Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 06.03.16

News Digest: Questions over dead man’s ‘potency’ delay gangrape trial – Ibn7 live


Severe water crisis hits dalit village in Odisha – Odisha sun times


Rohith Vemula-Kanhaiya Kumar link irks BJP as it brushes caste under the flag – The Indian express


Mango man and his democracy – Meri news


Minister stresses proper use of funds for facilities in Dalit areas – Nyoooz


Poetry of resistance- Nyoooz


UP parties eye university polls – The aisan age


A Right-Wing Wrap Around Nationalism – Tehalka.com




First book on Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula released in Malayalam – The aisan age


Please Watch:

History of Caste Politics in Bengal Part 1 (Till 1950s)–Prof Sarbani Bandyopadhyay


Caste in West Bengal Part 2: MarichjhNapi, and the Deep-rooted Casteism of Left Front Bhadraloks



URGENT APPEAL ! Please contribute to

PMARC: Dalits Media Wacth !

Ibn7 live

News Digest: Questions over dead man’s ‘potency’ delay gangrape trial


The verdict in the gangrape of a Danish tourist in Delhi has been held up by a peculiar request — the court-appointed lawyer of one of the nine accused, now dead, wants him declared impotent and, thereby, innocent.

The state had withdrawn the case against Shyam Lal after his death. But his lawyer, Dinesh Sharma, is insistent that the court recall witnesses to testify on a medical report stating that the 55-year-old was impotent. Additional sessions judge Rakesh Kumar will now hear an application filed by Sharma on March 8, the Hindustan Times reported.

  1. You are wasting public money, government tells PSU bank bosses

The government has read the riot act to chiefs of state-run banks, asking them to shape up and take decisive action to rework the public sector banking landscape, which accounts for nearly 70% of the financial market.

During a closed-door meeting at Gyan Sangam, an an nual retreat to strategise, minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha on Friday accused bank bosses of sitting in their “ivory towers“ and not even reassuring their employees at a time when the state-run lenders were going through the most difficult time in over a decade, the Times of India reported.

The message was the sternest in recent months and came after a series of steps -from reworking the appointments process to a recapitalisation roadmap -have had little impact so far.

  1. Ice-cream vendors to get smart cards

The New Delhi Municipal Council has launched a special drive to issue smart cards to street vendors in New Delhi. Ice-cream vendors will be the first to get such cards.

The council aims to regulate the activities of vendors and check related traffic nuisance at public parks, markets, commercial places and footpaths, the Hindustan Times reported.

  1. Rohith-Kanhaiya link irks BJP as it brushes caste under the flag

When JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar spoke of caste inequality and called Rohith Vemula his “icon” after his release on bail for sedition, he didn’t have to connect the dots for his audience.

Kanhaiya’s arrest in JNU came just short of a month after the Dalit student committed suicide in his room on the Hyderabad Central University campus. Like Kanhaiya, Rohith had also been labelled “anti-national” — for having demonstrated, under the banner of the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA), against the death penalty to Yakub Memon. The ABVP’s fingerprints are visible in both episodes — it invited the government into its face-off with the ASA, even as it first raised the flag, or alarm, over the February 9 meeting in JNU, the Indian Express reported.

  1. Jat violence like 1984 riots: Sukhbir Badal

Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal has compared the recent violence for Jat reservation in Haryana to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. In an exclusive interview to the Times of India, he has also said that such riots have continued in the country because the perpetrators of the 1984 violence were not booked and given exemplary punishment. He even hinted that the Haryana government was not doing enough.

Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh had recently commented that non Jats, especially Punjabis, were targeted during the violence in Haryana and Shiromani Akali Dal had remained a mute spectator.

  1. Soon, Stanford University quality check for desi engineers

The government wants to run a quality check on engineering students to sharpen their skills before they graduate.

The human resource development ministry is engaging Stanford University to design a capsule test to measure learning outcomes of engineering students, the Hindustan Times reported. The test is likely to be introduced by the end of this year.

  1. Exam centre 15km away, victim’s kin says girl will be traumatised again

“My daughter cannot take the examinations,” said Nalanda rape victims’ father as he fished out her admit card that had arrived on Saturday morning.

