Bezwada Wilson on Eradicating Manual Scavenging

Bezwada Wilson on Eradicating Manual Scavenging

This is a talk organised at Ambedkar University, Delhi (AUD) in collaboration with Indian Writers Forum (IWF) on 'Eradicating Manual Scavenging: Join the Struggle'. Bezwada Wilson talks about the need to eradicate manual scavenging, the reasons given by the government for implementing demonetisation, its impact on the poor of the country and the lack of political will…

They Chose Death over Humiliation

They Chose Death over Humiliation

  Vidhya & Tilak Tewari   A year ago, death knocked on the doors of a university in Hyderabad. Rohith Vemula, a 27 year old student, chose death over a life of humiliation. “My birth is my fatal accident”, he said in a note that exposed an unequal society. His death woke us from our…

In Conversation with Bhagwan Das

In Conversation with Bhagwan Das

Mr Bhagwan Das was a reputed scholar on Ambedkarism and the issue of human rights of the Scheduled Castes. Widely traveled, Mr Das addressed throughout his lifetime, various national & international platforms on the conditions of dalits in India and the best ways of their emancipation. In freewheeling conversation with Vidya Bhushan Rawat, he speaks…

Report of the People’s Tribunal on Caste Discrimination and Police Action in University of Hyderabad

Report of the People’s Tribunal on Caste Discrimination and Police Action in University of Hyderabad

The tribunal was organized by the concerned teachers, writers, and lawyers of Hyderabad. It was chaired by Justice  K. Chandru (Retired judge, High Court Madras). Prof Govardhan Wankhede (TISS, Bombay) and Prof Ghanshyam Shah (formerly Prof, JNU) were the members. The brief to the tribunal was to examine the circumstances leading to the suicide of research scholar…

A Nation Filled with Anti-Nationals!

A Nation Filled with Anti-Nationals!

I thought the Muslims were the only anti-nationals in this country. But I was mistaken. Earlier, thousands of people including even women and children who were questioning the Koodankulam nuclear plant were declared as anti-nationals. They are not the only ones outside the community of Muslims, though. Over 11,000 NGOs in India are restricted from the…

Ayodhya or Saket: The Politics of Ram Temple

Ayodhya or Saket: The Politics of Ram Temple

This documentary by Vidya Bhushan Rawat, on the Ayodhya issue and how it affected the communal harmony of India, is pertinent in the context of the resurgent Hindutva programme in India which catapulted Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister in 2014. It is being republished, since the subject Rawat tackles is all the more significant…

In Conversation with Hasina Nat

In Conversation with Hasina Nat

We all know the importance of conversations. If they are freewheeling without any prejudices, these conversations are of a great importance. Our aim here is to bring voices and conversations that are not a part of our “main stream” media. We wish to raise uncomfortable questions in our discussions to benefit the viewers. There will…

The BJP’s Fascination with a Dalit Icon

The BJP’s Fascination with a Dalit Icon

The Bharatiya Janata Party has revamped its Uttar Pradesh headquarters into a neat corporate-style office. There is Wi-Fi, an all-new digital library with block-wise electoral data of the State, election war rooms, and strategy rooms. However, the most engaging bit is the decoration in the large hall on the ground floor where press conferences and…

Untouchability and the Untouchables

Untouchability and the Untouchables

Testimony given by Bhagwan Das, Chairman, All India Samata Sainik Dal, and Ambedkar Mission society In the 36th Session of Commission on Human rights Sub-Commission on Prevention Of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, held at Geneva in August 1983 I am grateful to the chairman of the sub-committee for granting me an opportunity to present…

Dalits and the Holy Cow

Dalits and the Holy Cow

Ahmedabad, July 27 / NDTV An atrocity took place on 11 July 2016. In Una Block of Gir Somnath district, dominant caste youth attacked four dalits. The incident took place between the villages of Mota Samadhiyala and Bediya. The four dalits – Vasharambhai Balubhai Sarvaiya and his brother Rameshbhai Bhalubhai Sarvaiya as well as their…

Remembering Ayyankali

Remembering Ayyankali

As India celebrates 70 years of Independence, the greatest battle that eludes the nation is the right to dignity for Dalits. From Una to deciphering the late Rohith Vemula’s caste, the deep undercurrent of not giving dalits their rightful place in the public sphere has left deep scars which we as a responsible nation conveniently…

Understanding Untouchability: A Comprehensive Study of Practices and Conditions in 1589 Villages

Understanding Untouchability:  A Comprehensive Study of Practices and Conditions in 1589 Villages

The Navsarjan Trust and the RFK Center spent four years compiling quantitative, comprehensive and reliable data exposing the current state of untouchability (caste-based discrimination) against Dalits (“untouchables”) in Gujarat, India. This 2010 report presents data on untouchability practices in 1,589 villages from 5,462 respondents in Gujarat on the issue of untouchability. Download the report here….

