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By – Dr. K. Jamanadas
This is in response to an article by Adv. Md. Karim (DV.June 1- 15, 97). It was a great misfortune that Dr. Ambedkar and Br. Jinnah could not work together, Adv. Karim says. He says Azad was a stooge. He says the anti Muslim activities are a symptoms and not a disease. He says Muslims are not a minority. He believes that population of Muslims could be more than presumed 15 percent. He also quotes authorities to show that Islam is an egalitarian religion. All this need not refuted and any Bahujan can agree with all these points. He avers that Muslim masses in India are in a need of allies to fight the existing system under the guidance of Islam He advises his Muslim brothers to help the Dalits in all spheres, and keep good contacts for future interaction. This is quite correct. But the main point is, what kind of unity is sought for. He says:
“The future of India lies in the unity of Dalits and Muslims – not under the banner of this party or that because no party is aiming at providing an alternative to the existing social, political and economic setup but under the invigorating and revolutionary message of Islam …”
Why no political party is thought to be neccesary? Is it an invitation for the Bahujans to adopt Islam? Is it a proletising work? If it is, well and good; nothing wrong in that; only that perhaps DV is not a forum for it.
Our experience of mixing religion with politics is always counter productive. The combination does neither promote the religion nor the politics. The political meetings of RPI used to start with Buddhist prayers, the non Buddhists in the party, gradually, faded away. The religious sermons to Budhists used to end with request for support to RPI work, the non-RPI Buddhists stopped coming. I feel the two must not be combined, the religion and politics. I hope Adv. Karim does not wish to propagate religion from political platform.
What is the spirit of Islam
Do the Muslims consider Dalits as non-hindus? I think, it is the first neccesity that they must make a distinction between “Hindus” and Dalits. Dalit leaders have time and again declared that. Leaders of all Dalit parties, of all shades and colours. But Muslim leaders do not think about this. I think this is the main hurdle. Continue reading
P.K Rosy holds the distinction of being the first heroine and the first Dalit heroine of Malayalam cinema.
Most accounts of her life and work are not based on actual meetings with her as she passed away in 1988 and was never acclaimed or even acknowledged during her lifetime. However, her extraordinary life, when examined is full of instances courage, struggle and passion. Before she was discovered by the director of her film, she was already a member of folk theatre groups and had experience acting in Tamil dramas in A Dalit art form called Kaakarashi. In 1928, she was “discovered” by the director J.C Daniel and given the role of an upper caste (Nair) woman in the movie Vigathakumaran (The Lost Child).
When the movie was released, members of the Nair community were enraged to see a Dalit woman portray a Nair woman. Upper caste riots ensued. They vandalized the theatre, tore down the movie screen and proceeded to hunt down Rosy. They burned down her house but she managed to escape the angry crowd. Reports state that she fled in a lorry that was headed to Tamil Nadu, married the lorry driver and lived her life quietly in Tamil Nadu.
Whatever the case, her abilities and her Pioneering work as an actress in a caste feudo-patriarchal society must be celebrated. Only 5 years after her film was destroyed and she chased away from Kerala, upper caste women safely began acting in Malayalam films without any objection or attack. this means more than ever that We must keep the memory of P.K.Rosy’s talented and powerful Dalit womanhood alive.
Today in Dalit History, we defiantly tell the genocide of Dalits at Marichjhapi in West Bengal. The events involved The Namashudras, Who at that time were a politically powerful Dalit community. It was Because of the Namashudras, under the leadership of Jogendranath Mandal, that ensured the election of Dr.Ambedkar from the Bengal province to the Constituent Assembly. Their firm allyship with the Muslims formed a vote-bloc that deeply threatened the Hindu upper-caste opposition in Bengal.
After partition their Power was threatened for their Ancestral home was in East Bengal and in the newly formed Pakistan many were pressured to Leave. In the face of increasing religious violence Many sold everything they had to escape into West Bengal. However Once in India, the State of West Bengal controlled by Upper caste Communists shuttled the Namashudras into deplorable state work camps.The Namashudras protested, organized and 30,000 of these refugees reached a compromise resettlement area in Marichjhapi in the Sundarbans, a marshy mangrove forest. Over the course of a couple of months they finally restablished a viable beginning to a thriving community.
This was when the real violence began. The Communist and Upper caste State forces of Bengal, under the guise of protecting the local tiger population, sent in forces who began encircling the island, tear-gassing villages, burning down huts, sinking boats, and destroying fisheries, wells and farms. Scholars Estimate Thousands were Murdered, Tortured, and RapeD and yet there are no records because of the complete blackout of Media Coverage. Survivors However, report the indiscriminate dumping of Masses of dead bodies in tiger territories to be eaten and into the rivers until the smells were unbearable and the entire ecosystem was destroyed.
The press, upper-caste Bengali academics, and the communist governments of Bengal continue to shroud the massacres at Marichjhapi in darkness. The Government Officials involved have never been reported to the international courts. police and state perpetrators have been retained and promoted. But the survivors Will not be silenced. They assert the killings amount to nothing less than genocide of the Namashudra community. Today we remember their sacrifice and stand with the NamaShudra community in their demands for justice.
आज दलित इतिहास माह के दिन हम डट के कहानी कहते हैं पश्चिम बंगाल के मरीछझापी जिले में हुए दलितों के नरसंहार की। घटनाकर्म में वह नमशूद्र समाज जुड़ा हुआ है जो उस समय एक शक्तिशाली दलित समाज था. इस समाज ने ही जोगेंद्रनाथ मंडल के नेतृत्व में डॉ आंबेडकर को बंगाल राज्य से चुनाव जिताया.
