Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 27.01.16

 

Dalit sarpanch seeks police protection for flag hoisting – Nyoooz

http://www.nyoooz.com/ahmedabad/334032/dalit-sarpanch-seeks-police-protection-for-flag-hoisting

Dalit scholar suicide: Security stepped up in university campuses – The hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dalit-scholar-suicide-security-stepped-up-in-university-campuses/article8155135.ece

How democracy in every sphere of life holds the key to Dalits’ redemption – The economic times

http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/cursor/how-democracy-in-every-sphere-of-life-holds-the-key-to-dalits-redemption/

JNU Dalit PhD scholar threatens suicide, alleges discrimination – Ibn live

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india/jnu-dalit-phd-scholar-threatens-suicide-alleges-discrimination-1195399.html

Dalit Scholar Issue: Student on Fast Shifted to Health Centre – Nyoooz

http://www.nyoooz.com/hyderabad/334586/dalit-scholar-issue58-student-on-fast-shifted-to-health-centre

 

Nyoooz

Dalit sarpanch seeks police protection for flag hoisting

http://www.nyoooz.com/ahmedabad/334032/dalit-sarpanch-seeks-police-protection-for-flag-hoisting

Summary: I have given instructions to provide extra cops,” said S P Rathwa, DySP of Kheralu. “I have been threatened with dire consequences.The Thakors have warned that I, being a Dalit, cannot hoist the flag,” said Makwana.Makwana was given nine armed policemen on January 15 which was reduced to four lathi-wielding cops. “He has asked for more protection for Rday. Ahmedabad: Even as the country celebrates the spirit of equality and fraternity on Republic Day on Tuesday, Chandu Makwana, a Dalit sarpanch of Nortol village in Mehsana faces threat to his life if he attempts to hoist the national flag.Makwana, who was assigned police protection after members of the Thakor community attacked his house and family over a kite-flying dispute, has sought an enforcement in his security for Republic day.

Dalit sarpanch seeks police protection for flag hoisting

Ahmedabad: Even as the country celebrates the spirit of equality and fraternity on Republic Day on Tuesday, Chandu Makwana, a Dalit sarpanch of Nortol village in Mehsana faces threat to his life if he attempts to hoist the national flag.Makwana, who was assigned police protection after members of the Thakor community attacked his house and family over a kite-flying dispute, has sought an enforcement in his security for Republic day.”I have been threatened with dire consequences.The Thakors have warned that I, being a Dalit, cannot hoist the flag,” said Makwana.Makwana was given nine armed policemen on January 15 which was reduced to four lathi-wielding cops. “He has asked for more protection for Rday. I have given instructions to provide extra cops,” said S P Rathwa, DySP of Kheralu..

The hindu

Dalit scholar suicide: Security stepped up in university campuses

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dalit-scholar-suicide-security-stepped-up-in-university-campuses/article8155135.ece

In the wake of the call given by the Students’ Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the University of Hyderabad for a nationwide universities’ bandh on Wednesday, the police have stepped up security on campuses.

The bandh was called in support of the JAC’s demand for action against those responsible for the death of research scholar Rohith Vemula.

Instructions have been given to the heads of educational institutions not to allow the entry of outsiders into campuses during the bandh.

“If activists of any outside organisations join the protest, there may be law and order problems. We asked the authorities of all the universities to check the hostels and keep a watch on the activities of union leaders,” a police officer said. Processions and rallies have been banned on university campuses and action would be taken against those who violate the orders, the police said.

The economic times

How democracy in every sphere of life holds the key to Dalits’ redemption

http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/cursor/how-democracy-in-every-sphere-of-life-holds-the-key-to-dalits-redemption/

A sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic Republic — this is what India is supposed to be. Republic, it certainly is, and sovereign, too. Socialist is a stale joke. Secular and democratic are works in progress, too rudimentary to save the lives of Mohammad Akhlaq, lynched over beef at Dadri, or Rohith Vemula, Dalit student who penned his suicide note in English, the language of power in post-colonial India.

Power is the key to the Dalit’s plight. He lacks social power, others have more than their fair share. This unequal distribution of power in society is what makes India a democracy still in the making. Democracy is not just about holding elections to choose representatives of the people. It is also about reconfiguring the relations of power in society, to deliver equality to individuals as citizens.

Fight for Democracy…

Equality does not mean an end to hierarchy. Functional hierarchies are needed, to get things done in any complex organisation. But, in a democracy, these hierarchies are meant to be context-specific, to melt away and reconfigure in a different context and be non-existent in terms of political rights.

Your boss might be your boss at work, but an accommodated extra in the play you direct after work, and both of you get just one vote each to elect your MP, and are equal before the law. This is the ideal, but mere fantasy, in reality. If we understand democracy as an ongoing process, its goal is to realise this fantasy.

Indian society has traditionally been hierarchical, with pure Brahmins at the top and polluting Dalits and tribal people at the bottom. The hierarchy had religious sanction. Manusmriti — which codifies the rules of propriety for Hindus — hails the Brahmin as the lord of all creation and enjoins the rest to see their duty in serving him.