Assaults on Reason and Institutions

Assaults on Reason and Institutions

Idea of India Conclave During the two years of the Narendra Modi government, there has been an all-round attack on various established institutions in the country, whether educational or cultural. There have been attempts to interfere with curricula, the way these institutions are run, as well as their mandate and autonomy. The Idea of India…

Dalit Asmita Yatra | A Photo Essay

Dalit Asmita Yatra | A Photo Essay

Dalit Camera On Day 7, Gadhada to Dhasa to Damnagar to SavarKundla. You might not have joined the ‪#‎DalitAsmitaYatra‬ yet but this photo essay on the Yatra's progress will take you through the massiveness of this movement led by the Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti. #ChaloUna! Jai Bhim! Meeting at Dhasa, Shankarpura "Modi, when you…

Clean India, Unclean Indians Beyond the Bhim Yatra

Clean India, Unclean Indians Beyond the Bhim Yatra

Paul D'Souza via Wikipedia The Safai Karamchari Andolan traversed 500 districts of the country with the message "stop killing us". The participants, manual scavengers who clean dry latrines, sewers, and septic tanks, are forced to carry on this dehumanising work despite laws against it. Will the Swachh Bharat campaign succeed in addressing the issues connected…

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches: Volume 2

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches: Volume 2

This volume includes: Part I: Dr Ambedkar in the Bombay Legislature (1927-1939) Part II: Dr Ambedkar with the Simon Commission (Indian Statutory Commission) Part III: Dr Ambedkar at the Round Table Conferences   Released by the Ministry of External Affairs.  Published by the Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. The works of…

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches: Volume I

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches: Volume I

This volume includes: Castes in India Annihilation of Caste Maharashtra as a Linguistic Province Need for Checks and Balances Thoughts on Linguistic States Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah Evidence before the Southborough Committee Federation versus Freedom Communal Deadlock and a Way to solve It States and Minorities Small Holdings in India Mr. Russell and the Reconstruction…

गुजरात में दलित विद्रोह – स्वागत, इस सामाजिक क्रांति का…

गुजरात में दलित विद्रोह – स्वागत, इस सामाजिक क्रांति का…

अरविंद शेष  image via catchnews गुजरात में दलितों का विद्रोह खास क्यों है? यह इसलिए कि जिस गाय के सहारे आरएसएस-भाजपा अपनी असली राजनीति को खाद-पानी दे रहे थे, वही गाय पहली बार उसके गले की फांस बनी है। बल्कि कहा जा सकता है कि गाय की राजनीति के सहारे आरएसएस-भाजपा ने हिंदू-ध्रुवीकरण का जो…

स्वच्छ भारत अभियान एक परदा है : बेजवाड़ा विल्सन

स्वच्छ भारत अभियान एक परदा है : बेजवाड़ा विल्सन

 Courtesy: Youth ki Awaaz हाल ही में सफाई कर्मचारी आंदोलन की ओर से आयोजित ‘भीम यात्रा’ डिब्रूगढ़ से शुरू होकर तीस राज्यों और पांच सौ जिलों से होते हुए दिल्ली में पहुंची। सबरंग इंडिया शुरू से ही इस यात्रा के साथ रही। यह देशव्यापी जागरूकता अभियान का समापन एक बड़ी रैली के रूप में हुआ…

कैराना का खुला भाजपाई फर्जीवाड़ा अब सामने है

कैराना का खुला भाजपाई फर्जीवाड़ा अब सामने है

चार्वाक Courtesy: Indian Express साक्षी महाराज या साध्वी प्राची जैसे नफरत की आग उगलने वाले लोगों की बेलगाम बातों को अब तक भाजपा उनकी व्यक्तिगत राय बता कर दिखने के लिए खुद को दूर करती रही है। हालांकि अब सब जानते हैं कि ये बेलगाम हिंसक बयान किस राजनीति का हिस्सा हैं, लेकिन अब वह…

Why Has the Audience Gone “Wild”?

