Updates from Ashley Tellis on his removal by St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Sciences, Bangalore

THE TEXT BELOW IS FROM THE FACEBOOK TIMELINE OF ASHLEY TELLIS 

St. Joseph’s Update 1# So the Jesuit administration is getting more pathetic by the minute. Today, they ran to one of my classes and starting collecting signatures on a complaint letter against me (after I have been fired and have left the college!!!). Students were being coerced and hustled into signing. Some of my students signed and did not even know what they were signing. Others refused to sign. Some were wisely kept away from by the Jesuits. How pathetic can you get, guys? Nine more classes to go, guys!. Then the MAs.
 
Two more points here a) if there were a series of complaints against me by students and parents, why was I not informed about it? The standard protocol in academic institutions is to inform people if they are being seen as a problem, not to sack them unceremoniously b) Students (and now parents have been added to the press release by the Principal and the college) being disturbed are concerns on the basis of which to sack a teacher but when they are disturbed by draconian rules, by being pulled out of exam halls for long hair or torn jeans or ear-studs or coloured hair, by being asked to cough up money or be denied hall tickets, when parents are called compulsorily to college for a day-long workshop to help them deal with their children and are asked to pay for it and the list goes on – none of that is disturbance at all?
 
St. Joseph’s Update 2# So it has come to my knowledge that a certain Prithvi Chandavarkar has written an fb post and anonymously circulated a whatsapp post about my sacking. I read it and the incoherence, illogic and poor thinking in it helped me identify him immediately. He was in the MA II class I helped with their Research paper. Just to clarify a few points: a) Having talks by LGBT individuals is not the same as hiring LGBT individuals. That I was the only out LGBT individual in the college says great things about the college’s inclusive policies b) This deluded and somewhat creepy man claims to have knowledge about my past. Good to know that students are stalkers. The homophobia in his insinuations about my past is obvious. c) Of course I did not make eye contact with him because I make eye contact only with students who are alive in class, who have a brain and who are listening c) He threatens violence and warns me. I will be crossing him soon with my lawyer so we will see what is in store for whom d) The English Department is indeed so liberal that the HoD sent a message to all teachers today saying they should not talk to the media and if they do should give the college version or say they know nothing at all. It is so liberal that students were told to keep out of it all and not speak to the media either c)The college is so liberal that all the posts below show it really well, especially the Principal’s comment about gay couples. I will be examining his open letter with my lawyer and his veiled homophobia, his open threats and much else (My students have sent me screenshots of it all and copies of it all). A true product of this institution he proves himself to be. The actual open letter reeks of misinformation, lies, vicious homophobia and unfounded allegations a) I did not abandon any students. I still had my four and took on a fifth till my last day in college and also offered to continue to supervise them as only 10 days are left for submission b) I was not assigned to the class at all. I volunteered to help as the MA research for many students was in pitiable shape and I helped many students get up to scratch c) I wait for an official complaint from any student that I was “creepily sexual” or “interfered with their private lives.” These are serious, libellous claims and I am talking to my lawyer about this post and letter. Ditto with charges of “similar conduct” and “abhorrent behaviour.” I will not let him get away with any of this. This is the sort of rank homophobia and unbelievable violence that we have to face every day of our lives in institutions as LGBT people where we both do not make eye contact but are creepily sexual, where people make claims about our lives and pasts with absolutely no knowledge of anything about our lives having seen us for a couple of months.
 
St. Joseph’s Update 3#  The college has put out a statement to the press parts of which are quoted in The Newsminute article below. Just some clarifications on it a) It says it knew full well I was gay as it was stated in my application and at my interview. It was not clearly stated in either. b) If it is my personal choice to be gay, why aren’t my opinions my personal choices too? Why are my personal opinions a problem and my “choice” to be homosexual not one? c) Does the college pay any heed to the sensitivities of UG students from heterogeneous backgrounds? Why impose a no ear stud rule on boys who are wearing ear studs since childhood as part of their culture? Why penalise women who hug boys on their birthdays or who are hugged by boys on their birthdays because their (and anybody sane’s culture) demands that they do so? Why penalise girls who wear leggings, colour in their hair, torn jeans and who go to pubs – all that may be their idea of culture, right? Why ask girls and boys to sit separately, not be seen together walking or sitting anywhere? I am supposed to have crossed a line. Who decides that line? Aren’t all these things I’ve just pointed out not crossing the line? Who is imposing personal opinions on others? My “opinions” were actually different positions in a debate or points in a controversion exercise where they are supposed to challenge a dominant notion or opinion or idea or sentiment. These are forms of argumentation we are supposed to teach students to make them critical, thinking individuals. Critical thinking is crossing the line. Making students bow obediently to threats, coercion and illegal methods is not. The Jesuits do not have opinions. They do not force them on anyone. Only certain teachers do.
 
 
St. Joseph’s Update 4#  A certain priest was harassing girl students in college, sending them lewd messages at night. It came to the knowledge of a certain lecturer who stood by the students and brought it to the notice of the administration. At the end of that year (last year, actually), that lecturer was fired. That certain priest is now in charge of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee in college. Is no student disturbed by this? Is no parent disturbed by this? Do the students and parents know? Has there been a signature campaign? May we start one now?
 
 
St. Joseph’s Update 6# For those who think that my sexual orientation has nothing to do with my hiring and firing, here are some things for you to ponder: a) I was pretty much offered a job and asked to join from Monday last year at St. Joseph’s College of Commerce (SJCC) and then blanked out on and not called again. I have a PhD, over 10 years of teaching, publications and research. I was told by insiders that the teacher I was to replace went and showed a news report to the Principal of that college (who is seen by the way, as liberal) which said I was a gay activist. I was denied the job b)an MA student (see Update 2#) has been spreading vicious and homophobic lies about my being “creepily sexual,” making claims about my past about which he knows nothing and so on. This comes from rank homophobia and he contradicts his own point about St. Joseph’s being a liberal space c) Homophobia is something LGBT out faculty, or even faculty not out, face every day of our lives. I have written about this before and an article should be out in DNA soon on the issue by me. in Joseph’s, I was stared at and jeered and comments were passed as I walked by by students, teachers and every level of person. It is something we LGBT people have to deal with just like women deal with sexual harassment. It is so endemic that it is just taken for granted. d) Only the homosexual is creepily sexual (the heterosexual is never so even as 99% of sexual harassment is by heterosexual men e) Whatever the homosexual does or does not do is suspect: if he does not make eye contact, it is because he is ashamed of something and hiding it; if he does analyse a student’s whatsapp status as a text linked to the language of popular romances which a student is researching he is interfering in personal lives. Either way you are damned whereas any comments straight faculty make are a blank slate because straight people have no sexuality at all. Sexuality is part of the classroom. Students are forever sexualising teachers, speculating about them, commenting about them. That is part of the process. But with a gay person, it becomes sleaze that can be thrown back at him. As David Halperin has argued in Saint Foucault, recounting his own terrible experience of homophobia in a US University, no matter what you do or do not do as a gay man, you are doomed for just being gay. I take this to the classroom. I talk about sexuality not only because it is part of the texts I teach and the discussions we need to have in the sphere of the literary and the political but because it is part of my gay politics and feminist politics. Once again, this is bound to destabilise and I aim to destabilise. The conservative nature of students and institutions does not mean I will hide who I am or what I want to say. It is predictable that women love my classes and straight men are unnerved by them, male institutions are. I will not be cowed down by either.
 
The News Minute Link : http://bit.ly/2mOjOJL 

St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Sciences, Bangalore removes Ashley Tellis, a Gay Professor for his sexual orientation and his views

The text below is the Facebook post of Ashley Tellis dated March 10

So at 9:30 am on March 9 2017, while I am in the middle of a BCom Second Year class, I am asked to come down and meet the Principal of St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Sciences, Fr. Victor Lobo, immediately (so much for any respect for the teacher and classroom and the process of teaching and learning, from the Jesuits). Once there, he makes me wait for 10 minutes outside the office, while my students are waiting in class. Then he calls me in and tells me: “Students are disturbed by your personal opinions. The management has got to know of these opinions. I have been asked to relieve you with immediate effect.” “Really? What opinions?” I ask. “Students are very much disturbed by your opinions (sic). You were hired to teach English Literature. Not to give your personal opinions. Please sign these letters. Leave the college with immediate effect. No need to take any more classes. We will manage,” comes the reply. I remember my contract which says I can be removed “with no reasons assigned.” I get up and leave. I also remember that I need one month’s notice according to the contract. But never mind. Throughout this meeting, if anyone is disturbed, it is the Principal. He looks ashen-faced, his hands are shaking, his mouth is dry. I am not surprised by this. In classes, my students have talked about what they don’t like about this Principal, even as they love their college. This is my comeuppance for having those discussions.

This is the Principal who finds a boy and girl sharing headphones immoral and he penalises them for it. This is the Principal who finds a girl hugging a boy on his birthday offensive and penalises her asking what sort of family she comes from where people hug. This is the Principal who pulls students out of the exam, trauamtises them by confiscating their ID cards because they have long hair (boys), are wearing ear studs (boys), have colour in their hair (girls), have a tear in their jeans (boys and girls). This is the Principal who makes students buy concert tickets to raise funds for the college and if they don’t, informs then that they will not get their hall tickets for the exams. This is the Principal who forces students to pay Rs. 500 for the new college building, shaming them by pointing to how expensive their mobile phones are. This is the Principal who does not allow students to cut a cake on their birthdays. This is the Principal who says women, especially, must not to go to pubs. This is the Principal who tells students not to have any relationships out of family. This is the Principal who forces Christian students to go to mass or confiscates IDS and does not give them hall tickets. This is the Principal who says boys and girls should not go for films together. This is the Principal who allows teachers to not allow boys and girls to sit together. This is the Principal who does not like to see boys and girls walk together. This is the Principal who has draconian hostel rules for boys, let alone girls. I could go on but this is enough. This is the Principal whose justification for all this is that Christ University is doing this and we should not give the impression that we are liberal. This is the great Christ University where a student was raped by a priest a few years ago and not only was it hushed up, the student was further traumatised, blamed, forced to leave and she disappeared.