“Her exam centre is Sohsarai Kisan College which is 15 kilometres away. Do they expect me to go there with my daughter and make a tamasha (spectacle) of her with 10 police guards following us… How would the boys…? What will I do of the catcalls and teasing?… She (my daughter) will forget whatever she studied,” he told the Hindustan Times reported.

  1. Bags, pens & T-shirts to swing Bengal voters Gone are the days when candidates banked on door-to-door campaigning or mass rallies to reach out to the electorate. With the announcement of the Bengal polls on Friday, Trinamool Congress candidates are raring to go all out to woo voters. Many of the veteran politicians and heavyweights have already made a pitch to come up with innovative poll memorabilia, from umbrellas to pocket calendars and T-shirts to name a few.

Trying to limit the expenditure within the allocation limit set by the EC, Chandrima Bhattacharyya, who is contesting from North Dumdum, may place an order for umbrellas with the TMC emblem and her name on it, the Times of India reported.

  1. Only two state-run buses for every 10 lakh people in Bihar For every 10 lakh people in Bihar, on average just two governmentrun buses were available in 2014-15. In Odisha 11, and in West Bengal 22, such buses were available for a million people. This is the reality, even as governments have repeatedly vowed to improve public transport so that it is within reach of the last man in a village.

There are some states which have bucked the trend -Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pardesh. They have more government buses serving people and reaching out to far-off villages where private players are scarce since these are loss making routes.

  1. Pakistan man, ‘missing’ since 2007 Samjhauta blasts, set to leave Punjab jail Eight years after Pakistani national Muhammad Irfan was recorded as “missing” in the wake of the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings, he may be released from Amritsar Central Jail. Pakistani officials visited his family, settled in Sargodha district of Pakistan Punjab, last Tuesday seeking details to ascertain his identity to secure his release in India.

According to the Indian Express, a diploma student in computer hardware, Muhammad Irfan, then 28, had come to New Delhi for some purchases in connection with his studies. He had boarded the Samjhauta Express to go back, travelling on ticket number 391734 from Delhi to Attari, when blasts had ripped through the train on the intervening night of February 18-19, 2007, leaving 69 dead.

Odisha sun times

Severe water crisis hits dalit village in Odisha


Ghasidiha village in Banapur block, under  Deogaon panchayat area in Khurda district of Odisha is facing severe water crisis.

The dalit village of more than 2500 residents has only five tube wells, out of which three are not working.

The two tube well are insufficient in fulfilling the needs of the villagers, therefore villagers are dependant on the village pond for their water requirements.

The village pond is very polluted but they are forced to drink the unhygienic  water. Appeals by the villagers to clean the pond has fallen on deaf ears.

Since the maintenance of tube wells and water bodies is under the Panchayat, when the Deogaon sarpanch Akshya Behera was asked he said he will immediately look into the matter.

“We will do the work in war footing if people complain,” panchayat sarpanch said.

The Indian express

Rohith Vemula-Kanhaiya Kumar link irks BJP as it brushes caste under the flag


When JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar spoke of caste inequality and called Rohith Vemula his “icon” after his release on bail for sedition, he didn’t have to connect the dots for his audience.

Kanhaiya’s arrest in JNU came just short of a month after the Dalit student committed suicide in his room on the Hyderabad Central University campus. Like Kanhaiya, Rohith had also been labelled “anti-national” — for having demonstrated, under the banner of the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA), against the death penalty to Yakub Memon. The ABVP’s fingerprints are visible in both episodes — it invited the government into its face-off with the ASA, even as it first raised the flag, or alarm, over the February 9 meeting in JNU.

As Kanhaiya and Rohith get twinned in the political discourse, what is also becoming visible is this: This linkage is causing discomfort in the BJP-ABVP.

In conversations with the rank and file of the BJP-ABVP in UP, in Varanasi, Ayodhya-Faizabad and Muzaffarnagar, The Sunday Express found that those who are aggressively using the JNU episode to draw harder lines between “Us” the “desh bhakts” and “Them” the “desh drohis”, downplay, at the same time, the reality of caste discrimination that Rohith wrote about in his suicide note.

The tidiness of the new faultline after JNU, which invokes the Hindu vs Muslim cleavage, seems to depend on a disavowal of the reality of caste discrimination of the kind Rohith suffered. This, by a BJP that has, ironically enough, Mandalised itself relatively successfully in UP since the 1990s, even as it continues to run into problems with backward caste assertion in neighbouring Bihar.

