Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What is Tamil about Anti-Hindi?

For a long time the question of Tamil Nationalism has been hammering my thought. It resulted in change of my behavior too, such as being proud “Tamilian”. But, never again.
Revisiting the history of Tamil nationalism I have revised my stand.
The first explosion of the movement surfaced as the Anti-Hindi movement. Was this movement against Hindi (as we think), or was it against the Brahmin population? It was against the Brahmin population, who dominated the power in Center and the State. Therefore the Anti-Hindi movement can also be reassessed as anti-Brahmin movement. People who opposed Hindi were fighting for Dravidian land, which includes present Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. In these different states the dominant Caste didn’t want to come under unified Dravidian tag, because they wanted their own power in their own language speaking states. As a result they did not support Dravidian slogan, and withdrew from it. Therefore the Dravidian slogan became a flop. But the upper Caste based in Tamil Nadu wanted to control the power, feeding on the popular sentiments. Many option were there to choose, Religion, Caste, Class, and language. Expect Language each other options can be divided in it. Language was the only option to bring masses under a tag to acquire their dominance. Therefore they shifted their slogan from Dravidian to Tamil nation, a nation for those who speaks Tamil, not for those who are basically “Tamilian”.
As a result, Tamil Nadu could have many Non-natives as Chief Ministers, without marring its Tamil nation ideology.
Tamil Nadu is the only South Indian state to have had Chief Ministers of different nativitiy. MGR, Jayalalitha, Karunanidhi, Annadurai, and Ms. Janaki Ramachandran.
There are even many non-“Tamilians” in Tamil Nadu who are respected and encouraged. Such as A.R. Rahman, Rajini Kanth, Vijaya Kanth, Ajith, Periyar, etc.
People who can speak in English can survive in cities of Tamil Nadu. But in the case of Delhi without knowing Hindi you would be literally having a night mare.
During the Sri Lankan war, the Tamilian who protested did not come on to the roads just for supporting Tamil Eelam. They all had different stories. Most of the people who protested knew what the Indian Government and the Sri Lankan government would do to the marginalized population.
But still Tamil Nationalism is seen as a patriotic movement in Tamil Nadu. Mostly the movement is spearheaded by SC/ST population. It is a result of the Dravidian movement who say they are fighting for Caste annihilation. Therefore they abandon speaking Caste in the movement. Even across India the mainstream does not encourage to speak an issue on Caste lines. Hence, the only tag which could unite a larger population in region is the common language they speak. Most of the leaders of the movement do understand this. The leaders never gave a chance for the masses to understand these facts.
I would like to ask a simple question for the masses, who are spear heading the movement. For which Tamil speaking population are they spearheading the movement, Upper Caste or lower Caste or Dalits? If the target is their lower Caste and Dalits, then let it be a lower caste or Dalit movement rather than the linguistics nationalism.
If we have to have good governance then we should get rid of Congress and the BJP in the Centre and Karunanidhi’s and Jayalalitha’s clutches in Tamil Nadu. Even if the People of Tamil Nadu can come out of the Sun and the Kalaignar TV’s clutches, that would be great

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What is between Tharoor and NDTV?

For a long time I have been watching NDTV 24/7, though I did not like the stand it often takes on various issues, either in Naxal’s issue, Women’s Reservation, or dealing with Ms. Mayawathi, (to give a few examples), I did not have an option to shift to any other channel. Therefore I had to continue with the same channel and I concentrated on debates such as “The Buck Stops Here”, “The Big Fight” etc. Basically the channel is against anything/anyone who belongs/fights for the subalterns (dalits, Tribes, Muslims, Backward Castes). As it is the normal behavior of any so-called “Mainstream” media I did not bother to write about it. If I have to write on it then my whole life would be spent on this. But I found an interesting thread that this NDTV promotes or supports. To understand this, the recent IPL fiasco should be followed.
Last week Mr. Shashi Tharoor was on news. Usually he comes on Twitter etc., but now on a daily basis he was on television for allegation. He gave an exclusive interview to Barka Dutt in NDTV. The channel gave too much importance to Mr. Tharoor, since the IPL allegation. Barka even called him as PLU -“People like Us”, (I think Barka meant people like her rather than general public). Barkha Dutt even explained what she meant by this –“well-read, articulate and graduate from elite institutions.” The channel cannot be any clearer on its social affiliation. In the same breath, she also asks that why is that Tharoor can’t stay in politics while politicians can get away doing worse things. And the politicians they mentionmed included Lalu Prasad and Mayawati.