Yet students take all of this lying down. There is no Pinjra Tod in any of the St. Joseph’s institutions or indeed any institution in Bangalore. These rules apply to most of the Jesuit and Christian institutions all over Bangalore. Teachers take this lying down and have many of these rules applied to them too. They are viewed with suspicion and monitored through a spy network among students (how well Jesuits train their students!) some members of which doubtless reported on me as I have discussions with students in practically every class and in extra-curricular activities on these issues, issues they are very upset about, issues that affect their lives in terrible ways. These students are damaged and policed and surveilled and stunted.

Yet their parents love this happening to their kids. They agree to an SMS being sent to them every time their kids bunk one class. They silently cough up the money asked for buildings and concerts held to build buildings. They probably would love to police their children in similar ways at home and many probably do.

This is the network of family, school, college and institutions in general that stymie the growth of young minds. This is the Taliban with a liberal face.

When a teacher asks students to think, to think critically, to ask questions, to find out how much labourers doing the furious building on campus are being paid, to think about the implications of this Talibanisation of student lives on the gendered futures of the society we live in, to not be intimidated by threats of being asked to take a Transfer Certificate (TC) and leave if they don’t like things here, they are fired as their opinions are apparently “disturbing” the students. “The students are very much disturbed (sic),” I was told by this Principal who ostensibly has a PhD in English but has never taught an English class in college., who occasionally takes a Theology class and tells 18 years olds that reading fancy Literature in their elite Departments where even the teachers do not like them (entirely made up and putting students against teachers) does not help, that all they need to read is the Bible. That is the true and only Literature.

I wish the students were really disturbed. It is the job of the teacher to keep the student disturbed. If the student is not disturbed, how will anything change in the world? To be destabilised, to be disturbed is the achievement of the teacher. It is not a reason to fire a teacher.

My only hope is that this case will make students stand up for their rights: the right to a democratic education, the right to a context of democratic practice in education which the Karnataka government and the Constitution of India (which institutions, minority ones or otherwise, have to follow) guarantees not institutions that make up more and more bizarre rules and force them on students.

As for me, this is not a new story. This is not the first time this has happened to me and it will not be the last. But, unlike the students, I have not, am not and will not take it lying down.” 

Credits: http://bit.ly/2mOeOoD

 

 

 

On the Anxieties surrounding Dalit Muslim Unity

Recently we saw the coming together of Dalits and Muslims at the ground level, against a common enemy – the Hindu, Brahminical State and Culture – in many instances. It was a unification of lower caste groups and Muslims that we witnessed in the struggles of Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) in University of Hyderabad (UoH) too. Such a combination was what irked the authorities in UoH, which led to the persecution and eventual suicide/institutional murder of Rohith Vemula. However, in spite of this, the intellectual discussions that are happening today seem to be writing off any Dalit-Muslim unity as an impossible and even undesirable political formation by pointing to the existence of caste among Muslims.[i]

Caste is integral to the formation of almost all identity groups in India as it is foundational to the social and cultural fabric of India. Moreover, if we look at all marginalized and oppressed groups, it was the dominant caste/community among them that was involved in organizing the community.[ii] So, social stratification (on the basis of various factors including caste) is a reality for all minority groups including Muslims. Even Babasaheb Ambedkar wrote about this in his seminal work, Annihilation of Caste.[iii] However, all of the above articles, and much of the present day discussions use the category of caste to abandon the Muslim question and see it anew from within the ambit of a larger anti-caste location. We feel that there are serious problems with this political and theoretical move and this is what we want to problematize in this piece.

Even though caste exists among women, among Dalits, among many social groups in India, it does not lead to the dismantling of the politics of any of these groups. The woman question continues to remain as a powerful field employed in almost all spheres of life and culture, in spite of the assertive attack on it by many Bahujan women who feel excluded from the homogenizing category of ‘woman.’ In fact, these attacks are also often made from a renewed understanding of women and gender. Similarly, even if there are divisions among Dalits, and ‘Maha Dalit’ has already become an established category like the ‘Pasmanda Muslim’ and Maha Dalits have started asserting themselves, one does not sees the presence of this issue in any intellectual discourse. The national acceptance of the caste question is itself today mediated by the large-scale employment of the category of the Dalit, which is often posited as a very homogenous and easily recognizable category.

However, when it comes to the Muslim question, the existence of caste among Muslims is employed not towards a reassertion of a new and renewed Muslim politics that would be informed by an understanding of the reality of caste, but the well-established concept of caste is used to bombard the very category of the Muslim and to replace it with the notion of a collective wherein the Muslim is added in with the category of Dalits, Adivasis and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) as a caste category, and the issue of religion is discarded as needless and useless for any kind of contemporary analysis. This can be very clearly seen in these words of Khalid Anis Ansari:

“Since the express object of the pasmanda movement has been to raise the issue of caste-based exclusion of subordinate caste Muslims, it has stressed on caste-based solidarity across religions. As Ali Anwar, the founder of Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz, says: “There is a bond of pain between pasmanda Muslims and the pasmanda sections of other religions. This bond of pain is the supreme bond … That is why we have to shake hands with the pasmanda sections of other religions.”

In this article, after agreeing that “pasmanda Muslims share a widespread feeling of ‘Muslimness’ with the upper-caste Muslims,” the reality of caste within this shared Muslimness makes Ansari move towards a position where he would rather focus on the Pasmanda Muslims’ shared “experience of caste-based humiliation and disrespect with subordinated caste Hindus,” even though he is well aware that this solidarity “is equally interrupted by the discourse around religious difference.” So when face to face with an identity, which is complex in nature, whose religion based solidarity is broken by caste and caste based solidarity is broken by religion, Ansari chooses to focus on caste-based solidarity and discard the solidarity that is based on religion.[iv]

The best illustration of the political consequence of such a perspective is the Pasmanda Muslim position on the reservation for Muslims. Sub-group reservation is a demand by most identity groups today. OBC women, Maha Dalits and the Most Backward Classes are all demanding sub-quotas within the larger category as a way of better belonging to the very category that excludes them. However, in the case of Muslims, Pasmanda Muslims, in their own words “have consistently objected to the demand of reservation for the entire Muslim community dubbing it as a ploy by the hegemonic high caste Muslims to corner all the benefits.”[v] Instead they seek reservations only within the established category of SC and OBC. In other words, Pasmanda politics, aims at preventing all new attempts by Muslim organizations to get reservations as a group.

Now we need to understand here that the draft Constitution of India did provide reservations for Muslims.[vi] It is through a very secular, savarna, liberal, nationalist politics that Muslims were cleverly pushed out of the ambit of reservations in India. It is the same nationalist process that put Dalits in the category of Hindus in the constitution. [vii] So now, if a politics is created in the name of caste, which will oppose any kind of assertion of Muslim politics/reservation, it is not difficult to see that this politics is framed within the same secular, savarna liberal process that pushed Muslims out of the ambit of reservation and made Dalits constitutionally Hindu.[viii] [ix] [x]

However, as it must be obvious, one can see that it is very difficult for a group, which is already feeling oppressed within a totality to first demand reservations for the totality of Muslims and then demand for sub-reservation within it. In fact, this is an impossibility in the present scenario. In other words, the demands of Pasmanda Muslims are created from a certain impossibility regarding the Muslim question in Caste Hindu India. However, and this is what we want to argue here, if we are to push towards a radical transformative politics, we need to understand how the ‘caste among Muslim’ discourse is actually reasserting this impossibility of the Muslim identity in a Caste Hindu India and thereby reasserting the ideology of the caste Hindu Nation.

Such an impossibility is automatically reproduced when most present day “caste among Muslims” discourses fail to distinguish between Hindu and Muslim social groups. In his Annihilation of Caste, Babasaheb Ambedkar reveals a greater insight about the same, which is very useful for thinking through these issues today. In this seminal work Ambedkar makes two major definitions about Hindu and Muslim social groups. About the Hindu society he says:

“Hindu Society as such does not exist. It is only a collection of castes. Each caste is conscious of its existence. Its survival is the be-all and end-all of its existence. Castes do not even form a federation. A caste has no feeling that it is affiliated to other castes, except when there is a Hindu-Muslim riot. On all other occasions each caste endeavors to segregate itself and to distinguish itself from other castes. (Annihilation of Caste, Dr B R Ambedkar).”

Here the argument is that Hindu society as such doesn’t exist as it is just a group of castes and that this collection of castes can probably come together only in the face of the Muslim ‘other.’ That is, the presence of the Muslim can create an affiliation of castes, which is otherwise not there. Thinking along these lines, we can then argue that it is this affiliation in the face of the Muslim that creates Hindu unity or Hindu identity or Hinduism itself. This is the same reason why riots are needed whenever there is a need to manufacture such a Hindu Unity.