In his ground-floor office in the imposing sprawl of the Varanasi Nagar Nigam headquarters, mayor Ram Gopal Mohley, former BJP district president, says the JNU row has exposed “so-called secularists and progressive forces”, those who are “propped up by foreign funds”, of “Dawood, bin Laden”, to destabilise a “rashtravadi (nationalist) government”.

Mohley dismisses the suicide of Rohith as a “personal issue”. “There were more serious incidents under previous governments. As PM Modi has said, ek maa ka laal gaya”, one mother has lost her son.

About 2 km away, in the Jan Sampark Karyalaya, which functions as the PM’s parliamentary office in the city, Kedarnath Singh, MLC, talks of “jan aakrosh” or people’s anger over the “anti-national” activities in JNU. “Yeh door tak jayega”, this issue will stay with us, he says. On Rohith’s death, he says: “The BJP has governments in many states, and the Dalits support our party. In UP, of course, they may not be as much with the BJP. But this (Rohith’s death) was blown up, politically. It was a university matter, nothing to do with government.”

S K Tripathi, state coordinator, training, links the two events: “The same anti-national elements are misguiding Dalits like Rohith and Kanhaiya in JNU,” he says. But he also dismisses the issue of caste discrimination — and offers his own reading of Rohith’s suicide note: “It shows aatma glaani (self-loathing). (Rohith felt) I am a Hindu and I organised a beef party, commemorated Yakub Memon? What did I want to be, and what have I become.”

In a bare room off a cavernous hall in the Kashi Vidyapeeth, Ayushi Shrimali, president of the university’s students’ union, active member of the ABVP, talks of “vyaapak” or widespread student mobilisations, protest marches and effigy burnings, to protest “anti-nationalism” in JNU. “Such activities are not new in the red bastion. But it is only because of the ABVP that this has come to light now,” she says. “These people should be stripped of their citizenship”, or else “the fire will spread from JNU to AMU and then everywhere”.

About Rohith, Ayushi, who takes pride in being the first woman president of the university’s students’ union, asks: “Was he even a Dalit? So what if his mother was one? We live in India. It’s a patriarchal system.” His suicide note, which speaks of his anguish at being reduced to his Dalit identity, “could be a conspiracy”. His death “is a sad event. But it shouldn’t be seen as political,” she says.

Veteran Varanasi Cantt MLA Jyotsana Srivastava shares young Ayushi’s indignation on JNU, and denies the issue of caste discrimination in a more fundamental way. Srivastava contests the politics of meaning as constituted in the term “Dalit”, or the oppressed. “I think Dalit is the wrong word. India is an ancient civilisation and there could be some distortions in culture, like sati. But you cannot call people Dalit, or SC or ST. These are divisive terms. If a Brahmin can be called a Brahmin, why cannot a Chamar be called by his caste name?”

Across the state, in Faizabad, Anuj Srivastava, general secretary, Saket Mahavidyalaya Chhatra Sangh, and coordinator, ABVP, puts the onus on Dalits: “Why do they consider themselves small and backward?” As for Rohith, “He could have belonged to any caste or community,” he says.

For Anuj, the issue is also the policy of reservation. “Why does everyone want reservation? What about vikas (development)? The ABVP believes that reservation is needed, for now. But my own view is it should be stopped, it only fuels divisiveness.”

In Lucknow to attend the assembly session, Vimla Solanki, BJP MLA from Sikandrabad, also denies the pervasive scandal of caste discrimination. “I studied in Vanasthali, we didn’t know everyone’s caste.” While fellow legislator Raghunandan Singh Bhadauria, BJP MLA from Kanpur Cantt, says: “It was a suicide, it happens. There has been a suicide even in my own family.” Both Solanki and Bhadauria are united in their call for the strictest punishment for the “anti-national” JNU students.

In Muzaffarnagar, newly elected BJP MLA, Kapil Dev Agarwal, who demands a “high-level probe to uncover the conspiracy behind the support for JNU students”, has this to say on Rohith’s suicide note: “When you reap benefits from the system, you don’t say you are a Dalit. Why is it that you remember your Dalit identity only when you want to cry injustice or are being punished for some wrongdoing?”

His colleague in the party, Sanjay Agarwal, district general secretary of the Muzaffarnagar BJP, sums it up: “I don’t think discrimination against Dalits is a problem. If there is any, it is only in small villages, not in the cities. This (the controversy over Rohith’s suicide) is only politics.