But since that does not absolve us of further clarifying who is this “people like us”, let us have a look at Tharoor and Barkha Dutt.

Tharoor belongs to a traditionally landlord caste from Palakkad. He was born in London studied there and did his B.A in history from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He represents the constituency Thiruvanathapuram, which is highly populated by well educated and settler population.
With the about gist of his biography, can we ever think he belongs to the common person!
Then what did it mean when Barka dutt said in NDTV that he is “people like us”. To understand this we should also know something about NDTV and the common factor that brings Mr. Shashi Tharoor with them.
Basically Tharoor, Barka Dutt (group editor NDTV) and Vikramaditya Chandra( Senior Editor of NDTV and CEO of NDTV networks) are people have studied in St. Stephens College, New Delhi. This is the connection they have, all three of them closely related since Tharoor became an important person. Therefore when Barka Dutt says it is “people like us”, it really means “people of St. Stephen’s College”.

Ok,let the NDTV function like an alumni association of St. Stephen’s College; but why haven’t they given the same coverage for Telengana issue, Naxalite issue, Sri Lankan issue, Women’s Reservation and everytime showing Ms. Mayawati as the Demon of Indian Democracy.

At last they not only have soft corners for St. Stephen’s college but anyone who is against the above mentioned issues. Therefore they give a good coverage for Mr. Rahul Gandhi too.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dantewada: Militarization of the Media and the Second Dimension