बटवारे के बाद उनकी ताक़त खतरे में पद गयी क्योंकि उनका मूल पूर्व बंगाल में जो अब पाकिस्तान का हिस्सा बन चूका था और उन पर देश छोड़ने के लिए दबाव डाल रहा था. धार्मिक हिंसा के चलते बहुत सारो ने अपना सब कुछ बेचकर पश्चिम बंगाल की ओर अपने कदम बढाए। लेकिन भारत में पहुँचने के बाद उच्छ जाती के वामपंथियों ने इन् लोगो को बेहद दर्दनाक कैंपो में काम करने के लिए जमा दिया. दो-तीन महीनों में इस समाज ने फिर से अपना जीवन स्थायी कर लिया.
यही समय था जब असली हिंसा उभर कर आई. शेर बचाने के बहाने, बंगाल के उच्छ जातीय वामपंथी शक्तियों ने इस समाज का घेराव सिपाहियों से किया. तथा उन्होंने गाँवों में अश्रु-गैस फेंका, बस्तियों को जलाया, नाव डुबो दिए, मच्छी व्यापार को नष्ट किया। वविद्वानों का कहना है की हज़ारों की मृत्यु , बहुत लोगो का शारीरिक उत्पीड़न और बलात्कार हुआ. फिर भी इस घटना का कहीं भी कोई नाम-ओ-निशाँ नहीं तथा मीडिया में इस विषय को पूरी तरह दबा दिया गया है. जो लोग बच गए कहते हैं की बहुत सारे शव जंगल में शेर के भोजन के लिए छोड़ दिए गए, और कुछ शव नदी में फेंके गए. इस सब से जो बधबू उमड़ उठा वह बर्दाश्त से बाहर था और पूरे वातावरण को नष्ट कर चूका था.
पत्रकार, उच्छ जाती के बंगाली विद्वान, और बंगाल के वामपंथी सरकार आज भी इस घटना पर पर्दा दाल रहे हैं. सरकारी कर्मचारी जो इस नरसंहार में जुड़े हुए थे कभी अंतर्राष्ट्रीय अदालत में पेश नहीं किये गए. पुलिस और सरकारी अपराधी सरकार से जुड़े रहे और प्रोन्नति करते गए. लेकिन जो जीवित रहे वह चुप बैठने वाले नहीं हैं. वह इस बात का दावा करते हैं की इस मात्रा के हत्या को नरसंहार ही समझना चाहिए. आज हम इस नमशूद्र समाज के बलिदान को नमन करते हैं और उनके न्याय के इस लड़ाई में उनके साथ खड़े रहने का संकल्प लेते हैं. जय भीम!
Today in Dalit History we remember Advocate Eknath Awad, who is also known as “Jija” fondly, (meaning “the respected”). he was born in Maharashtra on 19th January 1956 in a Potraj (Mang) family. Potraj is an oppressive profession assigned to some Dalit castes. They grow long dreadlocks, smear vermillion on their forehead, wear a multi-coloured cloth around the waist and a whip in hand, whip themselves as they dance.
Eknath’s difficult childhood was steeped in these humiliations of caste, untouchability and poverty. However, Awad was a bright young man, he finished his schooling in village schools and went on to attain his Bachelors of Arts (BA), graduated with a Masters of Arts (MA), Masters in Social Work (MSW) and later LLB.
During his time in college, he was exposed to Phule-Ambedkarite ideology. He became an active member of the Dalit Panthers. As a politically empowered Dalit man, he was at the forefront of Namantar (renaming) struggle of Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University that unleashed violence against Dalits of Marathwada affecting more than 25,000 people in Marathwada.
His time in this struggle exposed him to the understanding of oppressive structures holding caste-marginalized people hostage. He realized that dalits lived as bonded laborers and as slaves in the fields of dominant castes generation after generation. If they asserted for their rights, upper caste landlords countered with gruesome atrocities. Awad realized that tackling just the issues of human rights was inadequate, these issues had to be complemented with economic and social overhaul. With these things in mind, he established Rural Development Centre (RDC) in 1985 with the vision that reform could be effective only if it was supported by peoples’ movements. In 1990, Manvi Hakka Abhiyan or Campaign for Human Rights (CHR) was born inspired from the struggles of Ambedkar, Phule, Annabhau Sathe, Shahu Maharaj, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. This movement worked to legalize barren land in villages under as property of Dalits. More than 24,607 Dalit families submitted grazing land ownership claims from 1100 villages. Awad’s struggle managed to free more than 70,000 hectares of land.
He had a broad vision for Bahujan well-being and worked on not only Dalit rights but the issues of child rights, education, gender justice, conservation and sustainable agriculture in drought-inflicted Marathwada. He advocated for peoples’ to be free of the shackles of caste, patriarchy and superstition. between 1995 and 2012, he started the satyashodhak (truthseekers), debrahminised congregational marriages. in an act of liberation, Along with his thousands of followers in 2006, he also converted to Buddhism in Nagpur.
We honour his work and legacy that are celebrated in Maharashtra and nationwide.
Credit – Nilesh Kumar First published in Round Table India
#JusticeForRohith issue has been raised at UN on 31st session of Human Rights Council by Prof. Nitin Gangurde
Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad, Appa Rao, who is responsible for the death of Rohith Vemula again joined the university as VC and when students were protesting this and were demanding justice for Rohith, Police did beat students at University of Hyderabad! Such a shameful act.
Manu Smriti Irani, your ‘children’ have been attacked by police and are without food, water and electricity at Hyderabad university.
Which mother will let her children without food?