Meri news

Mango man and his democracy


The Modi government presented the most important event of the year, the budget of 2016-17 on 29 February. So, logic demands that on 1st March the politicians of this country should have been discussing the budget because this session of the parliament is known as the Budget Session of the Parliament.

But no, in the mango man country and its democracy, both the houses of the Parliament were not allowed to function, not because the opposition was agitated with the provisions contained in the budget, which the ruling Modi government was not prepared to discuss, but the issues were corruption charges against the son of Congress top neta P Chidambaram and the anti-national happenings at JNU and also at theHyderabad University, and the Congress’ desire to bring in a privilege motion against HRD Minister Smriti irani that was being prevented not by the ruling Modi government but by the AIDMK party of Tamil Nadu. In this context following points need consideration:

During recent raids at the houses Mr Krati Chidambaram in Chennaiwho is son of Mr P Chidambaram, the ex-finance minister of Indiaduring the rule of Sonia Gandhi led UPA government, by default the documents have been found which give out details of large property assets of Mr Chidambaram junior bought outside the country when Chidambaram senior was the finance minister. So, AIDMK party of J Jayalalitha wants proper investigation of these assets which according to them are much more than Chidambaram junior’s income.

This is a genuine demand and the Modi government should concede. However at the same time the Congress leaders wanted to bring in the privilege motion against HRD minster on the statements given by her in the house of Parliament which Congress says are false. Both the parties did not allow each other to speak and the Parliament had to be adjourned. Congress blamed this act of AIDMK a result of incitement by the Modi government. If this is so then Congress must also explain on whose incitement they want to bring in a privilege motion?

The anti-national JNU is an issue which is being investigated by the Delhi police and is in the domain of the Indian courts. It is the judiciary of India which will decide the issue. Similarly the Rohit Vemula suicide issue is being investigated by the Hyderabad police and Hyderabad University. In both cases things will only emerge after these investigations are complete and their reports are out. It is very clear that instead of waiting for these investigations to be complete before discussing the same in parliament The Congress party wants to bring in this privilege motion against HRD minister basically to keep these issues alive in Parliament so that no worthwhile work can be done in the both houses of Parliament. By doing so Congress and other parties in opposition do not want to pass pending 62 bills since last three sessions of Parliament that are urgently needed to be passed to kick start Indian economy. What dirt level politics and democracy is this?

It is also very clear that political parties like Congress, left parties, BSP and JDU all are only interested in Dalit vote banks and are using Rohit Vemula’s mother as a pawn. It is worth noting that Vemula’s father was not a Dalit and only his mother is a Dalit, so what is the status of Rohit, a Dalit or a non-Dalit? The question here is not of a Dalit or non-Dalit. The issue that these political parties must be addressing to is that what all can be done to ensure that in future such tragic incidents are not repeated. But no political party appears to be interested to set right this anomaly.

With Mr Rajendra Kumar IB chief of Gujarat, MR GK Pillai the ex-Home secretary of India then working under the then home minster Chidambaram and now under secretary internal security Mr Mani, all blaming Chidambaram of having changed the affidavit himself that gave a clean chit to the LeT jehadis Ishrat Jahan and her three accomplices in 2009 in the alleged fake encounter case, in which she and her accomplices were killed in 2004, just to implicate Modi and Amit Shash, Congress is in quandary as, what to do now?

Surely Mr Chidambaram could not have got himself involved if these orders had not come from his top most bosses of Congress. So before leads of these investigations reach this top boss, Chidambaram has to be saved. Hence all these happenings in Parliament are meant to divert attention from the main issue of budget and economy to save Chidambaram by filibustering on this privilege motion issue.

With these types of politicians ruling the roost god help the mango man and his country. It is time people of India wake up to these shenanigans of our politicians before it is too late. Time has come when people of India specially its 80 crore youth must ask hard questions from these netas, because it concerns their future. Nobody can be allowed to play with the country’s security like this for political or personal gains.