Birth defines your status in life and your job, to do which is your dharma. Failure to do your dharma is what gets you born into a lowly caste. Rohith Vemula apparently did not subscribe to this causal explanation for his plight: he called his birth a fatal accident, not any result of culpable delinquency in his previous birth. This rejection turns the focus on a conflict between the democratic project and the Hindu tradition that justifies present inequity in terms of sins of the dead past.

This theory of transmigration of souls across time, species, caste and status, guided by achieved adherence to dharma, is preached day in and day out across India, in the name of Sanatana Dharma. To accept it is to accept one’s lot in life as the just desserts of the past, to question no iniquity and simply put one’s nose to the grindstone, to earn some reprieve at least in the next birth. This is inimical to democracy and must be resisted by Dalits and all the rest who find themselves on the bottom rungs of the traditional social hierarchy. Does this mean one must resist Hinduism to achieve democracy? Not really, at least, not all its forms. Vedanta, for example, holds Brahman to be the only reality and posits all things living and dead to be manifestations of Brahman.

If you accept that the Dalit and the Brahmin are both manifestation of the selfsame Brahman, there is no reason to adore the one and shun the other. Sankara, the foremost philosopher of Advaita, accepted as much, so goes the story, after being scolded by a chandala, lowest of the low, for shrinking away from him.

…And Participatory Growth

But Sankara did not do anything to resolve the gap between his theory of the world and the discriminatory practice of the religion.

It took social reformer Narayana Guru to challenge the caste system in terms of Advaita. The same understanding of unity of all things that led him to say that caste divisions are invalid also led him to say that what is important is for people to be decent, whatever their religion.

Such a vision of Hinduism is at radical odds with Hindutva, as espoused by the Sangh Parivar, which sees non-Hindus as potential anti-national threats and any political action outside the framework of conflating the nation with Hindus as treason that has to be put down.

While Narayana Guru’s conceptual framework was consistent internally and with Advaita, he did not succeed in eradicating caste in his land. That is because of the lived reality of the lower castes and the upper castes being at two ends of a division of social labour, which valorised intellectual labour and demeaned physical labour. The means of changing that reality did not exist in his time. It is at hand now.

Mass education, the internet and globalised growth make it eminently possible to break the correlation between birth and occupation, the material basis of caste. Hewers of wood can and do turn computer programmers and entrepreneurs. But participatory growth is not sufficient to empower Dalits. They need more democracy, to dismantle the present oppressive power structure.

Democracy in every sphere of life and aggressive participation in the new global division of labour — these hold the key to India’s redemption, so also the Dalits’.

Ibn live

JNU Dalit PhD scholar threatens suicide, alleges discrimination

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india/jnu-dalit-phd-scholar-threatens-suicide-alleges-discrimination-1195399.html

Even as there’s no end to protests over Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s death in Hyderabad, a PhD scholar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University has threatened to commit suicide.

According to a report in Times of India, the Dalit PhD scholar at JNU has threatened to take the extreme step if he does not get a one-year extension for his senior research fellowship

The PhD scholar, Madan Meher, has written to JNU vice chancellor alleging caste discrimination.

Citing an RTI reply, Meher claimed that no Dalit student had completed PhD from the centre since 2006.

JNU has reportedly called a meeting with students on February 8 to resolve the issue.

Nyoooz

Dalit Scholar Issue: Student on Fast Shifted to Health Centre

http://www.nyoooz.com/hyderabad/334586/dalit-scholar-issue58-student-on-fast-shifted-to-health-centre

Summary: HYDERABAD: One of the students on hunger strike over the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula was today shifted to varsity’s health centre after his health deteriorated. “One of the seven students who are on the indefinite hunger strike was admitted to university health centre following the deterioration of his health,” Ravindra Kumar, chief medical officer said. The JAC for Social Justice of HCU has also given a call for shutdown of universities across the country tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) today handed over a cheque for Rs 5 lakh to Rohith’s mother Radhika. “The (Central) government is handling the issue of appointment of interim Vice Chancellor (VC) in an irresponsible way.

HYDERABAD: One of the students on hunger strike over the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula was today shifted to varsity’s health centre after his health deteriorated. “One of the seven students who are on the indefinite hunger strike was admitted to university health centre following the deterioration of his health,” Ravindra Kumar, chief medical officer said. “He was semi-unconscious in the afternoon. He was taken to the health centre. His condition is stable now,” Kumar said. The second batch of seven students sat on indefinite hunger strike day before yesterday after the first batch was forcibly taken away and admitted to hospital on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) today handed over a cheque for Rs 5 lakh to Rohith’s mother Radhika. The cheque was given by TPCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy at the varsity campus. “It (Rohith’s suicide) is very sad.

Congress will fight until the culprits are punished. From Telangana Congress side we have given Rs 5 lakh to Rohith’s mother. We will support the bereaved family in (all) possible ways,” Reddy told reporters. “The (Central) government is handling the issue of appointment of interim Vice Chancellor (VC) in an irresponsible way.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s