By Amaresh Misra

Sample this: in the aftermath of the Dantewada massacre, with calls for blood, revenge and military action emanating from the extremely right wing section of the Indian political class, the army and air force chief call press conferences. They refuse openly to allow their forces into Chattisgarh, the new, subaltern `ground zero’.
At the same time, the fourth estate of the world’s most populous democracy—editors and columnists of a media that prides itself for being liberal, independent of the political class and a free speech champion—goes bonkers. In near full page articles, senior journalists call for military action. They also rationalize it by presenting a totally out of context and unfair review of post-Independence Indian history of dealing with insurgencies.
So what are we witnessing—a militarization of the media or a democratization of the army? Never before in the history of Independent India has the army called a press conference to defy civilian authority. In this case, democrats cannot but side with the army, for what it is saying makes more democratic sense than what so-called elected leaders of a democracy are saying.
Things get more interesting as the political dimension of the army’s unprecedented action unfolds. The army top brass would not have spoken out thus without the backing of the Defense Minister. Unlike P Chidambaram, the Home Minister, who at best has been a lawyer and a technocrat, AK Antony, the Defense Minister has run a state as a chief minister. The Defense Minister knows that politics in a democracy does not revolve around bluster and a technocratic-bureaucratic approach. In short, the Defense Minister is a political man, while P Chidambaram is clearly apolitical.
The Prime Minister, who started his political career as a technocrat has wizened up over the years—that is why he has been at best cagey and guarded about any `final solution to the Naxalite problem’ kind of talk. Unlike the HM, the PM probably realizes the political implications of `war’ in India’s tribal heartland and how little support he will get from real, rooted politicians in the Congress or outside for such a move. In fact, it is very likely that the PM’s own Cabinet will shoot down the move.
It is unfortunate, that a party like Congress, known for hardboiled politicians, has to send apolitical individuals to key government posts.
Today, Congress can be divided clearly into two sections: the techno-bureaucrats who represent multinational lobbies and corporate interests and hardboiled politicians like Digvijay Singh, Ashok Gehlot, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Verappa Moiley and others who have been elected from their constituencies, have long experience in dealing politically with various sectors of the Indian population, and above all, are sensitive to public opinion and different caste-tribal and minority issues.
A senor journalist in an edit page piece has compared the actions of Jawahar Lal Nehru, Vallabhai Patel and Indira Gandhi in similar situations, to the present post-Dantewada scenario. He has explained how after Dantewada type incidents in Mizoram, Assam and Punjab, Mrs. Gandhi responded with tough police-military actions. How both Patel and Jawahar Lal Nehru used the army in Hyderabad and Goa and called it `police action’.
The `gentleman’-editor quoted these instances to press for a strong military response. This particular journalist is known to be more sensitive to the politics of democracy than his counterparts, who have started behaving as if Bollywood, fashion, glamour, stock market, technology and economics can be substituted for hard issues. But he forgot completely that unlike Chidambaram, Patel, Nehru and Indira Gandhi were political personalities. To compare the greats with the present HM is like comparing Tata and Birla with Vedanta, the mining company which Chidambaram represented as a lawyer. Incidentally, this company is said to be behind much of the anti-tribal havoc in Chattisgarh, something feeding directly the Maoist support base.
While tackling the Mizo or the Assam problem, Mrs. Gandhi relied on political personalities and political solutions. The Mizo accord was preceded by several packages to the Mizo populace the results of which started showing by the 1980s and the 1990s. The army presence did not prevent the emergence of a significant section of Mizo and Assamese liberals, who were rarely, touched even when they showed distinct signs of rebellious alienation. Above all, Mrs. Gandhi never allowed economics or the logic of `internal affairs’, armed intervention, and managerial approach to tower above the demands of politics.
The Mizo and Assamese rebels were never presented with an option of being against the nation. There was no `you are either with them or with the nation’ kind of dangerous fascist talk. The armed might of the Mizos or any other rebel group was not exaggerated. In fact, the idea was to go on with politics as usual, to use the right kind of political language, even the right kind of rhetoric, even as the socio-economic-politico-military dynamics swirled in motion.
That is the reason why, Mrs Gandhi, except during the Emergency never lost the support of liberals. Patel and Nehru of course were able to take action in Hyderabad and Goa, only because they had the support of leftists, socialists and liberals. In fact, it was through the right political language and behavior, that Patel and Nehru ensured support.
In the current situation, the Maoist threat has been exaggerated. Thus the fundamentals of politics—that you do not call rebels in a low intensity conflict Enemy No. 1—has been violated. The fact remains that over years Maoists have not been able to achieve their stated goal of building liberated zones. The propaganda that they are running parallel governments is the biggest lie of the past decade. The RSS in Gujarat and the mafia in Mumbai have more parallel power than Maoists. 80% of the firepower which Maoists possess has been looted from Indian security forces.
The fact of the matter is that the Indian Home Ministry has never really trained forces for true guerilla warfare—why? Not because of inefficiency, but because there is no real guerilla war going on. The Maoist violence is political. The rights of people backing Maoist have been violated and they are an exploited lot.
The stunning dimension of the picture however is that whenever activists come out to articulate politically the demands of the Adivasis, they are brutally hounded—what happened to Medha Patekar, Swami Agnivesh and Arundhati Roy? The first two are persona non grata for the media and the establishment. Roy and Vinod Mehta, the Outlook editor who published her article on Maoism in his magazine, have been threatened openly with arrest on news channels.
Such scenes were never witnessed during the Nehru-Indira Gandhi era—barring exceptions, intellectuals were not targeted like this even at the peak of the Naxalite movement in the early 1970s. It has to be remembered that till the Nehru-Gandhis were in power, the J&K insurgency did not assume the level it has now—the pre-1991 Indian establishment made several mistakes as far J&K is concerned but alienating the liberals and middle forces fully, and using non-political, insensitive, communal language, was not one of them. This happened during the Narsimha Rao Government and reached a peak during NDA rule.
The fight against Maoists cannot be won by alienating the middle ground, by suppressing mass movements. Today four elements can broadly counter Maoists effectively: Medha Patkar-Swami Agnivesh type liberal forces, the socialists, the left-democratic currents and Independent activists. However, all these elements are opposed also to the role of mining companies and their exploitation of mineral resources and tribal populace in the Adivasi-Maoist belt.
After 1991, to preserve the interest of the mining companies, government after government has repressed these middle forces. Devoid of a democratic space, people have had no option but to support the Maoists passively—this is all the Maoists have got—hesitant, passive support, born more out of helplessness and lack of an alternative.
In such a situation, is it wise to talk of a military solution to the problem? Shouldn’t senior journalists be more circumspect in what they say? Point out one article written by a top editor against the mining companies of the Chattisgarh belt—such an article, does not exist.
In democracy, the establishment is supposed to provide space for political dissent. The media is supposed to provide space for intellectual dissent. The establishment however has emasculated political dissent. Whereas the media has stopped publishing articles written by people who do not toe the `official’ editorial line—this is a direct subversion of the ideals Times of India, Hindustan Times and Indian Express once stood for. \
Today, democratic participation has been reduced to electoral participation—whereas intellectual participation has been reduced to some stray `letter to the editor’. A functioning democracy does not mean just successive elections. Freedom of the press does not mean freedom of the editors to suppress dissenting viewpoints.
Take the case of Muslims—after a long gap, they have again started supporting the Congress. Does this mean the Congress has won over their hearts and minds? No—the Congress has yet to concede a simple demand of enquiry into the Batala House encounter. Congressmen can go on winning from Muslim dominated pockets—does that mean that Muslims in their hearts have forgotten the Batala House issue or Babari Masjid demolition?
Politicians in the Congress like Digvijay Singh always supported the demand for an enquiry into the Batala House encounter—they never acceded to the view that an enquiry will damage the morale of the Police—why? Because arguments like the `morale of the Police will be hurt’ are incompatible with politics in a democracy—these are arguments of a Police, not a democratic state. In a democracy, a demand which voters feel strongly about, which is prima facie just and in keeping with the law of the land has to be met. Otherwise the state is violating its social contract with citizens.
In India, while the Congress is trying to revive a pluralist, inclusive- umbrella coalition, the BJP is still sticking to the one nation-one culture, authoritarian policy. Dissent, in BJP’s view is suspect and alien. BJP-RSS brand of thinking loves creating the image of the `other’—an entity standing outside the realm of the culture and ethos of the body politic. The BJP-RSS thinking brought the nation to the brink of disaster when they tried portraying Muslims as the `other’; now the same `other’ tag is being applied to Adivasis.
PC Chidambaran and his likes in Congress, BJP and the media are violating India’s pluralist ethos. There are plenty of right wing takers of BJP’s `other’, fascist thinking in Times of India, Indian Express, and Hindustan Times. When the time comes, people of India will give them a befitting reply.
For now, all secular-democratic forces ought to put pressure on the Congress President as to why people against her brand of inclusive, umbrella type, pro-poor politics, who have the full backing of the BJP, are being allowed to stay in office? The pro-mining, pro-multinational, BJP-minded technocrats—many of whom like the present Home Minister are not even Congressmen of standing—are committed to the overthrow of the pro-poor, pro-people politics of the Nehru-Gandhi family. One must understand this.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thrill of the chaste: The truth about Gandhi's sex life