Now look at what Ambedkar has to say about Muslim and other minority groups in the same essay:

“If we apply these considerations to castes among Mohammedans, Sikhs, and Christians on the one hand, and to castes among Hindus on the other, you will find that caste among Non-Hindus is fundamentally different from caste among Hindus. First, the ties which consciously make the Hindus hold together are non-existent, while among Non- Hindus there are many that hold them together. The strength of a society depends upon the presence of points of contact, possibilities of interaction, between different groups which exist in it. These are what Carlyle calls “organic filaments”— i.e., the elastic threads which help to bring the disintegrating elements together and to reunite them. There is no integrating force among the Hindus to counteract the disintegration caused by caste. While among the Non-Hindus there are plenty of these organic filaments which bind them together.”

The major argument put forward here is that in contrast to Hindu society, which does not have a binding factor due to the presence of caste, and which can come together only in the face of the ‘other’ of the threatening Muslim, in spite of the presence of caste, Muslim society is bound by “organic filaments” which “reunites” them even in the face of the disintegrating elements of caste.

Two important points can be deduced from Ambedkar’s initial arguments about caste in Hindus and Non-Hindus. One is that there is something in non-Hindu community formations, which offers the possibility of transcending caste. Secondly, Hinduism in India is made possible when castes come together (even if momentarily) in the face of the Muslim ‘other.’ In fact, from the cow protection riots of the 1920s to the present day tensions between Hindus and Muslims there are deliberate attempts to make this coming together happen not only through the imposition of an hegemonic Brahminical culture on lower castes, but also through an attempt to bring all warring caste factions together as Hindu in the face of the threatening ‘other’ of the Muslim.

Hinduism in the Dalit Bahujan discourse is thought of as just another name for Brahminism, which is then imposed on different lower caste communities, who are forced, coerced, persuaded or seduced to adopt Brahminical culture so as to situate themselves as Hindu. Expanding on Ambedkar’s argument and in the light of numerous historical incidents, we can make a different argument: Hinduism is not ONLY a category imposed on any single caste group (as is argued in Kancha Ilaiah’s Why I am not a Hindu) through Brahminism, it is also a relational category that comes to different caste groups when they are organized to forget their caste nature temporarily in the face of the Muslim ‘other’.

Without this expanded understanding of Hinduism, which not only talks of caste but also looks at its close connection to the reality of religion and the positioning of the Muslim as the ‘other,’ we cannot fully chart the realities of India in any of our analysis. For instance, if we do not do this, we cannot understand why the demolition of Babri Masjid was a fall out of the Mandal debate.[xi] We cannot also explain why in Gujarat, the riots for and against caste-based reservations in 1981 was transformed “very quickly into a gratuitous attack on the Muslim community, which had nothing to do with the reservation policy of the government.”[xii] We will also not be able to make much of the fact that it was Narendra Modi, who was then in his capacity as a senior functionary of the RSS who engineered this attack on Muslims, when the issue was about caste-based reservations.[xiii]

So to repeat, it is not enough to say that there are different castes and that we are all forced/persuaded to identify as Hindus within the hegemonic category of Hindu, we also need to state that this category of the Hindu is created when lower castes are mobilized against the external threat of the Muslim. The constitutional definition of the Dalit as Hindu, exacerbates this process and gives constitutional weight to the inclusion of a major and resisting part of the lower castes – the Dalits – within the Hindu fold, thereby strengthening this otherwise lifeless category. It is this process of organizing different castes as Hindu within various national secular liberal discourses against the Muslim ‘other’ that we must term as Indian Ideology and we must point to this as that which sustains caste in India today, giving importance to both caste and religion in its making. Manusmriti or pre-independence anti-caste literature, which talks only about the different categories of caste, will not help us face this complex, modern, Hindu reality of caste in India.

However, it is not the same process that binds Muslim society in India. It is through the use of non-Hindu symbols, tropes, rituals, eating habits and knowledge production that Muslims have constituted themselves as a society in India. Taking forward Ambedkar’s argument we can say that the religion of Islam provides “organic filaments” which guides the process of unification in Muslims, whether this be marred by caste or not. Thus in many ways, in spite of the presence of caste in this non-Hindu society, it still offers a possibility of resistance to the unification process that is happening under the ambit of Hinduism. In other words, Muslim unification is not only different from Hindu unification but it is also a unification that resists the cultural power of Hindu hegemony in India.

In the light of the above arguments a few things are clear. If the evidence of caste is being used to get to a situation where the ‘Muslim community must be broken by caste” and a “supreme bond” will be created between lower caste Hindus and Muslims, we will still not find a way out of the impasse we are all in. In this kind of a scenario, the newly added Muslim will only aid the caste category, which i) any day can become affiliated to one another and turn against the Muslim as the ‘other’ and ii) which without unpacking its own location in the Hindu religion cannot really be fully annihilated. [xiv]

So the present trend of trying to delegitimize all Muslim politics in the name of caste should be more thoroughly interrogated. We should clearly identify that any debate that calls for an abandonment of Muslim politics is not only a way of managing Muslim politics in India, but also a way to maintain the status quo regarding caste Hindu Indian ideology. Moreover, in this time of extreme Islamophobia and the ascendancy of the Hindu right wing in India, one cannot but see the connection between this theoretical annihilation employing caste and the literal annihilation of Muslims that is being sought on the ground.

In fact, in the light of the above arguments, we have to seriously think about the denial of religion in our present day anti-caste discourses. Given the complex way in which caste and religion come together to create modern caste Hindu realities, we need to see that a denial of religion is a sure way of leaving Hinduism and thereby caste itself unquestioned. In fact, we need to think more about why it is easy for us to discard religion and create a politics based solely on the caste question. We feel this is because of the secular legitimacy that caste has gained today. This legitimacy is mainly gained by discarding the category of religion and focusing only on the hierarchies of caste, which does not actually interrogate the Caste Hindu Indian ideology discussed above. This is very similar to the legitimacy that gender has gained. Gender, even feminists agree, has taken over all fields.[xv] This is because though not similar to contemporary anti-caste politics and much more hegemonic and even more acceptable to the mainstream, the gender debate has also left the modern, Caste Hindu Indian edifice unquestioned.

However, Muslim politics as Faisal Devji himself says, has never been able to gain any legitimacy in India. The Left always claimed to be supportive to Muslim politics, but they also talk from within the binary of communalism/secularism and in the long run they include most Muslim groups within the ‘communal’ category.

More importantly, we must also note that many of the organizations today accused of having upper caste leadership have been banned numerous times, many others have been broken up and their members send to years of prison. Many important Muslim leaders have also spent decades in prison for daring to talk about Indian social issues from within the ambit of Islam. This clearly shows how persecuted and marginalized Muslim political organizations have been in India. Yet, a religiously oriented, non-secular, illiberal Muslim politics has existed and thrived (even as it has been oppressed and persecuted) in India and it has remained marginalized and this can be seen as having a potential to question every hegemonic category in India, including that of Hinduism, secularism and nationalism.

In other words, if Indian modernity, which became unofficially Hindu by including lower castes too within its fold, sees the Muslim as the ‘other,’ we should at least allow this “other” to be recognized and granted the right to political mobilization and assertion. Even if we are not ready to say that it is this ‘other’ which has the potential to break apart the hegemony of Caste Indian modernity, at least we should grant this much to this ‘other.’ If we are denying even this to the “other” we are doing nothing but asserting the “Self” of the Caste Hindu Nation against this “other.”

In many ways, we also need to see that Islam has taken an oppositional position to modernity all over the world, and that is why it is seen as such a threat both inside and outside. We cannot refuse to see all this and talk as if the so-called Savarna Muslims are sharing monopoly of land and other material and cultural resources like the Savarna Hindus. In fact, as Shan Muhammed argued in an article on Round Table India, there is a theo-political potentiality of Islam and Muslim organizations, which cannot be dismissed by saying that all of them are being headed by upper caste Muslims.[xvi]

Most Islamic organizations and politics, embrace religion and often politics for them is subsumed within the ethical practices that religion demands from them. For them there is no sociality where they have no religion. In great contrast, contemporary anti-caste politics, in spite of its great impact and subversive potential, is very much part of a modern life-world. It has today become an extremely secular category, where moving far away from Ambedkarite thought, religion itself is dismissed as not important for annihilating caste. That too at a time when many subaltern groups are increasingly using conversion as a tool to move out of the caste system, just as Ambedkar had propagated. Given this, when there is a talk of Dalit-Muslim unity, the demand made on Muslim groups is to discard the issue of religion and subsume themselves within the secular, liberal caste category.

A note by Waseem RS, (published in Round Table India) which looks into the question of Muslim student politics within an anti-caste milieu, is a good illustration of this. Written from the vantage point of a Muslim student working alongside anti-caste politics, it clearly allows the question of religion to be subsumed within the larger cause. We can see this happening when we see that as part of trying to stand within a “politics of social justice”(in the face of assault from the Left) Waseem produces a profuse apology for the many shortcomings of Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO), the Muslim Student organization he belongs to, and is ready to debunk both its “founding narratives” and the founder Abul A’la Maududi himself ! In fact, the ideas in the note is shared by a good number of Muslim students working with new political formations in today’s campuses and reflects the crisis of Muslim students’ articulation of their politics and religion from the modern, secular vocabulary of anti-caste politics. [xvii]

We want to conclude by saying that we are highly critical of this apologetic and dismissive tone of the Muslim question, which is increasingly framing the debate about Dalit-Muslim unity. As we have already said, the location of Muslim movements and politics in India as the ‘other’ of Indian modernity has the potential to enrich and envision an anti-caste politics that could escape or offer an alternative to the powers of modernity, which in India is nothing other than caste. The coming together of Dalits, with a new understanding of the attempt to appropriate them into the Hindu religion, and Muslims, with a renewed understanding of caste/social stratification among them, in common platforms of struggles will alone lead to such an endeavor.