Minister stresses proper use of funds for facilities in Dalit areas


Summary: Aurangabad: District guardian minister Ramdas Kadam on Saturday took the civic authorities to task for causing delay in the utilisation of funds meant for the Dalit Vasti Sudhar Yojana. But the funds could not be utilised because of the lacklustre approach of the municipal authorities. In the meantime, the municipal authorities deposited the funds in July 2015. “The government had allotted funds for providing facilities in the localities dominated by Dalits. Thereafter, it submitted a plan worth Rs 37 crore to the state government, which sanctioned Rs 27 crore.

Aurangabad: District guardian minister Ramdas Kadam on Saturday took the civic authorities to task for causing delay in the utilisation of funds meant for the Dalit Vasti Sudhar Yojana. He asked the authorities to take up the project in the respective localities at the earliest.”The government had allotted funds for providing facilities in the localities dominated by Dalits. But the funds could not be utilised because of the lacklustre approach of the municipal authorities.

It is injustice to the Dalits,” he said.Kadam said he would not tolerate delay by the municipal administration and asked the authorities to earmark funds for the civic body’s contribution for the scheme.Assuring the guardian minister of prompt action, municipal commissioner Om Prakash Bakoria said the civic body has already initiated the process of building facilities in the targeted areas.Earlier, the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) could not avail funds worth Rs 20 crore allocated for the purpose, as the civic body failed to pay its share of about Rs 31 lakh. The state government had introduced the scheme for providing water connections and toilets in the households of schedule caste and Nav-Buddhist category people in 2010-11. Under the scheme, Rs 4,000 was earmarked for providing every water connection and Rs 12,000 for the construction of toilets.The AMC had hired a private agency to prepare the project implementation plan.


Poetry of resistance


Summary: A published poet — his first anthology, ‘Warscape Verses’, came out in 2014 — Mr. Chandramohan thinks that Indian poetry in English has been largely elitist, with little social commentary. Like all protest poets, S. Chandramohan writes without frills. He dives straight into the cauldron of social, communal and caste hierarchies and resultant deprivations, only to come up with a starkly polemic take on them. Rosy Foundation – launched in the name of the first Malayalam cine actress, a Dalit, whom nobody wanted to celebrate until recently. “My effort at the moment is to build a commune of Dalit writers,” he says.

Like all protest poets, S. Chandramohan writes without frills. He dives straight into the cauldron of social, communal and caste hierarchies and resultant deprivations, only to come up with a starkly polemic take on them. A poet on a mission, he turns the iterated legends shaped by set notions of caste value on their heads in a bid to read them in the light of contemporary social realities.

A published poet — his first anthology, ‘Warscape Verses’, came out in 2014 — Mr. Chandramohan thinks that Indian poetry in English has been largely elitist, with little social commentary. While poets like K. Satchidanandan and Ananya S. Guha have described his poems as overtly political and straight, it’s only recently that some of his poems were summoned to add muscle to the student protests happening across the country. A Dalit poem written by him, ‘Killing the Shambukas’, sometime ago was suddenly brought back to currency across the country after the suicide of Hyderabad University student Rohith Vemula. It reads thus: “Jim Crow segregated hostel rooms Ceiling fans bear a strange fruit, Blood on books and blood on papers, A black body swinging in mute silence, Strange fruit hanging from tridents.” While the Shambuka poem was rendered in over 10 Indian and foreign languages and read out in protest demonstrations in New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, several other poems of his – looking at subaltern characters in Indian mythology from a Dalit perspective and often ringing them into the stifling hierarchies and deprivations of contemporary society – also found avid readers. Mr.

The aisan age

UP parties eye university polls


Student elections in various universities, scheduled to be held in August-September this year, will witness a serious and intense involvement of almost all political parties in Uttar Pradesh that are targeting young voters.

With youth, in the 25 to 35 years age group, forming the almost 38 per cent of the voting population, all political parties seem to have realised the advantage of wooing young voters.

The Bahujan Samaj Party, for instance, will be taking active interest in campus politics this time and the party has asked its leaders to connect with the dalit youth on the campus. The BSP, so far, had kept away from student politics and it was the Mayawati government that had banned students’ elections in 2007.

“The death of Rohith Vemula, a dalit scholar, has forced the BSP to take a stand on student politics and Ms Mayawati has decided to up the ante against the Modi government on dalit issues. There are a growing number of dalit students in each university and we need their support too,” said a BSP functionary.

The Samajwadi Party, on the other hand, has always banked heavily on student support and Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav asserts that the university campus should be treated as a nursery for politicians. The SP has a predominant presence in campus politics and its members are known more for their aggressive behaviour than their political views.