With religious chastity under scrutiny, a new book throws light on Gandhi's practice of sleeping next to naked girls. In fact, he was sex-mad, writes biographer Jad Adams
It was no secret that Mohandas Gandhi had an unusual sex life. He spoke constantly of sex and gave detailed, often provocative, instructions to his followers as to how to they might best observe chastity. And his views were not always popular; "abnormal and unnatural" was how the first Prime Minister of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru, described Gandhi's advice to newlyweds to stay celibate for the sake of their souls.

But was there something more complex than a pious plea for chastity at play in Gandhi's beliefs, preachings and even his unusual personal practices (which included, alongside his famed chastity, sleeping naked next to nubile, naked women to test his restraint)? In the course of researching my new book on Gandhi, going through a hundred volumes of his complete works and many tomes of eye-witness material, details became apparent which add up to a more bizarre sexual history.

Much of this material was known during his lifetime, but was distorted or suppressed after his death during the process of elevating Gandhi into the "Father of the Nation" Was the Mahatma, in fact, as the pre-independence prime minister of the Indian state of Travancore called him, "a most dangerous, semi-repressed sex maniac"?

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Gandhi was born in the Indian state of Gujarat and married at 13 in 1883; his wife Kasturba was 14, not early by the standards of Gujarat at that time. The young couple had a normal sex life, sharing a bed in a separate room in his family home, and Kasturba was soon pregnant.

Two years later, as his father lay dying, Gandhi left his bedside to have sex with Kasturba. Meanwhile, his father drew his last breath. The young man compounded his grief with guilt that he had not been present, and represented his subsequent revulsion towards "lustful love" as being related to his father's death.

However, Gandhi and Kasturba's last child wasn't born until fifteen years later, in 1900.

In fact, Gandhi did not develop his censorious attitude to sex (and certainly not to marital sex) until he was in his 30s, while a volunteer in the ambulance corps, assisting the British Empire in its wars in Southern Africa. On long marches in sparsely populated land in the Boer War and the Zulu uprisings, Gandhi considered how he could best "give service" to humanity and decided it must be by embracing poverty and chastity.

At the age of 38, in 1906, he took a vow of brahmacharya, which meant living a spiritual life but is normally referred to as chastity, without which such a life is deemed impossible by Hindus.

Gandhi found it easy to embrace poverty. It was chastity that eluded him. So he worked out a series of complex rules which meant he could say he was chaste while still engaging in the most explicit sexual conversation, letters and behaviour.

With the zeal of the convert, within a year of his vow, he told readers of his newspaper Indian Opinion: "It is the duty of every thoughtful Indian not to marry. In case he is helpless in regard to marriage, he should abstain from sexual intercourse with his wife."