Notes

[i] At the end of 2016 we saw three different articles, one in ‘The Hindu’ and two in Round Table India, which addressed this issue. Two of these articles (Faizal Devji’s ‘Is a Dalit Muslim Unity’ possible and ‘Khalid Ansari: A Bahujan ‘Third Space’ Beyond Left and Right: Really?) vehemently opposed the very possibility of forming a Dalit Muslim unity. Both of these articles point to the evidence of caste among Muslims so as to demolish the very category of the Muslim and to subsume this religious identity within an identity of caste, in the name of anti-caste politics. In contrast, the third article by Waseem RS, which was written to ward off the leftist stereotyping of SIO as a Muslim right-wing organization, clearly stands for a Dalit Muslim politics. However, here too (as we shall see more clearly at the end of the essay) we can see the very same pressure to denounce various core aspects of Waseem’s own Muslim student politics so as to make it worthy of belonging to a larger narrative of social justice or anti-caste politics in JNU. (“On the Orientalist Savarna Perception of equating SIO with ABVP,” Round Table India)

[ii] In fact, one of the comments on Khalid Anis Ansari’s article “Why BAPSA’S support to Muslim Right is problematic,” where he talks of Savarna Muslims as being at the forefront of all Muslim movements, immediately points to the existence of a similar structure even among Dalits:

Honest Indian: “Basically the creamy layer in every community/ Castes automatically start behaving like advantageous class …. Look at the creamy layer of Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes who are not ready to leave their advantageous position after enjoying the facilities of quota for last 70 years in favour of their disadvantaged folks. Now, no Government, irrespective of any party, can dare to change this equation. The creamy layer of SC/ ST will never allow any Govt. to make any legislation to disband the creamy layer from taking advantages of reservation in order to give a passage to the disadvantaged SC/ ST who are left behind.”

This argument is then extended to cover Ansari’s own social location:

“I presume even Mr. Khalid Anis Ansari falls in the “savarna” group among all backward class of Muslims, being his advantaged status. Among all backward Muslims like, Ansari, Lohaar, Mochi, Mallah. Barhai, Nut,Mehtar, Raeen, Qassab, Bakkho, Shahjee, Faqeer and Khanabadosh etc, Ansaris are much more economically and socially developed. According to Mr. Khalid’s parameter Ansaris as a caste may fall under “Savarna” category among the whole backward Muslim Castes whereas Mr. Khalid Anis Ansari himself appears certainly as ” savarna” from among many disadvantaged Ansaris.”

[iii] “Of these, there is one set which finds nothing peculiar nor odious in the Caste System of the Hindus. Such Hindus cite the case of Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians, and find comfort in the fact that they too have castes amongst them.” Annihilation of Caste

[iv] Writing in The Hindu, Faisal Devji has a somewhat similar argument for Muslims:
“But to make a Muslim politics possible, the “Muslim community” has to be destroyed…the Muslim community must be broken by caste just as its Hindu version has been.” (“Is a Dalit Muslim Unity Possible,” Aug 31, 2016)

[v] Khalid Anis Ansari: Why BAPSA’s support to Muslim Right is problematic, September 16, 2016, Two Circles, http://twocircles.net/2016sep16/1474041718.html

[vi] According to the decision of the Minorities Sub-Committee, the draft Constitution of February 1948 reserved seats for Muslims in Parliament and State legislatures; however, this reservation was taken away by the Constituent Assembly in May 1949.
This was how Nehru responded to this:
“I think that doing away with this reservation business is not only a good thing in in itself, good for all concerned more especially or the minorities, but psychologically too it is a very good move for the nation and the world. It shows that we are really sincere about this business of having a secular democracy.

Patel also wrote about the same:
“Although the abolition of separate electorates had removed much of the poison from the body politic, the reservation of seats for religious communities, it was felt, did lead to a certain degree of separatism and was to that extent contrary to the conception of a secular democratic state.

Later he remarks that everyone should
“forget that there is anything like majority or minority in this country and that in India there is only one community.”

(quoted in Shefali Jha, Secularism in the Constituent Assembly Debates, 1946-50)

[vii] See for a detailed treatment:
Shabnam Tejani, Indian Secularism: Social and Intellectual History; Rochana Bajpai , Debating Differences, and Marc Gallanter, Competing Inequalities; etc. for a critical assessment of the Muslim reservation issue.

[viii] THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY OF INDIA – VOLUME V, Wednesday, the 27th August 1947
Shri K. M. Munshi: The object of this amendment is to clarify the position of the so-called ,Scheduled Castes. The word ‘minorities’ so far as international treaties and international law is concerned, is only restricted to racial, linguistic and religious minorities. The Harijans, generally known as Scheduled Castes, are neither a racial minority nor a linguistic minority, not certainly a religious minority. Therefore in the interest of exact phraseology this amendment was found necessary. It was only, as members of the House will remember, when the Government of India Act was moved that the definition of ‘minorities’ was so extended by Sir Samuel Hoare as to include every minority which the Governor thought fit to consider as minority. This is a very very mischievous extension of the term and my amendment seeks to clarify the position that so far as the Scheduled Castes are concerned, they are not minorities in the strict meaning of the term; that the Harijans are part and parcel of Hindu community, and the safeguards are given to them to protect their rights only till they are completely absorbed in the Hindu Community.
Another reason is this. and I might mention that that reason is based on the decisions which have already been taken by this House. The distinction between Hindu Community other than Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Castes is the barrier of untouchability. Now, by the Fundamental. Rights which we have accepted, untouchability is prohibited by law and its practice is made a criminal offence under the law of the Federation. We have also accepted in the Fundamental Rights that no public place should be prohibited to anyone by reason of his birth. So far as the Federation is concerned, we have removed the artificial barrier between one section of the Hindu Community and the other.

In view of those facts, any safeguard as a minority, so far as the Scheduled Castes are Concerned, is illogical and will possibly prevent their complete absorption in the Hindu fold. I therefore submit that the amendment which I am moving clearly defines the position.

http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol5p8a.htm (part 1)

[ix] Another example from the debate on the same day as above footnote:

“Mr. H. J. Khandekar: I am aware that every member of this House has great sympathy for Scheduled castes. I have heard many speeches. Many leaders sympathise with us, but that is of no use, if it is merely verbal. People say and I also affirm that we are a part and parcel of the Hindu community. If you oppose this amendment of mine, it will only mean that you are not prepared to give us anything more than what we are getting according to the 1941 census…Therefore, I request the Honourable Mover that he may accept my amendment and give to the Scheduled Castes rights according to 1931 census.”

[x] This is how THE CONSTITUTION (SCHEDULED CASTES) ORDER, 1950]1 (C.O.19) puts it :

” 4[3. Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph 2, no person who professes a religion different from the Hindu [the Sikh or the Buddhist] religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste.]”

Please note that here the Sikh and Buddhist religion has also been subsumed under the category of Hindu.

[xi] See: “Babri Mosque Demolition: 
Why On December 6 ?” By Ashok Yadav, 21 February, 2009, http://www.countercurrents.org/yadav210209.htm

[xii] See: “The Social Engineering of Gujarat,” Hemant Babu in Himal Mag, Vol 15, No: 5, May 2002

[xiii] “The Social Engineering of Gujarat,” Hemant Babu in Himal Mag, Vol 15, No: 5, May 2002

[xiv] This is the most important message of Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste, which many of us are not even ready to discuss today:
“Caste may be bad. Caste may lead to conduct so gross as to be called man’s inhumanity to man. All the same, it must be recognized that the Hindus observe Caste not because they are inhuman or wrong-headed. They observe Caste because they are deeply religious. People are not wrong in observing Caste. In my view, what is wrong is their religion, which has inculcated this notion of Caste. If this is correct, then obviously the enemy you must grapple with is not the people who observe Caste, but the Shastras which teach them this religion of Caste. Criticising and ridiculing people for not inter- dining or inter-marrying, or occasionally holding inter-caste dinners and celebrating inter-caste marriages, is a futile method of achieving the desired end. The real remedy is to destroy the belief in the sanctity of the Shastras. (the emphasis is ours)

[xv] “Suddenly ‘women’ are everywhere. Development experts name ‘gender bias as the cause of poverty in the third world’; population planners declare their commitment to the empowerment of Indian women; economists speak of the feminisation of the Indian labour force.”(“Problems for a contemporary theory of gender”, Susie Tharu, Tejaswini Niranjana)

[xvi] “Caste and Maududian antagonism: Thinking Muslim theo-politics”, Shan Muhammed Shah, Round Table India, 19 September, 2016
http://roundtableindia.co.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8785:muhammed-shah-shan&catid=119:feature&Itemid=132

[xvii] Another problem in Waseem’s note is the way in which he is further compelled to present himself as a supporter of all contemporary struggles for social justice, including, gender and sexuality from an ‘intersectional and entangled perspective.’ What is erased here are two things: One, the very framework of certain contemporary movements for ‘social justice’ have developed themselves with Islam as their prime ‘other’ and have been used by others to demonize Muslim community – for instance Gender. Secondly, another thing that is forgotten here is that many Islam based readings in the recent years have provided a strong critique of these struggles for social justice and has refused to be pulled into the hegemony of the modern Hindu hegemony.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** ** ** ** ** *

This is Part II of the series of debates we have initiated on behalf of AMBEDKAR READING GROUP (A Dalit Adivasi Bahujan Minorities Collective, Delhi University). Kindly leave your comments on the blog and also email us at argduindia@gmail.com, you can also comment on and share the article from our facebook page: facebook.com/argdu or click Share This button found below to share the article via facebook, whatsapp and twitter 

Ambedkar Reading Group (A Dalit Adivasi Bahujan Minorities Collective, Delhi University)

Jesse Williams’ BET Awards Speech Full Text

Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET. Thank you Nate Parker, Harry and Debbie Allen for participating in that .

Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career, and that they make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also thank my amazing wife for changing my life.

Now, this award – this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country – the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.

It’s kind of basic mathematics – the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.

Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people everyday. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

Now… I got more y’all – yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12 year old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that toEric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.

Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money – that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.

There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t leveed against us – and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free.

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.

And let’s get a couple things straight, just a little sidenote – the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander.That’s not our job, alright – stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.

Thank you.

Courtesy : Urban Cusp

http://www.urbancusp.com/2016/06/jesse-williams-bet-awards-speech-full-text/

Video Link : 

 

JESSE

 

(ambedkar reading group: a dalit adivasi bahujan minorities collective, delhi university)

Ambedkarite vs Left Debate: A Bahujan Perspective

It is summer and the rage to appropriate on the part of the Savarna left parties is more evident than ever, especially in university spaces such as ours. In JNU, they have created BASO, to compete with BAPSA, (Birsa Ambedkar Phule Student Association). We also hear of another Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Study Circle – Delhi Chapter, which very recently read Annihilation of Caste as part of its first program in DU. Left and radical Left groups are indeed turning on their appropriation-mode on as if they are the ones who will now fight for the dignity, self-worth and rights of Rohiths, Deltas and Jishas. For the appropriators of the Bahujan aspiration, post-Rohith and the #JusticeforRohith movement, the mood prevalent in the campuses had to be converted badly as votes to maintain the perpetuation of their political species.

As a Bahujan group, we know that from Buddhist times to the present, the Brahminical castes who are in the minority has effortlessly appropriated the physical and cultural labor of the Bahujans in order to ensure the survival of their own parasitic communities. As Babasaheb Ambedkar has shown us, in order to dethrone Buddhism, they had to appropriate certain elements of this spiritual-cum-political ideology and practices like Vegetarianism is a result of this.

Centuries have passed and the appropriating machine is still running and is determined to take more Bahujans in its path. Recently in a powerful speech, Rahul Sonpimple of BAPSA came out openly against the appropriation of Dalit-Bahujan politics by the Left. Umar Khalid, who is one of those who formed the Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students Organization(why Bhagat Singh before Ambedkar, B before A?) responded and in the debate that followed, many Dalit-Bahujans fiercely exposed the appropriating and casteist Left. We fully support our brothers and sisters in this and we ourselves as a Bahujan-centric and Bahujan-lead reading group have experienced this constant attempt to appropriate our politics within DU too. We seldom care what the Left thinks or does, and we do not feel it worthwhile at all to engage in a conversation with them; at no moment do we treat the Left either as opponents or as people we have to contend with. So, we do not sense the need to respond to their appropriation of our politics in DU. However, we want to point to a few issues that we find problematic in the way our Bahujan side has been framing the debates with the Left. This note is written to address those issues so that we can together take the debate forward amongst ourselves, ignoring the appropriating and casteist Left.

We have two major concerns, which we will address in two parts. The first is with the way in which we are increasingly moving towards a politics that keeps us trapped in reacting to Brahminical appropriation and politics and second is the way in which the language and framework within which we assert for our rights within the university space is the same as the modern liberal language that the Left and other Brahminical groups use. Both these factors, we feel, keep us from developing an alternate perspective drawing from the diverse knowledge systems and experiences of our own communities.

Part I: Reaction as Politics

Today, when we have proved our strength through long drawn work in various small and big ways, in universities and outside, the oppressor castes and the Savarna Left have woken up to the fact that they have to engage with us. They do this by appropriating our voices, talking in our names and tagging Ambedkar along with other Savarna figures like Bhagat Singh. However, due to this immense cultural violence unleashed against us, we are also caught in a trap, where we are constantly reacting to these appropriations. Even as we realize that we cannot but do this, we see a problem in carrying forward a politics based solely on such “reactions” to hegemony.In fact, this Mode of response itself has its political repercussions and the Mode itself is now our politics.

Appropriation is the very structure through which caste operates; without appropriation caste cannot perhaps exist. It is the only mechanism through which the twice-born castes can sustain their parasitic selves. It is their response to us, our achievements, and our voice. They can’t survive without copying us, mimicking us and tailing behind us; that is the tragicomedy of their powerful selves.In other words, appropriation is a symptom of the disease called Caste; it is the primary caste occupation of the Brahmins and the Savarnas. But we have to treat the disease and not the symptom. For this, we need to fortify Bahujan politics and within the university space, we need to transform our mode of engagement with academics.

Instead, when we question each and every act of appropriation that happens within the colonizing structure of caste, we are confining ourselves to constantly reacting to the oppressor, which in a way keeps us in close connection and relation (though in a negative manner) with the oppressor. This makes us inhabit the very space of the oppressor without thinking of ways and means to move out of this structure, annihilate this structure and enable our own non-vertical transformative structure/s.

In fact, instead of turning the gaze on the actions of the oppressor, and reacting to it, we need to look at our own selves, and fortify ourselves from within. For this first of all, we need to be aware of our vulnerabilities. In this particular case, for instance, we also need to see that the Left could hijack the Rohith issue, also because the Bahujan groups in HCU and then later in JNU and DU were forced to form alliances with them as Joint Action Committee (JAC) in order to carry forward the struggle. Given this, if we are pointing towards the large-scale Left appropriation alone that followed this alliance, we are also refusing to examine and rectify the vulnerabilities within us, which aids and perpetuates this appropriation. Talking against Left appropriation might weaken the Left, but looking at our own vulnerabilities alone will strengthen us and keep us safe.

We also have to see this important fact, that often when we are reacting to Brahmins and other oppressor castes, we are working with the idea that we are standing within a Whole, which is dominated by Brahminical castes and within which as modern citizens, we need representation. This is what the modern nation teaches us too. We are an equal and whole entity and equal among the whole entity,however, there are some who are more dominating, so there should be some way in which we as the ‘others’ can bargain and find a space for ourselves within the whole. This is the notion that guides the constitutional idea of reservation also. So when we come to academics or any kind of modern space, we imagine that space also in these terms – as a modern whole, and then assert our identities by bargaining for a space within this whole, which is designed for the domination and perpetuation of the Brahminical communities in the first place.

It is this act of bargaining for a space within the modern-whole that casteists dismiss as identity politics. However, what we feel is that there is a need to re-conceptualize the ‘modern-whole’ as the Brahminical-whole. Be it academics or any other public space, we are not dealing with a whole dominated by upper-castes and Brahmins within which we can ask for our rights, and become equal. We are dealing with a Whole made “by, for and of”them.  If we re-conceptualize modern public spaces, including academia (which is where the present debate is taking place) like this, then we have two choices before us:

  1. We can keep on bargaining for our rights within the Brahminical-Whole

OR

  1.      We can try to transform this into a Bahujan whole and this is what Kanshi Ram dreamt about when he organized the Bahujans.

 

So even as we are talking about appropriation in the context of academia and bargaining for our special rights and identity, we also need to think of strategies that can transform academia along with this. In other words, we also need to create discourses and debates, wherein we are doing many other important activities along with the constant bargaining with the Brahminical whole. Eventually, we should annihilate the Brahminical whole, assert our identities boldly and replace the Brahmin space with our own Bahujan selves where we are able to create spaces for us so that transformation and thinking of our transformation shall be facilitated.

In academics, we need to put forward an academic/knowledge mission, which will help us see the world and every single thing in the world, from our own perspective. We need to use our Ambedkarite Bahujan perspective to build knowledge not only about our lives, sufferings and oppression – we need to do this surely – but we have to add to this by talking about everything else too.  Instead as Gopal Guru said years ago, we provide the data and they make the theories. We have to put an end to this.And we have to always remember and be conscious of what G Aloysius said in a speech once: ACADEMICS IS YET TO BE BORN IN INDIA.

Actually now, what is happening is this:many of us know that by participating in the vile edifice of academics, we can only become powerless collaborators and thus we do this meekly or we soon turn anti-academic and anti-intellectual and confine our politics to bargaining for representation within academics.Many also leave academics. In contrast, the oppressor castes with all their privileges and opportunities keep on constructing and manufacturing knowledge about us. At the most, we protest against it and write oppositional notes. And these days we are making a project of confining our politics to this.

In fact, even the most assertive Bahujan who is bargaining for Dalit rights or OBC rights, is also at the same time producing academic work, which borrows from Brahminical scholarship and collaborates with them. Most of our famous academic scholars, except for a few, are standing in the academic space only by collaborating with a Brahmin or Oppressor caste scholar. This is indeed an unfortunate situation. Only if we transform academics from within our knowledge space, which we must know, is totally inaccessible to the Brahmins and oppressor castes, will we be really able to transform the world around us. This need not even be done from within the structures of the academy, which is so caste-ridden and closed to most of us. We can do this from alternate spaces; we can also use our present alternate spaces for this, that is from the various individual and collective Bahujan spaces which are today vocal about our issues. In short, we need to break out of the Brahminical space and create our own space, not in response to them and not to convince them or interact or collaborate with them – all of which is a huge loss of our time and energy.

In fact, it is no wonder then that it is transformative (as opposed to bargaining) acts such as this that threatens the oppressor castes and forces them to come down on us with their police and administration. In many ways, Rohith Vemula and ASA (by powerfully bringing together different identity groups and by taking on the Brahminical space with confidence) actually put forward such a transformative politics, which is why the authorities came down so badly on them.

