Irani at a function organized in the university recently to pay tributes to Rohit Vemula. He had also allegedly insulted[Read More…]

A Conversation With Bhagwan Das

A Conversation With Bhagwan Das

Bhagwan Das is one of the most prominent faces of Ambedkarite movement. He worked with Baba Saheb Ambedkar and brought out the unpublished work of Baba Saheb : Thus Spoke Ambedkar. An excellent narrator, Bhagwan Das wrote numerous books including his famous ‘ main bhangi hoon’, narrating the conditions of person from manual scavenging community. In this conversation with Vidya[Read More…]

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Re-Reading Dr BR Ambedkar’s Earliest Paper On Caste 100 Years Later

Re-Reading Dr BR Ambedkar’s Earliest Paper On Caste 100 Years Later

It is hundred years since Dr B.R. Ambedkar (1891-1956) wrote, CASTES IN INDIA: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development, a Paper he presented on 9th May 1916 at an Anthropology Seminar at Columbia University. That was one of his earliest significant works, a scholarly work ; written by the scholar when he was 25, much before he became a politician. In[Read More…]

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Dalit Assertion – Strategic Considerations

Dalit Assertion – Strategic Considerations

Paper presented at the 2016 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences – Sessions: Caste Oppression Today, University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada) By Dalit Assertion, I mean: The right to influence, assert, demand, express frustration, offer alternatives, and strategically align actions to achieve the overall objective of creating an inclusive society where caste is not a barrier or a discriminatory factor[Read More…]

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Visioning Bahujan Rashtra Against Hindu Rashtra: BSS vs RSS

Visioning Bahujan Rashtra Against Hindu Rashtra: BSS vs RSS

This is a monograph of an organization which is involved in reclaiming the Bahujan’s historical legacy of resistance and struggle for right to dignity for all Bahujans and creating knowledge, based on Buddha, Charvak, Kabeer, Basavanna, Phule-Ambedkar, Shahu and Periyar’s ideology. Predominantly it is talking about Bahujan Rashtra and countering the concept of Hindu Rashtra. The organization consistently following the[Read More…]

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The Quest For Human Rights Was The Essence Of Dr Ambedkar’s Life

The Quest For Human Rights Was The Essence Of Dr Ambedkar’s Life

A presentation made at London School of Economics on 16th June 2016 in the conference organised by Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhists organisations, UK in collaboration with London School of Economics to commemorate 100 years of Dr Ambedkar’s association with London School of Economics. It is a privilege to be able to speak to you on this historic occasion to[Read More…]

Chhattisgarh Is Burning: Where’s The Outrage?

Chhattisgarh Is Burning: Where’s The Outrage?

I woke up the next morning to the atrocious news of gangrape and murder of Madkam Hidme, an Adivasi girl in Sukma district’s village Gumpad. She was picked up from home, gangraped and then shot in cold blood by a gang of bloodthirsty, estrogen shooting men, dressed in an attire given by government that miraculously shields them against all legal shenanigans. Two days before this, a 12 year old child was similarly raped by a policeman in the same district. This is happening everyday in these villages. Every single day.

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