Meanwhile, Gandhi was challenging that abstinence in his own way. He set up ashrams in which he began his first "experiments" with sex; boys and girls were to bathe and sleep together, chastely, but were punished for any sexual talk. Men and women were segregated, and Gandhi's advice was that husbands should not be alone with their wives, and, when they felt passion, should take a cold bath.

The rules did not, however, apply to him. Sushila Nayar, the attractive sister of Gandhi's secretary, also his personal physician, attended Gandhi from girlhood. She used to sleep and bathe with Gandhi. When challenged, he explained how he ensured decency was not offended. "While she is bathing I keep my eyes tightly shut," he said, "I do not know ... whether she bathes naked or with her underwear on. I can tell from the sound that she uses soap." The provision of such personal services to Gandhi was a much sought-after sign of his favour and aroused jealousy among the ashram inmates.

As he grew older (and following Kasturba's death) he was to have more women around him and would oblige women to sleep with him whom – according to his segregated ashram rules – were forbidden to sleep with their own husbands. Gandhi would have women in his bed, engaging in his "experiments" which seem to have been, from a reading of his letters, an exercise in strip-tease or other non-contact sexual activity. Much explicit material has been destroyed but tantalising remarks in Gandhi's letters remain such as: "Vina's sleeping with me might be called an accident. All that can be said is that she slept close to me." One might assume, then, that getting into the spirit of the Gandhian experiment meant something more than just sleeping close to him.

It can't, one imagines, can have helped with the "involuntary discharges" which Gandhi complained of experiencing more frequently since his return to India. He had an almost magical belief in the power of semen: "One who conserves his vital fluid acquires unfailing power," he said.

Meanwhile, it seemed that challenging times required greater efforts of spiritual fortitude, and for that, more attractive women were required: Sushila, who in 1947 was 33, was now due to be supplanted in the bed of the 77-year-old Gandhi by a woman almost half her age. While in Bengal to see what comfort he could offer in times of inter-communal violence in the run-up to independence, Gandhi called for his 18-year-old grandniece Manu to join him – and sleep with him. "We both may be killed by the Muslims," he told her, "and must put our purity to the ultimate test, so that we know that we are offering the purest of sacrifices, and we should now both start sleeping naked."

Such behaviour was no part of the accepted practice of bramacharya. He, by now, described his reinvented concept of a brahmachari as: "One who never has any lustful intention, who, by constant attendance upon God, has become proof against conscious or unconscious emissions, who is capable of lying naked with naked women, however beautiful, without being in any manner whatsoever sexually excited ... who is making daily and steady progress towards God and whose every act is done in pursuance of that end and no other." That is, he could do whatever he wished, so long as there was no apparent "lustful intention". He had effectively redefined the concept of chastity to fit his personal practices.

Thus far, his reasoning was spiritual, but in the maelstrom that was India approaching independence he took it upon himself to see his sex experiments as having national importance: "I hold that true service of the country demands this observance," he stated.

But while he was becoming bolder in his self-righteousness, Gandhi's behaviour was widely discussed and criticised by family members and leading politicians. Some members of his staff resigned, including two editors of his newspaper who left after refusing to print parts of Gandhi's sermons dealing with his sleeping arrangements.

But Gandhi found a way of regarding the objections as a further reason tocontinue. "If I don't let Manu sleep with me, though I regard it as essential that she should," he announced, "wouldn't that be a sign of weakness in me?"

Eighteen-year-old Abha, the wife of Gandhi's grandnephew Kanu Gandhi, rejoined Gandhi's entourage in the run-up to independence in 1947 and by the end of August he was sleeping with both Manu and Abha at the same time.

When he was assassinated in January 1948, it was with Manu and Abha by his side. Despite her having been his constant companion in his last years, family members, tellingly, removed Manu from the scene. Gandhi had written to his son: "I have asked her to write about her sharing the bed with me," but the protectors of his image were eager to eliminate this element of the great leader's life. Devdas, Gandhi's son, accompanied Manu to Delhi station where he took the opportunity of instructing her to keep quiet.

Questioned in the 1970s, Sushila revealingly placed the elevation of this lifestyle to a brahmacharya experiment was a response to criticism of this behaviour. "Later on, when people started asking questions about his physical contact with women – with Manu, with Abha, with me – the idea of brahmacharya experiments was developed ... in the early days, there was no question of calling this a brahmacharya experiment." It seems that Gandhi lived as he wished, and only when challenged did he turn his own preferences into a cosmic system of rewards and benefits. Like many great men, Gandhi made up the rules as he went along.