So our larger goal should be to retrieve our thinking traditions, our scholars, to read them, to re-read them, to question them, to re-write them and to take their thoughts and ideas forward. This should be the work we should do, and let them come behind us, mimicking us and appropriating us and using their power to hide the fact that they have done all this.

Once we use our knowledge to transform the equation of power in this caste colony, we don’t have to engage with the oppressor castes in power. We will then own a shared and more or less equal public space, along with land, resources, and all other spheres. This is what we have to remember. This is what we have to visualize. And our focus should be on this transformation and not their antics of power.

 

Part II: Using the oppressor’s language and framework

 Equally important is the language and framework in which our politics is framed in the university spaces. Increasingly and uncritically, we are making our claims in the same modern liberal language of the universities. This is happening despite our experiences of the casteist implications of this language.

Taking Rahul Sonpimple’s letter as an example, we can see how the framework of the arguments and the political position taken is located in the secular liberal framework of the casteist nation-state.  This is most clear in the letter’s clarification about BAPSA’s stand on the February 9 event and what followed. The letter claims that BAPSA’s support for the struggle against the entire JNU ‘crackdown’ as stemming out of its belief in “freedom of speech and expression.”  This is said at this moment despite the fact that this ideal has been many times put to question within and without India, on both popular and academic levels. In the context of the Ambedkar cartoon controversy of 2012, many Left groups had also categorized the Dalit demand to remove the particular cartoon from the NCERT textbook as a disruption of “freedom of expression”.  In fact, in many incidents across the globe, it has become evident that ‘freedom of speech’, like ‘merit’, is a clear liberal tool that erases all pressing political questions of hierarchy and power differences between different communities living within the modern nation-state. We are again and again in a situation to use the language and tools of the oppressor caste that have historically been used against us, to assert our political positions.

Secondly, in Rahul’s speech and other writings from our side, there is a constant attack on the Hindu/Muslim binary. As we all know, the Hindu-Muslim binary has been employed by the Left (and Right) in a way that does not see how caste is implicated in the construction of the Hindu. We surely need to reject this Left understanding, which is close to the RSS understanding of the Hindu/Muslim binary. However, the problem here is that in trying to overcome this binary, we are refusing to see the issue of religion, which is inherent in the Hindu-Muslim question. Thus we are making the same claims (though in a different way) as the oppressor communities do, who leave out the question of caste out as they  can see only the issue of religion.

Hinduism got constituted very slowly, first in response to the threat of Buddhism, as Babasaheb Ambedkar shows in his ‘Who are the Untouchables?’ and then in the colonial period, as a response to the way in which Dalits and other lowered castes were converting to Islam and Christianity. In fact, many of the things that we associate with Hinduism today – like the Vedas, were brought back into the limelight by people like Dayananda Saraswathi so as to compete with the religious books of the Semitic religions to which lowered castes were beginning to convert. Hinduism also borrowed and appropriated Buddhism heavily to constitute itself. So more than anything this religion was a reaction to the challenges to the caste system, or in other words, it was a new and modern form of the caste system itself. However, Islam and Christianity were not created to maintain any power structure like this. In fact, in many ways they were emancipatory religions, which sought to bring a better status to the poor, the marginalized and to women.

Now it is true that both Christianity and Islam – Christianity more than Islam – have indigenized themselves by adopting caste practices. Christians have also institutionalized this at a large scale by having different churches and denominations for different castes all over the country. Yet, there is a difference in the way caste operates within Hinduism and other religions. Ambedkar has discussed this difference at length in Annihilation of Caste.

We need to acknowledge this difference and differentiate Hinduism as different from other religions here. In other words, even if we talk about the existence of caste within Islam, we still cannot equate Islam to Hinduism. In fact, we have to remember that Ambedkar and many of the oppressed caste leaders advocated the conversion out of Hinduism as a way of annihilating caste. Though it is shown that caste still continues within converts too, we cannot let go of conversion as an emancipatory tool. This leaves us within the trap of Hinduism (that is getting stronger and stronger by the day) and very much within its ethos and annihilation of caste becomes next to impossible. In fact, if Hinduism is the modern face of caste, this really leaves us with no tool to fight caste itself.

Moreover, there is also another important issue here. We are forgetting that Hinduism got re-created in the modern period in order to include Dalits and oppressed castes within its fold. For instance, most of the Hindu social reforms were about finding ways to include the Dalits and oppressed castes who were literally running away from it. For instance, Vedas comes into prominence not as Hindu texts alone, but as texts that were now being taught to Dalits and others in the Arya Samaj programs. Shudhi programs were often undertaken to bring back oppressedcastes into the Hindu faith after they had left it through conversion.  Similarly Arya Samaj itself, and many similar such movements were focused on making Dalits and oppressed castes enter the Brahmin fold as Hindus.

Moreover, often as we can see in the various riots that happened as a result of the mobilization of oppressed castes towards cow prohibition and in the love jihad discourses of the 1920s, the oppressed castes were sought to be included in the Hindu community when the Muslim was imagined as the ‘Other’ of the Hindu. In Kerala for instance, today, we all speak about the much radical temple entry. However, as Dalit scholars (K K Kochu) have pointed out, it is when Ezhavas threatened to leave the Hindu fold through conversion that suddenly Sree Narayana movement was given such importance and temple entry was allowed. Similarly when Babasaheb wanted separate electorates, Gandhi was not ready to allow this as he felt that Hindus would be divided.Though it was the Dalits who fiercely opposed these tendencies from the very beginning (as opposed to other lowered castes who got pulled in totally), it is the intentions of the above Hindu reform activities that we see repeated in certain aspects of the constitution also. Here too it is the idea that “Harijans are part and parcel of the Hindu community”, (K M Munshi, Constitution Assembly Debates, V, p 227) which finally defines Dalits as Hindus within the constitution.

So we not only have to stop comparing Hinduism with Islam, we also have to start talking about how the oppressed castes are implicated in the very construction of Hinduism. If we do not do this, we will be perpetually framed as Hindus officially and through other modern cultural devices, even as we keep on denying this status, saying: ‘Why I am not a Hindu.”

Also, we are using the issue of caste within the Muslim community to equate the Savarna Muslim to the Savarna Hindu and refusing to grant any legitimacy to the position of Islam as a persecuted and powerless religion in comparison to Hinduism.In contrast to this, we are envisioning a Bahujan majority constituted of caste.We are able to arrive at a homogenization of Bahujans of different religions like this, only by refusing to examine the category of religion – by refusing to see that the Bahujan Muslim and Bahujan Hindu may have completely different concerns. This is nothing but a reproduction of the modern, secular, Brahminical framework, which leaves out religion from all analysis, even as all lives are deeply marked by it.

Moreover, we are also repeating the leftist rejection of religion as “the opium of the masses” when we are dismissing its importance,though in a different way. Also when we keep on looking down upon all religions as useless and unnecessary, we are also negating one of the most important messages in Annihilation of Caste, which is about conversion out of Hinduism based on the idea that “political revolutions have always been preceded by social and religious revolutions.” In fact, this constant secular/Savarna rejection of religion, keeps us very much within the framework of the Hindu nation and makes us adopt a univocal Brahminical view, which refuses to see the intersections of caste and religion in India.

So are we also like the Savarnas and liberal feminists, who see nothing but gender? Are we also going to see only in univocal/Brahminical ways and talk only about caste and use caste to deny other discriminations and other serious differences and inequalities? How will we sustain a coming together of the majority Bahujans, if we will not even be ready to see other kinds of discriminations like Islamophobia for instance? Does Islamophobia affect only lowered caste Muslims? If we are theorizing about the Brahmin woman, will we equate her and say that she has the same power as the Brahmin man? Why were our leaders like Phule and Ambedkar aware of the discrimination of Brahmin women within caste? Similarly even if there is a category of powerful Muslims (there needs to be serious study about stratification among Muslims and the share of power which is enjoyed by Savarna Muslims before we come to a conclusion about it) shouldn’t we be seeing how they are still very different from the powerful Hindus? What stops us from doing this, except our own uncritical acceptance of our location within Hinduism? Why are we denying and dismissing this religious location just like the Savarnas and the Leftists deny and dismiss caste? Here too, aren’t we creating a discourse from within the given Brahminical framework of the Savarnas, accepting their terms of debate?

Similarly, let us look at the whole debate about the Society/State binary. Rahul Sonpimple talks about the Left’s insistence on the power of the State. For the Left, as we all know, the State is the enemy. They see no ways of engaging with it and yet as Rahul points out they still do go to the courts when it comes to their affair. Also they have absolutely no problem in holding government jobs and taking salaries from the State. The Left, as Bahujans already have recognized are not ready to see caste operating at the level of the society and by pointing to the State they are taking attention away from their own power and projecting it on to an external entity. So, for them it’s a way of diverting issues. However, in responding to the Left’s insistence on the evilness of the State, we often see Bahujans insisting on the importance of the State. We could see this in these debates too. Why is it that we are choosing to stand on the other side of the binary and say that the State is important to us? Isn’t this an answer framed in response to a debate set by the Left? In doing this, aren’t we actually talking from within the structure of the same State/Society binary? Why should we allow the Left to impose this binary on us?