Why Has the Audience Gone “Wild”?

Celebrated Marathi playwright Jayant Pawar reviews Sairat, the critically acclaimed blockbuster that talks of love, caste and honour killings. See the trailer here. Yesterday I performed a social duty. I watched Nagraj Manjule’s Sairat [English: Wild]. Every once in a while, I miss an important film. No one quite holds you up to it. But since…

Anand Teltumbde on Current Student Struggles

Anand Teltumbde on Current Student Struggles

The Malayalam weekly Madhyamam asked Anand Teltumbde, a writer, scholar of peoples’ movements, civil rights activist with CPDR Mumbai, inter alia, two questions relating to student movements. Here are his answers: Your article in the Economic & Political Weekly in October 2015 has succinctly captured the perils of raising memorials of Dr B.R. Ambedkar while…

India Upholds Caste System at the U.N.

India Upholds Caste System at the U.N.

Amar Khade, Round Table India El Greco, 'Laocoön' / Wikipedia A compilation of news and commentary.  The United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák, recently published a report on minority issues. The report was presented and discussed at the UNHRC on 15th March 2016. The mandate of the Special…

Remembering the Real Ambedkar

Remembering the Real Ambedkar

ICF Team Image courtesy Sabrang Celebrating Ambedkar Jayanti this year has to go beyond the usual formal gestures. On his 125th birth anniversary, we need to recall—and renew—the challenges Dr. B.R. Ambedkar made to a caste-ridden Hindu status quo. We also need to hold fast to the vision he had for an equal India. Remembering…

Ambedkar and Freedom

Ambedkar and Freedom

Professor Sukhadeo Thorat—economist, former head of the University Grants Commission and chair of the Thorat Committee, constituted in 2006, which found evidence (pdf) of widespread harassment of students from the scheduled castes and tribes at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi—spoke recently at JNU’s Freedom Square on Ambedkar’s ‘nationalism’, his concerns about…

Anhad Women Convention, October 2015

Anhad Women Convention, October 2015

Act Now For Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD) organised a Women Convention on October 2-3, 2015, in New Delhi. A report on the convention prepared by Shyamolima Ghosh Choudhury, titled 'Challenges Before Women in Contemporary India', can be accessed here (pdf). We have compiled a playlist of videos of those who addressed the convention, uploaded by…

When will we leave the same old republic behind?

When will we leave the same old republic behind?

Aman Kumar Image courtesy SAHMAT January 26, 2016: The Indian Republic. Long ago far away we committed ourselves to levelling its structure, redistributing wealth and reducing its importance through the public provision of water, good-enough healthcare, schools and universities, transport, sewerage… We are all citizens of a constitutional republic. All. Dalit, Muslim, atheist, all of…

If Not Now, Then When? If Not Us, Then Who?

If Not Now, Then When? If Not Us, Then Who?

Rohith Vemula, a bright, intelligent, young scholar from Hyderabad Central University, hung himself in his hostel room on Sunday, 17 January 2016. Hounded and ostracised by university authorities and the rightwing ABVP, after his participation in a protest the previous year, Rohith committed a suicide that seems to be no less than an institutional murder. “Dear Friends…

Death in the Name of Merit

Death in the Name of Merit

In 2011, a documentary film by Manish Kumar called The Death of Merit highlighted caste-based discrimination in the Indian higher education system, and how it leads to a number of suicides among dalit students. On Suicides of Dalit Students in India’s Premier Educational Institutions Linesh Mohan Gawle, a second year PhD student from National Institute…

No More Deaths in Our Universities!

No More Deaths in Our Universities!

Image courtesy https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CY8oPVdUkAA19TD.jpg The death of Rohith Vemula, the dalit research scholar in Hyderabad who has committed suicide, raises many questions about the context in which our students are dying, not learning, in our universities. Three years ago there was a spate of students’ suicides — once again, mostly dalits. At that time the Andhra…

Caste Crimes: How the Guilty Can be Punished

Caste Crimes: How the Guilty Can be Punished

Courtesy SabrangIndia In a rare show of unanimity within the political class, eight days ago, on December 22, 2015, the Rajya Sabha (Upper house of the Indian Parliament), passed, through a unanimous voice vote, the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015. Communalism Combat has been consistently tracking the absence of political will…