While it was commonly discussed as damaging his reputation when he was alive, Gandhi's sexual behaviour was ignored for a long time after his death. It is only now that we can piece together information for a rounded picture of Gandhi's excessive self-belief in the power of his own sexuality. Tragically for him, he was already being sidelined by the politicians at the time of independence. The preservation of his vital fluid did not keep India intact, and it was the power-brokers of the Congress Party who negotiated the terms of India's freedom.

Gandhi: Naked Ambition is published by Quercus (£20). To order a copy for the special price of £18 (free P&P) call Independent Books Direct on 08430 600 030, or visit www.independentbooksdirect.co.uk

Monday, April 5, 2010

Women's "reservation" against all Reservations

Before I start writing this I clarify, I am not much aware of the political activities carried out by Dalit/progressive intellectuals. But, as of now it seems Dalit politics is in utter turmoil (be it UP or India in general).
The present UPA government generates debates as a result of its new policies. However, Dalits’ view or representation in these debates are null (may be some whimper here and there).
Is that because the News media are biased against representing our views or that the Dalits haven’t woken up recently (who slept since protesting against Khairalanji)?? Let us analyse.
Starting from the war on LTTE (yes, that’s where we should start) most of the so-called intellectuals dissociated with the war stating that LTTE was an association which harassed the people who live in the hilly areas, that LTTE practiced Caste, killed many Dalits, etc. It was the “civil society” which protested against the war. For those who said that LTTE was practicing Caste, I would like to ask a question. LTTE is no more and at least now why don’t the Dalits question the Indian/Sri Lankan government because in Sri lanka too there are Dalits/tribals who are being harassed/abducted/raped etc.?
Last year Chief justice of Karnataka Mr. Dinakaran was in the focus of every news channels based on an allegation(though there were allegations earlier on West Bengal chief Justice, it did not become a major issue). Wasn’t Caste a factor in his issue?
Operation Green Hunt: In the name of fighting terrorism the Central government has started anti-naxal operation. Every dalit/tribal knew that this operation is basically against the Tribal population living in these areas. Still what was the Dalit (political parties, so-called intellectuals) response towards the same?
Women’s Reservation bill: though I have very little knowledge on Women’s Reservation Bill, I would still fight for caste reservation within it. Lalu’s and Mulayam Singh’s response towards the Bill was the playing out of a historical necessity. After the Janata government took the Centre, every national parties started playing caste card, as a result of upcoming Caste questions. When Mandal Commission was implemented, every national parties, civil right groups, progressive groups, pseudo-intellectuals, Outlook, Frontline, every other national/weekly magazines was against the Mandal commission, because they believed in merit (ACJ still follows it), and it was in their blood to oppose anything which targets to demolish the entrenched Caste system.
Still it was implemented and many changes have happened in Indian politics and in the intellectual community. Even after a decade, the same group which fought against Mandal Commission report is fighting for the “Women’s reservation” in Parliament. Women in CPI, BJP, Congress, DMK,etc joined hands for this reservation, I could not see them together even in Gujarat riot, Sikh riot, etc; not surprising though. We should not be surprise exactly because the present form of Women’s Reservation Bill is a Bill to negate all other Reservations. The people who supported Mandal commission are not supporting Women’s reservation with the present form (they wanted muslim and SC/ST/OBC reservation in it). But I feel that Dalit political parties are supporting it in the present form. Aren’t we to believe that since Dalit political parties and intellectuals are always male dominated and lobbying towards the Congress, BJP and other regional parties(to accumulate funds for their families), therefore they do not have problem with Brahmin women bulldozing Dalit-women’s reservation because it is not going to bulldoze their position in anyway? If they think like this then they are going to lose reservation also in near future.
Realize that in this Indian society Taslima Nasrin was physically harassed; Realize that most of the individual and group rapes happen targeting the Dalit and Tribal women; and do know that the upper Caste men’s wife is also well informed about the raping.
Most of the sexual workers are not from Brahmin community in India.
Most of the Tribals are raped by the Police and security men.
Do not think that the Brahmin women would fight for Dalit/tribal/minority women. Most of the scavengers are Dalit/Tribal women and not Brahmin women. There are many dalits/tribal women who are raped and do not have a voice and feel that they lost hope in life. Most of the Dalit wives face physical abuses from their husbands. And this list does not exhaust the atrocities faced by Dalit/Tribal women in their day to day life.
For these minimum reasons alone, it is our responsibility to stop sitting idle and raise our voice with our fellow women from our community.