On November 25, 1949, addressing the constituent assembly Ambedkar said: “On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality.” However, today the contradictions have collapsed into a seamless whole where we have inequality both in politics and in social and economic life. Be it the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, or the allocation of funds to SC/ST communities, or even the proper implementation of reservations, we know that the State is a Brahminical State, just as society too, and that it is there only for the perpetuation of Brahminical power and it has not protected us in any way. In fact, we today know that without the connivance of the State, social atrocities cannot take place. So then, why can’t we have a NEW theory of the Society and the State, away from the binary created and handed out to us by the Left?

We see the same problems arising with regard to the discussion about the constitution. Dr Ambedkar himself has said many times that he is “only one member of the drafting committee.” and that the youth must “change the constitution.” Yet in opposing the Brahminical left and radical left dismissal of the constitution, we always adopt the opposite view as was seen in these recent debates. We tend to forget that the constitution has not granted Dalits Separate Electorates as Babasaheb badly wanted in the first place. The constitution denies us proportionate reservations too. The constitution took away reservations that were there for Muslims, including in the political arena. The constitution makes Dalits and Adivasis officially Hindu. The constitution also has been used to promote the prohibition of cow slaughter, something that Babasaheb had clearly seen as the origin of untouchability itself. So, even if the constitution has given us a certain space, can’t we both acknowledge its importance and still try to modify and add to it, for the emancipation of the Bahujans? In other words, can’t we talk about its various shortcomings from our own marginalized positions instead of merely responding to the Savarna radical dismissal of the constitution with an uncritical celebration? In fact, only by adhering to the constitution even as we develop a clear, Bahujan-oriented critique of it, can we oppose the status of Dalits and Adivasis as Hindu and create a Bahujan politics, which will demand for separate electorates and proportionate reservations as Kanshi Ram had done. In not doing this, aren’t we allowing the Brahmins and other Savarnas (including the Left) to set the terms of our thinking and even politics?

In short, the language and frame in which our politics is articulated in the university spaces shows alack of readiness to go beyond the secular (Brahminical) categories from which the State and modern culture of this nation derives its power. This makes it more and more impossible for us to look into the complicated nature in which caste is located in Indian society and State structures, even after more than six decades of independence. The facts of our historical experiences and failed promises should be urgently used to start a critical reconsideration of the frames of these formations rather than merely fighting for our share in the modern project.

Finally, the recent Ambedkarite-Left fights set off another minor debate about solidarity between different marginalized communities. We find it very disturbing that in many instances, it was said that solidarity between marginalized groups is impossible. Even as we fully reject any solidarity with Left forces, we really need to rethink the growing position amongst ourselves that any kind of solidarity between different marginal groups is impossible, by pointing to internal differences and other issues. We believe that such a proposition erases the history and larger vision of pre-independence Bahujan politics which is not a mere coming together of different politics or a simple surface show but a powerful, pre-nationalist, anti-caste politics, which Congress nationalism completely destroyed.

Let us remember in this context that the Brahminical castes totally feared this kind of a solidarity politics of the Bahujans. Gandhi, for instance, responded to the British communal award that offered separate electorates for Dalit community with these words:

The possible consequences of separate electorate for Harijans fill me with horror. Separate electorates for all other communities will still leave room for me to deal with them, but I have no other means to deal with “untouchables”…They do not realize that the separate electorate will create division among Hindus so much that it will lead to blood-shed. “Untouchable” hooligans will make common cause with Muslim hooligans and kill caste-Hindus.”(Quoted in Shabnam Tejani, Indian Secularism: A Social and Intellectual History, 1890-1950: 2008)

This reflects a major Brahminical Hindu fear about the coming together of different identity groups. It was this coming together that Kanshi Ram tried to re-imagine with his Bahujan politics. Somehow we are moving away from such politics when we refuse the coming together of different marginalized identity groups in fighting caste-based power in this nation.

In fact, post-independence what we see is a relegation of all marginalized communities into identity groups that fight in the margins for their share of representation in the modern Brahminical ‘whole’. Even in this there is inequality as some identities get greater share than others. Even in our own Bahujan spaces we see some identities, taking precedence over others. For instance, even in our own organizations, including in Ambedkar Reading Group, many identities like Adivasis are often subsumed within other more well asserted positions like that of Dalits and Muslims. All of this is happening when a ‘neutral’,’ identity-free’ Brahminical section dominates all the cultural, political and material properties and resources of this nation.

Somehow the individualized “identity” that we assert, we have to remember, is also the only modern property that the Brahminical system is also ready to allow us, so that they can then monopolize all other real property and all other material and non-material resources. So what we need is not ONLY a more vigorous assertion of any one kind of identity, be it of the Dalits or the Muslims, but ALSO a coming together of different marginalized identities (in spite of various internal differences), as a NEW politics, the kind of politics envisioned by people like Kanshi Ram.

In short, we need to urgently address the above problems, and move out of them into a Bahujan politics, which emphasizes solidarity between various differently marginalized communities, that puts forward a transformative agenda based on our own language and framework, and which will work to annihilate caste instead of reacting to Brahmin devices, and without merely bargaining for our different rights within the modern Brahminical space.

By

Ambedkar Reading Group,  Delhi University, 2016

This note is prepared by members of Ambedkar Reading Group, Delhi University, to inaugurate a series of debates, dialogues and solidarity with various crucial issues that affect our Bahujan communities, both within and outside the academia. 

Notes:

Bahujan is increasingly used to denote OBCs, even our own Ambedkar Reading Group had used it in that manner, however, here we use Bahujan in its original sense, as put forward by Kanshi Ram, to denote, Dalits, Adivasis, Backward Castes, Muslims and other Minorities.

 BAPSA: Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association is an Ambedkarite-Bahujan student party in JNU

Rahul Sonpimple is one of the leaders of BAPSA, JNU

Umar Khalid is a student leader of the recently formed Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Student Organisation (BASO), JNU

 

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      (AMBEDKAR READING GROUP : A DALIT ADIVASI BAHUJAN MINORITIES COLLECTIVE, DELHI UNIVERSITY)

 

 

 

 

DELHI UNIVERSITY ADMISSION ORIENTATION PROGRAMME @KERALA

DELHI UNIVERSITY ADMISSION ORIENTATION PROGRAMME @ KERALA

HELLO !

Our Friends will be conducting orientation programs for admissions to University of Delhi for the academic year 2016-17 in the following places @ Kerala.

Kindly share and help reach the news to students belonging to backward sections and encourage them to know about the undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree study options available at University of Delhi and enable them to pursue their studies at University of Delhi.   

Venues, Dates and Time of the orientation are as follows: 

Venue
Date & Time
Contacts
Ansar Women’s College, Perumbilavu
May 28 2016 9:30 am
9555625226(M)
9868315240(M)
9605312775(W)
Unity Centre, Kannur Town
May 28 2016 9:30 am
9497047302(M)
8129567809(M)
9605312775(W)
PPMHSS Kottukkara, Kondotty
May 28 2016 9:30 am
9656487985(M)
9605312775(W)
Race Academy, Areacode
May 29, 2016   9:30 am
9605312775
(M&W)
MIM HSS Perode, Nadapuram
May 30, 2016   9:30 am
9497047302(M)
9605312775(W)
CIGI Headquarters, Kalpetta
May 30, 2016   9:30 am
8129491099(M)
9717875470 (M)
9605312775 (W)
GMLPS  Koduvally
May 31, 2016   9:30 am
9747294161 (M)
8089011016 (M)
9605312775 (W)
Pazhassi Memorial Hall, Mananthavadi
May 31, 2016   9:30 am
8129491099(M)
9717875470(M)
9605312775(W)
MSP School, Malappuram
JUNE 1, 2016  9:30 am
9447533673(M)
9605939295(M)
9605312775(W)
Maithry Bhavan, Alappuzha Town
JUNE 1, 2016  9:30 am
9995055711(M)
9605312775(W)
Ideal School, Sultan Bathery
JUNE 1, 2016  9:30 am
8129491099(M)
9717875470(M)
9605312775(W)
AL Haramain English School, Calicut
JUNE 2, 2016  9:30 am
8089494866(M)
9605312775 (W)
CIGI CHEVAYOOR, Calicut
JUNE 5, 2016  9:30 am
8745939729(M)
8089494866(M)
9605312775 (W)

 

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(or)

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Further updates on DU admission will be available here at the blog and our facebook page

(AMBEDKAR READING GROUP : A DALIT ADIVASI BAHUJAN MINORITIES COLLECTIVE, DELHI UNIVERSITY)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

updates : #justiceforrohith #dalitlivesmatter #standwithhcu #hcuemergency

#dalitlivesmatter #justiceforrohith #standwithHCU 

Lamakaan – An Open Cultural Space
Lamakaan opens its kitchen to University of Hyderabad hostelers. In view of the extraordinary situation in University of Hyderabad Lamakaan has decided to offer free staple food to any University of Hyderabad hosteler upon production of id card until this crisis is resolved. Being 20 km away from the campus, we realize that this gesture may only serve a symbolic purpose. But we hope that others close by will take cue and act in solidarity. (Carry your student ID please)
Off Road no.1, Lane before VengalRao Park, Diagonal to GVK Mall, Banjara Hills,
Hyderabad, India  Phone: 096427 31329
 

Muhammed Afzal P:EFLU Community in Solidarity with the HCU Community

Dear Friends,
As you are aware, the University of Hyderabad administration, in its attempt to scuttle the protest by the students and teachers of HCU against the V C Appa Rao resuming charge, has closed down the hostel messes, internet connectivity, etc. The campus community is suffering from shortage of food and water. The EFLU community has decided to carry out a solidarity march to HCU and to distribute food and water to the students today evening. We request the members of EFLU community to join us in large numbers in our march to HCU and also to contribute financially. We will leave from EFLU campus at 5:30 p m

PS: Please contact the following numbers if you wish to contribute in the form of financial or physical help.