Moreover, with Mr Akhilesh Yadav as chief minister, the party has gained youth support and the SP leadership now wants to use it to their advantage in the 2017 Assembly polls.

The BJP is smug on the youth issues because its youth wing ABVP is aggressively battling these issues on the campus after the JNU controversy. “The ABVP role in the JNU controversy has won us appreciation from students across Uttar Pradesh and this will help us in enlisting youth support on the campus and in Assembly elections,” said a party MLA.

The Congress, too, is keen to cash in students’ movements and the party is focusing on cases of casteist discrimination on the campus.

The Congress will also put up its candidates in students’ elections and senior party leaders will oversee their campaigns. “Students belonging to dalit and Muslim communities are facing discrimination in universities and colleges and we are preparing the list of such case. The Congress will take them up at suitable platforms,” said senior Congress leader Siraj Mehndi.


A Right-Wing Wrap Around Nationalism


The nation is witnessing such an unprecedented situation these days that the ruling party’s ideological fountainhead RSS  and other affiliated organisations are zooming in on places such as educational institutions, news rooms and even court rooms, and mobs are teaching violent lessons of nationalism.

As many point out, the very idea ofIndia and its pluralistic culture is facing major threats from these organisations. Will the BJP government succeed in the plan to weave a Right-wing narrative around the concept of nationalism?

Priyamvada Gopal, writer and academic at Cambridge University tells Tehelka, “The Sangh Parivar has succeeded in taking an existing Right-wing narrative of a Hindu nation and bringing to the mainstream its most vicious, exclusive, bigoted and violent aspects.”

Apart from the VHP and the Bajrang Dal, the sudden rise of its affiliates such as the ABVP , the Hindu Dharma Sena, the Durga Vahini, the Adhivakta (lawyers’) Sangh, the Dharma Jagaran Samanwaya Samiti and the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti are examples of it.

The result of this blooming of outfits was evident in the statistics the government recently released in the Lok Sabha which revealed thatcommunal violence witnessed a 17 percent rise in 2015.

The poll-bound Uttar Pradesh witnessed 155 communal incidents andKarnataka, where Sangh Parivar has a strong base, is in second position with 105 incidents.

Other states where most of the incidents occured such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat are ruled by the BJP. When these groups started their plans with aggression on Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis initially, the civil society formed a wall to thwart this and it lead to the BJP’s electoral rout in Delhi and Bihar Assembly elections. It also lost 33 seats out of 50 in bypolls after the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

A paralysed economy and rising unemployment also added to the worries of the government. The suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula at the University of Hyderabad created an anti Sangh Parivar wave across the campuses.

Though the Sangh has spread its roots among Dalits and other marginalised sections of the society, the assertion of Dalit identity against the ruling dispensation got unprecedented support from civil society and students groups.

To get out of this difficult conundrum, the Sangh is now rewriting the concept of nationalism. BJP and other Sangh organisations leaders portrayed the Ambedkar Students Association, to which Vemula belongs, as anti-national and started to describe any dissent against the Sangh as against the country.

The next stop was JNU . Why JNU ? D Raja, National Secretary of CPI and Rajya Sabha member says, “After the Modi government came to power, the students and teachers were agitating on various issues. Universities are the places of ideas and ideologies and JNU is the best at it. That is why they wanted to take it on and intimidate the students. For that they are using the ABVP , though it is a student organisation, with the support of State machinery.”

Sangh Parivar has succeeded in the plan to mobilise the mainstream into a frenzy. They have used the news channels to implement their plan.

Channels such as Times Now, Zee News and News X which were the cheerleader of nationalistic fury, topped the TRPs for the past two weeks.

The paranoid psyche of common Indian towards Kashmir and the Afzal Guru issue was also exploited in a designed manner. The Sangh has more or less succeeded in dividing people as nationals and anti-nationals. Will this patriotic authoritarian nature of a mob lead to a communal flare up?

Eminent social scientist Achin Vanaik says, “The big riots may not happen. The plan is to change the public discourse by polarising the society in such a way that it benefits them in the elections. Now they are targeting universities like jnu because these are centres from which Sangh narratives are challenged vehemently.”

It is evident from history that ultra-nationalism was the final card in many countries, when they were facing internal or external challenges.