Dalits(Elite, intellectuals, academicians, activist, editors, etc) must know that most of us have attained this position through reservation, and it is not we are the only member in the community. There are millions of Dalits who are still working as Scavengers, sweepers, leather workers, ragpickers , beggars, sexual workers , etc. and it is our little courtesy to oppose anyone who goes against this reservation. This opposition should continue till every Dalit gets educated and represented.
Dalit man should be representing these issues, with whatever resources they can gather.
It was for this very same reason I wrote earlier about Asian College of Journalism, that basically the institute, its magazine and newspaper speaks reservation, the Hindu is in the Frontline of writing and teaching Caste to cheat us in their characteristic BusinessLine into thinking that it is sympathetic (in all sportiveness like a Sportstar) towards Dalits and Tribals. How can we expect an institute which encourages merit rather Caste based reservation to support Dalits and Tribals. The institute is then like a Dalit minister in Congress or the BJP government. And the above issue on ACJ is well known among Dalits and other progressive “intellectuals” across India. But still ACJ portrays itself as “liberal”, “democratic” etc. We should not let N.Ram to become the mouth piece of Dalits and Tribals. Before ACJ talks of Dalits and Tribals representation in media, their institute should introduce Caste based reservation in the admission itself. This is the decade where Dalits talk of reservation in private sectors. Oh yes! ACJ is also a private entity.
Then why this silence??
My dalit/tribal comrade, if you in your dreams thought of applying to ACJ after they respect reservation, you are wasting your time. When Women’s Reservation Bill is passed, we will have a world without reservations. So, prepare for that world right now. Go ahead, and take on the ACJ entrance exam.

Change the future, but do not leave self-respect/representation in any form.

Maybe educated Dalit community feels comfortable with their family getting educated and occupying the full reservation without any competition from these communities. Thinking about this I feel that I should have not written this because as they are not interested in large scale issues.
This writing is not personal, it is political in nature.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Brahminisim rule of CIEFL ended as a result of EFL-University

There had been letters and pamphlet distributed in and out of the EFL-University campus. The last mail EFL-U “Morya busted” was shamelessly written. In a democratic setup people have the rights to express their feelings but still they must not use an offensive language to prove their points (I don’t know what point the sender makes). For sure the letter was “well written” and it must be a person who has“good” academics and cultural capital in him. But surprisingly the “academics” which the person possesses is vulgar enough to prove his nature. In the letter FLU-MORIA - BUSTED
I have many problems, first and for mostly the person (Mohan Ramesh , and sure Mohan Ramesh is a fictional character in Brahminism) thinks that he had demonized Prof. Abhai Maurya for various reasons (actually he demonized the University) and still he did not reveal who he is. People may think that revealing a person’s identity is not important, but still to clarify even in the court he/she is asked his identity.
To my surprise most of the Mail ID’s (such as ,na.maathivanan@gmail.com, etc) may be taken from one of the recent mails of mine. Therefore people do think that I have a role in it. Hence, I would request the person whomever has stolen should realize that he has stolen the mail ID’s from me, without my notice. And what ethics first of all does this person has to talk of another person. To my surprise the mail was actually sent to two person those mail ID’s are bhatcie@gmail.com, drkramdas@gmail.com, (These two mail ID’s are not in my mailing list) the rest were sent to people under Cc: (Carbon Copy), (many of the mail ID’s in the Cc; are in my mailing list). I request the sender not to do this in future or mention who he is therefore there will not be any misunderstanding.
Why I have a problem?
I feel humiliated when people think that I have a role in it. It is not that I am in favour of VC, but the points the mail makes are ridiculous, and baseless etc. therefore for such a letter I will never associate anytime in my life. And I am against any anti-campaign against this University. For every once notice I have been in the forefront in various issues. Even recently against one of the departments at EFLU. But we were not against any individuals, but the whole system (where every faculty, Non-Teaching) has a role in it. Because it is not an individual runs the show it is the full administration that involves in it. I would cut short and come to the point of my understanding on this administration (not VC).
These are some of the points the anti-campaign should know.
This is the first central university to fill the SC/ST backlog posts.
This is one of the central University that implements OBC’s full reservation and implementing the other SC/ST’s reservation in admission and in all places wherever the reservation policy has to be implemented.
Students medical facility
So many students of EFLU have used the medical facility (i.e, if they are ill they can visit a private hospital and the bills would be met by the administration) available for the students. Though the university is in the city, still university vehicles are used to take the students to the hospitals in emergency.
Hostels/ accommodation
This is the only university to provide accommodation for all students (irrespective of region class or Caste).
Long pending
Foreign students:
As soon as a foreign student submits his PhD thesis, he has to wait till his results comes (Earlier this would be some 7 to 8 months). But in this administration they are give the result in 1 to 2 months.
So many students have benefited by getting loan from the administration. Most of the loan were given against getting a laptop, there were loan’s given for students meet their parents medical service.
This is the only Central University to offer a highest wage for the Contractual labourer. The administration is always towards the contractual labourers.
In this administration even the person of the highest rank is available for the students.
Students are encouraged to teach and earn money (some students even earn 20,000).
Most of the undergraduate students are from the economically poor background. Hence the administration gives free education not on CASTE but by class. Like this 90% of the students are benefiting from this programme. This is the only kind in India too.
Though the university does not have a ground, still the sports and the cultural activities are encouraged in the campus.
Apart from all this, every subalterns are happy and have self-respect in this campus. And it is only because of the Administration. To conclude this is the Best administration for middle and lower Class, Dalits and Tribals can ever have in this so-called Democracy.
Nevertheless, I would like to maintain that these actions from the administration is a result of the various students’, faculties’ and non-teaching staffs’ interventions; but still, in India which so-Called Central University does give a space to object their policy? Even the JNU campus did not follow the reservation and the Delhi University is not an exception for the same.
It is understandable in this so-called Indian “democracy” that there are no minister who entertains anyone who encourages Dalits/Tribals, lower and middle class to come up in life, and any government for the same.