Ashfaque Ali : 09177971320
Jabbar Chungathara: 08897145705
Dwija Aami; 08978521305
Nafas: 09177660773 ”

 

Sukumar Narayana: ” Absolute chaos in HCU. Students brutally lathi charged, hurt and hospitalised. Others run to save themselves. Everyone is dispersed. There is no internet on campus since the administration has blocked all sorts of services. All dining halls closed, since workers strike against students (apparently instructed by APPA RAO himself). Dontha Prashanth among the other 30-odd students and one teacher (names to be out soon) who have been arrested. Police brutally beats Prashanth and others in the police van within the campus premises. Unbelievable State violence on non-violent students.”

Vaikhari Aryat:  “Male police brutally grabbed, molested, tossed and beat female students and faculties alike. Female faculties were grabbed by their hair and dragged into vans. Male students were swept inside the van and were beaten without mercy. When I ran after them questioning that, police harassed me. They asked where I am from and when I told them its none of their business, they made a pass on my skin tone and threatened to teach me how to behave and tried to chase me away. They were doing the same to other students. They were rounding up stranded students and started chasing them beating.. Many of us are in health center and some are moved outside. 3 vans of students are arrested by now. Shame on you VC for facilitating this violence against your own students!  ‪#‎UoH‬ ‪#‎DalitLivesMatter‬ ”   &  ” Undeclared emergency is prevailing in UoH now. No food, no water, no electricity and no internet. Sangh administration, police and ABVP nexus do whatever they can to suppress all kinds of resistance. Media play their role by hiding reality and police brutality on students and painting nonviolent protesters as hooligans who tore apart VC’s lodge and poor sangh puppets! While there are students who are privileged enough to afford food from outside, there is a good majority of students who depend entirely on mess food. It is not because of the quality of the food. It is because that is the only thing some of us can afford. When you shut down dining halls and canteens which provide food for students at a subsidized rate, you are punishing a good majority of us for the offense of being unprivileged! Who the hell are you running this Nazi camp for by murdering students day by day? I see sangh parivar administration, sangh police hooligans and ABVP students who betrays their own student community playing holi with our blood today! ”

Manasi Mohan S : “Condemn the brutal attack of telangana police on us the university of hyderabad students. They dragged and lifted the students unexpectedly with no provocation and later lathi charged and assaulted verbally and physically. Many students have scratch marks in their bodies made by a blade like weapon. Male police men attacked the female students with no mercy and violated all kinds of ethics. What provoked them to this extend is still not clear. The university now seems to be under police control. police men are wandering all over threatening the students. this cannot be tolerated.Moreover they have arrested students and faculty baselessly. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of all the 36 students and two faculties arrested illegally.We shall fight until justice is delivered. ‪#‎JusticeForRohith‬ ‪#‎StudentsUnityLongLive‬

Anant Maringanti: ” This is an extraordinary situation. Thousands of students in hostels in University of Hyderabad are being denied food and water for the last 24 hours and the situation may get worse. If the students are forced out of the hostels many of them will not have alternative shelters and will not have money to buy food and water. Will Hyderabad stand by and watch people being forced into submission through denial of food and water ? Can those of us who can rise this occasion respond quickly to say no and show it in action ?  “
Praveenaa Thaali: “I am not shocked or wondered about the silence of elite national medias on the brutal attack against HCU students. ” your Idea of HCU might be, a slum or a Dalit basthi where police can enter any time beat people and even kill them. meantime state will cut power and water. we know you won’t find any scoop in this, because your nasty mindset tell you.. these are deserved things for them”…….. pity on you!!!!”  #‎bewithRohithVemulamovemt‬ #immediatereleseofstudentsandfaculties‬

Praveena Kp: ” Each and everyone in the protest at HCU was brutally beaten up by the police. 36 people including 3 faculty members are taken to the two police stations. The ABVP members, non teaching staff union leaders and the ”selfless” faculty members went to VC’s lodge at 9 am and protected him with ”Appa Rao Zindabad” sloggens according to the plan of action written by sanghi VC and his ”like minded collegues”. Police had given protection to the culprits by brutally beating us. Our mess is closed..no internet connection..no water.. But we are not scared of them. We will fight for justice.”#‎ArresttheVC‬ #‎JusticeforRohith‬  

Anu K Antony:  ” No water. No food. No electricity. No connectivity to the outside world. Police raj. We dont know where the arrested students and proffessors are. Silence of media. The protesting students informed that all the national channels wer present there. Yet no media coverage except for blatant lies. The national channels that extensively covered the JNU incidents observe a totally believable, not so shocking silence. Wat is this other than an indifference towards the dalit politics of HCU? I cant help but noticing that the enemy is not common.”  ‪#‎shameonbrahmanicalmedi‬a #‎iamwithrohith‬  

Mehjabeen Finu Kt: ” Seriously?? Blocked all debit cards issued from UOH SBI Branch??!!! Come on Appa rao!! Which all method will you make possible to provoke us?! Testing our patience?! Though Our struggle will remain democratic by all means!! Try your level best #‎justiceforrohith‬

Aslah Vadakara: ” ‘Facebook trending’ says that students of UOH ransack VC’s office after he returns to work. National medias saying students involving in rampage and vandalisation.   Where is Killer VC ?  Where is police Brutality? Where is ABVP hooliganism? and where is Justice for Rohith Vemula” 

Annusitara Ann:  ” Extremely shocked to see how brutally police lathi charged students of University of Hyderabad for protesting against the re-entry of VC prof.Appa Rao to the campus. Apparently, the ABVP in the campus who got prior information of his reassume were sheilding the VC from the protesters by guarding his doors .Heavy police force was also deployed at the VC lodge .The peaceful protesters sitting on the VC lodge loans were dragged, beaten up , and hurled by the police. As the students started screaming and running away, the police personnel were seen chasing them, grabbing them by their hair, pinning them down and beating them. The female students were mistreated and physically attacked by the male police. They also made racist and sexist comments at students and faculties .Many students including faculty members are severely injured and nearly 10 people were detained. No media has reported this . The mobile phones of the students who tried to record the vicious act were snatched and thrown away by police .Internet access in the university is completely cut off . The mess and library is also closed down .They are planning to stop supply of electricity and water too. “ #‎hcu‬ ‪#‎vcdowndown‬ ‪#‎ABVPsharamkaro‬

Narayanan M Sankaran: “The nation you keep silence, HCU won’t hurt your feelings, because it is the matter of Dalit live.” ‪#‎StandWIthRohithVemula‬

Kuriakose Mathew : ” This is not emergency. This is braman fascist war against society. ”

Credits: 

FB PROFILES OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED PERSONS

USEFUL Links : 

RAIOT REPORT ON #HCU

http://raiot.in/reports-from-a-prisoncamp-called-hyderabad-central-university/

University Community :

https://www.facebook.com/UniversityCommunity/

https://goo.gl/xsYZ0X (GOOGLE DOCS FORM re: accommodation, Food and Water for University of Hyderabad Hosteliers)

#argdu invites you to read with us …

Dear Friend,

Ambedkar Reading Group (Delhi University) will read The Cracked Mirror: An Indian Debate on Experience and Theory by Gopal Guru & Sunder Sarukkai

Date: March 12, 2016 (Saturday) @ 2 P:M

Venue: Faculty of Social Sciences Lawns , North Campus: Delhi University

Directions:
Nearest metro station for DU is Vishvavidyalaya, deboard and take a rickshaw/e-rickshaw to Arts Faculty.

The text (PDF) is attached here for download: The Cracked Mirror

Our fb updates : https://facebook.com/argdu

mail:   argduindia@gmail.com

 

12088174_464624703720676_2791486025487620601_n

 

(AMBEDKAR READING GROUP : A DALIT ADIVASI BAHUJAN MINORITIES COLLECTIVE, DELHI UNIVERSITY)

#argdu invites you to read with us …

Dear Friend,

Ambedkar Reading Group (Delhi University) will read Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis

Date: March 5, 2016 (Saturday) @ 2 P:M

Venue: Faculty of Social Sciences Lawns , North Campus: Delhi University

Directions:
Nearest metro station for DU is Vishvavidyalaya, deboard and take a rickshaw/e-rickshaw to Arts Faculty.

The text (PDF) is attached here for downloadAre Prisons Obsolete  

Our fb updates : https://facebook.com/argdu

mail:   argduindia@gmail.com

a a v

 

(AMBEDKAR READING GROUP : A DALIT ADIVASI BAHUJAN MINORITIES COLLECTIVE, DELHI UNIVERSITY)

Ambedkar Reading Group (Delhi University) invites you to Read “The Untouchables : Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables ? ”

Dear Friends,

Ambedkar Reading Group (Delhi University) will read Babasaheb Ambedkar’s “The Untouchables : Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables ? ”

Date: February 13, 2016 (Saturday) @ 2 P:M

Venue: Delhi School of Economics CAR PARK (DSE is opposite St.Stephen’s College)

Directions:
Nearest metro station for DSE is Vishvavidyalaya, deboard and take a rickshaw/e-rickshaw to Law Faculty or St.Stephen’s College.

The text (PDF) is attached here for download: THE UNTOUCHABLES AMBEDKAR (pdf) 

Our fb updates : https://facebook.com/argdu

mail:   argduindia@gmail.com

argdu advertiesement (5)

(AMBEDKAR READING GROUP : A DALIT ADIVASI BAHUJAN MINORITIES COLLECTIVE, DELHI UNIVERSITY)