Will this strategy become a short time fantasy by the Sangh Parivar which will soon fizzle out or will it ultimately emerge victorious? Gopal says, “A counter narrative is emerging. That is what we see at the heart of the JNU row and in order for it to succeed, it will require an alliance between various progressive social movements — Adivasis, Dalits, Bahujans, Kashmiris and the Left in the widest sense of the term (not restricted to the official party Left). I do think that the resistance to Brahminism is vital to challenging Hindutva and as such, Dalit assertion is vital to the success of the counter-narrative.”

But even when the agitating students, teachers and academics are coming out in large numbers, it seems that the government is relentless about its agenda.

A cabinet minister getting enormous support from various sections of the society for her casteist and communal toned speech, which has lies and half truths, about the death of a Dalit student and the atmosphere in JNU, suggests that the narrative is well underway.

The pioneer



The UP Assembly witnessed noisy scenes on Saturday when members of the BSP and the Congress raised the issue of murder of a dalit employee of Ambedkar University at Agra and the cash reward promise by former Badaun chief of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha who could slit the tongue of JNU student union chief Kanhaiya Kumar.

BSP members trouped in the Well of the House demanding Rs 20 lakh for the family of dalit victim Satyendra Kumar – a clerk of the Agra University, who was murdered on February 13. The angry BSP MLAs alleged that the UP government doled out Rs 10 lakh to the family of slain VHP leader Arun Mahaur due to ‘political reasons’ but ignored the murdered dalit.

The House witnessed noisy scenes for about five minutes after which Parliamentary Affairs minister Azam Khan pacified the members assuring punishment to the killers and raising the issue of compensation for the victim’s family with the CM. Khan also said that the UP government gave Rs 10 lakh to Mahaur to counter the negative propaganda by communal forces and it should not be compared with the dalit employee’s killing.

The BSP raised the issue after Union minister of state for HRD, Ramashanker Kateharia on Friday questioned the BSP leaders as to why the party was silent on the murder of dalits in Agra.

The Congress members raised the issue of the ex-Budaun chief of BJYM announcing an award of Rs 5 lakh to anyone who would slit the tongue of the JNUSU chief.   “The statement is an effort to divide the country and foment communal disturbances,” alleged Congress member Pankaj Malik.

Replying to the issue, Parliamentary Affairs minister Azam Khan said, that the state government would deal such people attempting to spew communal hatred, with a firm hand. He said that it semed that some people issue provocative comments to find a space in the media.

Meanhwile, BJP leader Suresh Kumar Khanna raised the issue of scarcity of drinking water due to depletion of ground water level across the state.  He said the hand pumps installed in rural areas have become inoperational and demanded that these be   rebored or replaced immediately. He asked the government to sanction at least 300 hand pumps for each Assembly segment. BJP legislator from Gorakhpur, Radha Mohan Agarwal through Adjournment notice raised the issue of flouting of Right to Education (RTE) Act by private schools.

He pointed out that the rules framed by the state government were faulty and contravened the guidelines laid down by Supreme Court. Agarwal charged that the government was soft on private schools which were flouting the Act by denying admission to poor students. Opposing the notice, Azam Khan said that it was not possible for the UP government to force private unaided schools to implement the RTE. “Moreover it was against the law of natural justice to ask schools to implement RTE who are not given any financial assistance by the state government,” he said.

The aisan age

First book on Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula released in Malayalam


Vemula’s scathing comments on Patel reservation, CPM’s stand on quota in private sector are incorporated in the book.

The first book in Malayalam about the Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula and the issues he raised was released here on Saturday.

The book, ‘Rohith Vemula: Nizhalukalil Ninnum Nakshathrangalilek’ (Rohith Vemula: From shadows to stars), published by Kozhikod-based ‘Vidyarthi publications’ contains Vemula’s writings and opinion pieces of notable social commentators about his politics. Memoirs were written by K.P. Praveena, Vaikhari Aaryat and Jobi Mathew, Vemula’s friends and students of HCU.

Vemula’s scathing comments on Patel reservation, CPM’s stand on reservation in the private sector and SFI’s soft Hindutva stand at HCU are incorporated in the book.

“The protest that has been triggered by Rohith Vemula’s suicide is unparallel in the country after the Mandal commission protests.” says Mr O.P. Raveendran who edited the book.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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