The “moria-busted” byline was “CIEFL-walas against the disease – flu – called moria” ; the byline for my entry is “CIEFL-walas against the disease-Brahminisim”

Jai Bhim

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Hindu, N. Ram and His Asian college of Brahminism

There is a story of a Brahmin family which I want to narrate here: Once there was Brahmin family in a remote village practising untouchability. After the reform movements the family started representing the untouchable population, without understanding that it was his community that pratctises untouchability in Indian society. They gave a birth to a male child. The child’s parents started encouraging their child to learn about Marxisim, dalitism, etc. but they kept their child under darkness in revealing what is Brahminism and who Brahmins are? This family in due course attained a status in the society that they could represent the untouchables too. Many years passed, the child grew and started preaching against untouchability. In one stage the man said “every one should fight to remove the scare of untouchability in the society”. One of the person belonging from untouchable castes asked a question “how do you remove untouchability?” the man replied that see I have completed Post-Doc in the university of Harward and I am ready to marry a women from an Untouchable family if she has this qualification”. The person replied that if You can think that a women from this untouchable community can do a post-Doc then why are they called as Untouchables; and even if she has done her Post-Doc from the University of Harvard then why she should marry a man who were ‘s a thread on his body and prays thrice a day and eats vegetarian food”. Still the person didn’t realize what untouchability means to him.
Friends, this is a story I want to connect to an Indian national daily newspaper, The “Hindu”. They have started a college for journalism called Asian college of Journalism. Some years back they started to issue full fees reduction for Dalits and Tribal students in the college. It was a welcoming move for most of the so-called progressive students. Some students who studied there said in ACJ they make the students understand what is reservation in India means and who are the marginalized population in India. For your kind information in the past years, since there were no dalits/tribals to use the fellowship it fell under backlog fellowship. Therefore right now there are some 25 backlog fellowships for dalits/tribals. To all our surprise they do not follow reservation in the admission. Therefore before preaching about reservation for the admitted students the ACJ or Ram or Hindu should know what is reservation meant for and what it means for the Dalit population and start providing reservation in the admission. People like “Ram” should be rather preaching scriptures rather than untouchabity.
People who join ACJ should have the guts and nuts to stand against the so called "Merit" based admission and start fighting for reservation in the admmission even the so-called radical Marxist, liberal humanist faculties in the institution's admission procedure and support reservation in it.Hope one day the “Ram” institution will understand what untoucability is and who the Brahmins are?

I would like to clarify my stands on ACJ. Friends, i am not against the ACJ in total. But i think that ACJ should implement reservation in the admission procedure. We should not forget that there are no dalits in the last two batches. But there are Dalits who are taking the entrance exam every year but they are not getting qualified in the entrance exam. There is a lot of things to be discussed about the entrance exam, which i think is not the point of this writing. This writing is to say that the Reservation policy under our constitution is an affirmative action introduced to encourage dalits/tribal to excell in various field. I think that the ACJ should implement reservation in the admission. Dalits and other progressive people should press ACJ to implement reservation in the admission. At the same time i do encourage Dalit/Tribals to apply ACJ. Because at least i feel it is a better place than an IIT/IIM's.

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